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
CONSERVATION OFFICER REPORT
District 1 - Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on the Roseau River, Hayes Lake, and Lake of the Woods. Assistance was given to local law enforcement on an ATV complaint. Citations were issued to anglers on Lake of the Woods for angling with extra lines.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked boat and water safety, AIS, angling and ATV enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for illegal possession of grouse out of season, transporting fish fillets (walleye/sauger/northern) without a patch of skin and transporting uncountable fish fillets.
CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) assisted with a detail in District 3 and also spent time checking anglers on Lake of the Woods. A complaint of a man trading beer for fish at a public access was handled, as the man was suspected of having many more fish than allowed in possession.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports an incredibly busy week. Fishing activity was worked on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake. CO Prachar worked numerous AIS violations in Lake of the Woods County and was able to assist multiple agencies with everything from DUI arrests to terroristic disturbances. Enforcement action was taken on multiple alcohol violations, illegal off-highway motorcycle operation, and drain plug violations.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working AIS, as well as angling and boating activity on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes. Time was spent with an intern ride along and investigating a TIP call. A call was handled of a couple of bears which have been making entry to a garage in search of the homeowner’s garbage. Enforcement action taken for the week included over-limit of walleye, taking wild animals while privileges are suspended, boating safety equipment violations and angling license violations.
Baudette #2 -vacant.
Blackduck #2 - vacant.
Karlstad - vacant.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports assisting other COs with a work detail in Pope County. Time was also spent checking anglers, watercraft operators, and working on a commercial fishing presentation. ATV complaint areas were also checked. Violations included no angling license, failure to remove boat plug, and various watercraft related violations.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers, boaters and answered nuisance animal complaints.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked anglers and worked boat and water safety. Time was also spent checking ATV activity in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest and working in Itasca State Park. Several nuisance bear complaints were received.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting the USFW Refuge officers, educating anglers about AIS and contacting boaters and anglers.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) spent time on area waters checking angling and boating regulation compliance. Shore anglers were also checked with most having a few fish in the bucket. Area trails were monitored for ATV activity. Follow up was conducted in regards to a complaint of an individual keeping baby raccoons as pets. CO Warren also assisted local AIS inspectors with a complaint of a boater who did not want his boat inspected and other compliance checks.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring angling and ATV activity in the Moorhead station. A public waters complaint was investigated where a person used rocks to create a dam causing lake levels to rise. Annual DNR Culture of Respect training was attended with several other officers in Bagley. A work detail in District 3 was attended where search warrants were executed. Calls from the public included goose depredation on crops, ducklings without a mother, a fawn without a mother, and nuisance coyote questions.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on AIS activity. Time was spent following up on PW violations and complaint. Assistance was given with a search warrant in District 3.The Lake Detroiters Lake Association annual meeting was attended. WCA and APM cases were worked on.
District 3 - Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) made final arrangements for an ATV class and assisted with a commercial minnow case. Anglers and boaters were checked with good compliance with boating safety equipment. Richards was pleased to speak at the conclusion of a youth fishing event at Phelps Mill.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked boating and fishing enforcement throughout the week. Plautz assisted an area officer with a search warrant, followed up on nuisance bear and beaver complaints. Plautz worked with the county attorney’s office on previous cases and worked with TIP for the mounting of an illegally taken muskie.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement activity checking fishermen, boaters and working with other officers on a commercial minnow investigation. Additional time was spent handling calls on nuisance beaver, skunks and raccoon. Radio updates were completed in Detroit Lakes and district training was attended in Fergus Falls.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, ATVs and OHMs. Bait dealer inspections occurred throughout the week. Osborne received several injured animal calls. Most of the calls turned out to be nothing as the animals were fine.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) took several calls related to nuisance/problem/wounded animals. Several cases were made for fishing without licenses, littering, drug possession and expired watercraft registration. Numerous paddle boarders were contacted without lifejackets on board and given reminders to bring one with next time. Lawler responded to several violations from watercraft inspectors with boaters transporting aquatic vegetation and water.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports several calls about injured animals were received this past week. Baumbarger attended mandatory training and worked on commercial minnow enforcement.
Wheaton - vacant.
District 4 - Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) addressed more bear complaints, assisted other officers with violations and checked area special regulation lakes. Some commercial minnow complaints were received. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations, boat and water violations and ATV violations.
