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 Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) conducted field training with a Conservation Officer Candidate (COC). The two assisted with the range portion of the Thief River Falls Firearms Safety Class and taught the session on laws and ethics. Time was spent monitoring bear baiting activity, ATV use, and local boating and angling. Enforcement action for the week included angle without valid license, possess marijuana and paraphernalia, and transport watercraft with drain plug intact.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working angling/boating activity, a special boating project, and monitoring boater AIS compliance on Upper Red Lake and special regulations lakes throughout the week. Enforcement was taken for angling with an extra line. Time was spent monitoring bear baiting activity, patrolling area trails for ORV, ATV and OHM activity and a nuisance beaver complaint was handled.
Baudette #1 -vacant.
Baudette #2 -vacant.
Blackduck #2 - vacant.
Karlstad - vacant.
Thief River Falls #2 - vacant.
Warroad #1 - vacant.
Warroad #2 - vacant.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked ATV, boating, early goose hunting and AIS efforts. Multiples calls about hunting questions and animals concerns continued to increase. He also participated during a local radio talk show. The highlight of the week was being able to witness firsthand over 40 previous FAS students put to practice their skills during a pheasant hunt/clays/archery event sponsored by local businesses and sporting clubs at a game farm.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked bear baits, goose hunters and wolf depredation complaints.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling and boating activity throughout the week. Anglers are reporting mixed success on most area lakes. Follow up was conducted on a fence across a small creek preventing access. The fence was removed by the property owners. ATV activity was monitored on area trails and roads.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked bear baiting activity throughout the area. Time was also spent monitoring OHV traffic in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest. Questions were answered about the upcoming deer season. A complaint was received regarding wolves harassing cattle.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports attending training at Camp Ripley and patrolled area lakes as part of a special boat and water safety project. CO Vinton was accompanied for a day by a Frazee-Vergas high school student interested in becoming a Conservation Officer. The student observed aquatic invasive species (AIS) inspection and angler compliance checks as well as assisted in looking for an injured deer. Violations included no angling license in possession, ATV on a county highway and no throwable PFD.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) attended training at Camp Ripley and assisted CO Bermel with a BWCA work detail enforcing boat and water safety laws and fishing regulations.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports average angling success on area lakes. Boating safety and AIS compliance checks were completed. CO Forsberg followed up on reports of illegal aquatic vegetation removal. CO Forsberg followed up on complaints of nuisance animals and took calls regarding the upcoming deer season.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked angling and boating activity on area waters. The Boats and Bars event on Detroit Lakes was monitored but poor weather showed fewer participants then past years. A site visit with local gov’t unit (LGU) members was conducted in regards to a public waters violation. A complaint of possible trespass was received and being investigated. Follow up continued on possible illegal aquatic vegetation removal.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer (WREO) Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on AIS and Wetland Conservation Act (WCA) law enforcement. Time was spent meeting with area inspectors and checking compliance at public access points. Boat and water activity was also worked. Two days were spent at Camp Ripley assisting with training. Fishermen around the Detroit Lakes and Pelican Rapids area were checked.
Moorhead - vacant.
District 3 - Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) received questions related to the summer goose hunt. He also took complaints of late shooting. Anglers were checked on area lakes along with boating enthusiasts. There was also a conversation about wolf/hybrid dogs running off leash in Maine Township.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) along with a COC spent time working fishing enforcement, boating safety, and AIS enforcement. The officers checked on a commercial minnow net, assisted an Otter Tail County Sheriffs officer with a call, attended a safety day in Wolf Lake speaking to over 100 individuals on ATV safety, assisted Wadena area chapter of MDHA with a fork horn field day on the shooting range. The officers worked the early August goose season but found very minimal activity.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) worked on several wetland issues this week including draining and altering wetlands. Time was spent checking fishermen, boaters and completing some required training. Additional time was spent checking goose hunters and working WCA cases.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, boaters, goose hunters and ATVs. An AIS meeting was attended in Brainerd. Complaints of fish over limits, trespass, and ATV’s operating on county highways were investigated. Station equipment maintenance was performed along with receiving yearly performance evaluation.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked the TIP trailer along with other officers at the first annual Youth Outdoors Day, sponsored by Pheasants Forever and Vikings Sportsmen’s Club, where over 500 area youth enjoyed outdoor related activities and events. Fishing activity continues to be monitored with enforcement action taken for no angling license and angling with extra lines. A shoreline owner was cited for operating his weed roller well outside the permitted area. The third local FAS class was also completed, totaling over 80 youth now certified this month.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued working fishing, boating, and AIS enforcement on and around area waterways. While working AIS enforcement, an individual was found transporting a boat with aquatic vegetation on the trailer and the drain plug in place. A closer inspection of the boat revealed very small zebra mussels in the livewell. Enforcement action was taken and a boat de-con was ordered. Additional time was spent closing out public water and aquatic vegetation violations, monitoring goose hunting activity, and patrolling for ORV activity. COs Johanson, Lawler, and Larry Hanson with K9 Reggie, spent several hours manning the TIP Wall of Shame trailer at the first annual youth outdoor activity event in Alexandria. The event was a huge success with over 500 youth in attendance and many positive public interactions made. A big thank you to the Viking Sportsmen Club and the Douglas County Pheasants Forever Chapter for organizing and staffing the event!
