MN DNR Weekly CO Report presented by Prairie Sportsman.

The weekly Conservation Officer Report is supplied by the Minnesota DNR. It’s appearance here and on Sporting Journal Radio is presented by:

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District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked boaters, anglers, and campers in the Boundary Waters Canoe
Area Wilderness with CO Anthony Bermel on a detail. Violations encountered included
possession of marijuana and possession of glass and aluminum in the BWCA.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad North) worked OHV, boat and water, and angling enforcement.
High winds kept most anglers at bay this past week with the majority of activity being limited to
Four Mile Bay and the river. Enforcement action taken this past week included motorboat
registration violations, failure to remove a drain plug from watercraft prior to transporting and
illegal transportation of walleye fillets.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) continues to receive complaints about
nuisance bears in the area. Homeowners in bear country are reminded to remove all food sources
from their yards including bird feeders, pet food, and unsecured trash. A law enforcement
memorial ceremony was attended and a detail worked on Lake of the Woods with CO Benjamin.
Enforcement action for the past week included boat registration violations, failure to remove a
drain plug from watercraft during transport, unlawful transportation of walleye fillets, and ATV
registration violations.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) conducted ATV and angling patrols this past week, and
participated in an AIS check station detail. The detail saw good compliance with AIS laws.
Enforcement action for the week included ATV registration violations, operating an ATV on a
highway, and no angling license in possession.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working ATV, OHM, and AIS enforcement
and angling activity on special regulation lakes throughout the week. Angler’s reports were
mixed but the evening bite has been the best. Time was spent investigating burning permit
violations, giving an AIS and angling regulations presentation at a local fishing tournament rules
meeting and handling reports of incidental catches as spring beaver closed. Violations

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encountered and addressed included failure to control a permitted fire, operating OHMs on the
roadway, watercraft registration, PFD and angling license violations.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports that fishing success slowed down on Upper Red
Lake, but fishing pressure was still up. Enforcement action was taken on boat and water safety,
burning without permit, and ATV violations. Prachar worked with multiple other COs from
around the region on an aquatic invasive species detail.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette East) checked anglers and ATV enthusiasts over the course of the
week. Commercial minnow trapping enforcement was also focused on. Assistance was given
with a medical, which led the driver of a vehicle to go off the road and resulted in the person
being airlifted. Nuisance animal and injured-animal complaints were handled. Mishler also
attended D.A.R.E. graduation for the Kelliher School fifth-grade class and did a meet and greet
with K9 Storm and the students.
Baudette West – vacant.
Warroad South – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports attending a law enforcement memorial event in Grand
Forks. Time was also spent speaking at a firearms safety class in Crookston. Anglers and
watercraft operators were contacted on local lakes. An AIS detail was worked in the Baudette
area. Follow-up work was completed on a pending wetland violation case.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and continued flight training.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) worked boating and angling activity on area lakes. Vollbrecht
checked one group of anglers in a boat that claimed to have a limit of walleyes. After closer
count of the livewell, they were three over the limit. The anglers stated fishing was so good the
past hour they lost count. Vollbrecht worked a boat and water detail on Upper Red Lake with CO
McGowan. Numerous overlimit citations were issued. A calf depredation case was investigated
and several nuisance-animal calls were taken.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking anglers and taking multiple requests for beaver
permits. Rain, wind and cold hampered a local fishing tournament. Reports of OHMs running in
ditches was taken.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week checking shore anglers and boaters. The
panfish bite has been steady while the walleyes have been tougher for anglers to find. Other time
was spent assisting with an AIS check station near Baudette where many boats were checked and
most boaters were following all of the AIS regulations. Enforcement action for the week

