Ice Fishing Shelter Removal Dates

Ice fishing shelter removal dates fast approaching

Deadlines for removing fish houses, dark houses and portable shelters from state waterways are rapidly approaching, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Anglers are advised to remove shelters earlier if ice conditions warrant.

Dates of removal are determined by a west-to-east line formed by U.S. Highway 10 starting at the Minnesota-North Dakota border, then east along Highway 34 to Minnesota Highway 200, east along Highway 200 to U.S. Highway 2, and east along Highway 2 to the Minnesota-Wisconsin border.

Shelters south of this line must be removed no later than 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 2.

Shelters north of this line must be removed no later than 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 16.

Exceptions are Minnesota-Canada border waters (March 31), Minnesota-Iowa border waters (Feb. 20), Minnesota-South Dakota and North Dakota border waters (March 5), and Minnesota-Wisconsin border waters (March 1).

DNR officials say if shelters are not removed, owners will be prosecuted and structures may be confiscated and removed, or destroyed by a conservation officer.

After removal dates, shelters may remain on the ice between midnight and one hour before sunrise only when occupied or attended. Storing or leaving shelters on a public access is prohibited. Learn more at www.dnr.state.mn.us/fishing/shelter.html.

The DNR’s Enforcement Division Director Col. Ken Soring recommends checking ice thickness by using an auger or spud bar before venturing onto a frozen pond, lake or river.

Soring says ice conditions can vary greatly, and anglers should know about the different types and characteristics of ice. Slush shows weakening of ice and should be considered a danger sign. If ice at the shoreline is cracked or squishy, people should stay off. People should not go on the ice during thaws. Honeycombed ice, dark snow and dark ice should be avoided. Ice is generally thinner where there is moving water, such as near inlets and outlets, bridge abutments, islands and other objects that protrude through the ice.

According to information from the DNR Boat and Water Safety Section, a minimum of 4 inches of new, clear ice is necessary for ice fishing; snowmobiling or ATV activity requires at least 5 inches; 8 to 12 inches are needed to support a car or small pickup; 12-15 inches are needed for a medium truck.

Weekly Conservation Officer Report

MMO---Header-with-mika

Highlights:

Longville: CO Broughten arrested an individual for operating an ATV while under the influence of alcohol. The individual was shocked he was going to jail for DWI even though he stated he would not operate his car in his current condition.

Cross Lake: While investigating a shelter tag violation on an area lake, Officer Lee uncovered that the party originally checked fishing inside the shelter on an earlier date was not only the owner of the shelter, but had broken into the shelter on different occasions to fish.

Little Falls: While checking fish houses came across one house with two anglers in it using five lines. When asked how many lines they were fishing with one of the anglers said four and that the fifth line wasn’t really all the way down. When checked it was found that the fifth line was ten feet down. CO Kuske informed the angler that ten feet down was considered “fishing”. Enforcement was taken for fishing with an extra line.

Waconia: A call was responded to on a possible moose sighting, but after tracking the animal for several hours it turned out to be a Black Angus bull.

District 1 – Baudette Area

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked snowmobiling and angling enforcement throughout Warroad and the surrounding areas. Several ice fishing contests were monitored over the weekend and a regulatory check was conducted at the Warroad Point of Entry. Enforcement action was taken for the following: angling without a license in possession and leaving lines unattended through the ice.

 

CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) checked anglers and snowmobilers on and around Lake of the Woods. Three separate fishing tournaments were worked on the 21st in the surrounding area. Anglers saw limited success, but were still happy to partake in the events. Snowmobile trails started to see more action with the recent snowfall. Enforcement action was taken for unattended lines, angling with extra lines, and no angling license in possession.

 

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports that fishing on Lake of the Woods is staying consistent. Numerous complaints have been received about illegal vehicles on the State Grant-in-Aid Trails. Remember to read the snowmobile regulations and understand the laws associated with operating vehicles on state trails before you venture out. While working anglers on the lake, CO Prachar made a felony arrest for possession of cocaine. Other enforcement action included possession of marijuana, leaving lines unattended through the ice, and possession of dressed fillets.

 

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) performed commercial taxidermist inspections and monitored area snowmobiling activity. A patrol during a local vintage snowmobile ride was conducted and local ice angling activity was monitored. Follow up interviews were completed with open cases and an interview assisting North Dakota Game and Fish was conducted. Enforcement action for the week included no snowmobile registration, fail to stop at crossroad on snowmobile, no snowmobile safety training, and allow illegal operation of snowmobile by juvenile.

 

CO Traci Hanson (Thief River Falls) worked angling activity, snowmobilers and predator hunters in Pennington, Marshall and Lake of the Woods counties. Hanson assisted CO’s Huener, Benjamin and Cowden with work on Lake of the Woods and Port of Entry enforcement.

 

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working angling activity on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes throughout the week. Time was spent monitoring snowmobile trails for activity, checking a minnow dealer, preparing for upcoming safety classes and attending a meeting at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action for the week included over limit of Upper Red Lake walleye, unattended lines, possession of unmeasurable walleye on Upper Red Lake, possession of fillets with no skin patch, litter and angling license violations.

 

Baudette #2 -vacant.

 

Blackduck #2 – vacant.

 

Karlstad – vacant.

 

District 2 – Bemidji area

 

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports attending training and meetings in Detroit Lakes and Camp Ripley. Time was also spent checking anglers and snowmobile operators. Violations encountered this week included angling with extra lines, no snowmobile registration, and no snowmobile safety certificate.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked angling, snowmobile and trapping activities. Questions continued to be asked about the AIS stickers. He assisted with a fishing derby and though there was a statewide competition hunting coyotes, many participants quit early due to the brutal weather conditions affecting the dogs.

 

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers, snowmobilers and attend alcohol enforcement training.

 

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity on area lakes. CO Vollbrecht attended a district meeting and DWI refresher training. CO Vollbrecht spent time working Red Lake with CO McGowan and CO Holt. Angling reports were spotty, but most anglers were reporting success. CO Vollbrecht worked the annual Eelpout Festival in Walker with several area COs. Injured animal reports were taken. Time was spent patrolling for snowmobiles.

 

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) worked angling and recreational vehicle activity during the week. CO Holt also worked the 2015 Eelpout Festival with other officers in Walker. Time was spent working Upper Red Lake with COs Regas and Vollbrecht. Officer Holt also attended training in Detroit Lakes. Enforcement activity encountered during the week included angling and recreational vehicle violations.

 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports contacting anglers for the last week of the walleye, pike and bass season. Many anglers took this opportunity to remove their shelters. Complaints of litter left behind by winter anglers were reported. CO Vinton attended a refresher DUI detection class put on by the MSP and assisted other Conservation Officers with interviews and the seizure of a deer mount on a suspected violation from this past deer season.

 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked the Eelpout Festival in Walker. Angling with unattended lines was a common violation. CO Peterson also attended DWI refresher training and conducted follow-up on deer cases.

 

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) checked anglers and snowmobilers this past week.  Angler numbers were reduced due to extremely cold temperatures. CO Forsberg attended DWI refresher training. CO Forsberg received complaints of dog chasing deer and snowmobile trespass.

 

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked angling activity on area waters. Snowmobile activity was worked with a few sleds using area trails. CO Warren followed up on a report of individuals taking turkey out of season. DWI refresher training and a district meeting were attended in Detroit Lakes. Areas were monitored for predator hunting activity.  CO Warren taught the law and ethics portion of youth firearms safety class in Detroit Lakes.

 

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring angling and snowmobiling activity in the Clay and Becker county area. The officer received a call of a male with several juveniles in a silver Dodge Ram that left 15 crappies on the ice on Big Cormorant Lake. If you have any information please contact the TIP line at 1-800-652-9093. The officer also conducted several television interviews regarding shelter removal deadlines. Remember it is illegal to leave shelters at public access. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license.

 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

 

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) continues to primarily work ice fishing activity. Shelters, anglers, and spear fishermen were checked throughout the week. Most have reported poor fishing success. Fishermen are reminded that the game fish season has concluded for the area and shelter removal deadline is March 2. Richards hosted a small snowmobile safety class in Underwood with just enough snow to get the riding portion in. Violations addressed were illegal length fish, angle with extra lines, and shelter issues.

 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent the week checking fishermen on area lakes. Several ice houses have been removed from area lakes already. Several violations for fishing with extra lines were encountered this week. ATV classes have been scheduled for the spring.

 

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement activity checking fishermen and shelters throughout the week. Additional time was spent checking predator hunters and a few snowmobilers. DWI refresher training was attended in Detroit Lakes. Time was spent working the vacant Wheaton station and a workcrew in Elbow Lake with CO Baumbarger.

 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) attended DWI refresher training in Detroit Lakes at the State Patrol Office. Several questions about fish house removal and game fish season closure were answered. TIP activity books were delivered to an area member of the Darkhouse Association for a banquet. Fish houses were marked that may be left on the ice after the deadline.

 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) attended training and a meeting in Detroit Lakes. Ice fishermen were also worked over the Holiday weekend, but little activity was observed.  Panfish continue to be targeted as the walleye season is coming to a close. Inventory on current icehouses still on the ice is being taken, with trash and no shelter ID being noted as the removal deadline nears. Enforcement action was taken on an individual fishing without a license and a trapping case is still under investigation.

 

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work fishing enforcement and inventory waterways for litter and shelter concerns. Predator hunting, trapping, small game, ATV, and snowmobile activity were monitored. Work was completed on ongoing investigations and enforcement related meetings and training were attended during the week. Calls for service regarding injured and car killed deer were responded to and assistance was provided to local law enforcement agencies.

