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Conservation Officer Report
Compiled By Richard Sprouse, Minnesota DNR, 800-366-8917, Ext 2511
Weekly Conservation Officer Report from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

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

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



District 1 - Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked angling activity and monitored area ATV and OHM activity. An AIS Check Station was worked in the Baudette area. Assistance was provided at the Warroad Port of Entry on an over limit violation. CO Huener assisted Ontario Conservation Officers with follow up on illegal fishing activity.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) attended a meeting for field training officers and monitored area angling activity. A commercial bait dealer was checked finding multiple violations for no angling license, no watercraft registration, no bait dealer placard on vehicle, and possession of small amount of marijuana.  Other violations for the week included allow illegal operation of ATV by juvenile and operate unregistered ATV.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports monitored angling, boating activity and AIS compliance on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes throughout the week. Time was spent investigating reports of leech trap thefts and monitoring commercial leech trapping activity. CO Regas patrolled area trails and forest roads for ATV, OHM and ORV activity.  An AIS Check Station was worked in Lake of the Woods County.

Baudette #1 -vacant.

Baudette #2 -vacant.

Blackduck #2 - vacant.

Karlstad - vacant.

Thief River Falls #2 - vacant.

Warroad #1 - vacant.

Warroad #2 - vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area


CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports speaking at a local lake association meeting about invasive species and boating related laws. Time was also spent attending a meeting at Camp Ripley. Anglers, watercraft operators and commercial minnow harvesters were also checked. A work detail at Lake of the Woods was also worked.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) monitored angling, boating, water levels, AIS and assisted other agencies with trespass issues. Wildlife complaints continue with beaver killing yard trees, bear in bees and chipmunks in a garage eating off a vehicle gas line causing hundreds of dollars in damage and a tow bill.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers, ATVers, and assisted at Academy 15.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling and boating activity on area lakes. Angling success has slowed, but some anglers are still finding fish. Watercraft activity has increased with the warmer temperatures, but far below normal activity due to the cooler summer weather. A complaint of a bear scratching on the windows of a house was investigated. Time was spent preparing for upcoming field training.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) spent the week checking anglers, ATVs, and recreational boating. Time was also spent working AIS and a wolf depredation complaint was investigated. Enforcement activity for the week related to angling and AIS violations. Officer Holt also assisted local law enforcement with a DWI arrest at a public access.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting CO Troy Richards in Fergus Falls with a youth ATV safety class and helping another CO with a possible theft of services investigation. Area lakes were patrolled for boating safety, AIS and to inform area boaters that Otter Tail County had issued a “no wake advisory” for all lakes in Otter Tail County. The advisory is that boaters should remain at a slow no wake speed until they are 300 feet from shore. Violations included no licenses in possession, failure to display registration and operation of ATV in the ditch south of Hwy 10.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) assisted w/ the academy training, worked boat and water safety and checked anglers. Questions about boat wakes were common with the high water.

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fisherman and boaters. Time was also spent addressing public access issues and assisting the sheriff’s office with a domestic. CO Forsberg gave an ATV/boating safety talk to about 150 youth at Buffalo River State Park along with assisting with an ATV class in Fergus Falls. A complaint of dogs chasing baby loons and ducklings was followed up on and a minnow dealer inspection was completed. Time was also spent working an AIS check station in the Baudette area.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked angling and boating activity on area lakes. Time was also spent performing AIS checks. Calls of dead geese, vegetation removal, nuisance bears, and possible illegal public access usage were received and investigated. CO Warren also attended a meeting with area DNR staff.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week checking restoration sites for Public Water and WCA violations. Time was also spent checking AIS law compliance at public access points. A meeting in New Ulm was attended. Time was spent fielding and answering questions for the public regarding AIS.

Moorhead - vacant.

District 3 - Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) focused efforts on angling, AIS, ATV, and boating safety.  Richards held an ATV safety class in Fergus Falls and was assisted by surrounding Conservation Officers. Anyone interested in becoming an ATV instructor is encouraged to contact their local CO. Richards spoke about boating safety prior to a youth fishing outing on Long Lake north of Fergus Falls. Violations addressed during the week were related to fishing, boating safety, AIS and ATV activity. 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) assisted with an ATV safety class with 37 youth certified over the weekend. Plautz worked a boat and water complaint and received a number of complaints regarding boaters harassing loons.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) worked primarily fishermen and boaters this week.  Additional time was spent working AIS enforcement, investigating complaints of persons shooting at pelicans, and handling complaints from fishermen about bad roads entering public access sites. 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, boaters, ATV’s and AIS compliance.  Complaints were handled regarding PWC’s running late, farmers mowing ditches and illegal ATV operation were received and investigated.  An ATV Safety Class in Fergus Falls was attended and the riding portion observed.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time this week focusing efforts on boating safety and AIS activity.  A citation was issued to an individual for cutting a wide swath of cattails along shore without first obtaining a permit.

