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CONSERVATION OFFICER WEEKLY REPORT
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on the Roseau River and Lake of the Woods. ATV activity was monitored in the Beltrami Island State Forest during the Fourth of July holiday. Enforcement action for the week included operating an off-highway motorcycle on city streets, minor in possession of alcohol while driving, transporting fish with no patch of skin, and possessing an overlimit of walleyes.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad North) worked OHV, AIS, boat and water, and angling enforcement. Mind your speed in the state parks as posted speed limits are there for a reason and are enforceable by citation. Enforcement action was taken this past week for possession of illegal-length walleyes, no throwable lifesaving device on board a watercraft, operating a watercraft without navigation lights after sunset, failure to transfer ownership of recreational
vehicles within the specified time, operating an unregistered ATV, allowing illegal operation of an ATV and operating an ATV with passengers under 18 not wearing helmets.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) worked the Independence Day weekend in the Beltrami Island State Forest and on Lake of the Woods. Anglers are encouraged to have a reliable and accurate measuring device while fishing waters with length restrictions. One group encountered was in possession of three illegal-length fish. When their measuring device was checked, it was off by 1 inch. Other enforcement action for the week included ATV, OHM, and watercraft registration violations, OHM operation on public highways, boating equipment violations, no navigational lights when required, and multiple no helmet on juvenile ATV operators/passengers.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working ATV, AIS and boating and angling activity throughout the week. Regas worked the busy Fourth of July and holiday weekend. Excellent weather brought a lot of activity to station lakes. Regas happened to be launching at the Blackduck Lake access when radio traffic of a boat fire on Blackduck Lake was broadcast. He was the first to arrive on the scene as the occupants of the burning boat had taken to the water and crawled to safety on nearby swimming rafts. The boat was ablaze from the driver’s seat to the outboard motor. Regas backed his patrol boat up to the burning craft, raised the outboard motor to the surface of the water and extinguished the fire with spray from the prop wash. Nearby boaters assisted by tossing buckets of water on the boat once the majority of the fire was
extinguished. The suspected cause of the fire is a fuel leak that was ignited when the motor backfired upon starting. None of the occupants of the boat were injured. Regas towed the burned boat and nearby boaters assisted the occupants back to the access. Time was spent attending an Officer Water Survival instructor team meeting at Camp Ripley and taking calls about nuisance
wildlife. Enforcement action for the week included angling with extra lines, angling license and watercraft safety equipment violations.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck North) reports that fishing activity on Upper Red Lake is slowing and ATV activity in the area is ramping up. The trails have been in decent condition with the intermittent rain in the area. Time was spent working both ATV and angling activity, as well as commercial investigations.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette East) spent time focusing on angling and ATV enforcement around the Upper Red Lake and Lake of the Woods areas. Various ATV complaints were handled over the busy week. Mishler and K9 Storm also trained with fellow DNR K9 handlers. Enforcement action was taken for false statement/application for a license, uncountable fish, transporting fish with no skin patch, possessing fish illegally taken or possessed in Canada, speeding, and multiple ATV-related violations.
Baudette West – vacant.
