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Conservation Officer Report
Weekly Conservation Officer Report from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

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

LTC Greg Salo, Assistant Director, 651-259-5045

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



District 1 - Baudette area

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) attended annual training at Camp Ripley and conducted armoring activities for the division’s rifles.  He investigated a complaint of a deer on a leash in the rear of a residence and monitored fishing and boating activity in the Thief River Falls area.  Enforcement action for the week included non-serviceable fire extinguisher on watercraft, insufficient PFD’s, angling license violations, and allow juvenile to operate ATV without helmet.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working boating and angling activity on special regulation lakes throughout the week.  Time was spent working on an applicant background investigation and investigating a wolf depredation complaint.  Watercraft registration violations were encountered and addressed.

CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck North) reports focusing on ATV, AIS, and big game enforcement. Annual in-service training was attended. The officer spent some time in the woods checking bear bait stations for compliance. Report of some deer shining activity were received and worked.

CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette East) spent time at Camp Ripley for annual in-service training. Time was also spent checking bear baits and patrolling for ATV violations.

Baudette West – vacant.

Warroad South – vacant.

Karlstad – vacant.

Thief River Falls East – vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending most of this week checking anglers and watercraft operators.  AIS enforcement was worked on designated infested waters.  Various wildlife related complaints were received.  The start of bear baiting was monitored.  ATV operators were also contacted.  Various boating and ATV violations were found.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) assisted with training at in-service training and returned wildlife calls.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) worked angling and boating activity on area lakes.  Officer Vollbrecht spoke to anglers participating in the Bass Masters Tournament regarding boating regulations and spent time at Camp Ripley armoring firearms.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji #2) checked angling activity and monitored AIS compliance throughout the area. Time was spent working ATVs and investigating a public land use complaint in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest. CO Holt attended training at Camp Ripley and worked a TIP display at the local county fair.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports attending annual training at Camp Ripley.  CO Vinton also assisted the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s office with a one vehicle rollover and was the first law enforcement officer on scene and made sure the driver was okay and the scene was secure. CO Vinton received a call of someone operating an RC boat and using it to harass loons on an area lake.  CO Vinton began work on a background investigation of a potential new hire for the Division of Enforcement.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) spent time on boating and angling activity.  A complaint of over limits and illegal length fish was investigated.  AIS regulation compliance was monitored. Calls of a possible sick grey wolf, nuisance beaver, and bow fishing regulations were received. Follow-up continued on open aquatic vegetation transport zebra mussels and filling of a wetland case.  Area trails were worked for ATV and off road vehicle activity.  Areas were also patrolled for bear baiting activity.

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring ATV, angling, AIS, and boat and water safety in the Moorhead station. Cooler temps and rain put a damper on much lake activity this week; those angling are catching a few sunfish and crappies. The officer followed up on cases and monitored commercial vegetation harvesters in the Pelican station. The officer spent time at Ripley for annual in-service training.

Fosston – vacant.

Pelican Rapids – vacant.

District 3 - Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports the number of anglers have dropped off but the fishing remains strong in the area.  Officer Richards gave a presentation to youth for the MN Waterfowl Association’s Woodie Camp held in Fergus Falls. 

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen, boaters, and AIS compliance throughout the week.  Additional time was spent handling calls on a badger digging in someone’s driveway.  Calls were fielded regarding upcoming hunting seasons and complaints about trespass.  Minnow dealers were also checked.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked boaters, fishermen, and ATVs. Injured animal complaints were received and information was passed on to the complainants.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley where qualifications in defensive tactics and firearms were performed.  Officer Lawler also followed up on aquatic plant harvesting violations as well as conducting a background investigation on an officer candidate.

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued working fishing, boating, and AIS enforcement on and around area waterways. Additional time was spent patrolling for ATV violations and completing a roadside pheasant count for DNR Wildlife. Several days were spent at Camp Ripley instructing other officers in use of force tactics.

CO Steve Chihak (Wheaton) attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley.  Time was also spent working sport fishing and ATV enforcement.  Minnow transportation permits and nuisance beaver permits were issued.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) attended annual training at Camp Ripley this past week.  Additional time was spent issuing nuisance beaver removal permits, and answering questions about upcoming hunting seasons.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) processed evidence and had a meeting with a prosecutor regarding active cases.  Resource protection notices were generated and restoration orders for wetland violations were issued.  ATV trails were checked and invasive species work was completed. 
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers, boaters, and AIS.  A deer poaching call and eagle shooting call were received.  A wolf depredation call at a sheep farm was reported.  A bass over limit TIP call was investigated and no violations were found.  Time was spent working the DNR booth at the Beltrami County Fair.  Time was also spent working on a background investigation. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring angling, boating, AIS, bear baiting and ATV activity.  Anglers continue to report limited success. CO Broughten attended training at Camp Ripley and also gave a presentation to a firearm safety class.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) gave a law talk at Verndale and Leaders FAS classes.  Officer Halverson also checked river fishermen, attended training, and handled a complaint of a calf being killed by a wolf.
Walker – vacant.