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included angling with extra lines, using game fish as bait, no license, and no license in
possession.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing, AIS and boating
enforcement and safety. Time was also spent giving a law and ethics presentation to an ATV
safety class in Moorhead.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling and boating activity on area waters. An angling
tournament was monitored. Minnow trapping and leaching activity was worked. A call of a
bear in a tree was received and information provided to the landowner. Warren assisted Becker
County and White Earth police with a disturbance in White Earth. Follow up was conducted on
open cases.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the past week monitoring boat and water safety and
angling activity. The wind and rain kept most anglers off the water and those who braved the
weather found the fishing to be slow. Calls from the public included numerous wildlife questions
and complaints, questions about winter-killed lakes, and a report of a great blue heron stuck in a
trap.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) followed up on TIP complaints and checked anglers and
potential violations related to public waters and wetlands. Fishing was improving with water
temperatures rising, but they fell over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for fish and
small game out of season.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) checked anglers and ATV riders throughout the week. Plautz
continues to work on an ATV violation with several people involved and restoration of
agriculture damage.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) focused on angling and ATV enforcement. A call about a
car-injured swan was received as were questions about fishing tournament regulations.
Enforcement action was taken for ATV operation and registration violations.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports heavy fishing pressure around the area, both from shore
and boats. Walleyes are a little tricky for most folks and panfish need slightly warmer water
before they bite hard. A lake home owner was cited for shooting several muskrats on the water
that were causing damage. He didn’t notify Lawler and also was shooting in an unsafe direction.
An ATV safety class was also spoken to with attendees from around the state.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) checked anglers and boat and water safety throughout the week. Time
was also spent on bowfishing and checking possible shoreline APM violations. Holt assisted
with two firearms safety classroom sessions and a field day. Enforcement activity related to
angling license violations.

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CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated
on checking anglers, boaters, and monitoring AIS law compliance. Additional time was spent
following up on public waters and wetland violations.
Morris – vacant.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) received a report of gill nets located in Boulder Lake near
Nevis. The nets were located and removed. They contained several dead fish including walleyes,
pike, and bass. Citizens with information regarding the net placement are encouraged to call the
TIP line. An investigation was started on a separate incident where a lakeshore property owner
removed cattails and filled portions of a lakeshore. A citation was issued and restoration work
will be required. Crappie anglers continue to catch fish and a report of people taking an overlimit
was worked. Enforcement action was taken for illegal-length northern pike and an overlimit of
crappies.
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) reports checking multiple anglers and boating activity. She
also checked ATVs, took nuisance-animal calls, and assisted with a vehicle off the road.
Lake George – vacant.
Park Rapids – vacant.
Walker – vacant.
Remer – vacant.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) attended training all week.
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls #2) responded to call involving a vehicle that drifted off
the road and had caught on fire. When he arrived at the scene, the vehicle was completely
engulfed in flames, and Zavodnik learned that both the driver and passenger side doors were
blocked shut due to the surrounding trees. Luckily, a passing by motorist had noticed smoke in
the ditch and decided to turn around. The quick-thinking individual was able to open the back
hatch of the SUV and pull the driver and her dog out to safety unharmed. The individual’s
attention to smoke in the ditch and quick thinking made for an incredible day to see everyone
walk away from the scene unharmed.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) monitored angling, ATV use, OHM use, and trapping activity. Time
was spent assisting with instruction at two ATV safety certification courses along with the riding
course. He attended training with the U.S. Border Patrol and met the seasonal rangers for

