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District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) monitored bear baiting activity and checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. Enforcement action was taken for an illegal length walleye.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued to conduct field training with a Conservation Officer Candidate (COC). They monitored ATV use, local boating, angling and bear baiting. Calls for service responded to included questions on the upcoming archery deer season, an injured bird, questions on regulations concerning shooting in a recreational area and assisting a local enforcement agency with a case pertaining to shining small game while in possession of a rifle within the city limits. CO Woinarowicz and the COC patrolled the Bronson State Park and received complaints of unregistered watercraft. Enforcement action for the week included angle with an extra line, bait bear with prohibited materials, untagged bear stand in a WMA and littering.,
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored bear baiting activity, worked special boating safety projects and monitored angler activity on Upper Red Lakes and special regulation lakes throughout the week. Time was spent working with the USDA on an investigation of a lake service provider. Enforcement action for the week included multiple violations of angling with an extra line and PFD violations.
Baudette #1 -vacant.
Baudette #2 -vacant.
Blackduck #2 – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
Thief River Falls #2 – vacant.
Warroad #1 – vacant.
Warroad #2 – vacant.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) assisted forestry with a wildfire arson case. Time was also spent checking anglers, ATV operators, and watercraft operators. A complaint regarding two swans that were found dead was also checked. Violations encountered included various boat and water violations, no angling licenses, and take/possess fish over limit.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked ATVs, AIS, bear baiting/hunting, and inspected a possible wetland drain along with another unlawful culvert. Several boaters were found to have left lifejackets drying on the shore or in other boats though they had them this spring. Some anglers thought it was too late into the summer to buy a fishing license so they would save money by just not purchasing one. They were wrong.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers, boaters and bear hunters.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked a boat and water detail with CO Holt on Bemidji area lakes over the busy Labor Day weekend. Anglers are reporting mixed success with a variety of fish being caught and musky activity improving. During the boat and water detail CO Holt and CO Vollbrecht observed an individual catch a 49 inch musky on 6 pound test line. COs assisted the anglers with unhooking the fish and took pictures of the angler with his catch before the fish was released. Always come prepared with a camera, you never know when you are going to catch that big one. Time was spent monitoring ATV activity on closed trails and checking bear bait stations.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked angling, bear baiting and ATV activity. A lot of muskie anglers were out but only a few were successful. A possible wetlands violation was received and investigated. Time was spent working in Itasca State Park. Violations encountered during the week included boat and water safety as well as angling license violations.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports conducting commercial inspections on minnow and ginseng dealers, AIS inspections at area access and patrolling for boating safety violation. Dove opener saw little pressure. Enforcement action was taken for failing to report ginseng dealer reports, unplugged shotgun and no angling license in possession.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) responded to a report of two dead bucks on a minimum maintenance forest road. The bucks appeared to have been killed by being run over by a vehicle. Suspects are unknown at this time and information is welcome. CO Peterson checked anglers, boaters and monitored bear baiting activity. He also attended training at Camp Ripley and assisted Wadena County SO with underage consumption and miscellaneous conflicts in Nimrod.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen, boaters and looking for dove hunters on the opener. Few dove hunters were found. Boating and fishing activity was still high over the holiday weekend even though the weather was not the best. Time was also spent following up on shoreline and aquatic vegetation removal complaints. Of interest, a boat was checked over the weekend with one party in the boat saying they were not fishing. Upon returning through the area the person was then observed fishing. Upon asking for a fishing license it was found the party was from out state and did not have a fishing license. They thought it was safe to fish because the CO probably had left the lake. Lesson learned.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) finished an investigation of possible illegal removal of aquatic vegetation. Angling and boating activity were worked on area waters. CO Warren spent time monitoring bear baiting activity. Area trails were patrolled for ATV activity. Violations found included boat registrations, no PFDs, no fire extinguisher, angling licenses, improper weed roller usage and allowing juvenile to operate watercraft without boating safety permit.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on AIS law compliance, open WCA cases, and PW violations. Time was also spent monitoring the removal of boats and other water equipment from area lakes for the season. Boating safety compliance checks were also conducted on area lakes. Several fishermen were checked. Fishing reports varied.
