Conservation Officer Report: 5/28/19

Courtesy of Joe Albert and the Minnesota DNR: 

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District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) patrolled Lake of the Woods, the Rainy River, and the Warroad River.

A meeting was attended with stakeholders at the Northwest Angle. A busy weekend was worked

on Lake of the Woods during Memorial Day weekend. One boat owner was cited for the second

time for denying inspection of his watercraft by the invasive species specialist at the public

access. Other violations for the week included several overlimits of walleyes, several illegal-

length walleyes, and possession of marijuana.

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad North) worked OHV, boat and water, and angling enforcement.

AIS inspectors are posted at lake accesses around the area and are there to help stop the spread of

invasive species into our waters. Please be patient with them and let them do their job. Refusal to

submit your water-related equipment to inspection is a punishable offense. Enforcement action

taken this past week included possession of marijuana/drug paraphernalia, possessing illegal-

length walleyes, angling with an extra line, angling without a license, child under 10 years old

not wearing a PFD, no throwable life-saving device and taking sturgeon in a closed season.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) worked ATV enforcement with CO Elwell in

the Beltrami Island State Forest and angling enforcement on the Red Lake River. Enforcement

action taken included ATV registration violations, open alcohol container in a motor vehicle,

illegal air intake on an ATV, no angling license, angling with an extra line, and using game fish

as bait.

CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) patrolled the station for ATV, boating and angling

activity this past week, and also conducted wolf depredation investigations. Enforcement action

was taken for ATV registration violations, operating an ATV on a public roadway with an open

container of alcohol, angling without licenses, watercraft registration violations, and using game

fish as bait.

 

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CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working AIS and angling activity on special

regulation lakes throughout the week and Memorial Day weekend. Time was spent handling

reports of nuisance beavers and other wildlife-related calls. Violations encountered and

addressed for the week included open burning violations, overlimit of walleyes, angling with

extra lines and angling license violations.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports large amounts of activity on and around Upper

Red Lake. Fishing was weather-dependent and very slow. Enforcement action was taken on

numerous ATV violations, angling violations, and boat and water safety violations. Prachar

arrested two individuals on outstanding warrants and assisted Beltrami County with a call of

shots fired near a State Park.

Baudette West – vacant.

Warroad South – vacant.

Karlstad – vacant.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports responding to two wildland fire complaints in Polk and

Beltrami counties. Time was also spent checking anglers and boaters on area lakes and rivers. A

2018 deer violation case was worked on. Various wildlife-related complaints were received.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) continued flight training and handled some animal-related calls.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) worked a busy Memorial Day weekend. Area lakes were busy

and several boats were checked with limits of walleyes. Vollbrecht spent a day at Big Bog

Recreation Area in Waskish talking to kindergarten and first-grade students about boating safety

and life jackets.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports water temperatures on area lakes remain cold for the season

with a few panfish starting to be caught in some of the shallower areas. The holiday weekend

saw one decent weather day. Vinton was the first on scene of a house fire. There was nobody

home at the time and bystanders were asked to clear the area and allow the local fire departments

clear access. Vinton then provided traffic control. Enforcement action was taken for an ATV on

the highway, an ATV with more passengers than allowed and no helmets, no license in

possession and failure to pull a drain plug.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week working recreational boating, sport fishing,

and assisting the county on a busy holiday weekend. One call involved a gentleman trying to

remove a rodent from his vehicle, the rodent biting the gentleman, and the gentleman shooting

the rodent – and his car. Enforcement actions for the week included fishing without a license,

fishing without a trout stamp, operating a boat with expired registration, and Wetland

Conservation Act violations.

 

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CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing, AIS and boating

enforcement and safety. Time was also spent investigating two wolf depredation complaints.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time checking anglers on area lakes with anglers reporting

mixed results. Boating safety and regulation compliance checks were performed. AIS

compliance checks were performed and questions answered regarding regulations. Warren spent

time on leeching and minnow-trapping activity. A complaint of a possible beaver trapper without

a permit was received. Follow up was conducted on open cases.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week monitoring angling and ATV activity. With

the exception of Sunday, the weather kept most people from enjoying the lakes this past week.

Anglers are still struggling to find walleyes, but are finding a few panfish on the days when the

water temperature warms. Calls from the public included dock complaints, reports of baby

animals, burning questions, and wolf sightings. Landmark also assisted CO Swedberg with a

complaint of a loud watercraft on a local lake. Landmark asks that all parents and guardians

familiarize themselves with ATV rules and regulations. All juveniles need to complete an ATV

safety training course and wear a DOT-approved helmet when riding on an ATV. Also,

Landmark would like to remind people that dirt bikes cannot be operated in a public road right-

of-way. Landmark stopped one large group of ATVs and numerous violations were encountered,

including multiple failure-to-transfer ATV titles, unregistered ATVs, and youth violations.

