Overlimits, BWI, Drug Arrests and more from the MN DNR Conservation Officers.

COREPORT_PS

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CONSERVATION OFFICER WEEKLY REPORT

7-1-2019

District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River.
Violations included possession of illegal-length walleyes and failure to transfer ownership of a watercraft.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad North) worked OHV, AIS, boat and water, and angling
enforcement. An investigation into a deer poaching case from last November was completed this past week with help from the sheriff’s office. Enforcement action was taken for possessing an overlimit of walleyes/sauger, possessing dressed fillets on a special management water, no throwable lifesaving device on board a watercraft and angling license violations.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) worked a detail on Lake of the Woods with CO Benjamin and found violations for illegal-length fish, overlimit of walleyes and watercraft equipment violations.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) checked angling activity around the station and conducted angling and boat safety checks on Lake of the Woods this past week. Enforcement action was taken for boat registration violations.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working AIS, boating and water safety, and angling activity on special regulation lakes throughout the past week. Time was spent monitoring ATV trail activity, handling wildlife-related calls and investigating a TIP call. Regas assisted the sheriff’s office with the recovery of three anglers who were ejected from the boat. Their boat then went spinning out of control on Blackduck Lake. All three anglers and their dog were rescued with no apparent injuries, but they were wet and shaken by the incident. None of the anglers wore a PFD. This incident is a good reminder to wear a PFD, as you never know when something like that will occur. Violations encountered and addressed throughout the week included ATV registration, youth without helmets on ATVs, possession of northern pike in the protected slot, angling license and boating equipment and lighting.

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CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports fishing is slowing on Upper Red Lake. Time was spent patrolling for angling and ATV activity.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette East) focused on angling, ATV, and boat and water safety enforcement. A K9 training day at Camp Ripley was attended and two walleye-overlimit cases
were worked.
Baudette West – vacant.
Warroad South – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) spent the majority of the past week at Camp Ripley attending a training session. Time was also spent following up on a suspected wetland violation site. Anglers were contacted on area lakes and rivers. An ATV safety class was attended in Crookston.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) continued flight training and fielded numerous information calls.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) worked boating and angling activity on area lakes. Time was spent conducting follow-up interviews on ongoing cases. ATV traffic was monitored on area trails and along roads. While attempting to fuel up at a local store, a vehicle with a strong smell of marijuana pulled up next to Vollbrecht. The driver was contacted and did not have a driver’s license or insurance for the vehicle. Enforcement action was taken on the driver.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports patrolling for fishing, boating and AIS violations. Anglers in the area are finding nice fishing conditions and water temperatures are rising. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license and PWC violations. A call was taken about a woodchuck in the caller’s yard.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week working AIS inspections, boating, and finishing old cases. Several complaints have come in about pet owners not cleaning up after their dogs at area public accesses. Swedberg reminds owners this is a form of littering. Other cases involved drinking intoxicating beverages at a public access and trespassing on DNR property by parking a camper for multiple nights.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) work ATV enforcement, followed up on ongoing cases and assisted with wildlife-related calls.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) focused on boating and angling activity. Follow up was
conducted on a complaint of angler harassment. Patrol was conducted on area trails for off-road vehicle activity. AIS regulation compliance was worked and questions answered about water transportation.

