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Conservation Officer Report
Compiled By Richard Sprouse, Minnesota DNR, 800-366-8917, Ext 2511
Weekly Conservation Officer Report from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Division of Enforcement
15011 Highway 115 (Camp Ripley)
Little Falls, MN 56345-4173

Report Fish & Game Violations
Call T.I.P. at 1-800-652-9093 or Cell #TIP



District 1 - Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) worked angling and boat and water safety during the week.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) spent time at Camp Ripley assisting with EVOC training.  ATV and AIS activity was worked.

CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck #2) reports working angling, boat and water safety, and ATV enforcement this past week. The officer worked three overlimit cases on a special regulation lake. A nuisance beaver permit was issued. Enforcement actions for the week included the three overlimits, operate an unregistered ATV, and operating an off highway motorcycle on the roadway.

CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette #2) focused on ATV enforcement and angling enforcement on multiple special regulation lakes. Assistance was given to Bemidji PD in locating a missing nine year old. Enforcement action for the week included overlimit of sunfish, angling with extra line, angling with no license in possession, and no trout stamp.

Karlstad - vacant.

Warroad #2 – vacant.

Thief River Falls #2 - vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending several days this week at Camp Ripley, assisting with training and instruction for the DNR academy.  Time was also spent checking anglers and following up on past angling violations.  A site inspection involving a past wetland violation case was done.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reported assisting at the MNDNR Conservation Officer Academy with night and low light driving skills.  The new recruits practiced their EVOC skills during night exercises.  CO Vinton received TIP calls about various possible violations ranging from altering the bottom a lake and pulling wild rice without a permit to fishing violations.

CO William Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring ATV, AIS, and angling activity in the Moorhead Station. Angling activity remains slow and the heat this week restricted most anglers to a few hours in the morning. Time was also spent at the Perley Firearms Safety class where the law and ethics portion of the class was taught to students. Calls from the public included an injured hawk and a request for a car kill deer permit.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked angling and boating activity on area waters.  AIS compliance was monitored and checks performed.  A complaint of possible illegal cutting of aquatic vegetation and shooting ducks with a pellet gun was investigated.  ATV trails were worked for activity and a complaint of ATV use in a waterfowl production area was investigated.

CO Peterson (Osage) checked anglers and boaters, assisted with academy training and handled several wildlife calls.

District 3 - Fergus Falls area

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) observed a young boy paddling a kayak profusely without moving anywhere. As the officer approached she observed the boy trying to pull his grandfather and the grandfather’s kayak out of the bulrush.  The officer then positioned her patrol boat so the grandfather could grab onto the boat and get to shallower water. Officer Plautz then assisted the grandfather getting into his kayak and a handshake was given to Officer Plautz for her assistance. Officer Plautz responded to a raccoon in a dumpster, and an injured Cormorant and Seagull.  A presentation was given to an Amish firearms safety class as well.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen and boaters primarily this week.  Recreational boating was very busy with the hot weather.  The TIP trailer was picked up and displayed at the Grant County Fair.  Lots of questions were answered by Officer Nelson from the public at the event also.  An AIS work check station was worked in the Alexandria area and complaints of a car-hit eagle and ATV’s operating on the Central Lakes Trail were handled.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, boaters, ATV’s and OHM’s.  Several complaints of floating bogs on area lakes were handled with advice given to lakeshore owners.  Assistance was given to local law enforcement agencies with traffic stops and complaints.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) ran into several instances of recreational tubers on the Long Prairie River littering their beer cans and possessing illegal substances.  Several citations were issued after people learned they’d been observed by Officer Lawler while violating.  Other lakes were busy with fisherman and PWC activity with very hot temps throughout the week.  An AIS check station was worked in Alexandria as well.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on AIS enforcement, anglers and boaters.  Officer Anderson assisted CO Nelson work the TIP trailer at the Grant County Fair. High heat was a factor in reduced boating and fishing traffic on area lakes.  Complaints were received and investigated regarding juveniles operating dirt bikes in a careless manner in the western part of Stevens County.  Minnow transportation permits were reviewed and issued and calls from the public were answered regarding leech trapping and the Marsh Lake project.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, boaters, ATV operators, and monitoring AIS compliance.  Additional time was spent with the TIP trailer at the Pope County Fair, and fielding wildlife complaint calls.  Officer Baumbarger worked with a DNR APM specialist on Grove Lake where quite a few lakeshore owners were found to be in violation of weed roller and lake bed excavation laws.