Enforcement action was taken for numerous ATV and OHM violations as well as burning

prohibited materials.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports working angling, bowfishing and boating on and around

area waterways. Time was spent on a work detail on Upper Red Lake. Overall, law compliance

was good over the Memorial Day weekend.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent time this past week checking anglers and ATV riders, and

conducting AIS enforcement. Bowfishers continue to be out in strong numbers, with several

complaints being received regarding that activity. A dead eagle was reported and an injured

gosling brought some concern from the public. Bear activity is being monitored with some bears

being seen. Nuisance beaver-related calls and permits were popular topics this past week. Plautz

is working with a township and landowner to rid high water causing damage to multiple

surrounding landowners due to a very large beaver dam.

CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) reports a busy Memorial Day weekend checking boaters

and anglers. Fishing success varied from lake to lake but has improved since the opener. AIS

checks were completed at area public accesses with good compliance and knowledge of AIS

laws found. The most common violations were juvenile operators on various types of watercraft

with no life jackets on board. Loons and ducks are sitting on eggs while many goslings have

hatched. Please do not harass wildlife or pick up suspected abandoned offspring. Goodman took

three goslings from kayakers who said they didn’t see the mother goose in sight before collecting

the birds and bring them two miles downstream.

 

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CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, boaters and ATV riders. Several calls were

handled including an injured pelican on I-94, a fish overlimit, a dead deer with a supposed ear

tag, and a loose pontoon. He also assisted Pope County with a DWI.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time working anglers throughout his station this past week.

He enjoyed lots of good contacts with young anglers and saw plenty of smiles and good times

being had. A few citations were issued in Douglas and Beltrami counties for angling without a

license, angling with extra lines and expired ATV registration. AIS enforcement was also

worked at area public accesses.

CO Brian Holt (Osakis) monitored AIS compliance and ATV activity throughout the area. Time

was also spent checking anglers and boating safety over the busy Memorial Day weekend. Holt

took several calls related to nuisance wildlife.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week included

checking anglers and boaters, and monitoring AIS law compliance. Additional time was spent

handling nuisance beaver and bear complaints and calls about injured/orphaned animals. People

are reminded to leave wildlife alone. Usually, the animal hasn’t been abandoned.

Morris – vacant.

Wheaton – vacant.

District 4 – Walker area

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports a late-evening tip received by the Hubbard County Sheriff’s

Office resulted in a Hubbard County deputy responding to suspicious and possibly netting

activity on Shallow Lake near Nevis. The subsequent investigation by the deputy that evening

found three people had placed gill nets into Shallow Lake. The next day a search warrant was

executed at the suspect’s property by COs Mathy, Al Peterson, and Jake Swedberg with

assistance from the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office. The suspects were found to be involved in

all three of the gill netting incidents in Shallow and Boulder lakes dating back to September

  1. Charges are forthcoming. Mathy also checked ATVs, anglers and boaters. The cool

weather didn’t deter the anglers or recreational vehicle riders from enjoying the area.

Enforcement action was taken for ATV, boating, and angling violations.

CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) reports checking multiple anglers and ATVs. She assisted

Cass County on Louise Lake, wrote nuisance beaver trapping permits, and attended a lake

association meeting. She also worked with CO Mathy on Lake Winnibigoshish.

Lake George – vacant.

Park Rapids – vacant.

Walker – vacant.

 

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Remer – vacant.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports rainy weather has kept most people close to

home, with fishing on Rainy Lake and Rainy River being slow over the holiday weekend. People

are reminded to leave young animals alone as in most cases they will be fine as the mother will

return for them at a later time. A district meeting and training were attended in Duluth. The Wall

of Shame was presented to surrounding area 11- and 12-year-old students at an Outdoor

Learning Days Event.

CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls #2) reports a busy week of working OHV, boating, and

angling enforcement. Earlier in the week, he assisted in finding a lost morel picker who had

gotten turned around in the woods. Luckily, the individual was able to give a fairly accurate

description of where he was and was able to find his way out by listening to the emergency

sirens sent off by a squad.  Zavodnik also spent the day working the T.I.P. Trailer with

neighboring conservation officers. Talking points were discussed to local elementary students

regarding the importance of conservation and questions were also answered. Fishing success

over the weekend seemed spotty with reports of small walleyes being caught. Some violations

found over the week included unattended lines, expired boat registration, not enough life-saving

devices on board watercraft, and failure to drain water-related equipment before transport.

CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports angling, ATV use, boating safety, and education were focus

areas this past week. Assistance was given locating an individual who became lost hunting for

mushrooms. Fortunately, he had the foresight to realize he was lost and had a cellular signal to

call for help before darkness set in. A display for a youth outdoor education event was staffed

with approximately 100 students passing through over two days. Fishing reports have been

mixed but overall reports have been positive.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports wind and rain dampened outdoor activities. Boating and AIS

activity was monitored. ATVs were checked and beaver-related issues were tended to.

Equipment work continues. Spare time was spent returning phone calls on a variety of topics. A

district meeting was attended.

CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring angling, boating and ATV activity.

Anglers still reporting limited success on Lake Vermilion. The walleyes that anglers are finding

are still on the small side. Broughten also investigated a complaint of ATVs operating in

wetlands. Enforcement action was taken for ATV, boating, and angling violations.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reports the past week had a definite increase in walleye-fishing

success. Many limits were being taken although some were on the smaller side. Hopkins took

enforcement action on registration violations, loud boats, and watercraft safety violations. He

worked with CO Broughten on an AIS detail on Highway 53 and a number of violations were

 

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dealt with. A group of ATV operators in the Superior National Forest were operating in a

wetland. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling and boating activity, the state park, ATV riders,

invasive species enforcement, conducted a site inspection with the county on an uncooperative

landowner on a wetland violation, attended training in Duluth and gave a presentation on duties

of a conservation officer to fifth-grade classes in Hibbing. One ATV driver racked up violations

of no handgun permit to carry in possession, operating on a public highway, no helmet on a

passenger under 18, too many passengers, and operating in a prohibited/closed area on state

land. Violations were numerous and varied, consisting of angling without a license, no license in

possession, OHV trespass, ATV in public waters, no burning permit, minor in consumption of

alcohol, providing alcohol to a minor, several boat registration and no PFD violations, no permit

to carry in possession and a number of ATV, PWC, and AIS violations.

 

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) investigated several fires in the Virginia area. At one of the fires, an

interview with a suspect revealed that he intentionally started the fire. He will be cited. Cooler

weather over the Memorial Day weekend pushed many people off the lakes and onto their ATVs

and OHMs. Unfortunately, some of those riders choose to ride on snowmobile trails. Numerous

Virginia-area snowmobile trails are now rutted up from ATV traffic so badly that it will take a

long time for them to be smoothed out. Frericks reminds all ATV riders to stay off of

snowmobile trails.

Aurora – vacant.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) spent the weekend and holiday patrolling areas of the BWCA

focusing on water safety. Activity was high and fishing success was overall good. Violations

included angling without a license in possession and failure to display current watercraft

registration.

 

CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and boaters this past week. He also attended training

and took several questions about nuisance bears and beavers. Velsvaag reminds people to take

down bird feeders and keep any other bear attractants away.

 

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked anglers, boat and water safety equipment, and

BWCAW accesses during the week. A burning pile of tires and burning without a permit was

also dealt with.

 

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked state forest and park campgrounds and boat accesses.

Fishing success was mixed and angler and boater compliance were good. One pair of boaters

realized they had forgotten their life jackets and made the 75-mile round trip to purchase new

ones in town just before an equipment check at the access. Manning spoke with WTIP Radio

about boating safety and the importance of proper preparation before boating. She also checked

burning permits and minnow retailers and attended a district meeting. Manning wrapped up the

 

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holiday by cleaning up after the irresponsible parent of a toddler who tossed out dirty diapers and

soiled paper towels and newspapers in a public parking area.

 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a detail on Upper Red Lake with CO Lawler. Fishing was

slow and weather conditions made for tough fishing. Time was spent on cases involving illegal

shoreline impact. Enforcement action included fishing without licenses, watercraft registration

violations, and boating safety violations.

 

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area anglers and boating activity this past week.

Time was also spent working AIS and beaver complaints.

 

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior, inland lakes and

in the BWCA. Fishing remained slow on most lakes. He gave a presentation to the firearms

safety class at the Cook County Middle School. Commercial minnow enforcement was also

focused on. Enforcement action was taken for angling and boating violations.