Moorhead – vacant.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) concentrated on boating safety over Labor Day Weekend. Various violations were found, although overall compliance was excellent. Dove hunters were checked on the opener with limited harvest reported.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) continues field training with a COC. The officers worked boat and water extensively as well as fishing enforcement. AIS checks were completed, a wetland complaint investigated, and aquatic vegetation complaints were handled. Violations encountered were no fishing license in possession, insufficient number of PFDs on boat, no type IV throwable PFD, failure to have fire extinguisher on boat, over limit of northern pike, and fishing without a license.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement efforts checking fishermen and working Boat and Water Safety and AIS enforcement. Nelson worked on several waters cases with a DNR Hydrologist. Firearms safety class preparations were handled with supplies delivered to local instructors. Additional time was spent at training in Marshall and handling several questions regarding the upcoming deer seasons. An individual was cited for transporting his boat with aquatic vegetation wrapped up in the motors prop.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked boaters, fishermen, ATVs and OHMs. The officer attended firearms training in Marshall with other officers from the district. Questions about the early goose season, waterfowl season boating laws and bear season were received and responded to. AIS time was worked during the holiday weekend.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports heavy boating and fishing activity over the holiday weekend with violations including expired watercraft registration, no PFDs onboard watercraft, and no fishing license. One angler was contacted with a muskie in his live well; the only problem was that it measured 17 inches too short to keep. Lawler cited this same person in June for illegally selling minnows he had trapped. Small game and ATV activity were also monitored.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued working fishing, boating, and AIS enforcement. Special boat and water safety details were worked over the weekend and follow up was completed on open investigations. Scouting was completed for upcoming hunting seasons and several days were spent instructing Division officers at fall use of force training sessions
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on AIS, ATV, and boat and water safety. COs Anderson and Baumbarger worked boating safety patrols on Lake Minnewaska this holiday weekend as well as AIS enforcement. The COs are unfortunately beginning to receive more complaints about zebra mussels attached to water related equipment and aquatic vegetation in Lake Minnewaska. Minnow transportation permits were issued as well as mandatory training attended in Marshall. Calls were fielded regarding wetland drainage laws and several questions were answered about upcoming deer seasons.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking ATV operators, fishermen, boaters, and monitoring AIS compliance. Additional time was spent on water appropriation, answering questions about upcoming hunting seasons, nuisance animal calls, and equipment maintenance. COs Baumbarger and Anderson worked a busy Sunday on Lake Minnewaska checking boaters and PWC operators. Mandatory training was attended in the Marshall area.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked anglers, ATVs, boaters and bear hunters. Officer Hunter received a call of a woman and her son getting hit with BB’s from their neighbors who were shooting trap. CO Hunter checked on campers that were reported to be living in the forest.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) worked on bear baits, and also checked on a litter complaint of goose carcasses dumped in a road ditch. AIS enforcement and boat and water activity were worked as well. He received firearms training.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport fishing, boating, AIS, bear bait and ORV activity. Nothing unusual to report. Received a call regarding a concern about an osprey nest, the matter was referred to non-game; received a call wondering if perch needed a patch of skin left on them; received a call regarding wild rice harvest regulations; received a call regarding angling license requirements for nonresident youth; received a call regarding a dead woodpecker the caller was referred to non-game.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continued field training with a COC. Time was spent on Cass Lake and Leech Lake working boat and water safety. Few violations were found and overall compliance was good. Anglers are still reporting a slow walleye bite but some say that the muskie activity is picking up. Time was spent checking bear baits and preparing for the upcoming bear season to open. Mathy and the COC received a tip from a concerned citizen about a possible deer poaching incident and followed up on it. An issue of selling walleye was discovered and investigation followed.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, boating, ATV, and bear baiting activity. CO Broughten worked the Labor Day weekend where numerous ATV and OHM violations were encountered. The most common excuse being, “I don’t know the rules.” CO Broughten stopped several ATVs being operated illegally by young girls. The officer asked the girls if there was an adult that could pick them up. Their reply was, no they’re all drunk. Angling success was moderate across the Longville lakes area. A large amount of boating activity was observed on the lakes but cooler weather hindered activity. CO Broughten also investigated an aquatic plant violation. Enforcement action included no angling license in possession, no navigation lights on watercraft after sunset, no fire extinguisher, no type IV PFD, operate class 1 ATV on public highway, ATV passenger under 18 without a helmet, allow illegal operation of an OHM by a juvenile, operate OHM within public road right of way, and destroy aquatic plants without permit.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked boaters, ATVs, OHMs, bear hunters and fishermen. An AIS road check was held in the Lincoln Lakes area. Contacts were made for no lights on boats, no registration on OHM’s and no helmets for juveniles on ATVs. The highlight for the weekend was, a young man (10-12 yrs. old), who is blind, caught a 21inch small mouth that his dad is going to mount for him. A priceless smile on his face.
CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) patrolled state forests and OHV trail systems. Officer continues investigations on ATV cross country travel in state forests. Assisted officers at AIS checkpoint and Boat & Water projects.
WREO Shane Siltala attended an AIS workshop in Alexandria in order to educate counties on the implementation of an AIS prevention program. He also attended a meeting in reference to public water and aquatic plant violations. Local SWCD personnel were met with to discuss ongoing WCA issues. Time was spent with boat and water enforcement and checking anglers on local lakes. Enforcement action for the week included angling with no license in possession.
