Game and Fish Violations – Weekly CO Report

SD_Hunting_C2_468x60District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers in the Warroad, Rocky Point, Long Point, and Buffalo Point areas of Lake of the Woods. Walleye angling has been fair to slow, but with many 21 to 26 inch fish being reported. Enforcement action was taken for several illegal length fish.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued to monitor area fishing and boating activity seeing walleye success slow as the season progresses. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department was assisted with ongoing investigations. A possible over limit of walleye TIP complaint was investigated and training on wetland laws was attended. Enforcement action for the week included ATV operation, registration violations and multiple angles without valid license violations.

SD_Hunting_C2_300x250CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored angling activity, boating, and AIS compliance on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes. Time was spent working with area cattlemen who reported wolves stalking livestock and reports of an injured swan and nuisance beaver were handled. Assistance was given to the sheriff’s office attempting to locate a suspicious vehicle and possible burglary suspect. CO Regas taught an ATV Safety Class in Blackduck and ATV, OHM and OHV activity was monitored on area trails. CO Regas assisted Blackduck Forestry on investigation of a couple of wildfires with enforcement action taken for burning without a permit.

CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing, ATV, and boating activity throughout the week. Anglers continue to report good fishing, but it has slowed as water temperatures increased greatly during the warm week. ATV activity has increased and several nuisance beaver complaints were handled. Enforcement action was taken during the week included fishing, boating, and ATV violations.

 

Baudette -vacant.

 

Blackduck #2 – vacant.

 

Karlstad – vacant.

 

Warroad #1 – vacant.

 

Warroad #2 – vacant.

 

District 2 – Bemidji area

 

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports speaking at a firearms safety class at the Crookston Gun Club. Time was further spent investigating complaints regarding illegal draining/filling of wetlands. Anglers and watercraft operators were also checked. Several fish over-limit cases were encountered.

 

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) monitored angling and boating activities. He assisted other agencies and took several calls about wildlife problems/concerns.

 

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers, minnow/leech trappers and a few ATVs.

 

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked anglers on area lakes throughout the week. Time was spent checking boaters for safety equipment and compliance with AIS regulations. Follow up interviews stemming from a taxidermy inspection were conducted during the week. Officer Vollbrecht patrolled area trails and roads for ATV and OHM activity.

 

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) monitored area angling, boating and ATV activity. The officer also spent time working AIS and following up on an ongoing investigation. Complaints about nuisance geese were taken. Enforcement activity for the week included state park violations and boat and water safety violations.

 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting the CO Academy with teaching Emergency Vehicle Operation (EVOC) and radar. TIPs of dumping of fish and possible over limits were investigated.

 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked anglers, boaters and assisted a CO in removing a navigational hazard. CO Peterson also worked ATV enforcement and assisted in attempting to locate a theft suspect in the Paul Bunyan State Forest.

 

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports fishing activity slowed with the wet weather conditions. Time was spent checking fishermen, working fishing and ATV complaints, following up on leech trapping trespass complaints and working AIS.

 

WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week checking AIS compliance. Time was spent checking fishermen and boaters. WCA complaints were investigated and a PCA complaint forwarded to the appropriate offices and staff. Paperwork was filed on WCA and public waters cases.

 

Moorhead – vacant.

 

Detroit Lakes – vacant.

 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

 

 

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports spring fishing tactics will quickly turn to early summer with rapidly increasing water temperatures. Over limit complaints were received and investigated. Richards assisted CO Plautz with an ATV safety class in Battle Lake. A shoreline development was visited with potential charges pending.

 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) held an ATV safety training class certifying 12 students. Plautz checked several fishermen and boaters through the week and continues to work on numerous fishing complaints. An earth dam has broken loose dropping water on a private lake several feet causing concern with landowners. A report of a bald eagle hit on a highway was handled.

 

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused activity on fishing, boating and AIS enforcement.  The vacant Wheaton station was worked and several questions regarding water transportation continue to be received. Complaints were handled regarding litter, burning and public access issues.

 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) worked fishermen, AIS enforcement and ATVs. Osborne investigated complaints of fish over limits, night bow fishermen, and a deer carcass at a public access. Littering complaint areas were investigated and equipment maintenance was performed.

 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports heavy boating and fishing activity as water temps are getting closer to summer norms. Several calls for service were investigated including a possible overlimit of walleye, double tripping, angling without a license and ducks being trapped in a sewer drain. Another call resulted in enforcement action after a citizen observed an employee of a local golf course chase, run over, and kill three goose goslings with a lawnmower while mowing the fairway. The suspect was located, interviewed, and cited for the violation. He was advised to coexist with them as they are abundant on every course in the county and his actions were illegal. Additionally, CO Lawler spoke to a class at Jefferson High School about natural resource enforcement.

 

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work primarily fishing, boating, and AIS activity on and around area waterways. Several fishing related complaints were received and investigated. One man was found fishing without a license. The man said he tried to buy a license but was unable to because he has not paid a fine from a previous fishing without a license citation. The man went fishing anyways and received more citations. Additional time was spent working ATV and fire enforcement, and attending a Division meeting in St Cloud.

 

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on boating, fishing and AIS enforcement. The officer handled a situation where a person had a burning permit, but was burning prohibited materials. The officer pointed out on the individual’s permit it says burning those materials is prohibited. Complaints of individuals shooting from motor vehicles are being investigated as well as a TIP call on a possible fish overlimit on Lake Traverse. Minnow transportation permits were issued as well as handling questions about hunting and fishing from the public.

 

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) focused enforcement efforts checking fishermen and boaters. Additional time was spent investigating a TIP complaint, issuing beaver permits, and monitoring commercial minnow trapping.

 

Wheaton – vacant.

 

District 4 – Wadena area

 

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked boat and water, angling, state parks and ATVs.    Enforcement action included youth related ATV violations, equipment violations for watercraft and excessive speed in a state park.

 

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) worked watercraft and aquatic invasive enforcement. An off highway motorcycle Enduro race was worked with a large number of riders participating.  An illegal water appropriations case is still under investigation.

 

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport fishing, boating, AIS, and ORV activity. A complaint of possible illegal work in public waters was received. Information on a gill net with decayed dead fish in it was referred to a Tribal CO. CO Sommers attended weigh-in at the Leech Lake Walleye Tournament and dealt with protected slot fish violations.

 

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake)) primarily checked angling, boating, and invasive species law compliance. Fire activity was high as two fires in the area were started by suspected arsonists. Complaints of unattended children jumping in front of boats being launched and loaded at a public water access and nuisance bears reports were also handled. Enforcement action was taken for boating, angling, fire, and invasive species violations.

 

CO Larry Francis (Remer) handled calls regarding illegal dumping, various wildlife calls and a wildfire. Assistance was provided to local law enforcement and a local convenience store in locating a party who forgot to pay for his fuel. Enforcement action was taken for burning without a permit and unattended line.

 

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, boating, and ATV activity. Angling success has been slow across the Longville and Leech Lake area. CO Broughten continued to receive complaints of nuisance beaver and continued to follow up on open public waters and aquatic plant violations. Enforcement action included: no angling license in possession and operate OHM on roadway.

 

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked AIS and angling activity. Bass are biting well. Complaints on irrigation well violations, bear and beaver complaints, and floating bog issues were received.

 

Water Recourse Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala reports working on additional wetland violation cases which resulted in a Restoration Order being issued to restore an illegal ditching project. Time was spent performing AIS enforcement at area public accesses and checking anglers. Overall compliance for AIS laws continues to be good. Walleye success has been picking up on some lakes with some limits being harvested. Enforcement action was taken for drain plug violations.

 

District 5 – Eveleth area

 

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time on ATV enforcement and held the riding component portion of an ATV Youth Safety Class. Remainder of week was spent at Camp Ripley training the new Conservation Officer Candidates and other officer’s emergency vehicle operations.

 

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports patrolling area lakes and rivers for angling and boating activity and area public accesses reminding boaters to remove drain plugs, weeds and water from their equipment. Large amounts of rain later in the week kept most folks indoors. The young of the year critters are starting to show up. Please leave them alone and let nature takes it intended course.

 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, invasive species, state park enforcement, and OHVs. A trapping, abandoned property and littering case was closed with enforcement action forthcoming. Other enforcement action was taken on angling license, invasive species, no state park permit, and trapping violations.

 

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) continues to handle numerous beaver complaints from frustrated landowners. Permits to remove the beaver were issued. A person walking along the Mesabi Bike Trail in Virginia contacted CO Frericks and advised him about a deer head that was discarded along the side of the trail. When the CO located the deer head it was covered in maggots but a site tag was found. The owner of the site tag said he wanted to let nature take its course on the deer head so he could later do a European mount with the skull. After a little bit of digging CO Frericks learned the deer had never been registered and had been shot by another person. Citations were issued for failure to register a big game animal and unlawful party hunting. Complaints of loud boat traffic on Lake Vermilion continue to come in from frustrated lakeshore owners.

 

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked fishing and boating activities throughout the week. Fishing for the most part was slow on area lakes; some walleye were seen while working Lake Vermilion. High waters and nuisance beavers are causing flooding in areas so permits have been issues for their removal. Time was also spent working AIS boat checks at accesses, compliance was very good.

 

I. Falls # 2 – vacant.

 

Ray – vacant.

 

Tower – vacant.

 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

 

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports the Memorial Day holiday was spent working with area officers on a special aquatic invasive species work detail on Fall Lake. Compliance and existing knowledge of the regulations was excellent. Officer Williams also assisted a Conservation Officer Pilot with stocking of walleyes on Stuart Lake by float plane. Violations included angling without a license in possession, fail to have legal lifesaving device aboard a watercraft, and fail to drain water related equipment.

 

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked fishermen in the BWCA and encountered some ATV violations. ATV operators are reminded that children under 18 that are on an ATV need to wear a helmet for safety reasons, but also to avoid a costly citation.

 

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked anglers during the week. When on group was asked where they were going, they told the CO they were going to shore to get some snow to put in their cooler. Sure enough, there was snow under some cedars on the south shore of the lake. Cheaper than buying ice. CO Murray and CO Fagerman were eating dinner one night at a picnic table when along came a trouble maker bear. He was snapping his teeth and circling around hoping the COs would run off and he would then finish their dinner, but too bad for him the CO’s stood their ground and he wouldn’t get a picnic basket on this night. It was a very enjoyable moment which will be remembered for a long time.

 

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled area forest roads and trails on ATV. CO Manning assisted CO Wahlstrom with a complaint of coyote pups living under a cabin; the mother apparently decided the area was a bit busy and relocated the animals herself. The officer also assisted US Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection Officers in locating a party who illegally entered the country at a remote location.

 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports assistance was given on a Memorial Day work detail which focused on AIS and checking anglers coming out of the BWCA. One non-resident angler who was checked fishing without a license said they just arrived, and since he had never been checked in 40 years they decided to stop and fish on the way to town where they were going to purchase licenses. Violations encountered throughout the week included walleye over limit, angling without a license, expired watercraft registration, AIS violations, and no fishing license in possession.  Nuisance bear reports have also been coming in.

 

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers, paddlers on remote lakes and ATV riders. The Officer assisted the county with an arrest of an unwanted person. Wahlstrom responded to calls and spoke with the County Attorney about a big game case.

 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked fishing and invasive species enforcement activity during the week. Boaters and anglers are reminded to drain all water related equipment prior to leaving the lake access. Murray also followed up on a trapping complaint and monitored ATV activity.

 

Silver Bay – vacant.

 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

 

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled area ATV trails, enforced invasive species laws, and assisted with an investigation on a wildfire. Enforcement action was taken for transporting watercraft without removing plugs.

 

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, AIS, and patrolled for ATV activity. Violations included expired registration, fail to display registration, operate ATV on roadway, fail to drain water related equipment, and no license in possession. He also took wildlife complaints and investigated a fire.

 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) taught EVOC at the academy, checked anglers, monitored OHV activity and worked AIS. CO Fairbanks and his K-9 partner Si assisted the county with a search for a suspect that fled into a swamp. K-9 Si was used to track the suspect through the waist deep water. The suspect was later found in a residence, where he was taken into custody. Enforcement action was taken for failure to remove drain plug, angling license violations and possess illegal length walleye.

 

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) worked at area public accesses this past week educating boaters and anglers on invasive species regulations. Many people are aware of the law that they can’t transport their boat with the plug in. There were a few people that had questions as to how they can legally transport their bait. One individual had suggested we carry PH testers so we can test the bait water and prove where it came from, the lake or the bait shop.

 

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked anglers the past week with numerous sportsmen on the water especially since bass season is now open. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, angling without a license in possession, failing to have enough lifesaving devices on board a watercraft, failure to pull the plugs of a watercraft while transporting on a public highway, operating an ATV on a public highway and for angling in a closed area.

 

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, ATVs, watercraft, state parks and campgrounds. He also investigated a waters complaint and trespass violation during the week.

 

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working fishing activity. Wichmann also assisted with academy training at Camp Ripley.

 

CO John Velsvaag (Region 2 ATV officer) followed up on illegal motorized use on the Mesabi Bike Trail. Enforcement action was taken on ATVs and OHMs. CO Velsvaag also helped out training at Ripley and took a trespass complaint. CO Velsvaag took several calls on pike regulations and border waters walleye regulations.

 

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked aquatic invasive species, angling, boating and wildfire investigation efforts. He also assisted with ATV instruction. Anglers continue to catch pan fish. Surface water temps reached 70’F on many area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for transport boats with plugs in.  CO Arhart also issued a Wetland Conservation Act restoration order and tracked other wetland, public waters and aquatic plant management restoration orders.

 

District 8 – Duluth area

 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling/boating, invasive species, ATV, and fire enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey investigated illegal burning causing a grass fire which resulted in damage to a structure. CO Humphrey also investigated a fawn deer taken unlawfully by a motorist. Charges are pending. Aquatic invasive compliance checks were done. CO Humphrey followed up on a trapping complaint which was unfounded.  Boating, ATV, and burning violations were encountered during the past week.

 

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent the week at Camp Ripley assisting with training at the academy. ATV laws and operation classes and emergency vehicle operator’s course were taught. Officer Schmidt worked aquatic invasive species in the Duluth area. Time was also spent on Lake Vermilion working anglers and watercraft.

 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work fishing enforcement on area lakes and North Shore tributaries. Time was also spent talking with fishermen about invasive species regulations. Officer Duncan returned several calls from the public and followed up on a couple TIP calls. Guidance was given on a couple nuisance animal complaints. An enforcement contact involved illegal netting of rainbow trout from a North Shore tributary.

 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) received several nuisance animal complaints in the area. Most of the complaints consisted of bears destroying bird feeders. People are reminded to put their feeders and garbage away if they do not want bears in their yards. The deer are dropping their fawns right now and people are reminded to leave them alone if they see them. It is not unusual for the mothers to leave them alone for extended periods of time. One case was worked where some people picked up a fawn and took it home and did not call anyone.  Charges are pending. Permits were issued for car kill bear and bobcat. Time was spent working invasive species enforcement in the area. Most were compliant with the regulations.  After healing from an injury, K9 training has resumed with K9 Schody.

 

WREO Mike Scott (NE) followed up on WCA violations in Grand Marais working with the local LGU and county attorney office on the case. Anglers were checked on area lakes and rivers. Fishing is starting to pick up and folks are catching more fish. Enforcement action was taken for no registration, failure to display current registration, no fishing license and no license in possession. The 19th annual ALS Walleye fishing contest to raise money for Lou Gehrig’s disease was attended with 162 boats that were entered in the contest. Even though the weather was not great, all participants had a great time with lots of fish caught. A TIP call was fielded and is under investigation.

 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

 

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) investigated a TIP complaint with Officer Duncan. He attended a court hearing with Lt. Speldrich. He checked anglers on the North Shore streams. Inland stream trout anglers were also checked. ATV complaint followed up on.

 

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) worked angling, boating, ATV, and AIS enforcement throughout the week. He also instructed EVOC to the academy. He handled a loon stuck on a road by capturing and releasing it in an area lake. He handled some nuisance bear calls.  Enforcement action was taken for angling, boating, and ATV violations.

 

District 9 – Brainerd area

 

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week with so-so success being reported from walleye to crappie. Officer assisted with Emergency Vehicle Operations Training to Academy Cadets this past week. Cadets completed course ranging from backing trailers to evasive steering and braking and pursuit courses. Officer Lee received a call of a gray wolf coming very close to buildings and cattle. The reporting party had cattle killed last year in this same area, and due to the circumstances a state trapper was notified. Officer Lee also assisted with a Kids Outdoor and Fishing event held at Lum Park in Brainerd. Even with the rainy conditions it was well attended. The kids enjoyed learning about fish and their habitat, boating safety, invasive species, the fundamentals of fishing, and then were served a lunch and went fishing.

 

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including patrol of fishing, boating, OHV, and state forest activity, investigating a large wildfire in the Nisswa area, responding to complaints of garbage dumping, suspected fish over limit, nuisance beaver, and a sow bear with cubs running around causing commotion in a private campground.

 

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked angling and ATV enforcement. Officer Guida had a college student participate in a ride along where numerous contacts were made. Three young anglers were given PFD panda awards for wearing their life jackets. As Officer Guida drove away, one youngster exclaimed, “Dad, those guys were nice!” Various boating violations were detected and addressed during this past week. Officer Guida also assisted with traffic control after a large tree had fallen on the roadway.

 

CO Pat McGowan (Pine River) assisted at Camp Ripley training the new Conservation Officer recruits. CO McGowan also spoke at the Pine River elementary school regarding fishing and boating regulations. CO McGowan also spent time checking anglers, and patrolling for invasive species violations.

 

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) monitored ATV activity in the Foothills State Forest, spent time at public accesses on AIS enforcement, and checked boater and anglers. Complaints of bears taking down bird feeders and a skid loader working in the lake were handled. The Officer also investigated a wolf depredation complaint of wolves killing a young calf.

 

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports working area lakes and the Mississippi River where fishing activity was slow as the mosquito population kept most anglers indoors. CO Peterson spoke at an ATV class and responded to a complaint of nuisance beavers as well as a wetland dumping complaint.

 

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this last week. The bite is getting better the walleye and northern have been more cooperative. The most active fish have been the bass. Violations he found were no license, and trespassing. He worked on complaints of shoreline violations with a report of a track hoe driving in the lake to remove a cattail bog. A permit had been issued and no violation was found. He worked with AIS inspectors on gull checking boats for violations. Some of the violations observed were aquatic vegetation on trailers and plugs in the boat while transporting. Complaints of litter and illegal camping in the Pillsbury forest were investigated.

 

CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored AIS compliance, angling, boating safety and trail use and ATV/OHM trespassing in the Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area.

 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked boating, fishing and AIS enforcement during the week. He also assisted State Patrol with a car/moose accident south of McGregor.

 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

 

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week checking anglers and boaters in the Pine City area. CO Wynn spent time checking the local state forests, took numerous calls regarding nuisance bears, and spent time educating boaters about AIS laws. Fishing has picked up in the area for those willing to fight the rain storms to find fish.

 

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) received and investigated various TIP calls throughout the week. The officer also assisted Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office with Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs. Students from Isle and Onamia took a day to go fishing on Smith Lake. The kids enjoyed the day and couldn’t wait to get back on the water to do some fishing.

 

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) had a large increase in nuisance black bear complaints throughout the week. In all cases, black bears were showing up near people’s doorsteps because the home or cabin owner had bird feeders or deer feeders or garbage cans out and available to the bears. With natural foods still limited, property owners that do not want bears showing up for a free meal need to simply put the feeders and garbage cans away for a while.

 

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen throughout the week and weekend. A few walleyes area being seen and some nice small mouth bass were also seen on Mille Lacs Lake. ATV activity was monitored throughout the Malmo station and state and county land was patrolled for forestry and ATV activity. The Officer assisted at Camp Ripley with training new Conservation Officers. A TIP call on a fishing violation was investigated and a nuisance beaver call was handled. Please remember as you go out to area lakes to drain your live wells, pull and leave your drain plug out and clean off any vegetation before going to and leaving the access. Not only is it the law but we all must do our part to protect our lakes.

 

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) assisted Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Department with the Hooked on Fishing not Drugs event. Students from Onamia and Isle were given an opportunity to go fishing on an area lake with the assistance of private and law enforcement boat operators. Time was also spent assisting with academy training at Camp Ripley. Actor based scenarios were used to teach ATV laws. It seems that bears are out looking for free lunches with complaints of bird feeder damage. Please pull in food sources as soon as possible if you have issues. The smallmouth bass bite has picked up on Mille Lacs and pan fish remain steady on area lakes.

 

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked angling activity including an improved sunfish and bass bite. Many boats were still hitting the water for the first time which sometimes meant expired registration, missing PFDs, and burned out lights. Verkuilen also assisted with a kids fishing event, patrolled off-highway vehicle trails, and responded to trespassing issues.

 

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) continued to work a slow fishing bite on Mille Lacs Lake and some panfish action on other lakes. A kids’ fishing event was attended with other district officers. Turkey season came to end, with some success for those who continued to put forth effort. Assistance was giving to a motorist whose boat motor had been scraping on the tar for many miles. The lower unit was worn down right to the gear case and most of the prop was gone. ATV and goose depredation issues were also worked on. Mushroom hunters were found to be out in full force.

 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) patrolled area state forests. She documented issues she found within the state forests and turned them over to trails or forestry for work. These patrols also produced several enforcement contacts. They ranged from illegal ATV/OHM operation, to parent allowing illegal use, to registration issues to operation of an ATV in closed areas. She also issued several minor consumption citations in the General Andrews State Forest. Officer Speldrich met with the area hydrologist on a possible wetland violation and spoke with SWCD about several issues turned into her. She completed a fire investigation where 13.5 acres were burned. Speldrich was able to track down the suspect who initially left the scene before being identified. The suspect was cited for several violations involving the illegal fire and fire suppression costs. Speldrich also worked boating and AIS enforcement.

 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

 

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking anglers, boaters and ATVs. Violations for the week included no navigation lights, insufficient PFDs, fail to renew ATV registration, allow illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, no angling license, angle with an extra line, ATV passenger under 18 without a helmet, operate a class 1 ATV on a public highway, operate an ATV without a valid safety certificate, and fail to remove drain plug from a watercraft before transport.

 

Conservation Officer Mike Martin (St. Cloud) assisted at the CO Academy.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) work anglers and carp shooters. Carp shot by archers are becoming litter issues again this year. If you plan on shooting carp make plans for usage of those fish, plenty of outlets that will take them if you plan ahead.

 

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, boaters, and invasive species enforcement. T Thesing assisted at the academy with focus on ATV enforcement. Enforcement action for the week included angle with extra line, transport boat with plug in and transport weeds on boat trailer. Life jacket issues were dealt with on paddle boards. Reminder: all paddle boards and kayaks need a life jacket.

 

WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working AIS enforcement in Stearns, Todd, and Kanabec counties. Enforcement action was taken for AIS violations, extra lines, and over limit of crappies. Time was also spent working wetland cases and checking road construction operations for water appropriation permits.

 

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) handled a call of a deer with two broken legs in a farmer’s alfalfa field, an injured eagle and calls of nuisance raccoons in the Little Falls city limits. CO Kuske focused enforcement efforts on invasive species boat checks at area public access with compliance being good for removing boat plugs and checking for weeds on trailers.

 

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers. CO Mies worked on tip calls on over limits cases. CO Mies worked AIS work crew. CO Mies checked boaters and handled nuisance animal calls dealing with loons, bear and beaver.

 

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) provided an opportunity for a 4th grade boy from Pierz Elementary to be an actor in a training scenario at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. The scenario involved the common enforcement situation of a parent allowing a juvenile to illegally operate an ATV. The boy was excused from school for a day to participate, but will in turn do a presentation for his classmates on his experience of what happens when you get caught operating an ATV illegally and the safety rules that go with ATV riding. This little ambassador for the DNR will send a good message to the kids right before school gets out for the summer.

 

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) handled a variety of calls, including littering; nuisance beaver; questions regarding two public accesses; possible over limit of crappie; and trespass. A bear caught public attention as it meandered through the Long Prairie area. Weather limited weekend activity

 

District 12 – Princeton area

 

CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) checked anglers, and boaters for invasive species compliance on local lakes and rivers. Officer Londgren also had a ride along, patrolled state and federal lands, checked wetland violations, and conducted a game farm inspection. Enforcement action was taken on: failure to remove boat drain plug, no license in possession, and PFD violations.

 

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) assisted with academy training at Camp Ripley. CO Musatov checked anglers, boaters, and ATVs. Several animal complaints were handled.

 

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports checking anglers on area lakes and rivers. The anglers that were brave enough to battle the mosquitos were starting to find some luck with the panfish in shallow water. CO Langevin also worked several wetland and public waters complaints. One cease and desist order was issued for a landowner digging a trench to drain one wetland into another.

 

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes and river. Officer Sladek followed up on a number of bear complaints and issued permits for nuisance beaver. CO Sladek investigated bow fishermen dumping carp in the area of Big Lake. He also checked on a wetland and public waters complaint.

 

Cambridge – vacant.

 

District 13 – West Metro area

 

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) responded to several calls of bow fishermen dumping carp on private property, road ditches and even in the middle of roads. Watercraft operators were checked for safety equipment, drain plug removal and transportation of invasive species. Several animal calls were handled reminding people to leave young animals alone.

 

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and following up with AIS violations. CO Grewe responded to TIP complaints received as well.

 

CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) checked fishermen on metro lakes and rivers. He did boating and AIS enforcement including checking lake service providers. CO Neitzke patrolled for ATV enforcement. He also returned calls and answered questions for the public and other law enforcement agencies.

 

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked shore fishermen and boaters in Scott and Ramsey county area lakes and rivers. He followed up with some AIS violations and responded to a dog chasing wildlife in Shakopee. He also took calls on animal complaints in Scott County and took enforcement action for fishing without angling license and no license in possession.

 

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) answered calls for wild animals running loose in the West Metro area. He also checked anglers, boaters and did AIS work.

 

Bloomington – vacant.

 

Prior Lake – vacant.

 

District 14 – East Metro area

 

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers and watercraft users. CO Arntzen assisted a neighboring Law Enforcement Agency with a DWI and locating a suicidal person. He also assisted in executing a search warrant for game violations, responded to several TIP complaints, answered questions about trespassing, and fielded calls about nuisance animals.

 

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked angling, boating, and AIS enforcement throughout the week. CO Pril worked the St. Croix River bridge detail with CO Scott Arntzen. CO Pril also responded to calls and questions during the week.

 

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working AIS and wetland related enforcement. WREO Block also instructed emergency vehicle operations at the conservation officer academy during the week. Time was also spent patrolling the St. Croix River near Stillwater in the construction zone of the new bridge project.

 

CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he assisted other COs from outstate with investigations in the metro. One involved a deer fawn taken illegally, and one a fish over limit. CO Johnson spoke to a firearms safety class in Ramsey. He investigated a wetlands complaint in Blaine and cutting aquatic vegetation on Crooked Lake. CO Johnson received numerous calls regarding new born deer fawns. His advice was to leave them be.

 

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) handled various TIP calls and nuisance animal complaints. She worked AIS enforcement at area accesses and continued working on a bear hunting case. CO Kruse worked ATV and WMA enforcement in Anoka County and worked fishing and boating enforcement on area lakes and Rice Creek.

 

Eagan – vacant.

 

Hastings – vacant.

 

Maplewood – vacant.

 

Metro Officer – vacant.

 

District 15 – Marshall area

 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, AIS, and ATV enforcement. Assistance was given to CO Lage working a fishing tournament on Lake Benton. Calls continue to be received dealing with baby fawns. The public is asked to leave them alone because mom is most likely close by.

 

CO Doug Lage (Lake Benton) contributed to a weekly outdoors program on local radio.  Enforcement action was taken on a variety of boating safety violations. Weather is slow down some area fishing.

 

CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) spent the week checking anglers and performing AIS inspections on watercraft at area boat landings. Enforcement for the week included equipment and license violations.

 

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked angling and boating activity during the week. Time was spent at the Appleton OHV Park. Visitors to the park are reminded that this is a State Grant-in-Aid trail system. OHVs need to be registered and safety certification is required for most riders.

 

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working anglers and ATVs. Walleye numbers have increased marginally. ATV operators are reminded to not operate on restricted highways.