 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling, boating, and ATV activity over the holiday

weekend. Weather conditions started out sunny and warm before turning windy and cold by

Monday. Fishing was slow, according to most anglers checked. Enforcement action was taken

for licensing and illegal ATV operation violations.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, worked ATV complaints, helped

with a firearms safety class field day, and handled several injured/nuisance wildlife-related

calls. Enforcement action was taken for failing to display watercraft registration, no throwable

flotation device, and no angling license in possession.

 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, attended training, monitored OHV activity,

responded to an ATV fatality and assisted EMS with an overdose call. The area panfish bite was

better this past week. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and an arrest was made for

outstanding warrants.

 

CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) assisted with a possible wetland violation site visit this past

week. She also did a fur identification presentation to first-graders for the Trout Lake Day

celebration in Coleraine. She worked the busy holiday weekend. Enforcement action was taken

for boating and angling violations.

 

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a busy second week of the fishing season. With

cooler temperatures the angling bite has been a bit slow, but anglers are still getting out and

about and catching some dinner. Sutherland took enforcement action for having a plug in a

watercraft on a roadway, keeping a fish from within the protected slot and not having enough

life-saving devices on board a watercraft. Sutherland also assisted Itasca County with an ATV

accident.

 

 

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CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working a busy Memorial Day weekend. Many anglers,

boaters, and ATV riders were contacted. Anglers had moderate success despite subpar weather

conditions parts of the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for youth ATV passengers under

18 without helmets, failing to display watercraft registration, illegal-length northern pike, no

angling license, no angling license in possession, and angling with extra lines.

 

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) checked anglers who are reporting a better bite as the water

temperatures slowly rise. Hochstein assisted CO Willis with environmental day at an elementary

school where the officers gave a safety presentation and explained the duties of a conservation

officer. A TIP complaint was also worked where a goose was taken out of season. Many fishing

and ATV violations were addressed.

NE ATV officer – vacant.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) addressed a public-waters issue this past week and issued a

restoration order. The holiday weekend resulted in heavy activity on the water. Enforcement

action was taken for no PFDs, insufficient number of PFDs, no angling license and registration

issues.

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) focused enforcement efforts towards angling and boating

activity. Finally enjoying some nice weather, anglers were out in force along with a few jet skiers

and tubers. Most anglers, unfortunately, were limited to enjoying the weather as the fish were

less than cooperative as a whole. Life jacket violations, watercraft registration, angling license

issues and illegal-length fish violations were handled. ATV registration and illegal operation

kept local officers busy as well. Schmidt reminds people to leave little creatures alone as they are

not abandoned and they generally do not need our help.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) investigated a couple waters complaints, one of which involved

a wetland and the other an alteration of a public water. Time was spent working recreational

vehicle enforcement. Some of the violations included registration, operation on roadway, illegal

youth operation, and OHMs operating within the right of way. Fishing and boating enforcement

on area lakes was also worked. Lack of sufficient PFDs, no licenses, and illegal-length fish were

a few of the violations encountered.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) attended employee right to know training and a district meeting

held in Duluth. Humphrey assisted with boat and water work details on Mille Lacs Lake and Fish

Lake in the Duluth area. Several nuisance animal-related calls were received, of which most

involved beavers. Multiple violations for watercraft safety equipment, registration, and angling

license violations were encountered, in addition to several off-highway vehicle violations.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a two-day K9 training at Camp Ripley with the rest of the

DNR K9 unit and also attended a district meeting in Duluth. Extra patrols were conducted in area

state parks with enforcement action taken for traffic violations, not having vehicle permits, being

in the park after hours, and possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Calls of people finding

 

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fawns are starting to come in. People are reminded to leave them alone. If you have a concern,

call one of your area wildlife offices or conservation officer but do not pick them up. K9 Schody

was deployed after contacting some nervous anglers along the St Louis River. When they left the

area, they said they had no fish. A short search and Schody’s nose said otherwise. Not far from

where they were walking were three walleyes stashed under the leaves in the woods. The anglers

were interviewed and confessed to hiding the fish after seeing Staples. Enforcement action was

taken for possessing under-sized fish, over limit, failure to submit fish for inspection and litter.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended training during the week and checked

anglers and boaters on area lakes north of Duluth. A strong northeast wind on Lake Superior kept

anglers and boaters at bay and as a result Olson worked ATV enforcement with CO Murray in

the northern tier of the Two Harbors duty station. Violations detected included registration issues

and operations regarding youths.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked boaters, anglers, and recreational vehicle

operators on a cool holiday weekend. Multiple instances of ATV and OHM violations were

discovered that are preventable if the operator would read the registration book or recall what

they were taught in safety training. A local person who dumped a trailer house frame and loads

of scrap at a public water access early in the season returned to reclaim some of his materials.

