CONSERVATION OFFICER WEEKLY REPORT 05-16-2016
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) prepared cases for court and readied equipment for the angling season. Anglers were checked on Lake of the Woods, the Roseau and Warroad Rivers. Enforcement action was taken on anglers fishing without a license.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) primarily worked ATV enforcement. A nuisance bear was reported in the Roosevelt area, the reporting party was advised to remove bird feeders as that was what the bear was feeding from and that odds were once the bear realized the source was gone it would not return. Hunters are back in the forest, though the game this time around is the ever elusive morel mushroom. Individuals that know where to look seem to be doing quite well with the hunt while others struggle to gather enough to fill a baseball cap. With the fishing season now in full swing, anglers are reminded that party fishing is not allowed between boats.
CO Hannah Mishler (Warroad) reports a busy fishing opener on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River. Weather was typical for a Minnesota opener; anglers saw a mix of wind, snow and rain over the weekend, which deterred many from doing the amount of fishing they had hoped for. Aside from angling enforcement, boat and water safety was the main focus of the busy weekend. ATV enforcement was also completed through the week, as well as an investigation of a “nuisance” wolf/coyote. Enforcement action taken for no throwable PFD, no fire extinguisher on watercraft, angling without a license, no angling license in possession, possession of illegal length walleye, angling with extra lines, and operate ATV without ATV safety training.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports that the 2016 fishing opener was successful. With cold weather and high winds the conditions were less than favorable. Anglers braved the Minnesota weather and most were successful to a degree. Angling enforcement and boating safety was worked. CO Prachar responded with Baudette Police Department and Lake of the Woods Ambulance to a call of a toddler who fell out of a second story window. The child is expected to recover. CO Prachar worked with CO Mishler for the opener and they encountered violations ranging from illegal length fish to failure to display valid registration on a boat. Officers checked a boat of three men in Zipple Bay State Park that told a story from the previous day. They had been anchored and fishing when they saw a boat take on water and capsize near them. They cut their anchor rope and drove over to where the two occupants of the sunken boat were. They helped the stranded fishermen into their boat and saved them from a potential devastating accident. Lake of the Woods and Rainy River have seen many unnecessary water related deaths in the last eight months. Boaters and anglers are encouraged to be cautious both on the water and on land near water.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working the busy, cold fishing opener with many dedicated anglers taking to area lakes in spite of the bitter cold and windy conditions. Anglers reported varied success but most had fish in their live well. Time was spent providing testimony in court for a deer hunting case from the past deer season, investigating wolf depredation and eagle depredation complaints and patrolling area trails for ATV/OHV activity. Enforcement action for the week included angling license violations and boating equipment violations.
CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck) reports fishing opener was fairly busy on Upper Red Lake. Success rates varied greatly however most anglers were able to find some fish. The weather did not cooperate, high winds and cool temps kept most of the anglers from venturing out too far into the lake. CO Quittschreiber also assisted the county with a medical call. Enforcement actions for the week included; angling related violations, drain plugs left in while transporting as well as other aquatic invasive species violations. CO Quittschreiber received a call from one of the watercraft inspectors who stated that there was an individual at the access who was refusing to drain his minnow bucket, even after the inspector offered him fresh water for the minnows. The angler was quite aggressive towards the inspector. The Officer was only a few hundred yards away from the access and was able to get there before the boater left. The angler told the officer that he would rather get a ticket then dump out the water in his minnow bucket. When the officer advised him that he was going to receive a citation and was going to drain the water, he complied. PLEASE take all preventative measures to help slow the spread of aquatic invasive species; it only takes a couple of extra seconds to save then next lake from infestation.
Baudette #2 -vacant.
Blackduck #2 – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
Thief River Falls #2 – vacant.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking anglers and boaters on local lakes and rivers. Time was also spent working on fire and public waters complaints. A deer case from the 2015 archery season was closed. Various fishing and boating violations were found.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) concentrated on boating and the fishing opener despite the cold and wind. He also participated in a radio interview and mandatory training at Camp Ripley. Calls about donating land, a person putting rocks on road right of way to fish from, FAS, and bear complaints were received. He assisted other agencies with a burglary and domestic.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) investigated a water complaint. CO Gray checked the few anglers that braved the wind and cold on opening weekend. He also assisted Clearbrook PD with two search warrants.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity during a busy opening weekend. Anglers are reporting a slow bite, with small northern pike making up a majority of the fish being caught. Wind and weather conditions did not cooperate over the weekend. CO Vollbrecht testified in a court case stemming from the deer season. Officer spoke with two different radio shows regarding boating safety and angling regulations.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) worked angling and ATV activity during the week. Time was also spent investigating a fire. The 2016 fishing opener was busy throughout the area even though it was cold and windy. Officer Holt received a call of a kayaker stranded on the Mississippi River. Officer Holt and Officer Parthun were able to locate the individual with the assistance of a local landowner. Officers were then able to get him off the river and to an ambulance. Enforcement activity for the week included burning without a permit and watercraft registration violations.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports a very cold and windy fishing opener. Temperatures in the mid-20s and winds gusting to 30 mph made for brutal conditions. Those anglers that braved the conditions found a few walleyes and lots of northern pike. Even though conditions were less than ideal, all anglers were in good spirts. Angling and AIS compliance was good with few violations. A possible wetland filling violation was investigated. CO Vinton assisted a local police department when they called in the middle of the night after locating a person with a captive raccoon during the execution of a search warrant.