Remer – vacant.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling and boating activities. Area forest roads were checked as were public access sites. Computer work, administrative tasks, and equipment work rounded out the week.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports monitoring various outdoor activities throughout the week. Bear baits were checked to make sure they were properly marked and no illegal bait was present. Fishing remains quite slow with bass and panfish being the most active. Questions related to the various hunting seasons were handled.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, OHVs, invasive species enforcement, taught the CO portion of a Firearms Safety Field Day, and spent significant time checking compliance with bear baiting and the bear hunting opener. Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license, and a number of bear baiting, boating, OHM, and invasive species violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time patrolling for ATV and OHM activity. The most common violations are operating OHM on the road and parents allowing illegal operation of the OHM by their children. Area lakes were patrolled. Despite poor Labor Day weather high number of anglers and boaters were still seen out. Lighting and equipment violations were common. Wild rice enthusiasts are not hopeful about this year’s crop in the Virginia area.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked bear baiting throughout the week and spoke to some of the hunters who stated so far baits are being hit. Checked out a bear cub that was found dead in the woods. It is believed the cause of death was due to being hit on the road. A possible trespass issue was also looked into. Fredin assisted St. Louis County with a domestic and assisted local PD with a gross misdemeanor driving violation.
International Falls # 2 – vacant.
Ray – vacant.
Tower – vacant.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports this year’s bear season opener was off to a slow start with very few active baits and hunters located. Officer Williams worked on Lake Superior as part of the Great Lakes Task Force and observed an active Lake Trout bite over the weekend. Violations included operating an unregistered watercraft, angling without a trout stamp validation, and angling with an extra line.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) found one group operating their pontoon boat without lights, not enough PFDs, and five people with fishing license issues. One person had a lifetime license that he had not updated, but no one else had their license with them at all. The contact took well over an hour to sort out. This is one reason why state law requires a person to have their fishing license with them. A family out canoeing decided to try to beat a storm and paddled across a large open lake in their canoes, and was blown against a rocky shoreline. They ditched the canoes and hiked along the lake edge until they could get a signal and call for help on their cell phone. Lake County deputies worked with CO Stage and his large patrol boat to affect a downwind shoreline rescue of the family, which included three young children, and return them safely to their vehicle.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports another wolf attack on two dogs in Grand Marais. He also received reports on two misbehaving woodchucks. The CO himself has had a family of woodchucks living in his woodshed all summer and he reports that no wood is missing. The CO believes that this proves that woodchucks really don’t chuck wood. The CO checked bear hunters on opening day of bear season. Enforcement action was taken for big game, boating and fishing violations. A Canadian lynx walked in front of the CO’s truck one evening on the Gunflint Trail.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked bear bait stations throughout the week. The bear opener saw lower than usual activity and success. ATV activity was monitored as well as angling activity, both on Lake Superior and on inland waters.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) checked bear baiting activity and worked from the boat. An individual with a felony warrant was arrested and also issued citations for fishing without a license from an unregistered canoe. Other enforcement action included angling with extra lines, unregistered watercraft, no PFDs, ATV violations, and no angling license in possession.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked several area lakes for boat and water activity. Time was spent searching for, and documenting bear bait stations. CO Schottenbauer also spent time working Lake Superior.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) monitored ATV activity and bear bait stations up to the opening of the season on Monday. The officer checked several bear hunters after the first evening hunt of the season. Several hunters reported their baits hit and some passed on smaller bears. The officer attended an instructor shoot at Camp Ripley and worked a Great Lakes Task Force shift with officer Schottenbauer.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked boating, angling, and bear baiting activities during the busy holiday weekend. Fishing definitely picked up on Lake Superior with some nice trout being caught. Murray also handled nuisance calls pertaining to bear and wolf activity and answered questions on deer and duck hunting regulations.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled for illegal ATV activity, and looked at bear baits for compliance. Enforcement action taken for operating ATV’s on the roadway and transporting a loaded firearm on a motor vehicle.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, ATV activity, and checked bear hunters. Violations included ATV on roadway, failure to display registration, operate unregistered, and transport a loaded firearm. He also handled various wildlife calls.
CO Michael Fairbanks (Deer River) and a COC focused enforcement efforts on boat and water safety and bear hunting. Violations included angling without a license in possession, no throwable PFD, no fire extinguisher, and transport aquatic vegetation. Bear hunters were checked on opener. Some success was noted. A K-9 demo was given at the State Fair.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time checking boaters and anglers this past week. She took a complaint of an injured owl and injured raccoon, unrelated to each other. She also worked on lake superior checking commercial fishing activity. Bear opener was very slow. Enforcement action was taken for boating and angling violations.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked with a COC over the past week with enforcement action taken for angling without a license, operating a watercraft without enough PFDs, operating a watercraft without a fire extinguisher, operating a watercraft without a throwable, burning prohibited materials and allowing a fire to smolder. During a traffic stop enforcement action was taken for hunting bear without a license and failing to register a bear bait. A rifle was also seized in conjunction with the bear hunting without a license case.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, ATVs, bear baiters, state parks and campgrounds. He also attended a district meeting during the week and worked a special boat and water detail.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working ATV, fishing and bear baiting activity. Enforcement action was taken for passengers under 18 without helmets, reckless driving and failure to display registration.
CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV officer) checked ATVers in Itasca County and southern St. Louis County. CO Velsvaag also checked boaters and anglers in and around Lake Superior. CO Velsvaag received several calls about bear baiting and wolf hunting applications.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked area aquatic invasive species (AIS), protected waters and wetland impact, sport angling, aquatic plant management, bear hunting and bear baiting activities. CO Arhart also assisted at the D-10 AIS check station, worked a detail on Lake Superior, worked at the invasive species- state fair exhibit, and attended a D-7 meeting. Enforcement action was taken for transporting aquatic vegetation, for transporting boats with plugs in for angling license, for juveniles on ATVs without helmets and for boating equipment violations. Crappie angling success was great on many area lakes. Area mushroom hunters encountered, also displayed success, harvesting many summer mushrooms in the great weather. Bear hunters had less success.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) worked a couple days on Lake Superior focusing on sport fishing. Several hours were also worked on Inland lakes focusing on boating enforcement. Officer Duncan participated in a AIS work detail. Two wolf control zones are being monitored in the Duluth East station. Several ATV violations were also encountered during the week. Officer Duncan spent time working the opening of bear season following up on violations encountered prior to the Bear season opener.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) reports working boating, angling, OHV, and AIS enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey worked boating enforcement on local area lakes and an AIS detail in the Duluth area. A wolf depredation complaint was received and investigated. Bear baits were checked in the area. CO Humphrey patrolled in the Fond Du Lac State Forest and Sawyer WMA. Angling license, boating equipment, and OHV violations were encountered.
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked area lakes and Lake Superior. Boating enforcement was the focus for Labor Day weekend. Bear baiting areas were worked and hunters checked on opening day. Questions regarding bucks only zones and intensive harvest area around Duluth were handled. Nuisance animal complaints including skunks, raccoons, and injured animals were also handled.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) spent time participating in a district work detail that involved slowing the spread of invasive species. One watercraft owner was cited for transporting aquatic macrophytes. A case where a group of individuals decided to blow up a beaver lodge is being investigated. The officer also assisted in a DWI case involving an ATV and several bear hunters were also checked for compliance.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with a K9 demo at the State Fair where they were visited by several fairgoers including the Governor. Assistance was given at a detail with the local Duluth district officers working invasive species laws. Other invasive species work was done around the Cloquet area. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a watercraft with the plug in. While patrolling the Nemadji State Forest a horse rider and her daughter were given assistance after the mother fell off of her horse and broke her arm. Her husband had left to get the vehicle so he could transport her to the hospital. K9 Schody and Officer Staples helped pass the time by doing some tricks for the daughter until they were able to get her mother out of the forest and on her way to the hospital. Off-highway vehicle activity was worked in the Moose Lake area where enforcement action was taken for registration and equipment violations. A friendly ATVer assisted this officer after getting a flat tire on the ATV. This goes to show that there are good friendly people out enjoying the outdoors.
WREO Mike Scott worked an AIS work detail in the Duluth area with D-8 officers; more than 200 boats were looked at during the five hour detail. Enforcement action was taken for transporting watercraft with drain plugs in, transporting aquatic vegetation and transporting Eurasian Milfoil on a boat lift. A complaint about a lake residence on an area lake that blew up a beaver lodge was investigated with CO Randy Hanzal. A deed restriction for a WCA violation was removed upon compliance of restoration. Officer Scott staffed the DNR information booth at the State Fair on Monday and Tuesday talking to fair goers about Natural Resource laws, recreation and general DNR questions. An AIS Law Enforcement training was conducted for Pine County Deputies so that they can work on area lakes enforcing AIS laws over the holiday weekend. Anglers on Lake Superior were checked on Sunday with many anglers catching Lake trout and some King Salmon.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) continued field training with a COC. The officers worked a boat and water detail on Lake Superior. Lake trout are becoming more common as they move shallower for the fall. An individual was found burning a coffee table and cabinets, yet complained of other people burning garbage and other refuse. Bear hunting issues were worked with violations relating to bait registration and signage being common. Enforcement action taken for burning, angling, and bear hunting violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) continued training a COC. They spent time finishing a report on an over limit case. They worked boating, angling, OHV, ATV, AIS, big game enforcement and they participated in an AIS detail. They arrested the operator of an ATV for 1st Degree DWI and possession of a loaded firearm. Other enforcement action was taken for angling, boating, and OHM enforcement.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked bear hunting, angling, watercraft and ATV enforcement. Firearm qualification was also completed.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked bear baits during the week and hunters on the bear opener, spent time monitoring the ATV activity over the busy Labor Day weekend in the Spider Lake ATV area, and checked ricers out picking on local rice beds. The officer also issued permits for nuisance beaver and investigated a possible wolf attack on a rancher’s calf.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) continued assisting with Field Training of new Conservation Officers this past week. Officers patrolled area lakes checking anglers, and boating activity. Officers also monitored bear baiting, and OHV travel in closed areas. Officer Lee along with other Use of Force Instructors this past week started fall qualifications of Conservation Officers on their issued firearms. This is, per Minnesota Peace Officers Standards and Training. Enforcement actions this week were taken for no angling licenses, insufficient life jackets, watercraft registration issues, along with AIS violations.