Unfortunately for him, officers in the area frequently share information about ongoing violations,

and a brief period of surveillance led to enforcement action for traffic, dumping, and other public

access violations. Enforcement action also taken for angling violations.

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, invasive species and ATV activity.

Information from a State Trooper led to an unlicensed trout angler. A dog-chasing-deer

complaint was handled with an Aitkin County deputy, who addressed the aggressive dog/human

issue. A personal floatation device presentation was given to Aitkin fourth-graders. Assistance

was given to a Hubbard County deputy who handled a gill net complaint. Mlynar also observed

an individual steal a license plate at a public access. The individual is facing driving after

revocation, no insurance, small amount of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and theft charges.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) checked sport fishing activity and boating and watercraft safety

this past week. Numerous anglers were out. Enforcement action was taken on insufficient

personal flotation devices, sound-producing devices, and required fire extinguishers. A nuisance

bear was complained about.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked a busy holiday weekend on the water. He also

completed reports for other cases and submitted them to the county attorney’s office.

Enforcement action was taken for numerous angling and boating violations.

 

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CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity this past week of giving presentations to the firearms

safety hunter education program at Cuyuna Range Elementary school, patrolling high outdoor

recreational activity over the holiday weekend on area lakes and the Cuyuna Country State

Recreational Area, and working boating and fishing enforcement details on Mille Lacs Lake.

Numerous enforcement contacts were made for issues of no fishing licenses, fishing after

revocation, extra lines, possession of illegal-length walleyes, and miscellaneous watercraft

registration and safety equipment violations.

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) had a busy week with high ATV traffic and high angling activity.

She encountered several violations of youth not wearing helmets on ATVs. Several operators did

not feel it was necessary to have a helmet on the child when in a Class 2 ATV. Ladd explained

why there is still a need for them on either class ATV and OHM. One group had a young child in

a car seat in the ATV but the child was not wearing a helmet.

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) patrolled area lakes and ATV trails over the holiday weekend.

On the water Sullivan encountered numerous watercrafts without fire extinguishers or Type IV

flotation devices. Sullivan also encountered individuals angling without a license, using extra

lines and operating a motorboat under the influence of alcohol. ATV trails were wet and

violations observed included operation without lights and registration violations.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports working the SRA area over the holiday weekend with lots

of bikers and anglers out in the park with the nice weather. He found quite a few were having

luck at getting trout and a few panfish were also seen. Fitzgerald also patrolled the CCSRA and

surrounding area for ATV traffic. Time was spent patrolling for illegal dispersed camping in the

park and a car-killed deer permit was issued. He and other officers gave a presentation to the new

CO candidates on the Division’s Peer Counseling program and time was spent preparing for a

presentation on ATV laws to a law enforcement agency. A nuisance beaver permit was issued

and assistance was given to a local agency on a call for service. Enforcement action for the week

included various fishing, boating, ATV and SRA rules violations.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked the new traffic in the area for the holiday weekend. He

assisted with an invasive species check and monitored registrations as people used their boats for

the first time this year. Fish were measured and night ban was enforced for the final harvest

weekend on Mille Lacs Lake.

CO Ben Karon (Isle) spent their week checking anglers on and around Mille Lacs Lake. Time

was spent checking boaters for invasive species. Many miles were spent on the ATV patrolling

in heavy activity areas.

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) worked angling, boating, and ATV enforcement. Enforcement

action was taken for illegal-length walleyes, fishing without an angling license, fishing with

extra lines, expired boat registration, youth on an ATV without a helmet, and expired ATV

registration. She also assisted with an AIS check station.

 

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CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a complaint of filling and excavating in a

wetland. A Resource Protection Notice was issued. Speldrich attended LEMA Caisson training.