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work primarily fishing, boating, and AIS enforcement.  Additional time was spent following up on possible shoreline, wetland, WMA, and litter violations.  ATV and fire activity was monitored and APM permit issues were addressed.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts this week on AIS enforcement, boating safety, and fishermen.  While working AIS enforcement, Anderson noticed about a 10 percent violation rate. The officer attended a Field Training Officer meeting at Camp Ripley this week.  Additional time was spent enforcing burning regulations, issuing minnow transportation permits and handling calls from the public regarding a fox and turkey in someone’s yard.  Boating and alcohol questions were also answered.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week concentrated on checking fishermen, boaters, and PWC operators. Time was also spent checking ATV, and OHM operators.  Baumbarger performed maintenance on station equipment, investigated a public waters complaint, and attended the pinning ceremony for new LT’s in region 1 and 2. 


Wheaton - vacant.

District 4 - Wadena area


CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked minnow dealers, fishermen and ATVers. Nuisance complaints on bear and beaver. Contacts made for no fishing license.

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked angers, boaters and ATV’ers. Officer Hunter received a call of a jetski and pontoon that had run over and possibly killed a young loon. Officer Hunter also received a call of kids throwing rocks at goslings from a bridge. CO Hunter attended a conference to help veterans become better candidates for employment. 

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport fishing, boating, AIS, and ORV activity.  He attended a meeting in Bemidji; had a question regarding the issuance of bear hunting licenses; worked AIS enforcement as part of a state wide effort of stepped up patrol for the weekend. He received an anonymous request to check on a public access that was blocked by traffic cones. The area in question is not a state run public access and is most likely a township road right of way.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked AIS, anglers, and boaters. The fishing bite has slowed over the past couple weeks. CO Mathy also processed evidence from prior cases and attended a field training officer meeting. Enforcement action was taken for invasive species violations.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, boating, and ATV activity. Angling success continues to be slow; many anglers blaming the large hatch of may flies. CO Broughten spent time checking compliance with invasive species laws. Boating and angling activity was limited but compliance with AIS laws was high. CO Broughten also fielded calls of nuisance beaver and trespass. Enforcement action included no angling license in possession, no personal floatation device, and operating overloaded watercraft.

CO Colleen Adam (ATV rec.) attended monthly OHV monitor meeting and patrolled state forests and OHV trail systems. Registration compliance was good. The officer responded to calls of ATV’s on a closed trail, investigated trail damage, assisted on a wildlife harassment call and assist county on a medical.
WREO Shane Siltala performed a site investigation of a wetland violation with local SWCD staff. The wetland was within the shoreland protection zone and the landowner will be required to remove the illegal fill. Landowners are reminded wetlands in close proximity to public waters play an important role in maintaining water quality and are closely regulated.  Officer Siltala also followed up on a floating bog complaint on an area lake. It is illegal to destroy or relocate a floating bog without a permit. Assistance was given to District 1 and 2 at an AIS checkpoint. Overall compliance was good. Enforcement action was taken for failing to drain water before transporting watercraft.

Remer - vacant.

District 5 - Eveleth area


CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports checking fishing activity on the Rainy River, Lake Kabetogama, and Ash River. A young Merlin hawk was transferred to the Raptor Center in St. Paul. ATV enforcement and an Invasive Species Road check rounded out the week’s work activities. Enforcement action was taken included operate ATV on road right of way, no ATV Safety Certificate, and transport unidentifiable fish.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports angling and boating activities were monitored.  Public access sites were checked along with driving forest roads. Fishing remains poor with little activity noted during the week.

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports attending a work detail in a vacant station. Area lakes were patrolled for fishing and boating activity. Calls relating to the blueberry crop, about when they will be ready to pick, and how many there will be were received.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, invasive species enforcement, state park enforcement, and a hunting complaint on Lake Vermilion. The officer also worked an invasive species enforcement check point in Tower with other District Officers. Enforcement action for the week was taken on a number of boating, PWC, ATV and invasive species violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) worked a road check point for aquatic invasive species in Tower with other COs. Enforcement action was taken for transporting aquatic plants and failure to remove drain plugs. CO Frericks checked high numbers of anglers and boaters over a busy weekend. Numerous citations were issued for operating unregistered watercraft and failure to display watercraft registration decals. On one particular lake, some parents who didn’t take into account the weather allowed their two 8 year olds and 12 year old children to take an unregistered canoe onto a lake in windy conditions. The increasing winds easily blew the inexperienced paddlers to the opposite shoreline where CO Frericks met them. The kids were brought back to their parents who were advised to be a little more selective as to when they allow their kids to go out onto the lake.  As the wind picked up more people were seen on ATVs. Violations such as operating unregistered ATVs and no ATV safety certificate were common.   