 

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on predator hunters, ice anglers and snowmobile activity. A complaint was received about a large area of open water appearing on Lake Traverse in the vacant Wheaton station. DWI refresher training was attended as well as conducting aeration inspections on area lakes. Calls were fielded from the public regarding a trapping/trespass complaint, firearms safety classes, fish house removal deadline and predator hunting questions.

 

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports fishing success around the area has slowed some and the number of fish houses on area lakes has diminished. Several fish houses around the area were broken into lately. Please call the Pope County Sheriff’s Office if you have any information. Enforcement efforts for the week included checking snowmobile operators, predator hunters, and fishermen. Baumbarger participated in a workcrew in the Elbow Lake area, and attended DWI refresher training in Detroit Lakes.

 

Wheaton – vacant.

 

District 4 – Wadena area

 

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked commercial minnow trappers and retailers, worked trout lakes, snowmobilers and anglers. Time was spent working the Eelpout Festival in Walker. Violations included unattended lines, angle with extra lines, angle without a license and shelter license violations.

 

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked on anglers in the area with varied success reported.  Shelters were coming off the ice with the approaching deadline for removal. Activities at the Eelpout Festival were worked as well. Enforcement contacts were mainly ATV registration and equipment violations. A few Firearms Safety classes will begin soon. A reminder to parents to not wait until fall to get their youth signed up for a class.

 

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport fishing and snowmobile activity with nothing unusual to report. Received calls regarding issues with someone unable to purchase a license through the ELS system; call regarding use of a golf cart on the ice; call regarding log decking at a public access site in the Longville station

 

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers and recreational vehicles during the Eelpout Festival in Walker. Enforcement action was taken for many unsafe recreational vehicle uses and angling violations. CO Mathy also continued working on enforcement related matters for the upcoming bear committee meeting.

 

CO Beau Shroyer (Remer) spent the majority of his week on Walker Bay of Leech Lake working eel pout festival. Time was also spent working lakes in his station. Angling and spearing activity was low on lakes other than Leech.  ATV, ORV and snowmobile activities were monitored. Enforcement action included license and registration issues for angling and recreational vehicles. Several anglers were cited for using extra lines and unattended lines. One man received a summons for burning an entertainment center and couch on Walker Bay, sending clouds of toxic smoke downwind into the crowds participating in Eelpout festivities. CO Shroyer took enforcement action for controlled substance crimes including, possession of marijuana and possession of cocaine.

 

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling and spearing activity. Angling and spearing success continues to be slow. CO Broughten worked the annual Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake where multiple violations were addressed. CO Broughten arrested an individual for operating an ATV while under the influence of alcohol. The individual was shocked he was going to jail for DWI even though he stated he would not operate his car in his current condition. Enforcement action included no angling license in possession, underage consumption of alcohol, possession of small amount of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, angle with unattended lines, angle with tip up more than 200 feet away, careless operation of ATV, no adult ATV safety, and ATV DUI.

 

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked fishermen on the last week of walleye and northern seasons. Contacts were made for no spearing license and illegal length northern.

 

CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) attended to user group quarterly meetings. She shuttled equipment to storage facilities, completed office administrative duties and reports, and assisted workcrew efforts with fishing and recreation vehicle pressure during the Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake

 

District 5 – Eveleth area

 

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports snowmobile traffic in area has slowed with colder temperatures moving into area and trails are in good shape with recent snowfall.  A meeting with Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Conservation Officers and Minnesota DNR Conservation Officers was attended in Fort Frances, Ontario. Enforcement action for the week was excessive snowmobile speed.

 

CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) spent the week focusing on snowmobile and angling enforcement. CO Van Asch worked a snowmobile detail with neighboring officers along the Arrowhead, Hagerman, and Bill Morgan trail systems. The trails were in very good condition throughout the week and into the weekend. The fishing report remains to be sporadic with anglers; although the cold weather has not stopped them from enjoying a day on the lake. Enforcement action was taken for operating a snowmobile in excess of posted speed limits, failure to display valid snowmobile registration, and angling without a license in possession.

 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports little outdoor activities with subzero temps throughout the week. Vehicle work along with office and computer work and computer training were tended to.

 

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports a small amount of new snow in the area has helped the snowmobile trails, however more snow would help. The extreme cold has prevented most outdoor recreation. A bobcat that was struck by a vehicle was dealt with.

 

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) with the bitterly cold weather this week activity was low. Officer attended a round-table discussion in Ely, with CO Williams. The round table included amateur naturalists, addressing issues concerning endangered, threatened, and species of special concern. Toward the end of the week, with the warmup, activity level increased. The snowmobile trails in the area are in good condition and the number of snowmobilers has increased. Enforcement action taken:  speeding on snowmobile, no registration, failure to display numbers, fail to display current registration, and improperly marked shelter. After observing a number of near misses on the trails, just a reminder that you should never enter corners at a speed that prevents you from staying to the right side of the trail.

 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling and snowmobiling activity, worked a snaring complaint and attended meetings in Duluth and with Ontario COs and Minnesota border COs. The officer also worked a complaint of theft of wood from a log stockpile from a state logging sale. Enforcement action was taken on trapping without a license and a number of snowmobile violations.

 

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) saw an increase in snowmobile activity due to recent snowfalls. Fishing remains slow on most lakes. Time was spent meeting with FAS instructors to plan for upcoming classes. Fredin attended training and award recognition with other MN COs and Ontario COs.

 

Ray – vacant.

 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

 

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports snowmobile activity was up over the weekend with the area receiving between 4-6 inches of new snow. Although the trails received heavy use they were still in good condition. Officer Williams and other area Officers assisted St. Louis County Deputies and Rescue Squad personnel with locating two motorists who had gotten stuck for several hours in a remote area of the Echo Trail.

 

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked snowmobiles and fishing throughout the week. Stage attended a meeting in Fort Francis and met with other officers concerning an old case. The new snow should help the trails and there is slush on some of the trout lakes. The finish of the northern and walleye season was quiet with the cold windy weather. Snowmobilers using the trails are reminded that when you come around a blind corner and you end up on the wrong side of the trail, you are going too fast.

 

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports snow is knee deep to a six foot man in the higher elevations of Cook County. The snow there is starting to add up. Activity overall has been way down this winter and the trout lakes are starting to slow down a bit after a very good early start. A border detail was worked with COs from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources along remote border lakes. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile registration violations during the week.

 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) assisted the moose research team retrieving a moose that was far off the beaten path. It was quite the process to get to the moose and retrieve it so it could be taken to the U of M for research, including a long snowmobile ride, riding down railroad tracks, and busting through an alder swamp. A border meeting was attended with Ontario COs. Time was spent preparing for an upcoming trial. Enforcement action included snowmobile registration violations, and many instances of snowmobile speed.

 

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) focused enforcement efforts on anglers and snowmobilers. The officer worked remote trout lakes and checked a few anglers on Lake Superior. Wahlstrom followed up on a trespass violation that occurred on state land. A public whitetail deer meeting was also attended.

 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked snowmobile and angling activity during the week. Groomed trails were in excellent shape with the recent snowfall in the area. Enforcement action was taken for unattended lines and snowmobile registration violations.

 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

 

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, ATV and snowmobile activity, attended a meeting, and assisted with a theft of a game camera case. Fish houses are being monitored for litter and the approaching deadline. Violations included snowmobile on roadway.

 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, attended K-9 training, monitored snowmobile activity and assisted the county with a barricaded suspect. CO Fairbanks and his K-9 partner Si also conducted K-9 demonstrations for a local DARE class and at the Becoming an Outdoors Woman winter workshop. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, no license in possession and failure to display valid registration on snowmobile.

 

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked angling activity this past week.  Frigid cold temperatures kept many people indoors.  She worked a detail at the Eel Pout Festival on Leech Lake.  Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.

 

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice anglers and snowmobile enthusiasts over the past week.  Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and failing to have to proper ID on an angling shelter.

 

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, snowmobile trails, and trappers. He also taught a snowmobile safety class during the week.

 

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working fishing and snowmobile activity. Snowmobile activity increased over the weekend due to snow accumulation. CO Wichmann assisted with an ongoing investigation with a subject from Iowa.

 

CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV officer) checked ATV activity this past week as well as ice fishermen. CO Velsvaag saw a decrease in snowmobilers with the cold and received a litter complaint stemming from anglers in portable fish houses. CO Velsvaag also received a call about collared deer and coyotes.

 

District 8 – Duluth area

 

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent time working anglers on area lakes. Snowmobile activity was worked on trails and lakes. Officer Schmidt worked the Tip Wall at the Duluth Sportshow.

 

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) gave a presentation at a local Firearms Safety Class. The officer helped answer questions at a local sports show, attended a meeting on AIS prevention and assistance was given to rescue crews with the transportation of a patient who had broken his arm while operating a snowmobile. Hanzal also spent time checking anglers and snowmobile patrol.

 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the week staffing a booth for the Wall of Shame at the Duluth Deer Classic. Time was also spent checking winter fishing and snowmobile activity.  Officer Duncan also returned several telephone messages and completed paperwork for animal possession.

 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked angling activity and worked snowmobile enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey along with CO Hanzal attended a Wildlife Society meeting with wildlife students and professionals answering questions on Conservation Officer careers and duties. CO Humphrey assisted at the Duluth area Sportshow and Deer Classic staffing the TIP Wall of Shame. CO Humphrey also assisted with the Cloquet snowmobile safety class field day put on by the Wood City Riders Snowmobile Club. CO Humphrey took calls/complaints of deer caught in a fence, snowmobiler chasing/harassing deer, poultry depredation, road killed wolf and AIS training.  Angling and snowmobile violations were encountered.