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Voyageurs National Park at a ranger orientation event. He assisted the local sheriff’s office with
a welfare check, responded to a fire that got away from a homeowner after they decided to burn
cardboard, and issued several permits for taking beavers causing damage to property.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling and boating activities over the week. Beaver-
related problems continue. Public access sites were checked. Equipment work is ongoing. Area
forest roads and ATV trails were monitored.
CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring angling, boating, and ATV activity.
Anglers continue to report limited success on Lake Vermilion. Broughten investigated multiple
public waters violations. Broughten also assisted with a firearms safety class.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers and ATVs, investigated two beaver-carcass dump
sites (one had six unskinned beavers), issued a number of beaver permits, and handled a number
of bear-related complaints. He found the subject of a driving complaint in Hibbing who was
arrested by the Hibbing Police Department for controlled substance DWI and issued a Wetland
Conservation Act Resource Protection Notification on a wetland fill violation. Bear complaints
keep coming in and have the same theme: The solution is to remove all food sources and
garbage. Enforcement action was taken for taking bass out of season and a minnow trap
violation.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) attended National Police Week in Washington, D.C., as a member
of the Enforcement Division Honor Guard. The Honor Guard was on hand to honor the memory
of O.P. Lofquist, who died in the line of duty in 1936. Enforcement action taken in the Virginia
area included more ATV riders being cited for operating ATVs on snowmobile trails.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reported mixed angling results this past week. However, everyone
checked had at least a couple of fish. Hopkins took enforcement action on an individual angling
in a closed spawning area. A dog was attacked by a wolf near Aurora. Luckily, the dog will
survive its injuries and should make a full recovery. Hopkins investigated a wetland violation
along with CO Broughten.
Aurora – vacant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) spent the week investigating a wildfire in Aurora. The fire started
and burned along a nearly half-mile stretch of Highway 100. Although fire services responded
quickly, a structure was lost. The cause is still under investigation.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and canoers this past week. Fishing was moderate but
several groups caught “too many big fish.” Velsvaag received several questions about bears and
feeding birds and nuisance beavers.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked a detail with an Ontario CO along the border. He
was also called out for a wildfire investigation in the northwest part of the state.

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CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked anglers, boaters and areas closed to fishing this past
week. She participated as part of the DNR Honor Guard at ceremonies at the Law Enforcement
Memorial in St. Paul for Police Week and attended a firearms instructor meeting.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) did an extended BWCA trip with CO Huener during the week.
Activity levels and fishing success were spotty, but numerous groups were found in violation of
the BWCA can and glass law, with one group also in possession of marijuana. A detail was
worked on Crane Lake over the weekend. Enforcement action for the week included cans/glass
in the BWCA, marijuana possession, walleye overlimits, and extra lines.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling and boating activity this past week.
Calls about “abandoned” fawns have started coming in already this spring. Please do not pick up
fawns laying in the grass. The doe will come get it after the coast is clear.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent time in the BWCAW checking anglers. A few of them
travelled long distances, got their permit, and packed all their gear but did not buy angling
licenses or registration for their watercraft. He worked on Lake Superior with CO Schottenbauer
checking commercial fishers and anglers. Some nice lake trout were in the bag. He also
completed equipment maintenance on his patrol boat and squad. Enforcement action was taken
for fishing and boating violations.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and boating activity this past week. Water
temperatures remain low, making fish less active than anglers would like but a few are still
catching some nice fish. Boaters are reminded to check all safety equipment and make sure
lifejackets are readily accessible. But provide the best protection when they’re worn.
Enforcement action was taken for ATV and licensing violations.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, taught firearms safety to the Northome sixth-
graders, issued nuisance beaver permits, and handled bear complaints. Enforcement action was
taken for no wearable PFD, no angling license in possession, and keeping bass during the catch-
and-release season.

CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked fishing and ATV enforcement. He answered wildlife-
related calls. He also assisted other agencies and handled a TIP call.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored trapping activity and responded to
wildfires. The area walleye note was excellent this past week. Enforcement action was taken for
license issues and possession of illegal-length walleyes.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) had a busy opener week with many anglers out and
about. Recent cooler weather slowed things down a bit, but some walleyes and pike are being
caught. Past cases were worked including big-game and trapping violations. Angling violations