 

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports fishing has picked up with warmer water temps. Bow fishing for carp is becoming more popular this year. Remember that it is unlawful to leave carp on shore or to put them back after you shot them. Extra enforcement has been given for shore fishermen who leave their garbage behind.

 

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) assisted with a work detail on Mille Lacs Lake where enforcement action was taken for several AIS issues. A site visit was completed on a large public waters violation in Lyon County with where two cease and desist orders were issued and enforcement action was taken. AIS checks were completed on area lakes and rivers.

 

Benson – vacant.

 

Madison – vacant.

 

Redwood Falls – vacant.

 

District 16 – New Ulm area

 

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked anglers and boaters and noted an increase in fishing success. He checked ATV activity and continued to educate boaters about AIS laws. Denz also received calls about injured and orphaned wildlife.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) worked boat and water safety on Memorial Day. A complaint was taken about carp left on shore after being taken by bow fishermen. ATV enforcement was done with operating without current registration being the most common violation.  Anglers were also checked along the MN River.

 

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) spent time checking anglers along the MN River. More people seemed to be out mushroom hunting than fishing. ATV and AIS enforcement was also worked in the MN River Valley.

 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls with inquiries regarding ATV regulations. He spent the week working fishing, boating, ATV, and AIS enforcement activities. Some nice flathead catfish were caught.

 

CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week on sport fishing and ATV enforcement. Time was also spent checking minnow traps. The final wild turkey season wrapped up with some hunters bagging some last minute birds.

 

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked anglers, ATVs, boat and water safety, and turkey hunters this week. Gruhlke continues to take calls concerning suspected abandoned/injured fawn deer. In many cases they are not either injured or abandoned and he asks that the fawn be left alone to be cared for by their own.

 

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked boat and water activity with emphasis on safety and AIS compliance. Angling activity was high but the game fish catch was very low. Public water accesses were patrolled for illegal activity, litter and usage.

 

Litchfield – vacant.

 

Willmar #1 – vacant.

 

District 17 – Mankato area

 

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent time on angling, boating, and AIS enforcement. Boaters continue to be found with obvious weeds on their trailers. Sunfish are being taken off their beds on some lakes; other lakes are running a little behind. The Minnesota River continues to experience high water levels due to recent rains.

 

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) patrolled for anglers, boaters, as well as ATV and OHM operators. Additional time was spent checking boaters and anglers for AIS compliance.

 

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) focused on angling, boating, and AIS activity. Various calls from the public were handled. An AIS checkpoint was worked on Lake Elysian with neighboring officers.

 

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) assisted with academy training at Camp Ripley. An AIS detail was worked. A wetland complaint was investigated.

 

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, AIS, and boat & water activity.  The officer also worked an AIS check station with other district officers & investigated a wetlands complaint. Violations included angling, AIS, & game violations.

 

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring trout fishing and recreational vehicle activity. An AIS checkpoint was worked over the weekend with neighboring officers.  A few nuisance beaver permits were issued. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.

 

WREO Julie Siems (SE) followed up on WCA violations and restoration orders. AIS enforcement and a check station were also conducted.

 

Albert Lea – vacant.

 

District 18 – Rochester area

 

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and boaters during the week. Heyn followed up on a few cases of people who were found by watercraft inspectors to be transporting zebra mussels. Heyn also attended radiological emergency preparedness training.

 

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports the river is finally going down. Fishing has picked up and saw walleye, sauger, northern and bluegills being caught. Once again leave the fawns and young birds where you find them. Do not pick them up.

 

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports receiving multiple fawn deer calls. Time was also spent on nuisance beaver complaints. Trout anglers were out and having some success. Mushroom hunters having been doing good as well. CO Boyum worked ATV and OHM complaint areas and assisted the Fillmore CO Sheriff’s Department with a confused subject.

 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports the accesses and fishing locations are back open and fishing has been good.  While working an access for AIS violations he observed a person dump a pickup load of brush at the access. Hemker also responded to ATV complaints.

 

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week checking angling and boating activity. Anglers are doing well in the area. Time was also spent responding to numerous calls for baby animals and enforcing invasive species laws. Some fishing violations were detected.

 

Rochester #2 – vacant.

 

Training Section

 

Conservation Officer Cadets spent much of the week receiving training in ATV and snowmobile enforcement, snowmobile and ATV maintenance, and ATV safety training from the academy Recreational Vehicle Team. COCs participated in motor vehicle stops and attended the emergency vehicle operation courses. The class was also introduced to Radar and performed radar practical exercises.

 

Aviation Section

 

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew two Leech Lake surveys and an instrument training flight. Low ceilings and rain canceled weekend Leech surveys. Heineman also attended to aircraft maintenance.

 

CO Pilot Bob Geving flew some training flights and attended to aircraft maintenance issues. Geving also flew photo missions for suspected public waters violations.

 

CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent several days at the academy in the EVOC course. Time was spent in aviation training and the move to the home station in Bemidji was accomplished on days off.

 

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying a boat creel count flight over Leech Lake. Jensen then stocked rainbow trout, lake trout and walleye at various lakes within the BWCA. On these flights, campsites and angling activities were also monitored. Jensen received an instrument currency check flight from another CO pilot to maintain instrument flight privileges. An OHM and WCA photo flight was also flown over Aitkin and Carlton county areas. On this flight, Jensen landed on a couple area lakes to check anglers from the floatplane.

 

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

 

WREO reports are now placed within district reports.

 

Enforcement Education

 

Please check the DNR WEB SITE at www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Education Courses and instructor training sessions

 

If you missed a fall class and are over 18, check on-line for Adult Home Study or On-Line course information is also located at www.mndnr.gov.

 

Please check the DNR WEB SITE www.mndnr.gov  for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions. Adult Snowmobile Safety Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.

 

Youth ATV Courses (12 to 15 years old) class postings for around the state are posted on the web site at www.mndnr.gov.  Students are reminded that they must complete the CD portion of the course before attending the classroom portion of the course. Youth/Adult ATV Safety Training Course CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR

 

Reminder—anyone born after December 31st, 1979 cannot purchase a license to hunt in Minnesota without first taking a DNR Safety Training Course and receiving a certificate.  In addition many states have even more stringent mandatory Hunter Education requirements.  Check before you go!!!

 

Reminder—Any resident born after December 31st, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota, must possess a snowmobile certificate.  Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can attend the traditional youth course.  Those 16 or older can take the at home CD course.

 

Reminder—Anyone born after July 1st, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota, must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training CD course.  Persons under age 16 must complete the ATV CD Course and riding component before riding on public lands. Youth/Adult ATV Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.

 

SCHEDULED INSTRUCTOR TRAINING SESSIONS

If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador or one of the Advanced Hunter programs, contact your local Conservation Officer or Regional Safety Training officer.  Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR Website.

See Also:

STAFF NOTES:

 

NE RTO Shelly Patten taught at the CO Academy during Recreational Vehicle Week. Patten taught the classroom portion and applied practice of the vehicle stops, and also taught ATV technical riding, maintenance and safety. Patten hosted an ATV Trail Ambassador training session in Grand Rapids where eight people attended. Patten completed end of the month and end of the year paperwork. Patten complete background checks for ATV instructors.

 

NW RTO Jon Paurus spent much of the week assisting with Academy training. Most of the training focused on ATV operation and squad driving techniques. Props for field days were relayed to volunteer instructor groups. Paperwork for certification of volunteer instructors was also completed.

 

Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week on preparing for training COCs at Camp Ripley. Time was also spent preparing for upcoming HEFAS instructor training. Over the weekend fishing activity was checked in Wabasha, Olmsted, and Goodhue counties. Friday and Saturday had a lot of people out enjoying the weather and fishing pressure was high. Sunday brought lots of rain and very few people out.

 

NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence assisted with Academy 15 conservation officer training with ATV safety, ATV maintenance and patrol tactics. RTO Lawrence met with a firearms safety instructor to go over field day site at Carlos Avery WMA for an upcoming youth firearms safety field day. RTO Lawrence checked anglers and answered questions on fishing equipment used for rough fish harvesting, and wildlife related complaint on raccoons.

 

SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez spent the week reviewing and completing background packets from a Volunteer FAS Instructor Clinic held in St Paul. The RTO received a few calls regarding angling questions and more specifically AIS and water transportation.

 

Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week assisted with Off-Highway Vehicle law and practical training for the recruits at the academy for two days. He also responded to a number of OHV related email, took care of Trail Ambassador program items and worked on end of the month reports.

 

NEW DEER POPULATION GOALS ANNOUNCED

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From the DNR:

IN THIS ISSUE
New deer population goals for southeastern Minnesota announced
ATV riders can explore Minnesota trails for free
DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New deer population goals for southeastern Minnesota announced
More deer in much of southeastern Minnesota is the anticipated outcome of a citizen-led deer population goal-setting process that increases deer numbers in five of the nine permit areas under review.

“By managing for these new goals, the majority of permit areas should experience population increases,” said Leslie McInenly, big game program leader for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

DNR increased goal densities in deer permit areas 341, 342, 345, 347 and 348. Permit areas 343, 346 and 349 will maintain existing goal densities. Whitewater Wildlife Management Area, permit area 344, will maintain current densities.

Although deer density goals were not changed for permit areas 343, 346 and 349, populations in those areas already are above goal so management will continue to be designed to lower deer densities to goal in those areas.

Radco 300“Deer densities in 343, the area that includes Rochester, will be managed to remain roughly the same,” McInenly said. “The special disease management zone in the Pine Island area will be eliminated and merged with permit areas 341 and 343, allowing deer numbers to recover from chronic wasting disease management efforts.”

DNR will allow hunters to harvest more deer in permit areas 346 and 349 to significantly reduce deer densities because of extremely high deer densities observed during aerial surveys this past winter.

With the exception of those two far southeastern permit areas, deer management to achieve goals in many permit areas will require conservative harvest strategies this coming fall that likely will include a one-deer bag limit. Harvest management will be designed to gradually move populations toward goals during the next few years.

The new deer population goals are the result of an extensive public process initiated late last fall. The process emphasized collection of public input prior to convening a stakeholder advisory team.

“By seeking a consensus-based recommendation from a group of local citizens with diverse perspectives and experiences, the process was designed to result in sustainable, citizen-based goals that were publicly supported,” McInenly said. “We had a good deal of public interest and very dedicated volunteers.”

Southeast advisory team members were selected through an open nomination process and members were tasked with developing recommendations for new deer population goals after considering biological and social data.

Team members considered more than 4,000 responses to hunter and landowner surveys, comments from nearly 600 online or meeting questionnaires, public meetings and written communication to the DNR. They reviewed information related to deer populations, harvest trends, habitat, browsing impacts and public health and safety. Other factors associated with deer management also were considered.

After collecting public comment on team recommendations, the DNR approved eight of the nine team recommendations without revision. A slight revision to the team recommendation for permit area 342 was necessary to prevent a population increase of nearly 50 percent from the current level, which would have established a deer density that available habitat could not support.

“Only three percent of surveyed hunters desired such an increase and a number of team members suggested they would have preferred an intermediate level of increase,” McInenly said. “The revised density range still exceeds the level suggested by most survey respondents but better reflects desires identified from more recent public comment and advisory team discussion.”

More information on southeastern Minnesota’s new deer population goals and plans for goal setting in the remainder of the state during the next two years is available on the DNR’s deer management Web page at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mammals/deer/mgmt.html?tab=1#segoals.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                MAY 29, 2014

ATV riders can explore Minnesota trails for free 
New trail atlas available to help with trip planning

Minnesotans with all-terrain vehicles registered for private or agricultural use won’t need to pay the additional registration fee ($53.50 for three years) to ride the state’s public ATV trails on Saturday, June 7, and Sunday, June 8. Out-of-state riders can explore Minnesota ATV trails that weekend as well, without the need for a nonresident trail pass ($21 annually).

This is the second year that Minnesota is providing ATV riders with free access to more than 3,000 miles of state forest and grant-in-aid (GIA) trails during “No Registration Weekend.”

“We see this weekend as a great opportunity to showcase the wide variety of state and grant-in-aid trails across Minnesota,” said Mary Straka, off-highway vehicle program coordinator. “There are a large number of privately registered ATVs across the state that, during this weekend, can give the public trails a try and ride for free.”

Some great places to start, according to Straka, include:

 

  • The Iron Range Off-Highway Vehicle State Recreation Area, a 1,200-acre OHV park in Gilbert with 36 miles of scenic trails for riders of all abilities.
  • The 100-mile trail system in Nemadji State Forest, which connects to the Matthew Lourey State Trail and the Gandy Dancer Trail for more riding opportunities.
  • The 29-mile Spider Lake trail system in Foot Hills State Forest, where riders will curve around lakes and ponds, go up and down a variety of hills, and view overlooks from the ridges throughout the forest.

These and other riding destinations are featured in a new 72-page Off-Highway Vehicle Trail Atlas. The atlas includes maps, descriptions, parking and other information for 51 state and GIA trails for ATVs, off-highway motorcycles (OHMs) and off-road vehicles (ORVs).

Contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday to request free copy of the atlas. Trail maps are also available online at www.mndnr.gov/ohv, as are updates on trail conditions.

For more information, contact Mary Straka at 218-833-8713 (Brainerd) or 651-259-5644 (St. Paul) ormary.straka@state.mn.us.

Weekly Game and Fish Violations

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Here is your weekly conservation officer report, courtesy of the MN DNR.

District 1 – Baudette area

 

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) worked a detail on Lake of the Woods with CO Gorecki seeing moderate to good success on walleyes. A detail was worked with multiple COs in the Beltrami Island State Forest over the holiday weekend. Area anglers were checked and a firearm was seized from an individual prohibited from possessing firearms.  Enforcement action for the week included angle without license, boating registration and equipment violations, operate Class II ATV on state highway, operate ATV with juvenile without helmet, and operate OHM on public roadway.

 

WHC-Geese-ducks-fish2CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) worked angling and boating activity on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes throughout the week. CO Regas attended the Big Bog Adventure Days staffing the LaserShot booth while promoting firearms safety, hunter education and marksmanship. Time was also spent investigating a wolf depredation complaint, a report of an injured swan was handled and assistance was given to the Big Bog State Recreation Area staff with some unauthorized camping issues which arose during the Memorial Day weekend. CO Regas assisted CO Academy staff with instruction of officer water survival training for Academy 15. Enforcement action for the week included fishing license violations and over limit of Red Lake walleye.

 

CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored boating, fishing, and ATV activity throughout the week. Anglers continue to report good fishing on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake.  CO Gorecki participated in an ATV work detail and taught a boating safety class to K-1 graders from three local schools at the Big Bog Recreational area. While returning from the recreational area, CO Gorecki observed a vehicle travelling at dangerously fast speeds. CO Gorecki activated his radar and driver was traveling at 109 mph. The vehicle was later stopped as it entered the Baudette city limits.

 

Baudette -vacant.

 

Blackduck #2 – vacant.

 

Karlstad – vacant.

 

Warroad #1 – vacant.

 

Warroad #2 – vacant.

 

District 2 – Bemidji area

 

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports assisting the Polk County SO with a boat and water training class. Time was also spent working angling, boating, AIS, and ATV enforcement. Many contacts were made during the Memorial Day Holiday weekend. A possible wetland impact site was also checked. Violations encountered included fish over-limit, take bass out-of-season, no angling license, and no watercraft registration.

 

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) issued multiple beaver permits, had a call about a problem badger, planned a FAS class, assisted other agencies and responded to campfires that became out of control burning woods and tires. ATV, boating, angling and invasive transportation activities were concentrated on. A case of wanton waste/litter (multiple suckers left on shore) was investigated and completed.

 

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers, boaters and ATVers.

 

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked a busy Memorial Day Weekend. The great weather brought several people out onto the lakes. Time was also spent checking boaters and anglers throughout the week. A complaint of an individual taking leeches from the traps of a commercial trapper was investigated. ATV and OHM activity was monitored.

 

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) spent the week checking angling and ATV activity. Complaints were received of ATV’s operating in wetlands and nuisance bears. Time was also spent on AIS activity. Enforcement action for the week included ATV and AIS violations.

 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports taking a call of a mushroom hunter getting charged by a bear. The mushroom hunter stated they went into a wooded area and his dog spooked a bear that ran out across the field. As he was calling back his dog, two smaller bears went up into the trees and he saw a larger bear coming for him. The mushroom hunter said his dog showed up just in time to get between him and the angry bear. The dog was mauled and required nearly 90 stiches. The mushroom hunter was shaken but uninjured. TIP of bass out of season and over-limits of panfish were investigated. Enforcement action was taken on failing to display and unregistered watercraft, ATV violations, and no angling license in possession.

 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked boaters, anglers and worked ATV enforcement. Trout anglers were having some luck but cool water resulted in a slow to moderate bite otherwise. Nuisance beaver permit processes were also reviewed.

 

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports a busy holiday weekend with many boaters out. Fishing was good for panfish and walleye activity is starting to pick up. Time was also spent responding to complaints of ATV trespass in a State Park, illegal shoreline work, illegal dumping of cement blocks into an area lake and several fishing TIPs.

 

WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on AIS and WCA activity around Otter Tail, Becker, Mahnomen and Clay counties. Time was spent giving AIS law enforcement training to Becker County deputies. Fishing activity was checked. Time was spent following up on TIP calls and complaints in the Detroit Lakes area.

 

Moorhead – vacant.

 

Detroit Lakes – vacant.

 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

 

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports fishing is in full swing with reports of over limits investigated. Nice weather also brought out the ATVs with violations addressed. Other enforcement efforts were related to angling and boat safety.

 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked fishing and boating enforcement over the weekend with lots of activity. Fishing success is scattered and several shore fishermen were checked. Plautz is investigating an earth dam that has washed out resulting in lake levels dropping significantly. Fish overlimit calls were also investigated.

 

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused time checking fishermen, boaters, minnow dealers and AIS enforcement. Additional time was spent checking nuisance beaver complaint, a feed lot running into a lake, and an individual blocking access to Sand Lake. A call regarding dead fish on the shoreline in the vacant Wheaton station was also handled.

 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, boaters, ATVs and AIS enforcement.  Nice weather brought out lots of activity throughout Memorial Weekend but high winds on Saturday and Sunday slowed down boating activity. Calls for nuisance beaver permits, fishing license questions and spearing rough fish were answered. Two individuals were cited for taking 25 crappies overlimit.

 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent most of the past week on the water in and around Alexandria, with high activity levels over the holiday weekend. Overall, anglers and boaters were very law abiding on the lakes, no PFD issues were observed at all.  A few anglers in hard to see locations were surprised to be checked for licenses, which unfortunately not everybody had purchased. An OHM rider was observed driving carelessly down a city street on an unregistered bike; he received a citation. Lawler spoke to the entire 7th grade class at Discovery Middle School about the importance of wearing safety equipment while enjoying the outdoors at their annual Earth/Memorial day event. Additionally, Lawler congratulated a local snowmobile safety instructor for over 30 years of volunteer service to the Alex community and presented her with an award.

 

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) worked fishing, boating, and AIS activity on and around area waterways. The Holiday weekend and nice weather brought a lot of folks outside and to the water.  AIS compliance remains very good in the area. Additional time was spent working fire and ATV activity. Several fishing related complaints were investigated with some closed out and others still active. A loon was released back to a lake after it was freed of several feet of discarded fishing line with a Rapala attached to it.

 

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on heavy boating activity, fishing and AIS enforcement. The officer assisted the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office with a fire complaint that burned part of a State Wildlife Area. Anderson also received a report about persons shooting from a vehicle from the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office. Protected public waters wetland and WCA violations were handled with enforcement action taken. The contractors were contacted as well. Enforcement action is pending about the violation and the proper BWSR contractor form being filed. Minnow transportation permits were issued as well as calls from the public regarding a dead pelican and fishing questions.

 

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports area lakes were busy with activity over the Memorial Day weekend. Baumbarger spent the majority of the weekend working AIS enforcement with Officers Anderson and Siltala on area lakes. Additional time was spent checking fishermen, boaters, and ATV operators. Complaints were received about bow fishermen, and ATV trespass. The officer encountered a group of four fishermen with 42 sunfish overlimit in the cooler in their boat.

 

Wheaton – vacant.

 

District 4 – Wadena area

 

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked a very busy Memorial Day weekend. Enforcement action included OHM’s on public roadways, youth related ATV violations, burning of prohibited materials, PWC violations and equipment violations for watercraft.

 

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked anglers and ATV’ers. Officer Hunter spent time over the holiday weekend educating the public on invasive species and the regulations that go along with it. Officer Hunter received a few calls from local inspectors working at public accesses where fishermen were not allowing the inspectors to do their inspections.

 

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked anglers and boaters over the holiday weekend.  Several complaints were investigated on bow anglers within 150 feet of residences and with loud generators. Other activities included OHM and ATV enforcement, AIS enforcement, and a late night shooting complaint.

 

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on angling, boating, and AIS activity. A complaint of trash dumped on USFS land was received and the matter was referred to USFS. A call regarding a person fishing from a dock using a very large spotlight to shine fish was received and contact was made with the individual. CO Sommers assisted the sheriff’s department and a Leech Lake Tribal CO with a nuisance bear at a resort. While looking for the bear a stolen ATV was recovered and turned over to the sheriff’s department.

 

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers, boaters, and recreational vehicles.  Bears apparently are having a tough time finding food in the woods as several nuisance bear complaints were received. CO Mathy also fielded calls regarding boat lights and netting concerns. Enforcement action was taken for illegal length walleye, invalid marriage angling license for persons not married, boat lights, boat with passenger riding on bow, life jackets, and invasive species violations.

 

CO Larry Francis (Remer) capped off the week with by a busy Memorial Day weekend.   Lots of folks were out enjoying the outdoors and the beautiful weather. Unfortunately, not all were following the rules and violations encountered included class 1 ATVs being operating on state and county roads as well as numerous folks fishing without a license. Other enforcement action taken for unregistered ATV, no PFDs, extra lines, unattended lines, operate OHM in road ditch and carrying a passenger under 18 on an ATV without a helmet.

 

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, boating, and ATV activity. Angling success was slow. CO Broughten observed a fair amount of boating and ATV traffic over the Memorial weekend. Owners of ATVs are reminded ATVs are not babysitters and they are responsible when a juvenile is operating the ATV. A number of wetland and waters violations were investigated. CO Broughten also responded to a grass fire and assisted the sheriff’s office with calls of a lost hiker and an ATV rollover accident.  Enforcement action included no angling license in possession, allow illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, operate ATV on public roadway, ATV passenger under 18 without a helmet, operate watercraft with person riding on bow, failure to display ATV registration, failure to display watercraft registration, and no personal floatation device.

 

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked AIS and angling activity. Bass and crappies are biting well. Enforcement was taken for ATV’s on a county road and failure to display registration.

 

CO Colleen Adam (NW Region OHV Recreation Officer) patrolled state forests and OHV trail systems. Registration compliance was very good. CO Adam responded to a call of ATV’s in a closed area and late night shooting complaint. Fishing and boating activity was high on the warmer than normal holiday weekend.

 

Water Recourse Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala assisted SWCD personnel with wetland enforcement issues. Two restoration orders were issued as a result of new drainage ditched being created, which is a violation and a threat to drainage of the entire wetland. The landowners will be required to restore to pre-existing conditions. Officer Siltala met with other area SWCD staff to discuss ongoing wetland issues. Invasive species enforcement activity was conducted over the holiday weekend with other officers. Overall good compliance was found, however, enforcement action was taken for drain plug violations.

 

District 5 – Eveleth area

 

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) checked fishing and boating activity, plus invasive species checks on Kabetogama. He dealt with a boating accident with no injuries. Other work involved handling a wildfire complaint.

 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring forest roads, checking public access sites, checking camping areas, returning phone calls and working on equipment.

 

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports very pleasant weather over the weekend was a welcome change from most Memorial Day weekends. Quite a few boats were observed on area lakes. Area accesses were monitored for compliance with weed, water, and drain plug removal. A couple fires were checked into.

 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked the state park, angling and boating activity and invasive species enforcement during the week. The officer also attended training at Lake Minnetonka. The most common violation for the week was angling without a license, followed by boat registration and other boating violations. The officer stopped a distracted female driver on a four lane highway with her left leg sticking out the window, pushing buttons on her cell phone and passing the officer at about 75 mph (10 mph over the speed limit). The leg disappeared inside the car once the red lights were turned on. The officer assisted the Hibbing PD with a shoplifter that fled on foot and a separate felony fleeing in a vehicle incident, with the driver being arrested in the driveway of his home where the pursuit ended.

 

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent a majority of his time checking anglers and boaters on area lakes. On Virginia area lakes, the walleye bite seems to have slowed down, while on Lake Vermilion you can still get your limit if you work for them. A few boaters were neglectful with registering their watercraft before using them this Memorial Day weekend. Those boaters received citations. A dumping complaint is being investigated.

 

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked throughout Memorial weekend and found many people out on area lakes enjoying the nice weather. Night navigation was worked along with a complaint of intoxicated boat operators, no sign of excessive alcohol but a number of failing to display navigation lights was addressed. A TIP complaint was received which resulted in violations of angling with extra line and expired boat registration. A complaint of people camping within a State day use site was received.

 

I. Falls # 2 – vacant.

 

Ray – vacant.

 

Tower – vacant.

 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

 

CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports summer weather arrived in Ely just in time for the long memorial day weekend. Lakes and rivers were crowded with motorboats and canoes with the unofficial beginning of the summer season. AIS was the focus for most of the weekend, and a high compliance rate was observed. Violations included fail to remove boat plug, possess aluminum cans inside the BWCA, and operating an ATV on a county roadway.

 

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked fishermen and Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) throughout the weekend. Fishing has slowed down considerably, but there is still some good success in places. The gnats have hatched and are terrible at times. Water levels remain high so those in boats around the current area should use extreme caution and take no risks.

 

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked a joint enforcement effort with the Ontario COs along the Canadian Border. The CO also monitored the fish sanctuary on the Sea Gull River. The CO did a remote ATV patrol checking designated trout lakes and ATV routes. Enforcement action was taken for boating and fishing violations.

 

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked a busy holiday weekend which included work details with CO Wahlstrom in St. Louis County and at Cook County boat accesses enforcing aquatic invasive species, boating and angling laws. The officers also responded to a report of a possible pipe bomb near a popular steelhead angling river; the device had been handled and moved to location closer to the state highway by the caller-presumably to make it easier for officers to find. Fortunately it did not detonate and local deputies were able to remove the device without injury to responding officers or the public. CO Manning also worked trespass and litter cases and patrolled area parks and campgrounds.

 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports checking anglers and boaters in and out of the BWCA over a busy Memorial Day weekend. Many rails were observed in the area, and the grouse seemed to have fared well over the long winter. A leech trap case was worked with resulting violations including untagged traps, trapping without an angling license, and driving after suspension. Other enforcement action included AIS, boating safety, and ATV violations.

 

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers, boaters and ATV riders who were all out enjoying the nice busy holiday weekend. Some nice lakers were seen in the bag out on Lake Superior with few fish caught inland. The Officer taught handgun and rifle tactics and operation at the academy to the new Officers. An AIS detail was also worked. Officers Wahlstrom and Manning assisted the county with a bomb call along the Flute Reed river.

 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked a border waters enforcement patrol with CO Darin Fagerman and a Canadian officer. Many contacts were made and enforcement action was taken for over limits of fish, no life jackets, and various license violations. Officers observed one very excited angler reel in a walleye weighing in over 12 pounds.

 

Silver Bay – vacant.

 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

 

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, worked watercraft transportation laws related to invasive species, patrolled for illegal ATV activity, processed accidentally caught otters, and responded to a couple of wildfires. Enforcement action was taken for transporting watercraft with plugs in and transporting bait in lake water.

 

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, minnow trapping, AIS, and patrolled for ATV activity. Violations included expired registration, fail to display registration, operate ATV on roadway, fail to transfer ownership, youth w/o helmet, fail to drain water related equipment, transport weeds on trailer, transport live fish, fail to drain minnows, and no license in possession. He also took wildlife complaints and assisted with a big game investigation in the Grand Rapids station.