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) reports the opening day of walleye season was slow, with less than normal pressure and the fish bite was mostly slow. Several boat equipment violations were handled. CO Peterson also assisted at the CO Academy and fielded wildlife calls.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports working the fishing opener. Conditions were windy and cold and fishing success was spotty. Time was also spent working shoreline issues, aquatic plant issues and investigating waters complaints.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) spent time on angling and boating activity. The fishing opening weekend was worked but cold temperatures and high winds kept many people off the lakes. Those that did venture out reported fair to poor success. Calls of nuisance bears and possible injured eagle were received. Time was spent closing open investigations. A possible public waters violation and a complaint of dogs chasing deer were investigated. Areas were patrolled for ATV and off road vehicle activity. CO Warren was interviewed by media and provided information about AIS laws and inspections. AIS inspections were performed.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring turkey hunters and anglers in the Moorhead station. Boat and water safety enforcement was also conducted. Few anglers braved the weather on fishing opener and those that did reported a very slow bite. The officer also attended spring firearm qualification at Camp Ripley. Calls from the public included beaver complaints and questions on goose depredation permits. Enforcement action was taken for keeping bass in a closed season.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports seeing a lot of cold anglers for opening day. Success varied greatly on the walleye bite from different lakes. Richards attended training at Camp Ripley during the week. Time was also spent for the Fergus Falls PD open house displaying an airboat for young elementary aged children. Enforcement action was taken for angling, boat safety, commercial, and AIS violations.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked a very cold but busy fishing opener. Walleye fishermen were having good success over the weekend. Plautz assisted Ottertail Boat and Water Patrol with a stranded boater on very windy and rough water. AIS and boating safety were high priorities throughout the weekend as well.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen, boaters and worked AIS enforcement throughout the week. Additional time was spent checking minnow dealers and online computer training. Questions were answered from the public regarding fishing regulations and AIS. Ashby school students cleaned up litter along the Central Lakes State Trail.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, ATVs, boaters and AIS compliance. A boat was checked with two kids fishing with their dad on Sunday. All of the kids were wearing their life jackets and had caught some walleyes. When they were asked how fishing was yesterday, they said they didn’t go because the one child shot his first turkey. They said it was a great weekend of hunting and fishing. Osborne was pleased to see a father spending time outdoors with his two sons.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked opening fishing activity throughout the Alex area. High winds and cold temps kept a lot of boats off lakes, but a few bays and protected areas saw activity. Several cases of fishing without licenses were handled as well as an angler trolling with two lines. PFD and AIS compliance was very good with no enforcement action taken. CO Lawler spoke at Discovery Middle School to over 300 6th and 7th graders about safety in the outdoors.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on the 2016 inland fishing opener checking fishermen, boaters and AIS compliance. Anderson assisted CO Chihak working Lake Traverse over the weekend. An assist was also given to CO Baumbarger regarding fishermen keeping bass prior to bass season and to the Pope County Sheriff’s Department with stranded boaters on Lake Minnewaska. An individual was arrested on a warrant in Stevens County. Complaints of illegal ATV operation was worked as well as questions from the public answered regarding fishing regulations, boating safety equipment and archery deer hunting questions.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, boaters, and monitoring AIS compliance. Complaints were received about nuisance beaver and raccoons. CO Baumbarger investigated several complaints of fishermen keeping bass out of season.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked a busy walleye fishing opener. Parthun also worked with Officer Holt to rescue a kayaker from the Mississippi River. The kayaker was stranded on a mud flat in a large marshy area of the river. As the sun was setting, officers used push poles and paddles to reach him, Officers found he was wet and disoriented, had frostbite and was suffering from hypothermia. Officers were able to free his kayak from the mud flat and then began the long trek, towing the kayaker against the river current and the wind, to a waiting ambulance. The kayaker had been traveling on the river for over a week and was unprepared for the snow, cold temperatures and cold wind chills. With temperatures dropping to 25 degrees that night, the kayaker stated if he had not been rescued, he would have perished.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports increased activity over the fishing opener. Anglers and watercraft operators are reminded to remove water and drain plugs from their watercraft before transporting them down the road. Firearms’ training was provided for in-service training and academy training operations were performed as well. Nuisance bear calls were received. One person was transported to the hospital after a bear with cubs attacked her on the deck of her house.
CO Eric Sullivan (Walker) saw a lot of activity on Leech Lake during the opening weekend despite very cold and windy conditions on Saturday. Anglers had very good success targeting walleyes and CO Sullivan counted several limits of walleye. CO Sullivan focused on invasive species enforcement during the past week as well. CO Sullivan also assisted with a wildfire on Minnesota Island. The fire was started from a careless match that was discarded in the wetland area of the island. Enforcement action was taken on angling violations, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, failure to remove drain public and negligent fires.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked angling activities. The walleye bite was best on early mornings and late evenings in the area. Success was location dependent. A litter complaint and wetland fill were investigated. Radio operation was taught at the academy. Enforcement action was taken for angling, boating, AIS, and ATV violations.
CO Chelsey Collette (Remer) worked shoreline complaints, collected information for a fish house dumping complaint, worked panfish areas and ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for no ATV safety, under 18 without helmet, PFD violations and an overlimit of northern pike.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville): Spent the week monitoring angling, ATV, and boating activity. CO Broughten worked the spring fishing opener where moderate success was reported. CO Broughten fielded calls regarding injured animals, nuisance beaver, and ATV complaints. Enforcement action included: no angling license in possession, failure to display boat registration, no type IV PFD, and no personal floatation device.
