Minnesota Conservation Report – April 6, 2016
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) attended fire investigation team training at Camp Ripley. Multiple fires have been investigated in Marshall County. Walleye and sturgeon anglers and boaters were checked on the Rainy River.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked angling along with boat and water safety enforcement this week. The Rainy River is starting to show signs of life beyond just sturgeon as the walleye and sauger have begun biting again, it’s not like fishing in a barrel but it is much better than it has been over the past couple of weeks. Four Mile Bay has opened up nicely, allowing anglers to traverse through Lighthouse Gap and onto the big lake, still lots of floating ice sheets to keep lookout for. Enforcement action taken for this week included: angling without a license and failure to transfer ownership of a watercraft.
CO Hannah Mishler (Warroad) checked anglers and boaters on the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods. Success with walleye and sturgeon improved during the warmer weekdays, but drastically decreased over the weekend due to the cold weather. An ATV complaint was handled in the Warroad area and time was also spent investigating a suspicious vehicle. Enforcement action taken for angling with extra lines, angling without a valid license, insufficient PFDs on watercraft, no fire extinguisher on watercraft, fail to display valid watercraft registration and take/possess walleye over limit.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports fishing activity is still going strong on the Rainy River despite cold weather and high winds. Sturgeon anglers have shown mixed success and walleye anglers have shown very little success. Be sure to check your boat before leaving home. Make certain that you have enough Personal Floatation Devises for everyone in the boat and a working fire extinguisher. Emergency Vehicle Operation Course (EVOC) training was attended at Camp Ripley.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports patrolling area ATV / OHV trails, monitoring spring beaver trapping activity, monitoring boating traffic for AIS violations and checking area streams for spring fish run activity. Assistance was provided to a young driver whose vehicle became stuck in a local lake access. The driver explained he was trying to see how thick the ice was. Enforcement action for the week included transporting dressed walleye without skin patches and trailer lighting violations.
CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck) attended the Home Sport and Travel Show in Bemidji and answered various fish and game questions. A regional training was also attended. The officer conducted a Firearms Safety class in Kelliher. CO Quittschreiber also assisted the county with a medical call. Enforcement action for the week included; youth operating an ATV without a helmet and an open burning violation
Baudette #2 -vacant.
Blackduck #2 – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
Thief River Falls #2 – vacant.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending time at Camp Ripley attending a meeting and training session for wildfire investigations. Time was further spent following up on a big game case from the 2015 deer season and a public waters complaint. Anglers and ATV operators were also checked.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) completed a deer season case, worked angling, ATVs, leeching and assisted with training of FAS instructors. He also received complaints of a fire and goose caught in a beaver trap.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked spring beaver trappers and completed interviews on multiple deer season cases.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored closed forest roads and trails. Ice conditions continue to rapidly diminish. CO Vollbrecht and CO Mathy met with Bemidji State University students to speak about a life style as a Conservation Officer and go through mock job interviews. Questions were answered while working the TIP trailer at an area sports show.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked recreational vehicle activity and closed roads and trails in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest. Time was spent following up on cases from the deer season. Officer Holt also worked the TIP trailer answering questions from the public at the Bemidji Jaycees Home, Sport and Travel Show.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting with the CO Prep program teaching Emergency Vehicle Operations (EVOC) to the recruit Conservation Officers. Spring fish run has begun in the rivers in the Perham area but colder temperatures slowed down some activity. CO Vinton assisted an MSP Trooper with a revoked driver and issued a permit for a road killed otter. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen. The crappie bite had started but with the colder weather it quickly came to a stop. A few fishermen are starting to venture onto the lakes. Time was also spent following up on trespass and complaints of lake shore owners shooting geese. A commercial sucker meeting was also attended.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked angling activity. Most lakes in the southern part of station are open with most northern lakes still having larger portions covered with ice. Area trails were worked for ATV and off-road vehicle activity. CO Warren attended court in regards to a previous case. Time was spent monitoring area streams for fish run activity. A complaint of an individual near a stream with a spear was received.