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 Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked boat and water safety, angling, bear baits, AIS and ATV enforcement. CO Benjamin assisted a family with the removal of a skunk that they had live trapped after discovering that it had taken up residence under their home, the skunk was transported and relocated. The Birchdale sturgeon tournament was also worked; there was a good turn out with lots of kids anxious to catch the big one in hopes of taking home one of the many nice prizes displayed.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) worked angling activity on Lake of the Woods, ATV activity and Bear Baiting activity in Beltrami Island State Forest. CO Prachar received a call of a potential boating violation with juveniles. Prachar responded and found that the young man of the group had a boat operator’s permit and that there were no other violations. Please ensure that operators of recreational vehicles and boats have taken the appropriate safety training courses for the activity they are participating in.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working ATV activity, AIS enforcement, monitoring bear baiting activity and boating and angling activity on special regulation lakes throughout the week. Time was spent handling several nuisance bear complaints of bears causing crop damage and investigating the removal/ spraying of emergent aquatic vegetation.
CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck) reports focusing time on fishing, AIS, ATV, and big game enforcement this week. The officer assisted the county and state patrol with a vehicle rollover and with the arrest of a disorderly individual who had a felony warrant. Possible illegal bear baiting activity was investigated. Enforcement actions for the week included: a juvenile on an ATV without a helmet, and speeding violations.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette) primarily focused on bear baiting activity and angling enforcement. Several baiting violations were encountered. Enforcement action taken for angling with no license in possession, allow illegal juvenile operation of ATV, and exceeding speed limit.
Karlstad - vacant.
Warroad #2 -vacant.
Karlstad - vacant.
Thief River Falls #2 - vacant.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending the majority of checking anglers and watercraft operators on area lakes and rivers. Time was also spent checking ATV operators. A deer violation from the 2015 deer season was worked. Violations included no angling license, no PFDs, no throwable, and failure to register deer.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked on bear baits, answered complaints of bears in crops and took questions about upcoming hunting seasons.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) and a COC worked sport fishing on the Cass Lake chain and Lake Bemidji. Warnings were given for no license in possession and PFD violations. ATV enforcement action was taken at Brainerd International Raceway as part of a work detail. Citations and warnings were issued for numerous ATV safety violations to include youth without helmets.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked bear baiting and ATV activity in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest. Time was also spent checking angling and wild rice harvesting. The officer monitored AIS compliance in the area and took a complaint of an injured eagle.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports conducting ATV patrols, contacting anglers and discussing AIS. He also assisted the local sheriff’s office with multiple calls related to an Amber alert. CO Vinton provided ATV law training to Wadena County law enforcement officers. The training is POST approved and gives local law enforcement the latest ORV laws and resources. CO Vinton had a court hearing in Otter Tail County Court on a case from last deer season.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) monitored bear baiting, assisted with the Park Rapids firearm safety field day and worked ATV enforcement.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) spent time working angling and boating activity. AIS compliance checks were performed. Area trails were patrolled for ATV, OHM, and off road vehicle activity. CO Warren taught the law and ethics portion of firearms safety to classes near Frazee and Moorhead. Bear baiting activity was worked and WMAs were monitored for activity.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring ATV, AIS, angling, and boat and water safety in the Moorhead Station. Several cases were also worked including a wetland case where a replacement order was issued. Calls from the public included questions about dog training on public lands.
District 3 - Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports anglers continue to hit the local lakes but the numbers have started to slow down. Time was spent checking boaters and anglers along with follow-up visits for non-compliant weed rollers. Enforcement action was taken for angling, AIS, and weed roller violations. Early season hunters should make sure they have all the necessary licenses for the upcoming hunts. They should also verify their plugs are in their shotguns prior to hunting the migratory game birds.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked the TIP trailer at the Douglas County fair this week fielding numerous questions. Plautz worked fish over limit complaints, wetland complaints, and a burning complaint. An injured hawk call was investigated and ATV traffic was monitored in problem areas.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen and boaters. He also worked AIS enforcement. CO Nelson received complaints regarding commercial minnow harvest, individuals shooting birds, unlawful operation of ATVs and set lines. He also answered several questions regarding the upcoming hunting seasons and FAS classes.
CO Shane Osbourne (Evansville) checked fishermen, boaters, ATVs and OHMs. Online training was completed along with working with local DNR staff on APM and WCA investigations.