CO Colleen Adam (Rec Specialist) checked shore/dock anglers and patrolled area forest roads and trails. Work continues with ongoing investigations. Contacts made for closed trail use, loud muffler and no registration on ATV.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked fishermen, boaters and ATVs. Cold windy weather kept a large number of boats off the water and fishing activity was low. A reminder that deer and other critters are having their babies and if you discover a baby animal, PLEASE do not pick it up. The mother is likely very close by and will return to it when the threat (a human) is gone.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked complaints of fish being taken out of season, shooting at geese out of season, and worked invasive species enforcement and the fishing opener. Opening morning had a light dusting of snow and 26 degrees, keeping many anglers at home for the day, though a couple of anglers did too well and kept too many crappies. Two incidents of taking fish out of season were handled with enforcement action. A motorcycle passing the officer and going over 100 MPH was handled with the help of other agencies. Enforcement action was taken on take fish out of season, angle with extra lines, angling without a license in possession, insufficient PFD’s, AIS violations, a minnow trapping violation, OHV trespass, and driving after revocation.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) reported fishing opener started with a blanket of snow and below freezing temps. Those that braved the weather for the most part stated fishing was slow with hammer handle northern and small walleye being the main bite. AIS, ATV, and litter complaints were worked throughout the week.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time checking anglers on Virginia area lakes during the fishing opener. Cold temps, high winds and snow flurries kept most of the anglers off the lakes at the start of the day. Only a few anglers were seen out on the water throughout the day. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession and failure to display watercraft registration decal. Juvenile ATV traffic remains high in the Virginia area. Parents are cautioned they can be cited for allowing their kids to operate their ATVs illegally.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) finished up enforcement activity relating to sturgeon fishing, including failure to tag and register sturgeon. The officer took numerous calls regarding invasive species speaking with resort owners, guides, and anglers. The opener arrived with cold weather and snow squalls, limiting the number of anglers out at midnight. The anglers that braved the 30 degree weather and windy conditions on Saturday had pretty good luck. The officer observed many boats that were having good success. The officer also worked with AIS crews at the landings on Vermilion, compliance with AIS laws was high at the sites the officer worked. Enforcement action was taken on illegal length Walleye, no license, no registration, and narcotics.
CO Darrin Kittelson (Int’l Falls) reports a cold, wet, snowy, and windy fishing opener on Rainy Lake and Lake Kabetogama; unfortunately the fish were not very cooperative either. Enforcement action taken for the week consisted of no angling license in possession and illegal length fish. Training at Camp Ripley was attended and animal complaints were handled to round out the week.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling activities. Opening day fishing found temps in the upper 20s, wind gusts over 20mph and snow – fishing success was very poor. ATV activities were monitored. Coordinated with DNR Forestry on forest road matters. Wolf depredation problems continue.
CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers this past week. Opener was slow but later some limits of fish were taken despite conditions. CO Velsvaag also attended training at Camp Ripley.
Cook – vacant.
International Falls #2 – vacant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports walleye and northern opener was well attended in spite of temperatures well below freezing and horizontal snow. Although the weather was not cooperating the fish were, and angling success was high on most lakes that were patrolled. Violations included: failure to display current watercraft registration, possessing glass beverage containers in the BWCAW and, angling with no license in possession.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked fishermen in the BWCAW and encountered various parties of canoers/kayakers without registrations, possessing beverage cans in the wilderness, and no PFDs (miles from civilization, in high winds, dangerously cold water, and snow squalls). Another canoe group had no BWCW permits and aluminum cans, but claimed to have been visiting the BWCAW for 30 plus years without knowing the requirements.
Surprisingly, this past weekend showed most violations to be from the relatively few non-motorized users and of the many motorboats contacted on Basswood’s Pipestone, none had registration, PFD, or can possession issues.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) finished up fire investigations, attended training at Camp Ripley and checked anglers on a very slow fishing opener. Some people in canoes were encountered paddling in white caps, over 48 degree water, without life jackets on. A few paddlers were turned away at BWCAW entry points because they didn’t have their canoes registered. Enforcement action was taken for boating violations.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked a couple campfires to insure compliance with burn restrictions in the northeast. The officer worked a chilly fishing opener checking inland and steelhead anglers. CO Manning checked ATV operators and a few folks working to clear last winter’s storm damaged trees/brush. The officer was also flagged down by a distressed motorist; turned out the elderly driver nearly hit a large snapping turtle and the officer assisted in removing it from the roadway to prevent any future accident.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy, cold fishing opener. Numerous violations were detected over the weekend including over limit of northerns, use game fish as bait, illegal slot length northern, extra line, unregistered boat, no PFDs, litter, unattended line, and no license in possession. Overall, the bite was slow.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area fire complaints. Time was also spent working anglers and boating activity for the opener. Activity on the opener was slow due to cold temperatures and driving winds, however one angler said, “But at least it’s snowing!”
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked the fishing opener, ATV riders and anglers hitting the back streams for Brook trout. It was another opener with snow and strong winds; the hardcore anglers that braved the weather did alright. The officer saw some nice limits of fish. Time was also spent working in the BWCA. Enforcement action was taken for angling, boating and traffic violations.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked a cold fishing opener on the North Shore complete with snow showers. Fishing success was slow with very few anglers. Murray responded to a three vehicle car crash on Hwy 61 where a truck was struck by another vehicle causing it to roll over. One occupant in the crash was taken to the hospital for observation.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, worked AIS laws, and patrolled for illegal ATV activity. Enforcement action taken for possessing slot walleye, no license in possession, fail to remove drain plug, transport aquatic vegetation, and take Canada geese out of season.
CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked ATV, sport fishing, boating, AIS, and assisted with firearms qualifications and training at Camp Ripley. He patrolled state park areas, state forests, and public water accesses. Preparations were made for upcoming academy instruction, and division training. Violations included no license in possession, transporting aquatic macrophytes, transporting live fish, transporting lake water, taking geese in closed season, and ATV on the roadway. If you are having problems with geese on your lawn, shooting is not the solution. Please call the division of wildlife and they will assist you. If you cannot get ahold of them contact your local CO. It’s not worth the fine, restitution, loss of a firearm, and possible hunting revocation.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked angling and boating activity this past week and weekend. She checked many anglers over opener and also worked ATVing activity. She took a several TIP calls including one concerning illegal bass fishing and another about fishing in a closed area. She took a complaint of an injured owl. Enforcement action was taken for several angling violations.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a busy week with fishing opener in the mix. Enforcement action was taken for bass out of season, no angling license, failure to register a watercraft, no throwable on a watercraft and angling too close to a dam.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs, state parks and campgrounds. He also handled boating and fishing complaints during the week.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) monitored angling, boating safety, trapping, and ATV activities throughout the surrounding areas. Many anglers were asked to endure snow, high winds, and a slower than usual walleye bite for the 2016 fishing opener. Some anglers were seen scooping snow from their boats opening morning. Assistance was given to Itasca County Sheriff’s Office for a capsized boat. All of the occupants of the boat were rescued and safely brought to shore for medical attention. Enforcement action was taken for taking fish in closed season, no angling license in possession, fail to display valid boat registration, no throwable PFD, fail to display valid ATV registration, and no ATV lights.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued working fish run activity for both walleye and steelhead. Several hours were worked talking with fisherman about AIS. Many people were contacted over the weekend enjoying the cold weather while fishing the 2016 opener. Some examples of violations encountered included no license, over limit, no PFD’s and extra lines. Officer Duncan also returned several telephone calls, assisted local law enforcement and was interviewed by a local television station about the upcoming fishing opener.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked anglers, turkey hunters, and worked OHV, AIS and fire enforcement during the week. CO Humphrey patrolled the Sawyer WMA and in the Fond du Lac State Forest. CO Humphrey attended in-service at Camp Ripley. CO Humphrey participated in the Law Enforcement Memorial Day event in St. Paul. Anglers had a tough opener with high winds and cold temps. Some lucky anglers caught a few fish. Violations were encountered for illegal burning, ATV operation/registration, boating and angling
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spoke to a bow hunter education class in Carlton and attended K9 training in the metro area. Cold weather kept fishing activity low in the area on opener. Several anglers were checked and not much success was reported. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, no trout stamp, take bass out of season, and possessing drug paraphernalia.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reports a cold and windy opening fishing weekend. Many anglers toughed it out and had success on area lakes north of Duluth. The water levels are high compared to years past opening weekends. Enforcement action was taken for no lifejacket, fish transportation issues, no angling license and extra lines. North Shore anglers are still fishing rivers and shore casting for kamloop trout.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers on a snowy and windy typical-Duluth fishing opener. Some anglers found success, but many found cold fingers. A burning complaint was checked where a swamp was reportedly lit on fire, but luckily endangered no buildings. A report of a moose carcass dumped turned up a cow skeleton that was disposed of by a farmer in a less-than-responsible way. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.
Lake Superior Unit – vacant.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) worked the fishing season opener, instructed at the Conservation Officer training academy, attended annual firearms certification, followed up on a lake shoreline excavation violation, and assisted the local police department with an intoxicated driver who was involved in a hit and run accident. A bow fishing complaint was handled and a possible wolf depredation call for two dead calves was investigated.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including responding to calls for service and investigation of nuisance bear and beaver, lake shoreline manipulation and dock issues, illegal dumping of garbage, wetland impact and alteration of shoreline uplands, suspicious fishing activity, illegal burning, and ATV operation on roadways. The 2016 fishing opener was a very cold and windy one with mainly die-hard anglers in attendance. Numerous die-hard trout anglers in the mine pit lakes of the Cuyuna Country State Recreational Area were checked having mixed success from no fish to limits of trout. Other lakes and rivers in the area were found to be low on fishermen and fishing success due to the weather. DNR Firearms Safety program students were spoken to on laws and ethics at Cuyuna Range Elementary School, where since 1976, thanks to the dedicated instructors and school staff for so many years, they have been, and continue to be unique as one of just a very small handful of schools in Minnesota that offer the DNR firearms safety program in a public school as part of the regular school day.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked turkey, boating and angling enforcement. Public access dock concerns and a private dock adjoining public land were also addressed. Security was also provided for the Governor’s fishing opener.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked a busy fishing opener in the lakes area. Investigations were started on over limits. Officer Guida addressed boat and water safety violations while checking angling activity. Lots of boaters had the required safety equipment on board. Windy conditions limited angler’s access to large main bodies of waters.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The anglers are out in full force for the walleye opener and the walleye bite is slow. The pan fish have been cooperative and over limit complaints have been investigated. Violations he observed were keeping bass out of season, no fishing license, no watercraft license and not enough PFDs. He worked on aquatic invasive species prevention on Gull Lake. Most boaters are doing well cleaning, pulling plugs and draining live wells. He checked turkey hunters who are having success and still seeing turkeys.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked a busy walleye fishing opener weekend. CO McGowan also assisted with teaching at the conservation officer academy at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for numerous fishing and boating violations.