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on AIS, OHV and fishing enforcement. Angling activity has been slow on area lakes. CO Anderson also investigated a vehicle that tried to travel down a minimum maintenance road and became stuck. Minnow transportation permits were issued as well as handling calls from the public regarding use of WMA and WPAs for hunting opportunities.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, ATV operators, goose hunters, and monitoring AIS compliance. Additional time was spent on boat and water safety, commercial enforcement, and littering complaints. Calls were fielded regarding waterfowl season questions, and nuisance animal complaints.
Wheaton - vacant.
District 4 - Wadena area
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked fishermen, boaters and ATVs. Officer Hunter aided in a firearms safety class and at the shooting range. CO Hunter received a call of an individual illegally removing cattails.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) responded to a call of vehicles stuck in a closed forest road. The vehicles were gone and the damage was documented. Early goose season activity was monitored and bear baiters were checked as well. A cattle owner called with a possible wolf depredation problem where calves were missing and evidence of wolves in the area was found. Late summer fishing and boating activity was patrolled with several boats being contacted, with compliance being very good.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport fishing, boating, AIS, and ORV activity. Nothing unusual to report. Received a call regarding a sick loon; handled a wolf depredation complaint; attended a district meeting; received a call regarding the status of the wild rice crop; and received a request for information regarding ATV safety training.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers, boaters, and bear baiting activity. Special boat safety patrols were conducted on Cass Lake with a few violations encountered. Anglers report slow fishing; excuses for the slow fishing varied. Several bear baited areas were also checked. CO Mathy and a COC attended a district meeting. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license in possession, tow tube with boat without observer, ATV without valid DL, ATV without headlights, ATV with juveniles not wearing helmet, and several different bear baiting violations.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, boating, ATV, and bear baiting activity. Angling and boating activity was low. Bear baiting activity appears to be picking up. CO Broughten investigated a complaint of a person shooting a goose. CO Broughten also investigated an over limit of walleye, during which the individual claimed to be stock piling walleye for a family reunion. Fish were seized and enforcement will be taken. Enforcement action included no angling license in possession, operate watercraft with persons riding on transom, operate watercraft while being overloaded, allow illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, failure to display ATV registration, and over limit of walleye.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) investigated two buck deer found dead, one found with bite marks in hind quarters floating in farm pond and one found in a township road ditch with its head cut off. Halverson assist Officer Guida with a boat accident on Lake Alexander. Many calls on upcoming deer season were handled. Halverson attended Staples Railroad Days, the 125 year anniversary of Staples. Complaint on Jet Ski’s chasing loons was also investigated.
CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) attended training, meetings and patrolled state forests and OHV trail systems. Officer work on violations for cross country travel and follow-up investigations.
WREO Shane Siltala spent time at public accesses on area lakes enforcing AIS laws. Boat traffic was limited due to the rainy weather. Some walleye limits were seen in the bag. AIS compliance was good. Officer Siltala also assisted at a local firearms safety class mentoring youth on the gun range. He also finished up a public waters violation investigation and attended a district enforcement meeting.
Remer - vacant.