Injured animal calls were handled.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) monitored activity on the water throughout the work station. Lots of anglers were out as well as recreational boaters and paddle boarders. Several illegal cases were made including one angler fishing while revoked from a boat with expired registration. He had an unpaid fine from a 2014 fishing violation but decided to fish anyway. Angling without licenses continues to show up even as the summer fishing season winds down. CO Lawler also worked the Douglas Co Fair TIP trailer and DNR Building booths answering many questions from fair goers.
CO Steven Chihak (Wheaton) spent the week working sport fishing, boat and water safety, and AIS enforcement. Minnow transportation permits were issued. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and angling with extra lines. Calls from the public seeking information on upcoming hunting seasons were returned.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused law enforcement efforts on boaters, angler activity and ATV law compliance. CO Anderson checked and patrolled ATV riding complaint areas. CO Anderson and CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) assisted with an ATV law enforcement work crew in Pope County. He attended and spoke to persons attending the Stevens County Area Youth Sportsman’s Day in Morris this past weekend. CO Anderson answered many questions concerning youth hunting opportunities, youth licensing, firearms safety requirements, deer season’s and waterfowl seasons. CO Anderson handled calls from the public about trapping, deer & bear hunting questions and waterfowl hunting questions.
CO Dan Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, boaters, ATV operators, and monitoring AIS law compliance. Additional time was spent on a waters complaint and injured animal calls. CO Baumbarger issued permits for beaver removal and investigated ORV complaints as well.
Wheaton - vacant.
District 4 - Walker area
CO Eric Sullivan (Walker) worked bear baiting activity and located illegal bait sites that are being investigated. CO Sullivan also investigated cases involving a wetland violation and altering the cross section of a stream. CO Sullivan responded to a report of a timber wolf that was struck by a car north of Akeley. CO Sullivan continued to see a large number of anglers in the area and took enforcement on angling activity including angling with no license.
CO Colleen Adam (NW Region Recreation Officer) checked area forest roads and trails. Bear baiting cross country travel in limited forests continues to be an issue. She assisted in a search for missing hikers in a state recreation area. Contacts were made for registration issues and off-trail travel.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring ATV, angling, boating, and bear baiting activity. Anglers reported limited success. Recreational activity remained low. CO Broughten fielded calls regarding boating complaints, ATV damage, and nuisance animals. CO Broughten also assisted other law enforcement agencies with a pursuit, a stalled vehicle, and an ATV left in the roadway.
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked bear baiting sites, ATV operators and anglers. AIS details were worked. Public access and state park issues were addressed. Assistance to other law enforcement agencies was given. Enforcement action included angling with extra lines.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked bear baiting, angling, boating, ATV, and AIS activity. Time was spent working on two open fish over limit cases; one was resolved with a conviction while the other is pending formal gross misdemeanor charges. Two violations found in the Chippewa National Forest were referred to the US Forest Service officer. Enforcement action was taken for angling and boating violations.
CO Chelsey Best (Remer) worked a harbor shift in Duluth for the tall ships event. CO Best also spent time on ATV and fishing activity as well as monitoring bear baits and ricing activity. CO Best handled multiple wildlife calls including bear and beaver issues. An injured loon was also transported to the Garrison Rescue facility. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV on a state highway and for transporting a watercraft without removing the drain plug.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked fishermen and ATVs. Officer Hunter responded to an ATV crash where two people were injured. CO Hunter received a call of a nuisance bear and of missing goats where the owners believed a wild animal may have taken the goats.
District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports working on equipment over the week, coordinating work with DNR Forestry, dealing with ongoing beaver problems, and monitoring area lakes and public access sites. Wild rice beds continue to be monitored.
CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked bear baiting activity and anglers this past week. CO Velsvaag investigated a complaint of illegal motor use on hunter walking trails and illegal fishing. CO Velsvaag attended a fisheries input meeting for Lake Vermilion.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) received a few calls on a “white” grey wolf hanging around the roadway on Hwy 1 east of Soudan. By the end of the day the wolf appeared to have moved on to other areas. The officer continued working bear baiting and fielded numerous questions on the upcoming deer season. The officer is investigating a possible over-limit case. The Officer also assisted the sheriff’s office with civil work on Lake Vermilion.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) continued training a COC and primarily worked boaters, anglers, ATVs, Lake Vermilion, bear bait station enforcement, the state park, and worked a TIP complaint of an over limit of fish. The officer assisted Hibbing PD with the capture of a suspect who escaped their custody. Enforcement action was taken on no angling license in possession, OHV trespass, no park permit, and several ATV and boating violations.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) spent time checking bear baiting activity and assisted with getting hunters to locations of problem bears. Fredin responded to calls of fires burning asphalt shingles and was called to a cabin residence burning trees during closed burning hours. A FAS law presentation was giving in Palo and an ATV law presentation was given at the Gilbert OHV Park.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) attended a field training officer class and spent time checking anglers and boaters on Virginia area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and insufficient PFDs. Questions were answered regarding bear baiting.