Warroad South – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) spent the long July 4 holiday weekend checking anglers and watercraft operators. Time was also spent contacting several ATV riders. A 2018 deer hunting- related violation was investigated. Multiple angling and watercraft violations were encountered.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) continued flight training, checked boaters and anglers, took a law enforcement student for a ride-along and attended a funeral honoring a fellow game warden.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) worked a busy Fourth of July holiday and weekend. People enjoyed the great weather and area lakes were very busy. He worked Operation Dry Water and made numerous stops for watercraft violations. One individual was arrested for boating under the influence. Individuals are reminded to keep track of how much alcohol is consumed while out in
the sun boating. Area ATV riders were patrolled. Vollbrecht responded to a complaint of a dog caught in a foothold trap. The dog was safely removed by the owner and not harmed.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports patrolling for complaints of ATV riding in the Ag Zone ditches of state highways and for angling and boating activity on local lakes. Vinton attended the funeral for a White Earth Tribal conservation officer who was killed off-duty in a motorcycle accident out of state. Multiple county, state and tribal officers paid their respects. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, no license in possession, no throwable PFD, failure to
display watercraft registration and other life jacket violations. Owners of Class II ATVs should be reminded that riders under the age of 18 must wear an approved helmet.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week primarily working boating activity. Many lakes were checked throughout the week and many people were out due to summer finally arriving. Other time was spent assisting Becker County with calls for service regarding medicals, crashes, and other boating related calls. Enforcement action was taking for not having an angling
license in possession, expired boat registration, and operating a PWC after hours.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked boat and water safety and fishing checks, OHV enforcement and assisted at the CO Academy. Recreational boating activity was high and several safety violations were handled. Peterson also assisted local agencies in their calls for service during the busy holiday period.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked boating activity for safety and regulation compliance. Anglers reported fair to good success. ATV activity was worked and regulation information provided to riders. Warren attended the funeral for a White Earth conservation officer. Follow up was conducted on open investigations. AIS compliance checks were performed.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week monitoring angling, ATV, AIS, and boat and water safety activity in the Pelican Rapids station. Nice weather during the week led to a high number of boaters on the water enjoying their Fourth of July weekend. Calls from the public included reports of possible wetland violations and illegal use of chemicals in the water. Several lakeshore owners removing vegetation were contacted. Landmark would like to remind everyone that permits are required for emergent vegetation removal and for mechanical removal by devices such as weed rollers. Assistance was given to the State Patrol and local agencies on a variety of calls including driving complaints and reports of missing people and possible drownings. Assistance was also provided to Otter Tail County on a wake skier who beached his watercraft during a stop and fled on foot. Landmark took enforcement action for operating an
over-occupied ATV, juveniles under 18 without helmets on ATVs, and numerous boat and water safety violations including multiple jet skis operating after legal operating hours.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports lakes were busy over the Independence Day holiday week. Time was spent checking watercraft, anglers, ATV operators, and AIS. Calls were also received related to orphaned and nuisance animals. Enforcement action was taken for boat safety, angling, AIS, and ATV violations. Concerns over wake boats creating unwanted wakes and damage to shorelines were also heard.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent the busy holiday weekend focusing on boating, fishing, AIS and ATV enforcement. Plautz and CO Richards responded to a TIP call where citations were issued for an illegal-length walleye and fishing with extra lines. Several other violations on the water included insufficient PFDs, no license in possession, and fishing without a license. Plautz finalized a complaint with juveniles who were destroying the rip rap on a public access. Several
youths were stopped over the weekend for operating ATVs illegally. Enforcement action was taken with the parents/guardians.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) focused on ATV, angling, boat and water safety enforcement, and AIS compliance over the holiday week. Nice weather brought out many anglers and recreational boaters to area lakes. Of those checked, most reported a steady fish bite and no complaints about boat traffic. A pontoon transporting a large group of holiday carolers was encountered on Ten Mile Lake on the Fourth of July. The joyous group performed The Star
Spangled Banner for Goodman during their boat safety check. Many illegal aerial fireworks were observed along the lakeshore. Goodman asked that participants in this activity please pick up the dunnage/litter from the water. Enforcement action included a variety of watercraft safety equipment issues, PWC violations, illegal fish size and limits, and no angling licenses. A positive
statistic from the weekend was 100 percent compliance of youth under age 10 wearing life jackets while underway on watercraft.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers and boaters and ATV and OHM riders during the week of the Fourth of July. The weather cooperated for the holiday and the lakes were busy. Life jacket violations were the most prevalent during the week, along with boat lights. Wearable life jackets are required for every person on board a watercraft including kayaks, canoes and paddle boards. Assistance was given to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office at the Evansville
Street Dance for fights between some attendees.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent most of the week on the water working anglers and recreational boaters. Lots of good contacts were made, but a few citations were issued as well. Violations such as angling without licenses, angling with extra lines, insufficient PFDs and allowing juveniles to operate ATVs illegally were handled. From everything Lawler observed, it
was a fun and safe holiday week.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) focused on angling and boating safety throughout the week. Time was also spent monitoring AIS compliance and on an APM-related violation. Holt worked area lakes over the busy Fourth of July weekend. Enforcement activity related to angling licenses, angling with extra lines, illegal-length fish and boating safety.
CO Dan Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers, boaters, and PWC operators. Additional time was spent checking ATV and OHM operators, and investigating a complaint of people shooting at geese from a motor vehicle. Great weather conditions over the holiday weekend brought out numerous people to enjoy area lakes.