 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) and K9 Schody attended a week long detection school in the metro where assistance was given to other new dog handlers and their partners in preparing to become K9 detection teams.

 

WREO Mike Scott staffed an AIS booth at the Duluth Sportshow during the week with Minnesota Sea Grant Folks talking to folks about AIS issues, and concerns as well as the new trailer sticker law and where the state is at on that issue. The wolf issue as well as the last year’s dear hunt garnered a lot of comments and questions

 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

 

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked anglers on Lake Superior near 21st Ave East. Several lake trout have been seen in the 15- 20 pound class. The pack ice is between 4-9 inches. Anglers are venturing out on the pack ice from Brighton beach. Time was spent on the set up and working the “Wall of Shame” at the Duluth boat and travel show hosted at the DECC. Many questions and comments received. Warnings issued for license violations. Road kill deer responded to. Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday spent at the Sport and Travel show.

 

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked ice anglers on Superior. Many anglers were out trying their luck with the rare ice conditions. Several groups had multiple large trout to take home, some of these may be good candidates for “catch and release” to help sustain the population and provide future opportunity. The TIP booth was worked at the Northland Deer Classic. Several anglers were found to be without a trout stamp, enforcement action taken for angling and snowmobile violations.

 

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) checked anglers on Lake Superior throughout the week and also checked snowmobile trails. Lots of use on both. Seeing some anglers catching lake trout, salmon, and herring. Also helped out at a snowmobile safety class in Carlton County and setting up and taking down the TIP display at a sports show in Duluth. Worked on reports and other evidence work. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.

 

District 9 – Brainerd area

 

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports checking ice fishing activity, taking in incidental fisher, and giving presentations on natural resources law enforcement and furbearing animals to high school students studying wildlife forensic science. Ice shelter owners are reminded that all unoccupied shelters must be off the lakes in this area by midnight, March 2.

 

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) checked angling activity on area lakes. Officer Guida received a call from a fish shelter owner stating that he wanted an extension to the removal deadline because his tractor was at a job site for at least another two weeks. The owner was advised of the removal deadline. Officer Guida assisted the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office with the location of a female who had driven her passenger vehicle on the snowmobile trail. Officer Guida attended an elementary school function where a book about bears was read to the kindergartners and as a result hopefully bear license sales should peak in a few years.

 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling enforcement throughout the week. Time was also spent assisting Ely officers with snowmobile and angling enforcement.

 

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week with slow success being reported by many anglers on area lakes. Officer Lee assisted a fellow officer with a firearms deer violation case in which parties involved were interviewed in regards to numerous violations. Officer Lee was able to close two open shelter license investigations this past week. One incident involved a shelter tag and shelter ID violation, and the other also consisted of a shelter tag violation, along with a large littering violation. Officer Lee assisted with enforcement duties at the Eelpout Fest held on Leech Lake this past week. Enforcement actions taken included angle with extra lines, unattended lines, no fishing licenses, careless operation of ATVs and DWI violations by operators of ATVs. While investigating a shelter tag violation on an area lake, Officer Lee uncovered that the party originally checked fishing inside the shelter on an earlier date was not only the owner of the shelter, but had broken into the shelter on different occasions to fish. All information learned during the investigation was turned over to the Sheriff’s Department for further investigation and charges.

 

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Upper Red Lake and Leech Lake throughout the week and weekend. CO McGowan assisted at Leech Lake for Eelpout Festival which brought many people out on the ice. Enforcement action was taken for angle with extra lines, illegal length walleye, possession of narcotics, ATV/snowmobile violations, and several people were arrested for DWI.

 

CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored angling, coyote hunting and snowmobile activity in the Brainerd Lakes Area.

 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

 

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked the final week of angling activity including a fishing contest. Some snowmobiles were out on trails but conditions remain rough. Verkuilen also responded to a trespassing complaint and assisted with a Border Patrol detail.

 

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) served a search warrant for DNA in a case stemming from an armed felon in January. Evidence was submitted to the BCA for analysis. The officer attended the Mille Lacs Blue Ribbon Panel meeting as well. The Isle Drift Skippers Snowmobile Club hosted a vintage snowmobile show and ride; assistance was given for traffic and safety needs. The officer also responded to a vehicle rollover on highway 27 just southeast of Isle. Enforcement action was taken for operating ATVs on close trails.

 

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen on area lakes and found the bite was somewhat slow. Some snowmobile traffic was monitored throughout the week and weekend and the Officer assisted a neighboring Officer with a vintage snowmobile trail ride.  Several fishing related TIP complaints were followed up on and the Officer attended a Mille lacs Lake Fisheries meeting regarding the Blue Ribbon Panel’s report. Some equipment maintenance was performed and lots of fishing, trapping, and snowmobiling law related questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend. A call of a deer caught in a snare was fielded and assistance was also given to the Sheriff’s Office during the week. The Officer also assisted a neighboring Officer in serving a warrant and dropping items off at the BCA Lab.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) assisted Carlton County with two calls over the weekend. The first was a subject with a firearm in a terroristic threats situation. The second call was a domestic. Speldrich responded to a call in Pine County of an OFP violation. She assisted with taking the resisting subject in to custody. Speldrich checked area lakes for anglers and shelter issues. Anglers began removing shelters off the lakes in preparation for the upcoming removal deadline. Trails were patrolled for snowmobile activity. Trails are poor and most remain un-groomed.

 

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked late season trapping activity and investigated a complaint of tampering with traps. Most of the week was spent working on area lakes and Mille Lacs lake checking anglers. Several fishing tournaments were being held throughout the area. Enforcement action was taken for tampering with traps, fishing without a license, operating an unregistered ATV and possession of marijuana.

 

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent a majority of the week checking on anglers and monitoring ice shelters in violation of identification and licensing requirements. He spent time getting radios reprogrammed, and also spent an afternoon on Mille Lacs Lake checking anglers. Local anglers who have been able to move around are finding a few panfish.  Enforcement contacts included failing to display shelter identification and no angling license.

 

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) attended a meeting regarding Mille Lacs Lake Blue Ribbon Panel study. A few sleds were out with the recent snow but the trails are still in poor condition. Time was also spent patrolling state forest and wildlife management areas. A few fishermen were out but fluctuating weather condition made fishing sluggish.

 

WREO Rob Haberman checked anglers on local lakes and rivers. WREO Haberman also conducted snowmobile trail enforcement on trails and lakes. WREO Haberman also assisted area officers in Isle with an antique snowmobile rally. WREO Haberman also worked on wetland cases in Aitkin and Mille Lacs counties.

 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

 

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking angling activity. An aeration complaint was handled and an incidental fisher was picked up from an area trapper.

 

WREO Keith Bertram and CO Thesing completed another deer hunting investigation this week.  Possible charges include, lend and borrow license, take several deer over the limit, and illegal transport of deer.  A lake service provider training was also attended.

 

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) taught the law portion for Swanville’s snowmobile safety. It appeared frigid windchills contributed to a less than average turnout for the annual Lions Fishing Tournament on Long Lake. The annual Race on Trace vintage snowmobile event had good participation and attendance. Anglers remained low in number.

 

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, checked on fish houses for removal issues and garbage, and worked on commercial checks. Thesing attended a DNR volunteer instructor meeting in St. Cloud. Time was spent on several new deer cases from the past deer season with violations found for lend borrow deer tag, and deer over limit. Bows and deer were seized.

 

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) while checking fish houses came across one house with two anglers in it using five lines. When asked how many lines they were fishing with one of the anglers said four and that the fifth line wasn’t really all the way down. When checked it was found that the fifth line was ten feet down. CO Kuske informed the angler that ten feet down was considered “fishing”. Enforcement was taken for fishing with an extra line.

 

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity. The officer also received limited information of spear fishermen spearing walleyes anyone with more detailed information can contact the TIP line. The officer also looked into a possible deer poaching incident.

 

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) received notification from the County Soil and Water Office of an approved permit for a person to place several large poles in a wetland for the purpose of building a zip line to the individual’s deer stand. By far the most unusual permit request ever received. Shelter houses on lakes were inspected as the removal deadline draws near. CO Kuske joined local law enforcement departments to participate in a lock-down drill at Pierz High School. Law enforcement presentations were given to a FAS class and a senior high natural resources class with the topic of discussion being “Why people break the law”.

 

St. Cloud – vacant.

 

District 12 – Princeton area

 

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a slower week on area lakes due to the cold temperatures. Numerous permanent shelters remain on area lakes. Anglers had a hard time finding decent numbers of fish on area lakes. CO Langevin also handled several animal complaints. Violations included fail to display ATV registration, unattended lines, no license in possession and extra lines.

 

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked ice anglers during the week. Fishing success was slow in most areas. Cold temps have kept many off the lakes. Two deer were caught in snares. One deer was released from the snare; the other was unable to be released. An incidental bobcat was also reported and seized. Enforcement action was taken on no angling license and angle with extra lines.

 

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes. He continues investigations into a number of Big Game violations charges pending. He answered a number of questions regarding coyote hunting and spring turkey hunting.

 

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers, fishing tournaments, snowmobile races, snowmobiles, and provided a ride along to a college student. Complaints were taken on trespass, stolen items from fish shelters, and littering. Enforcement action was taken on an over limit of crappies over the weekend.

 

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) spoke at a youth snowmobile safety class. Follow up was done on a deer license case from last fall. Ice anglers were checked with violations found for extra lines, possession of drug paraphernalia, and no ATV registration. Time was spent marking ice shelters and litter for the upcoming removal date.

 

District 13 – West Metro area

 

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) documented fish houses on area lakes for proper identification and litter. Anglers were checked all week having very good luck on nice sized crappies. A call was responded to on a possible moose sighting, but after tracking the animal for several hours it turned out to be a Black Angus bull.