 

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time this past week checking anglers and boaters on area lakes. She found several violations including angling without an angling license. She worked invasive species enforcement and found compliance in all of her checks except one. She dealt with two separate big game violations involving illegal deer.

 

CO Tom Sutherland (Grand Rapids) spent the week performing a multitude of enforcement duties in the area. Angling enforcement included illegal slot length walleyes, transport walleye fillets without skin patch. Boating enforcement was taken for no watercraft registration and ATV enforcement was taken for operating on a roadway.

 

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs, state parks and campgrounds. He also handled several boating and fishing complaints during the week.

 

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working boating and fishing activity. E Enforcement action was taken for failure to register and display registration on an ATV.

 

CO John Velsvaag (NE ATV  Officer) checked anglers this past week as well as ATVers. Multiple violations of illegal ATV operation on the Mesabi Bike Trail were observed. CO Velsvaag also worked with the USFS on complaints within the national forest.

 

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked aquatic invasive species, angling, and boating enforcement efforts. Angler success varied from day to day, with some anglers catching numerous walleye and crappie. Many complaints were received about “too many male slot fish…” and the resulting catch and release. Unfortunately one angler released a protected northern pike with the jaw spreader still in the pike’s beak. General compliance was good, with enforcement action taken for angle with extra lines and for insufficient PFDs. CO Arhart also received illegal beaver shooting and permanent duck blind complaints and he responded to a wildfire incident. Wetland and protected waters incidents were tracked for proper restoration efforts. Suckers are still running in some streams. The first American goldeneye ducklings were observed.

 

District 8 – Duluth area

 

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked area lakes and rivers most of the week. Boaters and anglers finally got some great weather to enjoy, although the weather didn’t improve fishing in the area. Public accesses were worked for aquatic invasive species. Bear and other wildlife complaints were handled

 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time working the North Shore tributaries for the spring fish run. Smelting enforcement was also worked resulting in several violations for illegal methods of taking smelt. Wildlife feeders most commonly used by birds in the winter are also a poplar food source for bears and raccoons. Several bear complaints were taken during the week and all were a result of wildlife feeders. Fishing, boating, and invasive species enforcement took up the majority of enforcement activity during the extended Memorial Day weekend. Some of the violations encountered included no angling licenses, extra lines, insufficient PDFs and no navigation lights after sunset.

 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling/boating, invasive species, off-highway vehicle, and fire enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey continued to receive nuisance bear and beaver calls. A livestock depredation complaint was also investigated.  Aquatic invasive compliance checks overall were good, however, several enforcement contacts were made with some boaters. A criminal complaint was signed on a deer season case involving trespass and shooting from a roadway. CO Humphrey responded to several fire calls which resulted in enforcement action. Angling, boating, OHV, burning, and AIS violations were encountered during the week.

 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spoke to a bow hunter education class in Carlton and worked boating, invasive species, and ATV activity over the holiday weekend. Enforcement action was taken for transporting weeds on trailers, failure to remove boat plugs, no ATV safety cert, operating with no helmet, equipment and registration violations. Complaints of nuisance beaver and bears were received in the area. Most of the bear complaints were because of bird feeders. People are reminded to remove your bird feeders, pet food, and garbage from the outside of your house if you do not want bears around. Assistance was given to the State Patrol with a person who fled into the woods on foot from a Trooper. A track with K9 Schody revealed evidence dropped by the suspect but he was not located.

 

WREO Officer Mike Scott (NE) checked area lakes talking with anglers and boaters reference AIS issues. Discussed minnow issue with numerous folks reference what they need to do to keep their minnows for use another day. Anglers are reminded that they need to bring water from a source other than lakes rivers or streams and exchange their minnow water before leaving any waters of the state if they plan on keeping their minnows for another day. Lots of activity was seen on area lakes, many out for the first time of the season. Fishing is starting to pick up and walleyes were seen in the live wells of many boats. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license in possession, no patch of skin on fish during transportation, gunnel riding on boats, allow illegal operation of ATV by juvenile, fail to display current registration. Several wildlife complaints were handled in the Duluth and Carlton area. Work on a deed restriction is ongoing for a WCA violation in the Cook county area.

 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

 

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) attended a change of command ceremony at the USCG station. The pleasant weather had many hitting area lakes and North Shore streams. Trout fishing on the North Shore streams was spotty this last week. Smelting is still underway. Lake Superior on the Duluth end still remains ice covered hampering smelting on park point. A reminder to check your boats and make sure you have the adequate number and size lifejackets. The water temps remain brutally cold.

 

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers on Lake Superior and inland lakes. A large area of pack ice is keeping the Duluth area of Superior quite cold and tough to fish. Inland anglers are finding a little better luck as nice weather warms the lakes. Assistance was given with drown proofing class at the ongoing Conservation Officer Academy. Enforcement action taken for angling violations.

 

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) assisted in instructing a drown proofing class to the DNR conservation officer academy. He also continued to check smelters and for illegal netting of rivers.

 

District 9 – Brainerd area

 

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week who were reporting slow activity on the Whitefish Chain. Officer Lee assisted with firearms training this past week to CO Academy 15. Handgun and rifle training and familiarization was given to the cadets. Officer Lee assisted other District 9 Officers with an ATV detail in the Foothills State Forest. Enforcement actions taken during the detail included registration issues, no helmets on youth, and other various safety issues were addressed. Officer Lee also attended an ATV Safety class in Emily; the class was well attended by area youth. Officer Lee also patrolled the Whitefish Chain, with enforcement action being taken for various boating safety violations.

 

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this past week.

The bite is slow, the most cooperative fish have been the pan fish. Violations he found were no license, not enough life jackets and expired boat registration. He worked on complaints of shoreline violations. A complaint of a road contractor taking more than 10,000 gal without a permit was also investigated. He worked with neighboring CO Tim Collette on AIS violations. Some of the violations observed were plugs in the boat while transporting them on the road and transporting zebra mussels. Complaints of vehicles on closed trails in the Pillsbury Forest were investigated.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked with approximately 480 middle school 5th graders on all-terrain vehicle safety. Numerous youth were given out the DNR Youth ATV Safety Training CD that is required to be completed by any youth intending on operating an ATV in Minnesota. Officer Guida and CO McGowan worked an evening on the Whitefish Chain where multiple BUI arrests were made. One such arrest was initiated after an occupant was observed urinating off the stern of the watercraft. Officer Guida also worked with other area Officers on an ATV enforcement detail in the Foothills State Forest near Spider Lake where various registration, title, and equipment violations were addressed.

 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) checked fishermen, ATVs and AIS compliance during the week. He assisted at a district AIS road check and investigated a complaint regarding the alteration of a lakebed.

 

CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored angling, boating safety and trail use and ATV/OHM trespassing in the Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area. He also assisted with an Aquatic Invasive Species road check near Cross Lake.

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) assisted with an Aquatic Invasive Species check station, checked anglers and boaters, and took part in a ATV work crew in the Foothills State Forest over the busy Memorial Weekend. Enforcement activity included expired registrations, ATV operators and passengers under 18 without helmets, allowing illegal juvenile ATV operation, ATV and off-road vehicles in closed areas, ORVs and ATVs operating in wetlands, transport invasive species (Zebra Mussels), transport watercraft without the plug removed and illegal entry into a gated/fenced state forest area.

 

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports working a road check for invasive and water transportation compliance in the Cross Lake area, working an OHV enforcement detail in the Pillsbury State Forest, and giving presentations on natural resource conservation and furbearing animals to science students at Riverside Elementary. He also reports patrolling high holiday weekend recreational activity including fishing, boating, state forest use, and OHV activity. Numerous contacts were made for a variety of OHV violations including no safety training, operating on highways, registration, illegal youth operation, no helmets, and operating off-trail and in posted closed areas in the state forests.

 

CO Pat McGowan (Pine River) reports a busy holiday weekend on area lakes. Numerous boaters were out enjoying the warm weather. Enforcement action was taken for boating while intoxicated, insufficient number of PFDs, slow no wake violations, no boat registration, illegal boat exhaust, riding on the gunwale of the boat, and fail to remove drain plug from watercraft when being transported.

 

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports working an AIS check station in the Crosslake area, working ATV enforcement as well as Off-Highway Motorcycle enforcement as several were observed in violation, and patrolling area lakes which were busy over the holiday weekend.

 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

 

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) had some more wolf depredation activity that involved a Red Angus calf that was likely killed and eaten by gray wolves. Fishing, boating and ATVing activity was also very busy over the Memorial Day holiday. Several violations were dealt with that included boating without required equipment and fishing without licenses. One angler, that finally realized he was being watched by COs, tried to hide his fishing pole from the officers. On another occasion, three anglers were escorted off the lake after they were found fishing without licenses and without lifejackets from a small, leaking boat that was taking on water.

 

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week checking anglers around the Pine City area and assisted area fisheries staff with monitoring the Hinckley dam. He spent the weekend working local state forests for ATV activity, spent time on the water working boating and angling enforcement, and assisted in a work detail on Mille Lacs. Enforcement contacts included no angling licenses, expired registration, transporting watercraft with plugs in, and youth helmet violations.

 

WREO Rob Haberman worked AIS road side checks in both the Brainerd and Mille Lacs areas. Many individuals where happy to see the Conservation Officers out helping to stop the spread of invasive species. WREO Haberman also worked AIS enforcement throughout the area at local accesses. WREO Haberman also worked boating enforcement on the White Fish Chain in Cross Lake.

 

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen out on Mille Lacs Lake throughout the week and weekend. The walleye bite was still a bit sluggish in most areas but folks were catching some nice small mouth bass and northern pike. ATV activity over the weekend was fairly heavy with the holiday weekend. The Officer responded to a call of a brush fire in the Solana State Forest and many law related questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend. Smaller lakes in the Malmo station were patrolled for fishing and boating activity over the weekend. The Officer participated in an invasive species checkpoint over the weekend and boaters are reminded to clean off vegetation, drain live wells, and remove their drain plug and leave it out while transporting their watercraft down the road. A ride along opportunity was given to a law enforcement student over the weekend. Enforcement action for the week included various fishing, boating, invasive species, and ATV violations.

 

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area lakes and Mille Lacs Lake. Smallmouth bass seem to be picking up and a few more walleye being caught. Beautiful weather conditions made more opportunities to catch a suntan for the holiday weekenders. Lots of lake owners were catching up on putting docks out and getting the cabin squared away. Many recreational vehicles were seen out and about. Area Conservation Officers participated in an invasive species road check near Malmo. Many contacts were made with a host of violations detected. ATV, fishing, boating and invasive species violations were handled.

 

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked angling activity including the bass opener and holiday traffic. Some bass and crappie limits were seen but walleye fishing remains slow. The warm weather brought out boating activity including personal water craft (PWC), water skis, and swimmers. Lack of adequate personal floatation devices was common. Verkuilen also enforced aquatic vegetation laws, participated in an invasive species road check, and monitored ATV traffic.

 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked an AIS checkpoint with fellow District 10 officers over the busy Memorial weekend. Violations encountered included transporting aquatic macrophytes, transporting zebra mussels and failing to remove boat plugs. Speldrich received multiple ATV/OHM complaints. Citations were issued for operating ATV/OHMs in prohibited areas. She responded to a call of 22 geese carcasses dumped on private property. An investigation was conducted but there are no suspects at this time. DNR Forestry staff responded to a grass fire over the weekend. Speldrich is investigating the case in an effort to locate a suspect/suspects. Fawns are being seen, which is a welcome sight after the difficult winter. Please do not be tempted to handle them if they are found. The doe will come back for them. Speldrich also assisted a State Trooper with a pursuit. The driver of the vehicle led the trooper on a short chase then fled from the vehicle on foot.

 

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) had a busy weekend with increased traffic in the station. A lot of people were recreating on ATVs on the Soo Line and in Redtop; violations rates were low for the rate of traffic, thank you. Angling activity was monitored on area lakes and violation rates were also low, thank you again. The officer assisted another officer with an over limit of crappies taken from Knife Lake. An invasive species detail was attended as well. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV on a US Highway, juveniles without helmets on ATVs and an over limit of crappies.

 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

 

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent the week checking anglers and boaters. A ride along opportunity was provided to a local high school student. Fishing picked up throughout the week with nice bags of walleyes and panfish being seen. Multiple over limits of crappies were handled over the weekend with over 200 fish being seized for illegal activity. Boat and water safety checks were made. Violations included no throwable device, no navigation lights, no registration, fail to transfer registration, and no legal fire extinguisher. CO Silgjord also had the privilege of witnessing an act of kindness by a young angler. The young man jumped from his watercraft, swam to a nearby shore fishing spot and assisted another angler that was having trouble climbing an embankment. After pulling to the shore to check for possible injuries, CO Silgjord was informed by the shore angler that he suffered from MS and had found himself in tough spot. The angler was appreciative of the help. CO Silgjord ran into the helpful young angler at the landing where a handshake and a little praise were both well deserved.

 

Conservation Officer Mike Martin (St. Cloud) worked at CO Academy 15, conducted a radio interview, and handled TIP calls during the past week.

 

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) responded to a call of a dog being killed by a bear at a local residence. At the residence it was found that the homeowners had garbage cans of bird seed that a sow and two cubs were getting into in the backyard. The three bears had worn a path back and forth to the cans and the homeowners had been taking pictures of the bears the week prior. The homeowner let their dog out into the back yard late that evening and the dog chased after the bears and was fatally injured. The homeowner now requested that the DNR relocate the bears and also wanted to know what to do about the eagles that were killing their cats. A report of a farmer digging in a wetland without a permit was investigated with a Cease and Desist Order issued for the violation and also the contractor doing the work was issued a citation as they had not filed their contractor responsibility form.

 

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) worked on a turkey case. CO Mies worked on tip calls dealing with anglers. CO Mies took a TIP call on bow fishermen dumping carp in road ditch and shooting too close to cabins.

 

WREO Keith Bertram spent most of the week working Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in Todd, Stearns, and Wright counties. Time was also spent checking bait dealers and their equipment operating in AIS infested waters. New wetland violations were discovered and addressed.

 

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) found lots of “no” violations:  no PFD, no fishing license, no boat plug removed, no vehicle registration, no helmet, no ATV safety certificate. Two individuals, not married, illegally purchased a husband and wife combo angling license, the reason: save $9.That savings was quickly negated with a fine, the combo license voided out and both now having to buy individual angling licenses. A father that was taking several kids fishing found the sunfish to be biting in the shallows close to shore. This offered the kids a great experience. That experience was tainted when the lakeshore owner chewed them out for fishing too close to her dock and to leave her fish alone. Minnesota lakes belong to the public, when on the water it is perfectly legal to fish around people’s docks.

 

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) reports average to a bit below average activity for the holiday weekend. Several cabin owners were up for the first time this season. Angling success increased some.

 

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, boaters and invasive species enforcement. Angling success in the area has picked up with the warmer weather and many people took advantage of the weather. Thesing assisted DNR Fisheries with electro survey for bass on Two River Lake. A deer case was wrapped up from the fall season.

 

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling, boating and turkey hunting activity. AIS was focused on during the holiday weekend with a few still not leaving drain plugs out. Individuals are reminded to leave baby wild animals wild, mothers are usually not far away.

 

District 12 – Princeton area

 

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) followed up on a bear hunting investigation. A commercial taxidermy shop was inspected with several violations noted. Fishing in the area has slowed this week with high water on most lakes. Enforcement action was taken for failing to register bear, fail to have proper taxidermy records, angling without a license, angling with extra lines, illegal combination license, and illegal length smallmouth bass.

 

CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) checked anglers and boaters over the holiday weekend, and also worked in Wright County with other officers enforcing invasive species laws. Officer Londgren also spoke with a group of elementary students on boating safety, had a law enforcement student ride along, took calls on nuisance animals, and completed a game farm inspection.

 

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen and boaters. He issued summons and written warning for fishing w/o fishing license, no registration, extra lines and life jackets violations. He wants everyone to know if they find a fawn deer to leave it alone and the doe will return to get it. He wants everyone to check their boats closely for vegetation and to drain all water from bait containers, live wells and to keep boat plugs removed while transporting there boats to and from the lakes or rivers.

 

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers/boaters and worked aquatic invasive species enforcement. Violations were found for angling without a license, extra lines, and a warrant arrest. A public waters violation was investigated and several animal complaints were handled.

 

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a busy holiday weekend in the area. One resident shot three rabbits and posted the kills on Facebook. He asked for people to join him in a memorial service on Memorial Day. The shooter was located and enforcement action was taken. CO Langevin reports a drowning on the St. Croix River over the weekend. An 11-year- old angler fell into the fast moving river water. Two adults jumped into save him but only one emerged with the child. Search and Rescue teams are still trying to locate the victim.

 

Cambridge – vacant.

 

District 13 – West Metro area

 

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked the bass opener, fishing was very good. Anglers were checked all week on special regulation lakes, designated trout lakes and night bow fishing all having good success. AIS checks were done at lake access sites with AIS inspectors. Enforcement action was taken for illegal parking, no angling licenses in possession, over possession limits of trout, no trout stamp, angling with extra lines and angling after revocation.

 

CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling and boating activity. CO Salzer attended an invasive species detail on Lake Minnetonka with other officers. Several violations were observed and enforcement action was taken.

 

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and participated in a multi-agency training on the Minnesota River. CO Grewe also worked an AIS checkpoint on lake Minnetonka over the weekend. Violations included overlimit of crappies and failing to remove drain plug while in transport.

 

CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) did boating enforcement at Dakota and Hennepin county lakes. He patrolled for ATV enforcement. CO Neitzke checked fishermen and answered fishing law questions. He also did AIS enforcement in Scott, Dakota, and Hennepin counties.

 

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked AIS and checked shore fishermen in the metro area lakes and rivers. He talked to a Hmong youth firearms safety class in St. Paul and assisted in a field day range. He also spoke with KARE 11 about boating safety on Lake Minnetonka.

 

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) responded to TIP call that involved the illegal taking of migratory waterfowl. He assisted with a work detail in West Metro District for AIS activity. Enforcement action was taken for taking migratory waterfowl in closed season, failure to display valid boat registration, and failure to pull a drain plug in a watercraft.

 

Bloomington – vacant.

 

Prior Lake – vacant.

 

District 14 – East Metro area

 

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked shore anglers and boaters around the metro lakes and rivers. He worked aquatic invasive species (AIS) enforcement with District 13 at Lake Minnetonka. CO Pril also investigated a complaint of a possible small game violation and responded to a bear call complaint in Savage.

 

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working mainly AIS activity. A detail around Lake Minnetonka was worked resulting in many violations for aquatic invasive species (AIS) activity. WREO Block assisted with a media event held at Lake Minnetonka to help educate boaters on the dangers of impaired operation and AIS. WREO Block also provided a ride along over the holiday weekend to a local media outlet reporting about boating as the unofficial boating season gets underway.

 

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week patrolling area lakes and the St. Croix River for anglers and watercraft users. CO Arntzen also responded to several reports of people keeping largemouth bass out of season, which resulted in enforcement action. CO Arntzen attended a border waters enforcement meeting in Hudson and assisted a neighboring law enforcement agency with a search and rescue on the Mississippi River.

 

CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he worked the bass opener and Memorial Day checking anglers and boaters. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, no life jackets, and unregistered watercraft. He responded to a complaint of an illegal fire and ATV’s in a wetland. He issued a citation for burning prohibited materials and warnings for unregistered ATVs. CO Johnson conducted a game farm inspection in Nowthen.

 

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) handled a call of a fawn being kept in a basement and worked fishing and boating enforcement on area lakes. She attended an award ceremony at Century College for three students she is mentoring, handled many TIP calls and attended a MN/WI border water meeting with various law enforcement agencies. CO Kruse is working on a bear hunting case, worked AIS enforcement at area accesses, checked on a wetland complaint and presented a 40 year volunteer firearms instructor award. Violations encountered included taking bass out of season, extra lines, over limit of crappies, no fishing license, insufficient number of life jackets, and transport boat with drain plug in.

 

Eagan – vacant.

 

Hastings – vacant.

 

Maplewood – vacant.

 

Metro Officer – vacant.

 

District 15 – Marshall area

 

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked AIS, angling, boating, and OHV activity during the week and the busy Memorial Day weekend. Many people said they were glad to finally be out enjoying the nice weather. This officer continues to be amazed at the amount of litter left by shore anglers.

 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) is reporting that nice weather made for a busy Memorial Day weekend. There was a lot of activity on area lakes and in local state parks.  Education was given to youth and adult ATV operators in reference to the use of ATV’s for farming.

 

CO Doug Lage (Lake Benton) has found that AIS compliance has been very good over the last few weeks. Anglers have been successful on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for boating and fishing violations.

 

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working anglers and ATVs. A few crappies were seen coming out of Lake Shetek. A good numbers of boaters were out between rain showers.  ATV operators are reminded to stay off Highway 30 in Slayton.

 

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports a busy Memorial Day weekend. Enforcement action was taken for multiple issues including fishing related issues, AIS, ATV, state park violations, littering, and bow fishing. With the warmer weather anglers are finding more fish.

CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) spent the week checking anglers and performing AIS inspections on watercraft at area boat landings. Enforcement activity for the week included boating and fishing violations.

 

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) a public waters violation site was checked in Big Stone County. A Wetlands Conservation Act restoration order was issued in Watonwan County. AIS checks were completed on area lakes and enforcement action was taken for AIS and fishing license violations. An AIS law enforcement class was taught at the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Department.

 

Benson – vacant.

 

Madison – vacant.

 

Redwood Falls – vacant.

 

District 16 – New Ulm area

 

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) worked boating, fishing and AIS activity over the holiday weekend.  Overall fishing continues to be slow. He also took wildlife calls in addition to complaints regarding bass out of season.

 

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) worked area lakes and the Minnesota River during the week and during the holiday weekend. She focused on boat and water safety regulations. The rising water temperature seemed to help with the fishing activity. Mueller worked AIS enforcement at area lakes and patrolled the Luce Line State Trail for ATV activity. She also taught water safety at Camp Ripley for the academy officers.

 

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) focused on angling enforcement in the area. Fishing has stayed fairly average so far. Oberg also focused his time on doing aquatic invasive species checks at area public water accesses. A TIP call was also followed up on.

 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding fish over limits and taking bass during the closed season. He spent the week working fishing, boating, ATV, and AIS enforcement activities. Some nice bass were observed caught on area lakes.

 

CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week checking anglers, watercraft and ATV activity. With the warmer temperatures, the walleye bite has heated up on some area lakes. Beckmann also spent time instructing at CO Academy 15 at Camp Ripley

 

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked anglers, ATVs, boat and water safety, and turkey hunters. Gruhlke took calls on sick raccoon and abandoned fawn deer. He also completed a radio show discussing watercraft safety and invasive species.

 

Litchfield – vacant.

 

Willmar #1 – vacant.

 

District 17 – Mankato area

 

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked angling and water recreation activity. Activity levels were lower than expected, despite nice weather for most of the weekend. Enforcement action taken for minor angling and boating violations.

 

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) patrolled for anglers, boaters, as well as ATV and OHM operators this week. Additional time was spent checking turkey hunters and monitoring AIS compliance at area PWAs.

 

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) focused on angling, boating, and AIS activity. A nuisance beaver complaint was addressed and assistance was given on a possible wetlands violation.  An illegal dumping complaint was investigated. The officer also participated in a work detail on Mille Lacs Lake on Memorial weekend.

 

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports a busy holiday weekend. Area lakes were busy thanks to the nice weather. Time was spent on the Minnesota River as well. A trespassing complaint was investigated. The officer handled an ATV complaint.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, AIS, and boat & water activity. The officer also responded to TIP calls & calls from the public. Several violations were encountered during the week regarding angling & boating issues.

 

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring trout fishing and recreational vehicle activity. A boat and water enforcement detail on Lake Mille Lacs was worked with neighboring officers. A commercial licensing inspection was performed. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.

 

WREO Julie Siems (SE) investigated WCA violations, issued restoration orders, working boating, fishing and AIS enforcement.

 

Albert Lea – vacant.

 

District 18 – Rochester area

 

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking turkey hunters. A citation was issued to one subject without a license. Success has slowed. Trout anglers were out over the holiday weekend. One angler was found to be over limit on trout. Enforcement action was taken. Time was also spent checking ATV’s and OHM’s. A bear sighting was also reported.

 

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing and boating enforcement on the Mississippi River over the busy holiday weekend. Numerous vessels were checked that out for the first time of the year. Fishing is beginning to pick up with the water level continuing to drop. Enforcement contacts included short walleye, no license, unregister boats, etc.

 

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and rec vehicles during the week. Fishing is slow with the high water on the Mississippi. Trout anglers were doing better and morel hunters were doing well.

 

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports the high water levels and fast flow kept boat activity down. Many folks took advantage of the few shore fishing areas. Trout streams saw a good number of fishermen. He assisted Wisconsin Wardens with catching a Wisconsin commercial fisherman running set lines in Minnesota waters. He gave a career talk at the Caledonia High School.

 

CO Phil George (Rochester) spent the week checking anglers and boaters. An AIS detail was worked at Lake Zumbro with no violations detected. Many anglers and boaters were out on the weekend and enforcement actions were taken for boating violations, over limit of crappie, and angling with extra lines. A class was taught to the current CO Academy at Camp Ripley.

 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports lots of mushroom hunting in the area while the high river has slowed boating and fishing. He responded to complaints of mushroom hunting trespass, ATV trespass, and turkey hunting trespass. He also followed up on a complaint of a boater failing to be inspected by an AIS inspector. There continues to be baby wildlife calls and questions.

 

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week and weekend checking anglers, boaters and working on invasive species activity. The nice weather over the weekend along with dropping river levels brought a lot of people out to use the river. Fishing success has been very good with lots of fish being seen in live wells. Some fishing, boating, forestry and invasive species violations were detected.

 

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 Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of fish-related flying. Jensen stocked around 26,000 lake trout into Trout Lake in the BWCA. Jensen also flew aerial creel surveys over Leech and Lake Vermilion. He flew a flight to search for a possible illegal residence in the Superior National Forest and took pictures of a grass fire in Cass County.

 

CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent time in Bemidji flying creel survey missions over Leech Lake. The holiday weekend brought some heavy boat traffic with well over 500 boats, most of them fishing counted in one hour alone. A drive through was conducted of Lake Bemidji State Park and staff advised they were experiencing high holiday weekend numbers of patrons. Patrol vehicle and aircraft maintenance issued were also addressed.

 

CO Pilot Bob Geving finished up the nesting waterfowl survey in the northern part of the state. Preliminary numbers are consistent with the previous few years.

 

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew the east central sand hill crane survey.

 

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

 

WREO reports are now placed within district reports.

 

Enforcement Education

 

Please check the DNR WEB SITE at www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Education Courses and instructor training sessions

 

If you missed a fall class and are over 18, check on-line for Adult Home Study or On-Line course information is also located at www.mndnr.gov.

 

Please check the DNR WEB SITE www.mndnr.gov  for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions. Adult Snowmobile Safety Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.

 

Youth ATV Courses (12 to 15 years old) class postings for around the state are posted on the web site at www.mndnr.gov.  Students are reminded that they must complete the CD portion of the course before attending the classroom portion of the course. Youth/Adult ATV Safety Training Course CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR

 

Reminder—anyone born after December 31st, 1979 cannot purchase a license to hunt in Minnesota without first taking a DNR Safety Training Course and receiving a certificate.  In addition many states have even more stringent mandatory Hunter Education requirements.  Check before you go!!!

 

Reminder—Any resident born after December 31st, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota, must possess a snowmobile certificate.  Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can attend the traditional youth course.  Those 16 or older can take the at home CD course.

 

Reminder—Anyone born after July 1st, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota, must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training CD course.  Persons under age 16 must complete the ATV CD Course and riding component before riding on public lands. Youth/Adult ATV Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.

 

SCHEDULED INSTRUCTOR TRAINING SESSIONS

If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador or one of the Advanced Hunter programs, contact your local Conservation Officer or Regional Safety Training officer.  Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR Website.

See Also:

STAFF NOTES:

NE RTO Shelly Patten held (MBEP) Bow Hunter Ed Instructor training in Grand Rapids and certified 9 instructors to teach the Bowhunter Education Field Day. Patten taught Firearms training at the Academy. New officers were trained in handgun, rifle and shotgun. Patten assisted Northome Elementary with their first ever Firearms Safety Field Day. Students were taught firearms safety in the classroom in sixth grade. On Friday, the students were bussed to the fairgrounds for an all-day of Field Day training. Special thanks to area instructors that took the day off of work to help with the field day and to the school that sent extra staff members to assist the students.