Morris – vacant.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) reports continued checks of anglers and ATV riders. She responded to an accident involving a car that hit a deer, which then struck a bicyclist. She also responded to a watercraft accident and a motorcycle accident. She investigated a wetland complaint and took calls about nuisance beavers. Enforcement action included fishing without an angling license, fishing with an extra line, no license in possession, and driving ATVs on a state highway.
Lake George – vacant.
Park Rapids – vacant.
Walker – vacant.
Remer – vacant.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports a very busy holiday weekend with lots of people boating and fishing on Rainy Lake and out enjoying the nice weather. Enforcement action for the week included fish overlimit, illegal-length fish, no fishing licenses, insufficient PFDs, and boat registration violations. People are reminded to make sure everything is in order before hitting the water to make their outdoor experience safe and enjoyable.
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls #2) had a busy week working boat and water safety enforcement for Canada’s national holiday, Canada Day, and working with local law enforcement on the Fourth of July. Watercraft operators are reminded to know the rules and regulations when out on the water as well as the navigational light requirements. Angler success seemed to vary on Rainy Lake, with walleyes being caught as shallow 4.5 feet to as deep as 30 feet. Violations encountered during the week included ATVs traveling on road rights of way, no license in personal possession, expired watercraft registration, failure to have a legal life-saving device on board watercraft, and overlimit of walleyes on Rainy Lake.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports boating enforcement was the main focus throughout the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Overall, boating safety compliance was high and most groups encountered were acting responsibly. A complaint of ATV use in a state campground was addressed. Anglers reported an increase in success over the previous week, and those not finding the fish were happy to be in the area on vacation anyway. Assistance was given to St. Louis
County and first responders for a medical emergency that began on an island in Kabetogama Lake.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) worked angling and boating activities over the week. Holiday weekend boating was monitored on area lakes. ATV activity was checked. Beaver- and bear-related complaints continue. Equipment work is ongoing.
CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring angling, boating, and ATV activity. The Fourth of July week brought a substantial increase in boating activity. Anglers continue to report limited success on Lake Vermilion. Enforcement action was taken for boating and ATV violations.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent much of the week on Lake Vermilion. A number of boats were stopped for loud exhaust, which continues to be a common complaint on the lake. There were a number of complaints regarding personal watercraft issues, which prompted Hopkins to focus patrol on PWC enforcement. A few boats were stopped for passengers riding on the gunwale. Hopkins assisted with a disabled boat, which was towed to shore by the Breitung Fire Department.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling, boating, ATV riders and the state park. He worked a complaint of intoxicated individuals in the state park. Two extremely intoxicated individuals were cited for alcohol in the park, including one 18-year-old. Arrangements for transportation were made for their safety. Boating activity was busy during the holiday weekend. Operators of paddleboats, paddleboards and kayaks are reminded that PFDs are required. One PWC operator who was driving carelessly capsized his PWC and injured his
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent a busy week mostly patrolling lakes in the Virginia area. Warm weather brought out high numbers of boaters. The primary violation far and away was insufficient PFDs. Numerous citations were issued for the violation. Other violations encountered included angling without a license and various ATV violations. Frericks received information from area lakeshore owners about three dead loons that have shown up on an Eveleth-area lake. The loons were collected and will be turned over to be examined.
Aurora – vacant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) assisted St. Louis County and Lake County Search and Rescue for several days in the BWCA searching for a camper who had walked away from his group. During the second day of searching it was discovered that the missing person had intentionally left his group to attempt to walk through the 1.1 million acre Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario. Rescue efforts were called off after no sign was found. A Canadian search plane was able to locate him after three days of being missing and he was brought to American authorities in International Falls.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled lakes over the busy holiday week; one boat contacted had no life jackets at all, in addition to being overloaded with passengers. Paddle boarders and kayakers are reminded that they need to have life jackets as well. Manning also helped teach firearms at the current Academy at Camp Ripley, assisted with a county call on fireworks and
participated as part of the Minnesota DNR Honor Guard at the funeral of White Earth Conservation Officer Richard Fox, Jr.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy Fourth of July week of boating and angling enforcement. One day was spent working the Aurora station with CO Broughten. Numerous extra-line citations were issued during the week, along with citations for unregistered boats, no PFDs, operating a PWC after hours, no navigational lights after sunset, and no angling license. Overall, it was a slow fish bite but the weather was good.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked a busy Fourth of July week. Time was spent mostly on the water, but some time was spent working ATV trails as well. Schottenbauer encountered an 8-year-old who was refusing to wear a PFD as required by law. He offered the kid a ride back to the camp site and an end to the day’s boating activities. The kid promptly put on his PFD, and Schottenbauer noted a smirk from Grandma.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked the busy holiday weekend checking anglers, boaters and ATV riders. Time was spent on Lake Superior, inland lakes and in the BWCAW. Enforcement action was taken for boating and angling violations.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked boating and angling activity over the holiday weekend. Fishing remained good on Lake Superior and many anglers were out trying to hook a salmon or lake trout. Bear activity remained high with the animals finding human food sources mostly in unsecured trash bins. Enforcement action was taken for illegal burning activity and licensing
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled for illegal ATV operation, checked anglers and boaters, and handled calls about nuisance/injured wildlife. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession, angling without a license, and operating an ATV without valid registration.
CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked fishing, AIS, boating, and ATV enforcement. He answered wildlife-related calls and patrolled parks and campgrounds.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a busy Fourth of July with many boaters out fishing and recreating. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license in possession, an overlimit of crappies and failing to have a throwable on board a watercraft.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, boating, ATV, and AIS activities throughout the surrounding areas. Outdoor enthusiasts enjoyed great Fourth of July weather, and anglers were also contacted reporting some success with the warmer weather. Enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of crappies, angling without a license, no angling license in possession, unregistered watercraft, insufficient number of PFDs, operating an unregistered
OHM, and allowing illegal juvenile operation of an ATV.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) focused efforts on ATV and boating activity throughout the busy holiday week. Many local lakeshore owners expressed concerns about shoreline erosion with high water levels and increased boating traffic. Enforcement action was taken for violations including both ATV and boat registration issues, fishing without a license, not having enough PFDs on board and illegal-length fish.
NE ATV officer – vacant.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) encountered heavy boating activity over the holiday. Area lakes were worked for Operation Dry Water and the Duluth Harbor was patrolled during events at the waterfront. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, improper display of registration, possession of drug paraphernalia, and no PFD on board a watercraft.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) worked area lakes and rivers for anglers and boating activity. Nice weather saw a large increase in personal watercraft use and tubers/skiers. Area angles are still having some luck but fishing overall has slowed considerably. Complaints of nuisance bears were handled along with a few calls about wolves that are hanging around populated rural neighborhoods. Schmidt also assisted with watercraft patrols on Lake Superior and the Duluth
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) spent a lot of time on the water working fishing and boating enforcement during the past week. Recreational boating activity was very high over the holiday week. Many contacts with PWC operators and recreational boaters were made. Time was spent working the Duluth Harbor in the evenings during the Fourth Fest celebration. Several nights included concerts on the Bayfront. Time was spent working from watercraft for two different firework celebrations. A few minor complaints were handled involving PWCs. Duncan and CO Schmidt also had an area news reporter ride-along for Operation Dry Water. The most common watercraft violations during the week were lack of navigation lights and PWCs too close to shore and other watercraft.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, boating, OHV, and AIS enforcement throughout the week. Humphrey served as part of a Division Honor Guard funeral detail and also attended a meeting held at Camp Ripley. Humphrey and CO Staples worked an Operation Dry Water detail
and found several boating and angling violations.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked boating and off-highway vehicle activity this past holiday week. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, no license in possession, insufficient life jackets, operating dirt bikes on the road, operating an ATV without a valid driver’s license on the road, operating an ATV in unfrozen public waters, and various registration violations. One boat that was checked had three anglers in it. All three lied about having a fishing license. Two out of the three bought licenses online within 20 minutes after they
were checked and the third was unable to try to purchase one because he was already suspended for fishing without a license from last year. All three were cited.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked a busy Lake Superior during the week. The weather was very nice overall and many recreational boaters and paddle sports enthusiasts took full advantage. Anglers have been having good success on lake trout and coho salmon out of Two Harbors. Operation Dry Water was worked in the Duluth Superior Harbor during Fourth Fest and the five consecutive days of concerts at Bayfront Park. Olson assisted CO Murray with
a case of steelhead taken illegally in the Two Harbors area of Lake Superior. He also worked an Operation Dry Water detail on the St. Croix River on Saturday.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers on Lake Superior, Lake Minnetonka, and the Mississippi and St Croix rivers. Many people were out enjoying the holiday weekend. One PWC operator out over an hour before legal time also forgot to bring with a life jacket. Another chose to consume far too many drinks before taking a friend for a ride. PFD compliance was generally good, with a few cases of young children found not wearing a PFD. Enforcement action taken for boating, angling, and alcohol violations.