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) received a report of a small fishing boat wash up on rocks on the Pike River with fishing equipment inside the boat. Boat registration was expired and incorrect markings made locating the owner difficult, but he was later located and stated the boat floated away from his shoreline from high water. He was advised to correct the registration and in the future to notify law enforcement under these circumstances because it was unknown if someone was in the river requiring a recovery. A District AIS detail was worked in the Tower station. Calls were returned concerning a bear coming into camping area and a wolf coming close to a residence.

International Falls # 2 - vacant.

Ray - vacant.

Tower - vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area


CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports fishing continues to be spotty, with most anglers reporting small walleyes and an abundance of northern pike. Officer Williams assisted in an investigation with Lake County and the US Forest Service after receiving a report from a solo kayaker that half of his equipment was stolen from his campsite in the BWCA. Violations included operating an atv on a roadway without a driver’s license, angling without a license in possession, and theft.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked in Duluth and Grand Marais checking boats and fishermen on Lake Superior. The cool and rainy weather seemed to have kept activity down throughout the week and fishing was reportedly slow for those that were fishing. Non-residents with unregistered canoes and kayaks were encountered and those folks from other states should research the laws in the states or provinces that they visit since they might be different than their home state’s requirements.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that the sand flies, gnats, black flies, and mosquitoes are now all competing for airspace as the masses of blackflies showed up a little later than normal. The bugs aren’t bad at all once you get out onto the water bodies. The surface temp of Lake Superior is in the upper 30s to lower 40s depending on where you’re at. Because of the cold water temps, salmon fishing has gotten off to a slow start, but the lake trout are cooperating with those that know what they are doing as far as fishing deep. Enforcement action was taken for unregistered kayaks, PFD violations, and no fishing license in possession. The problem bears are on the move as calls are becoming more frequent about people leaving stuff out for them to eat then complaining when the bears show up to eat what they left out.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports working a special Lake Superior detail over the weekend in Grand Marais. Time was also spent on angling, boating, and ATV enforcement, attending a review of the recent Basswood Lake rescue, and handling animal complaints. Enforcement action for the week included unregistered kayaks, no fishing license in possession, and ATV violations.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers on area lakes, worked AIS and monitored ATV activity. Some nice walleyes were seen in the bag. The Officer taught firearm maintenance to the academy at Camp Ripley.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) checked fishermen and worked AIS enforcement efforts over the weekend. Fishing remained good on inland lakes again, if you could handle the swarm of bugs. Murray also tended to nuisance wolf complaints in the Silver Bay station and assisted with a big game investigation relating to registration violations.

Silver Bay - vacant.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area


CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled for ATV activity, and worked AIS regulations. Enforcement action taken for transporting watercraft without removing plugs and DUI.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, ATV activity, and patrolled campgrounds and recreation areas. Violations included ATV on roadway, fail to display current ATV registration, minnow dealer not displaying identification on their vehicle, target shooting at a public access, and he investigated a public waters violation.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, handled injured bird calls, dealt with a road kill moose and attended training at Camp Ripley. The area walleye bite picked up this week. Enforcement action was taken for angling license violation and failure to have required equipment on watercraft.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time checking anglers this past week. She also worked some recreational vehicle activity in the area. She spent the weekend in the BWCA on a work detail.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activity this past week with the larger walleyes beginning to bite on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license in possession and failing to have valid registration on a watercraft. CO Sutherland also attended training at Camp Ripley and gave a firearm safety law talk to a group of area youth.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs, state parks and campgrounds. He also handled fishing complaints during the week.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working ATV and fishing activity. Enforcement action was taken for boat registration and failure to have fishing license in possession. Wichmann also assisted with the academy training at Camp Ripley.

CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV officer) worked ATV enforcement activities for the week. He attended a meeting and assisted with a work detail. CO Velsvaag also checked anglers and minnow trapping activity.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked angler, boating and aquatic invasive species (AIS) activities. CO Arhart also issued a protected waters restoration order for a St. Louis County violation. He coordinated an AIS check station near Tower in District 5. Nuisance deer complaints were received and advice given.  Enforcement action was taken for Transport boats with plugs in, for transporting aquatic plants, for no angling license in possession and for possessing slot walleyes. Wild rice is still trying to grow and in the floating stage on many areas where the high water receded.

