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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 Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working AIS enforcement, ATV/OHV enforcement and boating and angling activity on special regulation lakes throughout the week. Time was spent working boating activity for Operation Dry Water over the weekend, handling nuisance bear calls and issuing wildlife possession permits. A wolf depredation complaint was investigated but determined the loss of livestock was due to predation by coyotes. Enforcement action for the week included angling license violations, PFD violations and various ATV violations.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports that unsteady weather patterns and high winds have made fishing difficult on Lake of the Woods. CO Prachar was involved with Take a Kid Fishing Day. He also helped escort the Hunters Helping Heroes Fishing Trip to their destination at Lake of the Woods. Enforcement action was taken on numerous drain plug violations. Angling activity was worked as well as ATV enforcement.

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked angling along with boat and water safety enforcement this week. Fishing, though slow, remains steady across the lake. Limits are not the common theme as anglers are reporting the majority of fish being caught were either too big or too small. Enforcement action taken includes: angle without a license in possession, no throwable legal lifesaving device and operate watercraft after sundown without navigation lights.

CO Hannah Mishler (Warroad) focused primarily on angling and boating enforcement on Lake of the Woods. Assistance was given to Ontario Conservation Officers on the border waters at the NW Angle. ATV enforcement was also done. Enforcement action taken for angling without a license, overlimit of walleye, angling with no license in possession, possession of dressed fillets on special management waters, no throwable PFD, fail to display registration numbers on watercraft, operating class 1 ATV on road, and no headlights on ATV.

CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck) reports focusing on boat and water safety, angling, and ATV activity this week. Fish are becoming harder to come by on Upper Red Lake. Anglers are still catching a few fish but not many limits have been observed by the officer. CO Quittschreiber received a call from an individual who had picked up a baby fawn. The individual thought that the fawn was sick because it was on the road. The officer urges the public to leave wildlife alone and do not pick them up. They have a much better chance of survival with their mother than in captivity. The officer also assisted the county attempt to locate a suicidal individual. Enforcement actions for the week included: ATVs operating on state highway, juveniles on ATVs without helmets, no ATV safety, operating ATV with more passengers than allowed, failure to remove drain plug, and some boat and water safety equipment violations. A walleye overlimit case was also worked and enforcement actions were taken.

Baudette #2 -vacant.

Blackduck #2 - vacant.

Karlstad - vacant.

Thief River Falls #2 - vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area


CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working on a possible wolf depredation complaint. The TIP trailer was staffed at the Norman County Fair. Time was also spent checking anglers, ATV operators, and watercraft operators. Various angling and boating related violations were encountered throughout the week.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked boating, angling, ATVs, commercial/leechers and WMA violations. A wetland site inspection was also conducted with other agencies. Wildlife calls continue and a wolf depredation case completed. 

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and boaters. He also handled several nuisance animal complaints including skunks and bears.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) patrolled area lakes during Operation Dry Water weekend. CO Vollbrecht worked a detail on Cass Lake with CO Mathy. Assistance was provided to the sheriff’s department in a search for a missing five year old. Several complaints of careless ATV operation were taken near Bemidji. Several juvenile riders were stopped for riding conduct in the complaint area and educated on regulations. Several nuisance bear complaints were taken. Area accesses were patrolled for AIS compliance.    

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked anglers, boating, recreational vehicles and AIS compliance during the week. Most of the week was spent working in the BWCA with Officer Williams. Enforcement activity included watercraft registration, angling license, commercial minnow trapping and OHM violations.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports contacting boaters and anglers, discussing AIS at public accesses and assisting the local sheriff’s office with ATV questions. CO Vinton also spoke to a lake association meeting and discussed boating regulations, AIS issues and other topics that the association wished to discuss. Enforcement action was taken for ATV on the roadway, youth operation without a helmet and fishing law violations. 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) spent the week assisting at the academy and working boat and water safety.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week working fishermen and boaters. Time was also spent handling shoreline and aquatic vegetation issues, orphaned animal calls and a complaint of a party shooting a snapping turtle during closed season and with archery gear.  A vehicle was also seen parked in a Waterfowl Production Area on several occasions. Suspecting someone may be training a dog illegally or possibly a marijuana grow operation the WPA was checked. It was found that the party was only sun bathing. No violation found only the naked truth!