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (Int’l Falls) reports annual in-service training was attended at Camp Ripley.  Fishing and boating safety enforcement continue to be a majority of the workload, however bear baiting has started.  Enforcement action for the week included illegal transport/possession of fish from Ontario, Canada and assisting Voyageurs National Park with a fish over limit case.

CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) reports time was spent monitoring for AIS compliance and ATV activity. Bear baiting recently started and several people were noted getting set up. Division training at Camp Ripley was also attended. 

CO Colleen Adam (Ray) worked checking anglers, bear baiting activity, and following up on public waters violations.  Enforcement contacts made for no fishing licenses, no ATV registration, and youth passengers without proper helmets. 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports limited activity on area lakes as the summer draws to a close. Fishing reports remain poor.  Boating activity has diminished.  Forest roads and public access sites continue to be monitored.

CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers and boaters this past week.  CO Velsvaag also attended annual training and followed up on several complaints and nuisance animal questions.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked angling and boating activity.  A complaint of a fuel leak into a lake was investigated.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) was called to a home where the homeowner stated she heard two loud shots by the road and the next day saw a crow hanging dead from a tree behind her home so concluded someone shot over her house.  Officer Fredin spoke to the neighbor across the road who stated he blasted a hornet’s nest out of a tree, the dead crow was just coincidental.  CO Fredin worked boating enforcement on Lake Vermillion and was surprised to see a group of boats heading down the lake towards him and one had a headlight.  Looking through binoculars revealed a snowmobiler water-skipping down the lake.  He was directed to the nearest safe landing.  He stated this was on his bucket list and his goal was to skip the entire lake.  This activity was very dangerous to himself and others; enforcement action was taken.


District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports enforcement was focused on bear baiting activity over the weekend. Several baits were located and compliance was very high, although bear activity seemed to be low at most baits checked. Violations included angling without a license in possession, failure to display current watercraft registration, and possession of marijuana.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) spent part of the week at Camp Ripley for annual training.  Calls were received concerning a wounded bear, a loon with a Rapala stuck on its leg, and an agency assist for the aftermath of a high speed pursuit that ended successfully in rural Embarrass. Fishermen checks showed that fishing success has been slow.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) answered questions about the legality of recreational bear feeding and the upcoming bear and deer seasons.  The feeling of fall is starting to creep in.  A few berry pickers were out during the week as were some hunters starting to scout for bear bait stations.

CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) helped teach firearms and defensive tactics at annual fall in service training at Camp Ripley

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) assisted a neighboring officer with a TIP call, attended in-service training, received more nuisance bear calls and bear baiting questions, taught the law portion of the Babbitt ATV safety class, and spent time on the water.  Enforcement action for the week included litter, expired boat registration, no navigational lights after sunset, and fishing with an extra line.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area bear baiting activity this week.  Time was spent checking ATV activity on area trails and back roads.  CO Schottenbauer instructed other officers at Camp Ripley this week as well.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week teaching use of force and firearms tactics at Camp Ripley.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) attended a division training session at Camp Ripley. Nuisance bear and wolf activity were reported and a dead eagle call was investigated and found to be a natural death.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked boaters and anglers on area lakes, patrolled ATV trails, handled a wolf depredation call on livestock, and worked ongoing cases.  Enforcement action taken for failing to stop at a road crossing with an ATV.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, boating activity, patrolled campgrounds, checked for exotic species, and answered various wildlife calls. Violations included litter, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He also assisted the county with a couple investigations.  CO Hansen also traveled to Camp Ripley to armor rifles. 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended K9 training, checked anglers, and responded to nuisance animal complaints. CO Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also assisted the sheriff’s office in locating evidence in an ongoing investigation. The area pan fish anglers had good success this week. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, failure to display valid registration on watercraft, and allowing illegal operation of an ATV by juveniles.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked bear baiting activity with favorable weather and conditions for hunters getting ready for bear opener on September 1st.  CO Sutherland attended a youth firearms safety class where he gave a law talk to the youth. 