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked a busy Brainerd Lakes Area over the holiday weekend. Nuisance wildlife complaints were forwarded to wildlife staff that included a seagull die off and an immature bald eagle visiting cabins and unable to fly. A boat and water enforcement detail was done with violations involving youth under 10 years of age not wearing life jackets while underway, no Type IV PFD, operate PWC after hours, PWC greater than slow no wake within 150 feet of shore, and possession of alcohol by person under 21 years of age. Angling without a license was addressed. Officer Guida also contacted some parents who were allowing illegal operation of off-highway motorcycles (dirt bikes) and operation of an ATV without safety certification. Citations, warnings, and PFD Panda Awards were issued as appropriate.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) continued field training with a COC. The officers spent time monitoring ATV, boating, bear baiting, and angling activities. The officers worked a busy Whitefish Chain over the holiday weekend. Enforcement action was taken fora angling with extra lines, angling without a license, illegal boat exhaust, no PFDs, slow no wake violations, juvenile operation of an ATV, and unregistered ATV. Over the weekend, the officers also arrested one operator of a watercraft for BWI, and two operators of ATV’s were arrested for DWI.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including patrolling area lakes and the Mississippi River for fishing and boating activity, patrol of the Crow Wing State forest for OHV activity and other recreational use, checking bear baits, monitoring the wild rice crop and checking harvesters, and attending firearms training at Camp Ripley.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) spent time at Camp Ripley for as a firearms instructor for the district shoots. She checked bear baits and worked local lakes for some late summer anglers. CO Peterson also met with a local landowner on some trespass questions with the upcoming deer season.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked holiday weekend traffic including lake activity, TIP reports, and ATV complaint areas. Rapidly changing weather kept boating to a minimum and many people got out their ATVs instead. Spontaneous ATV usage resulted in operators that weren’t properly trained, helmets that didn’t fit, and registration left un-renewed. Verkuilen also worked the openings of dove and bear season, checked for invasive species as bots came out for the season, and attended division training.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) worked a shift on Lake Superior. An AIS work detail was attended and the officer also inspected boats over the weekend; no AIS violations were found by the officer. Bear hunters were out in full force. Some hunters had some luck but the daily rain has made hunting bear difficult. Enforcement action was taken for no trout stamp, angling without a angling license in possession, hunting bear in a wrong zone, failing to register bear baits and hunting with 100 yards of an unregistered bear bait.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking bear baiters throughout the week and weekend. Most of the sites are having a hard time competing with the abundance of natural food in the woods. The Officer assisted with giving a law presentation to a group of bear hunters at a local bear outfitter and time was spent patrolling Mille Lacs Lake for boating and fishing activity. Some nice perch were seen along with a few bass and northern pike. A fishing related TIP call was taken and the Officer participated in a AIS check point work crew over the weekend. Please remember as you pull your boats out the water to drain all the live wells, pull the plug out and leave it out while transporting the watercraft down the road, and remove all vegetation before leaving the access. CO Fitzgerald attended fall shooting qualifications at Camp Ripley and also assisted area waters staff with a complaint around the mille lacs lake area. Ricing activity was also monitored and a call of a fox in a storage shed that would not come out was handled. The Officer received a call of trespassing and the investigation into the violation is ongoing. Lots of hunting , ATV, OHM, fishing, boating and AIS law related questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend. Enforcement action for the week included various fishing, ATV, and OHM violations.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a wolf depredation claim on livestock. Her investigation confirmed that wolves were responsible for the loss. Speldrich worked the bear hunting season opener with CO Andy Schmidt. Violations encountered included no license in possession, off trail ATV travel, bear bait station signs more than 20 feet from bait stations and operating ATVs in non-motorized areas. AIS and boat and water enforcement were worked over the Labor Day weekend. An ATV accident occurred in the Nemadji State Forest when an operator was loading his ATV into the back of a pickup truck. The aluminum ramps gave way and caused the operator to fall. The operator was transported by ambulance with a severe head injury.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) monitored bear baiting activities and investigated a sweet corn patch that was torn up by bear and raccoon. The owners of the corn patch indicated they put a radio out at night to prevent the animals from eating the corn, which it was found that country music did not work, while rock and roll did help keep them away. Training was attended and bear season opener was also worked. Hunters are reporting good bait activity. An illegal fire was dealt with, in which prohibited materials were burning.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) found heavy bear baiting activity throughout state forest areas in the Hinckley Station. Baiting violations found included improper signing of baits, leaving garbage at bait station and operating ATVs in closed areas. Time was spent patrolling area lakes over the holiday with enforcement action taken for fishing without a license and operating boats without required safety equipment. CO Grundmeier continued to spend time at area farms as more livestock were taken by wolves.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) attended training at Camp Ripley during the week. He also spent time checking ATV complaints in the Chengwatana State Forest, monitored bear baiting activity, and answered numerous questions about the upcoming hunting seasons. He also worked angling and boating enforcement in the Pine City area over the holiday weekend. Enforcement contacts included no licenses in possession, insufficient PFDs on watercraft, failing to display valid registration, and operating ATV’s in restricted areas.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) continued training with a COC patrolling area lakes and Mille Lacs Lake. Wind conditions made fishing easier on smaller lakes. A mixed bag of walleye, sunfish, bass and crappie were seen. The officers responded to a wolf depredation complaint where a small pony was killed. Several wolf tracks around the carcass confirmed the event. The complainant had two donkeys disappear the previous weekend. Enforcement action was also taken on boating, fishing and ATV throughout the violations.
