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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) checked angling activity on Lake of the Woods, Hayes Lake, and the Roseau River.  Emergency Vehicle Operation training was attended at Camp Ripley.  Enforcement action was taken on an angler using an extra line near Warroad, and a boat was encountered by Little Oak Island with an over limit of walleyes, illegal length walleyes, and dressed, immeasurable walleye fillets that were obviously from large, illegal length fish.  Assistance was also given to Ontario Game Wardens with an over limit at the Northwest Angle.

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked boat and water safety, AIS, angling and ATV enforcement. There have been a number of encounters with juveniles illegally operating ATVs and OHMs in and around Warroad as of recent. Parents should be aware that they are the responsible party when allowing their children to operate these vehicles, not knowing the rules and regulations pertaining to these activities could result in enforcement action being taken. Wild blueberries are ripe for the picking and Beltrami Island State Forest seems to be producing an abundance of them, bring a bucket and some bug spray. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, operating an ATV without headlights, and allow illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports a warm week of activity near Lake of the Woods.  The warm weather has made fishing difficult near Baudette, but the persistent anglers willing to travel have been able to fill limits near the North West Angle.  Officer Prachar took enforcement action of multiple ATV violations and open burning violations.  Remember that even though it is summer and the grass is green you do need a burning permit and need to follow the instructions described on it.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) worked a TIP complaint with CO Hutchins where an over limit of Lake of the Woods walleye was seized.  The law and ethics portion of the Warren ATV Safety Class was taught, assistance was given to the State Patrol with an intoxicated driver, and the Red River was patrolled. Enforcement action for the week included angle with extra line, angle without license, over limit of walleye, ATV registration violations, and operate ATV on public highway.


CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports monitoring ATV activity, boater AIS compliance, angler and boating activity on special regulation lakes throughout the week.  Time was spent handling miscellaneous wildlife calls, investigating a TIP call and preparation and planning for an upcoming FAS class.  Enforcement action for the week included boat registration and angling license violations.  

Thief River Falls #2 Vacant

Baudette #2 - vacant.

Blackduck #2 - vacant.

Karlstad - vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area


CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports attending a training session at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent checking anglers and watercraft operators.  A fish over-limit case was worked.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) monitored fires, angling, boating, ATV and off road vehicles activity.  He attended mandated emergency vehicle operation training, had multiple requests for special beaver permits and responded to an area where chemical was sprayed on vegetation near the water.  A poaching TIP turned out to be taking a car kill without a permit.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored ATV activity in the area.  Time was spent checking anglers and boaters.  Angling activity has slowed some with the warmer weather.  A meeting was attended at Camp Ripley regarding scenario days for the ongoing academy.  Boaters were checked for AIS compliance.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji #2) worked angling and ATV activity in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest. Time was spent assisting another officer with illegal leech trapping activity. A complaint was received and investigated regarding the illegal removal of aquatic vegetation.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting with the recertification of officers in Emergency Vehicle Operations or EVOC.  A camper was concerned that he possibly had a bear in the campground and asked if CO Vinton could look at the evidence the suspected bear left.  The camper was provided with information about keeping a bear wise camp. An angler called CO Vinton about a possible state record bluegill.  CO Vinton provided the process needed to submit the possible record catch.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked ATV enforcement, litter and checked anglers/boaters. Violations of extra lines and operating an ATV on a closed trail were found.  Miscellaneous wildlife calls and leech trapping complaints were also worked.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week working fishermen and boaters.  Time was also spent working on shoreline and aquatic plant removal issues.  An ATV complaint was also investigated.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked ATV and off road vehicle activity on area trails and roads.  Time was spent working angling and boating activity.  CO Warren monitored AIS regulation compliance with very good compliance rates.  Follow up was conducted in regards to a small bear which had taken a cooler from an AIS inspector at a public access.  CO Warren answered AIS questions and responded to reports of an injured loon, an injured bald eagle, swim raft without required reflective material, and underage operation of a boat. 