Cuyuna SRA – vacant.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked the windy and cool opener checking the traditionalist compelled to be out the first day. Compliance on licenses, safety equipment, and invasive prevention ran very good. Verkuilen checked complaint areas regarding trespassing, burning, and ATV activity. Several ATV violations were addressed.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) assisted with training at the academy at Camp Ripley. The officer also checked a large variety of anglers in the area for opener. Many were attempting to stay warm but had fun catching fish. Invasive species conversations were had with many anglers and watercraft owners to educate parties to stop the spread of invasive species. Enforcement action was taken for unattended angling lines, insufficient PFD’s on a watercraft and transporting a watercraft with a drain plug in place.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working a couple of Wetland Conservation Act violations over the week. Calls regarding nuisance beaver were fielded and permits were issued. The Officer worked the opening weekend of fishing opener and quite a few fishermen braved the cold and windy weather to come out and enjoy a Minnesota tradition. The Officer talked to quite a few fishermen out on Mille Lacs Lake. Several photos of nice walleye and bass were seen and most everyone reported catching some fish. Several station smaller lakes were checked and most were reporting a few fish being caught. Boating and water safety related equipment was also checked while checking fishermen. A wolf depredation case on a cow was completed and area state land and county land was patrolled for ATV activity. Enforcement action for the week included various fishing and boating related violations.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) completed a litter dumping and wanton waste investigation during the week. She took enforcement action against the individual. Officer Speldrich checked anglers on the opening weekend of fishing. As the weather was cold and windy; fewer than usual boats were out on area lakes and few fish were seen in live wells. She followed up on ATV complaints, patrolled area rivers for early angling activity, followed up on several nuisance animal complaints, completed annual trainings and worked with the Division of Wildlife on several animal complaints. Officer Speldrich also participated in the Law Enforcement Memorial service in St. Paul with the LEMA Honor Guard. Enforcement action was taken for failing to have sufficient PFD on board a boat.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) worked a very slow fishing opener. Twenty degree wind chills and flurries kept most lakes in the area pretty quiet. One angler that did brave the cold weather on fishing opener morning was unable to produce a fishing license and told Officer Grundmeier that the license at home on the counter. Later that morning, while buying coffee at a local gas station, CO Grundmeier saw the same individual at the gas station counter buying a fishing license. The unlicensed angler told Grundmeier, “Today is just not working out like I had hoped.”
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked fisherpersons on Mille Lacs Lake and area lakes. Windy conditions and cold temps didn’t stop some folks from catching some nice walleye and small mouth bass on Mille Lacs. A few photos of 18 and 20 inch small mouth caught and released were seen. Assistance was given to the local sheriff’s office and an orphaned owl was found by a cabin owner and turned over to the local raptor rehabilitator.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week assisting with in-service training along with academy instruction at Camp Ripley. Area lakes were patrolled for fishing opener. Even with cold temps and high winds many anglers still ventured out on Saturday morning. A slow bite was seen but most anglers were found to have boated a fish or two. Violations for the weekend included no license in possession, no fire extinguisher, insufficient PFD’s, no type IV device, and fail to renew watercraft registration.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling, litter and trapping. The officer also took care of administrative tasks and vehicle maintenance. Calls regarding a fish kill and someone dumping their used oil in the ditch was also received.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) attended a Todd County TEP meeting and spoke during an open mic session at a local radio station. Emphasis was on upcoming fishing opener, boat & water safety, and AIS rules .More permits were issued for nuisance beaver activities. An ongoing garbage burning site was investigated. The law portion was taught for Clarissa FAS. There was a less-than-average angler turnout for fishing opener. Cold temperatures, frigid wind chills, and high winds seemed to keep many off the water. Some of those that braved the elements were rewarded with northern pike, walleyes, crappies, and feisty bass to release.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked AIS, boaters, anglers, and turkey hunters. Cold windy weather made angling difficult for opener weekend. Anglers out did find a few walleye and northern. Thesing assisted with the Conservation Officer academy at Camp Ripley, and participated in a radio show with a local station. Enforcement action for the week included transport boat with plug in, no angling license in possession, bass out of season, no boat registration, and various boating equipment violations.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) had a person report they found a canoe and through the old registration numbers was able to locate the owner who had lost the canoe ten years ago. CO Kuske handled calls of wanting a turtle crossing sign, a dead trumpeter swan, nuisance bears in bird feeders, a nest of baby rabbits found in a flower planter and a person setting out a pan of poison in their back yard to poison skunks next to a state park. A wetland violation was investigated where a farmer cleaned out their ditches too deep and spread the dirt dug out onto the adjacent wetland area. Due to poor weather conditions fishing opener was more quiet than usual in the area.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) investigated a trespass complaint in which bow fishermen drove in a closed area and damaged a boundary sign at Crane Meadows NWR. A fisherman reported seeing an individual digging along a shoreline and throwing dirt into the lake. The property owner was contacted and was found to be removing part of an ice ridge that pushed up to a boat house. He was able to remove the fill he placed in the lake. A person thought it was OK to place the drain plug in the boat at home and then run it to the public access and because he lives on the lake he felt he was entitled to do so. The law was explained to him and enforcement action taken. An injured Cooper’s hawk was found but died enroute to the animal hospital. Fishing opener was very slow, poor fishing and low numbers of people turned out for the annual event. Several ATVs were stopped for operating on public highways. A request for a nuisance beaver trapping permit was processed.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers and worked the fishing opener. CO Mies also gave fur/trapping talks at Ney Park to 5th grade classes in Wright County. CO Mies assisted with an AIS work crew in Meeker County. CO Mies took part in the career shadow program at Kimball High School.