District 8 - Duluth area


CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) participated in a roadside invasive check station. Compliance of invasive species rules and regulations was very good; however, there were a few reminders given out. A very large black bear that was struck by a vehicle was recovered and given to the Fond du Lac Tribe for distribution to its members. Several injured animal calls were fielded. ATV and OHM user were checked throughout the station. Anglers were checked on several local lakes with fishing reportedly pretty good yet.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted in teaching trapping enforcement to the new officers at Camp Ripley. Time was spent patrolling Lake Superior, the St. Louis River and local lakes in the area. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, angling without a license in possession, and equipment violations. CO Staples participated in an AIS detail in the Duluth area where enforcement action was taken for leaving plugs in the boat and transporting aquatic macrophytes. Follow up on ATV and other recreational vehicle violations were conducted this past week where enforcement action was taken for numerous violations. K9 assistance was given to the Sheriff’s Dept. at a bank robbery that occurred in Barnum. K9 Schody was able to track where the suspect had fled and found a crucial piece of evidence from the crime. 

WREO Mike Scott spent a day staffing an information booth in Brooklyn Center talking with Minnesota military veterans about careers in the DNR and assisting them with resumes, information and best avenues to pursue to land a job with DNR. An AIS booth was staffed with the Minnesota Sea Grant folks for the Two Harbors Heritage Days discussing AIS issues, concerns. An AIS Check Station was conducted on Saturday with Officers in the Duluth area. Enforcement action was taken for not removing drain plug, transporting infested waters and transporting aquatic vegetation.

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked area lake and rivers. Anglers have been having some luck on inland lakes. Lake Superior and St Louis River were worked with few fish observed. Atv complaint areas were worked. Wolf depredation complaints on cattle and dogs were investigated. 

Lake Superior Marine Unit


Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) worked an AIS checkpoint with fellow District 8 officers. Charter captain’s dock was checked during the week. Boat maintenance items worked on at the USCG station. Assisted the St. Louis Sheriff’s Office with traffic stops and a burglary alarm in the townships. Checked anglers and worked AIS at area boat landings.

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked big water anglers and worked a District AIS check station. A group launching small paper-and-bamboo balloons out over Lake Superior was asked what their plan was to retrieve the balloons. When they said they were not going to, they were reminded that litter is litter, whether it is dropped out of a moving vehicle or launched for fun over the lake. Assistance was given to local agencies with calls, and watercraft maintenance issues handled. Enforcement action was taken for angling, ATV, AIS, litter, and boating violations.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) testified on a court case during the week and attending a meeting at Camp Ripley. He worked ATV, fishing, angling, boating, commercial, and AIS enforcement during the week. Enforcement action was taken for AIS, angling, and boating violations. 

District 9 - Brainerd area


CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports investigating shoreline and aquatic plant violations as well as working ATV enforcement. She assisted with Use of Force training for Academy 15 at Camp Ripley. 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, watercraft and invasive species enforcement during the week. Nuisance beaver and burning calls were handled and a law presentation was given at an MDHA Forkhorn Camp at Long Lake Conservation Center. Contact was made with the owner of a burned up snowmobile left along a trail in late winter. The individual said he figured the snowmobile club would take care of it and contact him.

CO Jim Guida (Nisswa) worked the lakes area and assisted with the DNR Academy 15 training this week. Conservation Officer Candidates were trained in use of force and physical fitness. Officer Guida assisted an individual in obtaining a custody/seizure tag for a road killed otter for taxidermy purposes. Officer Guida also worked with an Idaho Conservation Officer on a fraud license investigation.

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week who were reporting a little pick up in walleye activity on the Whitefish Chain, with the pan fish bite still being so-so. Officer Lee assisted with Use of Force Training with Cadets attending the Conservation Officer Academy. Training included scenario training involving firearms and defensive tactics. Officer Lee received a call of beaver causing significant tree damage. The damage was confirmed and a trapper was called to help with the situation. Officer Lee attended a meeting at Camp Ripley for planning the new cadet’s field training portion that will start upon completion of academy training. Enforcement action taken this past week included transport aquatic macrophytes, operate Class 1 ATV on a roadway, and boating safety violations.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Crow Wing county lakes for angling and boating enforcement. CO McGowan also attended a meeting a Camp Ripley in preparation for field training for the new CO recruits and spent time maintaining station equipment. 

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) spent time on area lakes monitoring boating and angling activity. Several anglers fishing without licenses were surprised to see the officer working off a personal watercraft and didn’t get their lines reeled in in time to avoid tickets. The officer also checked ATVs in the Foothills State Forest.

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) monitored mushroom pickers in the Pillsbury State Forest and investigated complaints of litter ending up in the lake from fireworks set off from an off shore barge.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area


CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked angling activity including an over-bag complaint and assisting on Lake Superior. Water recreation continues to pick up along with the water temperature. Posting of the Personal Water Craft laws sticker and compliance with it was a frequent problem. Verkuilen also enforced ATV traffic and responded to a shoreline alteration complaint. 