WREO Rob Haberman worked an AIS check station at Father Hennepin State Park over the holiday weekend. With the rainy weather traffic through was less than predicted but a 50 percent violation rate was found on watercraft. WREO Haberman also helped local officers with boat and water enforcement. Several no fishing license and life jacket citations were issued to boaters and fishermen. WREO Haberman and CO pilot Jason Jensen worked boating enforcement via aircraft on Lake of the Woods in and around the Northwest Angle. One boater was cited for an over limit of walleyes.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) attended the State Fair and answered a large array of DNR related questions. Division firearms’ training was attended at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent working angling activity and patrolling for ATVs. A meeting with Aquatic Plant Management (APM) staff was attended and boat and water safety was worked during the busy holiday weekend.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spent two days at the State Fair working the information booth at the DNR building. Many good questions and comments were discussed from fair goers. Anglers, boaters and wetland issues were worked in the Albany area. Enforcement training was attended at Camp Ripley dealing with defensive tactics and gun qualifications.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) concentrated on water recreation safety over the holiday weekend. Most checked were in compliance; however, a variety of enforcement action was taken for those who were not. Anglers were checked. Recreational vehicle activity was checked. CO Friese attended training at Camp Ripley.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) attended annual district training at Camp Ripley and issued nuisance beaver trapping permits. An AIS (Aquatic and Invasive Species) road check was worked with violations found of boat and trailers transporting aquatic vegetation. Compliance with boat plugs being out during transportation was very good.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) completed commercial inspections related to ginseng. The officer worked anglers and boating activity. Enforcement action was taken for trespass.
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working AIS in Stearns, Todd, and Wright counties. Wetland restoration orders were served in Stearns, Mille Lacs, and Chisago counties. Enforcement action was taken for AIS violations, no PFDs, extra lines, and ATV violations.
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers this past week. CO Mies worked boat and water crews. The Officer also worked with AIS staff.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) concentrated enforcement efforts relating to boat and water activities over the holiday weekend. Lakes were busy and CO Kuske found individuals to be in good compliance of regulations. One complaint received involved a person allowing their dog to pursue loons on an area lake and the issue was resolved by some conscientious citizens. CO Kuske attended fall qualifications and UOF training at Camp Ripley as well as issuing a nuisance beaver permit to a trapper.
St. Cloud – vacant.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters. Violations were found for no angling license, no watercraft registration, extra lines, no PFDs, and possess drug paraphernalia. A public waters complaint was investigated.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) worked boat and water safety over the holiday weekend on local lakes and rivers, checked ATV’s, patrolled state and federal lands, and attended the district shoot at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken on drug paraphilia, PFD violations, angling with extra lines, registration violations, no angling license, PWC violations, no mirror/observer, paddle board violations, and wake violations.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked B/W patrol on a number of district lakes. He took enforcement action for no life jackets, no throw cushion, wake violations, no boat registration, failure to display registration, no operating sticker on PWC, angling without a fishing licenses, angling with extra lines and possession of drug paraphernalia. He attended a firearm qualification at Camp Ripley. He followed up on a possible falconry violation.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) handled several bear complaints, wetland violations and trespassing issues in the area.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked anglers and boaters during the week. Bear baits were also checked and most were violation free. A couple of days were spent at Ripley qualifying and instructing during the annual fall qualification. An intern also spent a day with Officer McGaw. Enforcement action was taken on no angling licenses and no boat registration
CO Travis Muyres (Cambridge) attended a firearm qualifications at camp Ripley. CO Muyres worked boating enforcement in Isanti County. CO Muyres investigated reports of dogs chasing deer.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked a TIP call on poachers shooting ducks south of Belle Plaine. Boaters and anglers were checked for safety equipment, fish limits, slot size and AIS violations. Several injured and nuisance animal calls were responded to. Many telephone calls were returned on hunting questions.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling and boating activity. Officer Salzer attended training in Lyon County. Salzer worked boaters on the holiday weekend but there was not much boat traffic. CO Salzer also patrolled for dove hunters on the opener.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking fishermen and monitoring boating activity. CO Grewe responded to complaints, spoke at a firearms safety class and did some equipment maintenance. Violations included license issues.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) assisted with training at Camp Ripley. He returned public emails and phone calls. CO Neitzke met with Ft. Snelling State Park Staff.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) checked anglers and boaters in Scott County area lakes. He worked boat and water safety on St. Croix River and took a call on a goose complaint in Scott County. He issued a beaver permit and responded to an animal complaint in Edina. Officer Lee also talked to a group of Asians at Keller Park on hunting and fishing regulations.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers and boaters in District 13 area lakes. He patrolled Fort Snelling State Park. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, failing to display valid boat registration, no type IV life-jacket, and no angling license in possession.