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) spent time working boating and angling activity. Follow up was conducted on open public water investigations and a complaint of possible aquatic vegetation being removed without permit. A complaint of an individual on a PWC harassing geese was received with an investigation ongoing. A pontoon fire was reported to CO Warren and contact with owners was made to advise them on removal of the pontoon from the lake. CO Warren attended a Lake association meeting in Detroit lakes. AIS inspections were performed and assistance was provided to the sheriff’s office after an individual backed his truck partially into the lake to wash it. Questions were answered about nuisance bears.     

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week working ATV and commercial minnow/ leech activity in the Moorhead Station. Several nuisance bears were reported and all individuals were advised to remove their bird feeders. Time was also spent answering questions and staffing the TIP trailer at the Norman County Fair.

District 3 - Fergus Falls area


CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports checking on complaints of angling activity and illegal docks.  Angling and boat safety continue to be the primary enforcement action.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) investigated low water levels on an area lake due to beaver activity and issued nuisance beaver permits for township authority. Plautz received numerous wildlife calls such as: injured baby blue jay, raccoon in a trap with landowner not sure what to do with it, and baby ducks in town. Plautz worked on equipment maintenance as well.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) investigated several aquatic plant removal and shoreline alteration complaints. One complaint involved a landowner who removed cattails, altered Lake Bottom and filled in a wetland without any permits. Another complaint involved a lakeshore owner who installed and operated his weedroller before receiving his permit to do so. When the APM specialist came to inspect the weedroller the owner had the weedroller going.  The specialist told him that he couldn’t have it running before a permit was issued. His response was if I get a ticket, then I get a ticket. He was obliged.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports busy station lakes and rivers. Boaters and anglers are out in force with beautiful temps and calm winds. Fishermen reported panfish and walleye success at low light periods. Enforcement action was taken this week involving angling without a license, expired watercraft registration and insufficient number of PFDs. Multiple instances of combination angling licenses being purchased by couples not legally married, making them invalid. Please know the license requirements before purchasing as you are ultimately responsible.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts checking fishermen and boaters. 
CO’s Anderson and Baumbarger worked the vacant Wheaton station on Lake Traverse and the Mustinka River. A complaint of an individual selling walleyes was handled. The common violation was boaters with no PFDs. Minnow transportation permits were reviewed and issued and calls from the public were handled regarding taking of rough fish, boating safety questions and fishing questions.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, ATV operators, boaters, and monitoring AIS law compliance. Additional time was spent issuing beaver removal permits, and answering calls about nuisance animals and upcoming safety classes.

Wheaton - vacant.

District 4 - Walker area


CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked boaters, fishermen and ATVs. Officer Hunter received a call of an individual who put a dock too close to another person’s dock. CO Hunter received a call of a nuisance bear.

CO Chelsey Best (Remer) spent the week enforcing fishing, boating and ATV laws. Nuisance bear issues were dealt with as well as fish carcass dumping complaints. CO Best also worked an over-limit case on a lake near Remer and helped out with a boat safety class on Pokegama. Enforcement action was taken for transporting passengers under 18 on an ATV with no helmet, possessing an over-limit of fish, not enough PFDs, no fishing licenses, and no ATV safety.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring angling, ATV, and boating activity. Angling success continued to be limited.  Boating and ATV activity was low. CO Broughten spent time preparing cases for upcoming trial. CO Broughten also gave a presentation to a firearms safety class and assisted the State Patrol with a rolling domestic. Enforcement action was taken for angling and boating violations.

