If you love the outdoors, then you’ll like Minnesota Sporting Journal Radio.  Our apologies to Curt Wells from Bowhunter TV, who was supposed to be our guest this week.  We had a great interview recorded with him from our Bowfishing trip in June, but during the editing process this week, our gear experienced a “hiccup” and the audio was sent to the abyss.  We’d like to reschedule that one soon.

Radco 300Instead, we’ll replay our interview with Michael Waddell from Bone Collector.  He stopped by Minnesota Archery in Litchfield last year and we had the chance to talk to him about all sorts of stuff.

We also have Joe Henry, executive director of Lake of the Woods Tourism.  They have an event in Baudette and on the Lake for disabled vets called “Pay It Forward”.  August 21-24, Joe tells us all about it.

Remember this x-ray from last week?

Photo courtesy of Jon

Photo courtesy of Jon

The guy who this happened to was going to tell us the story on this week’s show.   But our computer crashed and lost his interview.  We’ll try to reschedule…instead we’ve got Travis T-Bone Turner from Bone Collector!






Conservative deer season set; hunting licenses go on sale Aug. 1

Hunters can expect a conservative 2014 deer season designed to rebuild deer numbers across much of the state, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.

“Hunters should check the 2014 hunting regulations closely because only one deer can be harvested in 95 percent of the state,” said Leslie McInenly, big game program leader for the DNR. “To shoot a doe, hunters may have to apply for a permit in areas where they haven’t in the past and, in some places, no antlerless harvest will be allowed.”

SD_Hunting_C2_300x250In 69 of Minnesota’s 128 deer permit areas, hunters must be chosen in a lottery to shoot an antlerless deer. Only bucks can be hunted in 14 areas. In 38 areas, hunters have the choice of shooting a doe or a buck. Bonus permits allowing hunters to shoot more than one deer may only be used in seven permit areas and for some special hunts.

“Many hunters voiced concerns about current deer densities and their hunting experiences in recent years. We heard from hunters at the listening sessions we conducted, in the online comments we solicited and by contacting us directly,” McInenly said. “This past winter only added to those concerns so this year’s conservative approach will protect more antlerless deer, reduce the statewide harvest and allow the population to rebound.”

Northeastern Minnesota hunters will feel the greatest impact from a bucks-only season. In bucks-only areas, no antlerless deer may be harvested by any hunter, including those with archery or youth licenses. McInenly said that most of these areas are now below goal and that this year’s conservative approach is consistent with the DNR’s long-term commitment to manage deer populations at established goal levels.

Hunters can enter the lottery for antlerless permits beginning Friday, Aug. 1. The deadline to apply is Thursday, Sept. 4. Hunters may apply using both their firearm and muzzleloader licenses. If hunters are selected for both licenses, they must select the one season in which they want to shoot an antlerless deer.

Deer hunting licenses, lottery applications and special hunt applications are available at any DNR license agent, by telephone at 888-665-4236 or online at Lottery winners will be notified in October.

Permit area breakdown

Bucks-only deer areas in 2014 are deer permit areas 108, 117, 118, 119, 122, 126, 127, 169, 176, 177, 178, 180, 181 and 199.

Lottery deer areas in 2014 are permit areas 101, 103, 105, 110, 111, 152, 155, 156, 159, 171, 172, 173, 179, 183, 184, 197, 203, 208, 213, 229, 234, 237, 238, 242, 246, 247, 250, 251, 252, 253, 258, 259, 260, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271, 272, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277, 278, 279, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 285, 286, 288, 289, 290, 291, 294, 295, 296, 297, 298 and 299.

Hunter choice deer areas in 2014 are permit areas 157, 201, 209, 210, 214, 215, 218, 219, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 227, 230, 232, 233, 235, 236, 239, 240, 241, 248, 249, 254, 255, 256, 257, 292, 293, 338, 339, 341, 342, 344, 345, 347 and 348.

Managed deer areas in 2014 are permit areas 114, 287 and 343.

Intensive deer areas in 2014 are permit areas 182, 346 and 349.

The DNR strongly advises hunters to review new deer hunting regulations, permit area designations and boundary changes before applying. Current and up-to-date information is available online at Information about deer management and upcoming deer population goal setting during the next two years is available

New, Easier Trout Regs in SE Minnesota



DNR simplifies southeastern Minnesota trout regulations

New trout fishing regulations that took effect July 14 expand opportunities for anglers and simplify regulations in southeastern Minnesota, the Department of Natural Resources said.

The regulations extend catch-and-release seasons in eight southeastern Minnesota counties and seven trout streams in Minnesota state parks. Barbless hooks are no longer required. And beginning Jan. 1, 2015, southeast Minnesota streams are open in winter to catch-and-release trout fishing.

SD_Hunting_C2_300x250“The new regulations make trout fishing more accessible and easier to understand,” said Brad Parsons, central region fisheries supervisor. “Anglers will be able to catch-and-release trout for more of the year and in more streams.”

Southeastern Minnesota counties included in the regulations are Dodge, Fillmore, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha and Winona. If anglers plan to fish for trout, they need to check to see if there are any special regulations, including slot limits and required use of artificial lures and flies, for the stream where they plan to fish.

In state parks, the regulations include the following waters: East Beaver Creek in Beaver Creek Valley State Park; Forestville Creek in Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park; Canfield Creek in Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park; South Branch Root River in Forestville/Mystery Cave State Park; Trout Run Creek in Whitewater State Park and Middle Branch Whitewater River in Whitewater State Park.


In southeastern Minnesota, the fall catch-and-release season on trout streams has been extended. The season startsMonday, Sept. 15, following the end of the currently open harvest season and runs through Wednesday, Oct. 15. The harvest season is the period during which anglers may keep trout.

The catch-and-release season in southeast area state parks follows the harvest season and is extended throughWednesday, Dec. 31.


In southeastern Minnesota in 2015, the winter season catch-and-release season begins Thursday, Jan. 1, and extends to the beginning of the harvest season on Saturday, April 18. The harvest season runs through Monday, Sept. 14. The fall catch-and-release season will be from Tuesday, Sept. 15 through Thursday, Oct. 15.