Ray - vacant.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports several nuisance bear reports were taken over the week as berries and other natural food sources have become scarce and bird feeders and apple trees become too tempting. One of the reports was of a bear approaching a person who was baiting bears for the upcoming season. The bear refused to leave the site and after a standoff managed to get the bait bucket from the baiter. Officer Williams was asked to come to the bait to observe the bear’s behavior and advise the hunter. When he arrived at the bait the bear was not located but the lost bait bucket was a short distance from the bait. When Officer Williams walked up to the bucket which had been partially covered with pine needles the bear appeared out of the heavy brush and lay next to the bucket, although Officer Williams was only a few yards from the bear it refused to move. After spending time assessing the situation the bucket could not be recovered and the group left the area.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) talked to fishermen and looked for bear baits. Hunters are reminded to register their baits and to follow the rules on. Officer found better compliance with out of state canoe registrations.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked anglers on area inland lakes. The officer also checked bear bait stations and reminds hunters that established bait stations must be registered online within 24 hours or by mail on the next postal service day. The officer also followed up on open bear hunting, littering and vandalism complaints.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) checked bear baiting activity. Some baiting violations were detected. BWCA entry points are still very busy, and bug conditions are good for camping. Anglers checked during the week were doing okay on several species of fish. Additional violation included no type IV PFD.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) focused enforcement efforts on bear bait stations and angling activity. The officer spent time on Lake Superior checking anglers, some nice trout were seen in the bag. Enforcement action was taken for keeping fish in closed season and license violations.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked bear baiting and ATV activity during the week. Hints of fall approaching are becoming visible as leaves are slowly starting to change colors in the northland. A commercial bait retailer was inspected and a nuisance beaver call was handled. Enforcement action was taken for ATV licensing violations.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) met with a local landowner to discuss wetland laws and permitting procedures, handled nuisance bear calls, and worked ongoing cases.
CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked ATV, sport fishing, and handled miscellaneous nuisance animal calls. He patrolled state park areas, state forests, and public water accesses. He prepared for firearms and defensive tactics training for the division. Violations included ATV on roadway, no license in possession, and navigation lights.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked boat and water enforcement, monitored bear baiting and handled wildlife calls. CO Fairbanks and his K9 partner answered questions and participated in a K9 demo at the Itasca County Fair. CO Fairbanks and Si also assisted in locating a suspect that led the local police department on a high speed chase and fled into the swamp on foot. The suspect was located the next morning after he spent the night in the mosquito infested swamp.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked anglers and bear baiting activity over the past week. CO Sutherland took enforcement action for baiting bears with solid waste, hunter harassment and for angling without a license. Work was done with the City of Grand Rapids Police Department on individuals that were checked angling that had warrants and possessed drug paraphernalia.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs, state parks and campgrounds. He also checked bear baiters during the week.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) continued to monitor the bear baiting activity in and around the Hill City area. Several questions regarding the upcoming bear hunting season and legal bear baits were fielded from public. Nuisance animal complaints were also taken and followed up on. Enforcement action was taken for unlawfully transporting live fish.