She also worked the Memorial Day holiday. A forest fire in a state forest was investigated and

calls regarding injured and abandoned animals were handled. Speldrich received a complaint of

motorboats with water skiers and PWCs causing damage to the shoreline on a lake that is too

small for them to operate within the law.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked an AIS checkpoint with district officers and monitored busy

Memorial Day weekend activities. Fishing was spotty, with some success in the evening hours

for walleyes. Enforcement action was taken for transporting fish without skin, transporting

weeds on a boat trailer, ATV on a highway, overlimit of walleyes, parking in a handicap space at

a public access, illegal parking at an access, and boat registration issues. Starr also steered fellow

officers to violations related to extra lines, no license and keeping bass out of season.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) worked the Memorial Day holiday and found lakes and ATV

trails extremely busy. Calls came in at a steady pace and included fishing and boating complaints

and illegal operation of ATVs. Multiple ATV violations were dealt with, along with anglers

fishing with extra lines, anglers in possession of a controlled substance, not having life jackets in

the boat, operating unregistered boats and possession of too many fish. One angler was caught

trying to discreetly take crappies out of the live well and toss them back into the lake prior to

Grundmeier counting them. The angler was cited for possessing an overlimit of crappies.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Annette Kyllo (Pierz) reports investigating a wetland complaint. Kyllo also performed boat

and water safety enforcement, checked anglers, and assisted the sheriff’s office.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking anglers and boaters and

patrolling for ATV activity. Nuisance beaver complaints were fielded and equipment

maintenance issues were addressed. The holiday weekend was worked. Many anglers and

boaters were checked out trying their luck on area lakes.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity in the area with the bite slowing

down with the poor weather. He also discussed conservation officers’ jobs with high school

students. He handled nuisance animal-related calls as well.

CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) checked anglers and boaters. Numerous calls were also taken about

orphaned animals and various wildlife-related complaints. Enforcement contacts were made for

angling with extra lines and watercraft registration and equipment violations.

CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) spent the past week patrolling area lakes, working AIS

enforcement and patrolling for ATV violations. Time was spent on littering complaints. Several

people were out on the lakes enjoying the nice weather. Enforcement action for the week

included several watercraft violations, failure to have a permit for weed roller, fishing without a

license, bass catch-and-release violation, transporting zebra mussels, operating a Class 2 ATV

without a safety certificate and a passenger on an ATV under 18 years of age without a helmet.

 

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CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports a busy holiday weekend. Enforcement action was taken

for no angling license, extra lines, no boat registration, and several ATV violations. Bertram

continues to work an investigation where a tom turkey was shot from the road and left to waste.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) worked boat patrol over the Memorial Day weekend,

investigated burning and aquatic plant violations, patrolled ATV complaint areas, and conducted

commercial inspections. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, expired

watercraft registration/failure to display, burning violations, and PFD violations.

 

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking anglers and working ATV enforcement.

Benkofske also assisted local officers on medicals and looking for wanted individuals. Nuisance

black bear reports were handled in the area as well. Enforcement action was taken for no PFDs,

extra lines, expired registration, and unlawful fires.

 

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and working ATV activity. Krauel

assisted local officers with the apprehension of a wanted individual and also assisted in the

search for a shooting suspect. Krauel also responded to an ATV crash and a medical event.

Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, no PFDs, no navigation lights, and DUI.

 

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) spent most of the past week checking anglers and turkey hunters.

Several wildlife-related calls were handled involving bats, bears and fawn deer. Enforcement

action was taken for angling with extra lines, no angling license, watercraft registration, AIS

violations and illegal drug possession.

 

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) spent the week checking boaters, anglers, and ATV operators.

Additional time was spent patrolling Upper Red Lake for a work detail. A TIP call led to a

couple camping near Upper Red Lake who had 11 walleyes over the legal limit. Enforcement

action was taken and the extra walleyes were gifted to a family in need. Additional enforcement

action included operating a watercraft with expired registration, failing to have a fire

extinguisher onboard a watercraft, and possessing drug paraphernalia. Seamans captured a turkey

with an arrow stuck in its leg. A volunteer transported the turkey to the Wildlife Rehabilitation

Center of Minnesota.

 

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters. Violations were found for no

PFDs and no angling license. A dumping complaint was investigated. Aquatic invasive species

were worked.

Center City – vacant.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked the bass opener as well as boating and angling activities in

the district. Violations observed were insufficient life jackets on watercraft, operating a PWC

 

13

 

during closed hours, no fishing license in possession, failure to display valid registration on

motorized and non-motorized watercraft, unregistered non-motorized watercraft, no fire

extinguisher, and riding on a boat transom. He also spent time working AIS enforcement near

Minneapolis- and Maple Grove-area lakes.

 

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused activity primarily on boat and water safety. He contacted

a large number of boaters over the holiday weekend and noted good compliance with boat safety

laws on Lake Minnetonka. Enforcement action for the week included boat and PWC registration,

operation, and safety violations along with angling license violations.

 

CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) focused on boat and water safety over the busy holiday

weekend. Fogarty checked a kayaker on Lower Prior Lake who had an unregistered kayak and

no life jacket. The kayaker said a coyote had stolen her life jacket while she was on a nature

hike. Fogarty took enforcement/education action on angling without a license, no PFD, no throw-

able lifesaving device, and no watercraft registration.