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring angling, boat and water safety, and invasive species enforcement. The officer also followed up on an ongoing wetland complaint and a public waters complaint on Lake Ida. A complaint at Silver Lake was addressed where individuals camped, had a fire and parked in the middle of the access. Several boats and trailers were observed with large amounts of aquatic vegetation dangling from them on the roadway. It is important everyone takes the time to prevent the spread of AIS. A complaint was also addressed where an individual was reported to be operating a watercraft in an unsafe manner. Enforcement action was taken for transporting aquatic vegetation, failure to remove drain plug, camping at a public access, angling with extra lines, child under 10 without a life jacket, unsafe boating, and numerous other boat and water safety related violations.
WREO Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on AIS law compliance.  Time was spent investigating possible PW, WCA and APM violations. A meeting was attended in Bemidji.  A complaint of a calf kill was investigated by Bagley.  Fishermen and boaters were checked with a neighboring officer.  An APO case was opened and investigation began on usage history of the site.

District 3 - Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) concentrated efforts on angling, PWC, watercraft, and access violations.  Overall compliance for boat safety was good with a few minor issues addressed.  A complaint of tubers on the Ottertail River blocking boaters from launching, parking, and consuming alcoholic beverages at the access was taken.  Common sense and courtesy don’t seem to be qualities of everyone with future actions planned to address an ongoing problem.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked fishing, boating and AIS enforcement throughout the week. Bear complaints were handled and a possible wolf depredation case was investigated where a cow was attacked. Nuisance beaver issues were dealt with as well as miscellaneous wildlife animal issues handled. PWC complaints and aquatic vegetation issues were also addressed.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen, boaters and conducted AIS enforcement.  Additional time was spent working on water violation complaints.   Department EVOC training was attended and time was spent on online computer classes.  PWC’s and ATV enforcement was also worked.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked boaters, fishermen, and ATV’s.  Officer Osborne responded to a couple of complaints of PWC operation on area lakes.  PFD violations were the highest occurring violation of the week with three citations issued for not enough life jackets including two people not wearing life jackets while on PWC’s. The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office was assisted with a complaint on West Battle Lake of a loud party on one of the sand flats on the lake.  A boat owner was asked to turn down the music and he complied. 
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked area lakes checking boaters and anglers.  Fishing without licenses continues to be a common violation along with multiple extra line cases made as well.  One paddleboat operator was reminded to get his boat registered since he had bolted an electric trolling motor to it, now making it a motorboat. Paddle boarders continue to be reminded of PFD and registration laws.  Time was spent at Camp Ripley preparing for scenario evaluating at the academy as well as setting up multiple FAS classes for the month of August.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts this week on anglers, boaters and AIS law compliance.  CO’s Anderson and Baumbarger had several work crews on Lake Minnewaska during Waterama Weekend.  A call was received and investigated regarding a complaint about someone dumping debris on a WMA in Stevens County.  Time was spent reviewing, issuing and mailing interstate minnow transportation permits.   A new vehicle office computer system was installed and calls were fielded from the public about firearms safety classes/requirements and fishing questions.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports good weather for the annual Waterama Festival on Lake Minnewaska this past weekend brought out a lot of boaters and fishermen.  CO’s Baumbarger and Anderson worked the event Friday thru Sunday and found that the large majority of fishermen and boaters were in compliance with the laws.  Other enforcement efforts included monitoring AIS compliance, and checking ATV operators.  Additional time was spent assisting the Pope County Sheriff’s office with an unmanned boat adrift.
Wheaton - vacant.

District 4 - Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) removed approximately 200 square feet of carpet from the bottom of an area lake. The carpet had been placed to kill the plants near the homeowner’s dock.  Issues regarding vehicle forfeiture from a hunting while intoxicated case from last fall were addressed and an administrative subpoena was issued.  Officer Parthun assisted with traffic control along a state highway after a hay baler started a large field on fire. Commercial trapping, ATV, boating, PWC and angling enforcement was completed.  Enforcement action was taken for illegal removal of aquatic vegetation, numerous watercraft equipment violations, PWC violations and no license in possession.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) spoke with several elementary aged students during a summer program at a local school about wildlife. Assistance was provided to local law enforcement regarding a case of a building being shot with a rifle.  Also investigated was a water appropriation case to a landowner pumping excessive amounts of water without a permit.  A cease and desist order was issued to the owner.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked ATV’s, anglers, boaters, and AIS.  Calls were received about an injured eagle.  Emergency vehicle operations training was attended.  Enforcement action was taken for angle with extra line, permit illegal ATV use by juvenile, no helmet on ATV, no ATV safety certificate, too many passengers on ATV, and AIS violations.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, ATV, and boating activity.   Angling success remains poor.  Warm weather brought out a high amount of boating traffic.  CO Broughten fielded calls of an aquatic plant complaint, nuisance beaver, and an injured animal.  CO Broughten also attended training at Camp Ripley.  Enforcement action included no angling license in possession, operating ATV on roadway, too many passengers on ATV, and operate PWC at greater than no wake within 150ft of a dock.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) assisted MN PCA on an investigation on electronic disposal violation, also worked boaters and fishermen.  Officer Halverson attended EVOC training at Camp Ripley.
CO Colleen Adam (Rec Specialist) spent time updating training materials, preparing court reports, evaluating trail and sign damage, assisted on county calls, and patrolled area forest trails.  Action taken on youth without helmets (regardless of the hot weather helmets are required until children turn 18), operate ATV on public highway, too many passengers on ATV, failure to display valid ATV registration numbers and decals, fishing without a license, removal of aquatic vegetation without a permit and operate PWC before 9:30 am.
Remer - vacant.