District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports the investigation into two wolf depredation cases near Littlefork and Baudette were handled. Fishing and boating activities were checked on Rainy Lake and Rainy River, with enforcement action taken for no angling licenses in possession and possession of filleted walleye (unmeasurable) while on the water. Invasive species checks at area public access sites were also monitored with good compliance. Activities at International Falls Bass Championship were also monitored.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports working boating and angling activity throughout the week. A large bass fishing tournament on Lake Vermilion was monitored. Calls relating to bear baiting and the upcoming hunting seasons were received.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling activity, served a Wetland Conservation Act Restoration Order, and dealt with a reoccurring dog roaming at large complaint in the McCarthy Beach State Park campground. The responsible party was dealt with.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) checked bear baiters in the Virginia and Mt. Iron area. Failure to register baits is becoming a problem. Time was spent on area lakes checking boaters and anglers. Despite constant attention, one of the most common violations is still insufficient PFDs. Other violations such as operating unregistered watercraft and no lights after sunset were encountered. A group of five ATV riders were stopped near Cotton. Four of the ATVs were lacking current registration and the fifth was being operated by a juvenile who was not wearing a helmet. Enforcement action was taken on all parties. CO Frericks assisted the Eveleth Police Department in searching for a suspect who fled on an ATV. The ATV was recovered after it got stuck but the suspect was found.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked bear baiting activity throughout the week. Time was spent working boating enforcement specifically night navigation lights. Fishermen are still getting crappies and a few walleye mixed in.
International Falls # 2 - vacant.
Ray - vacant.
Tower - vacant.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) patrolled in the BWCA with CO Al Peterson. Several violations were detected including angling without a license, no canoe registration, and no license in possession. Lake Vermilion was worked with again a high violation rate including illegal length walleye, multiple folks fishing without a license, unregistered kayaks and canoe, no PFDs, and no fishing licenses in possession. A cabin freezer search revealed what appeared to be a bag with illegal slot limit walleye fillets. The 24 inch walleye carcass was located in a bucket near the dock.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked boat and water patrol, invasive species , and angling enforcement during the week. Fishing was slow with few fish being caught. Murray also took reports of nuisance wolf activity and checked on bear baiting activity. Enforcement action was taken for licensing and failing to drain water related equipment violations.
CO Sean Williams (Ely) assisted St. Louis County Sheriff’s deputies after a fatal boating accident on Shagawa Lake in Ely. The accident occurred when a boat carrying three people struck an island on the western side of the lake. The cause and details are still being investigated.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked a wilderness patrol in the BWCA with CO Wahlstrom. The officer checked bear baits and handled calls about nuisance beavers and foxes.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports outdoor activity way down during the week. He checked bear guides, bear baits and responded to a trapped wolf from a wolf depredation complaint. The wolf appeared to be very old and too weak to hunt naturally so it began to target dogs, cattle and chickens. A remote BWCA patrol was done along with remote patrol along the Canadian border.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked a detail in the BWCA this last week with Officer Manning. The officer checked bear bait stations and monitored ATV activity.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area bear baiting activity. CO Schottenbauer spent time checking area inland lakes for angling and boating activity as well. Time was spent on a water complaint as well.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, assisted the Sheriff’s Department with a suicidal person, performed equipment maintenance, and completed mandatory training. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked fishing boating and big game activities. He assisted the county with multiple crashes and other calls. Violations included ATV on roadway, fail to display registration, equipment, and DUI.
CO Michael Fairbanks (Deer River) and a COC worked boat and water safety on area lakes. Fishermen were checked and AIS compliance checks were conducted on the water and at boat accesses. Violations included, no license in possession, no throwable PFD, and several AIS violations. Boaters are reminded to drain all water from boats and related equipment before leaving the water. All drain plugs must be removed. Bear bait stations were checked in area forests. A traffic stop on a commercial minnow dealer resulted in a violation for improper display of identification on the bait transporting vehicle.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) worked boating and angling enforcement this past week. She also answered numerous questions concerning bear baiting, hunting and deer hunting. Remember to check availability (on the DNR website) of firearms classes in your area if you are needing to take one before hunting seasons start.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) began field training activities with a COC. Bear baiting were monitored while enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV without a safety certificate and for not having a helmet on while operating an ATV under 18 years of age. Enforcement action was also taken for angling without a license. One individual was arrested for an active warrant after his fishing license was checked. Drug paraphernalia was also found on the individual.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, bear baiters, state parks and campgrounds. He also handled trespass and ATV complaints during the week.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working ATVs, anglers, and bear baiting activity. Wichmann also traveled to Duluth and checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior.