District 8 - Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) received a TIP call regarding a party that had two live Canadian Geese. Duluth PD Officers assisted in locating the party and the geese were removed and sent to waterfowl preserve. Officer Schmidt worked the Duluth Harbor and Lake Superior during the tall ships event
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time working fishing and boating enforcement on area inland lakes. ATV activity was also worked at previous complaint locations. Several bear hunting locations were checked for litter and other possible violations. Officer Duncan assisted with boating enforcement during the tall ship event that took place in Duluth. Time was also spent returning calls.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) continued work on livestock depredation complaints reported to have been caused by wolves. CO Humphrey assisted with the tall ships event in Duluth and worked the harbor area over the weekend w/ CO Schmidt. Patrols were conducted in the FDL Forest for OHV and bear baiting activity. A report of an injured eagle was received with assistance given. Several questions were received about upcoming hunting seasons and permit deadlines. Violations for litter, watercraft operation, registration and PFDs were encountered
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with security patrols for the tall ships event in Duluth. ATV and OHM complaints were worked in the area. Enforcement action was taken for underage operation, passenger without a helmet, registration, equipment and illegal road crossing violations. Some fishing activity in the area, although not a lot of fish were being caught. Enforcement action was taken for license violations. Complaints on waters and wetland violations were followed up on in the area. More investigation is ongoing with both complaints.
Brookston - vacant.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent time on patrol boat maintenance, anglers, and boater checks on Lake Superior. The tall ships detail was worked in the Duluth-Superior harbor. Bear complaints are picking up in the Woodland and Lakeside neighborhoods. AIS enforcement also worked on area lakes.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) and a COC investigated a public waters complaint involving the possible removal of a Beaver Dam on an area lake. Time was spent giving an ATV Safety presentation in Duluth. Considerable time was spent on Lake Superior assisting with the Tall Ships Festival in the Duluth Harbor. Several bear baits were monitored. Area ATV trails were patrolled.
Lake Superior Unit - vacant.
District 9 - Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked bear baiting activity and anglers, and monitored boat landings for aquatic invasive species issues. Other activities included assisting with the Tall Ships event in Duluth, working with Cass County on a wetland filling case, and assisted Wadena County in looking for a possible drowning victim.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The sunfish and bass have been the most productive for anglers. He worked in the Duluth area on Lake Superior for the tall ships event. Boating safety laws was the main focus of his time. Some of the violations he observed this past week were no fishing license, expired registration and insufficient life saving devices. He worked on aquatic invasive species prevention on Gull Lake and along the north shore of Lake Superior. A complaint of ATV’s causing damage in the Pillsbury forest was investigated.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked a variety of calls. Assistance was given to the Cass County Sheriff in locating a missing person that drove his van into a river. The individual was apparently under the influence of drugs and was suicidal. Officer Guida worked with a variety of agencies on the statewide AMBER alert. Officer Guida continues to get nuisance bear complaints and an intoxicated driver was arrested operating his ATV.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) checked angling, ATV, boating and bear baiting activity. Invasive species and shoreland complaints were also worked.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) continued field training a new conservation officers. The officers worked Crow Wing and Cass county lakes for boating activity. The officers also spent time at the Brainerd International Raceway patrolling for ATV violations. Enforcement action was taken for numerous angling, boating, and ATV violations.
Cuyuna SRA - vacant.
District 10 - Mille Lacs area
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) inspected bear baits that were set recently. Forage conditions for the bears seem vary across his station. Anglers were checked on area lakes with good fishing reports. The officer attended Wahkon Days with the TIP Wall of Shame.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working bear baiting activity throughout the Malmo Station during the week and weekend. The Officer investigated a call of someone doing work in the water on a local lake and also a complaint of someone making an illegal trail in the State forest. Many outdoor related law questions were fielded throughout the week. Several nuisance bear complaints were fielded during the week and a fishing activity was also monitored throughout the Malmo Station. The Officer also checked for water related equipment transporting illegal Aquatic Invasive Species and a wildlife possession permit was also issued.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) patrolled area lakes for anglers finding good compliance. She issued nuisance beaver permits and car kill possession tags.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) took several calls regarding bear sightings and/or possible crop damage; most of the findings appear to be raccoon. Time was spent making arraignments for a youth ATV class held in the vacant Milaca station. Thanks to both volunteer instructors and a local ATV dealer who stepped up to make the class a success. CO Starr assisted with various local law agency assists and met WMA staff on upcoming fall activities.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area state forest and WMAs for bear baiting activity. Several calls were handled regarding bear in dumpsters and other places not wanted. Hopefully they will turn their attention to baiting stations. Fishing on Mille Lacs remains steady; smaller lakes are slowing down a little. Time was also spent investigating an invasive species complaint.