CO Mike Krauel (St. Cloud) spent the week checking anglers, following up on wetland cases, and working litter cases. CO Krauel reports that those that braved the cold and wind on fishing opener found some success as CO Krauel found several nice walleyes on stringers.CO Krauel also provided assistance to local law enforcement officers that were searching for a missing boat. Enforcement action was taken for no life jackets, no angling license, possession of drug paraphernalia, taking fish out of season, AIS violations, and failure to have required safety equipment on a boat.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) assisted at the CO academy with the new recruits and followed up on several TIP calls. Fishing opener was very slow with the high winds and cold temps, keeping a lot of anglers off the waters. Enforcement action was taken for minor AIS and licensing violations.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes and rivers. He investigated damage to property on his WMA. He interviewed suspects and issued summons for damage to WMA property. He took a number of bear complaints. He wants everyone to know that the only reason that any animal visits a person’s yard and property is for food. He wants everyone to clean up garbage and put away birdfeeders, if you do not want bears or other animals in your backyard. He did a fur presentation at Ney Park to over 300, 5th and 6th graders.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers, ATVs, and turkey hunters. Violations were found for no angling license and no PFDs. AIS enforcement was done at local public access.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) assisted at Camp Ripley with spring firearms training. Time was spent in the boat checking anglers. Follow-up investigations were conducted on a couple prohibited materials fires. Enforcement action was taken on Off Highway Motorcycle on public highway, burning of prohibited materials, no license in possession and no throw-able flotation device.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) reports a busy fishing opener with a lot of anglers, but poor fishing on the majority of lakes. Enforcement action was taken on no PFD, license, watercraft registration and bass out of season violations. Calls were taken on nuisance and baby animals, dogs chasing deer, and ATV’s doing damage.
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) worked fishing and boating activity on opening weekend. Many anglers fought windy conditions more than they fought walleyes on the end of their fishing poles. Anglers seem to have the most success on South Center Lake. A 7-year- old boy caught two walleyes greater than 20 inches on Green Lake, while the two adults in the boat were skunked. Enforcement action was taken on fishing without a license, fishing with extra lines, illegal length walleye, largemouth bass catch and release violation, numerous boat safety and AIS violations.
Princeton – vacant.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and following up with TIP complaints. CO Grewe also attended the Governor’s fishing opener picnic. Violations included license issues.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked the fishing opener and attended the annual qualification training at Camp Ripley. He worked an AIS detail and followed up with other AIS violations. Officer Lee also answered questions on fishing regulations and firearms safety classes to the Asian communities.
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) checked anglers, boaters and turkey hunters around Scott and Dakota counties. Cold and rainy temperatures were likely to blame for low angler and boater turnouts during inland waters fishing opener but several anglers were still checked throughout the weekend. Leuthardt also participated in an AIS detail at Maxwell Bay on Lake Minnetonka. Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license, angling without a license in possession, taking bass out of season, possessing illegal length walleye, and making a false affidavit on a license application.
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) spent the week following up on zebra mussel violations on Lake Minnetonka. She checked anglers from the shore and the boat on fishing opener. Activity and catch was low due to the low temperatures and high winds. CO Weyandt responded on the water to a missing 5-year-old boy. He was later found with a relative.
Bloomington – vacant.
Ft. Snelling – vacant.
Osseo – vacant
Waconia – vacant.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity on the walleye opener. There were not many anglers out on the Saturday of opener. Salzer also attended training and assisted with academy training at Camp Ripley.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) attended site inspections with the area hydrologist and aquatic plant management specialist regarding violations on White Bear Lake. She worked ATV enforcement in Anoka County, handled various TIP calls and did equipment maintenance. CO Kruse issued a Cease and Desist Order in Ramsey County, worked AIS enforcement at area accesses and worked fishing and boating enforcement over the fishing opener weekend. Violations included fish with extra lines, no fishing license, keep bass during catch and release season, remove aquatic vegetation without a permit, no license in possession and no fire extinguisher on boat.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reports working the fishing opener and found many anglers having success. CO Arntzen also gave a presentation to a firearms safety class at the Oakdale Gun Club and handled TIP calls. Violations for the week included angling with extra lines, no license in possession, insufficient lifejackets, failure to display valid registration, parking in closed areas and no fire extinguisher.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) had a busy fishing opener. Many people were out with little success observed. Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) enforcement was conducted with compliance very good and a warrant arrest was made. Enforcement action for the week included take bass in closed season, illegal length walleye and false application for license.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked the fishing opener weekend and checked anglers throughout the week. AIS was worked, and watercrafts were checked for safety equipment. He handled miscellaneous animal complaints and tip complaints. CO Pril also spoke at a fishing clinic about laws, ethics and CO duties and responsibilities.
Maplewood – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) saw some walleye on smaller lakes and on the rivers. A radio show talking about AIS, fishing laws, and boating safety was conducted just before opener. Violations found included fail to register kayak, no angling license, and fail to remove drain plug.
CO Andrew Dirks (Redwood Falls) focused time during the week conducting taxidermist inspections, monitoring ATV activity, and checking turkey hunters. CO completed an interview with a local paper for an ATV safety announcement and juvenile operators. CO also spoke at an ATV safety class in Redwood Falls. Time was spent over the fishing opener checking public water accesses, and checking boats and anglers on the Minnesota River. Anglers report a slow bite over the weekend. Enforcement action included safety equipment violations, watercraft registration, and illegal burning.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored AIS, boating, fishing, and off-highway vehicle activity during the week. Opening day anglers were met with high winds and cold temperatures. A few lucky anglers were able to put a few in the live well. This officer discussed ATV safety as a featured guest on Minn-Dak Outdoors radio show on KDIO Radio in Ortonville. Angling and boating violations were encountered.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent time working numerous wildlife complaints, angling, and burning issues. High winds and cool weather pushed most anglers off of the area lakes on fishing opener. Numerous shore anglers were checked with the majority finding a slow bite with the cool water temps reported.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reported temperatures near freezing and windy conditions made things challenging for the walleye opener with even a few snowflakes being seen around midnight. Die-hard fishermen were still out but success was slow. Sunday saw nicer weather but success was still spotty. Invasive species and boating safety were the main enforcement focuses. Assistance was also given at the current CO Academy at Camp Ripley and the law and ethics portion of a firearms safety class was taught in Tracy. Turkey hunters are reminded that if they weren’t successful during their time-period they are also allowed to hunt the F time-period (May 18-31) in their selected permit area.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers and conducting investigations. Fishing Opener was a little slow due to freezing temperatures. A few nice walleye, northern, and perch were seen in creels. Good compliance was observed in accordance with invasive species laws. A couple of ATV Public Service Announcements were recorded for area radio stations. Enforcement action was taken for transport live fish; fail to drain fish containers, and extra lines.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) conducted his weekly radio show on KLOH Radio. An investigation of a prohibited trapping method was investigated with the finding being a local land owner had removed a beaver dam illegally. Enforcement action was taken. Fishing with the cold weather made things a little slow. Lake Benton and Dead Coon Lake were very productive. Enforcement action was also taken on boat registration.