CO John Velsvaag (Region 2 ATV officer) worked ATV and OHM enforcement in Pine County this past week. CO Velsvaag also worked boating enforcement in Duluth. CO Velsvaag took several calls about the upcoming waterfowl season and archery season.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS), boating, angling, ricing, and bear baiting enforcement efforts. Area AIS compliance was good. Enforcement action was taken for boat equipment violations. CO Arhart also responded to public waters and wetland impacts, assisting COs with various resource incidents. He also taught local dog owners about body gripper trap avoidance and dog release techniques. Motor boats in rice complaints were investigated. Deer hunting questions were answered.
District 8 - Duluth area
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) spent lots of time on the water again working safe boating enforcement. Time was also spent checking bear baits and ATV users. The officer also participated in a work detail along the North Shore checking trout anglers. Youth operating an ATV without safety certificate, allow illegal operation of ATV by a juvenile, operate type 1 ATV on roadway, no registration, fail to transfer title, angle without a license, keeping a protected length fish and no PFD in watercraft are just a few of the violations encountered.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) reports working boating, angling, OHV, and AIS enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey worked boating enforcement on local area lakes and details on Lake Superior with the Marine Unit. A wolf depredation complaint was received and investigated. Angling license, trout stamp, boating equipment, and OHV violations were encountered. A few bear baits were also checked for compliance.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked a public waters complaint where it was reported that someone was putting fill into a trout stream. The investigation is still ongoing. An off-highway motorcycle event was worked in the Nemadji State Forest. Several contacts were made for operating without eye protection, fail to transfer ownership of an OHM, and registration violations. Assistance was given at a landing zone for a helicopter after one rider broke his leg in a crash and started to go into shock. Fishing activity was worked along the St. Louis River. It didn’t turn out well for some anglers after the officer recognized two anglers he had dealt with in the past and had knowledge of them being revoked from angling. They were both cited for angling without licenses (again). The next angler down the shore was also found to be angling without a license. He was from California and was back in the area visiting relatives. After running his information he was found to have two outstanding, gross misdemeanor, warrants from his last visit to Minnesota. He went to jail with a ticket for angling without a license. K9 training continues with K9 Schody. Bear baiters are reporting low numbers of hits on area baits.
WREO Mike Scott worked on several new WCA cases and one potential public waters case on a Duluth area lake. Boat and water enforcement as well as fishing enforcement was worked on area lakes with CO Randy Hanzal. Enforcement action was taken for possessing illegal length fish on protected waters, no fishing license, no throwable safety device on watercraft. Several ATVs were checked for operating on the roadway. At the request of a local Sheriff’s Department, enforcement action was taken for an ATV operator possessing an open container of alcohol in the road right of way.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. Cooler temps and rain has curbed the number of anglers. Watercraft maintenance items worked on. Bear bait stations checked north of Duluth. While a bear complaint was handled with the city limits. Take down bird feeders. The bear will move along in due time. Shore anglers checked on the St. Louis River.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) started field training with a COC. The officers worked boating and angling enforcement on Lake Superior from Duluth to Grand Marais and on inland lakes. AIS violations were also looked for. Time was spent on ATVs looking for recreational vehicle use and bear baits. Training was attended at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action taken for angling, boating, and ATV violations.
CO Matthew Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) and a COC spent the week checking anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. Angler success on Lake Superior has been limited due to the weather, but success is increasing near Grand Marais. Officers responded to an injured raptor and discovered a red-tailed hawk struck by a vehicle. The hawk was transported to a rehabilitation center for treatment. Officers also worked boating and angling activity on Island Lake, Fish Lake, and Wild Rice Lake. Anglers reported the fish were uncooperative for the most part. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession, no life jackets, and no registration on a canoe.