The catch-and-release season in southeastern area state parks runs the whole year, aside from the harvest season, which runs from Saturday, April 18 through Monday, Sept. 14. For more information, see

MNSJ RADIO PODCAST: Steve Pennaz, Mandy Uhrich, Bob Slaybaugh (Camp Confidence) and Terry Strege (Four Points Retriever Club)



WHC-Geese-ducks-fish2“2 anglers-one lake.  No pre fishing allowed, one lure, one structure.  Who comes out on top?”  That’s essentially what Lake Commandos is all about.  The brainchild is Steve Pennaz, longtime North American Fishering Club Executive Director and TV Host.  Steve has a new company and squared off against Mandy Uhrich during a recent taping of Lake Commandos.  Steve called it “the best episode we’ve ever done.”  Find out why as Steve and Mandy square off on this weekend’s show.  Bob Slaybaugh, the director at Camp Confidence gave me a tour of the grounds near Brainerd last week, he’ll explain what all the camp has to offer and who it’s for.  Also, Terry Strege, president of Four Points Retriever Club is back to talk about their Field Test coming up this weekend at the Kelley Farm near Marine on St Croix.


Click here to listen:  

Or download each segment to your mp3 player: SEG 1SEG 2 - SEG 3





District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods, the Roseau River and Hayes Lake. Walleyes tend to be spread out on Lake of the Woods, but are generally in their mid-summer patterns. Fishing on the Roseau River has been very good as of late for pike and catfish. Enforcement contacts for the week included angling with an extra line, no license, operating ATVs on Bemis Hill (closed area), and unregistered ATVs.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports monitoring angler and boating activity on area special regulation lakes throughout the week. Time was sent working with DNR Wildlife staff on numerous reports of injured bald eagles. CO Regas saw a vehicle pulling a boat and as it made a turn a large amount of water spewed from the live well over-flow. When the vehicle stopped Regas addressed the water coming from the boat with the driver of the vehicle. It turned out the live well was full of lake water and contained his walleye catch of the day. The driver had just come from an area lake and wanted to keep his walleye alive until returning home. The AIS violation and transport of live fish were addressed.

WHC-Geese-ducks-fish2District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) monitored angling activity and recreational vehicles in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest. A complaint was received of a deer caught in a fence and coyotes attacking calves.

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports starting field training with a COC. Officers reported checking watercraft operators and anglers during the week. The warm weather brought many people outdoors. Various wildlife related complaints were also received. A cease and desist order was issued for a wetland violation. Violations encountered included no angling licenses, no registration on a canoe, no PFDs, and operate watercraft with person riding on gunwales.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and ATVers.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) started phase one field training with a COC. Time was spent monitoring angling and boating activity on area lakes. Fishermen have reported a slower activity, while more recreational boaters were observed. CO Vollbrecht responded to a complaint of a bear attempting to get into a trailer house and a complaint of a deer living in an individual’s shed. An aquatic plant violation was detected on an area lake while checking fishermen. CO Vollbrecht worked with a neighboring officer on a complaint of double tripping. A follow-up investigation is ongoing. ATV activity was monitored on area trails and forest roads.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports conducting site inspection for retail minnow licenses, patrolling for ATVs /OHMs, checking anglers and conducting boating safety inspections. CO Vinton was asked to inspect some horses that may have been attacked by an animal. The injuries didn’t look consistent with animal attack and the owner said they’d try and locate some trail cameras in an attempt to uncover the source. Enforcement action was taken for unregistered watercraft, no angling license in possession and driving after revocation.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) and a COC checked weed roller permits, anglers and boaters. They spoke to a youth firearms safety class in Wolf Lake about safety, laws and ethics. CO Peterson returned evidence on a cleared case and worked a miscellaneous wildlife complaint.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) checked anglers on area lakes. Boaters were checked for boating safety equipment and aquatic invasive species compliance. CO Warren provided watercraft owners with information regarding draining of water related equipment and removing all aquatic vegetation prior to transport. Areas were patrolled for ATV activity.

Moorhead – vacant.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) gave a laws and ethics presentation to a FAS class in Fergus Falls during the week. Enforcement efforts were related to PWC use, boat safety, fishing, and wetland violations.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) investigated a possible wolf depredation, worked fishing and boating enforcement, handled several injured animal calls, nuisance beaver calls and attended CO Academy graduation.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement activity on fishermen and boaters. Additional time was spent assisting with an ongoing WCA violation in the Fergus Falls station and working on equipment maintenance.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, ATVs and boaters. Reports were completed for an ongoing investigation and commercial audits were conducted. Wind slowed activity on area lakes.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time working fishermen, boaters and PWC operators. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license, illegal drugs and insufficient number of PFDs. Additional time was spent working AIS enforcement.

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued working primarily fishing, boating, and AIS enforcement on and around area waterways. Several anglers found were smoking and/or possessing marijuana. A couple of AIS violations were documented but overall compliance continues to be good. Additional time was spent processing fur from past cases and following up on APM and shoreline complaints. Johanson attended graduation for the new CO recruits.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on AIS, fishing and boat and water safety. Angling activity has slowed but the anglers that are out are finding a few fish biting. Time was spent issuing minnow transportation permits and handling calls regarding firearms safety classes, apprentice hunter certification and boating safety requirements.

Wheaton – vacant.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked anglers, boaters and ATVs. Officer Hunter received a number of nuisance animal complaints and reports of OHM trails washed out in the Paul Bunyan State Forest.

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked boaters and anglers this week and received calls on nuisance bears in the area. Calls and questions have been received and answered regarding the upcoming deer season from people getting prepared.

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport fishing, boating, AIS, and ORV activity. Nothing unusual to report. He received a complaint of high water on an area lake; the caller was referred to the area hydrologist. He assisted Walker PD with a disturbance call. He also received a complaint of a car driving on a non-motorized state trail. The driver of the car was stopped by bicyclists who took a photo of the car including the license number. In talking with the driver of the car, he said he was training for a marathon and he stashed water bottles along the trail and when he was done he would drive down the trail with his car to pick up the discarded bottles.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, boating, and ATV activity. Angling success continues to be slow. CO Broughten continued to field calls of nuisance beaver. CO Broughten also assisted with the kids fishing derby at the Army Corps of Engineer Campground in Federal Dam. Enforcement action included no angling license in possession, no angling license, failure to remove drain plug from watercraft, transport aquatic macrophytes, and expired watercraft registration.