 

NW RTO Jon Paurus worked on instructor certification paperwork. The officer spent a couple of days during the week assisting with academy firearms training. Time was also spent assisting the local CO’s with field work.

 

Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week working on setting up HEFAS instructor training for June 24th at Cabela’s in Owatonna. Time was also spent responding to emails and phone calls.

 

NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence answered calls from safety instructors on program changes. RTO Lawrence met with safety instructors to review a firearms safety field day site at a local area gun club. RTO Lawrence worked with RTO Patten on follow-up BCA background check from a recent ATV safety instructor class. Over the Memorial Day weekend holiday, RTO Lawrence patrolled the back roads and fishing spots areas along the St. Croix River in Pine, Chisago, and Washington counties. RTO Lawrence checked anglers with variety of pan fish and walleye as their catches of the day and assisted with inspection of watercraft for AIS compliance alongside a DNR watercraft inspector. Also, RTO Lawrence spoke with ATV and OHM operators about legal areas to ride OHVs and laws relating to youth operation and registration requirements.

 

SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez worked on background packets from a Volunteer FAS instructor clinic.  The RTO assisted with an online youth FAS Class in Eitzen. The turnout was not as good as expected, with only 3 of 8 registered students showing up. Nonetheless, the RTO trained in three instructors so the student to instructor ratio was spot on. During the day the kids were provided lunch, and after the class, they were provided an opportunity to shoot a .20 gauge shotgun and a clay pigeons.

 

Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week finalized recreational vehicle training plans for the academy, picked up needed related equipment and delivered it, put together ATV Safety Public Service Announcements and sent out, and answered phone calls related to ATV and OHM operation from people who were preparing for the holiday weekend. Owens also taught a Volunteer ATV Instructor Class last week as well.

 

RTO PHONE NUMBERS/E-MAIL:

Rec. Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens      763-753-1887  leland.owens@state.mn.us

NE RTO Shelly Patten                        218-244-8051

West Central RTO Frank Rezac 320-230-8549   frank.rezac@state.mn.us

NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence651-674-6184  bruce.lawrence@state.mn.us

Southern RTO Dan McBroom507-843-2032  daniel.mcbroom@state.mn.us

NW RTO Jon Paurus218-298-4000  jon.paurus@state.mn.us

SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez651-464-7773   alex.gutierrez@state.mn.us

 

Curriculum Specialist:  Vacant

 

Education Specialist:  Vacant

 

Curriculum Coordinator:  Vacant

 

 

 

Weekly Conservation Officer Report

 

CONSERVATION OFFICER WEEKLY REPORT

05-19-2014

 

District 1 – Baudette area

 

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) monitored angling activity on the Warroad River and Lake of the Woods. ATV and OHM contacts were made around Roseau and Kittson counties.

 

CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) worked angling and boating activity on area rivers. A complaint of anglers taking illegal fish is under investigation. Boats and trailers were monitored for AIS compliance. CO Warren spoke with a lake association president in regards to topics and issues for upcoming speaking engagement.

 

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working angling activity on Upper Red Lake and special regulation lakes throughout the week. Time was spent investigating various wildlife calls, wolf depredation, nuisance beaver and one caller reported a suspicious death of a deer which was determined to have been a result of predation by coyotes. CO Regas responded to a report of an injured pelican. The pelican was found entangled in a landing net which appeared to have come detached from its handle while an angler was landing a northern pike. CO Regas cut the pelican from the netting. The pelican appeared not to have been injured and was eager to return to cruising about Blackduck Lake. A littering issue was addressed with one angler who discarded the entrails of his catch at a public access.

 

CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and ATV activity throughout the week.  Anglers continue to report excellent fishing on Upper Red Lake. While monitoring fishing activity CO Gorecki observed an angler catch what appeared to be an illegal length fish and place it in a compartment in the front of the boat. After watching for a while longer CO Gorecki eventually approached the boat and checked the anglers. They reported a couple of walleye and opened a livewell in the back of the boat which contained a couple legal walleye. CO Gorecki had them open the dry storage compartments in the front of the boat and found three illegal length pre-spawn female walleye underneath the life jackets in the compartment. Appropriate enforcement action was taken.

 

Baudette -vacant.

 

Blackduck #2 – vacant.

 

Karlstad – vacant.

 

Warroad #1 – vacant.

 

Warroad #2 – vacant.

 

District 2 – Bemidji area

 

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports focusing time on checking anglers and boaters. Time was also spent checking ATV operators and talking to boaters about AIS laws. Follow-up work was also done on a wetland impact site and a wolf case from the 2013 trapping season.

 

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) assisted other agencies, attended a Law Enforcement Memorial and participated in a radio talk show. Angling, leeching, boating and beaver problems were monitored.

 

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers, boaters and ATVers. ATVers and boaters are reminded to check their machines for current registration.

 

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity throughout the week. Anglers are reporting mixed success. CO Vollbrecht investigated a complaint of an illegally set trap and a possible wolf depredation. Boaters were checked for safety equipment compliance. Time was spent patrolling area trails and closed forest roads for ATV activity.

 

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) spent the week checking angling and sucker spearing activity. A good number of boaters and anglers were checked in Itasca State Park. Time was also spent at public accesses speaking with boaters about aquatic invasive species. A complaint regarding an injured deer was handled and a nuisance beaver permit was issued.

 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking anglers and discussing AIS concerns with boaters. Nuisance beaver permits were also issued. TIP calls of possible over limits were investigated.

 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) monitored fishing activity, assisted at the academy and helped Menahga Fire Department with taking 75 fourth graders out for the “Hooked on Fishing” event.

 

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen. Activity is picking up with the better weather. Time was also spent working fishing TIPs and teaching ATV class in the vacant Moorhead station. A dead eagle call was investigated and turkey hunters were checked.

 

WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on WCA and AIS activity. Time was spent on site visits and issuing Cease and Desist Orders for WCA violations. Time was also spent on Use of Force training for the CO Academy. Fishermen and boaters were checked for AIS law compliance at public access points. Training was set up with local law enforcement for AIS law training for newly hired officers.

 

Moorhead – vacant.

 

Detroit Lakes – vacant.

 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

 

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) seized incidental caught fur during the beaver season.  Questions were answered about invasive species regulations. Richards participated in Law Enforcement Day at the Fergus Falls Police Department displaying furs, wings, racks, and turkey parts for elementary students. Violations addressed during the week included, angling, AIS, ATV, and boat safety issues.

 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) assisted CO Oldakowski with “hooked on fishing not on drugs” detail taking approximately 77 fourth graders out fishing for two hours over the weekend. Plautz worked a booth on boat and water safety education during a family fun night in the Verndale area teaching kids and parents the importance of boat safety and wearing a life jacket. Fish overlimit complaints were investigated throughout the week. Officers Plautz and Richards watched two anglers using two lines each and both parties were cited for the violations. Plautz also cited an ATV operator for operating an ATV with expired registration.

 

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) worked on AIS, fishing and boating enforcement. Additional time was spent handling complaints on nuisance beaver, litter and ATV complaints. Time was spent on minnow dealer issues regarding shiner minnow transportation. Several questions have been handled on fishing regulations and transportation of water and vegetation.

 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen and boating activity on area lakes. Water temperature is still very cool and fishing success is low with the cool temperatures. ATV and OHM complaint areas were worked along with AIS enforcement. So far this spring AIS compliance has been good.

 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports lots of fishing activity on all station lakes. Walleyes are still slow but panfish are steady with lots of good shore fishing success observed.  Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and a boat with multiple fishermen without any PFDs onboard.

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued to work fishing, boating, and AIS enforcement on and around area waterways. AIS compliance has been very good so far this open water season. Additional time was spent working ATV and fire enforcement, patrolling for turkey hunting activity, and following up on a litter violation. CO’s Johanson and Lawler used their ATVs to assist the Douglas County SO during an active search for a burglary suspect that fled to a rural area.

 

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on fishing, boating and AIS enforcement on area lakes. CO Anderson assisted North Dakota Game and Fish with the investigation of a complaint generated from internet social media postings about an overlimit of fish taken in ND. Anderson assisted ND trying to locate the individual in question.  Minnow transportation permits were issued along with calls handled regarding a sick raccoon and turkey hunting questions.

 

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) checked fishermen, boaters, ATV operators, and monitored AIS compliance this past week. Additional time was spent investigating a complaint of people harassing geese, and a complaint of someone blocking a culvert. The officer assisted the Pope Co. Sheriff’s Office with a motorcycle accident.

 

Wheaton – vacant.

 

District 4 – Wadena area

 

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked anglers, followed up on a wetland violation and took care of some equipment maintenance. Remote lakes and camping sites were checked and a complaint involving OHVs was taken.

 

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked anglers and ATV’ers. Officer Hunter assisted in the Hooked on Fishing event held in Menahga where the entire fourth grade class learned about fishing. CO Hunter took two of the fourth grade boys out in her boat and aided them in fishing while answering fishing, wildlife and DNR related questions the youngsters had.  Though CO Hunter was successful in dodging dare devil lures, the fishing for the two boys was less than a success. One of the students brought to the officers attention that the reason he didn’t catch any fish was clearly because he was fishing with a girl (Officer Hunter).

 

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked anglers over the week and noted fewer anglers on the water. A “Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs” event was attended with 75 fourth graders on the water fishing. A good time was had by anglers and mentors. An illegal otter case was investigated and time was spent at the Law Enforcement Memorial for fallen officers.

 

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers, ATVs, boaters, and invasive species law compliance. Animal complaints such as harassing coyotes, nuisance beaver, and nuisance bear were handled. CO Mathy also went to a fire and missing person call. Enforcement action was taken for ATV in a wetland, angle without license, no PFD, and invasive species violations.

 

CO Larry Francis (Remer) focused on fishing, boating and AIS issues during the week.  Anglers are reminded that portable bait containers should be drained before leaving a PWA.  An illegal dumping complaint was investigated and enforcement action taken. Other enforcement action included extra lines, unattended lines, illegal operation of OHMs and no license in possession.

 

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling and ATV activity.  Angling success varied. CO Broughten investigated multiple public waters violations and nuisance beaver complaints. CO Broughten also assisted with a fire that ignited multiple structures and approximately 40 acres. Enforcement action included no angling license in possession, no personal floatation device, no type IV PFD, and allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile.

 

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked AIS and angling activity. High water has created bog problems on Lake Alex. Beaver and bear complaints were handled.

 

Water Recourse Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala followed up with a site visit to a public waters violation where the landowner hauled in fill to create more shoreline. The landowner will be required to bring the lakeshore back to pre-existing condition. He also worked on AIS enforcement planning for the summer. Assistance was given at a local Hooked on Fishing event for area fourth graders. Officer Siltala took three kids out in his boat and taught them the basics of fishing. Time was also given to AIS enforcement on area lakes. Overall compliance was good. Enforcement action was taken for failure to remove drain plug.

 

District 5 – Eveleth area

 

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports checking fishing activity on Rainy Lake and Lake Kabetogama, ice is finally out on Kabetogama while Rainy is still iced up on the main part of the lake. ATV operating complaints along with beaver trapping issues were handled also.

 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) monitored angling activities, researched equipment, checked public access sites and worked on administrative items.

 

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports working Lake Vermilion and area rivers for angling activity throughout the week. The rivers continue to flow very fast and no angling activity was observed. Lake Vermilion has water levels very high also, however the large walleyes are biting but catching a few fish below the slot limit has been a challenge.

 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked boaters, anglers, ATVs, and closed out a multiple furbearer carcass dumping case with a citation. The officer was having a hard time finding anglers one weekday; however the officer located a few anglers (on two separate lakes) that had wished they had stayed home. Two were cited for no angling license and one was using an extra line (who also made an obscene gesture to a helicopter pilot flying by). The other lake harbored an angler that opened up bass season over a week early, keeping a four- pounder. Other enforcement action was taken on boat registration and a number of ATV violations.

 

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) served as an honor guard at the fallen peace officer memorial on May 15 in St Paul. Area lakes and rivers were patrolled and anglers and boaters were checked. Shore fishermen report little success and those using boats are only fairing slightly better. Violations include no type 4 PFD and no lights after sunset. Boaters need to realize that lights are required to be turned on for all watercraft after sunset, not when it gets dark.

 

I. Falls # 2 – vacant.

 

Ray – vacant.

 

Tower – vacant.

 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

 

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports fair weather gave many anglers ample opportunity to make it out on the lakes in the Ely area. Although success was difficult for some, most anglers did well with both walleyes and northerns. Violations included possessing an illegal length fish, fail to display boat registration, and angling without a license in possession.

 

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked fishermen throughout the week. The walleyes are still spawning in the creeks and are still vulnerable a week after fishing opener. Unregistered canoes are flooding into the area and people are reminded that watercraft over 10 feet in length require registration even if you are just borrowing it from a friend or relative.

 

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that on the second weekend of the fishing season, a few Cook County Lakes had ice cover. The big part of Saganaga was still iced over. If you cut through the islands you could get down to American Point. People found plenty of open campsites and fishable water on Sag. Ice was still on Devil Track and it should be out soon. The ice on Devil Track stole the sea plane base dock and took off with it. Not many people took advantage of the open water and nice temps inland. Those that did caught some nice fish. A couple of walleyes in the high 20 inch class and one over 30 inches were reported to the CO. The CO did a quick paddle into the BWCA and found a few paddlers out and about.

 

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) helped volunteer safety instructors with ATV Safety class in Grand Marais. CO Manning seized several untagged minnow traps from one small lake. Anglers are reminded to check page 76 of the 2014 Fishing Regulations booklet for specifics on minnow trapping for personal use. The officer also checked anglers on Lake Superior tributaries and inland lakes; some ice was still seen on the inland lakes.

 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) had a busy week of enforcement activity. One night while monitoring a local spawning creek an individual was observed dip netting the spawning walleyes. Upon apprehension he was found to be without a fishing license and in possession of more than one fish over 20 inches, including a 24 inch walleye still full of eggs. Unfortunately the fish was unable to be returned to the water, wasting the potential for many fish to be added to the future population. Later research also revealed the individual had made false application for husband/wife angling licenses in the past. Another noteworthy incident included an individual transporting a live walleye in water in the livewell from another area lake which is infested with invasive species and driving his vehicle while having a cancelled inimical to public safety driving status. Other enforcement action for the week included possession of illegal length northern pike, possession of un-measurable fillets on a special regulation lake, transporting watercraft with the drain plug in place, and litter.

 

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers and boating activity on area lakes in Cook and Lake counties. The Officer helped teach at an ATV safety class where the students demonstrated their skills at riding an ATV. Wahlstrom monitored ATV activity and checked steelhead anglers along the North Shore.

 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV and fishing activity in the area and followed up on trapping investigations. Late spring fish run activities were monitored and the officer responded to a grass fire likely started by a train.

 

Silver Bay – vacant.

 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

 

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, patrolled for illegal ATV activity, worked spring fish run activity, and investigated complaints on litter; possible overlimits; beavers; and extra lines.

 

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, minnow trapping, and patrolled for ATV activity. Violations included fail to display registration, and no license in possession. He also took wildlife complaints.

 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) completed fish and game detection training with his K-9 partner Si, checked anglers and worked boat and water safety. Angler success with good. Enforcement action was taken for no throwable device on board water craft and angling license issues.

 

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activities in the area with the walleye fishing beginning to heat up. Enforcement action was taken for possessing a slot walleye, angling without a license, failure to register a watercraft and for not having enough lifesaving devices on board a watercraft.

 

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, state parks and campgrounds. He also taught an ATV safety class during the week.

 

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working fishing and ATV activity. Wichmann attended boating enforcement training and attended a lake association meeting.

 

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked aquatic invasive species efforts checking anglers, boaters and their equipment.  CO Arhart also investigated ATV travel in wetlands and assisted Deer River PD with a solid waste complaint. Enforcement action was taken for possessing slot sized walleye, as well as angling and state park violations.

 

District 8 – Duluth area

 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, off-highway vehicle, and fire enforcement throughout the week. Anglers continued to report slow catch rates on area lakes. CO Humphrey assisted on the shore in the Duluth area checking anglers and smelters. CO Humphrey patrolled in the Fond Du Lac State Forest where roads and trails continued to be closed to motorized vehicle use. Several more nuisance bear calls were received. Most involved bears foraging at bird feeders or in garbage. CO Humphrey spoke to 20+ students and answered questions at a firearms safety class held at Cromwell School. CO Humphrey received a report of a winter related fish kill on a second area lake near Cromwell. Angling, boating, and taking fuel wood without a permit violations were encountered.

 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week working fishing enforcement. Area lakes were checked and lots of time spent on Lake Superior tributaries for the steelhead and smelt runs. A few bear and wolf complaints were taken during the week. One day was spent assisting the US Border Patrol. Time was also worked on invasive species enforcement.

 

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked area lakes and rivers. Anglers are still finding a slow bite with little success. Smelt netters were worked and smelters are having some luck. Wolf depredation calls are starting to come in and one complaint was investigated in Meadowlands. The officer spoke at the Twin Ports Walleye Association rules meeting for their annual tournament on the St. Louis River. Wildlife complaints are plentiful with bears looking for food and one report of an aggressive grouse.

 

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported another busy week in the station with lots of anglers and ATV users out taking advantage of the better weather conditions. Boating safety requirements were concentrated on during the week and reports good compliance. A person attempted to convince the officer that he was only checking water depth of a local stream with the use of a spear. A citation was issued for attempting to take, angling/spearing, without a license. Burning without a permit and burning of prohibited materials violations were also encountered.

 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a jury trial on a stolen ATV case that was worked with Moose Lake PD and the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office. K9 training was attended in the metro area with K9 Schody. With nicer weather, fishing activity has picked up in the area.  Enforcement action was taken for angling with an extra line, no license in possession, and a person under 21 in possession of alcohol.  A talk was given to a firearm safety class in Barnum.

 

WREO Mike Scott participated in the 2014 Law Enforcement Memorial in St. Paul honoring all fallen officers in Minnesota as well as 18 fallen Conservation Officers. An honor guard of seven Conservation Officers participated in the memorial. Anglers were checked on area lakes with fishing still spotty but signs of improvement were seen. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license, no fishing license in possession, no life jackets and failure to display current registration. Smelters were checked on area rivers, streams, and Park Point. Sunday night saw the best smelting yet with everyone participating filling coolers, five gallon pails and some even garbage bags. All participating were enjoying the catch but not the cold wind and water.

 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

 

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers and smelters in North Shore tributaries who were still waiting for the water to warm. Season prep was completed on big lake issues for the coming summer, and questions answered regarding commercial activity. The LEMA Police Memorial event in St Paul was attended along with other COs. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.

 

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent the week working river and lake anglers. He also worked smelt netters and rivers for illegal netting. One person was caught netting a looper while smelt netting. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.

 

District 9 – Brainerd area

 

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week with anglers reporting a so-so bite on walleyes and pretty good on crappies. This past week Officer Lee assisted with CO Academy training dealing with alcohol enforcement training, and use of force training to the new Conservation Officer Candidates. Officer Lee also assisted with ATV training in Ironton. Officer Lee spoke to youth as well as parents about ATV rules, and regulations along with explaining Conservation Officer duties.

 

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) spent most of the week checking crappie anglers as the bite has been fast and furious. Several TIP calls of overlimits and multiple trips per day were investigated with several violations found of too many crappies and sunfish and keeping bass out of season. Reports of ATV’s in a wetland and unchecked leech traps were also looked into with charges pending.

 

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports attending Boating Under the Influence e (BUI) enforcement training. CO Peterson also inspected sites with wetland violations and investigated several ATV complaints. She checked several anglers some finding success, but the bite remains slow in most areas.

 

CO Jim Guida (Nisswa) patrolled station for angling activity. A crappie bite received extra attention and with help from other area Officers over limits were addressed. Officer Guida spent time at boat and water training in the metro which dealt primarily with the detection and arrest of impaired boat operators.

 

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including monitoring spring panfish and trout bites, work on a shooting or possibly a deer poaching complaint, and speaking to students on laws and ethics at the firearms safety program at Cuyuna Range Elementary school.

 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) checked fishermen and turkey hunters during the week. Invasive species work and ATV activity was also monitored. The officer assisted Aitkin Fisheries Staff with a presentation to Rippleside Elementary fourth graders. Anglers continue to be uninformed and/or unwilling to transfer minnow and leech water after returning to accesses.

 

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The anglers are out in full force and report the walleye bite is fair. The pan fish have also been cooperative and over limit complaints have been investigated. Violations he observed were bow fishing without a license, over limit of crappie and sunfish. Reports of trespassing by shore anglers on Gull Lake were received and warnings issued. He worked on aquatic invasive species prevention on Gull Lake. Most boaters are doing well cleaning, pulling plugs and draining live wells. Reports of very large floating cattail bogs have been reported. A large bog was blocking the channel connecting Gull to Margret Lake. He checked turkey hunters who are having success and still seeing turkeys.

 

CO Pat McGowan (Pine River) worked Cass and Crow Wing counties for angling enforcement. Numerous anglers were checked over the weekend and most anglers were finding a few crappies. Enforcement action was taken for failure to remove drain plug from boat when transporting on a roadway, angle without a license, boating violations, and several crappie over limits.

 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

 

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent time checking anglers and boaters during the week. He spent time assisting Mille Lacs officers with work around the lake, spent time checking and following up on ATV complaints, and spent time checking anglers in the Mora area. High water is still a problem for people in the Pine City area making launching boats at some accesses difficult. Panfish seem to be the most targeted species in the area with fish still not wanting to bite consistently.

 

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) assisted with academy training for alcohol week at Camp Ripley. Candidates were trained to administer Field Sobriety Tests and report writing. The training included the use of actor based scenarios to test proficiency. Residents on an area lake expressed concerns of high water due to run off and drainage problems. Plans of meeting with appropriate DNR staff were discussed. Time was spent teaching ethics and laws to a firearms safety class at Wealthwood Rod and Gun Club. Thank you to the volunteer instructors who put on an excellent course. Mille Lacs and area lakes still seem to have a sluggish walleye bite. Several parties had good luck with northern pike. Enforcement action was taken on fishing and boating violations.

 

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked some anglers that were starting to find a few crappies and sunfish and handled several ATV complaints. Nuisance bear complaints also started to come in. A few bears trying to cross roads were hit by cars so drivers need to be aware of that also. A gray wolf depredation complaint was finished up and two wolves were removed from a farm where cattle were being harassed and a calf was killed.

 

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checked fishermen out on Mille Lacs Lake throughout the week and weekend and also working the night ban on the lake. A few keepers were seen and most reported catching some fish but most were protected slot fish. The Officer assisted at Camp Ripley training new Conservation Officers during the week also. Assistance was given to the State Patrol on an accident with injuries and assistance was given to the local sheriff’s department on a disturbance call. Several county and state land areas were checked for ATV traffic over the weekend. Tribal Harvest on Mille Lacs Lake was monitored and a nuisance beaver permit was issued to a landowner. Invasive species enforcement was worked throughout the Malmo station and some equipment maintenance was done on station equipment.  Lots of fishing, trapping, boating, and ATV law related questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend. Enforcement action for the week included the following: violations of mille lacs lake night ban, no fishing license in possession, insufficient PFDs and no fire extinguisher on watercraft.

 

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked angling and boating activity. Catch rates are still slow possibly due the late spring and cold water temperatures. Verkuilen also worked ATV traffic, investigated a wetland complaint, and enforced burning restrictions.

 

WREO Rob Haberman worked AIS enforcement at accesses. WREO Haberman checked lake service providers and watercraft coming to access and leaving infested waters. WREO Haberman also checked fishermen at shore fishing spots. Some anglers were having success. WREO Haberman also conducted site visits of wetland violations in Aitkin County.

 

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked fishing activities and ATV traffic. A mother was cited for riding an ATV on a busy tar county road and having a very young passenger without a helmet. A boat registration issue was followed up on, as well as assistance given to an individual who could not buy a fishing license. A wetland issue was also worked on with other officers. An over limit of turkey case is currently being worked on.

 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended the annual Law Enforcement Memorial service as part of the LEMA Honor Guard. At the service, they remembered fallen State of Minnesota Peace Officers. Also during the week, she worked anglers, ATVers, responded to calls regarding nuisance beaver issues, injured animals and assisted area parents with obtaining Firearms Safety Certificates. She completed an investigation of illegal trapping and issued citations for failing to tend traps. Officer Speldrich also made contact with prosecutors regarding a complaint from last fall. She patrolled closed state forest roads and investigated the illegal dumping of 45 beaver carcasses. The investigation is ongoing. Enforcement contacts were made with an OHM operator who was illegally operating his OHM on a roadway, illegal travel in a limited state forest and failing to transfer title on OHMs.  Speldrich checked anglers and saw a few fish but the bite remains rather slow. Anglers were reminded pull their plugs and remove weeds.

 

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) spoke with local business/resort owners, the Mille Lacs Messenger and at the Wahkon City Council meeting regarding Invasive Species laws and enforcement. The officer requested assistance in public education regarding the laws to assist in reducing the spread of invasive species and curb enforcement action. ATV traffic picked up in the area; please pay attention where you operating your ATVs and pay close attention to ATV signs. Angling activity was monitored on several lakes to include Knife Lake where several over-limits of crappies were seized. Mille Lacs Lake produced a few keeper fish as the water slowly starts to warm up. Enforcement action was taken for expired ATV registration, failure to display ATV registration, expired OHM registration, failure to transfer OHM ownership, illegal length walleye & pike, angling without a license, angle with extra line, no throwable device, navigation lights, no fire extinguisher on a boat  and angling while revoked.

 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

 

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) conducted angling checks throughout the week. Angling success appeared to rise with the temperature towards the end of the week. CO Silgjord, with assistance from 2nd Lt. Bertram, investigated a wetlands violation. Time was also spent working boating safety with PFD violations being found. CO Silgjord assisted with an AIS work detail on the Horseshoe Chain. Compliance was high and boaters/anglers seemed very aware of Minnesota’s AIS laws. Most questions revolved around the transportation of bait after coming off the lake. Anglers were advised to leave freshwater from home in their vehicle so minnows or leeches can be swapped out after loading the boat. Other enforcement action for the week included angling with extra lines and angling without a license.

 

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked angling enforcement along with boat and water patrol. An aquatic invasive species work crew was worked in the Richmond area. Thesing assisted with the CO academy. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, expired boat registration, failure to remove drain plug and various boating equipment violations.

 

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) attended training, worked with the county attorney, and held an AIS detail in his station. Anglers in the area are starting to find more fish. Enforcement action was taken for transporting aquatic vegetation, no fishing license in possession and failing to display valid boat registration.

 

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) participated in an AIS work crew. Most people checked were knowledgeable about AIS laws and in compliance. Angling success was poor. Areas were patrolled for recreational vehicle activity. Nuisance beaver complaints were addressed. Possible WCA violations are under investigation.

 

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) reports that 30 year instructor awards were given to three Randall area DNR Volunteer Firearm Safety Instructors and CO Kuske participated in an AIS work crew in Stearns County. Most boaters where familiar with the law on transporting their boat with the drain plug out with enforcement action taken on a few that had left their drain plugs in. One conscientious boater had even brought buckets of fresh water with to rinse out the livewells and bilge before leaving. One family who were very proud of the fish (smallmouth bass) they caught (and kept) where surprised to hear that bass season in the area did not open until May 24.

 

WREO Keith Bertram was working AIS enforcement at a public access when a fisherman walked through the parking lot near the uniformed officer. WREO Bertram watched as the fisherman angled with an extra line from the access dock. The fisherman, who admitted knowing he should only use one line, was very upset to receive a citation from the “sneaky officer”.

 

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) found the panfish bite on area lakes to be spotty at best. When the fish did bite some really nice crappies were caught. CO Kuske assisted with an AIS work detail and still found individuals that did not know the boat plug law. A number of nuisance beaver complaints were handled, along with finding trappers to remove the problem animals. CO Kuske provided instruction at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley.

 

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers working on tip calls. CO Mies took part in the Kimball career job shadow program. CO Mies also checked boaters and ATVs, along with working an AIS work crew.