 

CO Tim Maass (Osseo) continued to work angling and boating activity on area lakes and rivers.

Time was also spent on AIS activity at area lake accesses. Enforcement action was taken for

angling without a license, expired boat registration, and no PFD.

 

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers, training with K9 Shelby and

following up on complaints. Grewe and K9 Shelby also participated in a media event and an

aquatic invasive species roadside check near Mille Lacs Lake. Violations included no fishing

license, no life jackets, and expired boat registration.

 

CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) focused on boating and fishing enforcement. Good weather

brought out many outdoor enthusiasts. Assistance was also provided during a public relations

event.

 

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked boating and fishing activity on metro-area lakes and rivers. He

responded to several TIP calls of people taking bass before the bass opener. Violations found

were keeping bass during a closed season, fishing without an angling license, fishing without an

angling license in possession, and no life jacket on board.

Ft. Snelling – vacant.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time checking anglers fishing along the shoreline and on

boats. He also attending meetings and site visits regarding wetland violations, handled calls

related to nuisance wildlife and an injured duck, and participated in an AIS check station with

fellow officers. Thomas also took a call regarding 16 TVs and computer monitors illegally

dumped in Chub Lake WMA. He requests the public contact TIP if anyone has any information

about the responsible party. Lastly, enforcement action was taken on a variety of offenses

including fishing without a license and using extra lines.

 

 

14

 

CO Luke Gutzwiller (White Bear Lake) spent time working angling activity and assisted with an

AIS detail within the district. Enforcement action was taken for failure to remove a drain plug,

angling with extra lines, expired watercraft registration, failure to have water safety equipment

aboard watercraft and an overlimit of smallmouth bass. A violation of angling without a license

led to an arrest for an outstanding warrant. Gutzwiller also issued a cease and desist order

involving the filling of a wetland.

 

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent a busy holiday weekend patrolling waters in the east metro.

Many boaters were out on the lakes, with most boat landings full. He also took part in an AIS

checkpoint and patrolled with the Dakota County Water Patrol. Enforcement action for the week

included no fishing license, trespass, and no navigation lights, among other watercraft violations.

 

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) worked an AIS enforcement detail in Afton and issued several

nuisance beaver permits. Arntzen also spent time checking anglers and watercraft users on area

lakes. Enforcement action for the week included fishing without a license, insufficient PFDs and

registration issues.

 

CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) checked anglers and boaters who were enjoying the nice

weather. A complaint was responded to regarding people keeping waterfowl eggs that were

found. Those ducklings were seized and brought to a wildlife rehab facility. Enforcement action

was taken for transporting a watercraft with the drain plug in, failing to display registration on a

watercraft and failing to transfer the title of a watercraft.

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and boating activity. Salzer

also finished a few investigations and reports. Deer are beginning to drop their fawns. If you find

a fawn, please leave it where you find it. The mother will return to it the majority of the time.

Metro Officer – vacant.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) spent time checking anglers, watercraft and ATV riders

throughout the week and holiday weekend. Campers enjoyed good weather for the majority of

the weekend.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored AIS, angling, boating and OHV activity during the past

week. Shore anglers are reminded that unwanted fish are not to be thrown on shore. Angling and

boating violations were encountered.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, AIS, and ATV

enforcement. Nice weather over Memorial Day weekend brought out a lot of outdoor activity.

Boating safety and AIS were the main enforcement focuses over the holiday weekend. Education

continues to be given on the northern pike regulations.

CO Blong Lor (Redwood Falls) spent the week working anglers, boating safety, and AIS. Time

was also spent working an AIS detail.

 

15

 

Lake Benton – vacant.

Benson – vacant.

Montevideo – vacant.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar-West) checked anglers and boaters. He also educated boaters about AIS

laws.

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar-East) worked boating and angling activity over Memorial Day

weekend. He followed up on a wetland violation and issued a special beaver permit. Vernier also

handled a public land violation.

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) followed up on commercial checks with game farm inspections

and turtle sellers. Other time was focused on boat and water safety, AIS compliance and angling

activity. ATV, OHM, and ORV activity was also monitored over the holiday weekend.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding injured wildlife and requests for ATV and

angling law clarification. He worked angling, aquatic invasive species, boat and water safety,

ATV, state park, and wildlife management area enforcement activities. Anglers had good success

for walleyes, crappies and bass.