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked boaters, minnow dealers, fishermen and ATVers. Calls were taken on wildlife nuisance complaints on woodchucks and bear in garbage and bird feeders.

CO Colleen Adam (ATV REC) patrolled state forests and OHV trail systems. Registration compliance was good. Water recreation is steadily increasing as the lake levels start to stabilize from high water marks.

WREO Shane Siltala performed a site inspection of an ongoing public water and wetland violation. A Restoration Order will be forthcoming to require the landowner to restore the damage done to the resource. Another wetland file was able to be closed due to satisfactory restoration.

Remer – vacant.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling and boating activities over the week. Fishing success is some of the poorest he has seen in recent years. Outdoor user numbers continue to decline with very little activity noted over the week.

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports a few muskie and bass anglers were observed having some luck catching and releasing fish. Walleye anglers were not doing as well. Very warm weather late last week had the area swimming beaches quite full. Berry picking is in full swing and pickers are reporting a good crop this year.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, ATVs, the state park, a dog chasing deer complaint and trespassing complaints. Various trespass issues kept the officer busy for the week with 16 violations of operating a motor vehicle on a state trail (due to a state highway bridge project that shortcut detours are being taken), “plain old” trespass, and OHV trespass. Simply obeying signs would have saved the officer and the violators a lot of hassle. One of the individuals also provided the officer her sister’s driver’s license as her license was revoked, which added to her three other violations. Enforcement action for the week included angling without a license, allow dog to chase deer, trespass, state trail trespass, OHV trespass, driving after revocation, no insurance, display another’s license, and a number of boating and ATV violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time patrolling area lakes checking anglers and boaters. Walleye have been cooperating with anglers on Lake Vermilion with many nice sized fish being seen and reports of a couple 30+ inch walleye being taken. CO Frericks spoke at a take a kid fishing event hosted by Lake Vermilion guides. Importance on wearing lifejackets was stressed. A boater whom was warned last year to put current registration on their pontoon was seen operating the same watercraft again this year without putting the current registration on. A citation was issued for failure to display current registration.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked boating and fishing activity throughout the week. Some nice crappies are being caught along with walleyes. Violations of no angling license and expired boat registration were found. Officer Fredin received complaints of a beaver dam flooding a road and a complaint of a bear getting into a dumpster. A road killed wolf was picked up.

International Falls # 2 – vacant.

Ray – vacant.

Tower – vacant.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports that he and other local officers focused on canoe patrols within the BWCAW. The focus was specifically boating safety and angling enforcement. Violations included failing to have a legal lifesaving device on board a watercraft, and fail to remove a drain plug on a watercraft.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked fishing and boating enforcement in the BWCAW and Lake Superior. The areas worked were quiet after the July 4th week when a lot of people take their vacations. Fishing was slow, but the mosquitos were a lot more tolerable considering how bad they were a few weeks ago. Remember to have your fishing license in possession.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that the bugs are now finally subsiding with the nicer weather and less rain. Now is the time to get out and make up for the cooler, wet summer we’ve been having. Designated trout lakes have remained relatively empty during the summer, but those who’ve made the effort have had the lakes all to themselves. The small walleye lakes have been producing some nice fish. The CO attended a graduation ceremony for 10 new conservation officers at Camp Ripley.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) participated in a work detail in the BWCA. Several groups checked were surprised to be contacted by Conservation Officers and to hear that we, too, had crossed “that really long portage” to get to their location. The officer patrolled inland lakes and worked Lake Superior with CO Wahlstrom and Lt. Sherack. Bear complaints are becoming more numerous and folks should be sure to clean up and remove all garbage and bird feeders-even during the day. Officer Manning also checked anglers and boaters returning to the US from Canadian fishing trips. A few anglers were educated on personal responsibility related to licenses and possession limits and several boat owners learned about transport laws related to invasive species and boats.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports several boats didn’t have their navigational lights on after sunset, including some teenagers pulling a tuber 30 minutes after sunset. Enforcement action was taken on the operator’s mother. Several boats were also contacted during the week without the required number of wearable life vests. CO Bermel worked a couple ATV and dirt bike complaint areas in Ely and encountered violations such as no MN driver’s license, operation on illegal roadways, unregistered OHM, no safety certificates, and failure to stop at stop sign. Additional enforcement action included fishing without a license and possessing un-measurable fish on a special regulation lake.

CO Dave Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) spent the week getting to know his new station. Lake Superior was worked with neighboring officers for angling and AIS activity. Nice weather over the weekend was offset continued cold water temperatures on the big lake, which caused occasional heavy fog on the lake and along the shoreline.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking anglers and boaters on inland lakes and lake Superior. Wahlstrom worked with the new Silver Bay Officer during the Salmon classic and worked an AIS detail. The officer worked a federal boat and water detail on Lake Superior with Officer Manning and Lt. Sherack.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV and fishing activity during the week. Several calls of an Emu running around the county were reported by area residents as many were surprised to see a large prehistoric looking bird running around. The bird was reportedly captured and returned to the owner. Murray also assisted Two Harbors PD with a burglary where a man broke into a local fitness center and caused damage to the property.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled for illegal ATV activity, and met with the Koochiching County Attorney.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, ATV activity, and patrolled campgrounds and recreation areas. Violations included ATV on roadway, failure to display current ATV registration, nuisance beaver complaints, and he investigated a public waters violation.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity and attended K-9 training. Enforcement action was taken for litter, no lights on trailer and angling license violations.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked and boating activity this past week. She took a complaint of a possible animal attack on a horse but nothing was concluded. Fortunately for the horse, the injuries were very minor. She is still investigating a burning garbage complaint from the McCavity Lake area.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activity with some local lakes still producing fish. Enforcement action was taken for operating an unregistered watercraft and for a group of individuals who had a slot walleye that they insisted was only 17 inches, but the fish measured almost 18 inches on a lake with a 17-26 inch protected slot. CO Sutherland also attended an ATV safety class where a law talk was given to youth from around the state.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs, state parks and campgrounds. He also worked on equipment related issues during the week.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled for ATV activity, and worked AIS regulations. Enforcement action was taken for operating ATV without safety certificate, no fire extinguisher and for not having fishing license in possession.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked invasive species, angling, boating, ATVing, wetland and training activities. CO Arhart also issued a Wetland Conservation Act restoration order for a St. Louis County wetland impact and completed a frog/toad survey for Water-Ecological Resources. Angler success was spotty. Enforcement action was taken for angling license violations. The wild rice crop looks poor in most beds and water levels continue to be high on many area lakes.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on wolf depredation and general complaints. Area lakes and rivers were worked for angling activity and watercraft equipment. ATV complaint areas and trails were also worked. The officer assisted with an aquatic invasive species information booth at Lake Superior Days and equipment maintenance was handled.