Walker – vacant.

District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports most of the week was spent training fellow officers in Emergency Vehicle Operations at Camp Ripley.  Fishing and boat activity on Rainy Lake has increased with nice weather.  Several animal complaints were also handled over week.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (International Falls) reports assisting the International Falls Area Wildlife Division with a depredation investigation.  Time was also spent monitoring angling and boating activity on Kabetogama and Rainy Lake.  Fishing is still yielding poor results and due to the high temperatures over the weekend, anglers opted for more recreational activities.  Enforcement action taken for no angling license in possession and operate motor boat without watercraft permit.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports little angling activity observed. Heat and humidity kept outdoor activities to a minimum.  Public access monitoring is on-going, forest roads were checked, and equipment work continues.  The fall hunting questions have started with questions regarding the upcoming deer season.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) Officer made a traffic stop on a vehicle that turned out to have just been stolen.  The occupant was arrested and turned over to Lake County Sheriff’s Department.  Officer Hopkins arrested one boater for DUI on Lake Vermilion, took a complaint of trailers and equipment being left at a public landing, and investigated a complaint of illegal camping on a road right away.  Officer Hopkins also assisted a camper on Lake Vermilion with first aid for a cut on his foot.  Numerous contacts were made on anglers and boaters over the week, and more enforcement action was taken on loud boats.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, ATV’s, state park enforcement, gave a boat safety presentation at the state park, and taught species identification at the Conservation Officer Academy at Camp Ripley.  On his way back from Camp Ripley, the officer dealt with an employee of a resort removing a large amount of aquatic plants from the shoreline without a permit, and two ATV’s on the highway with multiple violations.  A PWC was going about 5 times faster than allowed within 150’ of shore on a stretch of river.  The operator turned out to be a 72 year old woman giving a ride to a juvenile.  Enforcement action for the week consisted of angling without a license, angling without a license in possession; remove aquatic vegetation without a permit, and numerous boating, PWC and ATV violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at an Advanced Hunter and Bow hunter education class at the Laurentian Environmental Learning Center in Britt. Angling activity has slowed considerably on Virginia area lakes with few fish being caught. Of those angling, two people tried to use the excuse that they didn’t think they needed an angling license if they weren’t going to keep any fish. The excuse didn’t work and citations were issued. CO Frericks reminds people that an angling license is significantly cheaper than a citation for angling without a license. Most people on the water have been using it as a means of cooling off. ATV and OHM activity remains steady.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) received notice that someone was concerned about abuse of turtles at the Hoyt Lakes Water Carnival Turtle races, past You Tube videos and event organizers showed this to be an unfounded concern.  Officer Fredin worked BWCA Trout Lake with CO Hopkin’s and assisted campers who ran out of gas by towing them to the portage. 

Cook - vacant.

Ray - vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports boating activity was way up this week as people took advantage of the hot dry weather. Although many anglers were checked very few had anything to show for their effort. Violations included angling without a license, fail to display watercraft registration, and no floatation device on watercraft.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked fishing enforcement throughout the week and found fishermen everywhere having a hard time catching fish.  The Blueberry Arts Festival brought a lot of people to the area and the sunny warm weather made for a lot of recreational activity.  Remember to register your canoe.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked anglers on Lake Superior and on inland lakes.  The Superior fishing has been anything but as colder water temps have kept the salmon away and the lake trout deep.  The deeper trout have also had a case of lock jaw. 