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring ATV, angling, and trapping activity. The officer also taught the law and ethics portion of the firearms safety class to students in Moorhead and Glyndon. The officer also conducted interviews and followed up with a report of an ATV being operated in Buffalo River State Park.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports open water angling is in full swing even with cold water temps. Complaints were investigated throughout the week with most coming to some form of conclusion. Fishermen are reminded to make sure they have their new license and boats registered. Spring FAS classes are also is session for area towns.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) checked area streams and creeks for fish run activity. Northern pike and suckers were found predominately in the rivers. A night bow fishing complaint was handled and a dead swan call was received. Plautz is investigating a big game violation and donated furs to the MTA. Plautz attended a kid’s day at Carlos Marine and spoke to the group regarding boating safety. Firearm safety supplies were distributed to two classes that were short on supplies for test day.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen, ATVs and worked spring fish run activity. Calls were handled in the vacant Wheaton station. Nelson assisted with a FAS field day and picked up an accidentally taken otter. The patrol boat was readied for the fishing season.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen and ATVs. Online computer training was completed for Employee Right to Know information. Questions were answered about ATV operation on county highways and boat registration.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) patrolled station lakes for open water fishing activity as ice is almost completely out county wide. A few spots were producing crappies but most were slower as water continues to warm. A crappie overlimit complaint was investigated as well as deer carcasses being dumped from last hunting season. Lawler also patrolled the county for spring fire activity as restrictions have been put into place.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on ATV activity and fishermen. Spring fish run activity was monitored. A fishing complaint was handled in the vacant Wheaton station. A call of a deer caught in a fence was handled by cutting the fence to free the deer. Minnow transportation permits were issued and students were registered for upcoming FAS classes. Calls were fielded from the public regarding special beaver permits/removal, FAS classes and problems with seagulls.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, ATV operators, and monitoring AIS compliance. Additional time was spent checking boaters for required safety equipment and handling nuisance animal complaints.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lk) reports ice fishing came to a close on area lakes as the lakes will be ice free soon. Fire and OHV activity was monitored in the area. Time was also spent answering questions and presenting information at the sports show in Bemidji and to Bemidji State University law enforcement students. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV on a roadway and no ATV safety certificate.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring angling, ATV and spring trapping activity. Ice continues to deteriorate as some small lakes have opened up. ATV riders are reminded to check state and federal forest closures before operating. CO Broughten fielded calls of nuisance beaver, nuisance muskrats, and dumped deer carcasses.
Conservation Officer Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) monitored spring fishing activity with fish activity picking up. Anglers are reminded that the new license year has begun and a new license is required to fish. Beaver trapping activity was checked as well, with some incidental otter being taken. Spring equipment maintenance issues were addressed and a Firearms Safety Class was taught. Parents are reminded that spring is a popular time for Firearms Safety Classes, so be sure to check with your local instructors for class availability and don’t wait for the fall season.
CO Eric Sullivan (Walker) observed that most area lakes still have ice floating on them as weather has become cooler again. CO Sullivan checked activity at spring panfish bite locations and spring fish run locations. CO Sullivan also assisted with spring fishing activity for walleye and sturgeon on the Rainy River. Enforcement action was taken for possession of illegal length walleye and no angling license in possession.
CO Colleen Adam (NW ATV Recreation Officer) worked OHV enforcement on trial closures. Adam responded to injured and nuisance wildlife calls. Adam assisted DNR at Forestry with fire and forest closure enforcement.
CO Chelsey Collette (Remer) completed online annual training, attended a regional meeting in Rogers, travelled to Bemidji for radio work and picked up the station boat from storage and got it ready for the season. Collette also worked with other officers in the district on spring fish run and ATV issues. Collette met with the area firearms instructor to plan a class and discuss recruiting (if anyone has interest in becoming an instructor please contact me at 218-553-1638). Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV on a county road and for burning without a permit.