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included angling without a license, keeping northern pike within the slot and angling too close to
a dam.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, boating, ATV, and AIS enforcement.
Anglers continue to report steady success, despite having to endure poor weather conditions.
Time was also spent responding to a brush fire that burned out of control. Enforcement action
was taken for various boating violations.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) continued to work ATV and fishing activity in the area. Most
anglers are reporting a slow bite but some anglers checked were doing quite well. Several natural
resource phone calls were fielded and a law and ethics talk was given at an ATV safety course.
Enforcement action was taken for various fishing and boating violations.
NE ATV officer – vacant.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) spent most of this week in Washington, D.C. as part of the
Division’s Honor Guard detail. Willis stood guard for a shift at the National Law Enforcement
Memorial, attended the candlelight vigil on the National Mall, and stood as part of the Honor
Guard contingent for the memorial service at the US Capitol. Phone calls and email questions
were fielded as well.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) spent the entire week in Alabama for training. Phone calls
regarding smelting and use of seines were answered and a complaint of a boat that washed up on
shore on Island Lake was handled.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) spent time working fishing on area lakes. The spring fish run for
steelhead continues, so time was also spent working the area rivers. Night work was also done as
smelting enforcement continues. TIP calls were investigated involving illegal netting and ATV
complaints. A waters complaint was also investigated.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) spent most of this week in Washington, D.C. as part of the
Enforcement Division Honor Guard detail.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked fishing activity and also conducted extra patrols in area state
parks after a report of a vehicle break in. Enforcement action was taken for no vehicle permit,
angling in a closed area and minor traffic violations. Extra training was conducted with K9
Schody as well as a visit to the vet for an annual check-up.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked along the North Shore rivers for steelhead
anglers and some remaining smelters in the evenings and investigated a late trap complaint that
required follow up. Charges are pending. Olson fielded a dumping complaint north of Island

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Lake and attempted to track down names found in the pile of garbage. He also checked anglers
inland during the week.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and smelters along the North
Shore. A smelt netter was cited early one evening for netting smelt in a closed river and fish
sanctuary directly behind a sign that read, “No Smelting.” A few hours later in the night, the
same smelter returned and was again caught netting smelt in the closed river farther into the
protected spawning sanctuary. Enforcement action was again taken, including equipment
confiscation. Issues of motor vehicles damaging state trails and wolves attacking a dog were
handled. Enforcement action was taken for angling, OHV, ATV, and boating violations.
Lake Superior Unit – vacant.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Crow Wing, Aitkin and Beltrami county lakes
throughout the past week. McGowan also submitted paperwork to the county attorney’s office.
Enforcement action was taken for numerous walleye overlimits and boating violations.
CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) spent time enforcing laws for fishing, ATV, trapping and
trespassing activity. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license, operating ATVs on
closed trails and trespassing. Best also assisted with a drifting watercraft and issuing nuisance-
wildlife permits.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sport fishing and all-terrain vehicle enforcement this past
week. Guida worked an enforcement detail with other conservation officers where overlimit and
extra line violations were addressed.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports working anglers throughout the week with most reporting
catching some trout. She also investigated a call of someone living illegally in the SRA and
patrol was done for SRA violations. Time was spent monitoring AIS activity as the boating
traffic picked up, and ATV traffic was also monitored. Assistance was given to a person who had
to change a flat tire along the road. He also helped a local agency with a call for service. A
planning meeting for Academy instruction was attended.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) traveled as part of the DNR Enforcement Honor Guard to Washington,
D.C. The Honor Guard participated in a watch at the Fallen Officer Memorial after the addition
of Game Warden Olaf Pearson Lofquist, whose death in 1936 had been overlooked. He was
heading to the courthouse to testify in a deer poaching case on Jan. 4, 1936, when his vehicle
was hit by a passenger train in Aitkin. He also worked aquatic invasive species and a complaint
of dogs chasing deer. Dog and cat owners need to mindful of their pets’ whereabouts as we enter
the period of newborn wild animals around us.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) spent most of the week on the water checking anglers and
working invasive species regulations. Anglers reported success catching walleyes in shallow