Wheaton - vacant.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) followed up on two trespass cases, assisted local authorities with storm damage issues, worked AIS details and processed some evidence

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers, boaters, ATV’s, and AIS.  A complaint of someone throwing logs and vegetation into Leech Lake was investigated.  Nuisance animal calls were referred to the local DNR Wildlife Office.  Many forest roads and some public water accesses in the area are blocked by downed trees after recent strong storms.  Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.

CO Chelsey Best (Remer) worked fishing, boating, ATV and litter enforcement this week. Time was spent assisting residents and the Sheriff’s Dept. with clean up and road access issues after the storms went through. Many forest roads and most ATV trails are still closed due to storm damage. CO Best assisted with a firearms safety instructor’s training class in Outing. Enforcement action was taken for fishing license issues, ATV safety and registration issues, and operating an OHM on the road.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring angling, ATV, and boating activity. Anglers are still reporting limited success.  A large storm hit the Longville area during the week resulting in large power outages for several days and persons blocked in their residence by downed trees.  CO Broughten assisted local law enforcement with welfare checks and medical emergencies.  CO Broughten also fielded calls regarding injured animals and nuisance beaver.  Enforcement action included no angling license in possession, and operate ATV on public highway.

CO Colleen Adam (Rec Specialist) spent time checking storm damage.  Recently the area has been hit with several severe storms leaving many trails and forest roads impassable.  Forestry, Parks and Trails, and local clubs are attempting to clear the debris as fast as possible.   Check the DNR website for OHV trail closure/maintenance issues. 

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (Int’l Falls) reports fishing and boating activities on Rainy Lake continue to make up most of the workload.  Most of the severe weather missed the borderland area; however areas south and east were not so fortunate.  Enforcement action taken over the week included ATV violations, no angling license in possession, over limits, and illegal length walleye.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports excessive heat found little angling activity; those anglers encountered report poor fishing.  Area forest roads continue to be monitored as well as public access sites. Equipment work is on-going. Beaver problems continue.

CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers and boaters this past week.  CO Velsvaag also helped out after the storm damage and took several calls related to the storm.  CO Velsvaag took several boating questions and received a call about vegetation removal.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reports while off-duty the officer observed an individual who appeared to be under the influence of narcotics; the suspect got in a vehicle and started to drive.  The officer followed till a Breitung Police Department officer could stop the vehicle.  The officer assisted in the stop, and it led to the suspect’s arrest for DUI (controlled substance), warrant, and felony controlled substance.  The officer also responded to a call of an eagle with a broken wing.  The eagle was transported to Wildwoods Rehabilitation Center, but it was too far gone to survive.

 CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, ATV’s, and the state park during the week.  A trespass complaint along with wildlife complaints was also handled.  Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license and a few ATV violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at an advanced hunter education class at the Laurentian Environmental Learning Center and spent time on follow up investigation on an ATV fleeing case. Angling activity on area lakes has slowed and more attention has shifted to recreational traffic.

Ray - vacant

International Falls #2 - vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) instructed at the CO Academy on small and big game laws and night hunting.  A bad storm brought many trees down, and portages in the BWCA will likely take a while to get cleared.  Roadkill deer complaints were handled.  Enforcement action was taken for an unregistered canoe.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers, boaters and ATV riders. Fishing has slowed on inland lakes. The officer handled badger and bear complaints in the area. Enforcement action was taken for boating, angling and ATV violations.