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) completed required Emergency Vehicle Operations Course at Camp Ripley.  The officer continued to received nuisance bear calls, including a return of the outhouse raiding bear; a booby-trapped building did little to deter the bear and hopefully the ripening berries will give it something else to pick through.  Officer Manning also spent time patrolling BWCA lakes and portages as well as other inland lakes.  One gentleman checked as he left the BWCA commented that he was getting used to seeing the officer as he has been checked in several locations, from various vehicles, throughout this summer.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily angling and boating enforcement throughout the week.  Fishing success was very slow on most lakes, and water temperatures are very warm.  Enforcement action included illegal slot length walleye, angle with an extra line, possession of marijuana, PFD violations, several unregistered watercraft, no license in possession, and fail to extinguish a campfire.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area inland lakes this week.  Warm weather and bugs are ruling the days right now.  ATV trails were worked with minimal activity during the week, but the trails are in great shape.  Time was also spent on Lake Superior where the activity is picking up. CO Schottenbauer found most needed licenses and safety equipment.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) monitored area angling and ATV activity. Anglers were checked on inland lakes where the bite has slowed down. ATV trails were worked with area officers.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and ATV activity during the week. Fishing continues to be slow with very few fish being caught. Officer Murray responded to an accident over the weekend of a man thrown from his bicycle in Split Rock State Park. The man sustained possible back and neck injuries and was evacuated from the park to a nearby hospital.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, boating activity, patrolled campgrounds, checked for exotic species, worked ATV activity, and worked commercial enforcement. Violations included ATV DUI, operate ATV on county roads, equipment violations, careless operation, speed, and traffic.  Officer Hansen also arrested a man for an outstanding warrant, and a woman for a probation violation.  He also attended EVOC training and received his new tablet. 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, attended training in St. Paul for the new tablet, instructed EVOC at Camp Ripley, and assisted the county with a search warrant.  The area walleye bite was up this week. Enforcement action was taken for OHV registration issues.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATV’s, state parks and campgrounds.  He also attended a training session during the week.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working fishing, boating and ATV activity.  Officer Wichmann helped a neighboring officer with an ATV DUI and assisted a couple days with training at Camp Ripley.

CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV Officer) followed up on ATV and OHM complaint areas.  He also took several calls on watercraft operation requirements and nuisance animals.  CO Velsvaag checked anglers but did not see much for success.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent the week participating in a watercraft operator’s training course in the Duluth Harbor.  The officer also handled nuisance animal complaints in the area.  

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) attended Emergency Vehicle Operations training at Camp Ripley this past week. Time was also spent on area lakes checking recreational boaters and anglers. No life jackets, angling without a license, angling with extra lines, no display of registration, and minors in possession of alcohol were a few of the violations found.  An injured Blue Heron was captured and brought to a local wildlife rehabber.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a boating operator’s course in the Duluth Superior area.  Follow up was conducted on a wetland case from earlier this summer where the work has yet to be completed to fix the violation. Complaints of wolves taking cattle were investigated and a few nuisance beaver permits were issued to help remove beaver that were causing quite a bit of damage.  Patrol in the area for ATVs produced enforcement action for operating ATVs on a county road, no safety certificate, and registration violations. Extra patrols were done at an area state park that was having some problems with vandalism and damage to property.  Extra patrol was also done at an area public access where complaints from boaters were investigated and several vehicles were found to be parked in areas where they were not allowed to be parked.

CO Michael Scott (NE Region Water Resource Enforcement Officer) checked anglers on area lakes and rivers. Fishing is slowing down due to warm weather but some folks are still doing well on crappies and bluegills in the Duluth Area. Anglers were checked on the North Shore to Tofte area. Fishing is slow with a few reports of Coho’s still being caught. Enforcement action was taken for transporting boat with drain plug in as well as no license in possession.  A report of a boat that was brought to an area lake with zebra mussels attached was investigated. The Watercraft inspector who caught the vessel denied access and the owner cleaned the boat and was later allowed access to an area lake that already has zebra mussels in it. Several Wetland Cases were investigated by area officers.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Marine Unit) attended boat operation training during the week in the Duluth-Superior harbor along with several different agencies.  Officer Olson fielded bear hunting questions and nuisance complaints.