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water. Sullivan made several educational contacts about boating safety equipment and operation.
Enforcement action was taken for no life jackets and overlimits of walleyes.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked angler activity and the boats that go with it. “First
time out” boats are still being found with inadequate registration or lack of safety equipment.
Verkuilen also checked turkey hunters and answered calls regarding nuisance beavers.
CO Ben Karon (Isle) spent the majority of the week on and around Mille Lacs Lake checking
anglers. Boat and water safety checks were done to ensure people are safe while boating. Checks
for invasive species were also done.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) worked angling enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for
fishing without an angling license. She also assisted local law enforcement agencies with a
vehicle off the road from an intoxicated driver, and a reported domestic.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended the Law Enforcement Memorial in St. Paul. She
took calls of incidental otters and possible wetland violations. Questions were answered
regarding youth passengers on ATVs and trespassing.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked fishing activity and boating safety enforcement. ATV activity
has picked up with warmer weather. Spring trapping issues were addressed, along with a
nuisance beaver complaint.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued to spend time on area lakes and rivers checking
anglers. River banks along the Kettle, St. Croix and Snake rivers were very busy with shore
anglers pursuing catfish, walleyes and suckers. Time was also spent teaching boating safety to
fifth-graders during the annual Pokegama Lake Freshwater Fair. The Fair, which was sponsored
by the Pokegama Lake Association, also included classes about water quality, forestry and other
natural resource topics. Hundreds of fifth-graders from several different schools attended the
day-long event.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked anglers on Mille Lacs Lake during the week and
weekend. Fishing remains strong with a fair number of keeper-sized walleyes seen. Assistance
was given to local sheriff’s office on a house fire and the State Patrol on a traffic accident. Time
was also spent on a wildland fire investigation.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Annette Kyllo (Pierz) worked with a neighboring conservation officer on a complaint
involving unattended fishing lines. The COs located the lines, one of which was doing a slow
bob when it was first located. It continued to do so through the whole observation process as the
officers waited to see if anyone would tend them. Contact with the responsible people was
eventually made and they admitted to going to town to run errands while leaving the lines out.

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Enforcement action was taken. Kyllo also investigated several wetland complaints and assisted
with a firearms safety field day in St. Cloud.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking anglers on area lakes.  An
Honor Guard detail was conducted at the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial in St. Paul. He
also issued permits to area trappers assisting road authorities with nuisance beaver problems.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity in the area. The fishing efforts
slowed down over the weekend with the inclement weather. He worked on administrative tasks
related to upcoming firearms safety classes and a presentation at the high school.
CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports checking anglers and boaters. Injured-wildlife calls and calls
about regulations were also taken. On Saturday, he assisted with a youth hunter education
firearms safety field day.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) spent the week monitoring fishing activity and enforcing AIS and
boating safety. Time was spent at training and on a littering complaint. Enforcement action for
the week included fishing without a license, failure to have a fire extinguisher, failure to have a
throwable PFD and failure to have a life jacket on board.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking anglers and boaters. Enforcement
action was taken for unattended lines, no boat registration, and insufficient boating safety
equipment. Wetland case follow-up work was also completed.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) took complaints of nuisance animals, public water violations,
ATVs operating in wetlands, and conducted commercial inspections. Londgren also spoke to
fifth- and sixth-grade students at their annual field day, attended a lake association meeting, and
took enforcement action on angling and boating activity.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and working boat and water safety.
Anglers were finding success on some of the area lakes even with the rain and snow coming
down. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, extra line, overlimit, possession of
marijuana, no navigation lights after sunset, and several PFD violations.

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking anglers on area lakes and Mille Lacs during the
past week. Enforcement violations consisted of no licenses, overlimits, extra lines, and keeping
bass out of season. The main boating violation was not enough life jackets. Benkofske helped
respond to a call of bears inside a house in Kanabec County and assisted Mille Lacs County with
the apprehension of a wanted person who climbed a tree to avoid detection before being arrested.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked anglers and turkey hunters this past week. The fishing activity
was slow with rain and wind keeping people off of the local lakes. Several animal-related calls
were followed up on, as was a possible wetlands violation.
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CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) spent the week checking anglers and addressing miscellaneous
complaints. Additional time was spent patrolling for turkey hunters. Enforcement action was
taken for fishing without a license, failing to display watercraft registration, and operating a
watercraft without enough life jackets.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and turkey hunters. A dumping complaint was
investigated. Several animal complaints were received.
Center City – vacant.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers and worked AIS activities on metro-area lakes. He
returned calls for service regarding regulations on artifact collection in state parks and fishing
regulations. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession and targeting
game fish in a closed season.