CO Samantha Hunter (Park Rapids) checked ATVs, boaters and fishermen. Officer Hunter assisted the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Department at an ATV fatal crash. CO Hunter investigated a complaint which ended up in an over limit of walleye.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) worked at the Wall of Shame trailer at the Wadena County Fair fielding questions and inquiries covering a multitude of topics.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports angling activity slowed while boating activity increased with the warm weather. Calls were received about nuisance baby raccoons, nuisance bear, nuisance feral pigs, and a concern about a legally set minnow trap. An Operation Dry Water shift was worked with good overall compliance. Enforcement action was taken for insufficient number of PFD’s on boat, ride on gunwale of boat, boat registration and AIS violations.
CO Colleen Adam (Rec Specialist) worked on several equipment maintenance issues, assisted with a search warrant, and patrolled area OHV trails.
Remer - vacant.
District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports fishing and boating activity were monitored on Rainy Lake and Kabetogama Lake. Operation Dry Water was worked over weekend with emphasis put on boat and water safety. People are reminded that navigational lights must be used and on after sunset. Enforcement action taken for week included over limits, no license in possession, fail to use navigational lights after sunset, excessive watercraft noise, operate PWC one hour before sunset, no current boat registration, and fail to remove drain plug from boat.
CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) spent the week focusing on angling and boating activity on Rainy Lake. Many recreational boaters were contacted during Operation Dry Water and seen to be enjoying their time on the water. Anglers are reporting a much slower bite and having to work extremely hard to put fish in the live well. CO Van Asch also spent time working at the U.S. Customs, Port of Entry in International Falls. A few nuisance animal calls were handled and several questions regarding angling on border waters were answered. Enforcement action included failure to remove drain plug, failure to affix registration decal, failure to transfer watercraft ownership, watercraft operation in excess of noise limits, operating a personal watercraft during restricted hours, no angling license in possession, and over limit of walleyes.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling, boating and state park enforcement and also worked Vermilion Lake fishing and boating activity. The officer was the first on the scene of a traffic accident where a wheel came off an SUV and struck a pickup head on. A state park ranger warned campers twice within four hours that they could not consume alcohol in the park. The officer dealt with them the third time with enforcement action that ended the problem. Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license, angling without a license in possession; consume alcohol in a state park, and a variety of boating and PWC violations.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked boating and angling on area lakes and found anglers to be having little success. Two separate law presentations were given to students at two ATV youth safety class, assistance was also provided for the test riding portion. Fredin gave a law and advanced bow hunter education to approximately 50 students at the Laurentian Environmental Center.
Cook - vacant.
Ray - vacant.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) focused patrol on boat and water enforcement over the weekend as a part of Operation Dry Water. Activity was very high and compliance was good overall. Violations included failure to have legal floatation device on a watercraft, failure to display watercraft registration, and operating a personal watercraft within 150 feet of a dock.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) did a BWCA patrol by canoe during the week. With the recent rains, he found two different types of campers. The happy campers who had proper tents and the campers with dampened spirits, clothing, and gear. Inland lake activity is down from past years. As surface temps on Lake Superior begin to rise for the summer, salmon where seen surfacing during the week. Enforcement action was taken for fishing and boating violations.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked Operation Dry Water on Lake Superior and checked anglers and commercial nets while on the big lake. The officer investigated an incident of theft of services at an area state park and is working with officers in another part of the state to locate the suspects. The officer also completed annual trainings, patrolled state forest campgrounds and handled questions regarding boat licenses and problem campers.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports finishing up a gross over limit investigation resulting in three non-resident anglers with 57 fish over the limit and seizure of their fishing boat. An Operation Dry Water shift was worked. Lakes in and out of the BWCA were patrolled throughout the week. Additional violations included angle with an extra line, angle without a license, slot walleye, unregistered watercraft, boating safety violations, and no license in possession.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity. Activity on Superior started picking up in the area with warmer temperatures. Many folks were out battling the mosquitoes and flies trying to catch fish in many inland lakes as well.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked boating and invasive species enforcement activity during the week. Good weather brought many anglers and boaters out on Lake Superior where fishing activity was fair to good. Enforcement action was taken for various license violations.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled for illegal ATV activity, checked anglers and boaters, and handled nuisance animal complaints. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV without certification.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, boating activity, patrolled campgrounds, checked for exotic species, and answered various wildlife calls. Violations included no firewood permit, fail to drain water related equipment, transport aquatic macrophytes, and PWA law violations.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) worked aquatic invasive species enforcement this past week. She also checked angling activity. She conducted an interview at the local radio station. This coming weekend will be busy for all recreationists, please be safe and have fun.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked anglers and water sport enthusiasts in the Grand Rapids area over the past week. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, operating a watercraft without enough PFDs or throwables, angling without a license, operating a watercraft after sunset without the proper lighting and failure to register a watercraft.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, ATVs, watercraft, state parks and campgrounds. He also handled boating and fishing complaints during the week.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working fishing, boating and ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for operating watercrafts without lights, ATV DUI and BUI that included a boat forfeiture.
CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV officer) checked areas with past ATV complaints. CO Velsvaag also checked anglers and boaters on area lakes and followed up on a complaint of illegal OHM use on the Mesabi Bike Trail.
District 8 - Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent much of the week working area lakes and rivers. A trapping complaint was handled and investigation is ongoing. An ATV complaint area was worked and he handled calls regarding nuisance animals.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to focus on fishing enforcement around the area, with a concentration on area waters with special regulations. ATV, OHMs, and AIS were also worked when encountered. Officer Duncan talked with a group of elementary age kids about the job of a Conservation Officer.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, boating, AIS, OHV and fire enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey received nuisance wildlife complaints and a nuisance beaver permit was issued. CO Humphrey worked Operation Dry Water with the Carlton County Sheriff’s Department and several enforcement contacts were made. CO Humphrey attended a funeral in the Twin Cities. No burning permit, fail to extinguish fire, unattended line, angling license, watercraft equipment, watercraft operation and OHV operation violations were encountered.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked kayaks on Island Lake where an enforcement action was taken for registration issues.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers on Lake Superior on one of the busiest weekends in years. Fine weather, calm winds, and good water temps for salmon prompted a lot of activity and a lot of sunburns. Anglers are reminded to keep their licenses with them when fishing. Assistance was given to a local agency with a suspicious vehicle call and training was attended with the US Coast Guard. Enforcement action taken for angling and boating violations
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent the weekend working area lakes in the evening looking for impaired watercraft operators as part of Operation Dry Water. No impaired operators were located, although PWC related issues, navigation lights, registration and angling violations were found. The CO also attended tactical boat operations recertification from the Coast Guard. He also completed follow-up on commercial violations, investigated a possible wolf attack on a horse and attended a funeral.
District 9 - Brainerd area
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, ATV, boating and invasive species enforcement during the week. Enforcement contacts included seven illegal length walleyes in one boat and an intoxicated personal watercraft operator. The fish were all released; the personal watercraft operator was not.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing counties for angling and boating activity. Officer McGowan worked the Whitefish Chain over the weekend and numerous boaters were out enjoying the warm weather. Enforcement action was taken for no lifejackets, no angling license, illegal boat exhaust, registration issues, slow no wake violations, and one boater was arrested for boating while intoxicated.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports focusing on patrol of area lakes for boating and fishing activity, and AIS compliance. Numerous contacts were made for miscellaneous boating equipment and registration violations, illegal length northern pike, and fishing without licenses.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) followed up on trespass issue, responded to a phone call of a possible abandoned fawn, and investigated a call of a raccoon stuck in a trap on private property. CO Peterson worked Operation Dry Water weekend on area lakes with the assistance of neighboring wardens, making several contacts on some busy lakes.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked boating enforcement and safety on area lakes. The Officer made contact with numerous anglers and safety equipment, licenses, and limits were inspected. Officer Guida spent dedicated time working on the water as part of the Operation Dry Water campaign.