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) focused on trapping and forestry issues. Enforcement action was taken for possessing loaded firearms in motor vehicles, failure to notify a Conservation Officer of an incidental otter catch and several OHM and ATV violations.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) received a call of an accidentally caught otter. Officer Hunter checked on closed roads in the Paul Bunyan State Forest. CO Hunter followed up on ongoing cases.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports the fishing on the Rainy River continues to be slow as both the Littlefork and Bigfork Rivers have now gone out. Several animal complaints were handled throughout the week and emergency driving and pursuit training was conducted for the new CO Prep candidates at Camp Ripley.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Ray) spent the week monitoring angling, AIS, and ATV activity throughout the surrounding areas. The number of anglers trying their luck on the Rainy River has increased though; the bite has only slightly improved. Sturgeon anglers fishing closer to Four Mile Bay are reporting success over the weekend. CO Van Asch assisted at the Emergency Vehicle Operations class held at Camp Ripley for the next academy candidates. Enforcement action was taken for various angling, AIS, and ATV violations.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports work on equipment, computer related problems, and computer based training. Small streams have re-froze and little angling activity has been observed over the week.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) assisted CO Frericks with the home show in Virginia working the TIP Trailer. It was enjoyable meeting with many different people and answering the numerous questions they had. The officer is investigating some waterfront issues on Lake Vermilion. With the colder weather, pan fish angling was minimal in the area.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time checking a few spring beaver trappers in the area. Angling activity is nearly nonexistent. CO Frericks manned the TIP wall of shame at the Iron Range home, sport and travel show in Virginia. An investigation is underway regarding an over limit and wanton waste of crappies.
Cook – vacant.
International Falls #2 – vacant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports angling activity slowed after the close of the winter trout season. There is still a fair amount of ice on area lakes and many anglers were still using ATVs and snowmobiles, although areas of open water near current continue to grow. Violations included: operating an unregistered snowmobile, and fail to transfer snowmobile registration.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) reports that the lake ice is getting bad. The rivers are open and a lot of open water is visible now on any of the lakes with current. The ice is deteriorating on the edges of the smaller lakes. The geese and swans are back and spring is really here. A very few people are still chasing crappies, but it’s getting to be a dangerous proposition around Ely. Be careful.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that he attended a wildland fire investigator’s meeting and training at Camp Ripley. He was also called out to investigate a suspicious wildland fire north of Motley.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked anglers on Lake Superior and its tributaries. The officer also checked state parks and campgrounds as well as taking calls about ice fishing shelter removal. Members of one camping party were found with numerous violations and two of the group members thought lying about their identities would a good idea; additional, more serious charges were added to their paperwork.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked OHV enforcement, took several big game-related calls, assisted local law enforcement agencies on a few calls, and work on maintaining and readying seasonal equipment. There are still a few folks fishing, but the edges have very thin ice. Enforcement action was taken on OHM violations.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity, responded to injured wildlife calls, attended wildland arson investigator training, instructed EVOC for the CO Prep Candidates and provided a K9 demo at the Lake Superior Chapter of Safari Club International. Enforcement action was taken for angling license issues and arrests for outstanding warrants.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked late ice anglers with enforcement action taken for attempting to take a fish during closed season, taking fish with a tip-up over 200 feet from the line and angling with extra lines. Action was also taken in the area for burning without a permit and not attending a fire. CO Sutherland also attended wildfire arson training over the past week.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked for ATV activity in her patrol area. She took a call about an injured Eagle that had to be put down. She assisted the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office with rescuing an individual who broke through the ice while snowmobiling. She followed up on an ongoing case from deer season. She continues to work on a litter case
CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked AIS, ATV, small game enforcement, and sport fishing. He attended training, and worked on case files from previous cases. He also patrolled closed trails for illegal use by ATVs. Areas where trespass complaints occurred were also patrolled. Violations for small game activity and ATV use were dealt with.
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and trappers, patrolled for illegal ATV operation, handled injured wildlife calls for eagles and a hawk, enforced AIS laws related to watercraft transportation, and continued work on a livestock depredation by wolves. He also responded to a call of a snowmobiler through the ice who was rescued by the local fire department. Enforcement action was taken for passing in a no passing zone.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, ATVs, spring beaver trappers, and assembled firearm safety materials. He also patrolled closed forest roads and ATV trails during the week.