District 11 - St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking anglers and working boat and water activity. Assistance was provided at the Tall Ships event in Duluth. CO Silgjord responded to a boat crash on an area lake and provided assistance to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office. An area lake association meeting was attended and follow up on an APM case was conducted. On one angling check the officer was provided a brief view of a couple fish but before the angler could close the lid a pike jumped from the livewell to lake in a daring escape.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked outside of the station. The officer worked AIS, Special fishing regulations and watercraft activity. The officer took enforcement action on no wake violations and controlled substance violations.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) continued field training with a new conservation officer. Officers primarily worked boat and water enforcement and angling activity. Cases were made for destruction of aquatic plants without a permit, filling a wetland without a permit, and riding on the gunwale (side of boat). Officers spent Saturday at the Game Fair in Anoka talking to the public. Officers spoke at the St. Joseph firearms safety class. Assistance was given to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department on a boating accident on Lake Silvia.
CO Michael Krauel (St. Cloud) spent the week checking anglers and following up on active cases. CO Krauel also assisted with the Stillwater bridge project by enforcing the no wake zone near the construction zone on the St. Croix River. CO Krauel also worked at the Ramsey Game Fair. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, arrest warrant, illegal length fish, angling with extra lines, possession of marijuana, and no angling license in possession.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) checked angling and watercraft activities. CO Friese taught the law portion for Browerville FAS.
District 12 - Princeton area
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked anglers during the week. Reports of crop damage by bears was also taken and responded too. Bear baiters report some hits to bait stations but advised that bears are not routinely coming to baits. A day was spent with volunteers for Kanabec County’s “Take a Kid Fishing” outing. Cool and damp weather kept numbers down but every child at the event had a huge smile on their face. Volunteers made the event a success and these “Kids” will have fond long lasting memories of the fine day.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) worked on several reported illegal weed rollers on area lakes. Angling activity was slow with rainy weather and high water levels putting a damper on the fish bite. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, operate weed roller without permit and minor consumption.
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) attended several firearms safety classes during the week. CO Mohs would like to remind all bear hunters that bait stations must be registered with the DNR. You can register your bait stations online on the DNR’s website. Enforcement action was taken on the following violations fishing without a license, pulling skier/tubers without an observer, transporting live fishing and failing to drain livewell.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled WMAs/AMAs and public accesses, worked ATV complaint areas, and took calls on injured animals. Officer Londgren also worked with other agencies on upcoming projects and potential violations.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) spoke at a youth ATV safety class and assisted with a youth fishing clinic. CO Musatov checked anglers and boaters. Time was spent working aquatic invasive species and ATV complaint areas.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) checked fishermen and boaters. He followed up on a wetland violation charges pending. He interviewed three suspects on a number of litter violations in the Otsego WMA citations issued. He answered a number of hunting questions. He did a FAS law talk to 70+ kids in Big Lake
Princeton - vacant.
District 13 - West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked boaters and anglers on the metro area lakes and rivers. He assisted neighboring Officer with the bridge detail boat and responded to a TIP complaint at Crosby Park in St. Paul on people taking walleye. He also took a TIP complaint regarding a small game complaint in Minneapolis and answered questions in the Asian community on bear hunting regulations.
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) worked the 2016 Game Fair in Ramsey. CO Weyandt answered numerous questions pertaining to the upcoming waterfowl season and deer hunting, including maximum magazine capacity on rifles, the zone management decisions and multiple questions on youth hunting.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled the temporarily assigned stations Waconia and Fort Snelling State Park for fishing, boating and invasive species. He returned calls for service included sick trumpeter swan, nuisance beaver and injured hawk. He assisted an area hydrologist with a shoreline restoration order. He spoke at a Firearm Safety class for 26 Southeast Asian students.
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) focused on angling, boating and ATV enforcement. Leuthardt checked several anglers around Scott County Lakes with anglers experiencing varying success. Lower numbers of boaters were out recreating during the weekend cool down but many anglers were enjoying the milder temperatures. Leuthardt also spoke at two Firearms Safety Classes.
Bloomington - vacant.
Ft. Snelling - vacant.
Osseo - vacant
Waconia - vacant.
District 14 - East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers, boaters and doing AIS enforcement. He spoke to a firearms safety class in Forest Lake, conducted the August roadside pheasant survey and did equipment maintenance. CO Arntzen also issued a car kill deer permit, did follow up on a public waters violation and handled TIP calls.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked angling and boating enforcement around the metro lakes and rivers. He spoke to a firearms safety class on hunting rules and regulations in Roseville. CO Pril also spent time on equipment maintenance and responded to nuisance animal calls.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and boating activity. CO Salzer also fielded questions about upcoming hunting seasons. Salzer set up several firearms safety classes.