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports extreme thunderstorms again hit the Ely area over the week causing several injuries and fatalities in the BWCAW. Electricity is still out in some of the outlying areas nearly five days after the storm. Thanks to the efforts of the Morse Fall Lake fire department, St. Louis County rescue squad, the USFS, and Canadian Quetico Park staff, rescuers were able to evacuate the victims quickly in spite the terrible blow down conditions.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) assisted with storm damage patrols in the area after severe weather downed several power lines and trees. Fishing success was slow but water recreation was high with folks trying to cool off at area lakes as temperatures soared into the upper eighties. Area ATV trails were patrolled and enforcement action was taken for licensing violations and illegally operating in closed areas.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) had a busy bear week, three folks reported bears breaking into cabins and homes to look for food; one of these bears had to be shot after making frequent consecutive nightly attempts to get inside.  The bear was seized and gifted to a family for food.  The officer also helped teach at the DNR Academy and checked anglers and boaters.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked remote lakes and the BWCAW this week.  Time was also spent checking anglers and boating activity near the shore.  CO Schottenbauer also dealt with a beaver problem area.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled area ATV trails, checked anglers and boaters, enforced AIS regulations, attended a meeting in Grand Rapids, and worked ongoing cases.  Also handled calls on nuisance bears and harassing loons.  Enforcement action taken for using extra lines.

CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked ATV, sport fishing, boating, AIS, and handled miscellaneous nuisance animal calls. He patrolled state park areas, state forests, and public water accesses.  Violations included fail to drain water related equipment, transporting aquatic macrophytes,  overlimit, angle with extra lines, illegal operation by a juvenile, and ATV on the roadway.  He also assisted the county on a man track. 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) taught at the Academy, checked anglers, attended a district meeting, and responded to K9 assist calls from other law enforcement agencies. Enforcement action was taken for license issues, DANCO violation, and probation violation.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked anglers over the past week with fewer anglers out during the extreme temperatures.  Some had some luck and were even able to bring enough fish back home for the table.  CO Sutherland took action for angling without a license and operating an unregistered ATV.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATV’s, state parks and campgrounds.  He also attended a district meeting and checked a commercial facility during the week.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) – reports spending a majority of the week assisting Academy 17 with emergency vehicle operation and game week.  CO’s Fairbanks, Hansen, and Van Asch assisted Itasca County Sheriff’s office with an individual that fled on foot.  Time was also spent handling nuisance animal complaints as well.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) reports returning phone calls, following up on ongoing issues, and working fishing enforcement on local lakes and streams. 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted several agencies in the area with a search for a suspect that fled after being involved in a shooting. He was taken into custody after several hours of searching. Enforcement contacts were made with several ATV riders after they were found operating in the Nemadji Forest. The forest is closed due to storm damage. People are encouraged to check the DNR website or the local DNR trails office to see if the areas they are planning on riding in are open. One wolf depredation complaint was followed up on where an 1100 pound cow was killed on an area farm. A K9 demo and talk was given to the new officers at the DNR academy at Camp Ripley.

Duluth – vacant.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked fishing and boating enforcement on Lake Superior.  Several questions from the public were answered throughout the week.  Inland enforcement included public access checks for AIS concerns and ATV work at past complaint locations.  Officer Olson also assisted local law enforcement with various issues that were a result of a widespread storm that hit the Duluth area.  

Lake Superior Unit - vacant.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked the Foothills State Forest for damage from the recent storms, patrolled area ATV trails, and checked boaters and anglers.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) assisted with training activities with the new conservation officer cadets at Camp Ripley.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd 2) patrolled area lakes for angling activity and sport fishing enforcement. Some ATV contacts were made on the trail. One common violation observed were adults operating Class 2 ATVs with passengers under 18 without DOT approved helmets.  Enforcement action was taken on the adult allowing the violation.