Lake Superior Unit – vacant.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports a very busy holiday week with high recreational activity being patrolled on area waters. He also monitored OHV activity, the Crow Wing State Forest, and the Cuyuna Country State Recreational Area. Other activity included investigating complaints of ATVs causing damage to property and operating in a careless/reckless manner, a major illegal
shoreline alteration incident, illegal removal of emergent aquatic vegetation, illegal feeding of wildlife, and the discovery of zebra mussels in an area lake that was not previously designated as infested. Numerous enforcement contacts were made for no vehicle permits and miscellaneous state recreation area violations, boating registration and safety equipment, fishing violations, illegal youth ATV and OHM operation and registration. Area residents are advised that the state
park vehicle permit requirement is now in effect in all the units of the Cuyuna Country State Recreational Area. Many of the units have self-pay kiosks where vehicle permits can be obtained on the spot. You can also obtain a vehicle permit at the park office in Ironton, online at http://www.mndnr.gov, or at any state park office. Operating a vehicle within the park boundaries without a permit is a violation subject to fine.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports assisting at the new CO Academy with their firearms training during the week. He spent time patrolling the mine lakes and surrounding lakes for fishing and boating activity during the holiday weekend. Fitzgerald also patrolled the CCSRA for park violations. As a reminder, you are now required to have a state park vehicle permit in the CCSRA. Many contacts were made informing park users of the new requirement. Calls
regarding wildlife and boating complaints were fielded. Enforcement action was taken for various park, boating, fishing, and ATV violations.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) worked boating enforcement and safety, invasive species, and miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints this past week. Numerous enforcement contacts were made with area conservation officers during the nationwide Operation Dry Water enforcement detail, including an evening impaired watercraft operator arrest. The intoxicated boater was arrested after operating through very heavy watercraft traffic immediately following the Crosslake fireworks display without a navigation light displayed. The operator indicated that they had misplaced the navigation light and decided to chance it. The watercraft numbers on that lake alone were estimated to be between 500-600 boaters. Other violations addressed included bow, gunwale, and above-the-stern riding, no navigational lights, no required fire extinguisher, no required sound-producing device, and no personal floatation devices.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked a busy holiday weekend on Cass and Crow Wing county lakes. Hundreds of watercrafts were observed out enjoying the nice weekend. Enforcement action was taken for numerous angling and boating violations. One boater was also arrested for boating while intoxicated.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) attended funerals with the Enforcement Honor Guard. Assistance was given to the sheriff’s office with calls. An aquatic vegetation removal violation was addressed and water-related activity was worked.
CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) spent the busy Fourth of July week monitoring recreational boaters on area lakes. Enforcement activity included expired boat registrations, lack of life jackets, allowing riders on boat sides or transoms, camping at a public boat access, after-hours operation of personal watercrafts, PWCs operating within 150 feet of swimmers and boats, and careless operation of a PWC where the operator flipped the machine and threw off his passenger in the process. The passenger did not have a life jacket on.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked boating safety and ATV enforcement this past week. The lakes and trails in the area were extremely busy. Several contacts were made with people who did not have life jackets. Enforcement action was taken.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked holiday lake activity, including a lot of short-term fishing licenses and PWC complaints. A lot of water gear was getting moved around. The effort to keep invasive species moved with it was challenged by boat plugs and people failing to allow inspections. Verkuilen also checked ATV traffic including an OHV on a closed park trail.