District 9 - Brainerd area
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The bite was slow with the most cooperative fish pan fish. Violations were no license, not enough life jackets, and expired boat registration. He worked on complaints of shoreline violations such as digging in the lake bed. He worked with neighboring CO Tim Collette on AIS violations. Some of the violations observed were plugs in the boat while transporting them on the road. Complaints of vehicles on closed trails and a loud party in the Pillsbury forest were investigated.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked anglers and boaters, checked bear hunters placing bait stations for the upcoming bear season opener, and monitored boats at area accesses for invasive species issues. A calf kill was investigated for possible wolf depredation, and a TIP call on a possible fish overlimit was handled.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports checking several bear baits. She also checked a shore angler who advised fishing was not good and he only had a couple of bites. After further investigation of his cooler and buckets, he was over limit on northern pike. CO Peterson also worked a couple of shifts on Lake Superior where officers checked an angler who was double his limit. He attempted to convince the officers that he had a limit for him and a limit for his dog. Further investigation of his freezer led to the discovery of several more fillets.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) assisted with field training of new a Conservation Officer Candidate. Officers checked bear baiting activity in the area with OHV travel in closed areas observed frequently. Bear baiters are reminded that off-trail travel in limited and closed state forests for bear baiting purposes is prohibited. Officers also patrolled station lakes with enforcement action being taken for boating safety violations, along with no angling licenses, and fishing with extra lines. Officer Lee assisted with Use of Force training at Camp Ripley given to fellow Conservation Officers this past week.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked a detail on Lake Superior where angling and boating violations were detected. Some work was done investigating a bear baiting complaint where a bear hunter put bait at another bear hunter’s bait site. Officer Guida also worked boating and watercraft enforcement in the station. A late night watercraft crash was investigated with the Sheriff’s Office where alcohol was a likely a contributing factor. The operator faces Criminal Vehicular Operation and Boating While Intoxicated charges.
CO Pat McGowan (Pine River) continued field training duties with a COC. The officers worked anglers on area lakes and on Upper Red Lake. Investigations were done on weed roller violations. Numerous questions were answered involving ATVs, angling, bear hunting, and the upcoming deer season regulations. Numerous ATVs were stopped during the week. Enforcement action was taken on wetland violations, illegal youth ATV operations, no angling license, no PFDs, and numerous other boat safety issues. One ATV operator was arrested for operating on the roadway with a cancelled driver’s license. The officers also made one narcotic arrest.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked bear baiting, angling, watercraft and aquatic invasive species enforcement. A law presentation was also given at a firearms safety class at the Waukenabo Township Hall. Many great questions were answered for the young hunters.
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored AIS compliance, angling, boating safety, ATV enforcement and park curfew enforcement in the Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area and Brainerd Lakes area. He also checked bear bait stations.
District 10 - Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked fishing activity which appears to be picking up as the weather cools off. Also, lots of boating activity but as sunset gets earlier PWCs needed reminding to get off the lake and boats need to get their lights on. An ATV complaint was addressed where there was a concern for juvenile safety. Verkuilen also checked bear bait activity and investigated a complaint of suspicious shots fired.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) spent the majority of the week checking bear baits. The bear hunting season looks promising as most bait sites have been active. The officer checked trout, salmon, walleye and pike anglers on Lake Superior; few fish were seen. Boat and water safety compliance checks were conducted on Mille Lacs Lake and an informational meeting regarding the lake was attended. Enforcement action was taken for bear baiting with non-biodegradable items, failure to register bait stations, and burning of prohibited materials.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking bear baiters throughout the Malmo station. With lots of berries still in the woods it’s been tough going for quite a few of the baiters. ATV, ORV and OHM activity was monitored in the Solana State Forest, and riders should be reminded that you must stay on open trails only in the forest. A Mille Lacs lake informational meeting was attended during the week where data on Mille Lacs Lake was presented and also some questions answered. A call of bear in a person’s yard and refusing to leave was responded to and by the time the Officer arrived the bear had already gone back into the woods. A law and ethics presentation was given to some Firearms Safety students who were completing their Firearms Safety Certificate. Fishermen on area small lakes and Mille Lacs Lake were checked with a few fish seen in the bag. The Officer also assisted the local sheriff’s department on a loose cattle complaint and lots of ATV, fishing, bear hunting, and deer hunting related question were fielded throughout the week and weekend.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked a variety of bear issues, from tampering with baits to a bear that are bothering houses instead of the bear baits nearby. ATVs were found out in full force with riding on county roads being the biggest violation. A possible protection order violation was investigated. Lake Superior was worked, with an over limit of lake trout found. Boat and water patrols found very good compliance.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent quite a bit of time issuing nuisance bear hunting permits for the removal of bear that have been destroying corn crops. Many area corn fields are at that perfect level of maturity and bear have been gorging themselves on the ripening field corn. Federal trappers continued to remove wolves from area farms and cattle owners continued to report additional calf losses. Other time was spent working at the State Fair Information Booth.