Maplewood - vacant.
White Bear Lake - vacant.
Eagan - vacant.
Metro Officer - vacant.
District 15 - Marshall area
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored AIS, boating, fishing, and off-highway vehicle activity during the week. Questions regarding the upcoming hunting season are becoming more frequent.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent the week checking anglers with the walleye and crappie bite picking up on most area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for license issues. Officer taught the laws and ethics portion of two firearms safety classes held in Dawson.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) spent time on Big Stone Lake checking boaters and anglers. Enforcement action was taken for overloaded pontoon, no angling license, no throwable and no ATV safety certificate.
CO Andrew Dirks (Redwood Falls) spent time checking anglers and monitoring ATV and OHM activity. Enforcement action was taken for multiple off- highway motorcycle violations that included operation within the road right of way of a state highway. CO reports that the water level of the Minnesota River is dropping but water levels are still high.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers and working ATVs. Goose hunting and deer hunting questions abound. Goose numbers look good and many hunters are scouting for the early season. Enforcement action was taken foe registration violations.
Lake Benton - vacant.
Benson - vacant.
Worthington - vacant.
District 16 - New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked anglers, boaters and ATV operators. He checked lake users for compliance with AIS laws. Denz also followed up on OHM complaints.
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time checking angling and boating activity. Vernier received calls including a cougar sighting, land use questions, and public landing property damage. Time was spent on an enforcement talk for a Willmar area FAS class. He also responded to a complaint of kids throwing fish in the roadway causing a traffic hazard; turned out an adult was encouraging and partaking in this behavior, enforcement action was taken.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) followed up on a complaint of someone plugging a tile that was the outlet for a lake, causing the lake to back-up onto the caller’s property. Other time was spent checking anglers and helping Meeker County search for a jet ski that was unknown if it drifted away from a dock or if it was stolen. Klehr also spent time working on equipment getting everything ready for the upcoming fall hunting seasons.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) spoke at a FAS safety class in St. George. She took a call of an injured red-tail hawk, which was referred to the Raptor Center. Mueller also answered questions on the changes to the carcass importation law for deer, elk, moose, and caribou.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked boating, angling and AIS enforcement this past week. A decent walleye bite near Hutchinson was also worked. Oberg also took time to talk at the Winthrop firearm safety class. August roadside counts were also finished last week with pheasant numbers appearing to take a positive jump up.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) fielded numerous calls related to the new 2016 hunting synopsis. Doves have been seen in large numbers throughout the area and hunters should enjoy an exciting opener on September 1. Injured raptors were dealt with and a FAS class was taught in Mt. Lake. Enforcement action was taken for a public waters violation.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) attended the Martin County Fair on several occasions answering questions and educating sportsmen. Anglers were checked and public accesses were patrolled. Enforcement action was taken for angling and narcotic violations.
District 17 - Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports checking angling and boating activity this week. Area rivers continue to run high. CO Howe spoke on laws and ethics to an All-Day Field and Range Day in the St. Peter area.
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on fishing, AIS, boating and ATV activity. VanThuyne also handled several animal complaints and investigated a wetland violation.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. In addition, CO Ihnen responded to a number of litter complaints and worked public water accesses for AIS compliance. Officer Ihnen also competed in the 50th annual Basil Irwin memorial pistol match where he shot against the top shooters from Wisconsin, Iowa, and the Federal USFWS.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) focused enforcement efforts on checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators during the week. The officer assisted with staffing the DNR booth at the Steele County Fair in the Izaak Walton Game and Fish building. Time was also spent working on a wetland violation and a public waters violation.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) reports working on several on-going investigations this week. CO Henke patrolled for ATV and fishing enforcement, he also began patrolling on area duck lakes. Waterfowl hunters are reminded to not build permanent blinds on public waters. ATV activity remains high, and another serious injury crash involving a juvenile was reported in Freeborn County. All ATV operators and any parents allowing the operation are yet again reminded to comply with ATV regulations, many of the regulations are for your own or your child’s safety!
District 18 - Rochester area
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and recreational vehicles during the week. Fishing is slower with the high water with all the recent rain. Heyn also worked on equipment maintenance.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports continued activity with his COC as the first of four phases of field training has come to a close. They report responding to a protected waters complaint, an injured owl complaint, and a sick deer complaint. Enforcement action included short fish, possession of a controlled substance, no license in possession, taking fish without a license, and multiple boat and ATV registration and safety violations.