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked anglers, boaters and ATV’s.  Officer Hunter received a call of an injured eagle and worked with the Raptor Center to capture and rehabilitate the bird.  Officer Hunter reports a lot of storm damage in the Paul Bunyan State Forest and most trails are impassable at this time. 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, invasive species and ATV enforcement.  Assistance was given for weather related issues and no wake restrictions.  A solid waste complaint and lakebed alteration case were also worked.  One young couple from Illinois told the officer they were married the day they arrived in Minnesota and were fishing with a husband/wife license.  They said the marriage took place at the convenience store when they purchased the licenses.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity this week of investigating reports of a large amount of garbage dumped at a public access, an abandoned dumped boat on public land, illegal shoreline development and dock / lift placement issues, bear and beaver damage, illegal dirt bike operation, and zebra mussels found in an area lake.    The Cuyuna Country State Recreational Area, Crow Wing State Forest, and area lakes were patrolled with enforcement contacts made for boating registration and equipment violations, Jet Ski operation, and transporting zebra mussels.

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reported that he spent most of his time this week on Boat and Water Enforcement.  Violations he observed were not enough life saving devices and expired registration.  He checked anglers and the catching has slowed likely due to the high water from all the recent rain.  He worked with Cass County Deputy Travis Collette with the capture of an alligator.  The alligator was found in the wild on Hardy Lake near Brainerd.  The reptile was captured and brought to the Safari North Zoo south of Brainerd.  Enforcement time was also spent on aquatic invasive species complaints generated by AIS inspectors.  Reports of folks failing to submit to inspection, transporting zebra mussels, and failing to drain water from their boats.

Cuyuna SRA - vacant.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) checked anglers over the warm weathered week and found many people catching fish. Water levels in the area are still high which have caused bear to move around; several people have called concerned about the bear. Remember to remove food sources for the bear and they will keep on moving. ATV’s were out as well as the dust conditions have lowered. Enforcement action was taking for possession of marijuana, angling without a license, and angling during the Mille Lacs Lake fishing ban.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working ATV enforcement around the Malmo Station. A few parties were out trying to get a ride in between the rainy days.  The officer assisted at the Conservation Officer Academy with game enforcement week where new conservation officers learned about enforcement techniques.  Time was spent patrolling area lakes along with Mille Lacs Lake where a lot of boaters and fishermen were out enjoying the nice July weather.  A law and ethics presentation was given at a firearm safety class during the week and many outdoor law related questions were fielded.   Officer Fitzgerald also patrolled for AIS violations and checked many public accesses for damage and litter.  Follow up was done with MPCA and local zoning office on a case of oil spilled into a local waterway because of flooding.  A nuisance beaver permit was issued for beaver doing damage during the week also.  Enforcement action for the week included various ATV law violations. 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) patrolled state forest closures. Enforcement action was taken for operating ATVs, OHMs and motor vehicles in closed areas. AIS enforcement was conducted and action was taken for failing to remove boat plugs.  Officer Speldrich assisted Pine County with a domestic disturbance and Carlton County with a felony assault.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent time instructing game law enforcement during the last week of the Conservation Officer Academy.  Candidates spent the week learning about big game and small game laws and proper enforcement techniques for enforcement of game laws.  Station activity included dealing with boating activity, nuisance animal calls and livestock depredation by wolves.  A firearm safety class was also held in the area and 21 kids successfully obtained their firearm safety certificates.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week checking anglers and monitoring the high water in the Pine City area.  He assisted the Pine County Sheriff’s Department and State Patrol with several calls over the weekend including a reported shooting and an intoxicated driver in St.  Croix State Park.  He also assisted in locating a driver who was reported to be weaving all over I-35 through a construction zone.  Water levels remain up in the Pine City area and boaters are urged to use common sense when out on the water. 