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) spent two days working an invasive species education booth at a popular tourist destination in Duluth. Hundreds of educational contacts were had explaining the rules in place designed to slow the spread of them and explaining the impact these critters have on MN resources. A person was refused launching of a watercraft when he did not allow inspectors to check his boat. Time was also spent following up with an old unfinished case that involved illegal cutting of tree tops. After meeting with the local prosecutor citations were issued to the parties involved.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) while with a COC, worked fishing and watercraft enforcement on area lakes along with time spent on Lake Superior. Time was spent investigating an illegal burn along with some follow-up contact with the subject. Time was also spent doing ATV, PWC, and AIS enforcement. They also worked area lakes checking for watercraft navigational light compliance after dark. Many license checks were completed on shoreline anglers.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling/boating, invasive species, and OHV enforcement. CO Humphrey patrolled in the Fond du Lac state forest for unlawful OHV activity. CO Humphrey continued aquatic invasive education and compliance checks. CO Humphrey received livestock depredation and nuisance wolf complaints. Questions about upcoming bear and deer seasons were received. Boating and OHV violations were encountered. A warrant arrest was made after an ATV traffic stop.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a meeting on the K9 program and conducted K9 training in the metro area. A class on off-highway vehicle laws was put on in Carlton for local law enforcement officers. Invasive species laws were worked in the area with fairly good compliance found. Enforcement action was taken for transporting watercraft with plug in and transporting aquatic macrophytes. OHV activity was worked in the Moose Lake area with enforcement action taken for numerous violations including registration, equipment, no safety cert, and failing to stop for stop sign violations. Assistance was given to Cloquet PD in locating a suicidal person that left into a wooded area. He was found unharmed and taken in to get help. A K9 assist was given to FDL PD in searching for evidence after a high speed chase and flee on foot case. Other activity included fishing license violations.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers on Superior who were enjoying the fine summer weather. Cold water temps have still delayed a steady bite, but decent numbers of lake trout and king salmon are starting to show up on the lower shore. An ATV law familiarization talk was given to a local sheriff’s office. Surveillance of problem ATV areas revealed violations of allowing illegal juvenile operation, no ATV safety training, and operating an ATV in unfrozen public waters. One violator, upon seeing the officer and his recording device, exclaimed, “Aww, even on camera.” Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, recreational vehicle users, and on AIS compliance. He also attended a meeting, worked on a report, and took a nuisance bear complaint. Enforcement action was taken for AIS, and fishing violations

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) received complaints of horses illegally using the Paul Bunyan Trail north of Merrifield. Officer Guida worked boat and watercraft enforcement with most boaters in compliance of US Coast Guard Regulations. Some PWCs were operating during illegal hours (after one hour before sunset) and were issued citations. Officer Guida assisted the district and worked with a neighboring Officer as part of the Lower Hay Lake fireworks detail.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Crow Wing and Cass counties for angling activity. Numerous anglers were observed out angling and reported fair fishing success. CO McGowan also spent time patrolling for AIS violations.

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked boats at area accesses for invasive species, and checked boater and anglers. Beaver permits were issued for flooding problems, complaints for commercial minnow trapping issues were investigated, and the officer followed up on progress of court cases going through the system.

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week who were reporting a so-so bite on area lakes for both walleye and pan fish. Officer Lee received calls this past regarding beaver issues arising from damaging to destroying large sections of trees. Officer Lee followed up on an AIS complaint that Officer Lee received from a Lake Access Inspector. The party was issued a citation for transporting Aquatic Macrophytes.

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The anglers are out and the walleye bite continues to be slow. The pan fish have been most cooperative fish to bite. Violations he observed were transport live fish and no license. He worked on aquatic invasive species prevention on Gull Lake plugs in boats, water in live wells and aquatic vegetation on trailers were found. He worked on a report of loud music from campers in the Pillsbury Forest; the music was found and problem was corrected. He assisted Cass County with no boat light after sunset complaints on Gull Lake. He worked on Lake Superior with the Marine Unit checking sport fishermen and commercial fishermen. Violations included no trout stamp, extra lines, and expired registration.

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports spending time in the BWCA on a work detail. Officers encountered several outdoors enthusiasts enjoying the great outdoors.  CO Peterson also followed up a few cases of ATV trespass in Wildlife Management Areas in her station.

CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored AIS compliance, angling, boating safety and trail use and construction site security in the Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area and Brainerd area lakes. He responded to a personal injury mountain bike accident in the rec area, assisting a rider with a broken arm. He also completed required safety training.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked activity on local lakes where fishing success was better than usual for this time of year. Frequent boating violations were observed including lack of PFDs and PWC operation outside legal hours. Paddle board operators are reminded that a life jacket and registration are required to operate them on public waters. ATV traffic was also monitored and local trails have started to dry out.