Benson – vacant.
Worthington – vacant.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked anglers and boaters. He educated lake users about AIS laws. Denz also conducted commercial inspections.
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time on area lakes throughout the week and for fishing opener. Enforcement action was taken for bass out of season, boat safety equipment violations, and a prohibited burn. Time was also spent on a public waters complaint.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent a day at the McLeod County Fairgrounds talking to 4th graders about the duties of a Conservation Officer during their nature day. Klehr also spent a day at Camp Ripley for training, and held an instructors banquet to thank the volunteer safety instructors in the Meeker County Area. An AIS check station was worked in Meeker County along Highway 12. A few violations were detected of people transporting their boats with the plugs in and having water in the boats. The fishing opener was worked with many anglers having a rough Saturday with the wind and the cold but a few anglers were able to find luck in the harsh weather. Klehr also assisted the county with an ATV vs. deer accident. Luckily the driver of the ATV was not injured, but the ATV had significant front end damage.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) worked a busy fishing opener weekend. Windy and cold conditions could not keep anglers off the water. AIS issues were addressed during the weekend along with minor angling violations. Numerous coupons for ice cream were handed out to kids wearing their life jackets. While working with a neighboring officer, they investigated black smoke coming from a grove of trees. Officers found a house that was being demolished and burned. She also worked the TIP trailer at the Nature Field Day for area 4th grade students.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked a blustery opening to the 2016 fishing season. Hearty anglers were able to adapt and overcome the unfavorable weather conditions of opening day. Anglers were definitely fewer than last opener but several were out trying their best. Oberg observed a few walleye and northern pike caught over the weekend, including a few large female walleyes that were photographed and released. Enforcement action was taken for angling, boating and recreational vehicle violations.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) worked fishing, boating, and AIS activities. Fishing activity on the walleye opener was down due to the cold front and strong winds. Although the cold front did suppress the fish bite, several nice walleyes up to 29 inches were observed caught on the Minnesota River and area lakes.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) reports that angling activity over opening weekend was busy despite the poor weather on Saturday. Anglers found success throughout the area on walleye and northern pike. Miller focused enforcement activity and education related to AIS and PFD compliance. Enforcement activity for the week included PFD violations, angling license violations, targeting game fish out of season, and possession of drug paraphernalia and a small amount of marijuana.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) reports that he has been working angling, invasive species and boat and water enforcement. He also attended and presented at a career day at Riverside Elementary in Jackson. Gruhlke also completed his regular weekly radio program. Gruhlke recorded an ATV PSA as well. He investigated a complaint of anglers keeping bass out of season. Cold weather and wind slowed things down a bit on the opener. A few walleye were observed.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) received continuing education training at Camp Ripley.
Angling, boating and AIS checks took up a majority of enforcement activity. TIP reports were followed up on for taking walleyes out of season. Enforcement action was taken for license, AIS and wanton waste violations.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked angling and ATV activity. Opener was cold and windy, with moderate activity. Success was mixed, but should continue to improve with some consistent weather.
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on boating and fishing. Anglers seemed to find a few walleyes on area lakes over opening weekend. VanThuyne also encountered ATV and public waters violations.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) reports a busy opener weekend in the Albert Lea area. Fishing and ATV enforcement was worked. CO Henke assisted area law enforcement on several cases and after a foot pursuit, he apprehended a suspect who had robbed a local gas station at gun point. Opening weekend saw many people out fishing and several nice fish were caught. Enforcement action was taken on several violations that were encountered. CO Henke would like to thank all the volunteers in the Albert Lea area that participated in the lakes clean-up this past weekend; they look great!
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. A number of TIP calls and other complaints from the public were also investigated. Officer Ihnen also monitored AIS compliance near area waters, as well as continued investigations regarding public waters and wetland violations.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working boating enforcement and safety, AIS compliance, and sport fishing. The statewide fishing opener was worked with District 3 officers. Enforcement action was taken for violations involving ATVs, trespass, and sport fishing.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) focused enforcement efforts on checking anglers, boaters, turkey hunters, and ATV operators during the week. Many anglers were out for the fishing opener even with the cool weather and had good success. Violations encountered were related to angling & boating.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, boating, AIS, turkey hunting, and ATV activity this week. Despite cold weather conditions, the officer reports a busy fishing opener with anglers experiencing moderate success.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports handling calls and complaints in reference to baby wild life along with some nuisance wildlife calls. Fishing on the big river was a little slow which is usual with the inland waters opener. The fishing has been pretty good despite the unusually cool conditions.