CO John Velsvaag (Rec Officer) checked ATV operators this past week along with several OHM operators. CO Velsvaag also checked some beaver trappers and checked up on spring fish run activity. CO Velsvaag also worked on several older cases involving illegal ATV and assisted the USFS with illegal deer stands on public lands.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued working north shore tributaries for spring steelhead run. Even with the cold temps and unpleasant weather, many people were checked during the week. Several calls were returned with a couple requiring follow-up investigations. ATV enforcement was also worked and a trapping investigation continues to be worked.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked on angling activity and worked OHV enforcement during the week. Sucker anglers were out despite the cold weather reporting mixed results. Lakes in the area are nearing ice out with some smaller water bodies already ice free. CO Humphrey patrolled Moose Lake State Park. CO Humphrey took several calls on general angling and stream trout regulations, commercial fur buying questions and various wildlife complaints/concerns. ATV and State Park permit violations were encountered and dealt with.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with K9 training in the metro area for a good portion of this past week. Time was also spent checking area rivers for early spring angling activity, but not a lot of activity found. A deer possession permit was issued for a deer that was hit and killed by a car.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked the North Shore rivers for the start of the fish run. Despite cooler temps the water levels are up and moving fast. Fish have been seen at the French and Knife Rivers. Enforcement action was taken for a steelhead in possession. Worked area trails for ATV operations.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked river and shore anglers. A cold turn in the weather has dropped water temps and fish activity. A report of a gill net in a tributary turned out to be a section of black deer fence netting that appears to have washed downstream in past months. Fish run activity was monitored and ATV complaint areas checked.
Lake Superior Unit – vacant.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports there have been a few anglers out trying their luck at the local dams. The catching continues to be slow the water is still too cold. The suckers are running in some local streams. Vehicles on closed roads and trails in the Pillsbury Forest have received some enforcement time. He checked some beaver trappers afield and they report their success has been fair. Other activity that received enforcement time was illegal burning, illegal ATV operation and injured animals.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sport fishing and off-highway vehicle enforcement this week. A group of dirt bikes were stopped for operating in the road right of way and advised that it was illegal and unsafe. They were advised to check the trail conditions prior to venturing out. Enforcement action was taken. Most OHV trails are set to open May 1. Officer Guida also received a red cardinal from an individual hoping to have it displayed in an educational institution.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) assisted in training at Camp Ripley. CO McGowan assisted with training the EVOC course to the new recruits for the upcoming academy. CO McGowan also took calls of incidental otters being trapped.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked anglers trying their luck on early season panfish, monitored seasonally closed state forests for ATV activity, and checked commercial bait dealer’s trapping minnows and leeches. The officer also investigated a report of ATV’s doing damage in a wildlife management area.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked the information booth at the Northwest Sports Show. ATV complaint areas and trapping activity was also worked.
Cuyuna SRA – vacant.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) reports the ice went out from local lakes which allowed some boat anglers to get out. He also checked some beaver trappers, attended a meeting, and assisted at the Minneapolis Sport Show booth.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) attended a meeting regarding Mille Lacs Lake and the upcoming season. The ice on Mille Lacs Lake shift heavily with the strong wind and ended up on the east and southeast shores of the lake. ATVs were out but not for long with the colder weather and wind. Equipment maintenance was conduct on equipment for the upcoming seasons.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking area lakes for fishing activity and public accesses were checked for any damage and litter. Solana State Forest was patrolled for ATV and forestry activity and checked to make sure no one was violating the spring road and trail closures. The Officer gave a law presentation to a local MDHA group and also answered multiple DNR related questions. A district meeting was attended at the Aitkin Office and many fishing, trapping and ATV law related questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend. A call of a possible injured eagle call and some equipment maintenance was performed.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) encountered a Class II ATV stuck in a wetland. Three and a half hours and two tow trucks later, the ATV was pulled out. The operator received a hefty tow bill, damage to the ATV and a citation for operating an ATV in a wetland. She also assisted a local police department and DOC correctional officers with an incident at the prison.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) attended training and a regional meeting. Fish run activity is starting to kick up with people checking the creeks for fish. Two youths were tested on the riding portion for ATV Safety Certification. Mille Lacs WMA property was monitored to prevent illegal activity. Calls were taken about tribal harvest activities on area lakes.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) saw the last of area lake ice melt away and most public access docks were put into place throughout the week. A few anglers were out during the evenings hoping to find smelt run activity but water temperatures were too cold for them to have any luck. Quite a bit of beaver trapping activity was found around area rivers and streams. Time was also spent completing training at Camp Ripley.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) attended a district meeting. He took calls on incidentally trapped otters, questions about trapping, and concerns with nuisance animals.