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CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week focusing enforcement efforts on boat and water safety, invasive species, and ATV activity. Landmark received calls from the public with questions about vegetation removal and complaints of jet skis operating carelessly and chasing wildlife. Landmark also participated in a local radio station interview regarding boating while intoxicated and Operation Dry Water. Enforcement action was taken for transporting zebra mussels, removing emergent vegetation without a permit, and a juvenile under 18 on an ATV without a helmet.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports recreational activity on the lakes has increased. Lakes full of anglers and boaters mean summer is in full swing. Time was focused on angling, boat safety, and aquatic lake vegetation. A meeting was attended in Sandstone during the week.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) followed up on water resource permits and nuisance-beaver complaints. Several bear sightings were reported. Fishing, boating, and ATV enforcement was worked as well.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) spent time investigating an ATV accident involving three juveniles who weren’t wearing helmets or seat belts. Fortunately, all involved will make a full recovery. Numerous calls and complaints related to beavers were handled. With the abnormally high water across the region, many folks have had beaver problems.
CO Shane Osbourne (Evansville) attending a meeting with the Douglas County Attorney’s Office on a pending jury trial. Several questions were fielded from the public about access to public waterways and transportation of fish.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) had a busy week of enforcement with the high boating and fishing activity. Cases were made for angling without licenses, littering and illegal drug possession. Several night anglers were cited for not turning on their navigation lights more than an hour past sunset. One boat with several college-aged anglers had registration that expired in 1988, which is before any of the boat’s occupants were born. A citation was issued.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) worked anglers and boating activity. Time was also spent monitoring AIS compliance and ATV activity. Enforcement action related to angling licenses and illegal-length fish.
CO Dan Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking anglers and boaters and monitoring AIS law compliance. Additional time was spent checking ATV operators and investigating complaints of illegal burning. Calls were fielded about orphaned wildlife; people are reminded the best option is to leave animals where you find them.
Morris – vacant.
Wheaton – vacant.

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District 4 – Walker area
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) reports continued checks of anglers and ATV riders. She responded to calls about bears hit by cars, a sick fawn, and an injured bear. She also responded to an ATV rider who was stuck in a muddy area along a trail and answered multiple questions regarding beavers.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers, boaters, and AIS. Several injured- or nuisance animal-related calls were received including for deer, loons, bears, geese, and eagles. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, unregistered boat, towing a person on a tube without an observer, and riding on the bow of a watercraft.
Lake George – vacant.
Park Rapids – vacant.
Walker – vacant.
Remer – vacant.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports the majority of his workload involved fishing, boating, and invasive species enforcement. Fishing and boating activity on Rainy Lake has increased significantly with the warm weather. An AIS check station was worked along Highway 33 near Saginaw with fellow officers. Wetland- and animal-related issues were also handled throughout the week. Enforcement action taken for the week involved an overlimit of fish, transporting uncountable fish, no license in possession, transporting aquatic macrophytes, and transporting a watercraft with the drain plug in.
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls #2) spent time working AIS and angling enforcement over the week. With summer temperatures finally here, Zavodnik has noticed an increased amount of traffic on the waters. He wants to remind people, especially during this busy time of year, to have fun but to also to be watchful for watercraft, swimmers, and other potential hazards when navigating out on the waters. Some common violations found during the week included failure to remove plugs when transporting water-related equipment, transporting aquatic macrophytes, failure to retain a skin patch on dressed fish, and restrictions on packaging and wrapping fish.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports most of his time the previous week was spent on boating, fishing, and aquatic invasive species enforcement. An AIS detail was worked in the Saginaw area, where transporting water in livewells, transporting watercraft with drain plugs installed, and transporting aquatic vegetation were found to be common violations. He assisted with a reported complaint of an aggressive beaver attempting to keep people away from a dock neartheir cabin. He checked state campgrounds in the area, where people were enjoying the warmer weather and looking forward to additional time off for the holiday.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports fishing reports overall to be poor. Boating and ATV activities were monitored. Area forest road and public access sites were checked. Equipment work is ongoing.
CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring angling, boating, and ATV activity. Angling success on Lake Vermilion was slower this past week, however, warmer weather brought more boating activity. Broughten also worked compliance with aquatic invasive species laws.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, ATV riders, AIS checkpoints near
Saginaw and Vermilion Lake, and dealt with state park complaints including illegal dumping, illegal camping and indecent exposure. AIS checkpoint violation rates were high on one check point and nonexistent on the other. Bozovsky also worked a domestic animal trespass call on the area WMA and assisted the Hibbing Police Department with a child abduction call that turned out to be false. Enforcement action was taken on illegal dumping in a state park, indecent exposure, allowing a domestic animal to roam on a WMA, and several boating, PWC, ATV and AIS violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) checked anglers and boaters on Virginia-area lakes. Nicer weather brought out higher numbers of sportsmen and women. A few boaters were issued warnings for insufficient PFDs and lighting violations. ATV activity remains steady. A landowner contacted Frericks to report two ATVs stuck in a swamp on a snowmobile trail. At the time of the call, Frericks was several miles away and didn’t think he had a chance of finding the ATVs. The landowner added there were two State Troopers at an intersection just down the road from his house. With assistance from the troopers, the ATV operators were located. Both were wearing chest waders and told Frericks they planned on going mudding when they left their houses. The ATV operators were cited for operating on the snowmobile trail and carelessly upsetting the ecological balance of the wetland.
Aurora – vacant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) spent the week patrolling the Ely area for ATV activity. Although the weather was warm and mostly dry, activity was down for this time of year. Violations included transporting a watercraft without removing the drain plug, unregistered watercraft, and obstructing a water access.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers and boaters this past week. He also worked ATV complaint areas, took several calls about nuisance animals and assisted on a work detail.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) witnessed two Class 1 ATVs loaded with small kids and adult drivers cruising the forest road. She tracked them down and educated the drivers about safety and operation regulations. Manning also helped with the Great Lakes Landing Blitz, educating folks about aquatic invasive species. She also attended a county AIS task force meeting. Manning also assisted the county on a report of a young man who was thought to have fallen into the Pigeon River Gorge. It turned out he had ignored signage and climbed into a closed area around the falls and had difficulty getting back out.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked in the BWCA and found lakes and rivers to be very busy. An AIS check station was worked with other officers. Assistance was provided, along with CO Velsvaag, to Lake County on a call in the BWCA involving an unstable individual with a hatchet. Lots of enforcement action to report including extra lines, fishing without a license, no PFD, allowing a juvenile to fish in violation of the law, cans in the BWCA, and failure to remove a drain plug and aquatic vegetation during transport of watercrafts.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area remote lakes and trout-fishing activity this past week. Time was also spent checking on closed ATV trails.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked a commercial netting complaint and checked anglers on Lake Superior. Some nice lake trout were seen in the bag. He checked ATVs and anglers on inland lakes and followed up on wildlife-related complaints.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and invasive species enforcement activity this past week. Anglers headed for Lake Superior to escape the hot and humid weather and catch a few trout over the weekend. Nuisance bear activity remained high and all food temptations must be removed for bears to leave an area.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled area ATV trails, and looked for AIS violations. He investigated calls on possible violations for work in public waters, turtles, and trespass. Enforcement action taken for possessing illegal-length northern pike.

CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked fishing, AIS, boating, and ATV enforcement. He
answered wildlife-related calls and patrolled parks and campgrounds.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity and assisted the county with a traffic accident. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also provided K9 demos at community events in the area. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and possessing illegal-length fish.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) checked anglers throughout the area with most folks reporting success. Despite the hot weather and bugs in the woods, several people were still out enjoying the ATV trails. Violations included fishing with extra lines, having an insufficient number of PFDs on board a watercraft, registration issues, and transporting a watercraft with the drain plug in.
NE ATV officer – vacant.

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District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) worked two AIS details within the district and participated in a multi-agency emergency mock aircraft incident in the Duluth Harbor. Schmidt also completed equipment maintenance and patrolled area waterways for angling activity.
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) saw steady angling activity this past week, but not a lot of success. An AIS check station was staffed in Saginaw with multiple violations found. Enforcement action taken during the week were for no license in possession, improper display of watercraft registration, transporting aquatic plants and failure to remove a watercraft drain plug during transport. Willis also assisted the Duluth Police Department in attempting to locate a subject who was missing under suspicious circumstances. The missing person was found safe
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) spent time on area lakes checking anglers and conducting boating enforcement. Warmer weather during the week brought out many people who were tubing, waterskiing, and swimming. A couple water-level complaints continue to be worked. Duncan also participated in an area work crew concentrating on water-related equipment transporting aquatic invasive species.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with an aquatic invasive species check station in the Duluth area where several violations were encountered. A K9 training was attended at Camp Ripley where the DNR K9 unit worked with the dogs in obedience and searching for firearms. Boating activity was worked in the area with enforcement action being taken for fishing without a license in possession, insufficient PFDs, and registration violations.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked an AIS road check detail in Saginaw with fellow Region 2 officers. AIS was also worked along the North Shore and Superior Harbor. Bear complaints were fielded after animals were getting into garbage and bird feeders in Duluth. Lake Superior was checked in the Duluth area and violations were detected for license-related violations.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. An AIS detail was worked with multiple violations found for transporting lake water and weeds. Follow up to commercial violations was completed. Enforcement action was taken for angling and boating violations
Lake Superior Unit – vacant.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports checking fishing and boating activity, patrolling grant-in-aid ATV trails and the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, handling miscellaneous nuisance- wildlife issues, and assisting district officers with a firearms safety program field day.

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CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) patrolled area lakes for angling activity. Guida fielded
miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints including a rabid fox and loons entangled in fishing line. Black bears continue to be attracted to food sources. Enforcement action was taken at a day-use campground area where numerous alcoholic beverages were consumed and displayed illegally.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) focused on boating safety and angling enforcement. Sullivan contacted people who did not have personal floatation devices onboard and one person was caught angling without a license for the third time. The person was arrested and transported to jail. A loon that had a crankbait stuck in its tongue and wing was also reported. Sullivan responded and was able to cut the hooks and get them removed. The loon was unharmed and released.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports attending an interview school at Camp Ripley during the week. He also assisted with a District 9 firearms safety field day in the McGregor area. Time was spent patrolling the SRA for boating and fishing activity. Time was also spent checking for illegal dispersed camping in the SRA. Calls regarding a blocked public access and a waters-related question were fielded and many outdoor law-related questions were answered.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked watercraft, invasive species and angling activity. Wolf- and bear-related calls were handled, as was a call of loon harassment with personal watercraft. He also assisted with a firearms safety class field day.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked lake activity. Water recreation continues to increase along with the water temperatures. ATV traffic was monitored as heavy rains are contributing to ditch and roadway damage. Verkuilen also spoke at a hunter education class and answered calls regarding wildlife damage.
CO Ben Karon (Isle) spent time at Camp Ripley for training this past week. Time was spent checking anglers and boaters. Complaints are still being reported of people driving too fast and aggressively on the Soo Line and Red Top Trails. Time was spent on ATV patrolling these areas.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a report of trespassing. She assisted local law enforcement with an ATL of a stolen vehicle. Speldrich followed up on wetland cases and worked ATV, AIS and boating activity. She also rescued a snapping turtle from a window well.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on equipment repairs and maintenance. Invasive species work was completed with enforcement action taken for transporting water in a boat. Starr took enforcement action for dogs chasing deer fawns and assisted CO Kyllo with a bear case. WMA and public lands were also patrolled for illegal activities and underage gathering spots that have been left riddled with litter. ATV activity was also monitored.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued working with livestock owners who were struggling to keep wolves from killing newborn calves and harassing cattle. Anglers throughout the area were finding a fairly good sunfish and crappie bite. The Kettle and St. Croix rivers were busy with canoers and campers and recent heavy rains had kayakers enjoying some quality whitewater conditions.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked ATV, fishing and boating activity during the week and weekend. Many people were out trying to cool off during Saturday’s heat by spending more time in the water than on it. Time was spent assisting with tree cleanup on area highways and township roads after an early morning storm Sunday.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Annette Kyllo (Pierz) with the assistance of CO Starr investigated a TIP of a bear shot out of season. The responsible person stated their motive for shooting the bear was, “I don’t like bears.” Individuals transporting zebra mussels on a swim raft were also located and enforcement action was taken. Other violations encountered this past week included angling without a license, transporting a watercraft with the livewell plug in, and allowing illegal juvenile operation of an ATV.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week monitoring area lakes for AIS violations. Time was also spent following up on AIS complaints from watercraft inspectors. An ATV operator was arrested after it was found his license was cancelled for multiple DWI offenses.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) focused on boating and fishing activity. He fielded questions concerning turtle regulations and a ride-along request. He also took calls concerning a baby fawn.
CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports checking anglers and boaters during the week. He also spoke to an area group about boat and water safety. Enforcement contacts during the week were made for watercraft equipment and operating violations.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports working fishing activity, AIS enforcement, ATV
enforcement and boat and water safety. Enforcement action for the week included no license in possession, failure to have a throwable flotation device on board a watercraft, failure to affix valid registration on a watercraft, failure to display ATV registration and altering the lake bottom without a permit.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) completed a case where a road construction company was appropriating water from a local river without a permit. The river was a zebra mussel-infested water, which made the situation worse. Other citations were written this past week for fishing and ATV violations.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers, ATV riders, and boating activity. Calls were taken on nuisance beavers, dogs chasing deer, and bears in bird feeders.