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked AIS details, Operation Dry Water details and special boat and water enforcement details. Enforcement action was taken for possessing illegal length walleye, safety certificate and non-resident trail sticker violations and numerous watercraft violations.  

Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers and ATVs. Boaters were also checked during operation dry water weekend. Nuisance bear and injured loon calls were received. Enforcement action was taken for illegal length walleye and various boating violations.

CO Eric Sullivan (Walker) worked ATV activity on forest roads and trails and continued working angling and boating activity. CO Sullivan also continued to get nuisance bear complaints in the area. CO Sullivan investigated a wetland violation where a wetland had been filled. Enforcement action was taken for illegal youth operation on class 2 ATV, expired watercraft registration and no fire extinguisher onboard watercraft.

District 5 - Eveleth area


CO Darrin Kittelson (Int’l Falls) reports more rain and more rain and high winds, not really conducive for fishing and boating activity.  Two individuals were injured in Voyageurs National Park, Lake Kabetogama during a storm when a tree fell on their tent while they were sleeping.  Enforcement action for the week involved failure to remove drain plug while transporting boat and juvenile ATV violations.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports rain and wind over the week found diminished fishing activity. Fishing success remains poor with very few fish observed. Area forest roads and public access sites continue to be monitored.

CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers this past week. CO Velsvaag received several nuisance animal calls and questions about slot limit regulations. CO Velsvaag also assisted with a fishing complaint.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) assisted CO Bozovsky and CO Fredin with a case involving a deer that had been shot out of season, and illegally from a vehicle. The officers executed a search warrant and located the venison. Items were seized and charges filed. The officer also worked the Trout Lake Portage, and took enforcement action on invasive species violations. The officer also took enforcement action on watercraft registrations, angling without a license, and numerous floatation device violations.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling activity, state park enforcement, taught a Firearms Safety Class, handled complaints of a snapping turtle being taken out of season and a dog chasing deer, and spent a good portion of the week on a deer case. A deer taken out of season was investigated and after a search warrant was served, the two individuals involved admitted to the crime. A doe was shot in the head from the window of a motor vehicle (and roadway) and picked up hours after the shooting. The fawn that was associated with the doe likely died as well. Several charges are pending with at least three of them gross misdemeanors. Other enforcement action was taken on take snapping turtle out of season, no PFD, operating an ATV in a state park and no park permit.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) assisted CO Bozovsky with a search warrant on a suspect who killed and processed a doe that he stated was needed for food. He stated he felt bad when he saw the doe had a fawn. Time was spent checking boating and fishing activity. Received a call on a baby swan that found its way into an enclosed domestic goose/duck yard, the homeowner brought the cygnet back to the pond to reunite with its family.

International Falls #2 - vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area


CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports he did an extended patrol of the BWCA in the moose river area. Although strong winds and thunderstorms meant fewer people travelling and camping, angling success was very good for those who were willing to brave the weather. Violations included: fail to display watercraft registration, fishing with no license in possession, and untagged minnow trap.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) checked fishermen and visited some resorts. There are lots of people in the BWCAW and the weather has been pretty good. Fishing has been good as well. Remember to have a PFD for each person on board your watercraft.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) spent the week at Camp Ripley helping with arrest and control tactics and firearms training for the current academy.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports working Operation Dry Water and making an arrest for Boating While Intoxicated. That individual was also in possession of an over limit of walleyes. A commercial minnow case was concluded. Enforcement action for the week consisted of BWI, walleye over limit, fishing after suspension, commercial bait trapping violations, insufficient PFDs, and unregistered watercraft.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) handled an eagle complaint, and dealt with a chronic waters issue as well. Time was spent assisting at the academy for firearms training.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked boating and fishing enforcement efforts during the week. Fishing seems to be improving in the area but high winds over the weekend made for difficult fishing. Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations. Murray assisted Lake County Search and Rescue when a child and adult fell into the Gooseberry River. Both were able to swim to shore but sustained bumps and bruises from the ordeal.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area


CO Randy Patten (Northome) worked by checking boaters and anglers. He assisted with a youth boat and water training class. Worked ongoing criminal cases and met with the county attorney’s office on prosecutions.

CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked sport fishing, boating, and handled miscellaneous nuisance animal calls. He also assisted with firearms training at the academy. Preparations were made for upcoming armorer training also. 

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activity over the past week with enforcement action taken for possessing a protected slot walleye, angling with extra lines, angling without a license and angling without a license in possession. CO Sutherland also helped to put on a hands-on youth boating class.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs, state parks and campgrounds.  He also taught a boating class during the week.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) reports fishing activity throughout the surrounding areas has been slow at best for most anglers. CO Van Asch assisted the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office with a youth boat and water safety class. Follow up work was also completed on an open investigation.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked anglers, boaters, and worked OHV and AIS enforcement education during the week. Patrols were conducted in the Fond Du Lac State Forest. The severe weather on Saturday caused some significant blow down and tree damage within the FDL forest and surrounding areas. Lake levels came up significantly with the added precipitation. CO Humphrey received calls on possible wetland and waters violations, nuisance animals, illegal burning, and OHV operation. Two wetland resource protection notifications were issued. 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) responded to several animal complaints involving injured critters and nuisance beaver issues. Several area lakes were patrolled for fishing and boating enforcement.  Many people were contacted for not having navigation lights after sunset and operating PWC’s after closed hours. Several people were checked fishing and many fish were observed in live wells throughout the week. Officer Duncan also spoke at a youth event about rules and regulation with an emphasis on fishing and boating. 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with a K9 search for animal and parts from an aircraft that was lost in an area. Boating and recreational vehicle enforcement activity was worked in the area with enforcement action being taken for registration and AIS violations. Parking enforcement was conducted at an area boat access where complaints of parking in prohibited areas were received. Assistance was given to a local agency in a theft case that also resulted in an arrest for a stolen vehicle. K9 training continues with K9 Schody.

Lake Superior Marine Unit


CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked boaters and anglers as part of the Operation Dry Water project. Fishing success has been slow on the big lake, and action was taken for PFD and extra line violations. An off-road vehicle complaint was received in Lake County, and assistance given to local agencies with locating the offending vehicle.  Watercraft maintenance was handled. Enforcement action was taken for angling and boating violations during the week.

Lake Superior Unit - vacant.

District 9 - Brainerd area


CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sport fishing and boating enforcement and safety. Numerous boating violations were detected over the weekend as part of the State wide enforcement project Operation Dry Water. Officer Guida was interviewed by a reporter regarding a baby loon that was picked up from the wild. The individual who had picked the loon up was advised to immediately return it to the water. The loon was reunited with its adult. Garbage and bird feeders are still being ransacked by hungry bears.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, aquatic vegetation and invasive species enforcement.  Various animal related calls were also handled. 

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) spent time working the national Operation Dry Water campaign, checking boaters on area lakes where a number of unsafe activities were addressed.  The officer also monitored lake accesses for aquatic invasive species, investigated a call of possible illegal lake dredging and issued a permit for a road killed bear.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked boating and angling enforcement throughout the week. CO McGowan also answered numerous TIP complaints and general angling questions. Enforcement action was taken for numerous boating violations. 

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity this week of responding to nuisance bear, bobcat, deer, and fox issues, patrol of area lakes, the Mississippi river, the Crow Wing State Forest, and the Cuyuna Country State Recreational area for fishing, boating, OHV activity, and other recreational uses. An unusual issue involving a mine pit lake with a rising basin and a neighbor blocking other neighbors from accessing the lake was investigated. Local police and sheriff were assisted with a drug/DAR arrest and storm related issues, an illegal rope swing problem was addressed in the CCSRA, and an ongoing illegal ATV operation / damage to public road problem was handled. Enforcement contacts were made for violations including miscellaneous boating safety equipment and registration, fishing licenses not in possession, no trout stamps, dogs off leash in the CCSRA, allowing youths to illegally operate ATVs causing damage to public property, and ATV registration.    