CO Wynn also checked public accesses for activity, and assisted Wisconsin DNR with license fraud investigations.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area state forest and WMAs for activity on closed roads. Wildfire arson investigation training was attended. Training focused on law updates and investigation techniques. A shooting and burning complaint was investigated.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling and trapping activity. The officer took a beaver complaint and a complaint of bow fishermen in a river system not open to bow fishing. The officer attended a firearms safety class in Paynesville.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week patrolling for ATV, OHM and ORV activity. A TIP complaint was followed up on and area shore spots were patrolled for angling activity. A few crappies were being seen but the bite throughout most of the station is non-existent. Follow up on an ongoing waters violation was conducted after a complaint came through Todd County Dispatch. The landowner was attempting to slow extensive erosion that was occurring because of waves caused by high winds. A regional meeting was also attended where training on the Division’s RMS system was provided.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked fires, anglers, boaters, and ATVs. Recreation activity for the week was minimal. Division meeting and training was attended in Rogers. Car injured deer and questions from the public were handled. Creeks were monitored for fish run activity.
CO Mike Krauel (St. Cloud) attended a regional meeting and patrolled for ATV and angling activity. CO Krauel also responded to numerous wildfire calls. One wildfire was started in a wildlife management area after some target shooters decided to switch to tracer rounds. One tracer round ricocheted and started the nearby wildlife management area on fire. The shooters were reminded of the importance of having a safe backstop for practicing with firearms. Enforcement action for the week included no ATV registration, driving an ATV on the road with a revoked driver’s license, failure to transfer an ATV title, and no angling license.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) reports bears are waking up. The first bear-in-the-bird-feeder complaint was handled. Regional training was attended. A game farm inspection was done. Creeks were checked. Overall, activity was low to moderate.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) received a complaint of a youth on an ATV jumping road approaches and tearing up the road. While checking the area the youth was seen operating carelessly by the officer. Enforcement action was taken for careless operation, no ATV safety training and no driver’s license or parent present. CO Kuske took TIP calls of anglers with buckets of walleyes (turned out to be perch) a duck shot in the city limits and a dead swan found in a field. CO Kuske assisted the local police department with locating a wanted suspect. The suspect illegally entered a woman’s apartment and was located hiding in her closet eating ramen noodles.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers this week. CO Mies attended some training. CO Mies worked on complaints and tip calls.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) investigated a complaint of a calf being killed by a wolf. Equipment for a minnow dealer was tagged for use in infested waters. A fire was investigated and a citation was issued for burning prohibited materials and no burning permit. Several ATV violations were found with enforcement action taken for careless operation, no safety training, operating on a public highway and illegal juvenile operation. A law presentation was given to a firearm safety class. Fish run was monitored in area streams and shore fishermen were checked with citations issued for no fishing license. Tribal netting was monitored on Platte and Sullivan Lake and information was provided to the public on the activity and process. A ride along experience was provided for a Brainerd college student.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers/boaters, responded to nuisance animal complaints, spoke at a Turkey Clinic, attended a regional meeting, and investigated a complaint of failure to check traps. Officer Londgren also worked with Forestry on illegal/careless fire investigations and with the hydrologist on Public Water violation site inspections.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and ATVs. CO Musatov spoke at a youth firearms safety class. Several animal complaints were received and a litter issue investigated.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes and rivers. He followed up on a number of ATV complaints. He is investigating a wetlands violation with charges pending. He attended a Turkey Clinic at the Sherburne County Headquarters. CO Sladek also attended a fellowship breakfast in Sherburne County, where he met a number of sportsmen from the area. He also attended an annual regional meeting.
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) worked fishing, ATV and trapping activities. Anglers are getting their boats out and searching area lakes for crappies. A TIP call for a possible over limit was investigated. Enforcement action was taken on wetland violations, burning violations and fishing without a license.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked anglers during the week. Fire related violations were also investigated. Time was spent with local instructors at the instructor forum held in Mora.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) gave a presentation to a Firearms Safety Class in Hanover. A regional meeting was attended and area anglers were checked. Several nuisance wildlife calls were taken and a TIP call was investigated.
Princeton – vacant.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the majority of the week at training with his new K9 partner Rocky. CO Grewe also spoke at two firearms safety classes and answered questions about the upcoming boating season.
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) continued investigations into a possible overlimit fish case. Regional training was attended in Rogers. A Firearms Safety Class was attended in Brooklyn Park to present laws and regulations to the students. Officer Weyandt also attended the Northwest Sportshow to field numerous questions about nuisance beavers, the current situation on Mille Lacs Lake and licensing questions pertaining to deer and turkeys.