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked boaters on the big lake and the St Louis River.  Paddle boarders are reminded that they too are watercraft and required to have on board a PFD for each occupant.  NASBLA training was attended in the harbor with officers from Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Commercial violations were checked.  Enforcement action was taken for commercial, boating, and angling violations.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) instructed EVOC during the week at Camp Ripley.  He worked ATV, AIS, boating, commercial, and angling enforcement throughout the week.  Officer Ter Meer took calls on ATV violations and assisted other agencies with calls.  Some equipment maintenance was also performed.  Enforcement action was taken for commercial violations.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) continued follow up on an AMA trespass case, checked anglers and boaters on area lakes and responded to a wolf depredation where a large calf was taken down within 100 yards of the farmer’s residence.  CO Peterson also handled a complaint of a loon that was tangled in fishing line and a call of a lakeshore owner pulling wild rice out, enforcement action was taken. 
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) spent time assisting with training at Camp Ripley for the new academy class.  Time was also spent assisting with training emergency vehicle operation to the current officers on the division.  CO McGowan also investigated several TIP calls. 
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) reports that amongst the normal activities he also encountered a level 3 sex offender violating probation by visiting campsites with children in a state recreation area, a call of an exotic turtle found crossing a local road, and a landowner that was taking trees blown down in the recent storm out into the middle of the lake and leaving them there to get rid of them.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) presented laws to a MDHA Forkhorn Camp at Long Lake Conservation Center. A garbage burning complaint was handled and training was attended. Boating and angling enforcement was also worked.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked boating activity including a lot of people keeping cool with PWCs, water skis, and tubes.  Complaints were addressed regarding late operation and indecent exposure.  A lot of people were on Mille Lacs, several of them had issues getting their front and boat lights to work in unison, even more of them had questions regarding the pending closure of walleye season.  Officer Verkuilen also assisted with a security detail, responded to an ATV complaint, and processed a nuisance bear that was attempted to grab a goat for its fast-food breakfast.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) responded to a water emergency on Oak Lake along with Pine County deputies. A boat with five people on board was towing a tube and had capsized.  No one was injured however the boat operator was arrested for 3rd degree DWI.  Officer Speldrich assisted the Sheriff’s Department with two domestics over the weekend.  She also worked a plethora of ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for expired registration, under 18 without helmets, operating in prohibited areas, operating a Class 1 on roadway, no safety certificates, youth operating with passengers, and parent allowing illegal operation.  The majority of the violations were made by juvenile operators. One juvenile operator attempted to give a false date of birth.  
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked fisherman, ATV activity, and investigated a water quality situation.   Equipment items were also addressed.  Officer Starr noted a recent surge with mosquito populations, which is hampering some outdoor activities.  ATV users are reminded to stay on the marked trails to avoid trespass issues.  Officer Starr also met with Mille Lacs WMA staff about upcoming projects and possible enforcement needs.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent some time patrolling ATV complaint areas and took enforcement action for operating unregistered ATVs, allowing illegal operation by a juvenile and allowing juveniles to ride without a helmet.  Firearm safety and DNR laws were presented to a group of about 20 youth and adults that spent the week completing their firearm safety course.  Numerous wild animal complaints were dealt with that included black bear damaging property, injured deer, orphaned fawns and harassment by wolves.  A wolf complaint was taken that involved an adult wolf harassing livestock and hanging around the back yard of a residence where children were playing.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week taking calls on nuisance and sick animals.  He spent time on Cross Lake checking anglers, checked anglers on the Snake River, and spent time checking ATV complaint areas.  CO Wynn assisted Pine County Deputies with searching for burglary suspects and several domestic incidents over the weekend. 
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled state forest and WMA’s during the week.  A party had set up camp in a WMA thinking he was on state forest land.  A variety of complaints ranging from people urinating off a pontoon boat to a bear in the back yard were handled. Fishing remains steady on Mille Lacs with mainly smaller walleye being caught along with small mouth bass and northern pike.  Officer Croatt assisted a neighboring officer with transporting a baby loon to Garrison Animal Hospital for rehab. 
WREO Robert Haberman worked AIS enforcement around his assigned work area. WREO Haberman helped with EVOC training of current officers at Camp Ripley this week. WREO Haberman also continued to work on public water cases in his assigned work area.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) completed requested training.  The officer also fielded calls concerning a coyote, goose and a loon.  The officer took care of necessary administrative tasks.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) assisted the Morrison County Solid Waste office with a site inspection of a residence that had problems with storing household garbage on their property and where they were burning prohibited materials in a pile behind the house.  CO Kuske responded to a call of people trespassing on private property to blow up a beaver dam.  Recreationists are reminded to pay attention to signs when parking at public accesses.  One group decided to illegally park in a handicap parking spot and next to the truck was the sign that read “No alcohol allowed”.  The violators where asked to read the sign while they had their beers in their hands and when the driver was asked if they here handicapped their reply was, “my bad”.
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working AIS in Pope and Stearns counties.  Wetland restoration orders were served in Morrison and Chisago counties.  Enforcement action was taken this week for AIS violations, insufficient boat safety equipment, and failing to tend snapping turtle trap. 
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked AIS, anglers, and boaters.  A TIP call was investigated which resulted in an over limit of northern pike.  An injured loon was caught and transported to a rehab facility in Garrison.  Enforcement action for the week included over limit, no angling license, drive PWC after hours, and various boating equipment violations.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) found Class 2 ATVs operating on public highways in the lane of traffic as if they were a car instead being on the shoulder where the law requires them to be operated. Several nuisance bear reports were received and authorization to shoot a bear that has been harassing cattle was given to a rancher. CO Kuske attended emergency vehicle operation training.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) did site inspections and continued investigations for possible Waters, WCA, and APM violations.  Anglers and watercraft were checked.  OHV activity was monitored.  Nuisance beaver activity was addressed.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers this week. CO Mies worked on several aquatic plant complaints along with shore line violations. CO Mies attended EVOC training this week.
St. Cloud - vacant.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked boaters, anglers, and worked aquatic vegetation/shoreline issues. Calls were handled for a trespass/shooting complaint and nuisance animals. Officer Musatov attended EVOC training at Ripley and assisted the St Cloud Police Dept. with a missing 6 year old as well.