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) attended a work detail on Lake Superior; it was cold despite it being July. Several people checked had some luck catching trout and salmon. Angling on Mille Lacs continued to be sluggish but some anglers were getting into some walleye and smallmouth. Numerous violations were encountered related to ATVing in wetlands. ATV operators are reminded to check regulations or contact a Conservation Officer if unaware of all regulations prior to operating ATVs. Enforcement action was taken for operating recreational vehicles in a wetland, failing to display ATV registration and failing to renew ATV registration.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports starting Step 1 Field Training with a COC. Officers patrolled area lakes for fishermen and boating activity. Aquatic Invasive Species enforcement was also done around the Mille Lacs Lake area. Please remember to pull your drain plug out and leave it out while traveling down the road, remove all vegetation and drain all water from the watercraft. ATV activity was monitored throughout the Malmo station. Calls of an injured eagle and also a nuisance raccoon were fielded during the week. Nuisance beaver permits were issued, and lots of law related questions were answered throughout the week and weekend. Enforcement action for the week included various fishing and boating violations.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) assisted with helping a canoer in distress while working a BWCA detail. The canoer was a novice and had been pushed out into a lake by the wind. Other contacts made while working in the BWCA included possessing glass bottles and too many canoers in a group. Speldrich handled nuisance bear complaints, worked ATV enforcement and AIS enforcement.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) and a COC spent much of the week checking anglers and boating activity. Anglers were found fishing without a license and several jet ski violations were dealt with. Time was also spent on Lake Superior where trout and salmon fishing was slow but many anglers did have success catching a few fish. Some local lakes have been producing a few crappies and bass. A firearms safety class was held for about 30 young hunters.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) took calls during the week regarding nuisance animals, ATV complaints, and questions about burning and target shooting. He spent time monitoring ATV and OHM activity in local State Forests. He checked anglers and boaters in the Pine City area, and assisted the Sheriff’s Department with an injured person who tumbled down an embankment. Enforcement contacts included illegal juvenile ATV operation, lack of helmets, and no licenses in possession.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) handled a beaver complaint. Beavers made several dams that backed water over a minimum maintenance road. Two separate parties reported seeing a cougar near their residence, and information was given to the land owner on dealing cougars. Advice was given to a resident regarding a highly intelligent woodchuck that is able to release himself form live traps and continue to eat their garden.

WREO Rob Haberman worked on open cases in his assigned area. WREO Haberman also worked on AIS enforcement through the area. WREO Haberman also educated some youth OHM riders about where and when they can ride their OHMs. WREO Haberman assisted fellow COs with the Lower Hay Lakes fireworks detail over the weekend.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) checked anglers, watercraft operators, and AIS compliance. Areas were patrolled for ATV and other OHV activity. A site visit, with local government, was conducted on an open wetland restoration order.

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) worked BWCAW enforcement with violations of groups bringing cans and glass bottles into the BWCA found. As CO Kuske was on her way paddling out of the BWCA, she and two other officers came across a woman who had taken the canoe out by herself to paddle around in a bay when a strong wind had come up and carried her to the other end of the lake. CO Kuske was able to get into her canoe and paddled her back to her cabin. A group of three teenage boys were fishing at an area river with one having a license, one forgot their license at home and one was fishing without any valid license. CO Kuske asked if between the three if they had $5.00 to buy a youth fishing license. Between the three they had $3.00 so CO Kuske chipped in the rest and had the youth go buy one. Three dogs in the Upsala area were seen killing a fawn but it is unknown who the white lab, yellow lab and large brown dog belong to that killed the deer. If anyone has information on these three dogs running near 50th St. and County Road 15 please contact CO Kuske at 320-745-2046.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) assisted a neighboring officer for extra boat patrol at a fireworks display on Lower Hay Lake. Warm weekend weather had many boaters out despite the windy conditions. Injured animal calls were handled. Wetland and shoreline violations were dealt with. Enforcement action for the week included no angling license, no PFD, operate jet ski after legal hours, boat light violations and pull cattails out of the lake.

WREO Keith Bertram spent much of the week following up on wetland violations and serving wetland restoration orders. A TIP call was also handled where a subject dumped whole sunfish that he caught down a city storm sewer. Enforcement action was taken for wanton waste and litter. Other violations that were discovered included insufficient boating safety equipment, AIS violations, and no angling license.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked area lakes. The officer fielded calls concerning beavers doing damage and injured wildlife.

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) station checked anglers this past week. CO Mies gave a law talk at the Kimball firearms safety class. CO Mies also worked on complaints and equipment.

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) reports that wolf depredation is still an issue for several cattle ranchers in the area. Control trapping continues and is starting to make headway with the removal of problem animals. A report was received of potential illegal work being done in a lake bed, the site was visited and the boat ramp that was being installed met DNR requirements. While patrolling the Mississippi River CO Kuske saw a person standing in a row boat, fly fishing as he floated down the river. When asked where his PFD is the man replied “Oh, I never bring one of those when I use this boat.” In an attempt to persuade the officer from writing a ticket the man mentioned several times that he is a member of a prominent fishing organization. It didn’t work; he received a citation for no PFD aboard a watercraft. An escaped game farm elk was once again sighted in the Buckman area and DNR officials continue attempts to dispose of the animal.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) checked anglers/boaters, worked AIS enforcement at public accesses, and followed up on wetland complaints. Officer Londgren also assisted local law enforcement with a DUI arrest.

CO Mitch Sladek (Big lake) worked fishermen on area lakes and river. He followed up on a number of nuisance animal complaints. He worked AIS detail at a number of lake accesses. He made contact with a number of boaters doing a great job of checking trailers for weeds draining all water and transporting boats without  plugs in the boat. He handed out a number of DQ Panda awards to young children for wearing the appropriate life jackets while in the boat.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) started Field Training process with a COC. Anglers were checked on area lakes with very slow bite in the area. Some boating activity was observed as water levels on area lakes has started to drop, but several lakes still have no wake restrictions in place. Enforcement action was taken for several watercraft operation laws, ATV illegal operation and minor consumption of alcohol.

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

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) assisted at Camp Ripley with administering the Conservation Officer Perpetration testing. Time was spent working Aquatic Invasive Species at local accesses. Fishing success appears to be average with Pan-fish comprising most of the catch.

CO Travis Muyres (Ham Lake) worked AIS enforcement in Isanti and Chisago counties. En Enforcement action was taken for failing to remove plug and transporting water. CO Muyres also took a nuisance beaver complaint.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked security at the St. Croix River bridge project. Several fawn deer calls were responded to. A CO Prep candidate was given a ride along for a day. Anglers were checked on area lakes and rivers for fish limits, boating safety equipment and illegal transportation of invasive species.

CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for boating and fishing activity. CO Salzer also worked invasive species at area boat launches. Salzer also assisted with a firearms safety class.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week following up with complaints and checking anglers. CO Grewe provided a ride along to an individual interested in being a CO, did access enforcement and did bike patrol with a local agency.  Violations included no fishing license.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) checked shore fishermen and worked AIS in Scott County area lakes. He worked boaters in Spring Lake with CO Pril and responded to TIP call in Scott County. Violation found were no fishing license in possession, fishing with extra lines, and fishing without a fishing license.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers and boaters in the district. He took phone calls for game and fishing law violations. He gave a presentation about Conservation Officer’s job to a youth group in Eden Prairie. He worked a St. Croix Bridge detail with CO Walter.

Bloomington – vacant.

Mound – vacant.

Prior Lake – vacant.

District 14 – East Metro area

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working AIS activity. Violations observed include failure to remove drain plug and transport water in watercraft. A site visit was also completed on a wetland impact in Anoka County.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time patrolling the St. Croix River and area lakes for fishing and boating activity. CO Arntzen spoke to a group of kids about being a Conservation Officer and gave awards to firearms safety instructors. CO Arntzen also investigated a wetland violation and issued a Cease and Desist Order.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked anglers around the metro lakes and rivers throughout the week and worked boating enforcement with Conservation Officer Arntzen on the St. Croix River for the Log Jam day event. CO Pril also spoke to a group of kids at the Baldwin Conservancy in Afton about Conservation Officer’s duties and responsibilities. Violations included no fishing license, fishing with extra lines, no watercraft registration, and no type IV life saving device on board watercraft.

CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he checked anglers and boaters. He also conducted AIS checks. CO Johnson received a report of a Black Bear in Bethel eating food put out for deer and birds. He also responded to report of an injured Bald Eagle in Stillwater.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) set up future firearms safety classes and did equipment maintenance. She worked fishing and boating enforcement on area lakes and AIS enforcement at local accesses. CO Kruse is working on a shoreline violation in Anoka County, handled nuisance or injured animal calls and worked on a report.

Eagan – vacant.

Hastings – vacant.

Maplewood – vacant.

Metro Officer – vacant.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) advises that fishing, boating, AIS, and ATV activity continue to be the main enforcement focuses. He patrolled Camden and Upper Sioux Agency state parks as they are busy with campers and other visitors. Assistance was given to DNR Wildlife with WMA issues.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked anglers and boaters during the week. A Firearms Safety class was taught in Graceville. Questions regarding upcoming hunting seasons are becoming more frequent.

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) presented a youth ATV Class in Clarkfield with the assistance of Yellow Medicine County and the Clarkfield Police Department. Enforcement action was taken for unsafe boating practices on area lakes.

CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) spent the week checking area anglers and boaters. Time was also spent at public accesses enforcing AIS laws. The bite on area lakes continues to be slow.

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) assisted the Yellow Medicine Sheriff’s Office and Upper Sioux Police Department in teaching an ATV safety class in Clarkfield. He also patrolled area lakes and rivers for fishing, boating, and AIS inspections.

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) reports a follow-up was completed on a wetland violation in Redwood County and a PW violation in Murray County. Cease and Desist Orders were issued in Renville County for a WCA violation.

Benson – vacant.

Madison – vacant.

Redwood Falls – vacant.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked boaters, PWC operators, and angling activity. He monitored ATV activity and addressed underage consumption violations. Denz also checked watercraft for compliance with AIS laws.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) assisted the McLeod County Sheriff’s Office with a search of an area and lake after what appeared to be a “human” hand was found in a glove. The hand was later determined to be a bear paw. She dealt with an injured fawn during the week. Mueller also took a report dock section that was floating in the middle of a lake.

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports investigating a potential cougar sighting in New Auburn. Oberg also took calls relating to the upcoming waterfowl season as well as injured animal concerns. Time was also spent checking anglers, boaters and recreational vehicle operators.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) assisted the Sheriff’s Office on a welfare check. He also spent time on angling and invasive species enforcement. Fishing activity was slow but anglers are still having luck with catfish and bullhead bites.

CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week on sport fishing and AIS enforcement. The Wall of Shame TIP Trailer was provided for the Watonwan County Fair and staffed by Officers Beckmann and Schettler.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked a cooperative enforcement effort on Round Lake during the “Horned Trout” contest. Gruhlke and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office worked boat and water safety and angling enforcement.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked boating and fishing enforcement. Reports of over-limits were investigated. Assistance was given to local law enforcement agencies for narcotic violations. Questions were fielded at a county fair.

Litchfield – vacant.

Willmar #1 – vacant.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers, boaters, and ATVs. Time was spent monitoring public access sites for invasive species violations. The officer also worked the DNR conservation booth at the Rice County Fair.

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked ATV, angling and boating activity on area waters this past week. Water rescue training was attended. Questions regarding the upcoming hunting seasons are starting to surface.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, AIS, ATV, and boat & water activity during the past week. Assistance was given to an injured bicyclist. Several nuisance animal calls were returned.

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working angling, and recreational vehicle activity. An injured red-tailed hawk was retrieved and turned over to the Raptor Center. Road killed deer possession and nuisance beaver permits were issued. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.

WREO Julie Siems (SE) worked AIS enforcement and conducted a K9 demo.

Albert Lea – vacant.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week checking anglers and wrapping up a deer case from last fall. Anglers were doing well on the river and Lake Pepin. Time was also spent attending some training in St. Paul and checking boating activity. Some fishing and boating violations were detected.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working ATV grant and aid trails and ATV complaint areas. Compliance was good. Time was also spent checking anglers on area trout streams. Most streams are now fishable and angling has been good. Nuisance animal complaints have been coming in, especially raccoon calls.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and boaters during the week. Fishing success is better with the river getting closer to normal levels. Heyn also handled various calls from wetland complaints, snakes, and AIS.

CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking anglers and boaters. Field training started with a COC. Contacts were made for no angling license, expired registration, and no PFD onboard a watercraft. A rattlesnake call was taken and the COC got to handle their first snake call. Turns out it was a fox snake in need of help getting freed from landscape netting.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) is working with a COC. They spent the week on the river checking AIS, boating, and fishing along with ATVs. They received a couple rattle snake calls and found a group with several illegal turtles. They also attended a firearms safety class and a field day. They checked a person during a heavy mayfly hatch that asked about all the butterflies.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports beginning field training of a COC. Officers worked anglers and boaters on the Mississippi River. Officers saw some success with walleye and bass. They also worked an AIS detail at boat landings of the Mississippi, and Lake Zumbro. Enforcement action was taken for violations including, undersized fish, no angling license, failure to remove boat plug and insufficient PFDs.