CO Tim Maass (Osseo) handled several nuisance-animal complaints and assisted with an injured
trumpeter swan. Time was also spent on area lakes and rivers checking boaters and anglers.
Maass also assisted with a possible overlimit-of-walleyes investigation.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked anglers and boaters on metro-area lakes and rivers. He
responded to a couple of TIP complaints of people keeping bass and walleyes on Pool 2 of the
Mississippi River. Lee also answered questions from the Asian community on fishing regulations
on the St. Croix River and youth firearms safety classes.

CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) took a TIP complaint regarding a person angling with three lines.
Fogarty located the angler and observed the violations of using multiple lines and illegal tackle.
He received a complaint of Class 1 ATVs on the county roads near Elko New Market. Fogarty
provided extra patrol and issued education/enforcement on youthful operation (allowing illegal
operation of an ATV).

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) focused on angling activity mostly in station the past week. A
complaint of people walking dogs off-leash in a WMA was investigated and the person was
located and educated on the importance of the spring nesting season. Enforcement action was
also taken for fishing without a license and failure to remove a drain plug.

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused activity on angling and boat and water safety during the
week. He checked anglers, fielded questions, and patrolled area lakes. Kpachavi responded to a
report of a swan that had possibly been shot. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display
valid registration.

CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) reports working shore anglers. More boaters have also been
observed with warming weather. Lerchen also fielded bowfishing-in-the-metro questions.
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CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week patrolling and checking anglers. Grewe also
continued training with K9 Shelby and attended a safety fair with a focus on boat and water
safety. Violations this past week included boat registration issues.
Ft. Snelling – vacant.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time monitoring both boating and fishing activity on local
lakes. Angling success has slowed down considerably but anglers are still enjoying their time on
the water. Thomas also did an interview for a high school project, taught a firearms safety class,
and issued a wildlife possession permit. Lastly, enforcement action was taken for an individual
who was found to be fishing without a license while additionally having a gross misdemeanor
warrant. The person was arrested and taken to jail.

CO Luke Gutzwiller (White Bear Lake) spent time working angling activity this past week.
Enforcement action was taken for failure to have water safety equipment aboard watercraft,
watercraft registration issues, possession of illegal-length northern pike, no angling license and
insufficient PFDs. He also attended a boat and water meeting.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent most of the week training at the Bureau of Criminal
Apprehension. He also attended training with Wisconsin wardens and the National Park Service
on the St. Croix River. Fishing remains steady on the big rivers with most people catching fish.
Enforcement action for the week included license violations.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers, watercraft users and doing AIS
enforcement. Arntzen handled several TIP complaints and fielded many questions on nuisance
animals. He also finished up working on several open cases and did maintenance on equipment.

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity. He also dealt with a
neighbor dispute involving the feeding of squirrels and with a trapping incident.

Metro Officer – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, AIS, and ATV
enforcement. Poor weather conditions and high lake levels continue to affect the walleye bite.
Northern pike anglers are reminded that the Southern Zone limit is two with a minimum length
of 24 inches. Assistance was given with a firearms safety class in Balaton and an ATV safety
class in Tracy.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored AIS, angling and boating activity during the week. A
firearms safety presentation was given in Ortonville.