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area lakes and Mille Lacs Lake.  Assistance was given to a stranded boater having lower unit problems on Mille Lacs and was towed to shore.  Time was also spent investigating discarded deer carcasses from last season which were mistaken for a possible poaching case.  It was discovered by a dog and dog’s owner who does not know what a leash law is or what no trespassing signs are.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Mike Krauel (St. Cloud) spent the week checking anglers and working boater safety.  Fewer anglers where out this week with the warm temperatures and high water, but those that were out were finding moderate success.  CO Krauel also observed many people out kayaking.  CO Krauel would like to remind kayakers and paddle boarders that it is necessary to have a wearable life jacket on board when paddling.  Enforcement action was taken for underage possession of alcohol, no angling license, angling with an extra line, insufficient PFD’s, and no license in possession.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling and boating activity this week.  The Officer continued to field calls about an uncatchable injured loon on Rice Lake.  Other calls handled this week include turtle traps and car killed deer call.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) checked angling, watercraft, and OHV activities.  A WCA restoration order was served.

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers this week. CO Mies gave a law talk at the Kimball firearms class, checked boaters, and worked on a litter complaint.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, boaters, wetland issues, and nuisance animal calls.  Officer Thesing assisted with the CO Academy teaching big game enforcement.  Help was given to the Albany ATV class for their riding day.  Enforcement action for the week included no permit for removal of lake weeds. No PFD, no fire extinguisher and no angling license in possession.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters. Violations were found for no angling license, extra lines, and underage possession of alcohol. Several animal complaints were handled.

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fisherman and boaters on area lakes and rivers. He took enforcement action on a number of boat and PWC violations. He followed up on a boat that was sunk in Lake Julia for two weeks; charges pending. Officer Sladek responded to a shooting complaint in the Sand Dunes State Forest. He was assisted by Sherburne County Deputies. They located the target shooters and will be issuing summons for careless discharge of a firearm. He followed up on a number of criminal damage to property violations in the Sand Dunes State Forest; he located violators enforcement action was taken.

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked anglers and boaters during the week.  Wetland violations were also taken and investigated.  Boaters are starting to get back on the lakes because the high water has settled down.  Enforcement action was taken on ATV passenger under 18 without a helmet. 

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) took several calls about baby animals such as abandoned fawns. A trespass call was followed up on. Enforcement action was taken for failing to drain watercraft before transporting and no angling license.

CO Phil Mohs (Center City) worked AIS, fishing, boating and ATV enforcement.  CO Mohs fielded several nuisance bear calls.  Enforcement action was taken on operating a personal watercraft with a wake within 150 feet of shore, fishing without a license, littering and ATV registration violations.

Princeton - vacant.

District 13 - West Metro area

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and boaters.   CO Grewe followed up with shoreline complaints and waterjet complaints.   CO Grewe also spent some time at Camp Ripley with the K9 program.   Violations this week included expired boat registration and no lifejackets.

CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) spent the week checking anglers and boaters on Lake Minnetonka. Violations included unpermitted weed roller and unregistered paddleboards. Time was also spent dealing with a parking complaint at a popular shore fishing location on Lake Minnetonka. CO Weyandt patrolled the Luce Line State Trail where she came upon two juveniles riding small motorcycles on the trail. They thought they were allowed to operate on the horse trail and were riding from one friend’s house to the other. Enforcement action was also taken for a resident using the Luce Line to transport brush to a city dumping area. No motorized vehicles are allowed on the Luce Line State Trail except snowmobiles.

CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) spent the week patrolling area lakes and shorelines. Boaters are still out in high numbers enjoying the warm weather but the extreme heat this week may have caused many to stay indoors. Officer Leuthardt attended the Prior Lake Safety Camp and brought several youngsters out on a boat ride around Prior Lake. She also answered several calls from citizens with nuisance animals and provided them with solutions.  

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked anglers and boaters in the metro area lakes.  He worked boat enforcement with a neighboring officer at Lake Waconia and responded to animal complaints in the Bloomington station.  Officer Lee also answered questions in the Asian community on fishing regulations and firearm safety classes.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled Waconia, Fort Snelling State Park and district vicinities for boating and angling activities. He followed up on a report of zebra mussels being transported. He took enforcement action for no angling license and transportation of invasive species.  