CO Phil George (Rochester) checked anglers and watercraft users, took a litter complaint, and took another complaint of people snagging rough fish. He took a TIP call of people keeping bass in closed season. Enforcement action was taken for angling and watercraft safety issues.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and turkey hunters during the past week. Fishing success has been better with various violations detected. Turkey and morel hunters were having less success. Heyn also handled other calls.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports receiving complaints of subjects trespassing while morel hunting. Enforcement action was taken. Time was also spent checking trout anglers and turkey hunters as well. A dumping complaint was reported. CO Boyum checked local ATV grant and aid trails. Compliance was high.
CO Trent Seamans (Rochester) patrolled for sport fishing and boat/water safety enforcement. A busy walleye opener was spent assisting neighboring officers with sport fishing enforcement. Enforcement action for the week included fishing without a license in possession, failing to have PFDs onboard a watercraft, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Remember to remove all drain plugs when transporting boats by trailer.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week and weekend checking angling activity. Time was also spent enforcing AIS regulations and checking ATV complaint areas. Some fishing and hunting violations were detected and one person was taken into custody on a felony drug warrant.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a very slow fishing opener in the area with only a fraction of boats on area lakes. Hemker investigated fishing and turkey hunting trespass complaints. He also attended a boating and fishing class at local high school. A bear continues to generate calls and questions in the 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 Jason Jensen (Brainerd) performed some fish stocking along with a few enforcement flights before fishing opener. Jensen also started Leech Lake creel surveys weekend with many boats out even with the cold and wind.
CO Pilot Christopher Lofstuen reports ferrying aircraft between Grand Rapids and Brainerd for maintenance performing a return to service flight after engine work, and time spent on research and training.
CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) continued with DNR Wildlife’s nesting waterfowl survey flights. This week’s flights were based out of Brainerd.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew wetland photos for forest assessment and two Leech lake creel surveys which include lakes around Longville too.
NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) continued working on the NW Sandhill Crane Survey at Thief River Falls. Many of the flights were postponed due to very high winds, and yes, snow and freezing rain. Bird numbers, and breeding pairs are similar to last year, and most nests observed have two eggs. We hope to see some newly hatched colts as we finish the remaining plots.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week working fishing and boating activity. Fishing opener was worked and AIS law compliance monitored. Time was spent at the Academy teaching Use of Force. New and ongoing cases were worked on and site visits conducted.
WREO Mike Scott (NE) assisted MN Sea Grant folks with presenting AIS information to twin Ports 5th Graders for St. Louis River Days. Scott worked with Officer Velsvaag on fishing opener on Lake Vermilion. Cold wind and snow greeted anglers. Few fish were seen taken. Officer Scott attended the 2016 Law Enforcement Memorial in St. Paul where we honored two fallen game wardens. One Officer, Officer Masoner was added to the LEMA Flag.
WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked the fishing opener on Big Sandy Lake for the governor’s opener. WREO Haberman also patrolled area lakes with several violations detected. WREO Haberman also conducted AIS Law Enforcement training for deputies at Camp Ripley. WREO Haberman also conducted follow up on cases.
WREO Keith Bertram (Central) spent the week working AIS in Todd, Stearns, and Hennepin counties. Enforcement action was taken for license violations, AIS violations, insufficient boating safety equipment, and no burning permit. Wetland complaints were also handled.
WREO Larry Hanson (SW) continued follow-up on PW and WCA cases in several counties in the southern region. Officer Hanson assisted with a check station with K-9 Reggie in Meeker County. The first day of the fishing opener was difficult with fishermen taking advantage of beautiful weather the second day. Enforcement action was taken for AIS, fishing license and ATV violations.
WREO Julie Siems (SE) worked with K9 Brady at the annual Governor’s Community Picnic educating visitors about AIS. Officer Siems worked with a company contracted to get Lake Service Provider training online by providing the law enforcement input. The walleye opener was also worked with lots of activity including unattended lines, no throwable and no registration. Spring in-service was also attended.
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 taught ATV Safety and Firearms Safety with RTO’s at Academy. New officers were led through classroom and field day activities for both classes. Patten instructed and attended at Annual Qualifications and Taser training and assisted at District Qualification and UOF training. Patten attended a RTO meeting. Fishing opener started out cold and windy with lower numbers of fishermen on the water. Patten and CO Grell worked together and had enforcement actions for; no fishing license in possession, take fish in a closed area, take largemouth bass out of season, youth operate ATV without helmet and no ATV safety certificate. There was excellent compliance with boating safety equipment and life jackets in the cold weather.
West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports completing firearm and Taser qualification training and assisting with Officer Use of Force training at Camp Ripley. An RTO meeting was attended mid-week. Friday he worked the Stillwater Bridge construction boat detail. Fishing Opener Officer Rezac worked with an area Instructor checking fishermen on area lakes. Enforcement contacts were made for no fishing license, Insufficient PFD’s, and no fire extinguisher.
SW Metro Kevin Neitzke assisted with training at the Conservation Officer academy and at in-service training. He returned calls and emails regarding firearm safety classes and instructor training classes. RTO Neitzke attended an RTO meeting. He gave short talks to two online firearms safety classes. He also worked the fishing opener with CO Pril.
Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent most of the week at Camp Ripley conducting training. Academy training was conduct for the DNR safety programs. Assistance was given at spring qualification shoots. A RTO meeting was attended at Camp Ripley. A Safety Instructor banquet was attended in Litchfield. The weekend brought the fishing opener, which was very cold and windy.
NW RTO Jeff Halverson assisted at CO Academy with safety training day. Also helped with CO use of force qualification shoots at Camp. Halverson checked fishermen on the opener; fishing was slow with the cold weather.