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CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) spent time checking anglers, watercraft and ATV riders
throughout the week. Enforcement action for the week included violations for illegal-length
northern pike, an overlimit, and failure to display ATV registration.
CO Blong Lor (Redwood Falls) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators.
Anglers are reporting various success rates.
Lake Benton – vacant.
Benson – vacant.
Montevideo – vacant.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar-West) checked anglers and boaters and educated them about AIS laws.
Denz also spoke at a firearms safety field day and followed up on TIP calls.
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar-East) worked boating and angling activity. He followed up on a
bass-out-of-season complaint and an AIS complaint. Vernier also completed commercial
inspections.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the week focused on boat and water safety along with
fishing activity and turtle trapping. Other time was spent working AIS activity and checking lake
service providers to make sure they are licensed and have taken the required training. ATV
enforcement was also part of the week and questions were asked about ATV use and trespassing
issues.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) assisted other area COs instructing at a youth firearms safety field
and range day. He also worked angling, ATV, turkey hunting, and wildlife management area
enforcement activities. Inconsistent weather has continued to make fishing difficult in the area.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) fielded numerous TIP calls over the past week resulting in several
investigations of angling law violations. Littering continues to be an ongoing issue with shore
anglers. Continued rainfall in the area has caused river systems to rise.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) reports that he continued to concentrate on angling enforcement,
aquatic invasive species enforcement, and boat and water safety. He responded to complaints
concerning turkey hunting, WPA violations, and illegal-length fish. He presented along with the
Jackson County sheriff, a deputy, jailor/dispatcher, office personnel, and the State Patrol at a
career talk at the Jackson County Central High School.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked anglers via shore and watercraft. Watercraft safety and
AIS inspections were performed. Assistance was given to local law enforcement in an attempt to
locate a vehicle submerged in a lake. The vehicle was found and it was determined that it had

14

fallen through the ice in early January 2019. Assistance was given to other conservation officers
with the certification of more than 20 students for a firearms safety field day in Nicollet.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato #1) spent time checking fishing and ATV activity. VanThuyne
also checked boats for AIS compliance.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week continuing to check anglers and watercraft operators.
He also patrolled for ATV and OHM activity. Additional time was spent monitoring AIS
compliance.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) focused on angling activity this past week. Walleyes continue to be
taken on area lakes, but the crappies have been the star of the show. Area river levels have been
dropping, but recent rains may bring them back up temporarily. Howe continued to inform the
public about AIS laws. He also spoke on laws and ethics at a firearms safety all day field and
range day, and patrolled a WMA for illegal activity. Enforcement action was taken for minor
angling violations.
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports working small game and checking local lakes. Lusignan
helped instruct an ATV education class that focused on safety and regulations.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato #2) continued checking angling activity throughout the district
this past week. Trespassing complaints on mushroom hunters continue to come in. ATV riders
and turkey hunters were also checked.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, boaters, AIS activity, turkey hunters, and ATV
operators during the week. Davis also assisted other area officers with instructing a field day for
online hunter education students at the Nicollet Conservation Club.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) focused activity on fishing, boating and invasive species
enforcement this past week. Henke reminds all boaters to clean, drain, and dry your boats. Please
also make sure all plugs are pulled while transporting. Henke responded to calls of people
keeping illegal-length pike – remember to keep a measuring device with you!
CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) checked trout anglers around Forestville State Park. He
checked anglers with mixed results in the Waterville area. Some had walleyes and pike and some
had nothing. He also worked on fire and ATV activity around the station.

District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing, boating and turkey hunting
enforcement this past week. Some panfish action is picking up on the backwaters as the river
continues to drop and some walleye action has been happening on Lake Pepin. Turkey hunters
are having some success in the afternoon with lonely gobblers. Assistance was also provided to