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CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking anglers, boaters, and ATV riders during the week. A fishing case was worked with a neighboring officer resulting in an overlimit of panfish. Animal-related calls and public land issues were also handled.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters. Violations were found for no angling license, extra lines, and no PFDs. Several animal-related calls were handled.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week working AIS activity and checking anglers. He also assisted county officers on an assault case. Krauel also spent time working boat and water safety enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, angling with extra lines, burning prohibited materials, and no life jackets.

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) focused enforcement efforts on anglers and boaters. Additional time was spent following up on off-road vehicles in the Sand Dunes State Forest. Enforcement action was taken for failing to display valid watercraft registration, fishing with an extra line, and possessing an overlimit of both crappies and sunfish.

CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week working anglers and recreational boaters. Time was also spent working an AIS detail in the lakes area to raise awareness.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked anglers and boaters this past week. Several animal-related complaints were followed up on and a ride-along was giving to a person interested in becoming a CO. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines and no fishing license.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled district lakes for angling, boating and invasive species activity. He worked with a Division of Fish and Wildlife intern to provide a fishing regulations workshop to the Vietnamese and Karen communities. He took enforcement action for no fishing license, no fishing license in possession, and lack of boating safety equipment.

CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) focused his efforts on recreational boaters. Lerchen wants to remind paddle boarders that they need a PFD when on the water. Time was also spent attending training.

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) remains focused on boating safety, angling, and invasive
species enforcement. A report of bowfishers dumping their kill back into the lake was received.
Enforcement action was taken for over capacity on a watercraft, insufficient life jackets, and
other boating violations.

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) worked primarily boat and water safety throughout the week.
Kpachavi patrolled Lake Minnetonka and prepared for upcoming July 4 celebrations on the lake.
He also conducted a media interview concerning boat safety and alcohol enforcement and
assisted multiple agencies with an alcohol enforcement detail.

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CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) checked anglers and boaters on area lakes and rivers.
Enforcement/education action was taken on angling with more than one line. Fogarty took
multiple nuisance-animal complaints in regards to deer and beavers.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and following up on
complaints. Grewe attended a Cops and Kids fishing event in Brooklyn Park and continued
training with K9 Shelby.

CO Tim Maass (Osseo) gave a law and ethics talk at a firearms safety class at the Near
Wilderness Center in Baker Park. Time was also spent checking anglers and boaters on area
lakes and rivers. Maass also assisted with a complaint of people using gas motors on a non-
motorized lake.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishing and boating activities in the metro-area lakes and rivers.
He attended a meeting with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and returned phone calls to the
Asian community on fishing regulations. Enforcement action was taken for fishing with extra
lines.
Ft. Snelling – vacant.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time conducting boating and fishing enforcement throughout
the area. He also responded to calls regarding nuisance wildlife and abandoned minnow traps.
Time was also spent assisting with two ATV safety class field days and a water safety class.