 

District 12 – Princeton area

 

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) had a student from Buffalo High School ride along on a job shadow. Anglers are still having success with a fair crappie bite on area lakes. A follow up interview was done on a possible bear hunting violation. Enforcement action was taken for over limit crappies.

 

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) assisted with academy training at Camp Ripley. A wetland violation was investigated and several animal complaints were handled. An interview was done on a fish over limit case.

 

CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) attended youth day at Braham Sportsman’s Club, Isanti County Conservation Day, and youth ATV classes. Officer Londgren also checked anglers and turkey hunters, took complaints on nuisance bears, followed up on wetland violations, and worked ATV enforcement.

 

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports receiving numerous bear complaints. Bears are still active and looking for food in the area. Homeowners are reminded to remove all food sources near their homes. Several car killed bears were also reported in the area. Fishing success picked up over the weekend with the nice weather. The St. Croix river is still under a slow no wake zone due to water levels.

 

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) continues to check anglers on area lakes and rivers. CO Sladek patrolled wildlife management areas and checked turkey hunters with some success. Officer Sladek received several calls on “abandoned” young animals. Please do not try to help these animals or remove them from the wild, the mother is close by and will take care of them when you leave.

 

Cambridge – vacant.

 

District 13 – West Metro area

 

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) gave a career presentation to students at Norwood Young America High School. Boaters were checked for AIS violations at lake access sites. Anglers were checked all week on area lakes and rivers. Enforcement action was taken for illegal parking at lake access, giving false information to officer, no angling license or trout stamps in possession, angling without first procuring a license, angle in designated trout lake without first procuring a trout stamp and several violations for angling with extra lines.

 

CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling activity. CO Salzer also received a wildlife complaint in Maple Grove. Salzer also dealt with some equipment issues.

 

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the checking anglers and spoke at a firearms safety class. CO Grewe did some equipment maintenance and took an intern on a ride along. V Violations included fishing with a revoked fishing license.

 

CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) patrolled Dakota and Scott counties for ATVs, OHMs, and ORVs. He talked to a firearms safety class. CO Neitzke checked fishermen and boaters, and assisted CO Johnson with a fishing complaint. He also did AIS enforcement in Dakota County.

 

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) followed up with a couple of zebra mussel transportation violations in Prior Lake and worked shore fishermen in the metro area lakes and rivers. He monitored the lasershot at the Take Aim Summer Fun event for kids, and participated group photo shoot at Ft. Snelling State Park. He worked on scheduling the FAS classes in the Hmong community for the summer and responded to animal complaints in Scott County.

 

Bloomington – vacant.

 

Prior Lake – vacant.

 

District 14 – East Metro area

 

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked shore anglers around the metro lakes and rivers and spent time working aquatic invasive species enforcement at some of the metro lake accesses and talked to several boaters. He also worked at the “Take Aim at Summer Fun” event at the DNR regional headquarters where they taught kids and their parents how to shoot and handle firearms safely. CO Pril handled miscellaneous animals during the week, attended a photo shoot for the COPREP and spoke at a firearms safety class in Saint Paul.

 

CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he heard a new excuse for not having a fishing license recently. An individual said that his cell phone died when he was trying to make an online license purchase. Of course that same individual had been observed fishing prior to his attempt to purchase a license. He was attempting to make his purchase as officers approached in their boat. CO Johnson attended the Pheasants Forever Youth Day hosted by the Beaverbrook Sportsman’s Club. He worked on an over limit complaint. CO Johnson received calls on new deer fawns.

 

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) attended BUI training in Ramsey County. He spent time checking watercraft, anglers, and doing AIS enforcement. CO Arntzen also handled several TIP calls, investigated a public waters violation, and responded to an injured animal call. Enforcement action for the week included failure to remove drain plug, angle with extra line and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent part of the week at Camp Ripley instructing at the Conservation Officer Academy. WREO Block followed up on aquatic invasive species (AIS) complaints and worked AIS activity around the metro area. WREO Block also spoke with a group in Eagan regarding aquatic and terrestrial invasive species.

 

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) helped represent the DNR Division of Enforcement at the Law Enforcement Memorial ceremony in St. Paul. She handled various TIP calls and nuisance animal calls and worked invasive species enforcement at area accesses. CO Kruse checked anglers and boaters on area lakes, worked ATV and ORV enforcement in Anoka County and continued working on a litter case.

 

Eagan – vacant.

 

Hastings – vacant.

 

Maplewood – vacant.

 

Metro Officer – vacant.

 

District 15 – Marshall area

 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, AIS, state park, and ATV enforcement. The walleye bite has slowed with the colder than normal temperatures. Most of the success has been on Lake Sarah and Lake Benton in the evenings. Special beaver permits were issued in problem areas. Assistance was also given with an ATV safety class in Redwood Falls.

 

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked angling, boating, and AIS activity during the week.  Angling success improved during the week! An ATV class was taught in Montevideo.

 

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) reports that fishing activities were good on area lakes. Two wetland violations were investigated resulting in action being taken.

 

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working anglers and ATVs. Angling success seems only fair from both shore and boat. A tournament at Shetek reported a very slow bite for the 65 boats entered.

 

CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) spent the week checking anglers and performing AIS inspections on watercraft at area boat landings. Enforcement action was taken in reference to boating and AIS violations.

 

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports the first batches of baby Canadian geese were seen.  Fishing has picked up on some lakes since the opener. A few trailered boats were detected traveling down local highways with the drain plugs still installed.

 

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) issued an extension on a WCA violation in Pipestone County. Follow-up was completed on several WCA and Public Waters cases. AIS checks were completed with information issued to several fishermen and boaters on several lakes and rivers.

 

Benson – vacant.

 

Madison – vacant.

 

Redwood Falls – vacant.

 

District 16 – New Ulm area

 

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) continued to check angling and bow fishing activity. He followed up on nuisance beaver complaints. He checked boats for compliance with AIS laws at a bow fishing tournament. Denz also followed up on a shoreline violation.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) focused on boat and water safety and AIS compliance during week. Fishing in the area is still slow, with a few walleyes being caught. ATV patrol was done during the weekend. Action was taken on anglers that left garbage at their fishing site.  Mueller also assisted McLeod County with an assault that occurred.

 

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) continued working angling and AIS enforcement. The fish bite is still waiting to pick up in the area. A deer investigation was started this past week dealing with wanton waste. ATV enforcement was worked in the Minnesota River Valley

 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) represented the Division at the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in St. Paul. He received calls reporting deer stands on State property and taking raccoons during the closed season. The walleye bite remains slow on area lakes. Some river walleyes are being caught.

 

CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week checking anglers. The weather continued to be colder than usual and fishing success was slow. Beckmann instructed at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. AIS compliance was monitored and it was discovered that some are still forgetting to keep drain plugs removed for transport of watercraft. Beckmann also presented information to a very inquisitive firearms safety class in St. James.

 

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked AIS at a local fishing tournament. He also worked anglers, commercial minnows, public waters issues and patrolled Kilen Woods State Park.

 

Litchfield – vacant.

 

Willmar #1 – vacant.

 

District 17 – Mankato area

 

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked angling and boating activity. Angler success remains mixed. ATV riders are reminded that the ditches in the Ag Zone are closed to recreational riding until August 1. CO Howe presented the Wall of Shame at the Lura Lake Fair.

 

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking boaters, anglers, ATV operators and turkey hunters. Additional time was spent investigating possible wetland and public waters violations. Officer Ihnen also patrolled for AIS violations.

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers and ATV operators. A trapping complaint was investigated. Time was also spent monitoring turkey hunting activity.

 

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports the warming weather has brought more activity to area lakes and rivers. Trespassing issues are being handled. A trapping violation case was also wrapped up.

 

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, AIS, and boat & water activity. The officer also responded to TIP calls & calls from the public. A Firearms Safety Range Day was attended.  The officer talked to the wildlife class at the Kasson High School about AIS and careers in the DNR. Several violations were encountered regarding angling issues and underage consumption of alcohol.

 

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working spring turkey hunting, trout fishing, AIS enforcement, and recreational vehicle activity. An increasing number of litter complaints were received and investigated. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.

 

WREO Julie Siems (SE) instructed at the current CO academy and represented the department for Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial Day.

 

Albert Lea – vacant.

 

District 18 – Rochester area

 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports baby wild animal calls have started with one caller advising a fawn followed their dog home. The river is very high and access continues to be limited but bank fishing continues to be very good. Turkey hunters are seeing turkeys but getting them has been challenging.

 

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and turkey hunters during the week. Things were slower on the Mississippi with the high water. Heyn also attended meetings and talked with a number of the morel hunters who were out in force over the weekend.

 

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working mainly fishing and off-road vehicle enforcement as well as catching up on a few outstanding investigations. The big river is finally beginning to drop and a few more fish are being caught but a warm up should help improve things. A few turkeys and trout are also being taken along with some up the first mushrooms of the year. ATV enforcement and training were also conducted.

 

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports the Mississippi River is at flood stage. Remember you’re responsible for your wake. Multiple agencies dealt with a large bass tournament where many wake complaints were called in. Tournament fishermen did very well and kept wakes to a minimum. He assisted multiple agencies with landowner whom allegedly was shot at by a trespassing turkey hunter. The landowner was lacking sleep and was imagining the alleged violation. There were no hunters. Many calls came in about new fawns. In all cases the folks took the fawns back out to where they were found. The doe showed up in a short time. Le Leave all newborn fawns where you find them. Morel mushrooms finally started showing up. You have to have permission to pick mushrooms on private land. Enforcement for the week included no fish license in possession, wake violation and no boat registration.

 

CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking anglers, watercraft operators, and ATV operators. Officer George had a watercraft inspector ride along as well. Enforcement action was taken for over limit of crappies and expired registration on a watercraft.

 

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 continued to fly the nesting waterfowl survey throughout the week. The survey has progressed to the central part of the state and is about half completed.

 

CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent time in Bemidji flying missions. A wolf and moose telemetry mission was flown for the National Park Service in Voyageurs National Park. Daily creel survey flights were flown over Leech Lake and a wetlands flight was flown in Red Lake and Polk counties. Training was received from John Heineman and CO Pilot Jensen introduced Lofstuen to seaplane operations on a creel survey flight over Lake Vermillion.

 

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) flew two marten flights and one fisher flight. Jensen also flew a lake creel survey over Lake Vermilion and stopped to check on some anglers on local lakes from the seaplane. Jensen attended an active shooter meeting at the Brainerd Airport since he is sometimes the closest officer to the airport. Training tasks were also accomplished with the new CO pilot.

 

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) finished up the sandhill crane survey in northwest Minnesota and provided training on a Leech Lake creel survey to new CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen. Heineman also prepared for upcoming sandhill crane survey in east central Minnesota.

 

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

 

WREO reports are now placed within district reports.

 

Enforcement Education

 

Please check the DNR WEB SITE at www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Education Courses and instructor training sessions

 

If you missed a fall class and are over 18, check on-line for Adult Home Study or On-Line course information is also located at www.mndnr.gov.

 

Please check the DNR WEB SITE www.mndnr.gov  for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions. Adult Snowmobile Safety Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.

 

Youth ATV Courses (12 to 15 years old) class postings for around the state are posted on the web site at www.mndnr.gov.  Students are reminded that they must complete the CD portion of the course before attending the classroom portion of the course. Youth/Adult ATV Safety Training Course CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR

 

Reminder—anyone born after December 31st, 1979 cannot purchase a license to hunt in Minnesota without first taking a DNR Safety Training Course and receiving a certificate.  In addition many states have even more stringent mandatory Hunter Education requirements.  Check before you go!!!

 

Reminder—Any resident born after December 31st, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota, must possess a snowmobile certificate.  Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can attend the traditional youth course.  Those 16 or older can take the at home CD course.

 

Reminder—Anyone born after July 1st, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota, must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training CD course.  Persons under age 16 must complete the ATV CD Course and riding component before riding on public lands. Youth/Adult ATV Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.

 

SCHEDULED INSTRUCTOR TRAINING SESSIONS

If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador or one of the Advanced Hunter programs, contact your local Conservation Officer or Regional Safety Training officer.  Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR Website.

See Also:

STAFF NOTES:

NE RTO Shelly Patten prepared for upcoming clinics and Trail Ambassador training. MBEP Instructor training is coming up and PowerPoint was updated. Patten completed background checks for new instructors. Patten worked on a new video for MVSIA YouTube channel. A new FAS online instructor team was organized in the Duluth area.

 

NW RTO Jon Paurus attended a monthly meeting at Camp Ripley. An instructor clinic was provided to volunteers wanting to teach youth firearms safety. Updates to training materials was worked on and assistance to the local field officers was provided during the week also.

 

Southern RTO Dan McBroom spent the week planning HEFAS instructor training classes and attended an RTO meeting via LYNC.

 

West Central RTO Frank Rezac taught an ATV, Snowmobile and Firearms Safety/Hunter Education Instructor certification clinics during the week. On Wednesday he attended an RTO meeting at Camp Ripley. Instructor certification training was also done for Vo-Ag Advanced hunter education. Late/missing Student Roster issues were also resolved.

 

NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence was in Twig, Minnesota to train volunteers to become ATV safety instructors and snowmobile safety instructors. Class consisted of members belonging to area ATV clubs and individuals interested to help out within local area classes. RTO Lawrence worked on instructor safety class scheduling for fall 2014. RTO Lawrence answered emails and phone messages relating to safety training. RTO Lawrence participated in the monthly RTO meeting.

 

SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez attended a monthly RTO meeting at Camp Ripley. While there the RTO acquired some equipment and props for upcoming online hunter safety training field days. RTO Gutierrez also hosted a Volunteer Hunter Ed – Firearms Safety Instructor Clinic in St Paul. Several more high school clay trap league coaches were present to get certified.

 

Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week took part in the monthly Regional Training Officers meeting. He also worked on reviewing related training materials and updated training PowerPoints. The Trail Ambassador newsletter was put together and he also spent time on the outdoor recreation safety promotions process. Owens worked the field one day as well checking turkey hunters and anglers, violations witnessed included dogs in an SNA, and no angling license in possession.

 

RTO PHONE NUMBERS/E-MAIL:

Rec. Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens      763-753-1887  leland.owens@state.mn.us

NE RTO Shelly Patten                        218-244-8051

West Central RTO Frank Rezac 320-230-8549   frank.rezac@state.mn.us

NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence651-674-6184  bruce.lawrence@state.mn.us

Southern RTO Dan McBroom507-843-2032  daniel.mcbroom@state.mn.us

NW RTO Jon Paurus218-298-4000  jon.paurus@state.mn.us

SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez651-464-7773   alex.gutierrez@state.mn.us

 

Curriculum Specialist:  Vacant

 

Education Specialist:  Vacant

 

Curriculum Coordinator:  Vacant

 

 

THINK ZERO – Protect our waters from AIS

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                May 20, 2014 

DNR: Protect yourself and Minnesota waters

After a long winter, Minnesotans are ready to hit the water for the official start of the boating season — Memorial Day. The Department of Natural Resources is reminding everyone to protect themselves and state waters.

“Think zero — zero aquatic invasive species violations, zero new infestations and zero boating deaths,” said Lt. Adam Block, DNR conservation officer.

DNR inspectors working at public accesses around the state have found that most people are following aquatic invasive species (AIS) laws. But already this year they have stopped over 40 boaters who were entering or leaving lakes with zebra mussels attached to boats or equipment.

And so far this year, one person has died in a boating accident. Last year, 13 people died in boating accidents. If all boaters in Minnesota wore life jackets, 10 lives could be saved each year.

“Minnesota’s lakes and rivers are precious resources and we are asking people to do their part; wear a life jacket every time you step on a boat and always clean and drain your boat, so everyone can continue to enjoy our waters,” Block said.

More than 500 Minnesota — rivers, lakes, wetlands — are designated as infested with AIS. That leaves more than 10,000 bodies of water to protect.

A few simple steps can make a big difference from a good day on the water to a bad day.

Boaters should always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. 

Before leaving a water access, boaters are required to:

 

  • Clean off all aquatic plants and animals.
  • Drain all water from bilge, livewell and baitwell by removing drain plugs.
  • Leave the drain plug out when transporting.
  • Empty bait buckets and dispose of unwanted live bait in the trash.

State Park Campsites Available for Memorial Day Weekend

State park campsites still available for Memorial Day weekend

About 250 state park and recreation area campsites still have three-day availability for Memorial Day weekend, but they won’t last long, so the Department of Natural Resources advises making reservations as soon as possible.

The parks with the most campsites still reservable for the entire three-day weekend include:

  • Lake Bronson State Park, north of Thief River Falls, the site of the world’s largest jack pine, an observation tower and a swimming beach—57 sites available.
  • St. Croix State Park, Hinckley, where there’s canoeing, biking and interpretive programs—33 sites available.
  • Zippel Bay State Park, on Lake of the Woods, where there’s swimming, fishing and boating—25 sites available.
  • Red River State Recreation Area, East Grand Forks, where reasons to visit include biking, fishing and campsites with full hookups—21 sites available (three with full hookups).
  • Schoolcraft State Park, Deer River, for canoeing, fishing and picnicking amid a virgin pine forest—18 sites available.
  • Scenic State Park, Bigfork, for fishing, canoeing and hiking in a wilderness setting similar to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness—16 sites available.
  • La Salle Lake State Recreation Area, near Park Rapids, for canoeing, fishing and proximity to Itasca State Park—14 sites available.

Weekly Game and Fish Violations in Minnesota.

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District 1 – Baudette area

 

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on the Rainy River and portions of open water on Lake of the Woods for the opening weekend of Minnesota’s fishing season. Angling success was good, with lots of large walleyes being caught. Big pike are being reported on the Warroad River. Ice-out is anticipated to occur later this week. Violations for the weekend include possession of illegal length walleyes, possession of marijuana, no license and registration violations.

 

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) attended a regional safety committee meeting and answered trapping questions. Good weather and good fishing made for a fun walleye opener on Lake of the Woods. Numerous anglers commented that they had caught and released trophy sized fish. Enforcement action for the week included boating equipment and registration violations, possess small amount of marijuana, possess illegal length fish, and fail to register turkey.

 

CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) monitored turkey hunting areas for activity. Division online training was completed. The law and ethics portion of a Firearms Safety Class was taught in Thief River Falls. CO Warren worked a detail on Upper Red Lake for the angling opener. Anglers reported great fishing. Enforcement action included failure to have fire extinguisher, fishing in closed area, and walleye taken within the protected slot.

 

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) worked the busy fishing opening weekend on Upper Red Lake. The weather was excellent and so was the bite. Time was spent monitoring spring spawning run on area lakes and rivers, spring beaver trapping activity and  wolf depredation reports were investigated throughout the week. CO Regas assisted District 2 officers with the execution of a search warrant. Enforcement action for the week included possession of illegal length walleyes, fishing in closed waters and boating violations.

 

SD_Hunting_C2_300x250CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and boating activity throughout the week.  Anglers on Upper Red Lake reported excellent fishing success throughout the entire fishing opener weekend. Calls were handled throughout the week ranging from nuisance animal calls to fishing TIP calls. Enforcement action taken during the week included over limit of walleye, illegal length walleye, burning violations, ATV violations, and boating safety and registration violations.

Baudette -vacant.

 

Blackduck #2 – vacant.

 

Karlstad – vacant.

 

Warroad #1 – vacant.

 

Warroad #2 – vacant.

 

District 2 – Bemidji area

 

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working a busy fishing opener. Many boater and angler contacts were made. Boaters were also reminded about AIS related rules. Time was also spent assisting other officers with a search warrant at a commercial business and helping instructors with a firearms safety class in Fertile. Various boating and fishing violations were found this week.

 

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) planned FAS classes, monitored leechers and took a forestry trespass complaint. Multiple wildlife concerns calls were dealt with. He assisted with a DNR investigation and other law enforcement agencies. Few anglers and less fish were observed during the fishing opener despite the nice weather.

 

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers, boaters and trout fishermen.

 

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked a busy fishing opener. Anglers enjoyed the great weather and good bite. Most lakes are ice free with a small raft of ice remaining on Lake Bemidji. CO Vollbrecht assisted other COs with a search warrant and follow up interviews were conducted during the week.

 

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) worked a busy fishing opener in the Bemidji area with CO Vollbrecht. Lake Bemidji still had some ice but many other smaller lakes were ice free. The officers worked the Cass chain of lakes including Lake Andrusia, Big Wolf and the Mississippi River. Time was also spent on Lake Itasca in Itasca State Park. Enforcement activity for the week included angling license violations, boat and water safety violations, and watercraft registration violations.

 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting CO Troy Richards with an inspection of a commercial minnow dealer and checking several anglers seining minnows for their own use. Fishing opener greeted anglers with frost and slow fishing for most. Pan fishing was good on many lakes. Violations of walleyes in the protected slot, no PFDs, expired watercraft registration and no proof of lake service provider training.

 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) reports the walleye opener had less activity than expected. Shore anglers seemed to have more walleyes than boating anglers. CO Peterson responded to a collared wolf kill that was killed to protect livestock.

 

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports the opener was spotty for the walleye bite. A few fishermen were catching fish, while most others did not. The crappie bite was good over the weekend with many fishermen catching limits. Time was also spent working fishing tips, talking at firearms safety class and attended a public input meeting in regards to uses for several Scientific and Natural Areas.

 

WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week focusing efforts on AIS and WCA activity. Time was also spent following up on TIP calls and fishing complaints in the Detroit Lakes station. ATV contacts were made. Use of Force was taught at the CO Academy. Fishing opener was worked in the Cormorant Lakes area. A very nice opening day had fishermen happy, but few walleye were caught.

 

Moorhead – vacant.

 

Detroit Lakes – vacant.

 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

 

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) concentrated enforcement efforts on the fishing opener.  Numerous anglers were checked on the opener with most access areas full of rigs. Anglers reported slow activity on most lakes. Over limit information was taken with follow-up to continue. CO’s Richards and Plautz assisted with a DWI stop on the eve of fishing opener.  Enforcement action was taken for commercial minnow dealing and angling violations.

 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked turkey hunters throughout the week and found several bow fishermen out in the evenings. The fishing opener was worked with fishermen having minimal success due to cool water temperatures. Nuisance beaver permits were issued and ATV enforcement was monitored.

 

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement activity checking fishermen, boaters and reminding boaters about AIS regulations. Minnow dealers were checked and questions were handled from fishermen as to how to transport their bait legally. Complaints were handled regarding nuisance beaver and an injured hawk. Nelson met with local FAS instructors as well.

 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen on the opener. Water temperature is low on most lakes limiting the action. A few back bays have warmed and the panfish are moving into the shallows. Osborne took calls regarding fishing licenses, firearm questions and shooting complaints.

 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) focused on fishing opener this past week as anglers took to the many Alexandria area lakes. Boat traffic was high on numerous lakes but walleye success was limited. Overall it was a good opener with everybody staying safe amongst the frigid waters. Lawler assisted the Douglas Co Sheriff’s Office when two juveniles generated several citizen complaints while operating their ATVs in a careless manner throughout an entire township. After they were located, enforcement action was taken and both sets of parents were thankful that neither child nor any passerby was injured.

 

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports working a busy fishing opening weekend on area waterways. Angling success was spotty, and some fishing and boating violations were detected, including two men passing around a marijuana joint while out in the boat fishing. Additional time was spent checking turkey hunters and working ATV and fire enforcement. A day was spent instructing the new CO recruits at Camp Ripley.

 

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on the fishing opener, boating activity, and AIS transportation laws along with wetlands violations. Lots of anglers found fish willing to bite as well. The officer assisted the Stevens SWCD with site visit of a wetlands filling violation. RPNs were issued for illegal fill in a wetland. A presentation was given to the Hancock area firearms safety class. Minnow transportation permits were issued along with calls handled regarding a fox, turkey hunting and a DNR boat ramp in need of repair.

 

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports the fishing opener in the Glenwood area was busy, but fishing success was spotty at best. The officer checked fishermen, ATV operators, monitored AIS compliance, and checked boaters for B&W safety equipment. While checking fishermen at an access the night before the fishing opener, Baumbarger encountered a fisherman who pulled into the access with expired registration, and transporting his boat with the drain plug in. When the officers spoke with the individual, it was discovered that he failed to remove the ammunition from his uncased rifle that was on the front seat of his truck.  Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm and failing to remove his drain plug from his boat.

 

Wheaton – vacant.

 

District 4 – Wadena area

 

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked a pleasant walleye opener. Water temperatures were in the low 40’s but air temps were very nice and the sunshine was fabulous. Most anglers reported a slow opener saying the fish were there but weren’t that active. A few lucky youngsters wearing their PFDs were rewarded with a coupon for a treat at the Dairy Queen.  Enforcement action was taken on watercraft registration violations, lack of personal floatation devices and no state trout stamps.

 

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked anglers and ATV activity. Fishing compliance was good over opening weekend of fishing. Numerous ATV complaints were received.

 

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked many anglers over the fishing opener weekend.  Compliance was generally very good, although enforcement action was taken on no licenses in possession, PFD violations and boat registration. Anglers were very good about the AIS requirements with drain plugs and weed removal. Some anglers using minnows were reminded of the requirement to change the water from lake water to fresh water.

 

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) worked fishing, boating safety, and AIS activity. A nuisance beaver complaint and a complaint of someone spearing suckers after hours and using lights were received. A complaint of suckers dumped on a road was investigated as well.

 

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily worked angling and invasive species compliance.  Walleye fishing for the opener was remarkably poor on the areas big lakes; some fish were found in the connected river systems. A nuisance bear and lake excavation complaint were handled. CO Mathy assisted with a search warrant on a commercial business and trained recruits at the Conservation Officer Academy. Enforcement action was taken for angling, invasive species, and ATV violations.

 

CO Larry Francis (Remer) worked the opening weekend of fishing where nicer than forecasted greater greeted the anglers. Fishing success was variable. Boaters and anglers are reminded that boat plugs have to be removed when trailering boats, this is not new.  Enforcement action was taken for failure to have PFD on watercraft, failure to display valid watercraft registration, no license in possession, and transport JV passengers on ATV w/o a helmet.

 

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling and ATV activity.  Anglers fishing the opener in the Longville area yielded poor success. CO Broughten checked compliance with aquatic invasive species laws. CO Broughten also investigated numerous nuisance beaver complaints and attended a meeting with the Woman Lake Water Patrol. Enforcement action included no angling license in possession and failure to display watercraft registration.

 

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked the fishing opener. Pan fishing had the best action. Enforcement action was taken for failure to remove boat plugs, failure to display current boat registration, and operate ATV on roadway. A number of nuisance beaver calls were handled.  A presentation was given at “Hooked on Fishing Not Drugs” in Menahga and a presentation was given to the Kennedy School 4th graders on fishing.

 

CO Colleen Adam (NW Region OHV Recreation Officer) assisted with CO Academy training and worked on seasonal equipment preparations. Most forests are open for vehicle travel and routine patrol of area forests and trails began in earnest. The weather cooperated for a nice fishing opener. Anglers checked were successful with some very nice fish being caught.

 

Water Recourse Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala worked the fishing opener enforcing aquatic invasive species laws and checking anglers. Success was limited, but a few nice walleye, northern, and perch were seen. A reminder to boaters to remove the drain plug and drain all water, including bait containers, prior to transporting watercraft, as well as visually inspecting and removing any attached aquatic plants. Violations encountered for the week included failing to remove drain plug prior to transport and operating off highway motorcycle on a public road.

 

District 5 – Eveleth area

 

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) handled several animal complaints throughout the week. Fishing opener was relatively quite as Rainy Lake was still iced up except for Black Bay and other smaller bays where ice was away from shore. However lots of people enjoying the nice weather on the Rainy River. The high water and cold water temps kept fishing success at a minimum. Enforcement action for week involved no angling license in possession and some boating safety violations.

 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports working on equipment, continued work planning and monitoring public access sites. Fishing activities were monitored with very few anglers observed.

 

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports assisting with a firearms safety class and preparing for and working the 2014 fishing opener. The smaller lakes in the area were ice free; however, Lake Vermilion still has plenty of ice floating around. A couple public accesses were completely blocked with ice and unusable. The folks that were able to gain access caught some fish. Area rivers were checked and they are flowing fast.