Rochester #2 – vacant.

Training Section

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

Aviation Section

CO Pilot Bob Geving flew forestry sketch mapping surveys during the week. He also worked on instrument procedures training.

CO/Pilot Chris Lofstuen attended a Fixed-Wing Operator Course, as well as the Airborne Law Enforcement Association Convention.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen reports completing a creel survey count over Lake Vermilion and a marten telemetry flight over NE MN. Jensen spent time in the western portions of the metro area looking for WCA and APM violations and checking anglers from the plane while showing a software consultant portions of the Aviation Section daily work. The consultant is hired by the division to research new reporting systems. Jensen had an annual inspection performed on the aircraft this week and some maintenance performed on his squad.

NR Pilot john Heineman (Bemidji) flew multiple Leech Lake creel surveys.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO reports are now placed within district reports.

Enforcement Education





DNR seeking information from Red River basin anglers on lake sturgeon

Anglers who catch a lake sturgeon in the Red River or its tributary streams and lakes are encouraged to send information about the catch to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

While it is not legal to fish for lake sturgeon in the Red River basin, anglers may unintentionally catch sturgeon while targeting other species such as catfish.

“Little is known regarding the movements and distribution of Lake Sturgeon in the Red River and its tributaries,” said Jamison Wendel, Red River fisheries specialist. “Angler catch reports provide important information regarding fish distribution throughout the basin.”

Radco 300If an angler catches a sturgeon in the Red River or west-central Minnesota lakes and rivers, they should report it to the DNR fisheries office in Detroit Lakes at or call 218-846-8340. Anglers should report:

  • Date of capture.
  • Rough estimate of the length of the fish.
  • General location of capture (name of stream and nearest city, road crossing, or landing).
  • Tag number (if the fish has a tag).

Lake sturgeon restoration efforts are focused on stocking and habitat improvement. With careful management, DNR fisheries biologists hope to see the Red River sturgeon population grow and produce bigger fish.

For lake sturgeon fishing regulations see or the printed regulations guide. For general information on lake sturgeon, visit

Baudette Man Pleads Guilt to Illegal Hunting Charges






Minnesota man pleads guilty to numerous illegal hunting charges

A Baudette, Minnesota man faces heavy fines, jail time and revocation of his hunting privileges following an investigation for illegal bear and deer activities by the Department of Natural Resources.

Keith R. Slick, 33, was sentenced July 9 in Lake of the Woods County Court on numerous counts including felony fleeing in a motor vehicle, gross misdemeanor second degree DWI, gross misdemeanor transporting a big game animal, lending/borrowing a bear license, two counts of taking/possessing an over-limit of bear and one count of failing to register a bear.

Sentencing included 90 days in jail, 30 days electronic home monitoring and 120 hours of community service.

WHC-Geese-ducks-fish2Fine and restitution for the violations totaled $2,090. The court reported that $11,000 in fines and fees and a one year jail sentence were stayed pending successful completion of probation. Conditions of probation include no firearms possession or drinking for three years.

Slick’s hunting privileges have also been revoked for three years. Big game violations normally carry a three-year revocation; but given the severity and magnitude of the crimes Slick’s big game, small game, and trapping privileges were revoked.

A forfeited rifle and bow used in the commission of the crimes will be sold at a state auction later this year.

State conservation officer Robert Gorecki who investigated the case hopes the fines, jail time, and revocation of hunting privileges serve as a deterrent for others.

Anyone witnessing a fish or wildlife violation is encouraged to contact the 24-hour, toll-free Turn In Poachers (TIP) hotline at 800-652-9093. Cell phone users can dial #TIP.

Here was the story from November. 




Question of the week

Q: How old do muskie get, and how long does it take to grow a 50 incher?

A:  The oldest muskellunge I have aged was 22 years, and muskellunge in Canadian waters have been aged up to 30 years old.

In both cases, ages were assessed using the cleithrum, a calcified structure that requires lethal sampling and is collected from harvested fish anglers bring into taxidermy shops.

Traditional aging methods used scales because they were easy to sample and fish didn’t have to be sacrificed. Various studies have since found the scale aging method underestimates age, particularly for larger fish.

Growth and ultimate size can vary among bodies of water, depending on factors such as lake productivity, forage and genetics. Depending on the body of water, muskellunge in Minnesota could take 13 to 21 years to reach 50 inches.

Jerry Younk, DNR fisheries research biologist


If you have a question to ask, send it to us here:


Radco_468x60(2)by Bret Amundson



You won’t find a nicer group of people willing you to help you out on a moments notice. We had a group of campers next to us from the Iron Range who would not stop helping us out! We had a pretty good injury take place at our site (it ended up requiring four stitches and leaving some pretty good bruising) and the EMTs in the group were over with ice packs and a splint and had it wrapped before we knew what was going on.

Our trailer lights weren’t working right and the electrician in the group had it rewired in less time than it takes to finish a 12 oz beverage.

I had invited them to sit around our campfire one night and they went and got their own firewood.

Moondance Jam = Good People.

Minnesota Nice is always on display

Minnesota Nice is always on display



You also will find a variety of people dressed up in all sorts of outfits.  From 80’s gear (for the Hairball show) to random costumes at different themed campsites.   You might also find a stormtrooper.

These are not the beers you are looking for.

These are not the beers you are looking for.



You might also find a stormtrooper selling donuts.

71914 - stormtroopers


You may not have a better opportunity to show off your backyard skills than in the various campsite sporting events.  Bags are literally thrown at every 5th site.  Frisbees are aimed at cups resting on top of poles.  Ladder toss, beer pong and more can be found just about anywhere you look.

Your trophy?  You might already be carrying it.

Your trophy? You might already be carrying it.


It’s like a big ol’ family reunion.   After going for nearly 10 years, you start to recognize the people there.  If you find a good site, you stick with it and you get to know the people camping next to you.  You become friends.  You hang out in real life (if you live close enough) and you get together to celebrate being halfway to next year’s Moondance Jam.

Don't trip.

These guys are REALLY close.