Cuyuna SRA - vacant.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area


CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) patrolled fishing activity including Mille Lacs where anglers are reminded that northerns and smallmouths have protected slots. Typical summer time boating issues were present like lacking enough PFDs and not turning lights on soon enough. Verkuilen also assisted with some river patrol where a lot of boats over 10 feet where lacking registration. 

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) reports windy conditions over most the week. Anglers were battling the waves in the warm muggy weather. ATV’s were in Redtop enjoying the trails. Nuisance bear complaints were fielded. Follow up was conducted on wetland violations in the area. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession, failure to remove drain plug from a watercraft while traveling down a road and failing to stop at road crossings with an ATV.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked Operation Dry Water. Due to the weather, boating contacts were down. She found good compliance. Speldrich responded to an ATV accident in the General Andrews State Forest. The operator was transported by ambulance after hitting a downed tree across a trail. Several nuisance bear complaints were taken. Nuisance bear problems can be kept to a minimum if food sources are not left out for the bears to feed on. Take your bird feeders, dog food, garbage BBQ grills, etc., inside for at least two weeks to encourage the bears to find a new food source. A bear attack on livestock was investigated. A wolf depredation on a foal was also investigated. The foal is expected to live and the injuries were consistent with a wolf attack.  Speldrich also issued nuisance beaver permits.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) took dozens of calls from worried homeowners that wanted to report black bears hanging around their house and trying to get into bird feeders and garbage cans.  The concerned homeowners found that by putting the garbage and feeders away for a week or two, the bears eventually quit visiting. A majority of the week was spent checking anglers and boaters. One angler,  fishing at a remote river bank area, made the mistake of leaving his marijuana and pot pipes setting on top of the car for CO Grundmeier to find.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent a majority of the week following up on nuisance animal calls and checking anglers in the Pine City area. He also spent time checking local state forests for OHV activity and monitored accesses for AIS violations. Time was spent on the St. Croix River over the weekend checking boaters and anglers. A majority of the people checked were canoeing or tubing down the river, enjoying the nice weather after heavy storms came through over the weekend. Enforcement contacts included angling without licenses, operating ATV’s without registration displayed, and drug possession.

District 11 - St. Cloud area


CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week assisting with CO Academy firearms and defensive tactics training. CO Silgjord also conducted water patrol for Operation Dry Water. Violations found were no PFDs, no required observer, and no angling license in possession. 

CO Mike Krauel (St. Cloud) spent the week focusing on fishing and boat safety enforcement. CO Krauel also attended a local kids fishing event at Lake George. The event was held to encourage kids to go out fishing. CO Krauel saw many kids having a great time fishing and even got to see a few kids catch their first fish. A big thank you to all of the supporters of the event who donated their time and the prizes for the event. CO Krauel also handled a complaint of dogs chasing deer. Enforcement action was taken for insufficient life preservers, no angling license, failure to display registration, and angling with extra lines.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) participated in an open mic segment with local radio station, KEYL. CO Friese taught the law portion for a Morrison County FAS class. A bear complaint was investigated. Watercraft safety was emphasized as well as checking anglers and recreational vehicle activities.

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) handled calls of an escaped game farm elk, a nuisance turkey that took up residence on a woman’s deck and garbage dumping that occurred right next to a “No Dumping” sign on state land. Kuske investigated calls of a young hungry bear that broke into a house and pulled out the oatmeal and hot cocoa in the kitchen, pulled down the clothes in the bedroom closet and visited the bathroom, leaving nose prints all over the mirror. The same week the bear attempted to break into another house presumably looking for more porridge. 