District 10 - Mille Lacs area
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) attended a work detail on Big Sandy Lake. Anglers and boaters were checked for compliance. The lake was moderately busy. ATV activity was monitored on area trails as there were a good number of people out. Enforcement action was taken for illegal length walleye, no fire extinguishers on required boats, insufficient PFDs on a watercraft and utilizing a PWC during closed hours.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working Operation Dry Water over the weekend on Mille Lacs Lake and on a work detail on Big Sandy Lake. Lots of boaters were contacted over the weekend. Patrol was done on area state and county land for ATV, OHM and forestry activity. Calls regarding permits for car kill deer and a car kill fox were fielded and a call of a nuisance bear was investigated. Time was also spent checking fishermen out on Mille Lacs Lake where a few keeper walleyes were seen and some northern pike and small mouth bass were being caught. The Officer also gave a law and ethics presentation to a group of Forkhorn campers at the Long Lake Conservation Center. The kids learned about laws and ethical hunting practices pertaining to Bow Hunting. Aquatic Invasive species enforcement was done around the Malmo Station. Enforcement action for the week included various fishing and boating related law violations.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked Operation Dry Water over the weekend. Violations encountered were angling without a license, angling without a license in possession, no navigation lights, no PFDs and careless operation. One individual was arrested on a warrant. Other violations encountered throughout the week included failing to extinguish a permitted fire and illegal ATV operation.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked fishing, boating, and ATV activities with compliance found to be very good. One case of driving on road right of way with an ATV was followed up on and action taken. Operation Dry Water weekend found excellent compliance with recreational water users.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) worked lakes and concentrated on boat and water patrol during Operation Dry Water. Good weather and area fireworks displays kept lakes busy with boating activity. It was good to see a large number of kids wearing their life jackets while on the water. Those found wearing a life jacket was awarded a certificate for a free Dairy Queen treat. Enforcement action was taken for operating after dark without navigation lights, unregistered boats and insufficient PFDs. A few operators were also educated about unsafe boating and unsafe carrying of passengers.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent a majority of the week checking anglers and ATV activity in the Pine City area. He also answered questions regarding nuisance animals and issued nuisance beaver permits. CO Wynn spent the weekend working boating enforcement on Cross and Pokegama Lakes. CO Bret Grundmeier and CO Wynn worked the Pine City Freedom Fest Fireworks with approximately 100 boats on the water. Some light issues, registration issues, and safety equipment issues were addressed over the weekend.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area lakes and Mille Lacs Lake. Fishing remains steady with mainly smaller walleye being caught on Mille Lacs during the week and weekend. TIP complaints were addressed along with added patrol for Operation Dry Water. Enforcement action taken included on fishing and boating violations.
WREO Rob Haberman worked Operation Dry Water around the Mille Lacs area. Many boaters where out and catching some fish. WREO Haberman also followed up on ATV’s in a wetland call received from the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office. Over four people were cited for operating in a wetland. The violation is still being investigated with more charges to be filed for other individuals who were also partaking in the illegal activity. WREO Haberman also helped Baxter PD Officers capture and relocate some raccoons that were enjoying a Sunday stroll through the city.
District 11 - St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) took a couple different calls from passing motorists of an injured eagle along the side of the road. CO Kuske checked the eagle to find out it was a juvenile bald eagle that couldn’t fly yet. Fortunately the eagle was still being taken care of by its parents as they had dropped it a chicken and a squirrel. The nearby homeowner was also feeding the eagle. CO Kuske assisted the Little Falls PD with locating a suspect on a theft complaint. A commercial inspection was done on a local bait dealer and it was found that the business was selling bait without a minnow retailer license with enforcement action taken.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) ran into a group of parents at a gas station. They joked with the Officer, “Don’t come to our lake.” Later CO Kuske did go to “their” lake and found one of “their” kids illegally operating a jet ski. Enforcement action taken for allowing illegal juvenile operation and expired registration. CO Kuske received another claim for compensation when a wolf killed a mature beef cow at an area ranch. While on patrol a person was cited for having three young kids as passengers in a class 2 ATV, none of which were wearing helmets or seat belts. CO Kuske and CO Musatov assisted the Army’s 189th Infantry Brigade at Camp Ripley, providing safe boat coverage while troops conducted a training exercise on the Mississippi River. Assistance was provided to District 3 officers in executing a search warrant.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week monitoring boating and angling activity in the station. A dumping complaint was investigated. CO Silgjord also provided assistance to District 3 officers with a commercial investigation.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity in the area. The officer held a workcrew and assisted neighboring officers with an investigation. Phone calls concerning carp being dumped that were shot by bow fishermen were handled again.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, boaters and AIS. Thesing assisted the Albany ATV class on their riding day. Assistance was given to DNR Wildlife, and nuisance beaver issues were addressed.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers. CO Mies assisted a neighboring officer with an investigation. CO Mies worked on waters complaints with aquatic vegetation and lakeshore violations.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) worked with district COs, checking angling and watercraft activities. CO Friese completed EVOC recertification in Rochester. Open burning issues were handled in Sylvan Shores and Burtrum areas.