CO Ben Karon (Isle) reports a busy week with Fourth of July activities. Many hours were spent on area lakes checking anglers and boaters. Time was also spent on area ATV trails. Common violations encountered were for registration, no license, and lack of PFDs. Most operators observed were being safe.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked boaters during Operation Dry Water weekend. Enforcement action was taken for PWCs within 150 feet of shore at speeds greater than slow no-wake. Speldrich had many contacts with ATV riders and OHM operators. Issues included expired registration, failure to display valid registration and illegal operation of an ATV by a 7-year-old. This same child tried to hide from Speldrich as they knew they were not supposed to be where they were. Contact was made with the parents, who stated they didn’t know the child had left with the ATV. Speldrich also made a panfish-overlimit case.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) continued to field public concerns about bear sightings and minor nuisance issues. Holiday activities were monitored, including ATV, fishing, and AIS work. Starr continued to monitor night ban regulations on Mille Lacs Lake and checked public lands for mis-use.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) worked the Fourth of July holiday weekend and lakes were busy and full with anglers and boaters. In addition to finding a handful of boating and safety equipment violations, several anglers were found fishing without a license. One of those caught without a license tried hiding their fishing pole. Another claimed to have left the license at home
and then, as soon as Grundmeier left the area, attempted to rush to the nearest gas station to purchase a license.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area forest roads and checked anglers. Complaints of ATV and jet ski issues were investigated, as was a problem bear. There have been lots of inquiries about the big muskie from Mille Lacs Lake, so hopefully the article in Outdoor News will answer all the questions.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Annette Kyllo (Pierz) reports a busy past week due to the holiday. Kyllo assisted CO Kampa and the Annandale Police Department with maintaining a safety perimeter during a fireworks display. Angling success has been good on area lakes. Many boat and water safety checks were performed and enforcement action was taken for failing to have proper safety equipment on board and for underage alcohol consumption.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time assisting with Academy use-of-force training. An Honor Guard meeting was attended at Camp Ripley, as was a water-survival instruction meeting. A complaint of a lakeshore owner chasing geese with a pontoon was investigated with enforcement action being taken. The busy holiday weekend was worked with many boaters and anglers seen out enjoying the nice weather. A fireworks event was worked on Big Birch Lake with CO Keith Bertram, where many boats came out to view the show. Other violations for the
week included illegal-length pike, insufficient PFDs, youth without PFDs on, allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, no fire extinguisher and no angling license in possession.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling and boating activity this past week. He gave a ride-along to a student interested in a career in law enforcement and assisted the State Patrol with a DWI.
CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports checking boaters and anglers on area lakes and the Mississippi River. Enforcement contacts were made for angling without a license and watercraft equipment and operating violations.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) spent the week working boating enforcement and safety. Time was also spent on a possible public waters violation. Several boating violations were enforced. Time was spent assisting on a BWI arrest and assisting the sheriff’s office with a water rescue.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports working a busy holiday weekend. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license, extra lines, illegal fish, no boat registration, insufficient boat safety equipment, and no ATV registration. Several aquatic plant violations were also investigated.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports working a busy holiday weekend making sure everyone was safe out on the water. Enforcement action was taken for lack of life jackets, jet skiing and water skiing after hours, and no navigation lights. Benkofske had a car cross the highway in front of him with no headlights on in the middle of the night. The stop resulted in a DWI.
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week working anglers, AIS, and boating safety. Time was also spent responding to nuisance-animal complaints.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked anglers, boaters and ATV activity in the Wright County area. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, angling with extra lines, no PFD onboard watercraft and watercraft registration violations.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) focused enforcement efforts on boaters and anglers. Additional efforts were spent assisting the State Patrol and addressing miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints. Area lakes were extremely busy over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, fishing with an extra line, operating a watercraft without life jackets, and operating a watercraft while intoxicated. Seamans assisted a local agency with a search and rescue.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) patrolled lakes and rivers over the busy holiday weekend checking anglers and boating activity. Calls were taken on nuisance animals, PWC violations, and trespass. Enforcement action was taken for angling license violations, insufficient PFDs, and allowing illegal operation of personal watercraft and ATVs by juveniles.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters. Violations were found for no angling license, overlimit, extra lines, and no watercraft registration. A trespass complaint was investigated.
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week working AIS activity and checking anglers over the holiday weekend. 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.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishing activity and boating during the Fourth of July on Lake Minnetonka. He worked boat enforcement on other lakes in Hennepin County with neighboring officers. He answered questions from the Asian community on state park regulations. Lee also returned phone calls to the Asian community on youth firearms safety classes and hunting regulations in general.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) spent the first part of the week teaching at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. Operation Dry Water was worked on local lakes with enforcement action taken for numerous boating violations. Violations encountered included illegal PWC operation, watercraft registration, boating operation, and a variety of safety equipment deficiencies. Birdsall and CO
Le responded on foot to a residential structure fire after seeing the blaze from the lake.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked with a Fish and Wildlife Division intern to create a PowerPoint presentation on fishing regulations for the Southeast Asian communities. He also provided a ride-along to a Division intern who is assigned to District 14. He worked boating and fishing activities in district vicinities. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display valid boat registration, operating an unregistered watercraft, illegal operation of a PWC, no PFD,
overloading a boat’s capacity and no fishing license.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) worked boating enforcement on Lake Minnetonka. Kpachavi participated in Operation Dry Water and worked with COs from around the state and local agencies to patrol Lake Minnetonka during the busy July 4 holiday weekend. Multiple arrests were made on the lake for boating while intoxicated. Enforcement action included registration, license, alcohol, and boat safety violations.