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) spent most of the week at various trainings. Leuthardt attended RMS refresher training, and she also attended two-day training at Camp Ripley where she assisted with EVOC training for the current CO Prep students. Leuthardt took a complaint of a possible wetland violation and also found several shore anglers trying their luck around Scott County.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked mainly shore fishermen in the west metro area lakes this past week. He attended a regional meeting and took calls on nuisance animal complaints. Questions were answered to the Asian community on fishing regulations and firearm safety classes. Violations were fishing without angling license and no license in possession.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) attended a DNR Enforcement regional meeting in Rogers. He patrolled Mississippi and Minnesota rivers near Ramsey, Hennepin and Dakota counties by boat for angling and boating activities. He provided a ride along for a prospective intern. He returned calls for service including injured bald eagles, wildlife possession permit, and TIP complaints. He took enforcement action for expired boat registration, angling with extra line, and no angling license.
Bloomington – vacant.
Ft. Snelling – vacant.
Osseo – vacant
Waconia – vacant.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) attended a training meeting in Rogers. CO Salzer also patrolled Anoka County for angling activity. Salzer also investigated a trapping incident.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) attended a full day of training in Rogers. She handled TIP calls and checked anglers and boaters on area lakes and streams. CO Kruse handled injured/nuisance animal calls, set up FAS classes, completed a report and did equipment maintenance.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) patrolled the area for angling and off road vehicle activity. He assisted with the CO Prep programs Emergency Vehicle Operations course, as well as dealt with incidental taken otter. Enforcement action for the week included trespassing, careless driving, and operating an ATV with juvenile under 18 without a helmet.
Eagan – vacant.
Metro Officer vacant.
Maplewood – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reported several incidentally trapped otter and car vs. otter calls were received. Cold water temperatures and low water levels have kept spring fish run activity low. He worked the Appleton ATV Park where ATVs and OHMs were checked for registration.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, ATV, commercial and WMA enforcement. People are reminded that skeet/target shooting is prohibited on state wildlife management areas. A list of WMA rules is in the hunting regulations handbook. Fishing pressure and success slowed during the week with cooler temperatures. Questions dealing with the upcoming stream trout and spring turkey openers continue to be answered. Assistance was given to other DNR agencies on various issues.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored fishing and off-highway vehicle activity during the week. Commercial minnow dealers were also checked. Emergency Vehicle Operations training was given to CO Prep candidates at Camp Ripley. ATV violations were encountered.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent the week working fishing activity. Enforcement action was taken for several over-limits of catfish. A reminder to the public as flathead catfish season is now open: on inland waters, five channel catfish may be taken with only two flathead catfish in combination. Only one catfish may be over 24 inches.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers and conducting investigations. Wind and rain dominated the week. Ducks and geese have filled the flooded sloughs. Enforcement action was taken for take northern pike in closed season, no angling license, and extra lines.
CO Andrew Dirks (Redwood Falls) spent the week working fishing activity, boating enforcement, and completing commercial minnow retailer inspections. Enforcement action was taken for watercraft registration violations, and fishing license violations. Boaters and anglers are encouraged to check their registration and licenses before heading out on the water. CO reports that fishing activity is picking up with many limits of crappies checked.
Benson – vacant.
Worthington – vacant.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time on area lakes talking with anglers. Enforcement action was taken for a northern pike out of season and no angling license. Vernier spent time investigating the removal of an osprey nest, questions about spearing regulations, and a dumping complaint. Time was also spent assisting Kandiyohi County with an ATV accident with injuries involving a juvenile.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked anglers hoping to catch some spring crappie. Small perch and crappies made up most of the catches. She continued with commercial inspections. Mueller also assisted McLeod County with a search.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked spring angling enforcement and monitored spring fish run activity. Oberg also worked angling, boating and AIS enforcement on the Minnesota River via patrol boat. Anglers checked were in good compliance for the most part. A firearms safety talk was also given at Shady Lane Sportsman’s Club. Oberg answered a high volume of questions at the Northwest Sports Show as well.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) spent the week focusing on sport fishing and ATV enforcement. Anglers were found to be having success with pan fish because of recent warm weather. Light goose hunting activity has decreased as waterfowl have begun to move north. Miller also spent time preparing for upcoming trials from the previous fall.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) reports that he worked anglers, invasive species, and off road vehicles. He patrolled area WMAs and WPAs concentrating on litter issues. Gruhlke noted that at least three bald eagle nests in the county are active as well as a great blue heron rookery. He also noted many ducks and geese in the area.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked shore anglers and ATV activity. Public accesses were patrolled. AIS efforts continue with law reminders to the public on what to do with live bait. Watercraft activity remains low with high winds and cooler temperatures.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) worked a trapping case and took calls regarding sick/injured wildlife. He also spent time working fishing activity. Pan fishing activity has been “hit and miss,” but seems to be picking up.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, ATV, and trapping enforcement this week. Time was spent monitoring public access sites for AIS violations. The officer spoke at a local Firearms Safety class.