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) received a nuisance wildlife complaint from a person that is experiencing six bears routinely visiting her residence. The bears have done damage and are not scared of warnings from the person. A nuisance bear hunter will be utilized to reduce the threat. A group of three landowners caught up in a property line dispute had some corn stalks placed in a ditch mysteriously set on fire which has now resulted in a criminal investigation. Conducted AIS inspections at a number of public access sites and found very good compliance and understanding of the AIS rules.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked boaters, anglers and ATVs. Thesing assisted at the Albany ATV safety class talking to the kids about safe use of ATVs. Enforcement action for the week included youth on ATV with no helmet, no angling license in possession, and various boating equipment/registration violations.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) enforced boating, ATV and AIS laws. He also responded to injured wildlife calls and handled administrative tasks.

District 12 - Princeton area


CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen and boaters on area lakes and rivers. He followed up with a litter violation more charges pending. He assisted with a bald eagle recovery.

CO Phil Mohs (Center City) worked AIS, fishing, boating and ATV enforcement. CO Mohs spoke to a local firearm safety class about ethics and hunting laws. Time was spent investigating several TIP calls. Enforcement action was taken on ATV, fishing, and boating violations.

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked anglers during the week. A report of a dog bitten by a timber wolf was investigated. ATV traffic remains high along with boating on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken on ATV passengers under 18 without a helmet and transport watercraft without removing the drain plug.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) assisted the sheriff’s department with removal of a large tree floating in a local lake that was a possible hazard. Many anglers were checked with fair harvest reported on pan fish and northern pike. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, driving after revocation, and minor watercraft violations.  

Princeton - vacant.

District 13 - West Metro area


CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) spent time on Lake Minnetonka checking anglers and enforcing boating safety. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display boat registration, not wearing a life jacket on a jet ski, no lanyard on a jet ski and riding on the gunwales of the boat while underway. CO Weyandt took a call about a sick-looking deer in the Chanhassen area. The deer was later found floating dead in a park pond. A safety camp was attended in Ramsey where CO Weyandt spoke about gun safety. Angler checks were done at the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license and fishing without a trout stamp on a designated trout lake.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking fisherman and monitoring boating activity. CO Grewe followed up with calls and participated in Operation Dry Water over the weekend.  Violations included expired boat registration, no lifejacket and operating a PWC within 150 feet of another watercraft.

CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) focused much of her attention on invasive species enforcement and boat and water activity around Prior Lake and the Minnesota River. Weather was pleasant for most of the week and that brought several people to the water. Leuthardt was pleased that the boaters she had contact with had their required safety equipment on board. Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license, transportation of prohibited invasive species, allowing operation of a watercraft without required safety equipment and no observer or mirror while towing with a boat.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) tried to follow-up with invasive species violation reports from Carver County lakes. He returned/took calls for bow fishing regulation questions in Bloomington/Edina areas and the Mississippi River as well as a call for service that involved a deer appeared to be sick and trapped inside a dog kennel. CO Le attended a meeting with personnel from other Divisions within Region 3, the topic was community outreach. He worked the ODW detail on Lake Minnetonka, Lake Waconia, Mississippi River and Minnesota River. Enforcement action was taken for no lifejacket, child under 10 and didn’t wear lifejacket-as the watercraft was underway, failed to display valid boat registration and failed to display a required decal on PWC.

Bloomington - vacant.

Ft. Snelling - vacant.

Osseo - vacant

Waconia - vacant.

District 14 - East Metro area


CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and boating activity. CO Salzer also investigated the illegal possession of rabbits that had been removed from a nest. If you find baby animals please leave them alone.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reports working the Operation Dry Water weekend on area lakes. He also spent time handling nuisance animal complaints and TIP calls. Violations for the week included insufficient PFDs and angling with extra lines.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the weekend working Operation Dry Water with the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office. Officers rescued an individual from an overturned kayak who was not wearing his PFD. Time was also spent investigating a poached deer with the case ongoing. Enforcement action for the week included angling with extra lines, no wake and other boating violations as well as possession of controlled substances and driving after revocation.