I’ve been to other festivals around Minnesota and the neighboring states and none of them compare to Moondance in terms of how well people get along, how clean they keep it and how professional the staff is. It’s well-run and the attendees all seem to get along with each other. You will always run into a few bad apples everywhere you go, but while you feel the need to HAVE to excuse yourself to VIP at other festivals, you can come and go and stay whereever at Moondance without any worries.  The reserved campsites sell out quickly and have a noise curfew to allow for some time to rest before getting up and going at it all again the next day.  It seems like the people that go to Moondance just know how to have a good time without ruining it for everyone else.


Halestorm from the 2013 Jam.

Halestorm from the 2013 Jam.

4)  THE BANDS!  

I haven’t even gotten to the bands yet!  Sublime played this year and while not everyone will be familiar with them, they have been around for a lot of years.  Sort of. (Here’s more about them via Wikipedia)  Their lead singer Bradley Nowell, passed away back in 1996.  Just before the release of their breakthrough album.  Their music lived on and they have since regrouped with original bass player Eric Wilson, along with a new lead singer named “Rome” and toured northern Minnesota for the first time that I can remember.  Sublime was a band that I listened to a lot 20 years ago and finally had the chance to see.  Moondance has done that a lot for me.

Sublime with Rome

Sublime with Rome



You can camp in an Ice Castle and you won’t be the only one.   For the second year in a row now, I’ve camped in an Ice Castle (check out their new manufacturing plant in Pine River called Northern Sales and Manufacturing, between Walker and Brainerd on 371).  The model I had slept 5, offered plenty of storage,  easy set up and, most importantly, air conditioning.  My days of tent camping at festivals were short-lived.  I prefer climate control and security and an Ice Castle provides that.

72114 - ice castle

Even had plenty of room for the new “HOPPER” from Yeti. It’s coming in October! A new durable, portable cooler that’s tough as nails.

72114 - ice castle-7 72114 - ice castle-6 72114 - ice castle-5 72114 - ice castle-2 72114 - ice castle-4



Every year something happens on stage that surprises me.  A few years back Heart blew me away.  Big Head Todd in the Monsters put on a great show.  Halestorm was unbelievable.  Sammy Hagar and Slash will go down as some of the best shows I’ve ever seen.  Seether was great this year and when they played “Heart Shaped Box” from Nirvana, it seemed like they were channeling Kurt Cobain.  Don Felder from the Eagles played this year and while I respected what he’s done, I wouldn’t have been upset if I would have missed his show (with as many bands that play at Moondance, you just can’t see them all).  We caught the show and happened to see him play Hotel California!  Plus he brought out his tour mates from Styx and Foreigner to join him.  Watching him and Tommy Shaw trade off on the solos was one of those moments I’ll remember for a long time.

Don Felder and Tommy Shaw jam Hotel California

Don Felder and Tommy Shaw jam Hotel California



Let’s not forget that Moondance Jam is almost surrounded by Leech Lake.  You want to fish one of the best lakes in Minnesota?  It’s just a couple minutes away from the Jam.

Jason Freed with a Leech Lake walleye.

Jason Freed with a Leech Lake walleye.


Next year should be bigger and better.  To find out more about Moondance Jam visit




Commercial fishermen under contract by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources netted two adult invasive carp in Pool 2 of the Mississippi River in the Cottage Grove area on Thursday, July 17.

One was a bighead carp that weighed approximately 40 pounds. The other was a silver carp – silver carp are the ones that leap from the water when disturbed – that weighed about 20 pounds.

Pool 2 is the portion of the Mississippi River above the dam at Hastings and extends upstream to the Ford Dam. Backwater lakes included are Baldwin Lake, River Lake, Spring Lake, Mooers Lake and Grey Cloud Slough.

SD_Hunting_C2_300x250Bighead and silver carp had not been found this far north in the Mississippi River. Until now, bighead carp had not been detected above the mouth of the St. Croix River near Prescott, Wis.; silver carp had not been detected above Pool 5A near Winona.

“The fish were caught as part of our invasive carp detection program,” said Brad Parsons, DNR regional fisheries manager. “This is disappointing but not entirely unexpected.” Parsons said while it’s unknown how long these fish were in Pool 2 it is known that invasive carp migrate upstream during high water conditions. “Such conditions existed for many weeks this year,” he said.

Parsons said the discovery of these fish does not necessarily mean a breeding population of invasive carp exists within Pool 2. Still, he said both fish were females that contained eggs. “That’s concerning,” he said. “Invasive carp pose a threat to our native fisheries, water recreation and ecosystems.”

The DNR will continue its invasive carp sampling efforts next week in an effort to determine if more or smaller invasive carp are in the Grey Cloud Slough area. They will do this by setting additional gill nets and trap nets that are designed to catch smaller fish. The sampling nets used by commercial fisherman catch larger fish.

The DNR has been intensively sampling the Minnesota, St. Croix and Mississippi rivers for more than two years to assess the presence of all life stages of invasive carp. It is increasing sampling efforts in extreme southern Minnesota later this year (Pools 6 and 8).

Silver and bighead carp are two of four species of invasive carp threatening the Mississippi River and other native ecosystems. They can grow to 60 pounds, and they impact the base of the food chain by consuming large amounts of plankton that native fish also rely on.

Populations of bighead and silver carp are established in the Mississippi River and its tributaries downstream of Pool 16 in Iowa. Bighead carp have been found in Lake Pepin and the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers, and as far north as the mouth of the St. Croix in Prescott, Wis. But there is no indication bighead or silver carp are reproducing in the Minnesota waters of the Mississippi or St. Croix rivers.

The DNR continues to take a multi-pronged approach to managing Asian carp including:


  • Monitoring for invasive carp by using targeted surveying and contracted commercial fishing.
  • Partnering with the University of Minnesota’s Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, which is researching ways to prevent the spread and to manage populations of invasive carp.
  • Improvements to the Coon Rapids Dam to make it a better fish barrier.

This discovery of invasive carp highlights the importance of recently passed federal legislation that will close the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock by June 2015.

The agency maintains that this is the best approach to keeping invasive carp out of the upper Mississippi River watershed. Gov. Mark Dayton has been a strong supporter of closing the lock.

For more information on invasive carp in Minnesota, visit