Bloomington – vacant.
Mound – vacant.
Prior Lake – vacant.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week working boating and fishing enforcement on area lakes and the St. Croix River. CO Arntzen did inspections on ginseng dealers, assisted a neighboring officer on a trespassing complaint, and worked several TIP calls. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, PFD violations, and failing to remove drain plug.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked mainly boating and angling enforcement around the metro lakes and rivers. He assisted a Wisconsin CO with the investigation of a possible big game violation in St. Paul. CO Pril also spoke at a firearms safety class in St. Paul Park and responded to calls throughout the week.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week on AIS activity and wetland enforcement. WREO Block also worked boating activity over the holiday weekend and found compliance to be excellent. Follow up continues on AIS related cases from Prior Lake.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he spoke to a firearms safety class in Nowthen and patrolled with a law enforcement student intern. CO Johnson issued a summons to an individual that was trespassing in the Carlos Avery WMA Sanctuary. He also worked at the DNR information booth during the State Fair.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) worked boating and fishing enforcement on area lakes and rivers with neighboring officers. She worked the Stillwater bridge detail, handled injured animal calls and worked on three ginseng cases. CO Kruse worked AIS enforcement at area accesses and off-road vehicle enforcement in Anoka County WMAs. Violations encountered this week included no fishing license, insufficient number of PFDs, extra lines, no type IV PFD, no fire extinguisher, wake in a no-wake zone, fail to display registration and no license in possession.
Eagan – vacant.
Hastings – vacant.
Maplewood – vacant.
Metro Officer – vacant.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) reports that boating safety was the theme of the week. Work was focused on Lake Benton, Shaokatan, Del Clark and Shetek lakes. Enforcement action was taken for a variety of boating and angling violations.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, ATV, state park, and AIS enforcement. Extra attention was placed on boating enforcement over the Labor Day weekend. Plenty of hunters were out on Labor Day for the dove hunting opener. Assistance was given to the Redwood County Sheriff’s Office with a firearm incident involving a dove hunter. Smallmouth bass fishermen are reminded that September 8 starts the “catch and release” portion of the season.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working boating. Enforcement action was taken for various boating violations.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) attended numerous meetings throughout the week. Time was also spent checking anglers and conducting foot patrols on WMAs. Dove hunters should find birds to be plentiful in the area.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked AIS, angling, boating, and OHV activity during the week. A game farm inspection was completed and minnow transportation permits were issued. Litter continues to be a problem and public accesses. AIS, boating, and OHV violations were encountered.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) and a COC worked boat and water, OHV, AIS, and fishing details. A multitude of violations were addressed. Doves are starting to group up around small grain fields and crappie action is starting to pick up on area lakes and rivers.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) investigated a WCA violation in Sibley Co. and issued an extension in Renville Co. Officer Hanson assisted with an AIS compliance check with K-9 Reggie in Mille Lacs County. Officer Hanson also assisted with a K-9 demo at the Minnesota State Fair. Officer Hanson also worked on several area lakes over the Labor Day Weekend.
Benson – vacant.
Madison – vacant.
Redwood Falls – vacant.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) conducted commercial inspections and followed up on TIP calls. He attended division training and spent time working boating enforcement. Denz also followed up on violations involving lakeshore and aquatic vegetation.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked anglers, boaters and PWC operators during the holiday weekend. AIS and ATV regulations were enforced. She followed up on a TIP report on angling with extra lines and a report of a Canada goose in a dog kennel. She discussed regulations and hunter ethics at a firearms safety class in Dassel. Mueller assisted at Marshal and Camp Ripley with district qualifications and training.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) instructed at firearms qualifications in Marshall and Camp Ripley. Oberg also continued focusing on boating and AIS enforcement. Time was also spent working ATV activity.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received annual in-service training. He participated in boat and water enforcement in Meeker, Brown and Nicollet counties. Nelson investigated complaints of sick/injured animals and a solid waste complaint. Nelson also worked angling, AIS and ATV enforcement.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked boat and water, angling and ATV enforcement. Gruhlke worked boat and water safety enforcement on Clear, Fish and Round lakes. He also taught at the Windom all day field day FAS class. Gruhlke completed a radio program discussing topics including boat and water safety, upcoming openers and area activity.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked watercraft and angling activity. Boaters are still being reminded to bring life jackets and make sure they are the correct type for the boater. One boater with five adult occupants had four PFDs with two of them being for youth. Over limits of fish and extra lines were investigated. ATV activity was monitored.