Metro Officer - vacant.

Maplewood - vacant.

District 15 - Marshall area


CO Andrew Dirks (Redwood Falls) focused time checking anglers, and boating enforcement for Operation Dry Water. Enforcement action included multiple violations for fishing licenses, extra lines, personal floatation devices, operating a motor vehicle within a Wildlife Management Area, and burning violations.

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) concentrated patrol activity on boat and water safety during Operation Dry Water Weekend. Enforcement activity included: fish over limits, angling with extra lines, transporting unmeasurable catfish and failing to have a legal lifesaving device on board watercraft. Numerous wildlife complaints were also fielded.

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) checked shore anglers, ATVs, and boaters. Warm, windy weather appears to have slowed fishing success from the previous week. 
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers and working boat safety. Boat activity has increased with warm weather. Firearm training was given at the Conservation Officer Academy.

Benson - vacant.

Worthington - vacant.

District 16 - New Ulm area


CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on nuisance beaver complaints. He monitored areas with bowfishing complaints. Denz also followed up on TIP calls.

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time on area lakes for boat safety enforcement and angling activity. Vernier also worked multiple aquatic plant removal complaints. Several questions were answered from the public including boating, ATV, and firearm regulations.

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time checking anglers during the week and finding some that did not have angling licenses or are using extra lines. Car kill deer tags were issued to people who wanted the deer and some were reminded to call prior to taking the deer. Klehr also spent time checking riders on ATVs and OHMs.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) assisted with academy training at Camp Ripley. She investigated a possible violation where fill was placed in a wetland. Mueller checked some ATV operators and explained the rules regarding juvenile operations. She also followed up on issues with local wildlife management areas.

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) spent most of the week instructing at the Conservation Officer Academy at Camp Ripley. Recruits were trained on the use and maintenance of their patrol rifles. Topics ranged from basic marksmanship, malfunction clearance, shooting at night, and shooting under stress. Oberg also spent time working boating enforcement in his station.  Nuisance animal calls were also handled.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) gave a presentation at a business safety day and assisted at a firearms safety range and field day.

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) focused activity on boating and AIS compliance. Warmer weather has slowed down the local angling activity and increased the recreational boating. Enforcement action was taken for an AIS violation, angling license violations, and an investigation was begun regarding a possible wetland violation. 

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) reports that he worked boat and water safety enforcement and angling enforcement throughout the week. He also completed his radio program with KKOJ discussing topics including Operation Dry Water and a recap of a veterans day at the lake held at Eastside Acres on Round Lake in Jackson County.

District 17 - Mankato area


CO Chris Howe (St Peter) worked boating, angling, and AIS activity. Howe also assisted with a “Take a Kid Fishing” event, patrolled a road construction area for reported ORV violators, assisted local authorities with a boat that got swamped in high waves, and provided a tow to a disabled watercraft.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week patrolling primarily for fishing, boating, and ATV activity. Additional time was spent at local public water accesses monitoring AIS compliance. Ihnen also investigated a number of TIP calls as well as responded to complaints of littering and burning prohibited materials.

CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on fishing, ATV, boating, and fire activity. VanThuyne also worked with neighboring officers focusing efforts on AIS compliance and assisted local agencies with several calls.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) focused enforcement efforts on checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators during the week. Time was also spent investigating a complaint at a wildlife management area.

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) spent the majority of his time this week focusing on boating enforcement along with fishing enforcement. Henke worked with many other officers from around the state for Operation Dry Water. Numerous violations were detected, however all individuals contacted by Henke had made arraignments to have a sober driver for the boat, thank you.

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working sport fishing enforcement, AIS compliance, and boat and water safety. Operation Dry Water was worked with other District 17 officers.  Requests from the public seeking information were returned.