 

CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) spent the week checking anglers and monitoring fish houses as the removal date approaches. CO Grewe followed up on a deer case and spoke at a firearms safety class in Plymouth. Violations included fish house ID issues and littering.

 

CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) spent the week checking anglers and conducting fish house compliance checks. With the cold weather and slow fish bite the fishing pressure has been down, and many people have started to remove their fishing shelters from the ice. She spoke to a small group of Cub Scouts about the job of a Conservation Officer. She also received her first complaint on a potential wetland violation that will be followed up on in the spring. Enforcement action was taken on angling without license in possession, improperly marked fish house and no reflective material on fish house.

 

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers in West Metro area lakes but found very few people out braving the elements. He assisted another CO in a West Metro District on an investigation for a possible big game violation. He spoke about a Minnesota Conservation Officer’s career at a Boy Scout Troop outdoor activity in Eden Prairie.

 

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked ice fishing and snowmobiling activity in Mound station. He took a call on a dead deer in Chanhassen and investigated a stolen deer camera in Brooklyn Park. He answered questions on ice fishing and small game regulations to the Hmong community and did some equipment maintenance.

 

Bloomington – vacant.

 

Mound – vacant.

 

Prior Lake – vacant.

 

District 14 – East Metro area

 

CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he participated in a seminar on urban coyotes hosted by the Roseville PD. He assisted CO Pril with a game farm complaint. CO Johnson patrolled at Afton State Park. He also checked ice anglers and shelters.

 

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time patrolling wildlife management areas, doing ATV enforcement and checking ice anglers. CO Arntzen handled calls about nuisance animals, responded to a trapping complaint and scheduled firearms safety classes. He also fielded calls regarding litter on area lakes, trespassing issues, and assisted a neighboring law enforcement agency on a damaged property investigation.

 

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring anglers around Dakota and Scott counties. Due to the slow bite anglers have already been removing their shelters in preparation for the deadline. Enforcement action for the week included possession of drug paraphernalia, angle with extra lines, littering, and other fishing and snowmobile violations.

 

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked ice fishermen around Dakota and Scott county lakes and responded to a complaint of an individual cutting wood in a WMA. He patrolled and monitored snowmobiling activity on lakes and checked ATVs for registration. CO Pril also spoke at a firearms safety class in South Saint Paul and a fishing clinic in Belle Plaine.

 

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working angling activity along with following up on wetland case review. Violations continue to be discovered related to shelter identification. A possible shoreline violation was investigated in Scott County and lake service provider training was attended in Carver County. A meeting was attended in St. Paul regarding water appropriations and a watershed summit was attended in Bloomington. A planning meeting was also attended regarding commercial enforcement for Division staff.

 

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity. CO Salzer assisted with an investigation from Iowa. The investigation is ongoing. Officer Salzer also patrolled Carlos Avery WMA.

 

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) marked fish houses on area lakes for the upcoming removal date. She set up FAS classes, worked on a litter case and checked small game hunters in local WMAs. CO Kruse assisted with a deer removal program in Ramsey County and checked anglers and ATVs on area lakes.

 

Eagan – vacant.

 

Metro Officer – vacant.

 

District 15 – Marshall area

 

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) reported ATV, commercial minnow, ice fishing and predator hunting activity were monitored during the week. Aeration and game farm inspections were completed. Fish houses were checked for littering violations. ATV violations were encountered.

 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) worked the end of the walleye/northern fishing season. Windy and cold conditions affected outdoor activity. Aeration system inspections were completed with some lakes still seeing open water out past thin ice signs. Poor ice conditions continue to be a topic of conversations. ATV enforcement was also worked. Assistance was given with a community event on Lake Redwood in Redwood Falls.

 

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working investigations and ice anglers.  Complaints of coyote hunters using trucks were worked.

 

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) anglers continue to find crappie on Lac qui Parle. Extra patrols were given for litter enforcement around fish houses. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, no fish house license, and no identification on a fish house.

 

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended training in Eden Prairie. A region 4 AIS meeting was also attended in New Ulm. A possible WCA violation in Kandiyohi County was investigated.  ATVs, ice fishermen and trappers were checked.

 

Benson – vacant.

 

Madison – vacant.

 

Redwood Falls – vacant.

 

Worthington – vacant.

 

District 16 – New Ulm area

 

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on deer cases in addition to a shining and trespass complaint. He checked anglers and monitored fish house removal for litter issues. Denz also checked aeration systems.

 

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent most of the week checking ice fishermen. Time was also spent helping another CO follow up on a shining investigation. Commercial checks were also being conducted with fellow officers during the week.

 

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) took a complaint of stray dogs chasing deer. One of the dogs was caught, and she worked with the landowner and the Heart of Minnesota animal shelter to get the dog to the shelter. She continued her monthly aeration inspection on Lake Marion.  Mueller also worked the first annual radar run on Lake Allie. All but one snowmobile was properly registered and displayed.

 

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) checked anglers out trying their luck before the end of the season. Oberg checked a few small walleye and northern pike. He attended a natural resources training committee meeting. Oberg also spent time working a local fishing contest.

 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls reporting a possible ongoing fish over limit and an ATV through the ice on Clear Lake. He also spent time working angling, snowmobile and WMA activity as well. Lake ice thickness remains variable and has deteriorated in areas recently despite cold temperatures. Two vehicles have gone through the ice in the last week.  Vehicle traffic on Brown County lakes is not advised.

 

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked anglers and small game activity. Gruhlke continued on follow up on an angling complaint and signed a warrant relating to angling activity. Gruhlke attended an instructor forum in Windom hosted by RTO Dan McBroom. Several instructors from Jackson, Cottonwood and Martin counties attended. Gruhlke and McBroom presented a 30 year award for a FAS instructor in Windom.

 

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked anglers, ATVs and shelters on area lakes. Attendance was made at the Fox Lake fishing tournament answering questions from anglers and assisting the kids in their free contest.

 

Willmar #1 – vacant.

 

Windom – vacant.

 

District 17 – Mankato area

 

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers on area lakes & rivers. The officer patrolled for ATV and snowmobile activity. Small game hunting was monitored. Spring firearms safety classes are being scheduled. Multiple violations were encountered during the week.

 

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked angling, ATV and State Park activity. A complaint of shooting from a motor vehicle is being investigated.

 

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, as well as snowmobile and ATV operators. Officer Ihnen checked trappers and predator hunters. In addition, time was spent checking ice shelters on area lakes for reflective material compliance, and investigating driving complaints of individuals operating vehicles too close to shelters and at unsafe speeds.

 

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports monitoring fish house removal as the game fish seasons wound down. Anglers are reminded to pick up after themselves. Anglers are also reminded that it is not legal to leave or store your fish house on a public water access.

 

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) focused primarily on angling and coyote hunting enforcement. The fish bite has slowed a bit, but some anglers are still finding fish on local lakes. Some litter issues are being dealt with and anglers are reminded to pick up after themselves when leaving the ice.

 

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring snowmobile and angling activity. An illegal dumping complaint, and trespass complaint are being investigated. A fishing tournament in Lanesboro was attended. Complaints of sick or injured deer were addressed.

 

WREO Julie Siems followed up on Wetland Conservation Act and Public waters violations.

 

Albert Lea – vacant.

 

Mankato #1 – vacant.

 

District 18 – Rochester area

 

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending most of the week checking angling activity. Fishing pressure dropped off a little as the week went on and the weather got colder. Time was also spent dispelling rumors of a mountain lion siting in the area.

 

CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking anglers, ATV and snowmobile operators, and a few small game hunters. A talk was given to the local school district. A complaint of nuisance animals was taken.

 

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports fishing success really slowed down this past week. Coyote hunters are seeing coyotes during day light hours. He attended and gave a presentation to a firearms safety class in Houston and a snowmobile safety class in Spring Grove. He completed mandatory online training.

 

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers during the week. Heyn also assisted at the Eel Pout Festival in Walker. Lots of recreational violations were detected including several DWI’s.

 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports some snowmobiling and fishing are occurring in the area. He checked taxidermists and is following up with other states on information learned. He investigated a dumping complaint where trash, including furniture, was dumped onto a frozen creek; he found the responsible party. Hemker also spent time at an Izaak Walton League fishing derby where over 150 kids enjoyed ice fishing.

 

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports investigating multiple dumping complaints. Calls about the spring turkey season are starting to come in. Time was also spent with online training. Snowmobile activity has been slow.

 

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing, ATV, and some snowmobile enforcement as well as completing some follow up on investigations. Fishing has been slow. Area trails could use some more snow, but some folks are still getting a few miles in.

 

Rochester #2 – vacant.

 

Weekly Game and Fish Violations

MMO---Header-with-mika

 

 

Thief River Falls – While checking a trio of anglers on the Red Lake River, two of the anglers asked CO Hanson if they could go to their house along the river to get their licenses. A short time later CO Hanson saw a vehicle back out of their driveway. Several minutes later the vehicle returned and the two men walked out to Hanson. The licenses they provided were shelter licenses, not angling licenses. They swore they had not just purchased the licenses until CO Hanson showed them the date and time stamp on the bottom of the license. The men were disappointed they had purchased the wrong licenses in haste.

 

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) entered a fish house and noticed the sole occupant was using extra lines to fish. The CO stated to the person “So you are using four lines today.” The person replied, “Actually five, I have one more in the corner over here.” A citation was issued, but for his honesty in admitting the violation he was rewarded with being able to keep his fishing equipment.

 

Ortonville – One local ice angler was startled while ice fishing when a river otter decided to take a breather and swam up the hole the ice angler was fishing in. The angler and otter were both equally surprised and the otter swam back down the hole.