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) visited with Winfair Elementary second-graders this past week and

spoke to them regarding the importance of natural resources, CO duties, and fur identification.

Violations encountered were related to failure to register turkeys within 24 hours. Hunters are

still trying to harvest a turkey going into the final season, but continue to be met with poor

weather conditions. Farmers continue to struggle locally with getting crops into the ground due

to ongoing rain.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) continued to concentrate on angling and aquatic invasive species

enforcement, and boat and water safety. Walleyes, crappies, northern pike, and bluegills were

seen over the holiday weekend. Gruhlke completed a radio program discussing topics including

boat and water safety, AIS, and area activity.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked anglers from shore and watercraft. Inspections of

watercraft and PWCs were performed for safety equipment and AIS. Boaters were reminded that

if they take the equipment out in the fall to put it back in the spring.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent most of the week working angling, boating, and AIS activity.

Weather varied greatly over the course of the Memorial Day weekend, with Sunday being as nice

a day as one could wish for. Angling success on area lakes has only been fair. Some nice fish are

 

16

 

being taken, but the fishing has not been consistent. There are still some anglers and boaters who

are not fully aware of AIS rules that have been in place in 2010. Anglers and boaters are

reminded to check their current angling and boating synopses for more information.

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato #2) reports a busy weekend on the lakes and rivers in the

area. ATV, fishing and boating activity took up much of his time. Trespassing complaints were

also addressed.

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) spent a busy holiday weekend focusing on boating and angling

enforcement. Watercraft activity was high on area lakes. Henke reminds all boaters to make sure

they have all required equipment on board prior to launching. Henke continued litter

enforcement focusing on boaters throwing trash into the lake while boating this past week.

CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato #1) focused on recreational vehicle enforcement and boat and

water safety this past week. VanThuyne also checked boats for AIS compliance and responded to

a TIP complaint. Fishing has been slow in the area with many anglers asking, “Where are they

biting?”

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, boaters, AIS activity, turkey hunters, and ATV

operators during the week. Davis gave a presentation to the Kasson High School wildlife class

about the DNR and various careers in the agency. Davis also patrolled state parks, wildlife

management areas, and waterfowl production areas.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. He also

patrolled area WMAs and PWAs for litter and other violations. Additional time was spent

patrolling near area lakes for AIS violations.

CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports checking anglers on local lakes and rivers.

CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) checked trout anglers in the area. The bigger rivers are

flowing high from the rains. Anglers are doing well on the small streams that clear up faster after

the rains. Many people are out finding mushrooms. Also, people are seeing many new fawns.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester #2) reports anglers and boaters were out in force for the holiday

weekend. Reservoirs were generally slow, but the panfish bite really picked up near dusk.

Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, extra lines, overlimit of crappies, no

PFD and expired registration. Additionally, time was spent attempting to locate deer that escaped

from a farm near Spring Valley.

CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week patrolling for boating and angling activity on the

Mississippi River. Time was also spent assisting local law enforcement agencies with various

calls. A trespass investigation was also continued. Enforcement action was taken for various

boating and angling violations.

 

17

 

CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) assisted with a captive cervid farm investigation. Boating and

fishing activity has been slow to start due to high water on the Mississippi River. Enforcement

action was taken for fishing without a license and littering. Anglers need to be reminded to pack

out their garbage because trash on the banks takes away from the experience of other anglers.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working state ATV trails in the area. Activity was high

with the holiday weekend and compliance was good. Violations encountered were illegal

operation on a road right of way, no ATV certificate and failure to display valid registration.

Time was also spent checking trout anglers and a few turkey hunters. Boyum worked with a

cervid farm that had escapes.

CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports the sunny weather during the week and into the weekend

brought many people into the Cannon Falls area. Hill witnessed a few anglers proudly show him

their first-ever walleye. A detail was worked on Upper Red Lake but the weather proved to

hinder anglers. A pair of anglers was checked and it was found that they were 11 walleyes over

their limit. Hill arrested a woman for possession of methamphetamine and hypodermic needles

after he found her hiding the syringe in between the front seats of her car as she was parked next

to the Zumbro River on a dead-end road. Multiple extra-line violations were handled and some

anglers went so far as to ditch their poles into the weeds as Hill approached. AIS activity was

monitored and Hill is happy to report no violations occurred even with heavy boating traffic in

the area.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers, boaters and recreational vehicles during the week.

Anglers were doing well on the river but the high water and limited access kept boat numbers

down. ATVs, on the other hand, were out in force with various violations detected.

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