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) focused his efforts on recreational boating enforcement. Many contacts were made with people out enjoying the holiday weekend. Enforcement action was taken for registration issues, lack of PFDs, and PWC violations.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) worked area lakes and rivers during the busy holiday weekend for Operation Dry Water. Time was also spent handling several nuisance animal-related complaints. Enforcement action was taken for no PFD, expired registration, loud exhaust, and riding on a gunwale.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the majority of the week on busy Lake Minnetonka checking anglers and boaters and responding to medical emergencies. Grewe logged a variety of violations including minors possessing alcohol, overloaded boats, litter, illegal-length northern pike and no lifejackets.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) patrolled area lakes during the busy Fourth of July week. He focused on boating safety. Education/enforcement action was taken on transom riding, PWC after hours, no PFD, and BWI.
Ft. Snelling – vacant.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time conducting boating and fishing patrol on local lakes and rivers. Time was also spent responding to multiple TIP calls and assisting local agencies on multiple medical emergencies due to the hot weather. Enforcement action was taken for a variety of things including fishing without a license, no PFDs, no registration, litter and failing to transfer watercraft ownership.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) patrolled the St. Croix River on the Fourth of July. Most boaters complied with laws and regulations and were having a great time, though fishing seemed slow. Area lakes were checked and the fishing report was similar. Enforcement action was taken for failing to transfer a watercraft title, failing to display valid registration on a watercraft and
angling without a license in possession.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and boating activity. Salzer also patrolled Lake Minnetonka for boating activity. Several violations were observed through the week with enforcement action taken.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week patrolling the St. Croix River and area lakes. He also did AIS enforcement and fielded questions regarding watercraft operation. Violations for the week included felony fleeing on an OHM, careless operation, possession of a controlled substance, expired registration, fishing without a license and no-wake violations.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (White Bear Lake) spent time working Operation Dry Water recreational activity throughout the busy Fourth of July week. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, watercraft registration/operation violations, possession of a controlled substance, AIS violations, felony fleeing on an off-highway motorcycle, careless operation and trespass. A burglary was also investigated.
Metro Officer – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored AIS, angling, boating and OHV activity during the week. A boating enforcement detail was worked on Lake Minnewaska with CO Baumbarger. Assistance was given with Honor Guard duties at the funeral of North Memorial flight nurse Deb Schott, who passed away in the line of duty. Angling and boating violations were encountered.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) spent time throughout the week at Camp Ripley instructing for the Academy. Area lakes were busy with recreational watercraft for the Fourth of July weekend. Enforcement action for the week included violations for operating personal watercraft after hours, insufficient PFDs, registration issues and AIS violations.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, ATV, state park, and AIS enforcement. Recreational boating activity was high on the Fourth of July and the long holiday weekend. Operation Dry Water was a main focus over the weekend. Miscellaneous wildlife-
related calls were also handled.
Lake Benton – vacant.
Benson – vacant.
Montevideo – vacant.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar-West) checked boaters over the holiday weekend. He also checked anglers, ATV operators, and followed up on fishing- and boating-related complaints.
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar-East) worked boating activity over the holiday weekend. He followed up on an AIS violation and reminded anglers about northern pike size regulations. Vernier also assisted Kandiyohi County with a disturbance call.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the majority of the week working boating, AIS, fishing, and ATV enforcement over the busy Fourth of July holiday, with numerous violations detected. Klehr also assisted the State Patrol with the removal of a large number of two-by-fours along
Highway 15. The driver of the vehicle was located.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received a call to rescue a fawn trapped in an enclosure at an industrial business complex. Nelson also worked boating, angling, and invasive species activities. Bass anglers enjoyed good success.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) spent a busy Fourth of July week and weekend focusing enforcement efforts on boating activity, shore fishing, AIS compliance, and ATV enforcement. Numerous violations were encountered with boating and PWC activity, with PFD violations being the most common.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) continued to focus his activity around boat and water safety and AIS enforcement. Gruhlke worked Operation Dry Water throughout the weekend. He responded to a complaint of illegal operation of personal watercraft and addressed other boating violations.