 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked the fishing opener and reports uncooperative fish; however, the weather was exceptionally nice for a change. The Officer worked three separate large amounts of litter complaints, investigated a reportedly poisoned deer, which turned out to be road kill, and worked ATVs and OHMs. Enforcement action was taken on angling license, extra lines, OHM, and ATV violations

 

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) monitored fish run activity on Virginia and Tower area streams. One angler eager for an early walleye dinner decided it would be a good idea to grab two spawning walleyes from the stream the CO was watching. The young angler quickly learned it was not a good idea when CO Frericks met him at his vehicle. The angler was issued a citation. Area lakes cooperated and had ice come off just in time for fishing opener. Nice weather on opening day brought out large numbers of anglers and boaters. Enforcement action was taken for insufficient PDFs.

 

I. Falls # 2 – vacant.

 

Ray – vacant.

 

Tower – vacant.

 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

 

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports many of the lakes that were completely iced over early in the week, were nearly ice free by the beginning of the walleye opener thanks to three days of constant rain and mild temperatures late in the week. The opener fishing report started slow on most lakes, but by afternoon the amount of fish being seen steadily increased. Violations included failure to remove the plug on water related equipment, unmeasurable fish, and transporting walleyes without a skin patch.

 

CO Marty Stage (Ely) spent the better part of the past week or more monitoring the walleye spawning beds around Ely. The walleyes were still spawning below the bridges as the fishermen waited for the crack of midnight to begin on Saturday. But tragedy was averted because the walleyes didn’t fall for it. As far as Stage knew, not a walleye was landed at the local bridges on opener night. State and 1854 Tribal officers worked a fishing detail on a popular BWCAW portage and found fishing to be surprisingly slow in there as well. It was interesting to the officers that nearly a hundred percent of the fishermen coming across portages were hauling the minnows and or fish with water still in the containers. None of the plugs had been removed from the boats that did have removable plugs. In the ongoing effort to thwart or stall the spread of invasive species such as zebra mussel, faucet snails, and other harmful species, legislators have passed laws making these things illegal now for the past several years. Yet every group that was spoken to about it claimed they had no idea about it or had never heard of such a requirement.

 

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that some Forest Service Roads were still impassable due to snow during the opening weekend of the fishing season. All the lakes were iced over and it’s a good bet that most will be open along with the roads for the second weekend of fishing. Some floating ice could still be present so use caution. It also should be noted that some forest roads will have washouts. Spring beaver trapping activity was monitored and boats readied for when the lakes finally come open. The CO also responded to a nuisance bear call. The bear was attracted by sunflower seeds used to attract birds and bears.

 

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked steelhead anglers in Cook and Lake counties; catching of fish is starting to pick up some as the water clears and warms up. CO Manning worked fishing opener in both counties as well finding few lakes with enough open water to cast a line. One hardy angler did manage to hook a fish through the ice from shore; he tried to use a float tube to try to get to the fish, but lost it right near the surface. The officer also checked spring beaver traps, performed invasive species checks, and conducted boating enforcement where boats could be found. Folks in the woods are reminded that spring beaver season has been extended until May 15 in the northern third of the state.

 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked the walleye opener. Spring fish run was monitored throughout the week. The officer received a call from a concerned citizen about a loon that appeared injured on the New Tomahawk Road. It turned out the loon was ‘grounded’, was far from water, and therefore couldn’t fly. The officer and the citizen captured the loon with fishing nets, returning it to water unharmed. Enforcement action for the week included walleye over limit, angle with an unattended line, possess marijuana and drug paraphernalia, expired boat registration, expired ATV registration, no fishing license in possession, PFD violations, and failure to comply with restrictions of a limited driver’s license.

 

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked steelhead anglers along the North Shore and a few fisherman searching for open water during the opening weekend. Most lakes in the Cook County area are still ice covered. The Officer worked AIS, did a commercial minnow inspection, ATV enforcement and completed equipment maintenance on his patrol vehicle.

 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked fishing opener activities and ATV trail enforcement over the weekend. Most lakes in the area became ice free just days before the fishing opener with just a few still holding ice at this time. Enforcement action was taken for various registration and equipment violations.

 

Silver Bay – vacant.

 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

 

CO Randy Patten (Northome) worked fish run activity, attended a district meeting, performed equipment maintenance, and checked anglers. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession and taking an overlimit of walleyes.

 

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, minnow trapping, and patrolled for ATV activity. He also completed a trapping case. Violations included angling without a license, take over-limit of walleye, operate without watercraft registration, take fisher in closed season, fail to tend traps, wanton waste, and leave traps in the field after the season.

 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended K-9 training, checked anglers and worked boat and water. Angler success was on the high side for opening weekend. Enforcement action was taken for angling in a closed area and no angling license in possession.

 

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked angling and boating activity this past week on several lakes in the area. Activity was pretty good considering recent ice out conditions. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and various boating equipment violations.

 

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a busy opening fishing weekend with many anglers getting out on the newly ice free lakes. Angler success was fair to good over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for angling for walleyes before the open season, angling without a license and failing to register a watercraft. Enforcement action was also taken over the past week for road vehicles in a wetland on a state trail, ATV’s operating down the side of a state highway, unregistered ATVs and for OHM’s operating in the road right-of-way.

 

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) checked fishermen, ATVs, spring beaver trappers and watercraft.  He also attended a district meeting and completed required department training during the week.

 

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week preparing for the upcoming fishing opener. Wichmann attended a district meeting and checked anglers over the weekend.

 

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) tracked wetland and public waters inventory restoration cases, readied boating equipment, attended a D-7 meeting, and worked spring fish run activities. CO Arhart also worked a busy angling opener checking anglers and water related equipment. Aquatic Invasive Species compliance was good in the area. Angler success varied from lake to lake, with the larger streams producing the most fish early. As some lakes warmed, the walleye bite improved there as well. Bait shortages and cold water complaints were heard. Enforcement action was taken for state park violations.

 

District 8 – Duluth area

 

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent much of the week checking shore anglers along the north shore and smelters in the evening. Few fish were seen as water temperatures remained low and water flow high. Opening weekend fishing was very slow and very few fish seen.  Most anglers on the St. Louis River were lucky to have a bite and most boats did not land a fish. Although fishing was poor, spirits were up with beautiful weather for an opener.

 

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports it was a very busy weekend on area lakes as the ice left and beautiful weather moved in. Unfortunately not a lot of fish seen in livewells, but everyone was happy being out on the water again. Thanks to a local animal rehabber and several volunteers a deer with a large plastic bucket on its head was cornered and the bucket removed. A few incidentally caught otters where turned in. No lifejacket, no watercraft registration, no helmet on juvenile while operating an ATV and no angling license in possession are a few of the violations encountered.

 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent some time preparing for the fishing opener. He handled wildlife complaints and fishing opener was worked on area lakes over the weekend.  Beautiful weather made for a busy opener on area lakes. Many people were checked from shore and water. Time was also spent working invasive species enforcement at local access.

 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, off-highway vehicle, and fire enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey focused on fishing activity over opening weekend.  Anglers were enjoying the weather but reported slow fishing. Late ice, cold, and high water were being blamed. CO Humphrey continued working on an area trapping investigation. CO Humphrey patrolled the Fond Du Lac State Forest where roads and trails continue to be closed to motorized vehicle use. Several nuisance animal calls were received including beaver and bears. CO Humphrey, with assistance from Carlton County deputies, responded to an ongoing timber trespass on public land where charges are pending. CO Humphrey responded to a complaint of a possible winter kill of numerous fish on an area lake near Cromwell. Area fisheries and waters staff were notified. Angling, boating and burning violations were encountered.

 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) and K9 Schody attended the national detector dog trials in Bloomington this past week where the team was certified on the national level as a detector dog. Fishing opener was slower than previous years with very few fish being caught in the area. Enforcement action was taken for angling without license in possession, watercraft registration violations, and taking bass out of season. K9 assistance was given to the Cloquet Police Dept. for searching an area for a knife that young kids were playing with in a remote wooded area and also with a search for a lost elderly person in the city. Cases from last fall continue to be worked as well as a litter case in the area.

 

WREO Mike Scott checked anglers on the St. Louis River in Duluth for fishing opener. High fast moving muddy water teamed up for a slow fishing experience for the opener. Talking with dozens of anglers no one was catching anything except one shore angler who had two walleyes. Checked anglers on Sunday on area lakes with CO Randy Hanzal; enforcement action was taken for no life preservers, fail to display current registration. Work on Honor guard team for the LE Memorial for the Law Enforcement Week in St. Paul on May 15 honoring Minnesota fallen officers.

 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

 

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) reports the nice weather had many anglers on the waters.  One of the warmer openers this officer can remember. The overall catch rates were down considerably. North Shore rivers are running fast. Rain will continue to keep rivers swift. Lake Superior is still partially ice covered on the Duluth end. The McQuade safe harbor is ice free and was busy with boats. Olson responded to a call with Duluth PD and FD of a kayaker that had tipped in Lake Superior. He was able to self-rescue and was close to shore. Although, he did lose some equipment out of the kayak. He assisted St. Louis County SO with a possible burglary in progress call.

 

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers on a bright but slow opener. One boat found adrift with a malfunctioning motor was found to have no life jackets on board. In checking close to a hundred boats, not a single fish was seen. Phone calls were fielded on regulation changes and shelters were checked but having no success. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations

 

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) continues to work the north shore streams and Lake Superior anglers. Rivers are still slow for fish, some shore anglers are picking up some rainbows and a few salmon. Lots of boats were out on Lake Superior over the weekend with some success. Smelters are showing up but not seeing success yet. The officer also helped the inland officers with the walleye opener. Enforcement action was taken for angling, boating and OHM violations over the week.

 

District 9 – Brainerd area

 

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) responded to issues of wolves threatening livestock, garbage dumping, trespass, and numerous issues relating to the fishing opener. A commercial rough fish removal permit was monitored on one area lake. Spring pan fish bites and the 2014 fishing opener were worked with angling success on walleye and pike found to be low on most lakes, while panfish activity was found to be slow to good in some places as waters slowly warm. Numerous contacts were made for miscellaneous boating registration and equipment violations.

 

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports the cold water temps made the fishing slow. Some pan fish have moved in to the warm bays but still reluctant to bite. Violations he observed were no license in possession, expired registration, in sufficient PFDs and taking bass out of season. He spent time in the Pillsbury Forest where he found vehicles operating on closed forest roads and causing damage. He checked a few turkey hunters and they report seeing and hearing a fair amount turkeys. He stopped a boat with the plug still in it. He found water and fish in a livewell along with aquatic vegetation in the boat.

 

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) helped out checking sturgeon anglers on the Rainy River, fielded complaints of illegal activities with commercial leech trappers, worked with CO Posner on Gull Lake over the busy Governor’s Opener, and responded to complaints of possible fish overlimits and keeping largemouth bass out of season.

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports assisting with training at Camp Ripley for Academy 15, investigating a complaint of ATV’s in a wetland, and working fishing opener on area lakes. The weather was nothing to complain about and several anglers were successful at landing some nice walleye and northern.

 

CO Pat McGowan (Pine River) reports a busy opening weekend on area lakes. Anglers checked reported mixed success, but enjoyed nice weather over the weekend. CO McGowan also patrolled Cass County for ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for ATV, fishing, and boating violations.

 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) checked fishermen and turkey hunters during the week. Calls were taken on a blocked stream, dogs chasing deer and a dead eagle. Several contacts were made involving juveniles with spears near water after sunset.

 

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week who reported a so-so bite for walleye. Officer Lee received a call of anglers fishing from the shoreline before the midnight opening hour, along with keeping the walleye they were catching. Upon arrival to the location Officer Lee heard the suspected parties arguing with anglers that were in watercraft near shore. Their attention was not on the shoreline, which made it possible for Officer Lee to walk up to the parties and observe the walleye in their net. The party was issued citations for no angling license and taking walleye out of season, and possible charges for fishing under license revocation. Officer Lee also received a call in regards to bear doing damage to a vehicle and shed. Officer Lee also assisted with training at Academy 15 this past week. Enforcement actions taken this past week included boat registration issues, boating safety violations and ATV operation violations.

 

CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored angling, boating safety and trail use and ATV/OHM trespassing in the Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area. He also assisted with the Governor’s Fishing Opener on Gull Lake.

 

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked as assigned to the 2014 Governor’s Fishing Opener. Guida addressed numerous registration violations and gave out safe boating awards to youth wearing their personal floatation devices. A couple of crappie bites were monitored and folks were reminded about their possession limits at home. Officer Guida addressed a license violation after it was learned that the angler had not purchased a new 2014 angling license.

 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

 

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working the fishing opener on Mille Lacs Lake. There was a fair amount of fishermen but the bite was fairly sluggish. Most fishermen were happy with the nice weather after the long winter. A complaint of crop damage was worked on along with DNR Wildlife staff during the week. A meeting was attended with Aitkin County in regards to an ongoing wetlands issue. The Officer assisted a neighboring Officer with checking fishermen on a local lake where the pan fish bite had increased. A call regarding a question on bow fishing regulations was fielded and several other ATV and boating questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend. A call of a beaver doing damage was fielded and a permit was issued for the nuisance beaver. Please remember to drain your live wells, clean all vegetation off from your boats and leave your drain plug out before transporting your watercraft down the road. Enforcement action for the week included no fishing license in possession, insufficient PFDs, failure to display valid watercraft registration, and no fire extinguisher on watercraft.

 

WREO Rob Haberman assisted officers in the Brainerd area with the Governor’s Opener on Gull Lake. WREO Haberman spoke to hundreds of citizens at the DNR’s AIS booth in Nisswa for the community picnic event and conducted AIS enforcement around the Brainerd area for the opener weekend. WREO Haberman also worked on wetland cases in Aitkin County.

 

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked fishermen on Mille Lacs and Big Sandy over the weekend. A number a fishermen caught and released large walleye. A few keepers were also seen. Water temps in the low 40’s made fishing difficult on Mille Lacs. Fishing success on Big Sandy was steady with a fair amount of 16 inch fish seen. A reminder for fishermen on Mille Lacs to avoid hanging on to zebra mussels and transporting them to landings for disposal. Please return them to the lake. Nuisance beaver and bear complaints were also handled. Enforcement action was taken on fishing and boating violations.

 

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) handled several complaints that included ATV’s trespassing and damaging private property, anglers taking too many crappies and black bears hanging around residences. Homeowners that had hungry bears hanging around were instructed to put away bird feeders and lock up garbage cans and dog food inside a building.  Bears are only interested in filling their empty bellies and these efforts usually cause them to move on and not come back. A firearms safety class was also held and the 2014 fishing opener was worked. Anglers that were out for the opener enjoyed some of the nicest weather conditions in years, but many struggled getting fish to bite in the cold water temperatures.

 

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked angling activity including very nice weather for opening weekend. Fishing success was “hit and miss” with typical proportions of anglers lacking licenses and required boating equipment. Sun and warm conditions also brought out ATV traffic where inexperienced riders “just up at the cabin” equated to safety and registration violations. Verkuilen also monitored tribal harvest, responded to a wolf depredation, constantly watched for boat plugs.

 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked the Minnesota fishing opener. She encountered lots of anglers, but very few fish. Anglers were reporting cold muddy colored water and were blaming these factors as the reason they didn’t catch fish. Officer Speldrich also received several ATV complaints in her station. While handling these complaints, she encountered several violators that had already been issued citations from another officer who was working a nearby state forest. She continued to check shore anglers around the area, as well as accesses. Several incoming watercraft were found to have plugs still in when arriving at the accesses. Enforcement actions were taken on those watercraft. A trapper was cited after admitting to knowingly leaving traps out after the close of the season and failing to tend traps. The excuse that was given was that the traps were frozen in the ground and under snow. When he was reminded that the snow and ice have been gone for a few weeks he stated that he was just too busy to pull the traps. Speldrich also received a report of beaver dumped on local state property. An investigation is pending.

 

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) worked the week checking anglers, boaters and monitoring water levels on the St. Croix River. He spent time checking ATV complaints, worked on a complaint of a possible deer shot out of season, and spent time getting equipment ready for the fishing opener. Beautiful weather over the opening weekend found many fishermen out, but few fish caught. Numerous anglers were checked and fishing success was very spotty with some walleye and panfish seen in livewells. The most common violation encountered over the week was failing to display valid registration on watercraft.

 

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) noted that floating ice made boat travel harsh on Mille Lacs Lake. Very few walleye were caught, but some nice pike showed up in the creel. Enforcement action was taken for illegal fires, ATV activity, no fishing license, take fish in closed season, expired boat registration, transport boat with plug in, insufficient PFD, and no fire extinguisher in boat. A trespass situation and rude fishing behavior calls were taken. Some fishermen thought it OK to cast across several other fishermen’s lines and tangle everyone. T The victims thought it was on purpose, to gain sole ownership of the fishing spot. An

investigation is pending on a bait dealer who does not have a commercial license.

 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

 

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking bowfishermen. One bow fisherman was caught with two illegally taken northern pike at an area dam. The pike were seized and enforcement action was taken. CO Silgjord spent time checking anglers on the midnight opener at area shore fishing spots. Low water temperatures made for a slow bite throughout the weekend. Violations for the week included no throwable device aboard watercraft, no fire extinguisher, possession of bass out of season, no angling license, fail to remove drain plug while transporting a watercraft, allow illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, and fail to display valid watercraft registration.

 

WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working AIS in Stearns, Kanabec, and Isanti counties. Enforcement action was taken for no license, no boat registration, insufficient safety equipment, AIS violations, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Several wetland restoration orders were also served.

 

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) reports working anglers and turkey hunters. Vehicle maintenance was performed on several trailers. The officer also assisted with academy activities.

 

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) reports a moderate turnout for fishing opener. Weather wise, it was the nicest opener in a few years. Angling success, however, was poor. A few crappies and small northern pike bit. As usual, bass were a bit feisty. Nuisance bear and nuisance beaver complaints were handled. Recreational vehicle activity was monitored. An orphaned raccoon report was resolved.

 

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spent the week working anglers and boating safety issues. Game fish opener had many out trying their luck. The fish bite was not the best, but some people were able to boat a few trout, northern and walleye. Aquatic invasive species enforcement was worked at a few boat accesses with several people still traveling with boat plugs in. A TIP call of a guy shooting a fox with pups was handled with enforcement action taken. Enforcement action for the week included expired boat registration, no PFD, no fire extinguisher, no license in possession, transport boat with boat plug in, and take fox out of season.

 

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) issued a special trapping beaver permits. Calls came in of a bear chasing a deer and a number of calls of bears tearing down people’s bird feeders. Officer Kuske asked if there was any other food or garbage that would bring the bears to their house and the homeowner said that they did have a bear on their deck eating the pound of butter they had left out. It’s that time of year to put away the bird feeders and any pet food/garbage if you have bears around. Local anglers are out catching the crappies and a few walleyes on the Mississippi River. A father on an ATV was stopped with his two young boys on mini dirt bikes within the city limits of Little Falls. Enforcement action was taken for the adult illegally allowing youth to operate the dirt bikes on public roads. The father was upset that they were stopped and talked to about it and stated that on this day didn’t the officer have better things to do.

 

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) completed an investigation of a depredation complaint which involved a wolf killing a calf. A compensation claim was completed and a control area opened for a trapper to come in and dispose of the problem wolf. Snapping turtle season is closed during the months of May and June; one individual was reported picking up a roadside snapper last week. Fishing opener found most folks looking for crappies, most found them, others found out it is a good idea to check the boat for a new license and PFDs before you get to the landing to go fishing. Several people were very surprised to hear that you can’t leave your boat plug in when going from lake to lake. Some other folks were surprised to hear that since 1969 it has been illegal to burn garbage in a burn barrel. Two more folks that moved up north from the metro area were educated that you need a burning permit, even if it is just leaves and branches.

 

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers all week working on tip calls. CO Mies gave a law talk at the Annandale firearms safety class. CO Mies gave fur/trapping talks at Ney park field day in Maple Lake.

 

District 12 – Princeton area

 

CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) reports a busy fishing opener but very few walleye or northern pike taken on local lakes. Officer Londgren also patrolled lakes with no wake ordinances, checked ATVs, checked turkey hunters, and investigated illegal fires. Enforcement action was taken on: angling without license, no life jackets/throwable, no fire extinguisher, and no registration.

 

CO Mitch Sladek (Big lake) worked fishermen on area lakes and rivers where he issued summonses and written warnings for over limits of crappies, taking bass out of season angling w/o fishing license, angling w/o fishing license in possession, no fire extinguisher, no life jacket and throw cushion. CO Sladek took enforcement action on an illegal burn and also followed up on a number of animals calls. Officer Sladek assisted Wright County with a fur talk at Ney Park where 300-400 5th graders attended from area schools.

 

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) found the fishing opener to be very good for anglers targeting northern pike and crappies, but slow for the walleyes anglers in the area. Most said they were still happy to be out on the open water. Time was spent helping out at the academy with the new recruits. Enforcement action was taken for taking on an over limit of crappies, taking bass out of season, possession of drug paraphernalia and no life jacket on board watercraft.

 

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and ATVs. Violations were found for no license, extra lines, no registration, no life jackets, and possession of drug paraphernalia. CO Musatov also assisted with training for the CO Academy at Camp Ripley.

 

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a busy opening fishing weekend. Most area lakes had full accesses. Many anglers hit the local lakes but did not find much success. Other than a few northerns, most anglers only caught panfish. All boats were found with the required safety equipment.

 

Cambridge – vacant.

 

District 13 – West Metro area

 

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked the fishing opener on Carver County lakes finding good success on pan fish but not so good on walleye. Turkey hunters were checked still finding birds responding to calls. Boaters were checked for safety equipment, transporting invasive species and drain plug removal. Enforcement action was taken for leaving hunting blinds on WMAs, failure to display watercraft registration, operate unregistered watercraft, fishing license violations, no personal flotation device, angling with extra lines and take bass during closed season.

 

CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling and boating activity. Very few fish were seen in boats during the opener. CO Salzer observed several violations during the opener weekend with enforcement action being taken.

 

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and spoke at a firearms safety class. Opener was spent on Lake Minnetonka with a neighboring officer. Lots of success catching crappies. Violations included no fishing license, overlimits of crappies and taking bass out of season.

 

CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) patrolled Dakota and Scott counties for ATVs, ORVs, and OHMs. He patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park complaint areas. CO Neitzke worked fishing opener with CO Johnson in Anoka County. He also checked boaters at Dakota County lakes.

 

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked the fishing opener in Scott County area lakes. He worked with CO Pril in Dakota, Ramsey, and Washington County lakes and rivers. CO Lee talked to a youth firearms safety class in Prior Lake and responded to animal complaints. Violations encountered were fishing without angling license, expired boat registration, and no fishing license in possession.

 

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers in West Metro area. He worked the 2014 Fishing Opener with CO Walter on Lake Waconia. Enforcement action was taken for no type IV PFD, failure to display valid boat registration, and no angling license in possession.

 

Bloomington – vacant.

 

Prior Lake – vacant.

 

District 14 – East Metro area

 

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked the fishing opener and checked many anglers around the metro lakes and rivers. He investigated a possible big game violation in South Saint Paul. CO Pril also spoke at a firearms safety class in Saint Paul and handled animal calls during the week.

 

WREO Adam Block (Metro) instructed at the DNR sponsored Basic Boating School, which was attended by Sheriff’s Deputies from across the state. WREO Block patrolled the St. Croix River on the fishing opener; the high water created a slow fishing experience for most. WREO Block testified at a court hearing regarding a boating under the influence arrest from last summer, attended a meeting with other DNR staff regarding land management practices and completed an interview with a media outlet regarding the fishing opener.  Violations encountered included slow no wake violations, overloaded watercraft, no angling license and failure to remove drain plug from watercraft prior to transport.

 

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) talked to a firearms safety class at the Kraus-Hartig VFW in Spring Lake Park. She handled a litter case in which garbage was thrown in a WMA, assisted a South Dakota Warden with a license fraud case and did equipment maintenance. CO Kruse gathered information for the New Brighton PD, handled various TIP calls and checked numerous anglers during the fishing opener. Violations encountered included no fishing license, insufficient number of life jackets, no boat registration, two year old without a life jacket, no license in possession and no throwable (type IV) PFD.

 

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) worked area lakes for the fishing opener. There were many anglers out with a few of them reporting success. CO Arntzen also spent time doing equipment maintenance, handling TIP calls, fielding questions about the upcoming opener and patrolled WMAs for off-road vehicle activity. Enforcement action for the week included registration violations, fishing with extra lines, no license in possession, and life jacket violations.

 

CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports he worked the fishing opener in Anoka County with CO Neitzke. The weather was nice, but the fishing was slow. Enforcement action was taken for a number of violations including no angling license, no throwable PFD, and failure to display boat registration. CO Johnson responded to a call of 4WD trucks off-road at Bearman WMA in Nowthen. Three individuals were cited for driving off-road beyond posted signs prohibiting travel. He also went to a call of an injured Bald Eagle at Coon Lake.

 

Eagan – vacant.

 

Hastings – vacant.

 

Maplewood – vacant.

 

Metro Officer – vacant.

 

District 15 – Marshall area

 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working pre-fishing complaints leading up to the opener. The 2014 Fishing Opener saw quite a bit of activity but boat numbers were down from previous years. Most fishermen struggled to catch fish. AIS continues to be a main enforcement focus during the annual fishing and boating season. Assistance was given to DNR Parks and Trails and time was also spent teaching at the current CO Academy at Camp Ripley.

 

CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) reports numerous anglers on area lakes for the 2014 fishing opener. The bite turned on and off as a wide variety weather conditions rolled through the area throughout the weekend. Activity included fishing without a license and unlawful use of treble hooks.

 

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working anglers. Fish Opener seemed a little slower than normal with anglers enjoying only a fair walleye bite. Area campgrounds appeared full with families enjoying the first spring-like days.

 

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked angling, boating, and ATV activity during the week.  The inland fishing opener was busy, with anglers having moderate success. An investigation involving out-of-season fur bearer activity was handled in the Appleton area.

 

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports fishing was overall slow. A couple anglers were able to find the walleyes in their “secret” spots. Enforcement action was taken on a variety of boating and AIS concerns.

 

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) assisted with instruction at the DNR Enforcement Academy. The firearms safety class in Pipestone had a great turn out for youth numbers.  AIS continues to be worked on area lakes. Fishing activities were high despite the windy conditions that occurred on the opener.

 

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) checked fishermen and water related equipment on area lakes and rivers for AIS. An RPN was issued for a WCA violation in Sibley County. Enforcement action was taken for AIS issues along with angling and boating activities.

 

Benson – vacant.

 

Madison – vacant.

 

Redwood Falls – vacant.

 

District 16 – New Ulm area

 

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) worked the fishing opener and noted a very slow bite overall. He issued a nuisance beaver permit and followed up on a trapping complaint. Denz also spoke on a local radio program about the upcoming fishing opener and AIS laws. He also monitored local OHM and ATV activity in addition to checking boats for compliance with AIS laws.

 

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked anglers and boaters during the fishing opener. She received a TIP on a couple who kept a large mouth bass out of season. They were located and still in possession of the bass. An unattended fire with prohibited materials burning is still being investigated. She, along with another officer, checked an OHM and an ATV driver during the weekend operating on a county road. Mueller saw 100 percent compliance on AIS enforcement during the opener weekend.

 

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked a spotty fishing opener. While most anglers enjoyed the weather, fish were few and far between. Oberg also worked AIS enforcement with excellent overall compliance. Time was also spent working recreational vehicle enforcement in the area.

 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) worked primarily fishing and AIS activities. He also completed commercial inspections, investigated a sick deer complaint, assisted landowners with loose cattle, worked with local law enforcement on an ORV incident and investigated a theft of property from a WMA. The local walleyes were especially elusive during the season opener.  Northern, catfish and bullhead anglers had better success.

 

CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week checking anglers. The weather for the fishing opener was fair on Saturday and mostly rainy and overcast on Sunday. Anglers reported slow activity with only a few walleyes being caught. A volunteer safety instructor appreciation banquet for instructors in Watonwan and Martin counties was held in St. James. Officer Schettler, Lt. Rezac, and Officer Beckmann all attended to thank the instructors for their efforts and years of service.