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) reports working angling, big game, ATV, and boating enforcement.  The weekend brought many eager bear hunters out for the first weekend of bear baiting.  CO Van Asch attended annual in-service training held at Camp Ripley.  Time was also spent assisting with an open investigation involving a gross over limit of pan fish and handling several nuisance animal complaints.

Pengilly – vacant.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Nick Prachar (Brookston) was working with Lt. Speldrich near Brookston when the two came across a stolen vehicle.  One of the occupants had an active warrant.  With the assistance of MN State Patrol the officers took one into custody and secured the vehicle for the registered owner.  Time was also spent at Camp Ripley for annual training
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) attend annual in-service training at Camp Ripley during the week. 
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) attended annual division training at Camp Ripley.  Officer Humphrey also attended a Forestry division meeting held in Cloquet and calls were taken on bear hunting and baiting questions.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent most of the week at a specialized K9 training in the metro area. A K9 talk was given to a group of young students at an outdoors camp north of Duluth. Nuisance animal complaints were received and advice was given on how to deal with them.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked the Duluth-Superior Harbor during the Bayfront Blues Fest.  The nice weather and music had many boaters out enjoying Lake Superior and the Duluth Harbor.  One PWC/boat crash was reported and responded to by the USCG and St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office, resulting in minor injuries.  Officer Olson also spoke to a summer camp for youth ages 5-12 years old on the duties of a conservation officer and attended annual training at Camp Ripley.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked boaters and anglers on Lake Superior and area lakes.  Time was spent at Camp Ripley armoring Division squad rifles.  Questions were answered about bear baiting and he checked bear bait sites as the season got underway.  Enforcement action was taken for watercraft, angling and ATV violations.

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Tim Collette (Crosslake) monitored bear baiting activity and checked anglers and boaters. Annual training was completed and a call of possible rabid raccoon was handled.  The officer is asking for assistance in locating the person who dumped a dead Timber Wolf pup at a logging site near Fifty Lakes. Anyone with information can call #TIP on their cellphone and remain anonymous.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd #2) worked sport fishing and DNR in-service training at Camp Ripley.  Warm weather continued as watercraft traffic increased in the lakes area and pan fish reports are improving. 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) attended training and worked summertime activity.  A case of 2017 hunting regulation booklets were distributed at the Palisade River fest parade.

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) continued to work an angling tip on the Sandy River of illegal length walleye being kept.  She spent time at Camp Ripley instructing annual officer training and responded to a call of an ATV stuck in a wetland on a snowmobile trail.  The rider learned a lot that day about the limits of his machine as well as the state laws on ATVs.  CO Ladd also worked bear baits in her area and fielded several big game questions.  

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing County lakes for boating activity.  CO McGowan also attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley.  Enforcement action was taken for numerous boating violations. 

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) reports several violations that involved the use on Aqua Thrusters to remove muck and aquatic vegetation were addressed.  Any use of aquatic jets to move lake substrate or control aquatic vegetation is prohibited.  CO Sullivan also received a TIP of a subject angling with extra lines.  The subject was located and enforcement action was taken. 

Cuyuna SRA – vacant.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked lake activity including the new walleye opener on Mille Lacs and reckless recreation complaints.  He also recovered a dead eagle, attended training, and assisted with armoring service firearms.

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) checked anglers and ATV activity throughout the week.  Annual training was attended at Camp Ripley and several calls of various animal complaints were handled.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working area lakes for fishing and boating activity.  Lots of boaters were enjoying the nice weather over the weekend and a few fish were seen being caught.  Calls regarding the feeding ban were fielded and many other law related questions were answered.  Patrol was done for AIS activity and area state land was patrolled for ATV, OHM, and ORV traffic.  A call regarding a noise complaint on an area lake was taken and a car kill deer call was also investigated.  Assistance was given to a neighboring officer regarding a call of an ATV operator who had called 911 because they were stuck in a wetland.  Officers were able to assist with getting the ATV out and there was enforcement action for various ATV violations.  Enforcement action for the week included various fishing and boating violations.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley.  She also received complaints of illegal dumping and several bear baiting/hunting questions.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) fielded calls and questions about the Morrison County deer feeding ban, Mille Lacs walleye fishing, bear baiting, fishing tournament regulations, and the legality of using tetra-totes to hunt from on or attached to an ATV.  A complaint of a landowner dumping grass/yard clippings over the river bank is being investigated and a TIP call was received of duck ponds being baited for the upcoming waterfowl opener next month.   An angler called to report that unfortunately they had a loon get snagged in their muskie lure when fishing over the weekend.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week monitoring ATV activity.  CO Silgjord assisted with use of force training at the Division’s annual in-service event.  Time was also spent conducting a background investigation for the upcoming academy.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, AIS, and boaters.  Time was spent at Camp Ripley at annual training focusing on CPR, firearms, defensive tactics, and law training.  Officer Thesing spoke with the students of the Albany DNR firearms safety class.  Assistance was given to DNR wildlife staff in helping a fawn deer that was stuck in a fence.  The fawn was freed and ran off to join its mother.

CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports attending officer in-service/use of force training at Camp Ripley.  Follow up was done on a TIP call involving an invasive species violation. Patrol was also done on area lakes and rivers with enforcement action taken for fishing without a fishing license, boating with insufficient PFD’s, and watercraft registration violations.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) attended the Todd SWCD TEP meeting.  An assist was given to USFWS on an incident in Hillman involving an eagle being shot.  Follow up on WCA was done.  CO Friese also attended training at Camp Ripley. 

Pierz – vacant.

Paynesville – vacant.

Annandale – vacant.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) attended annual training at Camp Ripley. CO Musatov checked anglers and boaters and worked ATV complaint areas. Follow up was done on a litter complaint and animal issues were handled.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley. Also a presentation was given at a FAS Class in Rockford. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, possession of a small amount marijuana, and taking live mussels from the Mississippi River.

CO Phil Mohs (Center City) attended the Game Fair and answered numerous questions on enforcement related topics.  Bear baiting activities have begun in the area.  Bear hunters are reminded to review the 2017 Bear Hunting regulations on the MN DNR website.  Several illegal shoreline alteration cases were investigated.

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked some anglers during the week.   Saturday was spent at the Kanabec County Take a Kid Fishing event.   Tony Roach and his guide service provided a great day on the water for all the children who participated.  Members of the Kanabec County Sheriff’s Office assisted in organizing this great event.  My hat is off to all that were involved and their dedication.  Time was also spent at Camp Ripley with annual in-service training.          

District 13 - West Metro area

Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked anglers and boaters on the metro area lakes and rivers.  He took calls on nuisance animal complaints and answered questions on big game and small game regulations to the Asian community.  He also took calls on bear hunting regulations and firearm safety classes.

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) is beginning to prepare for the upcoming dove season along with the many small game options upcoming in the area.  Time was spent participating in training at Camp Ripley.  A firearms safety class was attended and many of the new changes for 2017 were emphasized.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week patrolling fishermen and checking boats with K9 Shelby for zebra mussels.  CO Grewe followed up with access inspector violations and provided ride-along to the district intern.  Violations this week included not having fishing license in possession. 

CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) spoke at two firearm safety classes about laws and regulations. Shore anglers were checked on Lake Minnetonka with many having close to their limit of sunfish. CO Weyandt has begun a background investigation on one of the new candidates for the next conservation officer academy.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked angling and boating in Minneapolis lakes, Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers. He worked with Fort Snelling State Park’s assistant manager to identify littering and trespassing issues. He responded to calls for injured/sick geese and crow, he assisted Minneapolis Police Department with question/information about a suspected stolen boat, and he assisted Hennepin County Sherriff Office to look for intoxicated individuals along the Mississippi River around Fort Snelling State Park. Enforcement action taken for no angling license, speeding in the State Park, no vehicle permit.

CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) assisted at the annual conservation officer in-service at Camp Ripley. She also had a ride along spend the day with her while she followed up on case work, checked anglers, boaters, and monitored boat launches for AIS violations. Enforcement action was taken on failure to display valid boat registration, transporting aquatic macrophytes, and fail to register bear baits.

Bloomington – vacant.

Ft. Snelling – vacant.

District 14 - East Metro area

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring angling activity throughout the area with very little success observed. He also spoke at a firearm safety class and assisted with armoring department issued firearms. Enforcement action for the week included angling and boating violations.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) continued checking shore anglers around area lakes and rivers. He attended in-service training at Camp Ripley.  CO Pril also scheduled upcoming firearm safety classes and responded to miscellaneous animal calls and other various calls.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time checking anglers, boaters, patrolling the wildlife management areas, and doing AIS enforcement.  He also spoke to a firearms safety class in Hugo and handled nuisance animal calls.  CO Arntzen continued working on a littering complaint and did follow up on a wetland violation.