Gruhlke also assisted the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked anglers on shore and via watercraft. Watercraft inspections were performed, including PWCs. AIS education and inspections were performed. Public accesses were patrolled.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports checking anglers and boaters over the holiday weekend. There were many violations detected and enforced.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV operators during the week. He also checked state parks and wildlife management areas. Multiple boating, angling, and ATV violations were encountered.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent most of the week on angling and boating enforcement. Assistance was provided with safety and security during a large firework show on Lake Washington. Angling and boating activity was high until late in the week, when heavy rains dampened activity. Most Le Sueur County lakes have been placed under no-wake restrictions by the sheriff’s office. Howe, CO Wiebusch and representatives from the Le Sueur and Blue Earth
county sheriff’s offices, worked with local TV and newspapers to publicize Operation Dry Water.
CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) worked the Albert Lea area for Independence Day. Most everyone was being safe and having fun. He attended a funeral for White Earth Tribal Conservation Officer Fox in Rice Lake. Had a meeting at Camp Ripley.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato #2) reports a very busy holiday weekend. Boaters, anglers, ATV riders and AIS were the focus of his time. Time was also spent checking areas for turtle-trapping activity.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and PWC operators on area lakes. Additional time was spent patrolling area rivers for canoeists and kayakers. Ihnen participated in Operation Dry Water efforts focusing on BWI enforcement.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) reports working fishing, boating and AIS enforcement this past week. Henke reports high numbers of boaters on area lakes enjoying the holiday weekend. Fishing activity has been tough in the area, but some anglers were rewarded with nice-sized pike for their efforts. License and drain plug violations continue to be common.
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato #1) focused on boating and water safety this past week. He also assisted local agencies, responded to a burning complaint and checked anglers.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) spent time patrolling La Crosse Riverfest. Enforcement action was taken for multiple boat registration violations. A boat was found to be exceeding the noise-level limit. An individual was arrested and charged for operating a motor boat while impaired.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) worked a very busy extended holiday weekend on the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin. Morning anglers continue to do well on wing dams and on Lake Pepin. The recreational boaters were also out in force when the weather would allow it. Enforcement action included navigation-light violations, undersized walleyes, insufficient number of life jackets and fire extinguishers, and registration, license and operation issues.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) worked the Root River during the Fourth of July. High and muddy water kept activity low. Time was also spent checking anglers. Violations encountered included a gross overlimit of trout. The Chatfield ATV trail was very busy over the holiday weekend, and
compliance was very good. Boyum encountered violations including expired registration and failure to transfer ownership.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports heavy activity in the Cannon Falls area throughout the entire past week. Anglers were out in force taking advantage of the walleye bite on the Cannon River. Violations included extra lines and no fishing license. Hill also ran into multiple PWC violations on Lake Byllesby. One owner was spoken to last week for launching a PWC with expired registration. The owner was grateful that Hill allowed him to load the PWC back on the trailer
with no citations being issued. However, the owner took advantage of Hill’s generosity as he was cited over the weekend for allowing a 13-year-old to operate the still-unregistered machine more than 40 minutes past allowed hours. A lake service provider was cited because none of their employees had taken the required online AIS training. This was after Hill had contacted the
owner last year and issued a warning for the same violation.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a busy holiday week with heavy boating and good fishing. He worked with several other boating enforcement agencies in the Winona area. Hemker was the first on scene to a person reported to have jumped off a high bridge into shallow water. He was taken by ambulance. One boat went through the river lock and dam after a mechanical failure and all three victims were rescued. Hemker also assisted CO Boyum with a trout-overlimit case.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly boaters over the holiday weekend as part of Operation Dry Water. Details were worked on the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers and Lake Minnetonka. Many boaters were out and contacted for various violations. Heyn also worked on upcoming training.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) spent the past week checking boaters and anglers. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, extra lines, unlawful tackle configuration, no watercraft registration and lack of life jackets. Watercraft operators are reminded that a properly fitting life jacket is required for every occupant. Canoes, kayaks and paddle boards require life jackets, just like a motorboat.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent part of the past week assisting with firearms training at Camp Ripley for the current class of Academy cadets. A busy holiday weekend was also worked. The nice weather and high temperatures brought many people to the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin area for fishing and recreating. Enforcement action was taken for numerous boating and