C.O. Chad Davis (Owatonna) focused enforcement efforts on checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators during the week. Trapping activities were also monitored. Boating & water safety classes were instructed in Owatonna and Montgomery with other district officers.
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) checked fishermen and boaters this week. He also assisted neighboring officers with boat and water safety courses and investigated a wanton waste case.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week checking anglers and monitoring ATV activity. A law and ethics presentation was given to a firearm safety class in LeRoy. CO Chihak assisted fellow district officers with boat and water safety classes for students in Owatonna and Montgomery.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking angling, boating, and ATV activity. Officer Ihnen also worked with several district officers to host two Boat and Water Safety classes. Additional time was spent answering questions from the public while working a booth at the NW Sportshow.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) focused activity on fishing enforcement this week. Several individuals were located without 2016 fishing licenses. Please purchase your license prior to fishing! Additional time was spent responding to TIP reports regarding dumped animals. CO Henke continues to work a Bald Eagle case with the USFWS. Violations for the week included false license application, no fishing license, and extra lines.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Trent Seamans (Rochester) patrolled for sport fishing and ATV enforcement. Additional efforts were put towards a public waters investigation and miscellaneous wildlife complaints. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, allowing the illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, and failing to have a throwable PFD on a boat.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers during the week. Heyn also attended meetings and training and worked on equipment. Various questions were answered on the upcoming turkey seasons.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending most of the week checking anglers on the big river and on trout streams. Time was also spent attending some training and a meeting. Fishing success on the river in the area remains slow but lots of anglers are still out trying their luck. Some fishing and drug related violations were detected.
CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports the river level has held for the week. The cold weather has slowed the fish bite. Walleye, sauger and perch were seen in the bag. He gave a presentation to a firearms safety class in Caledonia. Enforcement for the week included no fishing license and no life jacket.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports heavy fishing pressure with mixed success. He found the responsible party that released a tame deer near a town. He had several calls on a different deer that appeared to be injured and is living in backyards. Neighbors had very different ideas on how the deer was to be handled. Hemker also investigated a poison complaint and an illegal fire where the fire department was called out.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working another busy week on the big river checking a lot of fishing and some increased boating activity on the nicer days. He also gave presentations at the Wabasha and Zumbrota Firearms safety classes as well as attended a regional meeting and training. Fishing has been pretty good with perch being the number one fish in the bag but a few more sauger and walleyes are starting to show up. Enforcement action included license, registration and safety equipment violations.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking trout anglers and Mississippi River anglers over the week. Trout fishing seemed to be better than the river as those anglers did poorly. Time was also spent training on computers. A brush pile burn that got away from the landowner is being investigated. CO Boyum also assisted the sheriff’s dept. with a verbal domestic and a suspicious subject.
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking anglers and watercraft users and attended a regional meeting. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, possession of small amounts of marijuana, littering, and taking fish in a seasonally closed area.
Zumbrota – vacant.
Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.
CO/Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Grand Rapids) reports attending to training and administrative tasks, as well as flying seaplane training and post maintenance flights.
NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) traveled to Arizona to fly the new DNR helicopter back home in Minnesota.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew two days of helicopter moose/calf telemetry surveys in which we checked on the survival of last year’s calves. Heineman also flew wolf telemetry and worked on fire courses geared towards aviation.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of equipment maintenance and ground rotary school. Jensen attended a regional enforcement training/meeting and prepped the hangar to receive a new helicopter. Jensen also gave recurrent seaplane training to another CO Pilot.
CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) flew forestry photo missions and some wetland violation photo flights. Geving also conducted training activities and attended to maintenance issues.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week working on new and old PW, WCA and APM cases. A minnow dealer association meeting was attended and AIS issues discussed. An injured eagle was caught and arrangements made for transport to the raptor center for treatment. A litter complaint was investigated. Several calls of nuisance animals were fielded. Old case files were cleaned up.