CO Luke Gutzwiller (White Bear Lake) spent time working angling and recreational
enforcement throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license,
extra lines and watercraft registration/operation violations. Litter violations were also
investigated.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week patrolling area lakes and doing AIS enforcement.
He also handled several nuisance-animal complaints and did follow up on a wetland violation.
Enforcement action was taken for registration issues, insufficient PFDs, operating a PWC during
closed hours, no license in possession and an overlimit of fish.

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and boating activity. He also
patrolled the Forest Lake area for boating activity. Boating traffic was high during the first of the
holiday weekends and several violations were dealt with.

CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) checked anglers throughout the week and found that fishing had
slowed with the warm weather. Calls regarding squirrel trapping were looked into. Boaters were
out in full force on the St. Croix River as they escaped the warm weather.
Metro Officer – vacant.

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District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, state park, and ATV
enforcement. Extra time was spent working AIS at public accesses. Lakes were busy with
recreational boating activity with most of the violations dealing with illegal personal watercraft
operation, insufficient life jackets, and watercraft registration issues. Assistance was also given
with an ATV safety class in Clarkfield.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) spent time throughout the week checking anglers, recreational
watercraft, and ATV riders. Dirks, with the assistance of Regional Training Officer Jen Mueller,
spoke to students at a Worthington Community Education class about fishing laws and
regulations and firearms safety requirements for hunting. Enforcement action for the week
included angling and boating violations.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored AIS, angling, boating and OHV activity during the
week. Shore anglers are reminded that unwanted fish are not to be thrown on shore.
Lake Benton – vacant.
Benson – vacant.
Montevideo – vacant.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar-East) worked boating and angling activity. He continued follow up
on AIS violations turned in by AIS inspectors and spoke with anglers about AIS at area lake
accesses. Vernier also followed up on a trespass complaint.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the majority of the week training up at Camp Ripley. Other
time was spent following up on dogs-chasing-deer complaints, trespassing complaints, and
answering other calls. Klehr also spent time working AIS enforcement and boating activity.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding sick and injured animals, requests for
permits, and questions about fishing regulations. He primarily worked angling, boating, and
aquatic invasive species activities. Anglers were having some angling success with bass and
catfish.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) fielded numerous nuisance-wildlife calls during the past week.
Angling success has slowed as the summer begins and water temperatures rise. Recreational
boating activity has increased.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) continued to center his activity on boat and water safety and AIS
enforcement. He took information and followed up on illegal dumping at a public access and also
took information concerning illegal personal watercraft operation.

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CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked anglers and boaters. PWC activity is increasing with the
very warm weather. ATV riders were checked on roadways. Public accesses were patrolled and
users were reminded to pick up litter.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) checked anglers in the Albert Lea area. He assisted Forestville
State Park staff looking for a horse missing from the campground, but was unable to locate it.
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) time was spent checking boaters and anglers on local lakes.
Lusignan attended an informative K9 meeting at Camp Ripley.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters and PWC operators.
Additional time was spent monitoring AIS compliance at area public water accesses. Ihnen also
patrolled for ATV activity.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports checking angling and boating activity this past week. Angling
success slowed with the hot weather at the end of the week, but boating activity was high.
Catfish anglers have started to show up in larger numbers. Shore anglers in particular are glad to
see area river levels continuing to drop, giving them access to many of their shore-fishing spots.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, boaters, OHM and ATV operators during the
week. Davis also monitored AIS activity and patrolled state parks, wildlife management areas,
and waterfowl production areas. Davis assisted the Owatonna Police Department with a personal
injury crash between a car and motorcycle.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato #2) spent time on lakes and rivers in the area checking anglers
and boaters for compliance. ATV activity was worked over the weekend. He also set up a talk at
an upcoming firearms safety class.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) worked angling, ATV, and AIS enforcement this past week.
Henke focused activity on AIS enforcement, noting several violations of transporting aquatic
vegetation and leaving plugs in place. Rain continues to hamper outdoor plans in the area and
rivers are running at very high levels.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester #1) reports high water from recent rain challenged anglers this
past week. Many still tried their luck despite less-than-ideal conditions. Enforcement activity for
the week included no angling license, extra lines, no boat registration and not enough life jackets.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working the Root River over the week. A few kayakers
were out but high, muddy water made activity low. Time was spent patrolling ATV areas and
trails. Compliance was good. Anglers were also checked along the Mississippi River. They were
having varying success.