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fisherman and boaters on area lakes and rivers. He took enforcement action on a number of violations. Officer Sladek assisted Wildlife with a number of nuisance animal complaints in Elk River and Big Lake and delivered propane cannons for a nuisance deer problem. He also followed up on a loon and owl call. Officer Sladek checked accesses for any invasive species violations; continues a litter investigation in the Sand Dunes State forest, charges pending; and assisted Sherburne County Deputies with a vehicle accident.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) attended a meeting and instructions related to the Academy at Camp Ripley. Boating and angling activity was also conducted this week with violations for angling with extra lines, angling without a license, and AIS violations.   Several injured or abandon wildlife calls were also followed up on.

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports working the laser shot booth at a USSA youth event.  The Forest Lake Sportsman’s Club hosted a youth day for disabled and ill children.  The children and their families had the chance to shoot archery equipment, rifles, shotguns and the laser shot booth.  CO Langevin also assisted the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office with a possible drowning on the Sunrise River.  The victim was pulled from the river and was conscious when transported by paramedics. 

Princeton - vacant.

District 13 - West Metro area

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked boat and water safety checks on Lake Minnetonka. Boaters were checked for AIS violations and fish on special regulation lakes. Animal nuisance calls were handled.

CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) spent the week checking boaters and anglers.  CO Grewe followed up with complaints received throughout the week including a possible wetland violation and nuisance animal complaints.   Violations include ginseng reporting issues, no lifejackets and no fishing license.

CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) had a busy week in and around Scott County. She attended a mentor dinner with Academy 16 cadets.  She also participated in a multi-agency Safety Training Day in Prior Lake with law enforcement groups from Prior Lake, Savage and the Scott County Sheriff’s Office. Officer Leuthardt responded to nuisance animals calls around Scott County and provided a ride along opportunity to a DNR employee. Enforcement action was taken for riding on the gunwales of a boat, fail to have legal life saving device aboard a watercraft, fail to display valid registration, angle without a license, parking in a closed area, no state park permit, and AIS violations.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked boating and fishing activities in the Mound station.  He attended EVOC training at Camp Ripley and continued to follow up with zebra mussel transport violations.  Officer Lee did some equipment maintenance and returned phone calls regarding firearm safety classes in the Hmong community.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) attended Emergency Vehicle Operations training at Camp Ripley. He patrolled assigned stations for angling, boating and AIS activities. He provided a ride along for a DNR employee that is interested in a law enforcement career. Officer Le responded to calls for service including several young geese that were trapped. He took enforcement action for fail to remove drain plug and no vehicle permit while in State Park.

Bloomington - vacant.

Mound - vacant.