 

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked fishing opener, turkey hunters and ATVs. Gruhlke also worked AIS enforcement. The area lakes did not produce many walleye. Gruhlke completed his weekly radio program discussing topics including AIS, boating safety and fishing opener.

 

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) instructed license and registration week for the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. An instructor banquet was held for Martin and Watonwan County volunteer safety instructors in St. James. A 30 year firearms safety award was presented. Fishing opener kicked off strong with many anglers hitting the water. AIS education and inspection with boaters and anglers was heavy and AIS compliance was very high.

 

Litchfield – vacant.

 

Willmar #1 – vacant.

 

District 17 – Mankato area

 

WREO Julie Siems (SE) instructed AIS education at the annual boat and water school for sheriff’s deputies. She assisted at Lake Service Provider training. Completed the National Certification for Game Detection with K9 Brady. WREO Siems also worked an AIS information booth at the Governor’s Opener Community Picnic.

 

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent most of the week on angling activity and AIS work. Angling activity was high on opener, but anglers checked were greeted with only fair success. Sunday of opening weekend was very slow. Howe also patrolled a state park, worked illegal ATV activity, and assisted the State Patrol with a traffic violation.

 

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the majority of his time checking anglers and turkey hunters. TIP calls as well as other complaints involving these activities were also investigated.

 

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, boating, turkey hunting, and ATV activity.  Fishing opener brought out numerous anglers, but success was limited. Calls from the public were also handled and nuisance beaver issues were addressed.

 

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked a busy fishing opener. The weather allowed for an enjoyable day. Walleye success was limited. The officer is investigating a trapping complaint and continues to work turkey hunting activity

 

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, AIS, and boat & water activity for the fishing opener. The officer also worked off-highway motorcycle activity and checked turkey hunters.  Violations encountered included angling without a license, trespassing, and operating off highway motorcycles on a public road right of way.

 

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week working spring turkey hunting, trout fishing, and recreational vehicle activity, in addition to the walleye / northern pike opener over the weekend. Requests from the public seeking information were returned. A few beaver causing damage complaints were received and nuisance wildlife permits were issued.

 

Albert Lea – vacant.

 

District 18 – Rochester area

 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) worked the fishing opening opener with District 13 in the Faribault area and found plenty of people but poor fishing success. He found good fishing on the Mississippi as the river dropped during the week. He also followed up on pollution and ATV complaints.

 

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports turkey hunting success seems to have slowed down. Baby animal calls have started to come in. Time was spent on dogs chasing deer complaints as well as ATV complaints. Folks are out looking for the first morels of the season. They are reminded that they need permission on posted and agriculture lands.

 

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working on several investigations, as well as working the inland fishing opener and turkey hunters. CO Prodzinski also spent time on the Mississippi River and began seeing the fishing improve as the water dropped over the weekend. Some boating and fishing related violation were detected.

 

CO Phil George (Rochester) taught the laws and ethics portion of a firearms safety class, took calls related to watercraft and anglers, and checked anglers and ATV operators. Enforcement action taken on a couple of sunfish over limits, angling without a license, and no watercraft registration.

 

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and turkey hunters during the week. Fishing on the river was still slower with the high water. Heyn also checked on a waters violation and handled other calls.

 

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports turkey hunters are having a better week with the weather. On average a group of five hunters harvested one bird. The Mississippi remains at flood stage. Fishing is poor. Trout streams are in good fishing condition.

 

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 conducted some training flights. Although weathered out for most of the week, Geving also began the nesting waterfowl survey flights in the southern part of the state.

 

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of various survey and enforcement flights. Jensen flew a moose calf location flight in NE Minnesota to locate calves with cow moose. Jensen then flew a recon mission to see which lakes in the NE portion of the state were ice-free so ground officers could plan patrol efforts. Jensen then started summer creel counts on Leech and Vermilion lakes. Cloudy and rainy weather is impacting flight opportunities.

 

CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent time at Camp Ripley/Brainerd attending academy training and aviation training.

 

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew wolf telemetry and prepared for the sand hill crane survey in NW Minnesota, which was delayed due to weather.

 

NR Pilot Luke Ettl (Grand Rapids) flew boat count surveys on Lake Vermilion and Leech Lake.

 

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

 

WREO reports are now placed within district reports.

 

Enforcement Education

 

Please check the DNR WEB SITE at www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Education Courses and instructor training sessions

 

If you missed a fall class and are over 18, check on-line for Adult Home Study or On-Line course information is also located at www.mndnr.gov.

 

Please check the DNR WEB SITE www.mndnr.gov  for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions. Adult Snowmobile Safety Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.

 

Youth ATV Courses (12 to 15 years old) class postings for around the state are posted on the web site at www.mndnr.gov.  Students are reminded that they must complete the CD portion of the course before attending the classroom portion of the course. Youth/Adult ATV Safety Training Course CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR

 

Reminder—anyone born after December 31st, 1979 cannot purchase a license to hunt in Minnesota without first taking a DNR Safety Training Course and receiving a certificate.  In addition many states have even more stringent mandatory Hunter Education requirements.  Check before you go!!!

 

Reminder—Any resident born after December 31st, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota, must possess a snowmobile certificate.  Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can attend the traditional youth course.  Those 16 or older can take the at home CD course.

 

Reminder—Anyone born after July 1st, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota, must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training CD course.  Persons under age 16 must complete the ATV CD Course and riding component before riding on public lands. Youth/Adult ATV Training CDs are available by calling 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.

 

SCHEDULED INSTRUCTOR TRAINING SESSIONS

If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador or one of the Advanced Hunter programs, contact your local Conservation Officer or Regional Safety Training officer.  Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR Website.

See Also:

STAFF NOTES:

NE RTO Shelly Patten completed instructor backgrounds. Patten worked on Instructor complaints and scheduled new instructor training. Patten also worked on action items for the Conflict Management Team.

 

West Central RTO Frank Rezac reports providing training introducing DNR Safety Training Programs to COC Academy. He also planned for upcoming instructor clinics, assisted Instructors with equipment needs, and worked on instructor background checks. Calls were also returned regarding regulation questions.

 

NE Metro RTO Bruce Lawrence attended a youth firearms safety class for a presentation at the Oakdale Gun Club. RTO Lawrence completed follow-up on instructor training applications. During opening of the walleye – northern pike fishing season, RTO Lawrence patrolled fishing areas and boat access sites along St. Croix River from Bayport up to Pine City area checking for angling activity and invasive species. Anglers found limited success to perch, pan fish, and rough fish.  RTO Lawrence issued citation to boat owner for failing to drain water from live well after leaving infested waters (Eurasian milfoil and known tributary with zebra mussels).

 

SW Metro RTO Alex Gutierrez delivered some equipment for the Gander Mountain Academy FAS Instructor group in Lakeville. The RTO also worked on backgrounds from a past Volunteer FAS Instructor Clinic. RTO Gutierrez worked the fishing opener with CO Arntzen, several PFD violations were found, along with registration and extra line violations. Fishing was OK, with few walleyes seen, the crappie bite was much better.

 

Recreational Vehicle Coordinator Leland Owens last week worked fishing opener. Success was marginal. Violations witnessed included short life jackets and fail to display watercraft registration. Owens also attended the Minnesota Safety & Health conference for two days in Minneapolis. He worked on academy training plans and answered numerous email and phone calls.

 

Discounted Twins Tickets, Mille Lacs tagging program, Aquatic Plant Removal Permits and more.

WHC---LegendaryHunts
MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #35                                                                                  May 8, 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
New WMA helps form backbone of public land access
Fishing opener: 10 things to know
Catch a tagged fish on Mille Lacs: 
Get a free lure or find out more 

Minnesota state parks offer wildflower walks on Mother’s Day
Twins offer free hat, discounted tickets through partnership with DNR
Aquatic plant removal may require a permitDNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New WMA helps form backbone of public land accessHere, a first-time hunter heads out looking for adventure. A wildlife watcher carrying binoculars gets a close-up view of migration stops. A longtime hunter checks for deer sign.

This is a wildlife management area, and in Minnesota these lands provide vital recreation and habitat roles, from the Roseau Lake Wildlife Management Area in the north to the Minnesota WMA in the south.

Now, future generations will be able to enjoy 303 more acres of public land thanks in large part to a man named Mel Roehrl, a founding and current member of the Stearns County Pheasants Forever chapter.

Roehrl gets the distinction of having a WMA named after him. On Saturday, May 3, he and a crowd of people watched as the now-public stretch of grassland and wetland was dedicated as the Mel Roehrl State Wildlife Management Area, to be managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

WHC-Geese-ducks-fish2“This new WMA shows just how important it is to have local groups like Pheasants Forever chapters and others involved in setting aside land for wildlife habitat and public use,” said Fred Bengtson, DNR area wildlife manager in Sauk Rapids. “Mel helped speak for this land decades ago, and has since 1983 helped continue important conservation work through his local Pheasants Forever chapter.”

The new WMA is located in rural Stearns County southwest of Melrose, with the North Fork of the Crow River on one edge of the area. It consists of a mixture of grasslands and wetlands and is home to a variety of wildlife including pheasants, ducks and white-tailed deer.

“We’re grateful for the leadership of Mel Roehrl and all the folks at Pheasants Forever and other groups who have helped open up access to more quality public land,” Bengtson said. “The tireless effort of folks like these is what helps make Minnesota a great place to hunt.”

Minnesota has 1,440 wildlife management areas constituting 1.3 million acres of habitat.

Local groups also donate to acquire WMAs, and the Mel Roehrl WMA was purchased through a program called Minnesota Build a Wildlife Area. That program is a partnership between a number of groups, and has since 2003 purchased more 3,000 areas for use as public land.

More information is available at www.pheasantsforever.org.

“When it comes to conservation in central Minnesota, Mel is a household name,” said Eran Sandquist, Pheasants Forever’s regional representative for northern Minnesota. “The chapter he helped start is recognized as one of the most productive in the nation and one of only two Pheasants Forever chapters to have spent more than $4 million on the organization’s wildlife habitat mission.”

The Mel Roehrl WMA was purchased with help from:

  • The North American Wetland Conservation Act.
  • Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund.
  • Reinvest in Minnesota Critical Habitat Match.
  • Pheasants Forever, Build a Wildlife Area Fund and chapters in Jackson, Lyon, Mower, Todd and Stearns counties, and the Tri-County Pheasants Forever and South Central Minnesota Pheasants Forever.
  • The Buckentine family.
  • Minnesota Deer Hunters Association Central Minnesota chapter, MDHA Hides for Habitat Fund and Habitat Committee.
  • Padua Conservation Club.
  • Green Grove Rod and Gun Club.
  • Steve Thompson Memorial.
To find a nearby WMA, visit the DNR’s Recreation Compass at   http://maps1.dnr.state.mn.us/compass/mobile/
which links up to hunting, habitat and other details on each WMA. For general information on WMAs seewww.mndnr.gov/wmas.

-30-

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                    May 8, 2014
Catch a tagged fish on Mille Lacs: Get a free lure or find out more

Depending on the kind of tagged fish anglers catch on Mille Lacs Lake, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will send either a free lure or the story of the fish caught.

Anglers who catch a walleye with an orange tag will receive a free lure. Those who catch a walleye or northern pike with a yellow tag will receive information about the known history of the tagged fish they caught.

The tagging and return effort is part of a broad effort to better understand the lake’s walleye and northern pike populations.

Orange tags are labeled “REWARD.” Anglers who catch a walleye with such a tag should remove it from the fish, even if the fish is released. Tags should be returned to DNR Fisheries, 1200 Minnesota Ave. S., Aitkin, MN 56431. Include the date of the catch and the length of the fish. A fishing lure will be mailed in return.

Tag return boxes also will be available at several businesses around the lake, or anglers can simply mail them to the address above, which is also posted at the boat accesses.

“Anglers who return their tags are doing all Mille Lacs anglers a favor,” said Rick Bruesewitz, DNR’s Aitkin area fisheries supervisor. “The higher the tag returns the higher the data reliability…and that’s what you want when managing an asset as valuable as Mille Lacs.”

When anglers return information from a walleye or northern with a yellow tag, they’ll receive information about when the fish was tagged, where the fish was when it was captured for tagging and how big the fish was at tagging. Yellow tags should remain on the fish if it is released.

“Some of the larger, older fish with yellow tags can have a pretty interesting history,” Bruesewitz said. “Some of these fish will have been caught six to eight times and we’ve recorded information about that fish each time it’s been captured.”

More information about reporting a tagged fish is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/taggedfish.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                May 8, 2014

Minnesota state parks offer wildflower walks on Mother’s Day

Minnesota state parks will offer wildflower walks on Mother’s Day weekend. Park naturalists and volunteers will point out what’s blooming on guided walks, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

For example:

  • Discover the blooming beauties of Wild River State Park (an hour north of the Twin Cities in Center City) on a walk likely to feature a variety of nodding flowers, the season’s largest flower, flowers pollinated by ants, edible flowers and more. The walk will take place from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 10. Meet at the visitor center.
  • Celebrate spring at the annual Bluebell Festival at Carley State Park (about 15 miles northeast of Rochester) onSaturday, May 10, when thousands of Virginia bluebells are typically blooming throughout the park. Naturalist-led activities will include “Make a Mother’s Day Wildflower Card” from 9 to 10 a.m., “Trout Fishing for Kids” from10 a.m. to noon, “Archery in the Park” from noon to 2 p.m. and a “Guided Wildflower Walk” from 2 to 3 p.m.
  • See what grows at Great River Bluffs State Park (20 miles southeast of Winona) and why the Blufflands are so important for many of the plants growing here. Meet the park naturalist at picnic area for a guided walk at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 11.

These programs are all free with a valid state park vehicle permit ($5/one-day or $25/year-round).

For additional wildflower walks and directions to the parks, visit www.mndnr.gov (www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/wildflower_events.html) or contact the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Can’t get to a program on Mother’s Day weekend? Consider buying a Minnesota state parks gift card for a walk later this season. Gift cards can be purchased any of three ways:

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                              May 8, 2014
Twins offer free hat, discounted tickets through partnership with DNRKids and adults who have a 2014 Minnesota hunting or fishing license receive a free blaze orange and camouflage Twins logo baseball cap when they buy a discounted Minnesota Twins ticket online at www.mndnr.gov/twins.

“This special promotion between the Twins and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is a great deal for fans of the outdoors and baseball,” said Jenifer Wical, of the DNR outreach section.

The special rate starts with the Sunday, May 18, home game against the Seattle Mariners. It also includes home games on Friday, June 6, against the Houston Astros; Thursday, June 19, against the Chicago White Sox; Saturday, Aug. 16, against the Kansas City Royals; Sunday, Sept. 7, against the Los Angeles Angels; and Saturday, Sept. 20, against the Cleveland Indians.

Discounted ticket prices are $16. Ticket buyers pick up their cap at the game.

“Minnesota culture wouldn’t be complete without hunting, fishing and Twins baseball,” said Phil McMullen, Twins ticket sales executive.

Those who want to buy discount tickets should go to www.mndnr.gov/twins and enter the transaction number, which is printed on the license. The DNR Twins Web page provides ticket buying instructions and shows the location of the transaction number.

A limited number of tickets are available for each game and will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. The offer is available only through the DNR Twins Web page.

Minnesota 2014 fishing and hunting licenses can be purchased and printed online atwww.mndnr.gov/buyalicense or from any DNR license agent.

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DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                    May 8, 2014
Aquatic plant removal may require a permit Shoreline property owners may need a permit from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to remove aquatic plants, which serve important functions in lakes and rivers.

By taking due care, property owners can avoid harming a nearby lake or river, and DNR staff can help answer questions about what’s allowed, said Steve Enger, supervisor of the DNR’s aquatic plant management program.

“Aquatic plants prevent shoreline erosion, stabilize bottom sediments, provide habitat for fish and wildlife, and tie up nutrients that might otherwise grow algae,” Enger said. “We encourage shoreline property owners to disturb as little near-shore vegetation as possible. Removing too many aquatic plants can impair their ability to provide these important functions.”

Property owners sometimes do not need permits for smaller-scale removal of plants for recreational reasons such as swimming or boat docking. However, permits are generally required for more intensive plant removal. And some removal methods are not allowed.

AQUATIC PLANT REMOVAL WITHOUT PERMIT

Shoreline property owners can, without a DNR permit, mechanically control a modest area of aquatic plants. However, regulations vary slightly on submerged vegetation compared to floating leaf vegetation.

Managing submerged vegetation like pondweeds, watermilfoil or coontail by cutting, pulling, raking, or harvesting the vegetation is allowed under the following conditions:

  • The cleared area may not exceed 2,500 square feet.
  • The cleared area may not extend more than 50 feet along the shore, or more than one half the frontage width, whichever is less.
  • If the cleared area does not reach open water, a 15-foot wide channel to open water may be added.
  • The cut or pulled vegetation must be removed from the water.

Managing floating leaf vegetation like white or yellow water-lilies by cutting or pulling is allowed for property owners looking to clear a 15-foot-wide channel extending to open water, under the following conditions:

  • The cleared channel must remain in the same place from year to year.
  • The vegetation that is cut or pulled must be removed from the water.

AQUATIC PLANT REMOVAL PERMIT REQUIRED

A DNR aquatic plant management permit is required, for a $35 fee, if plans include the following:

  • Using herbicides or algicides.
  • Removing emergent vegetation, like bulrush, cattails or wild rice. Emergent plants are rooted in the lake or river bottom, but their leaves and stems extend out of the water.
  • Installing or operating an automated plant control device, such as the Crary WeedRoller, BeachGroomer or Lake Sweeper.
  • Removing floating leaf vegetation, in an area larger than a 15 foot wide channel (see above).
  • Controlling submerged vegetation in an area wider than one-half the width of your frontage or 50 feet, whichever is less (see above).
  • Removing or relocating a bog of any size.

NOT ALLOWED 
These activities are not allowed by DNR aquatic plant management regulations:

  • Excavating the lake bottom for aquatic plant control.
  • Use of hydraulic jets.
  • Using lake-bottom barriers to destroy or prevent the growth of aquatic plants.
  • Removing aquatic vegetation within posted fish-spawning areas.
  • Removing aquatic plants from undeveloped shoreline.

For more information, see the DNR website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/shorelandmgmt/apg/regulations.html, or call
651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367.

 

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GET OUTDOORS – Message from DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr

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Get outdoors and experience what only Minnesota offers
By Tom Landwehr, commissioner, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

The canoe paddle in your hands dips into glassy water near Ely. A loon call breaks the quiet. Seeing the sunrise through aspen trees, your canoe loaded with fishing and camping gear, you realize that only in Minnesota could you spend your entire life exploring and never get to all the scenes like these in our great state.

We are blessed in Minnesota to have an abundance of natural resources. Minnesotans love them as do our visitors. So do our children when we explore our state with family, and so do anglers looking forward to the May 10 fishing opener.  

Only in Minnesota do we have such a winning combination of lakes and rivers, public accesses, and fish species that make for an overwhelming abundance of quality fishing experiences. We have more than 1.5 million licensed anglers in a state where it’s fair to call fishing the Great Minnesota Pastime.

Yet it’s not a given that we will continue to realize the unique natural beauty that our state has to offer. Adults and children alike have a wide array of recreational options that involve nothing more than electronics. Inertia can keep us on the couch or checking off to-do lists rather than spending life-enriching time on the water.  A “plugged in” population tends to “tune out” the outdoors.

That’s why it is as important as ever to get out and enjoy what only Minnesota has to offer. There’s no better time to start than this spring, with a fishing rod in hand when the fish are biting. And consider the opportunities.

Only in Minnesota can you put in a canoe and continue that trip from Ely, paddling the Voyageurs’ canoe route through the border waters wilderness, and land at Grand Portage looking out to the largest freshwater lake in the world. Fantastic fishing for walleyes and smallmouth will keep you busy on the inland waters, and the lake trout is king on Superior.

Fishing for brook trout and steelhead along the North Shore will also bring you through beautiful towns with shopping opportunities like Grand Marais, Two Harbors and Duluth.

Or, head to northwestern Minnesota, near Hallock, where you can fish for channel catfish in the Red River of the North and not far away see trophy, world-class elk running around on some of the largest remnants of tall-grass prairie left on the globe. A short jaunt east lands you in Warroad, on the shores of Lake of the Woods, a truly phenomenal fishery shared with Canada, where giant sturgeon lurk.

Head to southeastern Minnesota, where you can stay at a welcoming bed and breakfast in quaint towns like Lanesboro and Preston, then experience blue ribbon trout fishing in beautiful bluff country. Not far away, the mighty Mississippi River provides outstanding fishing on a dizzying array of species near towns like Winona and Red Wing.

Only in Minnesota can you catch a basket of jumbo perch and dandy walleyes in Big Stone Lake near Ortonville, then head downstream to Lac qui Parle near Appleton and relish the great crappie bite. A short jaunt downstream, near the towns of Olivia and Redwood Falls, 50-pound flathead catfish are caught with regularity in the Minnesota River.

Or, if like me, you live in the cities, don’t go far at all, because only in Minnesota are there so many of these opportunities readily available in a metropolitan area. The Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix rivers are all there to be enjoyed, as are hundreds of lakes with public accesses or public fishing piers.

We have 800,000 registered boats in the state. Hunting and fishing is a $2.4 billion dollar industry here. Visitors to our parks spend about $280 million in this state. And visitors to our trails add $2.6 billion dollars to our local economies. Spring is when we get outdoors, and after this long winter, we are anxious to do so!

Minnnesota is truly an outstanding place. This fishing opener, get out-of-doors and experience the life that only Minnesota has to offer. What’s your excuse?  The fish are biting.

Game and Fish Violations from Minnesota

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Here is the weekly CO Report courtesy of Richard Sprouse from the MN DNR.

 

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) followed up on a case involving wasted deer that were harvested last November; charges are pending. Enforcement action was taken on an individual for burning tires and on another who was burning without a permit on a day with high winds. Pike anglers were checked on Lake of the Woods.

 

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) responded to calls of dogs chasing deer, nuisance beaver, and a car struck bear. A complaint of domestic animal carcasses dumped in a local WMA was investigated. Area turkey hunters were checked and sucker spearing activity was monitored.

 

CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) monitored areas for fire activity. Patrol was conducted for ATV and off-road vehicle activity on area trails and gravel pits. CO Warren attended an ATV/ORV meeting with other DNR divisions. The Red Lake and Thief Rivers were monitored for activity.

 

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored spring fish run activity, ATV trail activity, spring beaver trapping activity, AIS compliance of boating traffic going to and from the Rainy River and the spearing opener activity. FAS instructors were assisted at the Blackduck/Kelliher youth firearms safety field day. Time was spent investigating tip calls of light goose and deer carcasses being dumped, investigating complaints of ATV trespassing and careless operation, investigating a report of a car killed bear and several accidental catch otters were seized. Enforcement action for the week included fish house left on lake after deadline, AIS violations, and ATV registration violations.

 

CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing activity throughout the week. Sturgeon anglers reported excellent success throughout the week with some anglers catching sturgeon over 70 inches. Other time was spent investigating wolf depredation complaints, fire complaints, and finishing fishing cases up from this winter season.

 

Baudette -vacant.

 

Blackduck #2 – vacant.

 

Karlstad – vacant.

 

Warroad #1 – vacant.

 

Warroad #2 – vacant.

 

District 2 – Bemidji area

 

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking anglers and ATV operators. Time was also spent speaking at a firearms safety class in the Crookston area. A suspected public waters violation site was checked, spring beaver trapping activity was monitored, and a possible wolf depredation complaint was investigated.

 

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) monitored angling, ice out, leech and beaver trappers. He had calls of a vehicle striking a moose and a dead deer on the ice. He assisted with a domestic call and took enforcement action on open burning of garbage that started several acres on fire ruining multiple Easter celebrations.  Another fire call had a person burned trying to control it and despite medical efforts he died at the hospital.

 

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked beaver trappers, ATVers and monitored spring fish run.

 

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored closed forest roads and trails during the week. Accidental otter were collected from spring beaver trappers. Spring fish run was monitored. Suckers have not been observed in area creeks and the lakes continue to open slowly.

 

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked trapping activity and monitored spring fish run. A wildfire investigation was completed. CO Holt patrolled for ATV activity in the Bemidji area with CO Vollbrecht. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations and failing to extinguish a permit fire.

 

Radco 300CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports investigating a vehicle stuck on a state forest trail at the request of MNDNR Forestry, contacting anglers for the sucker spearing opener and monitoring the spring fish run. CO Vinton was requested by the Becker County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) to assist with a call about four kids in a paddle boat stranded on a lake still mostly ice covered. CO Vinton arrived and it was discovered that the young men were fishing and not in distress. Citations were issued for no PFDs on the paddle boat and a discussion of the risks they placed themselves in by boating on the frigid water. CO Vinton also provided the BCSO and Detroit Lakes Fire Dept. with information related to the operation of their airboat.

 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) monitored the fish spawning, conducted follow-up on pending cases and handled miscellaneous wildlife issues.

 

CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fisherman and turkey hunters. A few shore fishermen are looking for crappies but action is slow with cold water temps. Most ice is gone from area lakes with the wind and rain over the weekend. Turkey hunters are finding mixed success. A firearms class was attended in the Felton area and a range day was completed in Pelican Rapids.

WREO Joe Stattelman instructed at the ongoing academy at Camp Ripley for the introduction to the division’s Use of Force program. Time was spent monitoring fish run locations in Otter Tail and Becker counties. Several WCA and PW complaints were investigated and correspondence with Local Gov’t Units (LGUs) conducted.

 

Moorhead – vacant.

 

Detroit Lakes – vacant.

 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

 

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) checked open water anglers, beaver trappers, and answered questions related to numerous topics. A wet cold weekend dampened the spirits of a lot of bow fishermen and turkey hunters. Richards displayed one of the TIP Wall of Shame trailers at the Fergus Falls DU Duck Fair over the weekend.

 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) hosted a volunteer instructor banquet with over 90 people present. A free meal and each instructor going home with a door prize along with three firearms given away put smiles on everyone’s face in attendance. Plautz checked area streams for fish run activity and scouted turkey hunting areas.

 

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) worked primarily spring fish run and spearing activity. Additional time was spent in the vacant Wheaton station working on a complaint of a minnow dealer that had a boat stolen. Fishermen were checked and calls were handled regarding a dock upside down in a lake, illegal ATV operation, nuisance beaver, and an otter accidentally caught in a fish net.

 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked area streams for fish run activity and for spearing activity. A firearms safety class in Millerville was attended and the laws and ethics portion was taught. Station equipment was maintained and put into storage. Air boat training was completed on Lake Ida with the assistance of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports some shore fishermen are starting to fish along certain shorelines looking for panfish. Success has been limited so far with the cold water temps. An investigation into some illegal trapping activity was conducted with enforcement action pending. Also, an accidentally trapped otter was reported and seized from a spring beaver set.

 

CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) worked fishing activity including fish run, rough fish opener, and open water panfish anglers. Several bow fishermen were found starting the season early and a couple of northern pike were found shot and left at a creek. Additional time was spent working ATV and fire enforcement and checking beaver trappers and turkey hunters. CO Johanson and several other officers conducted interviews on open trapping investigations.

 

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on illegal commercial minnow harvest, ATV and border waters fishing activity. Fishing complaints were worked in the vacant Wheaton station. Anderson attended and spoke at the Stevens County area firearms safety classes where 36 students were certified. Airboat rescue training was attended in cooperation with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. The officer also spoke to 450 students at the Morris Safety Camp on boat and water safety as well as a presentation on AIS. Minnow transportation permits were issued as well as questions related to fishing, turkey hunting and FAS class questions.

 

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) checked fishermen around the area, with ice recently off the lakes. Baumbarger monitored spring fish run, assisted CO Anderson with Morris FAS Range/Field Day, and prepared materials for the upcoming FAS class in Pope County. Time was also spent on airboat training/demonstration w/ COs Osborne and Anderson for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. Additional time was spent on cases from the fall season.

 

Wheaton – vacant.

 

District 4 – Wadena area

 

CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) seized several accidentally taken otter from beaver trappers.   Bow anglers and spear fishermen were out over the spearing opener, with few problems reported. A banquet was put on for all the firearms, ATV, and snowmobile safety instructors. A huge thank you to the instructors for all their hard work and time commitment.