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) attended training at Camp Ripley and also worked the Game Fair on the opening day. Crowds were light but several good questions were asked. CO Salzer also patrolled the Coon Rapids Dam for angling activity.

White Bear Lake – vacant.

Metro Officer – vacant.

Eagan – vacant.

District 15 - Marshall area

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Benson) attended annual training at Camp Ripley. The officer also checked shore anglers and rec vehicle operators over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for OHV registration violations and littering.

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) attended annual training at Camp Ripley.  Heavy rains over the weekend slowed most outdoor activities.  CO Picht did observe several nice catfish being caught on LqP.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week training, checking anglers, and working boating safety.  Boat and PWC traffic remains high on most area lakes.  Many geese are showing up on harvested oat fields.  Hunting questions, especially related to CWD, are being fielded.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, AIS, boating, and ATV enforcement. Time was also spent attending annual enforcement division training at Camp Ripley. Several calls were received about the up-coming hunting seasons and firearm safety classes.

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent time conducting both background and wildlife investigations. Numerous hunting related questions were also fielded throughout the week. 

Lake Benton – vacant.

Worthington – vacant.

District 16 - New Ulm area

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked anglers and recreational boaters.  Response was given to residence’s regarding injured deer for wildlife.  Public accesses were patrolled and individuals were reminded to pick up after themselves even though it may be cleaning up after someone else.

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time up at Camp Ripley for the annual in-service training. Other time was spent finishing up the August Roadside Survey routes for the Meeker County station.

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar West) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley.  Additional time was spent at the Kandiyohi County Fair with the TIP trailer.

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time at Camp Ripley for Department training.  He followed up on a dumping complaint and spoke at a FAS class.  Officer Vernier also spent time backgrounding for Academy 18.

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) continued to field calls related to the upcoming hunting seasons and questions related to FAS classes.  A background investigation was started upon a candidate for Academy 18. 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) investigated possible excavation in public waters and fishing complaints.  He also armored Division firearms.  The remainder of the week was spent on fishing, aquatic invasive species, boating and ATV enforcement activities.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) patrolled his area checking activity relating to angling and ATV operation.  Officer Gruhlke also attended training at Camp Ripley.

Hutchinson East – vacant.

Hutchinson West – vacant.

District 17 - Mankato area

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) attended annual fall training at Camp Ripley. CO Henke began a background investigation into a possible candidate for the next CO Academy in 2018. CO Henke investigated the suspicious death of a deer; it was determined to be a roadkill that had been moved and meat harvested. CO Henke reminds everyone that a permit is needed to take or transport a roadkill animal and permission is needed to dump the remains on private property.

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked angling, boating, and ATV activity. The MN River saw heavy activity with a large catfish contest going on. Officer Howe also assisted the State Patrol with two incidents and armored Division pistols at Camp Ripley.

CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato 1) focused on fishing and ATV activity.  Officer VanThuyne also investigated a public waters complaint, checked boats for AIS compliance, and assisted State Patrol with a couple of accidents.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers, boaters, and recreational vehicle operators.  Time was also spent monitoring public access sites for AIS violations and is assisting with background investigations.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. Additional time was spent monitoring AIS compliance at area PWAs. In addition, Officer Ihnen competed in the MPPOA State Championship pistol match.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, boaters, ATV operators, and monitored AIS activity.  Litter complaints were investigated.  The officer gave the law & ethics presentation to an online firearm safety class field day at the 20 Rifle & Pistol Club.  Multiple angling and boating violations were encountered during the week.

Spring Valley – vacant.

District 18 - Rochester area

CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports handling multiple nuisance beaver issues throughout the station. Multiple anglers were contacted angling with extra lines. When asked, all anglers admitted they knew they could only use one line but decided to use multiple. CO Hill and CO Seamans encountered a subject using a cast net. They were found to be in possession of two smallmouth bass. The fish were released alive and enforcement action was taken. Other enforcement action for the week included no license in possession, take fish without a license, and fail to register a kayak. Annual division training was attended at Camp Ripley and CO Hill also worked the DNR booth at the Game Fair.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports good fishing with limits of fish checked.  He followed up on complaints of illegal fishing on the river.  Officer Hemker also attended in-service training and handled several nuisance wildlife calls including a rattlesnake in a heavy foot traffic area.