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working AIS enforcement. A wetland Cease and Desist Order was issued. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, no boat registration, and no PFDs. WREO Bertram also assisted a neighboring officer with search warrants.
St. Cloud - vacant.
District 12 - Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and ATVs. Several animal complaints were handled. Assisted the sheriff’s office with the recovery of a stolen watercraft.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a busy weekend on area lakes and rivers. Many boaters and fishermen were out with the nice weather. CO Langevin took part in the Operation Dry Water enforcement weekend. Fishing success was slow but a few nice fish were found. The State Parks in the area were also packed with campers, hikers and horseback riders. Violations included no PFD, no fishing license, no state park vehicle permit and no license in possession.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) worked Operation Dry Water over the weekend, checked anglers/boaters/PWC, and took complaints of nuisance bears. Officer Londgren also spoke at a Firearms Safety Class, and patrolled local Wildlife Management areas. Enforcement action was taken on: angling without a license, angling without a license in possession, PWC violations, PFD and Throwable violations, over limits of sunfish, no fire extinguisher, expired registration, and destroying aquatic vegetation.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen, boaters and invasive species. He took enforcement action on angling without a fishing license, angling without fishing license in possession, over limit of sunfish, PWC violations, no throw cushions, no fire extinguishers, expired boat registration, failure to display registration, transportation of aquatic macrophytes, failure to remove boat plug. He followed up on a litter complaint in the Sand Dunes State forest. He followed up on a TIP of a person possessing a gray fox without a permit with charges pending.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked angling and boating activity in the Wright County area. Numerous animal complaints were taken from raccoons, fox and coyotes coming into more populated city settings. Patrol was also done on the St. Croix River related to the new bridge going up in Stillwater. Assistance was given on to Washington County Sheriff’s Department on a recovery of a stolen boat.
Princeton - vacant.
District 13 - West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) checked anglers and boaters on area lakes and rivers. Access sites were worked for AIS violations. Several animal nuisance complaints were handled. Operation dry water was worked on Lake Waconia with CO Thephong Le. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, no angling license in possession, extra lines, no personal flotation device, no PWC sticker and riding on transom of watercraft.
CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) spent the week checking fishermen and boaters. CO Grewe attended a Cops N’ Kids fishing event in Brooklyn Park and participated in Operation Dry Water. Violations for the week included angling with extra lines and no lifejackets.
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) had a busy week in and around the Scott County area. Time was spent on AIS, angling and boating enforcement as well as preparing for the statewide Operation Dry Water weekend. Leuthardt saw steady angling and boating activity in Scott County with varying reports of fishing success. She worked with neighboring officers during Operation Dry Water on Lake Minnetonka and enforced many boating safety violations. Enforcement action was taken on failure to display valid boat registration, riding on the gunwales of a boat, wake violation, angling without a license, angling without license in possession, allowing illegal juvenile operation of a watercraft, angle with extra lines, boat navigation light violation and others. She also assisted fellow CO’s and Hennepin County Water Patrol with a victim of alcohol poisoning and other incidents during Operation Dry Water weekend.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishing and boating activities in the Mound station. He checked shore fishermen at King’s Plant and educated anglers on Asian carp and others fishing regulations. Officer Lee patrolled state park, state trail, and answered questions on firearm safety classes.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled his temporarily assigned stations of Fort Snelling State Park and Bloomington for angling, boating and trails usage. He responded to calls for taking/possessing an over limit of fish, netting fish, and a wild animal that appeared to be lost in the urban areas. He worked the Operation Dry Water with CO Walter on Lake Waconia and the officers took enforcement actions for lack of PFDs, illegal operation of a watercraft, failed to display a PWC decal, and no proof of boating certificate of a minor. He also completed a case that involved transportation of zebra mussel and three more cases were pending.
Bloomington - vacant.
Mound - vacant.
District 14 - East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reports working Operation Dry Water on the St. Croix River and area lakes. CO Arntzen continued checking anglers, watercraft users and doing AIS enforcement. He also handled TIP calls. Violations for the week included no fishing license, PFD violations, no navigational lights, careless operation of a watercraft and BWI.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked boating enforcement on the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers. He checked anglers around the Metro lakes and rivers and spent some time on AIS enforcement.
CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he responded to a complaint of an illegal fish trap on Tanners Lake. CO Johnson investigated a complaint of an individual hazing Canada geese by throwing smoke bombs at them. Enforcement action was taken. He also patrolled at Afton State Park.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working AIS and angling activity. WREO Block completed several media interviews regarding Operation Dry Water throughout the week and worked boating enforcement over the weekend. WREO Block also spent time closing out open wetland case files and performing equipment maintenance.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) worked AIS enforcement at area accesses finding good compliance. She worked various TIP calls including one that resulted in three individuals with 111 sunfish (51 over limit) and a snapping turtle out of season. She worked on four aquatic vegetation cases on White Bear Lake, handled nuisance animal calls and worked boating and fishing enforcement on area lakes.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and boating activity. CO Salzer also patrolled Forest Lake for boating activity. Several violations were detected and enforcement action was taken.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring boaters and anglers throughout Dakota and Washington counties. He responded to multiple TIP calls and calls from the public with general questions. AIS enforcement was performed in the area as well. Enforcement action for the week included expired boat registration, fail to remove drain plug for transport and illegal length fish.
Eagan - vacant.
Metro Officer - vacant.
District 15 - Marshall area
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) was contacted on a possible WCA violation in Lac Qui Parle County. Fishermen and AIS water related equipment was checked. Training and a meeting were attended in St. Paul.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) conducted his weekly radio show on KLOH Radio. Boating enforcement was a priority this past weekend with Operation Dry Water. Problems addressed were with PWC too close to other boaters and shorelines. Enforcement action was taken on 150 feet from shore, throwables, and riding on gunwales.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked AIS, angling, boating, and OHV activity during the week. Illegal angling and turtle harvesting calls were taken. Anglers are having success on local lakes.
Benson - vacant.
Madison - vacant.
Redwood Falls - vacant.
Worthington - vacant.
District 16 - New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked anglers, boaters, and checked for compliance with AIS laws. He talked about laws and ethics at a Bowhunter Safety Class. He followed up on concerns about wetland and aquatic vegetation violations.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked angling, boating and AIS enforcement activity. Boating violations are still being issues with operators forgetting the safety aspect of boating with remembering legal PFDs and other laws. A site visit was conducted with the request of the Division of Waters for an irrigation system. Angling activity still remains strong. Updates were installed to enforcement vehicles.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked fishing, boat and water enforcement and ATV enforcement. Gruhlke participated in Operation Dry Water throughout the weekend. He also completed equipment maintenance and a weekly radio program discussing area activity, PWC law and the youth PFD law.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) attended a local business safety fair. He also worked an Operation Dry Water detail focused on boating while intoxicated enforcement. CO Nelson worked boating, angling, AIS, public waters and ATV enforcement the rest of the week.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) took a report of a mallard nest in a road ditch that had been mowed over. Three of the ducklings were rescued along with four eggs. The eggs hatched overnight with the help of a heat lamp. All the ducklings were brought to a rehabilitation facility. The DNR recommends waiting to mow ditch areas until after August 1st to allow for nesting habitat. Also, a report of possible big and small game trespassing and poaching was taken.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time during the week sitting at different lake accesses checking boaters as they came in to make sure they were pulling the plug and not transporting water or weeds. A call was taken about an injured barred owl. CO Klehr responded and picked up the juvenile barred owl and it was taken to the Raptor Center. Time was also spent out on the water working Operation Dry Water.
Willmar #1 - vacant.
Windom - vacant.
District 17 - Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked angling and boating activity. A TV interview was done regarding Operation Dry Water. CO Howe also assisted with the “Cops ‘n Bobbers” youth fishing program.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked areas for AIS violations. Operation Dry Water was worked with neighboring officers. ATV activity was monitored. The officer also reports anglers are doing well on area waters.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers on area lakes and rivers. AIS and boating activity were also monitored. Presentations were given to youths about boating and water safety in Owatonna and Medford. Wildlife management area activities were monitored along with ATV activity.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, boating, and recreational vehicle enforcement . A number of complaints were dealt with. Time was spent working AIS enforcement at public access sites as well as working boat and water enforcement during the Operation Dry Water weekend.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week checking anglers, ATV operators, and working AIS enforcement. Time was also spent on boating and water safety for Operation Dry Water. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.
Albert Lea - vacant.
Mankato #1 - vacant.