CO Phil George (Rochester) took a complaint of dogs chasing deer, checked anglers and watercraft users. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license and sunfish over limit.
CO Trent Seamans (Rochester) spent the majority of the week patrolling for sport fishing enforcement. Additional efforts were put towards boat/water safety and ATV enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license and failing to have valid ATV registration. CO Seamans assisted Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office with an arrest warrant.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports continued high water on the river has slowed fishing and boating activity. He received a tip and found a person with illegal walleye and bass. Hemker also responded to nuisance animal complaints including two rattlesnakes in two days at the same residence.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working ATV areas and anglers. The rains have made the trails muddy and slick. Most users are spending some time at the car wash after their ride. Compliance was high. Trout fishing has been fair. The high rain amounts have made it difficult to fish. CO Boyum received a TIP call of subjects with an over-limit of trout. Upon finding the subjects they were found to be one short of their limit and all licensed. CO Boyum has been answering calls reference ginseng, small game season and deer season. As well as the youth hunts.
LaCrescent - vacant.
Zumbrota - vacant.
Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.
NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) flew a harbor security flight with various agencies for the tall ships event. Helicopter fire bucket training was conducted with MNIFC with two other pilots.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew Rainey and Leech lake creel surveys and wolf telemetry. Heineman also trained with the fire bucket with the new helicopter.
CO Pilot Christopher Lofstuen (Grand Rapids) reports flying storm damage assessment photo flights, telemetry and a joint MR/ENF flight to the Sea Gull River.
NR Pilot Ettl completed a week of helicopter fire water bucket training.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of rotary training. Jensen also flew Leech Lake survey flights and a transportation flight.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week focusing efforts on open cases and working with Field CO’s on case progress and updating ICRs. Time was spent following up with LGU’s regarding case progress. Calls from the public were fielded. AIS questions were also answered.
WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) conducted duties related to WCA, PW, APM cases. WREO Haberman also returned calls and questions about AIS in his work area. Office duties were also conducted during this time.
WREO Larry Hanson (SW) issued a WCA extension in Kandiyohi County. WCA violations were followed up on in Sibley, Kandiyohi, Lincoln, Brown, Rice and Redwood counties. A call was received in reference to a deer lying in a yard in Yellow Medicine County. AIS equipment was checked at area lakes and rivers.
WREO Julie Siems (SE) continued follow up on open wetland conservation act violations and answered questions regarding ATV use in wetlands.
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.
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, 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 repots transporting laser shot used by an area instructor group for an outreach program. During the week he also completed instructor backgrounds and taught Bowhunter Education Instructor Certification Training. Saturday he held a Hunter Education/Firearm Safety Instructor Certification Class in Cambridge.
SW Metro Kevin Neitzke returned emails and calls regarding firearms safety instructor training classes and recruiting new firearms safety instructors. He attended a training conference. RTO Neitzke did some maintenance on training equipment. He worked on setting up a firearms safety field day. He also worked on instructor background checks.
NW RTO Jeff Halverson assisted local law enforcement on a subject found in the Crow Wing River after driving his vehicle into a river with a suicide attempt the day before. Halverson assisted on Amber Alert call on missing female child, which ended sadly with death of the girl. Subject was arrested. Halverson gave law talk at Leader’s FAS class. Contacts were made on fishermen for fishing with extra lines and keeping walleyes on closed lake.
Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Bruce Lawrence completed revisions and updates to the snowmobile safety instructor manual and the pocket guide for instructors. RTO Lawrence answered calls and email from public on ATV regulations and youth education. RTO Lawrence continues to work with national organization on OHV Policy revisions and standards for OHV training.
RTO PHONE NUMBERS/E-MAIL:
NE RTO Vacant
West Central RTO Frank Rezac 320-552-3948 email@example.com
Rec Veh Coord Bruce Lawrence 763-267-8534 firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern RTO Dan McBroom 507-251-0041 email@example.com
SW Metro RTO Kevin Neitzke 651-463-3168 firstname.lastname@example.org
NW RTO Jeff Halverson 218-894-3577 email@example.com
Curriculum Specialist: Vacant
Education Specialist: Vacant
Curriculum Coordinator: Vacant