CO Trent Seamans (Rochester) spent the majority of the week patrolling for boat/water safety and sport fishing. Additional efforts were spent patrolling for ATVs and presenting at a firearm safety class. Enforcement action was taken for allowing the illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, fishing with an extra line, and using a cast net to catch smallmouth bass.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports attending in service training at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent assisting Houston County with a boating accident and recovery. A few anglers were checked with some success.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports attending fall in service training as well as checking some fishing activity on the Big River and Lake Pepin.  Fishing has been okay on Pepin with some pan fish, walleye, and both black and white bass found in the bag.

CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week at annual training.

CO James Fogarty (La Crescent) participated in service training at Camp Ripley.  CO Fogarty also assisted Houston County Sheriff’s Office with a boat crash on the Mississippi River.  Seven people were on board a boat traveling 60 MPH when it struck a cement channel marker in front of Wildcat Park.  None of the parties on the boat were wearing their life jackets. 

Rochester #1 – 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 Chris Lofstuen (Grand Rapids) attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley as well as performing various other administrative tasks.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew a photo mission for Forest Assessment, gave training to an NR Pilot, and flew an instrument training flight. Pilot Heineman also had required maintenance done on 605NR.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) continued with the hybrid cattail spraying for Wildlife.  Nearly 440 acres were treated near the Pembina wildlife areas west of Thief River Falls. He also completed some helicopter maintenance.

Standby NR Pilot Jessica Holmes (Grand Rapids) continued training in the scout with NR Pilot John Heineman.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week instructing with the use of force team at annual in-service at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent working on open water resource cases, checking fishermen, and monitoring AIS compliance.

WREO Mike Scott (NE) armored firearms at Camp Ripley at in-service training. Work on WCA cases was completed and several cases closed. A new WCA case was handled with site visit with LGU and SWCD folks.  Officer Scott staffed an AIS booth at the St. Louis County fair in Chisholm with the MN Sea Grant folks and 1854 Authority. Assistance was given to St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department on searching for a missing person.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) checked boaters and fishermen in Aitkin County. Many fishermen forgot their licenses back at the cabins and one boater was cited for not having life jackets in his watercraft. WREO Haberman also attended in-service training at Camp Ripley.

WREO Keith Bertram (Central) spent most of the week working on wetland violations.  TEP meetings in Benton, Todd, and Isanti counties were attended.  Enforcement action was also taken for angling with extra lines.

WREO Larry Hanson (SW) attended training and continued to follow-up on PW and WCA cases as needed. Officer Hanson worked in vacant stations checking water related equipment and fishermen for issues. ATV’s and boats were checked for safety issues.

WREO Julie Siems (SE) checked anglers and responded to a TIP complaint.  A background investigation for employment was also started.

Enforcement Education

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

See Also:


NW RTO Greg Oldakowski (acting) reports time was spent providing officer annual training in firearms and defensive tactics.   Calls and questions were answered regarding upcoming volunteer safety instructor clinics as well. 

North Metro RTO Brett Oberg (acting) spent time instructing at officer in-service training at Camp Ripley.  Instruction was given in defensive tactics, force on force, and firearms.  Officer Oberg also spent time armoring division rifles.

Southern RTO Jen Mueller (acting) assisted at in-service training at Camp Ripley.  She also attended training herself.  She also followed up on background investigations for new instructors and returned emails and phone calls from instructors. 
South Metro RTO Phil George (acting) assisted with in-service training and assisted FAS instructors.

RTO Bruce Lawrence hosted a snowmobile regulations booklet meeting at St. Paul Central Office with staff representing the License Bureau, Parks, and the DNR Info Center.  The 2017-2018 regulations booklets are to be available in mid-late October.  RTO Lawrence spent four days assisting other Use of Force Instructors with conservation officer annual in-service training at Camp Ripley.  The training focused on firearms techniques and peace officer license mandated training for defensive tactics along with first aid and hearing conservation for job duties.

RTO                                                               PHONE NUMBERS/E-MAIL:
NE RTO Mike Lee                                         218-821-9747   mike.lee@state.mn.us
NW RTO Greg Oldakowski                           218-631-5972   gregory.oldakowski@state.mn.us
North Metro RTO Brett Oberg                       320-234-3741   brett.oberg@state.mn.us
Southern RTO Jennifer Mueller                      320-234-3499    jennifer.mueller@state.mn.us
South Metro RTO Phil George                       507-775-2006    philip.george@state.mn.us               
Rec Vehicle Coordinator Bruce Lawrence     763-267-8534    bruce.lawrence@state.mn.us

Curriculum Specialist:  Vacant

Education Specialist:  Vacant

Curriculum Coordinator:  Vacant



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