WREO Mike Scott (NE) assisted with Lake Service Planning training for LSP businesses in the Lake Kabetogama and International Falls area. Officer Scott staffed a booth with Eco at the Northwest Sports show in Minneapolis talking to public about AIS issues and concerns as well as general DNR questions. Lots of questions about Mille Lacs Lake issues and fishing. Work on WCA case files and RPNs was completed closing out several WCA cases.
WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) assisted with EVOC Training for CO Prep candidates at Camp Ripley. WREO Haberman also worked with DNR Eco staff at the Northwest Sportshow in Minneapolis answering questions and conducting AIS outreach.
WREO Keith Bertram (Central) spent the week conducting follow-up on wetland violations. Time was spent working complaints of unpermitted lake service providers. Fishermen were also checked in the area.
WREO Larry Hanson (SW) attended a region four AIS meeting in New Ulm. Officer Hanson also assisted with an AIS Booth located at the Northwest Sports Show in Minneapolis. Assistance was also provided with a possible Public Waters and /or a WCA violation in Kandiyohi County.
WREO Julie Siems (SE) assisted at Lake Service Provider training. Invasive species information was also given out at a large sports show.
Please check the DNR WEB SITE at www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Education Courses and instructor training sessions
If you missed a fall class and are over 18, check on-line for the online course information, also located at www.mndnr.gov.
Please check the DNR WEB SITE www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth and Adult Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions.
Please direct questions to 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR
Reminder—anyone born after December 31st, 1979 cannot purchase a license to hunt in Minnesota without first taking a DNR Safety Training Course and receiving a certificate. In addition many states have even more stringent mandatory Hunter Education requirements. Check before you go!!!
Reminder—Any resident born after December 31st, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota, must possess a snowmobile certificate. Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can take the online course and hands-on day or attend the traditional youth course. Those 16 or older can take the online course.
Reminder—Anyone born after July 1st, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota, must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training online course. Persons under age 16 must complete the ATV online Course and riding component before riding on public lands. Please direct questions to 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.
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.
NE RTO Shelly Patten worked with the Virginia Conservation Officer to set up Laser shot display for the Iron Range Sportshow. Patten attended ATV Trail Ambassador Annual meeting at Camp Ripley. Patten held Firearms Safety instructor training in the Brainerd area.
West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports planning for upcoming ATV and Firearms Safety Instructor certification training and completing instructor background checks. Wednesday, he attended Regional training in Rogers. Thursday he helped present an Instructor appreciation plaque to an area instructor retiring from teaching the DNR Hunter Education/Firearms Safety program. Additional officer training was also completed and use of force training material reviewed.
Rec Vehicle Coordinator Bruce Lawrence spent time assisting with setup and working at the Northwest Sportshow in Minneapolis convention center. RTO Lawrence conducted a safety instructor’s forum in Mora. RTO Lawrence along with other RTOs and staff from parks and trails held an annual trail ambassador meeting at Camp Ripley. He also received a complaint of trucks “rutting” up a road on a local township road.
SW Metro RTO Kevin Neitzke worked on volunteer safety instructor background checks. He returned emails and calls regarding safety training questions. RTO Neitzke attended training in Rogers. He also set up and worked with two LaserShot systems at the NW Sportshow in Minneapolis.
Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week working on instructor backgrounds, a qualification shoot for a retiring officer, and meetings. Time was spent at the Minneapolis Sports Show assisting with the laser shot booth. A Trail Ambassador meeting was attended at Camp Ripley.
NW RTO Jeff Halverson had a firearm safety instructor clinic in Fosston. Halverson assisted on grass fire north of Motley and is setting up clinics in Alexandria and Cass Lake.
RTO _ PHONE NUMBERS/E-MAIL:
NE RTO Shelly Patten 218-553-1676 email@example.com
West Central RTO Frank Rezac 218-689-6211 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rec Veh Coord Bruce Lawrence 763-267-8534 email@example.com
Southern RTO Dan McBroom 507-843-2032 firstname.lastname@example.org
SW Metro RTO Kevin Neitzke 651-463-3168 email@example.com
NW RTO Jeff Halverson 218-894-3577 firstname.lastname@example.org
Curriculum Specialist: Vacant
Education Specialist: Vacant
Curriculum Coordinator: Vacant