 

District 1 – Baudette area

 

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) monitored area snowmobile activity and angling activity on Lake of the Woods. A group of anglers at the Northwest Angle was cited for possessing fish illegally taken in Ontario when they were found to be in possession of an over limit of crappies. Anglers were checked at U.S. Customs. Other violations for the week included anglers using too many lines.

 

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked snowmobiling and angling enforcement throughout Warroad and the surrounding areas. Enforcement action was taken for the following: angling without a license in possession, unauthorized use of a snowmobile trail by a motor vehicle and unattended lines.

CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) spent the week working snowmobile and angling enforcement. With the recent dump of snow, more snowmobilers are out and about, finally enjoying the trails. Fishing success still remains low for most of the lake. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, angling with unattended lines, possession of unmeasurable fish, and angling without a license in possession.

 

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports an increase in snowmobile activity with the freshly fallen snow in the past week. Fishing on Lake of the Woods is still slow but persistent anglers are able to get enough fish for a meal or two. Time was spent working on Upper Red Lake with another officer. Enforcement action for the week included leaving lines unattended through the ice, angling with extra lines, possession of an illegal length fish, unmeasurable fish/ dressed fillets, and operating a snowmobile with a passenger under 18 without a helmet.

 

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) saw the fresh snowfall bring out many area snowmobilers. Time was spent checking local angling and spearing activity and monitoring coyote hunters. CO Woinarowicz assisted an area drug task force with a probation search which yielded multiple illegal big game animals, the remains of a federally protected bird species, and an unlicensed taxidermy operation. Other enforcement action included angling license and snowmobile registration violations.

 

CO Traci Hanson (Thief River Falls) checked anglers, snowmobilers and small game hunters. Hanson investigated a prohibited material fire and a dog chasing deer complaint. While checking a trio of anglers on the Red Lake River, two of the anglers asked CO Hanson if they could go to their house along the river to get their licenses. A short time later CO Hanson saw a vehicle back out of their driveway. Several minutes later the vehicle returned and the two men walked out to Hanson. The licenses they provided were shelter licenses, not angling licenses. They swore they had not just purchased the licenses until CO Hanson showed them the date and time stamp on the bottom of the license. The men were disappointed they had purchased the wrong licenses in haste.

 

Baudette #2 -vacant.

 

Blackduck #2 – vacant.

 

Karlstad – vacant.

 

District 2 – Bemidji area

 

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working on a public waters violation complaint this week. Anglers and ATV operators were also checked. A few snowmobile operators were out. Predator hunting activity was also worked.

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked angling, snowmobiling and predator hunting activities. He also dealt with concerns of compensation for wolf depredation and the AIS trailer sticker law.

 

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) spent time on the snowmobile trails, checked anglers and assisted with enforcement efforts on Red Lake.

 

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity on area lakes. Anglers report a slow walleye bite, but have had success with panfish on most area lakes. CO Vollbrecht worked on Red Lake with CO Prachar and CO Holt. Several limits of walleye were observed while checking fisherman. An abandoned shelter was removed from Red Lake with neighboring officers. Time was spent submitting evidence to the county attorney for a case.

 

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked anglers and snowmobiling activity throughout the week. Time was spent working with CO Parthun checking commercial minnow trappers. The officer also attended a multi-agency meeting on the prevention of AIS in Itasca State Park. Additionally, Officer Holt worked Upper Red Lake with CO Vollbrecht. Enforcement activity for the week included angling and minnow trapping violations.

 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports following up on TIP information and fielding questions about local fishing regulations. He also took a litter complaint from a lake association member. Seasonable cold weather and some freezing rain early in the week slowed the fishing activity.

 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked angling, shelter enforcement and attended training at Camp Ripley.

 

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen and working coyote hunters. A few sleds were out on area lakes and checks were made.

 

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked angling activity on area waters with anglers reporting a slow bite. Snowmobile trails and activity was worked with a few more snowmobiles out and about after recent snowfalls. CO Warren followed up on complaints of possible wanton waste, take turkey out of season, and registration issues from the past deer season. CO Warren performed follow up interviews for neighboring conservation officers. Areas were monitored for predator hunting activity.

 

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring angling and coyote hunting activity in the area. Angling pressure on area lakes has slowed down and several people have already started to remove their shelters from area lakes. The driving portion of Glyndon’s youth snowmobile safety class was attended as there was finally enough snow for the youth to drive on. The officer completed follow up investigation on a Norman County complaint where juveniles were caught trespassing and shooting at deer out of season. A complaint of a coyote hunter on a waterfowl production area was taken and it was determined that the coyote hunter was lawfully hunting and no violation had occurred. The officer also answered calls from the public regarding the lawful use of range finding scopes, permit requirements for a kid’s ice fishing derby, and a report of possible mountain lion sighting near Felton.

 

WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week attending LSP AIS training in Detroit Lakes. Time was spent reviewing and closing out WCA cases. Several site visits for WCA and PW complaints were conducted. Meetings and upcoming trainings were scheduled with ECO staff.

 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

 

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) checked anglers, spear fishermen and shelters. A report of suspicious behavior at one shelter was received. Walleye anglers have reported a slight increase in success during the past week. Panfish anglers continue to have moderate action.

 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) continues to monitor fishing and coyote hunting activity. Litter in the area seems to be lower than other years on area lakes. Plautz investigated a fish house that was blowing across the lake in the wind and came to a stop at a snow bank. Enforcement action was taken for no shelter license displayed. Plautz met with an individual who had several questions regarding public hunting land and operating ATVs on the trail within the WMA.

 

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) worked fishermen and shelters throughout the week. CO’s Nelson and Anderson had a work crew in the vacant Wheaton station focusing on predator hunters and fishermen. Nelson finally observed the first snowmobile of the season on an area trail.

 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, snowmobiles and ATVs. Questions about fish house removal and the game fish closure were handled. Station equipment maintenance was performed along with returning seized equipment from adjudicated cases.

 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) focused on both ice fishing and small game activity this past week. Fishing success has been consistently slow the past few weeks, with the most luck coming on panfish. Citations were issued for an illegal length crappie and possessing drugs /paraphernalia while fishing. Lawler continued working on a coyote trapping investigation where the suspect is using untagged traps, failing to check them daily and is also trespassing. Assistance was given to the local Sheriff’s Office with a complaint on coyote hunters as well.

 

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work fishing enforcement on area waterways. The fish house inventory has started in preparation for litter and removal issues. Another fishing related trespass case was investigated with enforcement action taken. Another case from the firearms deer season was investigated and closed out with enforcement action taken as well. A ride along opportunity was provided for an area law enforcement student. Time was also spent working fire and predator hunting activity. A call was taken on possible wolf depredation in northern Douglas County.

 

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on predator hunting, ice fishing activity, ATV operation and snowmobile activity. CO’s Anderson and Nelson had a work crew in the vacant Wheaton station with a focus on predator hunters and fishermen. Anglers are reminded that storing a fish house on the public access is illegal. Most snowmobilers have chosen to haul their snowmobile to the lakes just to ride a few miles. Calls were fielded from the public about requesting the TIP trailer for an event, firearms safety classes, walleye/northern/bass closure, fish house deadlines, expiring angling license dates and predator hunting questions.

 

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) spent the week checking fishermen, ATVs, and a few snowmobilers. Additional time was spent setting up ATV and firearms safety classes for the spring, and returning calls about injured animals and fish house removal deadline. Fishing success around the area has dropped off lately.

 

Wheaton – vacant.

 

District 4 – Wadena area

 

CO Colleen Adam (NW Region OHV Recreation Officer) participated in meetings and conference calls with user groups. She attended training during the week, completed reports and contacted very few snowmobiles. Officer assisted with a vehicle in the ditch and checked fish houses.

 

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) took a few nuisance animal complaints, worked some commercial minnow enforcement and checked anglers and shelters on area trout lakes. Anglers are reminded Crappie Lake is within an area with limitations. Motorized travel to this newly opened trout lake is prohibited. Parthun assisted other enforcement agencies with a search warrant and an investigation of a big game violation was initiated. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV in an area with limitations, no trout stamps, ATV registration violations, no shelter license, possessing illegal length crappies and no ID on ice shelter.

 

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling and spearing activity. Angling and spearing success continues to be slow. CO Broughten assisted with a youth snowmobile safety class in Remer. CO Broughten also fielded calls concerning littering and fishing licenses. Enforcement action included: no angling license in possession and no shelter license.

 

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) primary enforcement efforts this past week focused on sport fishing and snowmobile activity. He received a TIP call regarding a possible overlimit. The matter was referred to another CO as the suspect was no longer fishing in the area and lived in the southern part of the state.

 

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports checking many anglers. Many are enjoying accessible ice conditions but angling success has been just ok. CO Mathy also finished a deer case investigation and processed accidentally caught fur. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, unattended lines, marijuana possession, and not having an angling license in possession.

 

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked trappers and fishermen. Contacts were made for not checking traps and one deer was accidently snared.

 

CO Beau Shroyer (Remer) spent several days this week teaching youth snowmobile safety to area 6th graders. The class was well attended and all who participated passed the written and riding portions of the class. Their certificates will be arriving in the mail shortly. Area snowmobile trails received just enough snow for the groomers to make their inaugural run of the season. By the weekend, bare spots were showing up on the trails. No changes were noted in the area fish bite.

 

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked on anglers this week and observed a fair amount of ice houses being moved off the ice. A permit was issued to an educational institution for a great horned owl that was found dead.