District 18 - Rochester area


CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports heavy river use. He followed up on fishing and waters complaints. He assisted a stranded boater with a baby in boat that had been trying to flag down people for over an hour but nobody heard or saw them. Hemker also had nuisance animal complaints with wood chucks, rabbits, ducks, deer, eagles, and rattlesnakes.

CO Trent Seamans (Rochester) patrolled for sport fishing, boat/water safety, and invasive species enforcement. Additional efforts were spent on ATV enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for possessing an overlimit of sunfish, angling with an extra line, and angling without a license. CO Seamans assisted fisheries with an aquaculture investigation. A disabled personal watercraft was pulled from the restricted area around the Lake Zumbro Dam. 

Red Wing - vacant.

LaCrescent - vacant.

Zumbrota - 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 rotary training and assisting Fisheries crews with insertion and removal of people/equipment from remote lakes for survey purposes. Jensen also gave a flight check to another DNR pilot and attempted to locate some radio-collared bats around Camp Ripley.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) continued helicopter training with one pilot, and also conducted Tactical Flight Officer training flights with three Conservation Officers. He worked on maintenance and administrative tasks as well.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew wolf and moose telemetry and also multiple Leech lake creel surveys.

CO Bob Geving (New Ulm) flew a fisheries lake assessment photo flight and attended to administrative work.  

CO Pilot Christopher Lofstuen (Grand Rapids) reports conducting seaplane training flights as well as multiple creel surveys over the Rainy Lake Area. A night currency flight was conducted and maintenance issues were addressed on the aircraft.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers


WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week checking WCA and PW complaints. Time was spent working at the Academy with the Use of Force team teaching defensive tactics and firearms training. Fishermen and boaters were also checked. A lake association meeting was attended in Detroit Lakes

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) spent the week conducting AIS enforcement in his assigned area. WREO Haberman also conducted work planning in Pine County. WREO Haberman also assisted area officers with Operation Dry Water over the weekend.

WREO Keith Bertram (Central) responded to wetland violations and issued cease and desist orders. Time was also spent checking fishermen and boaters. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, no boat registration, and insufficient boating safety equipment. 

WREO Larry Hanson (SW) assisted with a site visit with the SWCD and BWSR on possible WCA violation in Redwood County. A K-9 demonstration was performed in Detroit Lakes on locating zebra mussels on boats and trailers. AIS checks were completed on area lakes and rivers.

WREO Julie Siems (SE) followed up AIS complaints and open WCA and waters cases. Boating and angling enforcement was also worked resulting in unattended lines, no license in possession, no fire extinguisher and fail to display registration violations.

Enforcement Education


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

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

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

Reminder---anyone born after December 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 take the online course and hands-on day or attend the traditional youth course.  Those 16 or older can take the online course.

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


If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador, contact your local Conservation Officer or Regional Safety Training officer.  Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR Website.

See Also:


West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports Completing Instructor Background checks and planning for upcoming Instructor certification clinics.  Calls were also returned to area Instructors answering questions about DNR Safety Training programs.  Online training was also completed in preparation for upcoming EVOC training.

Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week working on backgrounds and upcoming training.  Time was spent working a Boat and Water detail in District 18 on the Mississippi River.
RTO                                                               PHONE NUMBERS/E-MAIL:
NE RTO Shelly Patten                                   218-553-1676   shelly.patten@state.mn.us    
West Central RTO Frank Rezac                     320-552-3948   frank.rezac@state.mn.us
Rec Veh Coord Bruce Lawrence                    763-267-8534    bruce.lawrence@state.mn.us
Southern RTO Dan McBroom                        507-843-2032    daniel.mcbroom@state.mn.us
SW Metro RTO Kevin Neitzke                      651-463-3168    kevin.neitzke@state.mn.us
NW RTO Jeff Halverson                                218-894-3577    jeff.halverson@state.mn.us

Curriculum Specialist:  Vacant

Education Specialist:  Vacant

Curriculum Coordinator:  Vacant



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