Bloomington - vacant.

Ft. Snelling - vacant.

Osseo - vacant

Waconia - vacant.

District 14 - East Metro area

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reports talking to two firearms safety classes in Marine on St Croix and Forest Lake.  CO Arntzen also responded to TIP calls, spent time checking anglers, boaters and patrolling the wildlife management areas.  Enforcement action was taken for removing aquatic vegetation without a permit and target shooting in a WMA.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked shore anglers around metro lakes and rivers. He spent some time on AIS and boating enforcement at boat accesses. CO Pril also responded to calls and followed up with a TIP complaint.

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for boating and angling activity. CO Salzer also assisted with training at the ongoing academy at Camp Ripley and attended court for a BWI Case.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent most of the week helping with the last week of academy at Camp Ripley. He also worked ATV activity and shore anglers throughout the area.

Maplewood – vacant

White Bear Lake – vacant

Eagan – vacant

Metro – vacant

District 15 - Marshall Area

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) spoke at the Sacred Heart firearm safety class.  There is a good cat fish bite on the MN River and Lac Qui Parle Lake. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license. 
CO Andrew Dirks (Redwood Falls) reports it was a busy weekend with the Franklin Catfish Derby Days. Numerous checks were completed with several violations encountered which included no license in possession, unattended lines, and no navigation lights.  A 41 pound flathead catfish took first place in the derby. With the assistance of CO Mueller, officers also rescued a boat and four individuals that were stranded on the Minnesota River. The boat was reported to have been completely submerged and the operators were somehow able to get it floating again.  Once they realized the motor wouldn’t start they called for help.  Officers were able to safely tow the boat back to the landing.

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) concentrated this week’s patrol on angling activity with a good catfish bite being reported overall with the warm weather.  Officer Gutzwiller provided assistance to Montevideo PD and Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office with the execution of a search warrant.  Enforcement action for the week included multiple stamp and license violations.  
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall #1) spent the week working fishing, boating, ATV, state park, invasive species enforcement, and WMA complaints.  Officer Loftness also worked Franklin’s “Catfish Derby” over the weekend on the MN River with the heat being a big topic of conversation. Most of the violations dealt with unattended lines, extra lines, no navigation lights, and license violations.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers and working boat safety.  Boat and ATV activity remains high.  However, warm temperatures and high humidity limited some outdoor activities.  Area lakes seem to be producing only sporadic walleye bites.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored AIS, boating, fishing, and off-highway vehicle activity during the week.  Assistance was given at the CO Academy during the final full week of instruction.  Phone calls were taken regarding upcoming hunting seasons. 

Benson - vacant.

Worthington - vacant.

District 16 - New Ulm area

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar-West) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV operators.  He educated lake users about AIS laws.  Officer Denz also received calls from the public with concerns about wild animals.

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar-East) spent time on area lakes for boat safety and fishing enforcement.  He also continued follow up on a wetland violation and worked area ATV activity.  Time was spent on an injured bald eagle, deer complaint, beaver damage questions, and commercial minnow dealer inspections.

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time working boating and personal watercraft safety along with ATV safety during the week. Officer Klehr also spent time at Camp Ripley helping out at the academy. Over the weekend Officer Klehr was on the St. Croix River by Stillwater working the no wake zone through the construction area.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson-West) along with CO Dirks responded to stranded group on the MN River downstream from Franklin.  Their boat sank while tied up the night before.  The group was able to bring the boat up to the surface and drain most of the water out, but the motor would not start.  The officers were able to pull the four people, a large service dog, and the boat back to the boat access.  Officer Mueller also checked boaters and anglers during the catfish tournament. 

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson-East) reports working a very hot Franklin Catfish Derby this past week.  Anglers were out putting their best effort into landing a trophy flathead catfish.  The tournament is typically won with a 50lb fish.  One group of anglers decided to make a “Cool Tub” to beat the heat and lined a pickup bed with a tarp and filled it with water.  The tub was later occupied by a large flathead catfish but that did not stop it from being used as intended.  Enforcement issues involved angling license and ATV issues.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) gave instruction at a youth ATV safety class.  He also answered questions regarding animal concerns.  Officer Nelson spent the rest of the week on angling, boating, invasive species, and ATV enforcement. 