 

District 5 – Eveleth area

 

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports continued snowmobile and ice fishing enforcement on Rainy Lake, Lake Kabetogama, and surrounding area. Minnesota Snowmobile Association Rendezvous was attended with many people enjoying one good day of snowmobiling; the second day being extremely cold limiting the number of snowmobilers.

 

CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) monitored angling and snowmobiling activity throughout the International Falls area. Anglers are reporting a slow bite both for spearing and angling on the big lakes. CO Van Asch attended the 2015 Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association Rendezvous held in International Falls. The cold temperatures did not stop the Rendezvous participants from enjoying the area trails and sights. Enforcement action was taken for angling with unlawful tackle.

 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports sub-zero temps coupled with strong winds resulted in very little weekend activity observed. Area lakes, rivers, and forest roads were monitored with little activity observed. Public access sites continue to be monitored. Equipment work is on-going. Computer and office items continue to be tended to.

 

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports there were quite a few snowmobiles in the area over the long weekend, however the trails got quite beat up due to lack of snow. Very little ice fishing was observed and the few anglers talked to reported very little action. A deer had to be put down due to injuries received from being hit by a vehicle.

 

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) and CO Grundmeier assisted two counties with a search warrant that stemmed from the burglary in process they came across. A number of stolen items were recovered along with narcotics. Officer investigated a wetlands violation complaint on Lake Vermillion. The snowmobile trails in the area are in pretty good condition, and a good number of sleds were out and about this past weekend. Violations addressed included speed; fail to display current registration, and failure to have current registration.

 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling and snowmobile activity, worked a fishing tournament, followed up on an ATV registration violation by an individual with a felony warrant, and documented/GPS’d fish houses for potential litter and removal violations. All of the fishing violations for the week occurred at a local fishing tournament. Enforcement action was taken on angling with extra lines, illegal tackle configuration, unmarked fish house, unregistered snowmobile and operate ATV on a snowmobile trail.

 

Ray – vacant.

 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

 

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports that activity slowed in the Ely area with the arrival of cold weather, although some anglers and snowmobilers did brave the subzero temperatures. Fishing success was limited for those who were out with only a few fish being seen over the weekend. Violations included: failure to yield on a snowmobile, and fail to display snowmobile registration.

 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily angling and snowmobile enforcement throughout the week. Upon checking two groups of anglers on a designated trout lake everyone was discovered to be using live minnows. One angler stated that they decided to take a chance in order to improve their chances of catching fish since they did so poorly last time out. After receiving citations and losing their minnows they figured the chance hadn’t been worth taking. Groomers are working hard to keep the trails in shape. Enforcement action was taken on a truck that drove down a groomed snowmobile trail and got stuck. Other enforcement action included angle with unattended lines, unmarked fish house, and expired snowmobile registration.

 

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers and snowmobilers. Trails are shaping up with the fresh snow. Inventory and equipment maintenance was completed throughout the week.

 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked snowmobile and angling activity during the week. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile registration violations. High winds and drifting snow made for difficult travel on area lakes. Murray also assisted with a youth firearms safety class and responded to a vehicle roll over on Hwy 2 north of Two Harbors.

 

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked anglers in remote trout lakes during the week. Frigid weather kept most people off the lakes, but there were some that staked down the portable shelters and fought the high winds. The bigger lakes are very rough from the high winds, but slush remains scarce.

 

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) Worked on inventory, and checked angler and snowmobile activity.

 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

 

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers on area lakes, processed seized furbearers, investigated a trapping complaint, and instructed local students in winter survival skills. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession.

 

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, ATV and snowmobile activity, and did forestry and state park enforcement work. Violations included no firewood cutting permit, and no state park vehicle permit. Firewood cutting permits are required on state, county, federal, and private timber company lands.

 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, attended canine training, monitored snowmobile activity and assisted The State Patrol with vehicles off the road. The area panfish bite was on the down side. Enforcement action was taken for angle with extra lines, no license in possession and snowmobile registration issues.

 

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) worked angling and snowmobiling activity this past week. Snowmobile trails close to Grand Rapids are still in poor condition even with the recent snowfall. Trails north of town towards the Balsam area are better. She also attended a meeting in regards to motorized trail use in Itasca County.

 

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice angling pressure over the past week with plenty of anglers hitting the ice. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, no spearing license and failing to have a license on an angling house left on the ice unattended overnight. Snowmobile activity has begun to pick up with the recent snow storm, but trails still need one more good snowfall to be in top shape.

 

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, snowmobile trails and trappers. He also worked snowmobile and fishing complaints during the week.

 

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) focused on sport fishing and snowmobile activity throughout the week.

 

CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV officer) checked ATVs this past week. CO Velsvaag also checked snowmobilers as conditions have improved in some areas. CO Velsvaag also finished up on a case from deer season and took calls on collared deer and pine marten.

 

District 8 – Duluth area

 

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on a public waters complaint involving a fenced portion of a lake. Anglers were checked along the shore and on area lakes. The fresh snow got some snowmobilers out on area trails. The officer gave a presentation at Fond Du Lac Tribal and Community College for a law enforcement class. The officer also attended a volunteer instructor meeting at the Grand Lake Town Hall.

 

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports snowmobile trails are improving and many more snowmobiles are being seen out on the trail. The officer has noticed a very high violation rate of failing to display proper registration and numbers on the snowmobiles he’s seeing. Most of these contacts are being given costly reminders. The officer gave a presentation at a Firearms Safety Class and fish houses are again being GPS located and photographed prior to upcoming removal dates for future reference.

 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work snowmobile and winter fishing enforcement. Time was spent working a snowmobile trespass complaint and monitoring complaint areas for ATV’s on a state snowmobile trail. Area ski trails were also checked during the week. CO Duncan met with area safety instructors at a meeting put on by DNR Enforcement’s area training officer. Other activity included completing office work and returning several telephone calls.

 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked angling activity and monitored shelters for litter on area lakes throughout the week. CO Humphrey responded to a wolf depredation complaint where a calf was confirmed killed. CO Humphrey investigated a TIP complaint on the taking of Coyotes. CO Humphrey met with a trapper who turned in an incidentally caught otter. CO Humphrey worked trails at a vintage snowmobile event held in Mahtowa with Carlton County Snow Patrol. CO Humphrey investigated a wetland complaint in a neighboring station. Angling and snowmobile violations were encountered

 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) and K9 Schody attended a K9 detection school in the metro. There is still a fair amount of fishing activity on area lakes. Success rates are fairly low. One fish house is being looked into because it does not have the required ID or house license on it. Some snowmobile activity to report in the area also. Trails have a small amount of snow, but local riders report they aren’t too bad for a low snow winter. Enforcement action was taken for speed, no safety certification and failing to display registration.

 

 

WREO Mike Scott worked with local LGU on potential new WCA violation where a person is clearing wetlands for a pasture. Checked anglers on area lakes, but cold weather and slow fishing had very few folks out. He completed office work and misc. case work on WCA/PW cases from summer.

 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

 

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) spent time checking increased snowmobile traffic in the Duluth area, due to the recent snowfall the area received. With the recent ice pack moving into the Duluth end of Lake Superior, anglers have been venturing onto the 4-5 inches of ice in pursuit of lake trout. Sunday approx. 35-40 anglers were checked. One angler bagged a 15 and 20 pound lake trout. Olson responded to a personal injury snowmobile accident north of Finland, met with the Carlton County Attorney’s office on an upcoming jury trail and met with his supervisor.

 

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked ice anglers on a section of ice near Duluth. Some salmon, herring and lake trout are showing up for a few lucky anglers. A deer management public input meeting was attended in Two Harbors. A concerned citizen called about a deer with a broken front leg. After checking on the deer’s condition, it was decided to leave the deer alone. As long as the animal is mobile and can feed itself, action is not taken to intervene. Also, a strong reminder to those interested in feeding deer; feeding corn to a deer in a non-agriculture zone is likely to do more harm than good, and can add to winter stress on already weakened animals. Contact your local DNR Wildlife office for information on appropriate feeds for deer to help them through the winter. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile violations.

 

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent time checking anglers fishing the pack ice on Lake Superior. The officer has observed most anglers taking safety precautions with ice picks, chisels, and PFDs. He’s seeing ice thickness on Lake Superior from less than 4 inches to 8 inches or more. Some lake trout, herring, smelt, and salmon seeing caught. He observed up to 50 shelters on the ice. Remember, you need a trout stamp when fishing Lake Superior. He also worked snowmobile activity, issued road kill deer permits, and attended training and meetings. Reports and other paperwork were also completed. Enforcement action was taken for angling and drug charges.

 

District 9 – Brainerd area

 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) attended a deer input meeting at Brainerd and worked on timber trespass and litter cases. Anglers were also checked throughout the week.

 

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sport fishing and snowmobile enforcement. Some snow machines are showing up in the northern part of the work station and operators were observed travelling over lightly covered road right of ways causing substantial damage to the ground below which could lead to upset adjacent landowners and trail closures. Officer Guida took enforcement action on anglers using extra lines, angling without licenses, and angling without license in possession. A case outcome involving an angler who was arrested for being in possession of methamphetamine was received. The angler is now spending his nights in the local county jail. Area DNR hosted deer input listening session and he attended with Officer Mlynar from the DNR Enforcement Deer Committee.

 

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports a slow bite on most lakes but some anglers still came out with the cold weather. One angler had a tip up inside his portable to keep it from freezing up. He left the tip up set inside the shelter and traveled nearly a mile away in his car to check out another spot. Enforcement action was taken.

 

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week with slow so-so success being reported by anglers. Officer Lee received a complaint of dog’s possibly chasing deer. Upon investigation it appears that along with dogs running in the area a couple wolves were also spotted, and they were chasing a deer at the time of spotting them. Officer Lee followed up on a littering case in which garbage was left on the lake and at the access. Officer Lee continued with an investigation in regards to failing to transfer ownership of an ATV, and expired registration.