District 11 - St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) conducted boat and water safety checks throughout the week. Angling activity was also monitored and panfish were found to be the most sought after species. Assistance was provided to a neighboring officer on Lake Osakis. A young ATV rider was stopped for a registration violation. During the stop CO Silgjord discovered several violations. After issuing paperwork to the rider CO Silgjord attempted to provide the operator with a regulations booklet. The operator tossed the book into the box of the officer’s patrol vehicle stating, “I don’t need that.” Violations for the week included operate an ATV w/o a safety certificate, possess an overlimit of sunfish, fail to have legal life saving device, fail to transfer ATV registration, fail to display valid ATV registration, operate ATV with passenger under 18 not wearing a helmet, and driving after revocation.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked anglers, AIS, and boating activity. A few goose hunters were still out and about.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, boaters, ATVs, wetland and shoreline issues, along with training a COC. AIS enforcement was worked with violations for transport boat with boat plug, and transport boat with weeds. A non-permitted farm irrigator was addressed along with a wetland violation. Enforcement action for the week included, operate unregistered ATV, no helmet on child under 18 on an ATV, no wetland contractor form, fail to remove drain plug, no PFD, and no angling license.
WREO Keith Bertram responded to reports of illegal wetland filling and appropriation of water without permits. Several panfish over limit cases were also made on Todd County lakes. WREO Bertram assisted with an AIS road check station in Chisago City.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers during the past week The Officer also worked on a tip call along with checking goose hunters.
St. Cloud - vacant.
District 12 - Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) spoke at a youth firearms safety class and a youth ATV safety class.CO Musatov checked anglers and worked complaints of ATV trespass. Several animal calls were handled and follow up was done on a litter case.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) checked anglers/boaters/PWC, worked an Invasive Species road check in Chisago County, and checked on nuisance animal complaints. Calls were taken on: trespassing, baiting complaints, law questions, and stolen property.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes and river taking enforcement action on a number of violations. He followed up a public waters violation with charges pending. He assisted with a number of animal complaints, everything from nuisance beaver to sand hill cranes tearing off the screens of a Big Lake residence. CO Sladek assisted with a AIS road check in Chisago City with enforcement action taken for a few violations, but overall, a high percentage of boats were clean of aquatic vegetation and the boats were dry and plugs out. He also assisted with a law presentation to a Firearms Safety class in Big Lake to approximately 70-80 kids. CO Sladek wants to thank his Big Lake Firearms Safety Class instructors for doing such a great job.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports working an AIS road check station in the Chisago City area over the weekend. Numerous boaters were stopped on a local roadway to check all water resource equipment for compliance. Most boaters had all of their equipment in compliance with the AIS laws. Violations included failure to remove plug from boat and transport aquatic vegetation. CO Langevin also handled several bear complaints, wetland violations and trespassing issues in the area.
CO Travis Muyres (Cambridge) worked a district AIS check in Chisago County. Several calls were taken with questions on the upcoming deer season. CO Muyres also worked boat enforcement with the Isanti County Sheriff’s Department.
District 13 - West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) inspected game farms and shooting preserves. He worked boat and water safety details on Lake Minnetonka with CO Grewe. Goose hunters were checked all week having poor success.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling and boating activity. CO Salzer also patrolled for goose hunting activity. Salzer assisted with two firearms safety courses during the week as well.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and monitoring boating activity on Lake Minnetonka. CO Grewe responded to various calls and spoke at a firearms safety class. Violations included angling with extra lines, no fishing license and boat registration issues.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked boaters, anglers, and AIS in Scott County area lakes. He picked up a dead hawk in Shakopee and turned it to Carlos Avery wildlife office. He also talked to a Hmong youth firearms safety class in St. Paul and a youth firearms safety class at Horse and Hunter Club in Prior Lake. Violations found were fishing without angling license in possession and riding on gunwales.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked angling and boating activity in West Metro lakes. He followed up with AIS violation that occurred in Bloomington station. He also covered Fort Snelling State Park station as the local officer is out of service. Violations found include transporting aquatic macrophytes, zebra mussels, no angling license, and no vehicle permit while in the state park.
Bloomington - vacant.
Mound - vacant.
Prior Lake - vacant.