District 14 - East Metro area

Conservation Officer Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for boating activity. CO Salzer investigated a truck that was stuck in a restricted area at Carlos Avery WMA. CO Salzer would like to remind the public that Carlos Avery WMA is closed from 10 pm to 4 am.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) worked AIS enforcement at area accesses finding pretty good compliance. She finished working on a couple aquatic vegetation cases in Ramsey County, worked ATV enforcement in Anoka County, and boating and fishing enforcement on area lakes. CO Kruse handled various TIP calls, worked on a ginseng case and handled calls of injured or nuisance animals.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week doing boating and fishing enforcement.  CO Arntzen investigated several shoreline violations and responded to a TIP call of a deer that was shot.  He also patrolled public accesses for AIS violations and issued a beaver permit.  Violations for the week included failure to remove drain plug, no license in possession, and registration issues.

CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he checked anglers and boaters during the week. He also conducted AIS checks. CO Johnson took a call about an injured Broad-Winged Hawk in Circle Pines. He completed EVOC training at Camp Ripley. CO Johnson patrolled at Afton State Park.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week checking anglers and boaters around the area. He worked area lakes with the county sheriff’s office as well as patrolled for AIS compliance. Calls were returned to the public and Firearms Safety presentations scheduled. Enforcement action for the week included not enough lifejackets, no angling license, and illegal ATV operation.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked shore anglers around the metro lakes and rivers. He checked watercrafts for aquatic invasive species around some of the metro lake accesses. CO Pril also spent some time on equipment maintenance and responded to calls.

Eagan - vacant.

Metro Officer - vacant.

District 15 - Marshall area

Conservation Officer Ed Picht (Montevideo) investigated multiple Wildlife Management Area complaints around Marsh Lake.  The complaints ranged from dumping shingles, illegal fires, littering, and running over crops.  The road leading back to the problem area was shut down to deter future problems.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended Emergency Vehicle Operation training at Camp Ripley. Officer Hanson checked fishermen and completed AIS checks on water related equipment on area lakes and rivers.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working boat and ATV safety.  Water recreation seems to have slowed as the water of area lakes have greened.  Enforcement action was taken for fail to display registration, operate ATVs in a driving lane, and ATV passenger violation.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall #1) spent the week working ATV, boating, fishing, state park, and AIS enforcement. Franklin’s Catfish Derby Days on the MN River was worked over the weekend.  Officer Loftness, along with Lt. Nordseth, assisted with a search and rescue operation for a capsized canoe with two victims that occurred around midnight. Foggy conditions hampered the rescue but thanks to some nearby fishermen, the victims were pulled to shore. Once located, both victims were transported by boat to the access and taken to the Redwood Falls hospital by ambulance. 

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked AIS, angling, boating, and OHV activity during the week.  Emergency Vehicle Operation training was attended at Camp Ripley.  Littering issues continue at public access locations.
Benson - vacant.

Madison - vacant.

Redwood Falls - vacant.

Worthington - vacant.

District 16 - New Ulm area

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar-West) followed up on TIP calls and completed reports.  He checked anglers and educated boaters about AIS laws.  Officer Denz also followed up on complaints about nuisance beavers.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time checking anglers and boating safety. Time was spent going around lakes checking weed rollers and there was also an unattended line that was found left out on a dock. The owner of the line was located and enforcement action was taken. Officer Klehr spent time with the new conservation officer candidates that have started the academy at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent on the St. Croix River working a no wake zone through the bridge construction area. 
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson-East) spent time working the Franklin Catfish Derby this week.  Good compliance with AIS and angling laws were observed.  Officer Oberg gave a law presentation to an ATV safety class in Meeker County.  ATV enforcement was also worked with violations for registration and youth issues.  EVOC training was attended at Camp Ripley.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received emergency vehicle operation training at Camp Ripley.  He followed up on a possible public waters violation and he worked Catfish Derby Days.  The remainder of the week was spent on boating, fishing, ATV and AIS enforcement.
Co Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted license checks on anglers.  Investigations into angler harassment were taken, with citations issued.  Public waters violations are still being investigated.  Boating activity was monitored.  ATV activity was monitored at GIA trails.
Willmar-East (Vacant)
Windom (Vacant)

District 17 - Mankato area

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato 2) concentrated efforts at public accesses looking for AIS violations.  ATV activity was checked along the river bottoms.  The officer assisted in locating individuals on the MN River who were reportedly intoxicated and were floating on a homemade raft.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) patrolled for fishing, boating, PWC, and ATV activity this week. Additional time was also spent patrolling at and near PWAs for AIS compliance. Officer Ihnen checked WMAs, WPAs, and AMAs for activity as well. One of the TIP trailers was also manned at a local county fair.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, boating, AIS, and recreational vehicle enforcement this week.  Angling activity has slowed a bit on local waters.  Enforcement action was taken on license violations.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers and boaters on area lakes & rivers. The officer also monitored AIS activity and ATV activity during the week. Time was also spent checking activity at wildlife management areas and state parks.