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CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) assisted with a federal investigation. Time was spent patrolling
a bowfishing tournament on pools 3-9 of the Mississippi River. With nice weekend weather,
boating activity increased on the Mississippi River. Enforcement action was taken for fishing
without a license, operating an unregistered boat, no PFDs and possession of controlled
substances.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week patrolling for area boating and fishing activity.
With the warmer weather, recreational traffic on the Mississippi River has picked up and many
boats were contacted for various violations. Assistance was also given to an area resident who
discovered a fox snake in their garage. The snake was removed from the garage and released.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing enforcement on Lake Pepin and the
Mississippi River as well as assisting with flooding issues on the Zumbro River. A large
bowfishing tournament was also worked on the backwaters of the Mississippi River. Bowfishers
from all over the southern United States were contacted during the tournament. Assistance was
provided with the airboat for three people whose cars were found submerged in the Zumbro
River. Thankfully, everyone was located safe and sound. Enforcement action this past week
involved more walleye issues, fishing license issues and some ATV registration problems.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports attending interview training at Camp Ripley during the early
part of the week. Hill attended a committee meeting in Sandstone. Hill, along with other officers
in the district, battled the heat and took part in working the 2019 world bowfishing tournament
being held on the Mississippi River. Teams from all over the United States were contacted
shooting various species of rough fish. Hill was pleased to see only one PFD violation (could
have been much worse!) throughout the night.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a busy week on the river with a national bowfishing contest
in the area. There were very few problems or complaints and the participants asked many
questions to make sure no laws were violated. Hemker checked a person fishing that gave him
false information about himself. He said he did it not because he did not have a fishing license
but because he had warrants for him. He also possessed marijuana.
Rochester #2 – vacant.
Training Section
Planning is ongoing for training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and
reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.
Aviation Section
Unavailable.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

15

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week working on PW and WCA cases. Time was
spent following up with LGUs, issuing restoration orders, following up with field officers on
case status and cleaning up files. Anglers and boaters were monitored for AIS law compliance.
AIS-related calls from the public, LGUs and field officers were taken. Wildlife-related calls were
fielded and direction given to concerned citizens.

WREO Mike Scott (NE) cleaned up WCA/PW cases in preparation for the transition to a new
WREO. He worked with the Lake Superior Marine Unit checking anglers on Lake Superior. An
AIS check station was held in Saginaw. Scott participated in the Great Lakes AIS initiative,
working with Minnesota Sea Grant and 1854 ceded territory employees checking watercraft and
educating the public about AIS issues.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked on APM and public water cases in his
assigned area. AIS enforcement was worked and Haberman assisted officers in the Duluth area
with an AIS check station. Haberman also conducted TFO duties with the Aviation Unit.

WREO Leah Weyandt (Central) issued two wetland restoration orders to fix violations. A CDO
was issued for fill in a public water and a restoration order is being drafted. Zebra mussel
violations were followed up on in her assigned area.

WREO Luke Belgard (SW) worked angling, boating, and ATV enforcement this past week. A
number of new wetland complaints were investigated, along with follow up of ongoing cases.
Time was spent monitoring public access sites for AIS violations.

WREO Julie Siems (SE) worked AIS and angling enforcement. Assistance was given to local
agencies during the recent flood events. A check station was also worked with K9 Brady,
resulting in many violations such as leaving the plug in and failing to remove aquatic
macrophytes.

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