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) staffed the Wall of Shame trailer sponsored by Turn In Poachers (TIP) at Isle Days. The event had a great turn out and many good questions were asked. The officer received a call regarding a dam that was removed on private property by a neighbor; the situation will be resolved without conflict. The officer also responded to a car accident in Garrison that resulted in the person being airlifted by air care. ATV traffic in the area was steady and there was a high compliance rate; thank you. Enforcement action was taken for failure to renew ATV registration, failure to obtain a burning permit and burning of prohibited materials.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working Aquatic Invasive Species enforcement around the Mille Lacs Lake area during the week and weekend. Please remember to pull your drain plug and leave it out while going down the road, drain all water from your watercraft, and remove all aquatic vegetation. ATV activity was monitored throughout the Malmo station and several nuisance beaver permits were issued during the week. Boating activity was monitored out on area lakes with lots of recreational activity seen with the warmer weather.  The Officer attended a meeting at Camp Ripley for the field training phase for the newly hired Conservation Officers and assisted the State Patrol with a motor vehicle accident with injuries. The Officer answered lots of ATV, boating, and boating related law questions.  Enforcement action was taken for various fishing and boating law violations.  

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) patrolled General Andrews State Forest for off-highway vehicle use. Vandalism to signs and kiosks was investigated. She also handled nuisance bear complaints. Speldrich worked a detail in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area over the weekend.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on Lake Superior, attended an FTO meeting, made a site visit on a bear issue, spoke with a lake association president, and worked the Isle Days festivities. Violations found were no trout stamp, ATV on roadway, OHM on roadway, and insufficient PFDs. CO Starr also assisted with a boat that had filled with water while the operator was driving it. The boat was towed to shore and it was found that the plug was out.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) had several property owners call about black bears hanging around and getting into garbage, dog food and bird feeders. Nuisance bears have also been looking for a free meal by wandering through the city limits of some area towns. Recreational boating activity has been increasing along with lake water temperatures that have finally reached the middle 70s. Patrol for illegal transport of invasive species found most boaters in compliance but a few are still forgetting to drain live wells and remove weeds before leaving the lake.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) took calls on nuisance bears and baby animal concerns. He spent time working AIS enforcement, ATV complaints, and checked anglers and boaters in the Pine City area. Enforcement contacts included juveniles without helmets on ATVs, transporting weeds, and transporting boats with drain plugs in.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) attended a meeting at Camp Ripley regarding upcoming field training for new Conservation Officers. Fishermen on Mille Lacs Lake are still having good success with northern pike and small mouth bass but walleye remain slow. Time was spent checking boaters for invasive species compliance and area state forest was patrolled for illegal ATV use.

WREO Rob Haberman worked on cases in his assigned work area. WREO Haberman also attended meetings with TEP panels this week. WREO Haberman also worked AIS enforcement in his assigned area.

District 11 - St. Cloud area


CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking anglers and boaters. AIS work was also conducted at local access sites. Assistance was provided to the State Patrol and a nuisance beaver complaint was investigated.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) reports moderate-to-good angling success. There was a high rate of compliance among those checked for angling, AIS, and watercraft rules and laws. Beaver continue to wreak havoc with the water levels, creating more nuisance beaver complaints.

WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working AIS in Stearns, Todd, and Sherburne counties. Enforcement action was taken for failing to remove drain plug, transport aquatic vegetation, and insufficient boating safety equipment. Time was also spent handling TIP calls, monitoring turtle trappers, and their equipment.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spent time working boat accesses for aquatic invasive species. One access check resulted in a 50 percent violation rate, eight boats, and four violations.
Thesing worked anglers, boaters and ATV activity. Angling success in the Albany area was slow. Enforcement action for the week included transport water in live well, transport boat with plug, transport boat with weeds, no angling license and various boating violations.

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers last week. CO Mies worked on checking boaters along with AIS. CO Mies handled animal nuisance calls.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling, boating and turtle trapping in the area. The officer continues to follow up on carp dumping complaints. Enforcement action was taken for over limit of catfish, boating and PWC violations.

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) assisted a neighboring officer with a minnow retailer conducting business without having a state bait dealer license. Calls were handled of deer eating people’s garden, an injured bear and a bobcat getting into a person’s chicken coop and killing one of their chickens. CO Kuske worked invasive species enforcement at public accesses and was impressed with the high level of compliance with boaters and jet skiers having the plugs out of their watercraft when they arrived at the access. 

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) conducted an investigation which resulted in a resort owner being charged with selling minnows without a license. Three more wolf depredation complaints were handled this past week. Several calves were found killed on two separate farms, control trapping has begun and loss of livestock compensation requests submitted. While on patrol CO Kuske encountered several ATV violations, including parents allowing illegal operation and more passengers than allowed, but the most common violation being juveniles not wearing helmets! Summer is a nice time for a campfire; one families backyard fire-pit included tires, car seats and a sofa. CO Kuske explained to the father how toxic and illegal it is to burn these items, a citation was issued.