 

CO Gary Sommers (Walker) worked ice angling activity, investigated a complaint of someone dumping trash on state land, assisted the sheriff’s office on a call of trees blocking roads and assisted the sheriff’s office on a domestic. A complaint of stolen traps was received.

 

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked spring beaver trappers. A TIP led to enforcement action for not tending traps. Two separate incidents of accidentally caught otters were also processed. CO Mathy checked for illegal fires and worked on equipment maintenance.

 

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on spring angling activity. Anglers had poor success. Lakes are beginning to open up with a number of smaller lakes already open. Spring spearing activity was slow. CO Broughten received a TIP call concerning fox found dead in snares. By the condition of the animals it was determined that the traps had not been checked in quite some time. The owner of the traps was located and enforcement action was taken. CO Broughten investigated several fires and a complaint of a person putting carpet in the lake. Assistance was provided to the sheriff’s office with a domestic. Enforcement action included no burning permit, failure to have burning permit on person, underage consumption of alcohol, careless driving, and failure to check traps.

 

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked angling activity, spring fish run, and check ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for ATV’s on roads and for failure to display registration. People are starting to call in observing bear in the area of yards. Please keep garbage and bird feed out of reach. CO Halverson gave a fur presentation to Pillager students and laws talk to Leader’s Firearms Safety Class.

 

CO Colleen Adam (NW Region OHV Recreation Officer) checked area creeks and rivers for fishing and spearing activity. State forest closures are in place across much of the region and OHV users are encouraged to check the website on Thursday afternoon for the weekend update. CO Adam finalized training materials, completed equipment maintenance and returned seized property.

 

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) assisted a local sheriff’s department with a personal injury crash and a DWI arrest. Parthun began an investigation of a wetland violation, checked beaver trappers and checked area streams for fish run activities. A complaint of a dog chasing bicyclists on a state trail was addressed and equipment issues were taken care of during the week.

 

District 5 – Eveleth area

 

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time checking spring beaver trapping activity in the area. People are reminded to obtain burning permits before doing any burn activity. Remainder of week was spent monitoring sturgeon fishing activity on the Rainy River.

 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports returning phone calls, continued equipment work, on-going work planning and responding to questions over the week.

 

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports area lakes remain locked in ice and area resorts, bait shops, and other establishments are very nervous about when ice out will occur. Lake Vermilion has enough ice that snowmobiles were observed operating on the ice over this past weekend. Planning for training at Camp Ripley was looked into. A few injured animal calls were received. Most callers don’t understand that very few injured or sick animals will ever make it back into the wild. Mother Nature can be a very cruel thing, especially in the eyes of someone looking out their living room or kitchen window.

 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked spring beaver trapping activity and helped out teach a Firearms Safety field day. Various trapping violations were encountered with one case closed, with further follow up needing to be done to clear others. A case of dumped otter, bobcat, fisher, marten and muskrat carcasses is also being investigated.

 

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) followed up on litter issues stemming from anglers who were neglectful when they removed their shelters from area lakes. Angling activity is very slow but some sucker anglers were seen out reporting little success. One specific angler decided to try his luck for northern pike despite being told by CO Frericks that it was illegal to angle for them during the closed season. The angler’s equipment was seized and he was cited. Quite a few spring beaver trappers are being seen out and most trappers have been doing well. One trapper contacted CO Frericks to report an otter that was taken by accident.

 

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) spent time on White Water Lake in Hoyt Lakes cleaning up the remains of a fish house were the owner ripped the sides and roof off leaving the main frame. The fish house owner then dumped the ripped off parts at another location on the lake. Time was also spent picking up others blocking material and empty beer bottles. He received a call of possible trapper harassment when a trapper was confronted about trapping within the road right of way. Accidental caught muskrats were picked up. Ice has pulled away from the shore lines but the main lake ice remains solid.

 

I. Falls # 2 – vacant.

 

Ray – vacant.

 

Tower – vacant.

 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

 

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports that a late season snow storm arrived along with some cool weather, slowing down the recent ice melt. Anglers are still making it out on the lakes in spite of the deteriorating ice conditions. Violations included litter, operation of an ATV without a driver’s license on a public road, no fishing license in possession.

 

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked on some litter and burning complaints. People will burn their garbage in their wood boilers and feel pretty safe doing so, but the odor can be tracked for a long ways and the smell of illegal plastic burning fills people’s houses. Some people have health issues and the smell can be very unhealthy. The smell can be very unpleasant for a family that is out for a walk and enjoying a nice spring day. Others will burn at night to avoid anyone seeing the black smoke they give off, but they too can be tracked. It is illegal to burn garbage and enforcement action will be taken for those that are found to be doing so in the Ely area.

 

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) thought that he’d checked the last snowmobilers of the year, but 14 inches of snow during the past week proved him wrong. Some people would love to ride them year around, but most believe that five months is enough. Some areas of Cook County still have knee deep snow in the woods. A few guys were out trying for pike on the Canadian border. The fishing was slow, but the fish that cooperated were big. A call of a sick moose was taken from the Saganaga area of the Gunflint Trail.

 

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) helped with a Hunter Education class. The officer checked anglers on Lake Superior’s shore and its tributaries. Fish sanctuaries and state parks were also patrolled. Travelers are reminded that melting snow can result in dangerously cold and fast moving water on rivers, and in forest roads that can be extremely treacherous and can quickly erode away stranding vehicles indefinitely.

 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports ice conditions are deteriorating with fewer anglers venturing out on the ice all the time. Streams were monitored for fish run. More and more ATVs are coming out, and CO Bermel would like to remind parents that youths are not allowed to ride on streets or alleys until they have a valid driver’s license. Enforcement action for the week included litter and youth ATV violations.

 

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) responded to TIP calls in the Silver Bay station that resulted in enforcement action. The officer taught the law and ethics section of the Cook County firearms safety class. Wahlstrom checked steelhead anglers along the North Shore tributaries and worked on bear investigations.

 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) assisted with a youth firearms safety class and worked ATV enforcement efforts. Several injured deer calls were handled along with illegal burning and trapping investigations.

 

Silver Bay – vacant.

 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

 

 

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, monitored the fish run, and patrolled for ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display ATV registration.

 

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked angling, small game, and answered wildlife calls. He also did equipment maintenance and investigated an arson fire.

 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) worked trapping enforcement, monitored OHV activity, assisted with a control burn and attended K-9 training. The recent snow and wind kept activity on the slow side. Some fish have been seen in the area creeks. Enforcement action was taken for trap tag issues and burning permit issues.

 

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) worked ATV enforcement activity involving spring closures. She attended training.

 

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ATV activity during the past week. An ATV detail was worked with the enforcement airplane where ATV’s were searched for using closed areas. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV in a wetland, operating and ATV down a county road and for operating an ATV in a spring closure area. Overall compliance to the laws was very good. CO Sutherland also gave a law talk at a firearms safety class.

 

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, trappers and patrolled trails. He also worked a special ATV detail, investigated a litter complaint and taught a firearms safety class.

 

CO John Velsvaag (Region 2 ATV Recreational Officer) followed up on a fish house litter complaint and took several calls on the extended beaver season regulations. CO Velsvaag completed some training and followed up on ATV complaints on the Mesabi Trail and lands in Itasca County that have seasonal ATV closures.

 

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked all- terrain vehicle details and complaints. Spring fish run and sucker spearing openers were worked. Pelicans were eating walleyes stopped below beaver dams. Many river flowages are ice free. Most lakes remain ice covered. Wetland Conservation Act violations resulting in court appearances were tracked. Nuisance porcupines were handled.

 

District 8 – Duluth area

 

WREO Mike Scott (NE) attended a meeting in St. Paul looking at computer equipment for the new Record Management System. Steelhead anglers on the North Shore were checked. Fishing has been slow. Reports from anglers were some smaller fish were caught but far and few between as described one angler.

 

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked streams and rivers in the area for beaver trapping and followed up on a TIP complaint regarding beaver trapping. ATV complaints continue and problem areas were patrolled. The officer attended the local Pheasants Forever banquet. Officer Schmidt also attended training in St Paul.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority enforcement work on the North Shore. Many fishermen were checked on several different tributaries. High water and continued cold temperatures have slowed fishing success. Officer Duncan attended a firearms safety class and assisted with the DNR lasershot and an answer booth at a Pheasants Forever banquet. A trapping investigation was also completed during the week.

 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, off-highway vehicle, and fire enforcement. CO Humphrey checked shore anglers along the St. Louis River in Cloquet. CO Humphrey patrolled the Fond Du Lac State Forest where roads and trails are temporarily closed to motorized vehicle use. Spring beaver traps were also checked in the area. An incidental otter catch was handled. CO Humphrey checked burning permits. Burning restrictions in Carlton County are in effect. The Officer is investigating a litter/dumping complaint near Cromwell.

 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a K9 meeting and training in the metro area. Complaints of littering were investigated consisting of dumping household garbage alongside a county road and dumping a large amount of snow goose carcasses near the Midway River in Esko. These cases are still under investigation and if anyone has any information that might be useful in locating the person(s) responsible they are asked to call TIP (1-800-652-9093). Reports were worked on and more interviews are expected to be done on the illegal taking of a bear from last fall. One complaint of dogs chasing deer was received in the Barnum area. Spring river fishing is starting to pick up in the area. Many lakes still are ice covered. Some turkey hunting success is being found in the area but numbers are noticeably down.

 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

 

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked rivers and anglers. The cool weather has hampered many. He also assisted the sheriff’s office with several vehicle accidents and followed up on nuisance animal complaints.

 

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked stream and shore anglers as the ice continued to blow out along Superior. Water temps in the rivers are still very cold, and no fish were seen over the weekend. A dead bald eagle was picked up in the Silver Bay station; investigation continues to determine whether it was an illegal or accidental kill. Enforcement action was taken for angling and traffic violations.

 

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent most of the week checking anglers along Lake Superior and the rivers. The fish seem to be getting more active near the river mouths, but have not seen many fish caught in the rivers yet. The pack ice is still affecting shore fishing access at times. No smelt activity seen yet. He also investigated a turkey hunting violation and a possible deer poaching, attended meetings and performed some equipment maintenance throughout the week. He’s receiving complaints and concerns of bear cubs out crying and some people harassing them to try to get photos. Please leave the bear cubs alone and observe from a distance, so not to disturb them. Enforcement action was taken for angling and turkey hunting violations.

 

District 9 – Brainerd area

 

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) monitored trapping and ATV activity throughout the week. CO McGowan also attended a meeting at Camp Ripley for the Conservation Officer Academy. Numerous small lakes in the area are now ice free.

 

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) checked area angling activity and monitored fish run. A large amount of suckers were illegally dumped within the roadway. Officer Guida also instructed at two area firearms safety training classes. Officer Guida took part in the Assoc. of Township Officers meeting at Lake Edward Town Hall where Division activities including fire danger, burning permits, nuisance beaver complaints, all-terrain vehicle operation, and safe boat operation were discussed.

 

CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) monitored turkey hunting, sucker spearing and closed trails in the Cuyuna Country SRA and Pillsbury State Forest. He assisted Minnesota Power & Garrison Animal Hospital staff with the rescue and subsequent release of an osprey injured when it became entangled in plastic bale twine in nest atop a high voltage power pole near Riverton.

 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked fish run, trapping and turkey hunting activity. Incidental otter catches and illegal posting of state property were also handled.

CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) reports responding to several calls of nuisance beaver and monitoring beaver trapping activity. CO Peterson patrolled area streams and creeks for fish run activity. Area ATV trails and forest roads were patrolled for illegal use. Most remain closed to ATVs.

 

CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked turkey hunters and crappie anglers. State forest spring closures were monitored and the opener of rough fish spearing season received some enforcement time. An investigation into a pile of dumped garbage on public land led to charges of littering, wanton waste of fish, failure to register a deer, and embarrassment for the suspect when he was confronted with his girlfriend and her father present.

 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

 

CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked the earlier rough fish opener where it appeared too early for suckers to be running well. Some anglers were also out where open water could be found but activity was slow. He also responded to burning complaints, checked on ATV traffic, and monitored the fish run.

 

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) checked several turkey hunters throughout the week. Several questions were fielded from hunters regarding turkey regulations. Please be aware that the Mille Lacs WMA is an independent turkey zone within zone 508. A turkey license specific to the Mille Lacs WMA is required (Zone 512). ATVs are starting to hit the trails in the area with the slightly warmer weather. Enjoy the trails and ride safely!

 

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) patrolled area state land for illegal ATV activity for the spring road and trail closures. The officer investigated a call of a turkey hunter who was told that they could not be on a parcel of state land. The officer found that the hunter was able to be there and they had legal access to the state land. A presentation was given at the Wealthwood Rod and Gun Club for the Youth Forkhorn Day. Around 50 kids were given the opportunity to try some shooting and shown some outdoor safety and survival techniques. A big thank you to the sponsors and to the many volunteers who made this event happen. Area lakes were checked for fishing activity and the officer found most of the lakes were inaccessible being the ice conditions were deteriorating due to the recent warm weather and rain. Over the weekend, the officer received a call of several subjects with bows and arrows alongside a state highway and had a dead bull moose that they were dragging out of the woods. The subjects were located and the officer found that they had a very realistic moose replica, right down to the fake blood on the moose and on the subjects. The individuals advised the Officer that they were doing a photo shoot for a magazine cover. When the officer asked why they had picked this very well-traveled location they advised that the area looked like moose country. Assistance was given to the Orono Police Department on a call of some juveniles taking a walleye and northern pike with a bow and lots of fishing, trapping, hunting and ATV law related questions were fielded throughout the week. The Officer also helped the State Patrol with trees down over the highway and with traffic control on Highway 169 where ice from Mille Lacs Lake pushed over the Hwy and blocked the road.

 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) checked trapping activity in the area. She received a report of a trapper trespassing in a neighboring station. The information was passed along to the neighboring officer. Speldrich received a call of dogs chasing deer and questions regarding state land recreational opportunities. Reports were received of illegal use of a WMA parking area, littering, underage consumption and damage to property. She also worked on recruitment of instructors for firearms safety.

 

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) monitored turkey season, burning complaints, ice fishing, open water fishing, sucker spearing, and off-road vehicle use. Some confusion is present with the sucker spearing opener change. Some other confusion about turkey zones is also present, please read the regulations before entering the field. AIS enforcement action was taken on bait containers with lake water being transported. Trespass issues and baiting situations are taking a good deal of time.

 

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) had a lot of beaver trapping activity and worked a couple cases that involved trapping without a license. A few accidentally caught otter were also collected from trappers. Fish run activity in the area was found and CO Grundmeier spent time monitoring local smelt run activity. One angler that was out pursuing smelt late one night was caught throwing his beer cans out into the woods at the public lake access. Instead of getting a citation for littering, the angler was given the opportunity to pick up all the garbage at and around the public lake access. The access was clean within 20 minutes.

 

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week answering questions about turkey hunting, trapping, and forest closures. He met with Mille Lacs officers regarding upcoming enforcement work, and presented 30 and 50 year instructor awards to two local Pine City instructors at their field day. CO Wynn checked on area ATV complaints and spent time checking ice conditions and fish run locations.

 

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked trapping activity throughout the week. Trappers are having good success with beaver and a few incidental otter were also dealt with. Some lakes are starting to open up a bit and wind conditions pushed ice on Mille Lacs into homes and onto roads.

 

WREO Rob Haberman worked AIS enforcement at accesses with open water. He checked lake service providers and watercraft coming to and leaving from infested waters accesses. WREO Haberman worked creeks for the spearing season opener around the Brainerd area and assisted another CO with checking a river for illegal fish traps.

 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

 

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time monitoring the spring fish run. A carcass dumping complaint was also received and investigated. The responsible party was located and a citation was issued. CO Silgjord assisted with setting up and putting on an ATV Safety Class in Sauk Centre. Recent wind and rain has cleared most area lakes of ice, preparations for the upcoming open water season are in the works.

 

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) investigated an unlawful burning complaint. A game farm inspection was conducted. Training was done. Sucker spearers took advantage of the earlier season. A wolf encounter was reported in northern Todd County. Wolves were showing interest in a calving area, until the farmer ran them off. They have not returned. It should be noted the farmer had taken precautions to protect the cows and vulnerable calves, such as appropriate fencing, additional lighting, and vigilant observation.

 

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked shore anglers, and bow fishermen. Wetland and public water cases were addressed. Thesing spoke at the Albany firearms safety class and assisted at an ATV safety class in Sauk Centre.

 

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers. CO Mies worked on a trapping complaint. CO Mies worked on fish run activity.

 

Conservation Officer Mike Martin (St. Cloud) assisted at the new officer academy at Camp Ripley.

 

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) is finding more and more people illegally digging into the bank at Blanchard Dam with shovels to look for cross rocks now with enforcement action taken when finding this happening. Two possible poached deer were investigated (turned out to be deer from last deer season) which it was uncovered that the hunter hadn’t validated the deer tags. Sucker fishermen and ATVers are starting to come out.  Problems encountered with ATVs are Class 2 ATV operators who don’t know where they can ride and what age can operate them. An unusual call came in of a beaver attacking a pit bull in its yard though no ponds or lakes would be near the residence. CO Kuske told the caller that most likely it was a different kind of animal than a beaver and that the pit bull attacked the animal and not the other way around. The caller was concerned because there are children in the neighborhood and they wanted to know if they could shoot the beaver for the safety of the children.

 

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) reports having northern pike and walleyes still in the creeks for sucker spearing opener. Several spawning areas were monitored for illegal activity. CO Kuske gave a law presentation at an ATV class; local trails saw increased activity this past weekend. Shore and bridge fishing for crappies and sunfish is still slow, but most lakes in the area are now ice free.

 

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked anglers, trappers and completed vehicle maintenance on equipment. Follow up was completed on information of individuals shooting songbirds. Archery carp shooters were found without licenses, and no life jackets; enforcement action taken.

 

WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working on wetland violations. A deed restriction was placed on a property where the landowner did not complete restoration of a wetland. The landowner was also cited for failing to complete the restoration order. Minnow equipment was tagged for an area bait dealer for use in AIS waters. Assistance was also given to neighboring officers at an ATV safety training class and for a trapping investigation.

 

District 12 – Princeton area

 

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) gave presentations at a Firearms Safety Class in Rockford and at a ATV Safety Class in Rockford Twp. A student interested in becoming a conservation officer did a job shadow with CO Reller. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and having no PFD in watercraft.

 

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes and rivers where he took enforcement action on a number of fishing violations. Officer Sladek followed up on a TIP call of individuals shooting at swans and is following up on a hunting trespassing violation. CO Sladek gave a Boat and Water safety talk to 75-100 kids at the Becker safety camp and gave an enforcement talk at a Firearms Safety Class at the Elk River Sportsman’s Club.

 

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked open water anglers. Violations were found for no license and underage possession of alcohol. Several animal complaints were handled during the week.

 

CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) spoke at firearms safety classes, appeared for a court hearing, checked anglers and ATVs. Officer Londgren also conducted commercial license inspections, responded to injured animal and wetland violation calls.

 

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports checking turkey hunters in the area. The nicer weather has hunters seeing and harvesting more birds in the area. CO Langevin also reports speaking to a city hall meeting regarding nuisance bear issues. Most local lakes are clear of ice and anglers are looking for early open water panfish.

Cambridge – vacant.

 

District 13 – West Metro area

 

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) checked anglers having some success on crappies. Turkey hunters were checked and turkey carcasses dumped in a ditch were investigated. Several animal nuisance calls were handled. A landowner trespass onto State property was investigated.

 

CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling and turkey hunting activity. CO Salzer attended an equipment meeting in St Paul. Salzer assisted West Hennepin PD with a stolen vehicle.

 

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and following up with wildlife complaints. CO Grewe spoke at a firearms safety class and responded to complaints of people fishing walleyes out of season. Violations included no fishing license.

 

CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) patrolled for ATV and ORV enforcement. He checked fishermen in Dakota County. CO Neitzke gave a presentation to a firearms safety class. He also patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park.

 

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishermen and responded to animal complaints in Scott County. He talked to a youth firearms safety class in Rockford and issued turkey and mink permits. Enforcement action was taken for over limit of crappies.

 

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers in the Bloomington station. Along with CO Glaser, he worked at John F. Kennedy High School’s Annual Career Fair. He also worked on equipment maintenance.

 

Bloomington – vacant.

 

Prior Lake – vacant.

 

District 14 – East Metro area

 

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spoke to firearms safety classes in Forest Lake and Hugo. CO Arntzen investigated wetland violations and issued cease and desist orders. He responded to several TIP complaints and spent time working a trapping case. CO Arntzen also got equipment ready for the upcoming fishing opener and issued several possession permits for turkeys struck by vehicles.

 

CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he investigated a WCA violation in Nowthen. He responded to a call of an injured Saw-whet Owl in East Bethel. It was transported to The Raptor Center. CO Johnson spoke to firearms safety classes in Andover and Ramsey. He checked Turkey hunters and patrolled at Carlos Avery WMA.

 

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked anglers around the metro lakes and rivers throughout the week. He spoke at a firearms safety class in Prior Lake and responded to a complaint of a possible game violation in Saint Paul. CO Pril also spent some time with CO Arntzen preparing boats for the open water season and responded to a couple of dead turkey calls.

 

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) handled three different litter cases and calls of incidental otters taken by beaver trappers. She attended a meeting at the Carlos Avery WMA, handled various TIP calls and gave a career talk to a class at North High School. CO Kruse found vehicles driving off-road and stuck in Carlos Avery WMA, handled injured animal calls and set up future firearm safety classes. Violations encountered this week included taking northerns out of season, no fishing license, operate vehicle off-road in a WMA, speeding (30 mph over speed limit) in a WMA and litter.

 

Eagan – vacant.

 

Hastings – vacant.

 

Maplewood – vacant.

 

Metro Officer – vacant.

 

District 15 – Marshall area

 

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked anglers and boaters on Big Stone Lake during the week. Spring fish run activity was also monitored. Littering by shore anglers continues to be a problem. The annual Border Water Walleye Challenge was held on Big Stone Lake, with 90+ teams competing this year.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) worked fishing, turkey hunting and ATV enforcement. Time was also spent working the DNR booth at the Tracy Area Sportsmen’s Show over the weekend. Most of the questions focused around the upcoming fishing opener, invasive species, and ATV operation. Assistance was also given at firearms safety classes in Wood Lake, Redwood Falls, and Morgan.

 

CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) issued numerous out of state minnow transport permits throughout the week and conducted commercial inspections. The officer also addressed nuisance animal complaints.

 

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working anglers. Nice weather days result in boats being readied for the fishing opener and shore anglers looking for panfish. Enforcement action was taken for taking northern out of season, an over limit of northern, and license violations.

 

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) taught a FSC in Canby with a good number of students attending. Fishing has been very good on the Hendricks Lake. Turkey Hunters are doing very well in the area.

 

WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended training in Anoka and worked on a WCA violation in Sibley County. Officer Hanson also worked on AIS compliance for AIS Lake service provider training in Meeker County.

 

Benson – vacant.

 

Madison – vacant.

 

Redwood Falls – vacant.

 

District 16 – New Ulm area

 

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) monitored ATV activity and checked fisherman and boaters. He spoke at two firearms safety classes about law and ethics. Denz taught boating safety at a kids fishing clinic sponsored by the Little Crow Anglers. He also followed up on trapping complaints and conducted commercial inspections.

 

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) kept a close eye on a good crappie bite. Mueller also spent time looking for a mute swan that was reported in Renville County. Time was spent on educating and enforcing AIS regulations. Boaters are reminded to remove the drain plug before traveling on public roads. She investigated two garbage dumping/littering complaints. Mueller spoke at an ATV safety class in Winthrop.

 

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) finished follow up on a deer case that involved illegal party hunting. Oberg also seized two incidental otter taken by a beaver trapper. Time was spent working turkey hunters and shore anglers. ATV enforcement was also worked with some registration issues being addressed. Firearms safety talks were given at Gopher Campfire, Lester Prairie Sportsman’s Club, and Green Isle Sportsman’s Club. Two instructors received 30 year awards at the Green Isle class.

 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) completed commercial activity checks. He also attended a safety committee meeting. The rest of the week was spent on fishing and ATV activity.

 

CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week checking anglers, ATV operators, and following up on a previous investigation. Beckmann attended hardware demonstrations held in St. Paul for the upcoming Records Management System implementation and attended the Tracy Area Sportsmen Outdoors Show to work the DNR booth.

 

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked shore fishing and turkey hunters. Gruhlke also followed up on a TIP call concerning big game. He also completed his radio program with KKOJ/KRAQ discussing topics including the Iowa/Minnesota border water opener, the Minnesota inland water opener, and invasive species.

 

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) attended the spring ATV class in Fairmont and taught the rules and regulations portion of the class. Approximately 31 juveniles attended the class. Investigations were performed for illegal activity in public waters. Anglers were checked on local lakes. ATVs were checked on area trails.

 

Litchfield – vacant.

 

Willmar #1 – vacant.

 

District 17 – Mankato area

 

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked angling activity. Crappies are being caught in their traditional spring locations. CO Howe spoke to a Firearms Safety class regarding laws and ethics. Spring otter that were incidental catches were collected from a beaver trapper.

 

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, turkey hunters, and ATV operators. A law and ethics presentation was given to a local FAS class, as well as a presentation to an ATV safety class.

 

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers and ATV operators. Turkey hunting activity was also monitored with hunters having some success.

 

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked turkey hunting activity. Hunters reporting mixed success. Assistance was given to a local sheriff’s department on river boat operation. A firearms safety class was attended where the officer gave a law and ethics presentation.

 

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked ATV, angling, small game, & big game activity. The officer also responded to various calls from the public regarding turkeys and deer. The officer also took a complaint of dogs running loose in a wildlife management area.

 

CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring spring turkey hunting, trout fishing, and recreational vehicle activity. A littering complaint was investigated and resolved. A law and ethics presentation was given at a firearms safety class in Grand Meadow. Requests from the public seeking information were returned.

 

WREO Julie Siems (SE) checked early season boaters for AIS violations. Compliance has started out great. Officer Siems was also entertained by some participating in the 24 Cold Water Challenge spreading across Facebook.

 

Albert Lea – vacant.

 

District 18 – Rochester area

 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports hearing good news from turkey hunters. The river continues to be high which has changed fishing but people are still catching fish. He followed up on an ATV complaint and a fishing complaint. Hemker also attended a firearms safety field day for an on-line course.

 

CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking turkey hunters, anglers and ATV operators. He is still finding ATVs in the road ditch and other ATV issues. Enforcement action included a number of ATV violations and failure to tag turkey and validate tags.

 

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked turkey hunters and anglers during the week. Various turkey hunting violations and complaints were received including trespass, using ATVs in closed area, and hunting in wrong area. Heyn also spoke to an ATV class in Plainview.

 

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking turkey hunters and anglers. Fishing has been good. Turkey hunters have also been doing better. One hunter reported jumping a hen from her nest. A youth hunt in Chester Woods Park in Olmsted County yielded four turkeys. Hunting was fair to good despite the poor weather on Sunday. CO Boyum is investigating a trespass complaint and ATV complaints as well.

 

CO Scott Fritz (LaCrescent) reports turkey hunters had a good week despite some rainy weather.  Trout fishermen are catching good numbers of fish. The Mississippi River remains high and fishing is poor. He attended the annual Sheldon Sportsmen trout fishing event for kids. Most anglers caught fish. He did check several fishermen without license and enforcement actions were taken.

 

CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week checking anglers, turkey hunters and ATV activity.  Fishing success on the Mississippi River remains slow and turkey hunters were dealing with some windy, wet weather until the last day of their season.

 

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 Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of flight training and hangar maintenance items. Jensen flew a marten/fisher/wolf telemetry flight and a WCA photo flight in east central Minnesota. Jensen also assisted with an ATV detail in NE Minnesota. Poor weather made time for working on an aviation safety plan and an FAA approved class at the Brainerd Airport.

 

CO Pilot Chris Lofstuen (Bemidji) spent time in aviation training in Grand Rapids/Brainerd with Jensen. Suspected wetland violation flights were flown in Chisago and Washington counties. An ATV detail was also flown. Aircraft maintenance issues were addressed.

 

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) started the statewide helicopter goose survey and finished all the plots south of a line from Brainerd.