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) reports that he testified at an omnibus hearing in Pine County related to a 2015 hunting deer over bait case.  He spent the week focusing on angling activity and made contact with three particular anglers from South Dakota that informed the officer they were able to fish all 50 states since they had purchased only a South Dakota angling license.  The officer informed the anglers of the MN angling laws.  He also informed them that they may want to purchase valid South Dakota angling licenses as theirs all expired in 2014.  Appropriate enforcement action was taken.  Officer Miller also reports assisting neighboring officers during the Franklin Catfish Days. 

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) assisted the Martin County Sheriff’s Office with enforcement of a slow-no-wake ordinance set forth on all county bodies of water.  Angling activity remains high and many anglers were checked.   Public accesses were patrolled and individuals were reminded to clean up after themselves.  ATV activity was monitored.

District 17 - Mankato area

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters and PWC operators. Officer Ihnen also patrolled area public accesses monitoring AIS compliance. Additional time was spent responding to a number of TIP and other calls from the public.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, boating and ATV activity this week.  The fish bite has slowed with the heat, but anglers are still managing to find a few fish on local lakes.  Time was spent monitoring public access sites for AIS violations.

CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on angling, boating, AIS, and ATV activity this week. Officer VanThuyne also followed up on public waters violations.

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) continued to monitor fishing, ATV, and AIS/Boating activity. Fishing continues to be steady in the area. CO Henke dealt with numerous violations this week including no license, extra lines and ATV violations. CO Henke reminds anglers to clean up after themselves and remove all garbage and fishing line from the shore when you leave.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) focused enforcement efforts on checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators during the week.  AIS activity was also monitored at local lakes and rivers.

Spring Valley – Vacant

District 18 - Rochester area

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reported working a busy week on the big river where fishing pressure was down a little with the high water.  The folks that were out had success finding many of the fish up shallow especially early in the mornings.  Other calls were fielded regarding the upcoming fall hunting seasons.  Some fishing, boating, and AIS enforcement action was taken this week.

CO Trent Seamans (Rochester 2) patrolled for sport fishing and boat/water safety. Enforcement action was taken for no throwable PFD, no license in possession, and failing to display valid registration. CO Seamans responded to a watercraft incident at Ponderosa Access on Lake Zumbro.

CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking watercraft users, ATV operators, and anglers.  He assisted with a watercraft accident investigation. Enforcement action was taken for various watercraft related issues.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers during the week.  Officer Heyn also did follow up work on cases, equipment maintenance, and spoke to a FAS class in Millville. 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports the high water has slowed fishing and boating activity on the river, however the lakes and ATV trails were busy.  He investigated complaints related to trapping and burning along with waters and wetlands.  There were nuisance animal calls for rattle snakes, skunks, squirrels, and raccoons.

LaCrescent – vacant
Zumbrota – vacant
Red Wing – vacant

Training Section

Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.

Aviation Section

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew a Rainy Lake creel survey, northeast wolf telemetry, and sketch mapping for Forest Assessment.  Pilot Heineman also assisted in the storm damage by transporting a pilot to pick up a helicopter and ground running N155NR for blade tracking and balancing.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on helicopter maintenance and administrative tasks.

NR Pilot Ettl (Grand Rapids) provided helicopter support to the storm damage assessment in northeastern Minnesota. 

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports attending and presenting at an aviation law enforcement conference. Numerous concepts, ideas and equipment upgrades were gathered.

CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) spent several days in Brainerd flying the Leech Lake Creel surveys.  Pilot Geving also flew wolf, fisher, and marten telemetry flights in the northeast.

CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Grand Rapids) flew storm damage flights in support of search and rescue efforts in the northern portion of the state.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO  Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week working on WCA and PW cases. Site visits and follow up with LGUs was done.  Time was spent working with the Academy on use of force. AIS and boating activity was worked at public access points.  Public complaints and questions were fielded.

WREO Keith Bertram (Central) spent the week conducting follow-up on wetland cases and working AIS.  Time was also spent conducting weed roller compliance checks with CO Thesing.  Several violations were detected.  Citations were also issued this week for no angling license and untagged commercial minnow traps. 

WREO Larry Hanson (SW) worked on WCA and PW cases. An AIS check station was worked in Douglas County. K-9 education and demos were completed for the academy at Camp Ripley. AIS checks were completed on area lakes and rivers on water related equipment.

WREO Julie Siems (SE) had a site visit for a WCA violation not in compliance and other public waters follow up.  Anglers were also checked and instruction was given at the current CO academy.

Enforcement Education

Please check the DNR WEB SITE at www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Education Courses and instructor training sessions
If you missed a fall class and are over 18, check on-line for the online course information, also located at www.mndnr.gov.

Please check the DNR WEB SITE www.mndnr.gov  for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth and Adult Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions.

Please direct questions to 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR

Reminder---anyone born after December 31, 1979 cannot purchase a license to hunt in Minnesota without first taking a DNR Safety Training Course and receiving a certificate.  In addition many states have even more stringent mandatory Hunter Education requirements.  Check before you go!!! 

Reminder---Any resident born after December 31, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota, must possess a snowmobile certificate.  Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can take the online course and hands-on day or attend the traditional youth course.  Those 16 or older can take the online course.

Reminder---Anyone born after July 1, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota, must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training online course.  Persons under age 16 must complete the ATV online course and riding component before riding on public lands. Please direct questions to 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.

If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador, contact your local Conservation Officer or Regional Safety Training Officer.  Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR Website.
See Also:
West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports reviewing Firearm Safety Hunter Education manual material and attending a conference call regarding program updates.  He also worked on instructor backgrounds and transferring the ORV training program from CD to flash drive.  Calls and emails were also taken regarding upcoming instructor certification training and hunter education/firearm safety field days for youth.

Rec Vehicle Coordinator Bruce Lawrence with RTO Neitzke attended a volunteer safety instructors association meeting in Edina to discuss upcoming training opportunities for range safety.  RTO Lawrence worked on ATV training guidelines for safety instructors. RTO Lawrence responded to emails and calls on requirements for ATV classifications, registration and use on public roads.

SW Metro Kevin Neitzke returned calls and emails regarding registrations for firearms safety instructor training classes, question about the education and safety training programs.  He attended the Minnesota Volunteer Instructor Association Meeting.  RTO Neitzke set up and registered a new Firearms Safety Instructor Training Class in Hugo.  He taught Firearms Safety Instructor Training Classes in Lake City and Rosemount.  He started working on instructor background checks.  He also worked on firearms safety training materials.

Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week working on instructor backgrounds and revisions to HEFAS student and instructor manuals. 

NW RTO Jeff Halverson had a FAS instructor clinic in Outing, and set up a couple ATV clinics and assisted at the CO Academy with big game week.  Officer Halverson investigated noise complaint at state campground, contact was made and parties were put to bed.

RTO                                                               PHONE NUMBERS/E-MAIL:
NE RTO Vacant        
West Central RTO Frank Rezac                     320-552-3948   frank.rezac@state.mn.us
Rec Veh Coord Bruce Lawrence                    763-267-8534    bruce.lawrence@state.mn.us
Southern RTO Dan McBroom                        507-251-0041    daniel.mcbroom@state.mn.us
SW Metro RTO Kevin Neitzke                      651-463-3168    kevin.neitzke@state.mn.us
NW RTO Jeff Halverson                                218-894-3577    jeff.halverson@state.mn.us

Curriculum Specialist:  Vacant

Education Specialist:  Vacant

Curriculum Coordinator:  Vacant


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