Litchfield – vacant.
Willmar #1 – vacant.
Windom – vacant.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) attended a use of force training at Camp Ripley. The officer patrolled the Minnesota River for angling and boating activity.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, AIS, ATV, and boat & water activity during the week. Several commercial records inspections were completed.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) checked anglers, boaters and ATV operators. Officer Ihnen also spent time monitoring AIS compliance at area PWA’s.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, ATV, AIS, and boat and water enforcement. Boating activity was high during the holiday weekend. Violations were also encountered on angling and ATV activity.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working angling, boat & water safety, and recreational vehicle activity. CO Chihak assisted neighboring officers in completing a number of commercial license inspections. Wildlife complaints were addressed. Requests from the public seeking information on hunting and trapping regulations were returned.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent time checking anglers and boaters. Minor violations were documented. Several citations were also written for boaters transporting their watercraft on public roads with the drain plug in place. The “drain plug law” went into effect in 2010, so 2014 is the fifth summer that it’s been in effect. Many boaters still seem “unaware” of the law, despite intense publicity efforts.
WREO Julie Siems (SE) worked boat and water enforcement over the busy holiday weekend. A K9 demonstration was conducted at the State Fair and an AIS check station was worked.
Albert Lea – vacant.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking anglers and watercraft users. Officer George took calls from hunters concerning baited fields during the early goose season. ATV complaints were taken and a Firearm Safety Range and Field Day was attended. Enforcement
action was taken for angling with extra lines and various boating violations.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports spending most of the week patrolling for early ginseng diggers and on the river checking boating and fishing. He also attended firearms training and answered many deer hunting questions. He saw hunters out preparing for upcoming hunting seasons.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and boaters over the weekend. Lots of people were out with mixed fishing success. A number of people were out scouting the river for the upcoming hunting seasons.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking anglers and ATV’s. Fishing was slow due to high water. Bowhunters have been out scouting and preparing deer stands and cameras. Time was spent speaking with ginseng dealers and diggers reference the rules and regulations. One subject was cited for harvesting ginseng out of season.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a very busy week of ginseng enforcement conducting several interviews with enforcement action taken. The busy holiday weekend was spent on the Mississippi River where hundreds of vessels where out enjoying the last big weekend of the summer. Numerous fishing and safety violations were documented as well as assisting with stranded campers on an island.
Rochester #2 – vacant.
Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.
Pilot/CO Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) reports due to weather several creel survey flights had to be cancelled and re-scheduled. The wild rice survey was flown covering most of the Arrowhead Region, with lakes as far south as Moose Lake, up through the Iron Range, Boundary Waters and Grand Marais. Some exceptional rice crops were noted on several lakes while some had none. Overall, it appears the rice crop will be somewhat lower than previous years. Aircraft maintenance and repair issues were addressed.
CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) spent the week studying and conducting flights in simulated IFR conditions for his Instrument Proficiency Check.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of survey flying including three creel surveys on Leech Lake and a fisher telemetry flight in central Minnesota. Jensen also performed boating safety checks from the floatplane during the holiday weekend. These checks included working with officers on Lake of the Woods to find where activity was located. Upon noticing one boat near Oak and Flag Islands, Jensen landed and checked anglers with WREO Haberman. An over limit of walleyes, slot limit violation and no angling license violations were found. Enforcement action was taken. A fall qualification shoot was attended also at Camp Ripley.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO reports are now placed within district reports.
Please check the DNR WEB SITE at www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Education Courses and instructor training sessions
If you missed a fall class and are over 18, check on-line for Adult Home Study or On-Line course information is also located at www.mndnr.gov.
Please check the DNR WEB SITE www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions. Adult Snowmobile Safety Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.
Youth ATV Courses (12 to 15 years old) class postings for around the state are posted on the web site at www.mndnr.gov. Students are reminded that they must complete the CD portion of the course before attending the classroom portion of the course. Youth/Adult ATV Safety Training Course CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR
Reminder—anyone born after December 31st, 1979 cannot purchase a license to hunt in Minnesota without first taking a DNR Safety Training Course and receiving a certificate. In addition many states have even more stringent mandatory Hunter Education requirements. Check before you go!!!
Reminder—Any resident born after December 31st, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota, must possess a snowmobile certificate. Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can attend the traditional youth course. Those 16 or older can take the at home CD course.
Reminder—Anyone born after July 1st, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota, must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training CD course. Persons under age 16 must complete the ATV CD Course and riding component before riding on public lands. Youth/Adult ATV Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.
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 or one of the Advanced Hunter programs, contact your local Conservation Officer or Regional Safety Training officer. Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR Website.