District 12 - Princeton area


CO Travis Muyres (Cambridge) investigated a wetland complaint in Chisago County. CO Muyres also worked boating and AIS enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for transporting water and failing to remove plug. 

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters. Violations were found for angling with no license. Follow up was done on a turtle trapping case and illegally taking bait from infested water. Time was spent working aquatic invasive species at local access’s.

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports working fishing and boating enforcement in the area. Fishermen were finding good numbers of panfish as well as a few walleyes. AIS time was spent at local access. Time was also spent responding to possible wetland violations. Nuisance animal issues were also handled. Violations included no license in possession, illegal length fish, fail to remove plug from boat and no throwable PFD.

CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) worked AIS enforcement over the weekend, checked anglers/boaters, ATVs, issued car kill tags, and responded to a depredation call where it was determined coyotes killed a new born calf. Enforcement action was taken on failure to remove plug from watercraft, transporting water in live well, PFD violations, PWC violations, and no angling license.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) followed up on a license fraud case with assistance from North Dakota Game Warden. Reller also attended a meeting at Camp Ripley related to the academy. Local anglers are finding a slow bite in the dog days of summer. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and purchasing a resident license while being a nonresident.  

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes and rivers. He assisted on a number of nuisance animal complaints. He had an AIS detail at Briggs, Julia, Rush, Eagle, Big, and Mitchell lakes with assistance of a number of Officers. They had very good compliance with very few violations.

District 13 - West Metro area


CO Steve Walter (Waconia) assisted with a kids fishing event on Lake Waconia. Several injured and nuisance animal calls were responded to. Boaters and anglers were checked and AIS inspections done in Scott, Carver and Hennepin counties. Enforcement action was taken for angling without licenses in possession, angling without first procuring a license, angling with extra lines, watercraft on roadway transporting zebra mussels, aquatic vegetation and failure to remove drain plugs.

CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling and boating activity. CO Salzer assisted other officers with training at Camp Ripley with academy training. Salzer also dealt with a boat that was entering a boat access with invasive species. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week following up with complaints and doing boating enforcement.  CO Grewe worked AIS at several different accesses throughout his station. Violations included failure to remove boat plug on roadway.

CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) patrolled Ft Snelling state Park and responded to a call of an injured deer. He checked fishermen on metro lakes and rivers. CO Neitzke did AIS enforcement with CO Lee in Scott County. He also did boating and AIS enforcement in Dakota County.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishing, AIS, and boating in the metro area lakes and rivers. He worked with neighboring officer on AIS and ATV enforcement in Scott County and responded to fishing violation complaint. Questions on state park regulations and firearm safety classes were answered in the Hmong community. Violations included fishing without a fishing license, no angling license in possession, failure to remove drain plugs, and expired boat registration.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers and boaters in the Bloomington Station. He worked with West Metro officers on Lake Minnetonka and Independence for AIS enforcement activity. He took enforcement action for angling with extra line and failing to remove drain plugs.

Bloomington - vacant.

Mound - vacant.

Prior Lake - vacant.

District 14 - East Metro area


CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked anglers around the metro lakes and rivers throughout the week and checked watercrafts for safety equipment and registration. CO Pril also spent time checking boats and trailers for aquatic invasive species at several metro lake and river accesses and responded to a tip complaint. Enforcement action was taken for fishing with extra lines, no life jacket on board craft and drain plug violation.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) handled calls regarding floating bogs on area lakes and attended a field training officer meeting at Camp Ripley. She finished a bear case, did equipment maintenance and worked AIS enforcement at local accesses. CO Kruse had a ride-along from a records management company, handled an over limit of sunfish case on an Anoka County lake and handled TIP calls.

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working AIS activity near public water access sites across the metro area. Violations continue to be detected with failing to remove the watercraft drain plug being the most common violation. WREO Block assisted with a media event which was held in Fridley. Time was also spent working the Stillwater Bridge project on the St. Croix River.   

CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he checked boaters and anglers. He also conducted AIS checks. CO Johnson picked up a Loon that was most probably killed by a car. He patrolled at Carlos Avery WMA. CO Johnson issued a traffic citation in Ham Lake.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) worked area lakes and the St. Croix River checking anglers and monitoring boating activity. CO Arntzen also spent time doing AIS enforcement and did an interview with the media about AIS inspections. CO Arntzen handled nuisance animal calls, TIP complaints and answered questions about wetland violations. Enforcement action for the week included failure to remove drain plug, no fishing license and insufficient PFDs.