District 14 - East Metro area
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) attended two days of training at Camp Ripley. She did a detail for the St. Croix Bridge and handled various TIP calls. CO Kruse worked fishing, boating and AIS enforcement on area lakes.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) checked anglers and boater. Violations included no license, no license in possession, and no trout stamp. He also conducted AIS checks. CO Johnson patrolled at Carlos Avery WMA. He assisted with the take down and transport of the wall of shame. CO Johnson responded to a report of a Bald Eagle that may have been caught in discarded fishing line in St. Paul.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked angling and boating enforcement around the metro lakes and rivers. He spent sometimes patrolling Gateway trail, state parks and wildlife management areas and investigated a liter. CO Pril also responded to injured animal calls and other calls throughout the week.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working AIS and wetland related activity. Time was also spent working the State Fair information booth where many deer hunting related questions were answered. WREO Block also spoke to a group in St. Louis Park on the topic of aquatic invasive species.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) worked area lakes and the St Croix River doing fishing and boating enforcement. CO Arntzen assisted a neighboring officer with a littering complaint in a State Park and investigated TIP complaints. He also spoke to students at a firearms safety class in Forest Lake and did AIS enforcement. Enforcement action for the week included PFD violations, failing to obey signs on a state trail, slow-no wake violation and no PWC rules sticker.
Eagan - vacant.
Hastings - vacant.
Maplewood - vacant.
Metro Officer - vacant.
District 15 - Marshall area
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) and a COC checked shore anglers. In one case they walked up to two fishermen who were angling with two lines each and neither of them had an angling license. Time was also spent checking OHVs at the Appleton ATV Park.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) conducted numerous roadside wildlife counts throughout the week. Time was also spent checking anglers and boaters on area lakes. Numerous questions were fielded concerning the up-coming deer seasons.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) reports the walleye bite has picked up on Lake Shetek. ATV violations remain commonplace this summer. Enforcement action was taken for a variety of recreational vehicle violations, ranging from youthful operation of ATV’s to the unlawful operation of OHMs.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) assisted with a Cease and Desist order in Lincoln County. Goose hunters are having limited success. Some northerns are being caught on Del Clark Lake.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended an R-4 AIS meeting in Waterville. Officer Hanson issued a cease and desist order in Lincoln County and also issued a PW restoration order in Big Stone Co. Officer Hanson attended a youth hunter’s day with K-9 Reggie in Alexandria. AIS and boat and water checks were completed on area lakes and rivers.
Benson - vacant.
Madison - vacant.
Redwood Falls - vacant.
District 16 - New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) patrolled area lakes working boating enforcement. He checked anglers and followed up on TIP calls. He spoke at a Firearms Safety class in Willmar. Denz also checked ATVs and addressed issues related to juvenile passengers without helmets.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked anglers and boaters during the week, along with August goose hunters. She continued to work AIS compliance. Mueller also followed up on a trespassing complaint in Sibley County. She issued a nuisance beaver permit.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked a booth at Youth Conservation Day at Gopher Campfire. Oberg’s talk centered on the importance of PFDs, understanding AIS laws, and hunter ethics. Oberg focused on water patrol while working from his patrol boat and kayak.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) presented Steve Rykus of New Ulm with the 2013 Firearms Safety Instructor of the Year Award at the Minnesota State Fair. Steve had organized and served as the lead instructor for at least 12 youth safety classes last year. Steve has given instruction to thousands of youth over his 30 years of volunteer service to Minnesota’s youth. Congratulations and Thank You Steve! Nelson also worked angling, boating, AIS and ATV enforcement.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked boat and water, angling and ATV enforcement. Gruhlke worked with area fisheries and the Jackson Sheriff learning about an area electric fish barrier. He also completed his radio program with KKOJ/KRAQ discussing topics including antlerless permit application deadline, upcoming openers and area activity.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked watercraft and angling activity. ATV activity is increasing and the Grant-In-Aid (GIA) trail was patrolled. Many questions were fielded regarding upcoming seasons and new laws placed in the books.
Litchfield - vacant.
Willmar #1 - vacant.
District 17 - Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked boating and angling activity. A late-summer detail was worked with a neighboring officer, resulting in enforcement action taken for a variety of minor boating violations. CO Howe also presented the Wall of Shame at an outdoor-oriented event, and worked state park enforcement.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) focused on boat and water activity. ATV safety presentations were given to elementary school students in Northfield. An AIS presentation was given to the Faribault Rotary club. The officer worked the TIP trailer at Shooter’s Roundup in Morristown.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working angling, boat & water safety, and recreational vehicle activity. A wildlife complaint involving captive raccoons was resolved. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked the Minnesota River for activity this past week. Boating and angling enforcement was the focus. A trapping issue was handled. Public lands were also checked for early fall activity.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters and ATV operators. Additional time was spent working at the information booth at the Minnesota State Fair and the TIP trailer at a local sports/shooting event.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, AIS, ATV, and boat & water activity during the week. Assistance was given to a neighboring officer with staffing the TIP trailer at an event & answering numerous questions about the upcoming hunting seasons.