 

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The ice anglers are out but many anglers are removing permanent houses because of a slow bite. Complaints of garbage and wood blocks left behind were reported and investigated. Some violations observed were no license and unattended tip ups. Ice pressure ridges continue to grow on area lakes and some snowmobile were damage because of them. Reports of fish house damage on Gull Lake continue to be reported. He worked on snowmobile enforcement issues. Violations observed were speed and expired registration. Trapping complaints also received some enforcement time.

 

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing counties for angling and snowmobile activity. Several snowmobilers were observed using state grant-in-aid trails throughout the area with the recent snowfall. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.

 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

 

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) reports a few inches of snow are finally bringing out some snowmobile activity. Enforcement action was taken with “first time out this year” operators for expired registration and lack of required training. Anglers report marking plenty of fish but not getting them to bite. Extra line violations were addressed as people attempted to increase their chances.

 

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) patrolled his station on snowmobile. With the newly fallen snow, the people are taking advantage of our late season snowmobiling. Compliance has been high, thank you. Anglers were checked and success has been low due to the unstable weather that has been moving through. Assistance was given to Isle PD and Mille Lacs SO with various items to include stalled vehicles and a disturbance at a local residence.

 

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking anglers on area lakes and on Lake Mille Lacs. A few folks were catching fish but most reported the bite has slowed a little. The Officer worked on a question regarding beaver dam and beaver lodge removal in a drainage ditch and several wolf related questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend. The Officer had a law enforcement student ride along to show the individual what Conservation Officer’s do. Patrol was done on area trails with snowmobile but the trails are fairly rough due to lack of snow but a few sleds were seen out trying to a few rides in this winter. Assistance was given to a neighboring Officer regarding a possible poached deer but the call was found to be untrue. Time also was spent following up on a fishing related TIP and area county and state land was patrolled for forestry and ATV activity. The Officer assisted the County with a call of a possible suicidal individual and a wolf related call was also handled during the week.

 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) followed up on a controlled substance investigation. Several anglers were checked and reminded that their 2014 angling licenses are only valid through February 28. Unattended shelters with no identification and/or shelter tags were identified. Snowmobile trails were groomed for the first time this season. A few snowmobilers were out but no violations were detected. Several calls were fielded regarding registration requirements for vintage snowmobile rides.

 

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) responded to a TIP call of poaching, only to find a permitted photo shoot opportunity by a clothing company. Fishing and snowmobile activities were worked with some keeper walleye showing up. Assistance was given to a stranded motorist and car-kill deer permit issues addressed. A youth was found riding an unregistered snowmobile and did not have the proper safety training certificate.

 

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked anglers on area lakes throughout the week. Local snowmobile trails are still inoperable due to lack of snow. A beef rancher reported wolves attacking and harassing livestock. Further investigation confirmed that gray wolves had killed the rancher’s first calve of the calving season. Other time was spent on follow up from a recent burglary arrest and included assisting the sheriff’s office with a search warrant. The search warrant produced stolen items from multiple area residences.

 

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent a majority of the week checking anglers in the Pine City area. He also traveled to Grand Rapids to pick up new equipment, attended a public input meeting regarding the deer season, and answered numerous questions regarding the upcoming ice shelter removal dates. The ice shelters must be removed from ice by March 2. Anglers can still fish overnight as long as they do not leave the shack unoccupied overnight.

 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

 

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking ice anglers and ice houses. Time was also spent on vehicle maintenance. Violations for the week included no ice house license, unmarked fish house, and no reflectors on fish house.

 

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) reports frigid temperatures, once again, kept recreational activity minimal. Anglers observed were those who could drive their heated vehicles up to their larger, heavier, well-heated, shelters.

 

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) checked an interesting group of anglers on Grand Lake this weekend. The officer was glad to see they were having so much fun without catching many fish. The officer also assisted the county with another vehicle that broke through the ice on Lake Koronis.

 

WREO Keith Bertram spent the past week serving wetland restoration orders and checking fishermen. Enforcement action was taken for license violations and extra lines.

 

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) had another accidental caught fisher turned in by a trapper this winter and a 10-point buck that was found dead with no apparent injuries to it. A timely citizen complaint of a garbage dumping on a minimum maintenance road led CO Kuske and two other officers on a string of interviews in various towns to locate the suspect. The litter suspect was eventually found with a citation issued and orders to clean up the trash. A black garbage bag of northerns showed up on the same road north of Cushing and anyone with information about the northerns are encouraged to call CO Kuske or the TIP line with information.

 

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) entered a fish house and noticed the sole occupant was using extra lines to fish. The CO stated to the person “So you are using four lines today.” The person replied, “Actually five, I have one more in the corner over here.” A citation was issued, but for his honesty in admitting the violation he was rewarded with being able to keep his fishing equipment. Finally enough snow for the coyote hunters to run their dogs, no trespass calls have been received yet, several were checked to see if they were transporting loaded firearms, while others were reminded about the need for a permit to use a radio.

 

St. Cloud – vacant.

 

District 12 – Princeton area

 

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a slow weekend on area lakes. Either Valentine’s Day or the cold weather kept many anglers off area lakes over the weekend. The number of permanent shelters that remain on area lakes is shrinking. The anglers that were out reported a hard time finding decent numbers of fish on area lakes. CO Langevin also handled several animal complaints. Violations included fail to display shelter ID, unattended lines, no license in possession and extra lines.

 

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked ice anglers during the week. Fishing success has been low and cold temperatures has kept some anglers off the lakes. Recent snowfall has brought out some snowmobiles on area lakes and in some road ditches but trails are not groomed.

 

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) followed up on a deer case from last fall which resulted in charges for failure to register deer. Two litter complaints were investigated. Several animal calls were received including an injured eagle, a dead eagle, and an injured owl. An incidental fisher was turned in.

 

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes. He followed up on a number of Big Game cases charges pending. He followed up on a trespassing issue. He assisted with getting kids signed up for the upcoming FAS classes this spring. He answered question on spring turkey hunting. He located a dead swan that hit a power line in the Monticello area.

 

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) attended the deer goal setting process and advisory group public input meeting, and spoke to students about natural resources issues at the Cambridge Isanti Middle School. Anglers, trappers, ATVs and were checked and wildlife management areas were patrolled.

 

District 13 – West Metro area

 

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) gave a ride along to a DNR Assistant Parks and Trails Supervisor and a Watertown/Mayer High School student. Aeration inspections were done on area lakes. State trails, parks and public access sites were patrolled. Permits were issued for a car killed deer and turkey. Several nuisance coyote complaints were handled. Anglers were checked daily having very good success on crappies and sunfish.

 

CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) spent the week checking anglers and responding to complaints. CO Grewe also spoke to a firearms safety class, investigated a suspicious dead deer and did some equipment maintenance.

 

CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) spent the week investigating litter complaints on various lakes, inspecting fish houses for licensing and performing angling enforcement. She also spoke to a large group of kids at the annual fishing clinic in New Prague. She has been focusing more time on littering enforcement and thanks everyone who has taken it upon themselves to help clean up after individuals leaving litter on the lakes. Enforcement action was taken on angle with extra lines, no angling license in possession and illegal ATV operations.

 

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked anglers and snowmobilers in the metro area lakes and trails. He patrolled state parks, state trails, WMAs, and took calls on animal complaints. He also answered questions in the Hmong community regarding firearm safety classes and small game regulations.

 

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers in the Bloomington station. He returned calls for injured animals and set up upcoming firearms safety classes. He patrolled Fort Snelling State Park and took enforcement action for no vehicle permit and followed up on a report of turkey poaching from another law enforcement agency.

 

Bloomington – vacant.

 

Mound – vacant.

 

Prior Lake – vacant.

 

District 14 – East Metro area

 

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reports checking anglers and monitoring recreational vehicle use. He patrolled wildlife management areas, worked deer shiners and assisted a neighboring law enforcement agency on a suspicious activity call. CO Arntzen also patrolled area lakes due to complaints of vehicles driving carelessly. Violations for the week included failure to display registration, no fishing license and careless driving.

 

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked ice anglers, snowmobiles and ATVs on the Metro area lakes. CO Pril checked on a reported dead deer in a backyard in his patrol area and responded to miscellaneous animal calls and other calls during the week. He also spent some time on equipment maintenance.

 

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week monitoring ice angling and off-road vehicle use. Lake service provider training related to AIS was attended in Washington County. Time was also spent reviewing wetland related case files.

 

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity. CO Salzer also patrolled Carlos Avery WMA and attended meetings. Officer Salzer also investigated an incident on Forest Lake.

 

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring angling activity in Dakota and Scott counties. Anglers saw very limited success. He patrolled area WMAs for illegal ATV activity, and investigated a littering case. Enforcement action for the week consisted of angling license violations, possession of marijuana, and illegal ATV operation.

 

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) attended two days of training at Camp Ripley. She checked anglers on area lakes and handled nuisance animal calls and various TIP calls. CO Kruse talked to a local newspaper about ice safety and assisted with a deer removal program in Ramsey County.

 

CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he checked anglers and ice shelters during the week. He spoke to a firearms safety class in Roseville. CO Johnson checked his station equipment inventory. He met with staff at The Belwin Nature Center in Afton. CO Johnson received a report of an individual illegally possessing a great horned owl.

 

Eagan – vacant.

 

Metro Officer – vacant.