Eagan - vacant.

Hastings - vacant.

Maplewood - vacant.

Metro Officer - vacant.

District 15 - Marshall area


CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, invasive species, and ATV enforcement. Along with the local sheriff’s office, he worked security on Cottonwood Lake for a fireworks display. Assistance was also given working an AIS detail near Lake Benton.

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) contributed to a local radio sports show. An AIS check station was set up on Lake Benton, law compliance was high. Fishing activity has picked up on area lakes.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working ATVs and invasive species. A report of an invasive terrestrial plant was investigated. Enforcement action was taken for operating Class 1 and Class 2 ATVs on highways.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) worked angling, boating, and OHV activity during the week.  An AIS detail was worked in the Big Stone Lake area with CO Picht, with good compliance.  This officer also attended a meeting with the Save-A-Lake group. This group of local sportsman is focused keeping local lakes healthy and fishable. AIS, angling, and boating violations were encountered.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) spent the week checking area anglers and boaters. Time was also spent at public accesses enforcing AIS laws. The bite on area lakes continues to be slow.

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) worked with Officer Miska on an AIS detail. He also patrolled the Appleton ATV Park. Riding without a safety certificate and no registration are the most common violations found at the park.

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) assisted with a compliance check station on Lake Benton. AIS work was completed at Fort Snelling in St. Paul. A public waters complaint was followed up in Murray County. A WCA violation was investigated in Renville County with a restoration order forth coming.

Benson - vacant.

Madison - vacant.

Redwood Falls - vacant.

District 16 - New Ulm area


CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked turtle trapping activity in addition to taking calls about injured owls and loons. Denz also checked anglers and boaters. He monitored watercraft for compliance with AIS laws.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) worked a report of a deer and a pheasant poached out of season. She also worked AIS, boating and fishing during the week. Multiple panda awards were given to kids that were found wearing their lifejacket in the boat while on the water.   Assistance was given to two red tails hawks that fell out of a tree during the last wind storm.  A commercial inspection was completed on a new minnow retailer in the area. Mueller also spent time at Camp Ripley working with the COC’s at the Academy. 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) assisted the Sheriff’s Office by stopping a suspect on a driving complaint. The vehicle was four cars ahead of CO Nelson when the report was aired and he observed unsafe driving conduct due to Internet use on a cell phone. He also maintained equipment and completed boating enforcement paperwork.

CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week on sport fishing, boat and water safety, and invasive species enforcement.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) completed a radio program discussing invasive species and area activity. Gruhlke also worked boat and water, angling and ATV enforcement throughout the county. He emphasized enforcement relating to AIS.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked boating and fishing enforcement. On one watercraft inspection an adult asked if they needed life jackets along for juveniles. AIS activity continues to be a priority with some still failing to remove plugs during transport. ATV operators were observed and GIA trails were patrolled. Blue-green algae are very prevalent on one lake and recreationalists were informed of the possible risks including to their pets.

Litchfield - vacant.

Willmar #1 - vacant.

District 17 - Mankato area


CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked angling and boating activity. “No wake” restrictions are off most area lakes. Howe also assisted a local Sheriff’s Office with water safety during a triathlon, patrolled state parks, and recorded a TV interview with KEYC.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators.  Ihnen also responded to a complaint at a local State Park. Additional time was spent checking AIS compliance at area public accesses, and speaking with the public regarding AIS rules and regulations.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, boating, AIS, and ATV activity. Area anglers are still seeing some success. Extra time was spent at public accesses on the weekend educating anglers about AIS regulations and procedures. A kids fishing contest was attended.

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked AIS activity this past weekend. ATV activity was monitored in the station. Fishing and boating activity on area lakes and rivers was also worked. 

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, AIS, ATV, and boat & water activity during the week.  A presentation was given to young children about boating and water safety.  Violations found included angling & boating violations.

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working angling, boat and water safety, AIS enforcement, and recreational vehicle activity. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.

WREO Julie Siems (SE) conducted a site visit on WCA violation, worked AIS enforcement and responded to media requests.

Albert Lea - vacant.

District 18 - Rochester area


CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports trout streams are in good fishing condition. The Mississippi River will finally be under minor flooding beginning Monday. Fishing should improve and boat launches will be usable. He met with the Sheldon Sportsmen Club in regards to renewing their lease on state forest lands. Worked with Wisconsin Wardens on joint cases involving border issues.

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week checking angling activity and working on a deer case. As the river continues to drop more and more anglers are trying their luck. Time was also spent removing a snake from the engine of a car in Red Wing.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports assisting at the academy speaking about trapping laws and regulations. Time was also spent working AIS details on the Mississippi River from Wabasha to Winona. Compliance was high. Activity was low due to the rainy weather. Fishing was fair, mainly bass and northerns were in the live well. Violations encountered were illegally taking minnows/infested waters.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers during the week. Fishing success was mixed with the river finally dropping and getting closer to normal. Heyn also handled miscellaneous animal and fawn deer calls. 