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week checking anglers, monitoring ATV activity, working boating safety, and commercial license enforcement.  Assistance was given to the Mower County Sheriff’s office on a domestic assault call.  A report of a sick or injured deer was received.  Violations for the week included angling with extra lines, allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, and failure to submit commercial license records.   

CO Chris Howe (Mankato) worked boating and angling enforcement this week. CO Howe also did two school presentations and attended EVOC training.

WREO Julie Siems reports following up on wetland complaints and working with LGUs on AIS training needs. 

Albert Lea - vacant.

Mankato #1 - vacant.

District 18 - Rochester area

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week checking boating, fishing and invasive species activity along with attending EVOC training at Camp Ripley.  The weekend was spent checking fishing activity and responding to an injured Eagle call.  Fishing success continues to be slow in the area with very few fish being seen in people’s possession. 

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing and boating enforcement on the Mississippi River as well as attending training.  Fishing on the big river has been spotty but the wing dams are producing a few fish.  Several commercial investigations were completed with summons being issued.

CO Phil George (Rochester 1) worked boaters and anglers during the week and took enforcement action for people without PFDs in a watercraft.  He assisted Rochester PD looking for a suspect who shot a person in the leg during an altercation.  Follow up was done on trail issues in the state forest.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and boaters during the week.  Fishing success is still very slow overall.  Officer Heyn also finished up cases and attended training at Camp Ripley.  

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports spending the week checking fishing on the river.  He is following up on a complaint from a person that says his relatives fished without a license.  Officer Hemker also went to Camp Ripley for training.

Rochester #2 - 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

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of transporting fishery research crews into and out of Voyageurs National Park remote lakes. This allows fisheries research to occur within these lakes within the shortest timeframe possible.  Pilot Jensen also attended computer training and EVOC training.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew marten, fisher and wolf telemetry.  Pilot Heineman also flew sketch mapping and the Brainerd blowdown for photos and helped move DNR aircraft and did instrument training.

CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) conducted training flights and assisted Pilot Lofstuen with ferrying aircraft about the state.  Pilot Geving also flew wetland violation photo missions. 

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) completed a training flight in the airplane, and worked on helicopter administrative tasks.

CO Pilot Christopher Lofstuen reports flying multiple missions including creel surveys on Lake Vermillion, a ferry flight to New Ulm, and picking up an airplane after amphibious float installation in St. Paul.  Tasks related to moving operations to Grand Rapids were also completed.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers


WREO reports are now placed within district reports.

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 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.

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.
See Also:

NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence attended peace officer emergency vehicle operations training at Camp Ripley.  RTO Lawrence attended a meeting with the Minnesota volunteer safety instructors association in Edina.  RTO Lawrence worked on Peace Officer standards and training forms for law enforcement training for off-highway vehicles.  RTO Lawrence spoke with citizens on Mille Lacs lake walleye conditions and upcoming youth hunt opportunities.

SW Metro Kevin Neitzke worked on snowmobile safety and firearms safety instructor training materials.  He took an online DNR training course and attended training Camp Ripley.  RTO Neitzke had phone conversations with volunteer instructors regarding new instructor training clinics.  He also worked on Use of Force training materials.

Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week working on setting up Instructor training classes and revising the instructor training PowerPoints.  Time was also spent updating the PowerPoint for ATV Law Enforcement Training.  EVOC training was attended at Camp Ripley.


RTO                                                               PHONE NUMBERS/E-MAIL:
NE RTO Shelly Patten                                   218-244-8051       

West Central RTO Frank Rezac                     320-230-8549   frank.rezac@state.mn.us

NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence                    651-674-6184    bruce.lawrence@state.mn.us
Southern RTO Dan McBroom                        507-843-2032    daniel.mcbroom@state.mn.us
SW Metro RTO Kevin Neitzke                      651-463-3168    kevin.neitzke@state.mn.us


Curriculum Specialist:  Vacant

Education Specialist:  Vacant

Curriculum Coordinator:  Vacant



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