15

northern wardens with some fishing and boating enforcement details. Enforcement action this
past week included overlimits, no licenses, and with registration and safety equipment violations.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester #2) reports that many anglers encountered this past week had
success with crappies or bass. Fitzgerald received a complaint about anglers using illegal
equipment at Cascade Ponds. The two anglers described in the complaint were quickly located.
One had been utilizing a cast net and neither had an angling license. Enforcement action was
taken.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports people were finding mushrooms. He followed up on trespass
complaints and previous-season deer-hunting complaints. He worked the Red Lake area
checking walleye fishing. Hemker also attended a safety day for local youth and discussed
firearms safety.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week patrolling for boating and angling activity on the
Mississippi River. A ride-along was also provided to a local person who is interested in making a
career change.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports coordinating with the county attorney regarding upcoming
DUI cases. Anglers were checked with CO Fitzgerald and compliance was high. Maintenance
was completed on station equipment. An upcoming work detail was planned.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking anglers in the area. Rain has slowed success. The
same applies to turkey hunters. Time was also spent on trespass calls in regards to morel hunters.
Boyum also worked ATV complaint areas.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) met with the county attorney’s office on deer cases. Heyn also
checked anglers and handled other calls. Heyn attended services at the Minnesota Peace Officers
Memorial in St. Paul during the week.
Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) checked anglers on the Mississippi River and local trout streams.
With recent rainfall, water levels on the Mississippi have been slow to come down and river
current remains strong. A littering and off-road complaint on state forest land was investigated.
Enforcement action was taken for individuals fishing without licenses and failing to transfer
ownership of a watercraft.
Rochester #1 – vacant.
Training Section
Planning is ongoing for training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and
reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.
Aviation Section

16

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew two wetland photos flights, checked on seven wolf pups
with telemetry and flew a Leech Lake creel survey.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) continued assisting with maintenance for the helicopters. He also
completed administrative tasks, and began coordinating the first fish stocking with the helicopter
fish stocking tank.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports finishing spring fish stocking operations in northeastern
Minnesota. Jensen also assisted with angling enforcement efforts in northeast Minnesota and
flew a night angler survey on Leech Lake.

CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) flew nesting waterfowl survey flights.

Standby NR Pilot Jessica Holmes (Grand Rapids) reports assisting with two Leech Lake
watercraft creel surveys. One flight was as an observer and the other as the primary pilot. One
creel flight was canceled due to weather over the weekend. Also, a training solo flight was
completed.

CO Pilot Christopher Lofstuen (Grand Rapids) reports flying a flight related to big game, as well
as a training flight. Several meetings were attended and administrative duties were completed.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week focusing on fishing and ATV activity. WCA and
PW violation site visits were conducted and cases updated. Time was spent working an AIS
checkpoint. Very good AIS law compliance was noted. A lien was placed on a property at the
request of a hydrologist due to progress and correspondence with the landowner stalling out.

WREO Mike Scott (NE) attended Police Week in Washington, D.C., last week with the DNR
Honor Guard. Honor Guard members attended the Candlelight Vigil held on the National Mall
with an estimated 30,000 people in attendance. Honor Guard members stood guard on the
National Law Enforcement Memorial. Officers attended the 2019 Law Enforcement Memorial
services on Wednesday with an estimated 50,00 law enforcement officers and their families from
around the country as well as from Canada and the United Kingdom.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked AIS enforcement throughout the week. Site
visits in Pine County were conducted for WCA and PW violations. Haberman also assisted
District 11 officers with a firearms safety field day in St. Cloud.

WREO Leah Weyandt (Central) attended a TEP meeting in Isanti and Stearns counties. Several
site visits were made regarding public water violations. A violation in Hennepin County involved
several loads of concrete dumped on the shoreline as rip rap to stabilize erosion.

WREO Luke Belgard (SW) worked angling, boating, and ATV enforcement this past week. A
number of new wetland cases have come in and were investigated. He assisted a local sheriff’s
office with an ATV safety class and training new water patrol deputies.

17

WREO Julie Siems (SE) investigated complaints of bass being kept out of season. ATV
enforcement was taken on an operator without a driver’s license or ATV safety certificate and
hauling passengers in a bike carrier on the roadway. The ATV was also not registered. WCA
cases continue to be worked on and preparation for an upcoming check station was also
conducted.

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