District 18 - Rochester area
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking ATV, watercraft operators, and anglers. Complaints of sick or injured animals were taken and questions from the public were answered. Enforcement action was taken for watercraft violations.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week and weekend checking angling activity. Time was also spent assisting a WI Warden with a ginseng case and completing some online training. Some nuisance bear complaints were handled and time was also spent reviewing the fall synopsis. Some fishing violations were detected.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports spending the week checking fishing and ATVs. He attended a rattlesnake response training for new responders. There were some rattlesnake calls in the area, but two of the three calls were not rattlesnakes. Turtles continue to try to get to the other side of the road.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and boaters during the week. Fishing success was mixed, with some doing ok. Heyn also attended training and did work on other cases.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working another busy week on the big river with this past weekend being one of the busiest so far this summer. Fishing on the Mississippi has fallen into the summer pattern with some fishermen having luck while other struggle. Some nice bluegills, catfish, crappies, and walleye were found in a few spots along with smaller fish checked. Enforcement action included undersize bass and walleye as well as license, registration, and equipment violations.
Rochester #2 - vacant.
Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew sketch mapping in North Dakota for Forest Assessment which was contracted by North Dakota Forestry. Heineman also flew floatplane and instrument training.
NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) continues being trained in the airplanes, and training one of the pilots to fly helicopters.
CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) (Bemidji) reports flying multiple creel survey flights over Lake Vermilion last week. Wolf telemetry was flown near Red Lake, as well as in the Remer Area. A fisher telemetry flight was conducted, as was refresher seaplane training.
CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) continues to fly for the forestry sketch mapping project and conducted two training flights.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week with numerous training flights. Training flights for fixed wing and floats was given. Jensen also received night ops training and instrument proficiency flights. A photo flight was performed for an ongoing dock issue in Carver County.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO reports are now placed within district reports.
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 Adult Home Study or On-Line course information is 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 Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions. Adult Snowmobile Safety Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.
Youth ATV Courses (12 to 15 years old) class postings for around the state are posted on the web site at www.mndnr.gov. Students are reminded that they must complete the CD portion of the course before attending the classroom portion of the course. Youth/Adult ATV Safety Training Course CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR
Reminder---anyone born after December 31st, 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 31st, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota, must possess a snowmobile certificate. Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can attend the traditional youth course. Those 16 or older can take the at home CD course.
Reminder---Anyone born after July 1st, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota, must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training CD course. Persons under age 16 must complete the ATV CD Course and riding component before riding on public lands. Youth/Adult ATV Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.
SCHEDULED INSTRUCTOR TRAINING SESSIONS
If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador or one of the Advanced Hunter programs, contact your local Conservation Officer or Regional Safety Training officer. Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR Website.
NE RTO Shelly Patten held a makeup qualification shoot in Deer River. Patten also gave an ATV safety briefing to the Mining & Outdoor Recreation Policy Committee of the Minnesota House of Representatives at the Gilbert OHV Recreation Area. Patten spent time reviewing ATV online second draft for final review.
West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports attending a volunteer instructor appreciation banquet in Evansville and planning for upcoming Hunter Education/Firearms Safety Instructor certification training. During the week he also updated and submitted Use of Force/Defensive Tactics Lesson plans for Academy 16 and checked/maintained training equipment that will be used in upcoming officer in-service training. Saturday, Officer Rezac reports assisting St. Cloud Police Department with a subject fishing in a boat within the posted 300 foot limit of the St. Cloud State Dam. Enforcement action Saturday was also taken for angling without a license and warrant issues.
SW Metro Kevin Neitzke conducted a volunteer firearms safety instructor clinic in Rosemount. He worked on firearms safety instructor lesson plans. RTO Neitzke returned calls and emails regarding firearms safety and snowmobile safety instructor clinics. He started work on instructor background checks. He also started working on Use of Force instructor training materials.
Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week assisting with upgrades to the Black Bear Clinic PowerPoint. Time was also spent at computer training and his truck was retro-fitted for a new computer.
RTO PHONE NUMBERS/E-MAIL:
NE RTO Shelly Patten 218-244-8051
West Central RTO Frank Rezac 320-230-8549 email@example.com
NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence 651-674-6184 firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern RTO Dan McBroom 507-251-0041 email@example.com
NW RTO Jon Paurus 218-298-4000 firstname.lastname@example.org
SW Metro Kevin Neitzke 651-463-3168 email@example.com
Curriculum Specialist: Vacant
Education Specialist: Vacant
Curriculum Coordinator: Vacant