CO Phil George (Rochester) spent the week checking anglers, doing aquatic invasive species enforcement, and ATV operators. Officer George attended a field training meeting at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for allowing illegal operation of an ATV, various boating violations, and failure to pull the drain plug.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports mainly working the big river, as well as attending Field Training Officer training at Camp Ripley. The Mississippi is finally receding and the falling water has resulted in more fish in the bag. Some limits of walleye were observed along with a few northern and perch being taken. A couple of exotics details were also worked.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports focusing on AIS enforcement in the area. He also checked limits of fish and went to Camp Ripley for training. He received a call of someone finding a Canada goose with straws taped to its wings. He found a Canada goose that was going through the molting process and was growing new feathers.

Rochester #2 - vacant.

Training Section


Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.

Aviation Section

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying three Lake Vermilion creel flights, a night time Ripley telemetry flight and a marten/fisher telemetry location flight. Jensen also worked on some hangar cleaning items and researched more safety system items. Jensen was called out to assist Crow Wing County on a fleeing burglar but was cancelled as the burglar was caught by local K9’s before Jensen could get airborne. 

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew multiple Leech Lake creel surveys and a Red lake wolf telemetry flight. Heineman also flew a night currency training flight and attended to aircraft maintenance.

CO Pilot bob Geving flew a possible wetland violation surveillance flight and conducted some training activities. 

CO/Pilot Christopher Lofstuen spent the week flying Leech Lake creel survey missions. Aircraft maintenance issues were addressed and aircraft was ferried to Brainerd for maintenance. A day was spent on travel for an aviation conference and training.

NR Pilot Luke Ettl (Grand Rapids) flew three Resource Assessment Sketch mapping flights.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO reports are now placed within district reports.

Enforcement Education


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

Please check the DNR WEB SITE www.mndnr.gov  for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions. Adult Snowmobile Safety Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.

Youth ATV Courses (12 to 15 years old) class postings for around the state are posted on the web site at www.mndnr.gov.  Students are reminded that they must complete the CD portion of the course before attending the classroom portion of the course. Youth/Adult ATV Safety Training Course CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR

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

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

Reminder---Anyone born after July 1st, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota, must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training CD course.  Persons under age 16 must complete the ATV CD Course and riding component before riding on public lands. Youth/Adult ATV Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.

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

NW RTO Jon Paurus worked with volunteer instructors reviewing the field day requirements. Assistance to field officers was provided for fishing and boating enforcement work. The officer helped out at a youth ATV safety class where over 30 youth earned their operator certification.

NE RTO Shelly Patten worked on scheduling Firearms Safety Instructor training for the Duluth area. Patten also scheduled a youth field day in Duluth as an extended part of the instructor training coming up. Patten continues to work on training items for the Conflict Management Team. Patten also worked on updates to the firearms safety written exam, Handgun instructor manual for Use of Force, and scheduled Wildlife and District qualifications for this fall.

NE RTO Bruce Lawrence worked on instructor training preparation for August training events and reviewed fall training plans for conservation officer training. RTO Lawrence spoke with instructors on field day requirements as it relates to firearms safety training. RTO Lawrence answered calls from the public ranging from certain fishing regulations on the St. Croix River, youth area firearm safety classes and turtles on road crossings.

Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week contacting Hunter Ed Firearms Safety (HEFAS) lead instructors, checking with them to make sure they are following DNR guide lines for HEFAS training. Most groups are doing a very good job on teaching the goals and objectives of HEFAS training and some groups need to change some of the things they are doing at their field days. Time was also spent training new HEFAS, ATV, and Snowmobile instructors.

Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week attended the Off-Highway Motorcycle quarterly meeting in St. Paul. He also took part in an ATV meeting in Moose Lake one day. Calls, emails, equipment maintenance needs and paperwork were taken care of throughout the week. Time over the weekend was spent on angling and AIS enforcement.

RTO                                                               PHONE NUMBERS/E-MAIL:
Rec. Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens      763-753-1887    leland.owens@state.mn.us
NE RTO Shelly Patten                                   218-244-8051       

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

NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence                    651-674-6184    bruce.lawrence@state.mn.us
Southern RTO Dan McBroom                        507-843-2032    daniel.mcbroom@state.mn.us
NW RTO Jon Paurus                                      218-298-4000    jon.paurus@state.mn.us
SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez                      651-464-7773   alex.gutierrez@state.mn.us

Curriculum Specialist:  Vacant

Education Specialist:  Vacant

Curriculum Coordinator:  Vacant



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