 

District 15 – Marshall area

 

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) issued an extension on a WCA violation in McLeod County. Officer Hanson followed up on WCA and PW cases and worked on invasive species issues and gave a zebra mussel K-9 demonstration to 5th through 8th grade students

 

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked ATV, ice angling and snowmobile activity during the week. A TIP complaint involving illegally taken deer was investigated in Swift County. Littering issues continue on lakes and public accesses. Many anglers are becoming angry with those who refuse to clean up after themselves. One local ice angler was startled while ice fishing when a river otter decided to take a breather and swam up the hole the ice angler was fishing in. The angler and otter were both equally surprised and the otter swam back down the hole.

 

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) conducted his weekly radio show on KLOH radio. The Officer also assisted Lincoln County with a search on Lake Benton. Officer Lage also spoke with the 5th – 8th grade at Holy Redeemer School for community awareness class and attended a Firearms Safety Instructor form in Marshall.

 

Benson – vacant.

 

Madison – vacant.

 

Redwood Falls – vacant.

 

Worthington – vacant.

 

District 16 – New Ulm area

 

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) spoke at a firearms safety class in Prinsburg. He checked ice anglers and ATV operators. Denz also documented fish houses with litter issues and conducted inspection of aeration systems.

 

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the week checking ice fishermen and following up on liter complaints where it was found that people were disposing on deer carcasses along public waters. Time was also spent following up on trapping issues.

 

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) monitored and enforced ATV activity along the Crow River. Mueller collected an accidentally caught otter. She took a report of suspicious activity on a minimal maintenance road near Bird Island. She also received a complaint of dogs chasing deer in McLeod County.

 

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) followed up on an accidental take of an otter. Time was also spent checking anglers and recreational vehicle operators. Predator hunters were also checked.

 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) checked aeration systems. He also spent time working ATV and angling activity.

 

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked anglers, ATVs and small game activity. Gruhlke followed up on an angling complaint and conducted a commercial license inspection. Gruhlke also completed aeration inspections.

 

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted aeration inspections. Recreationalists are reminded that these aeration systems have ice effects beyond the warning signs and should be cautious. A wetland violation report was investigated. Attendance was made at the South Central Dive Team meeting to debrief on recent occurrences. Anglers and shelters were checked. Early signs of waterfowl migrants were observed with common mergansers and pintails in open water.

 

Willmar #1 – vacant.

 

Windom – vacant.

 

District 17 – Mankato area

 

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) continues to check ice anglers in the area, ATV activity on area rivers and occasional snowmobile compliance on the lakes. A possible wetland violation was investigated.

 

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) patrolled primarily for fishermen and ATV operators. CO Ihnen also investigated a possible public waters violation, as well as litter complaints on area lakes. In addition, a law and ethics presentation was given to a FAS class.

 

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling and recreational vehicle enforcement. Time was spent monitoring trapping activity. The officer visited a local Boy Scout troop meeting in Lonsdale.

 

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers on area lakes and rivers and patrolled for ATV and snowmobile activity. Small game hunting was monitored and injured wildlife complaints were received. Follow-up was completed on a wetland investigation.

 

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working snowmobiling and angling activity. Assistance was given to the Minnesota State Patrol on a traffic accident. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.

 

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports that there is still some angling activity going on. As the season winds down, ice anglers are reminded to clean up after themselves.

 

WREO Julie Siems assisted in Wetland Conservation Act enforcement and attended lake service provided training.

 

Albert Lea – vacant.

 

Mankato #1 – vacant.

 

District 18 – Rochester area

 

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking anglers on Rochester area reservoirs. Angling was poor. Time was also spent checking a few snowmobilers. Conditions were rough in most places. Coyote hunting success has picked up a little. Hunters are seeing multiple coyotes as the breeding season is underway.

 

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers during the week. Fishing success has been slower and the cold temps didn’t seem to help. Heyn also worked on equipment issues and attended meetings.

 

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports windy cold week put a damper on outside activities. Even the fish take slowed down. He helped with a snowmobile safety class in Houston.

 

CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking some small game hunters and coyote hunting activity. Angling and ATV activity was monitored and a couple sick or injured animal calls were taken.

 

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing and snowmobile enforcement along with attending training at Camp Ripley. Several ongoing investigations were also worked on and a detail was also worked on Red Lake and Lake of the Woods. Enforcement action included take/possession over limits of walleye, fishing with extra lines, unattended lines, take/possess slot limit walleye, unmeasurable fish on the ice, no license, etc.

 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) returned from working the Lake of the Woods area where fishing was found to be poor. He followed up on snowmobile trespass and deer hunting complaints in the Winona area. Hemker also attended training at Camp Ripley.

 

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending time this past week checking anglers and attending a meeting in St. Paul. Time was also spent talking at a firearms safety class in Cannon Falls and attending a local sportsman’s club meeting. Fishing success in the area has been spotty.

 

Rochester #2 – vacant.

 

Training Section

 

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

 

Aviation Section

 

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew wolf and fisher telemetry. Heineman also located two collared den bears. The dens will be visited this winter and bears will be weighted, vitals taken and new replacement batteries for their transmitter.

 

CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) spent most of the week in northern Minnesota and conducted wolf and moose telemetry survey flights. Geving also attended to some maintenance issues and flew training activities with Pilot Jensen.

 

Pilot/CO Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent time supervising major repairs to an aircraft. Vendors were met along with other DNR Enforcement pilots in Grand Rapids. A thorough post maintenance inspection was completed along with a test flight returning the aircraft to service. Lofstuen and the aircraft pre-positioned to Ely for an upcoming moose project.

 

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) flew mainly wolf pack survey flights. Jensen found various sized packs of around four wolves per pack on these flights. Jensen also served as safety pilot on a training flight. Trips to various customers including the wildlife research unit were conducted to see about future projects and the status of current projects.

 

 

Sign up now for a firearms safety hunter education class

Sign up now for a firearms safety hunter education class

Now is the time for people to sign up for a hunter education firearms safety class offered by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

“Volunteer instructors from throughout the state are calling in right now to set up spring classes, so this is the time to get your son or daughter registered before the fall hunting seasons begin,” said Acting Capt. Jon Paurus, DNR hunter education coordinator.

Anyone born after Dec. 31, 1979 must take a DNR safety training course and receive a certificate of completion before purchasing a license for big or small game.

“Every year we have hopeful hunters who wait until the last minute to take a hunter safety class only to find out they have missed their opportunity to do so,” Paurus said. “The fall is when many of our volunteer instructors would like to be enjoying the outdoors as well, which means it can be more difficult to find a class.”

Also, hunters frequently encounter problems when they hunt in states with more stringent hunter education requirements. For example, Colorado requires a hunter education certificate for anyone born after Jan. 1, 1949, and neighboring states such as North Dakota and Iowa have requirements for those born after 1961 and 1967.

For a list of classes or to check requirements from other states, visit the safety/education Web page atwww.dnr.state.mn.us/safety/index.html.

Classes generally fill up quickly but check the listing often as more classes are being added daily. For more information, call 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367.

Women new to archery or bow hunting can learn basics in DNR class

Women new to archery or bow hunting can learn basics in DNR class

Women interested in becoming archers or learning how to bow hunt can sign up for a three-part class series on archery basics, equipment, target shooting and hunting skills in a class series starting Saturday, Feb. 28.

“Women can learn the basics of archery, and those with intermediate archery skills can learn how to bow hunt,” said Linda Bylander, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) outreach program coordinator. “They will learn-by-doing in a supportive atmosphere.”

There are two options for these classes. In a beginner’s series, women new to archery or with limited experience will learn archery basics, equipment and target shooting. And a hunting archery series is designed for women with intermediate archery skills who are interested learning how to bow hunt.

Both classes start Feb. 28 in the Schwan Center at the National Sports Center in Blaine. Subsequent classes will beSunday, March 15, and Saturday, April 18. A bow hunter education certification class is Saturday, March 21.

Safari Club International North Country Bowhunters Chapter and the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program are teaming up to offer the archery series. Women enrolled in the beginners or hunting series are given priority for the mentored archery spring turkey hunt and mentored fall archery deer hunt.

For more information on classes or BOW, see www.mndnr.gov/bow or call DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367 and request a printed copy of the catalog. To register, contact Bylander at linda.bylander@state.mn.us or 218-833-8628.

DNR announces $1.7 million available for new trap shooting grants

Trap-shooting facilities open to the public have until Monday, March 2, to apply for matching grants that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will make available to develop and enhance trap shooting ranges.

“This statewide grant program will provide more opportunities for youth trap shooters, youth trap teams and adult shooters,” said Chuck Niska, DNR shooting range program coordinator. “We’d like to see as many applications submitted as possible.”

A total of $1.7 million is available and will be divided between two grant categories: $700,000 is available for small grants from $2,500 to $25,000; and $1 million is available for grants above $25,000. There is no limit on the request amount for grants larger than $25,000. The grants require a match of 50 percent nonstate funds to be considered.

“We look forward to helping trap clubs and other organizations put these dollars to good use,” Niska said. “Ideally, range work would be completed this spring, leading to more shooting opportunities around the state by next summer.”

Grant application packets for both small and large grants are available at  www.mndnr.gov/grants/recreation . Those selected for funding will be notified in March.

Grant background

The Minnesota Legislature last year authorized funding for matching grants to recreational shooting clubs for developing or rehabilitating trap shooting sports facilities for public use, with an emphasis on enhancing youth participation opportunities.

Nearly $400,000 was awarded to 41 trap shooting facilities last year as part of the small trap range grants program that provided matching grants of up to $25,000.

Development of the grants program follows a significant rise in youth trap shooting, especially by high school students who are part of a statewide league. Existing trap ranges sometimes struggle to meet demand.

“We funded a lot of worthy projects from the first round of grants,” Niska said. “We look forward to high interest in this next round of funding.”