WREO Julie Siems (SE) assisted in site visits on WCA complaints and follow ups with contractors failing to submit the Landowner Statement and Contractor Responsibility form.
Albert Lea - vacant.
District 18 - Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports dealing with nuisance animal complaints, mainly involving raccoon. CO Boyum also spent time on boat and water enforcement. No PFDs and unregistered watercraft were violations encountered.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports spending most of the week checking boats. He checked a boat with a1988 registration expiration in new condition. The boat had been in storage for an extended time. He also attended training at Camp Ripley and met with Conservation Officers from Wisconsin and Iowa.
CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports the river is in great condition. Boaters and fishermen are making the best of the good weather. He worked a special boating detail. Many fall hunting related questions are coming in.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers during the week. Fishing success was mixed and several anglers commented how the high water has really changed the river and that they had to figure things out again. Heyn also answered questions on the upcoming hunting seasons.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week checking anglers, boaters and working on some waters cases. Time was also spent checking ATV complaint areas in the state forest. Some boating and fishing violations were detected.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing and boating enforcement on the Mississippi River along with attending some meetings and training at Camp Ripley. Fishing has been good with some limits being checked during the week.
Rochester #2 - vacant.
Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.
CO Pilot Bob Geving assisted with maintenance test flights and transporting aircraft about the state. Geving also conducted his annual low level check ride with pilot Heineman and worked on studying book work for an upcoming CFII course.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew a marten telemetry and a Vermillion lake creel survey. Heineman also gave a CO Pilot a low level check ride and attended a AOPA safety seminar.
CO/Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) flew multiple creel surveys over Leech Lake. A day was spent in the boat with CO Vollbrecht checking anglers on the Turtle Lake chain north of Bemidji. Anglers reported slower than normal action but produced a few nice fish. Patrol vehicle and aircraft maintenance issues were attended to and data bases were updated for upcoming surveys. The Region 1 District 4 meeting was attended as well.
NR Standby Pilot Brad Maas helped complete needed helicopter maintenance, and flew a day/night flight test of the FLIR system.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a short week of duty.
Activities included work on safety program and setting up maintenance for aircraft.
Jensen also researched new aircraft and other possible equipment needs for the upcoming years. Weather prevented most flights.
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.
West Central RTO Frank Rezac facilitated an instructor appreciation and field day planning meeting in Spicer. Thursday he conducted a Firearms Safety/Hunter Education Instructor certification training in St. Cloud. Planning was also done for additional firearms safety/hunter education field days and calls returned regarding regulation questions.
NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence worked alongside CO Kruse on the St. Croix River bridge project, patrolling along the No Wake zone area for worksite safety. RTO Lawrence spoke with firearms safety instructors regarding field day requirements and worked on instructor training updates. RTO Lawrence took a call of an eagle possibly entangled along the Mississippi River area, the call was referred to CO’s along the river. RTO Lawrence received a bear complaint from a farmer stating bear was knocking down crops in an area farm field. RTO Lawrence receiving a lot of questions on changes to the firearms deer season.
Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week preparing for upcoming training of Conservation Officers and Wildlife personnel. HEFAS Instructor training was given in the St. Charles area. Time was also spent preparing props for upcoming HEFAS field days.
Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens spent the week working on an ATV Safety communications project. Read, reviewed and prepared training items related to Use of Force. Owens took care of OHV safety information related to national OHV resource group. He also took care of ATV/Snowmobile Safety instructor training items and worked in the field over the weekend. Angling and boating activity was moderate and compliance was high.
NE RTO Shelly Patten provided Use of Force training and firearms qualification to division officers at Camp Ripley. Patten completed several Department required training modules. Patten worked on instructor backgrounds. Patten held a youth online field day with Duluth instructors at Northwestern Gun Club. The old and new instructors did a great job with the new style of field day. Patten is working with three districts to plan banquets for instructors.
RTO PHONE NUMBERS/E-MAIL:
Rec. Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens 763-753-1887 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 507-843-2032 email@example.com
NW RTO Jon Paurus 218-298-4000 firstname.lastname@example.org
SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez 651-464-7773 email@example.com
Curriculum Specialist: Vacant
Education Specialist: Vacant
Curriculum Coordinator: Vacant