District 1 – Baudette area
CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) checked anglers, state park activity, and ATV activity. The blueberry crop appears to be poor this year. Fishing success remains good on Lake of the Woods.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) worked the Independence Day holiday on Maple Lake and the Red River of the North with Lt. Znajda.
CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) worked a boat and water safety project on Upper Red Lake, checked ATV trail activity, and followed up on minnow/leech trapper complaints. Enforcement activity for the week included license violations, ATV violations, and boat and water safety violations.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) checked anglers, boaters, ATVers, and leech trappers. A trespass complaint was investigated.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked anglers, boaters, and ATVers. Vollbrecht assisted the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Department with law-enforcement duties after the storm. Complaints about removing aquatic plants, dogs chasing deer, and nuisance beavers were investigated.
CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji) assisted local law enforcement with duties after the recent storm. Itasca State Park and LaSalle campground were patrolled after the storm, and during cleanup.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) and COC Mitch Lawler continue field training duties. Anglers and boaters were checked. A shoreline alteration complaint was investigated. The officers issued a citation to an angler for fishing without a license, the same person who was cited for the same violation two weeks ago by CO Vinton.
CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) focused enforcement efforts on angling, boating, and ATV activity. Site inspections of public waters and wetland alteration sites were done.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked anglers and boaters. The Becker County Sheriff’s Department, Wadena Police Department, and Menahga Police Department were assisted with patrols on lakes during fireworks displays and parade events.
Water Resource Officer Traci Hanson attended an AIS civil citation appeal pre-hearing. The defendant decided to drop the appeal after the pre-hearing and pay the fine.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports fishing remains good even with soaring summer temperatures. CO Richards hosted an ATV safety class during the weekend.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) saw an increase in recreational boaters during the July 4th week. Several contacts were made with PWC operators for wake violations. Complaints were received about bowfishermen using their bright lights near houses and running loud generators.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports area lakes were busy with recreational boating traffic during the July 4th holiday, with numerous enforcement contacts made for registration, equipment, and operation violations. One person was arrested for gross misdemeanor BWI and his PWC was seized for possible forfeiture after he was found operating at twice the legal blood-alcohol limit. Another man was found boating with his two young daughters while possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia. The man said he wasn’t going to use the drug in the presence of his children, but he also didn’t want to leave the items in his vehicle at the public access. Additional time was spent checking fishermen, patrolling for ATV activity, and monitoring AIS compliance around area waterways. An incident remains under investigation in which several rocks containing zebra mussels were found near a popular lake that is not known to be infested with them. Assistance was provided to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office on DWI traffic stops and scuffles at area beaches.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Wheaton) reports high temperatures kept most fishermen and boaters inside this past week. Enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, boaters, and PWC operators, and patrolling Lake Traverse with a South Dakota game warden during the Independence Day holiday.
CO Kurt Nelson (Glenwood) investigated a report of a fish kill on Lake Emily. Several hundred dead northern pike were found, and DNR Fisheries was notified.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) spent the week working in and around Itasca State Park to address the damage caused by the massive windstorm in the area.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) worked on two cases regarding the illegal removal of aquatic plants from public waters without a permit. Officer Sommers also investigated a case of transporting aquatic macrophytes on a public highway and assisted the Cass County Sheriff’s Department with an incident involving an individual who fled on foot.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports a massive storm changed the landscape of the Cass Lake area in many spots. Several areas and roads are closed, as cleanup will be ongoing for months. Anglers and boaters were still enjoying the water. One boater encountered a scary situation when he jumped in the water after his efforts with his fire extinguisher failed to put out an engine fire. The boater was fine after being picked up by another boater. The fire burned out a short time later, and the boat was towed to shore.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) worked boating safety during the 4th of July fireworks display on Girl Lake and investigated two possible wetland violations. CO Broughten also provided an individual with an educational ride-along opportunity.
CO Shane Siltala (Water Resource Enforcement officer) worked AIS enforcement during the 4th of July holiday. A special AIS meeting was attended with staff from the Ecological and Water Resources Division. Officer Siltala also happened to drive by a residence when he noticed smoke rising into the air. He then noticed a boat was parked in the yard in near other vehicles and a house, and the motor was fully engulfed in flames. When he turned around and drove into the yard, he found part of the motor had fallen from the boat, and a small grass fire had started. He quickly put out the fire with his fire extinguisher. No one was home at the time, but later the homeowner was grateful the officer happened to be driving by at the right time.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports checking on angling and boating activity on Lake Vermilion and surrounding lakes and rivers. CO Brad Schultz responded to an aircraft emergency near the Cook airport – an emergency landing with no injuries.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) received calls about some problem bears, all of which had similar themes regarding food made easily available.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Marty Stage (Ely) spent time in the BWCAW working fishing and boating enforcement. Officer Stage continues to find unregistered canoes from out of state, ATVers riding on roads, and people not having their fishing licenses in possession.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked angling and boating activity on area lakes. Boaters are reminded to have a PFD for every person aboard the watercraft.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports a busy week on the water. Some people chose to fish without fishing licenses and trout stamps. A couple of people also were encountered using extra lines. Several sunbathers and swimmers were reminded that boat accesses are just that, and that they have to yield the right of way to watercraft owners using the access.
CO Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) spent some time dealing with complaints about animals and a road-killed bobcat, which was turned over to Division of Wildlife staff. Assistance was given to the sheriff’s department at an injury crash in which a motorcyclist struck a deer.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) and COC Shawn Wichmann worked district lakes and found violations including no fishing licenses, no personal floatation devices, angling with extra lines, and not having proper lights displayed on boats after sunset. They also met with the Itasca County attorney and courtroom staff to complete training tasks, and assisted local law enforcement with a DWI and bar fight.
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled for ATV activity, advised landowners about lakeshore work procedures, inspected bait-harvesting equipment, and spent time assisting the public when a severe storm hit the area.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent time checking boaters and anglers and worked with other officers in the Duluth area for the Fourth of July holiday. Officer Staples investigated a public waters complaint in the Scanlon area, which turned out to be homeowners who were repairing flood damage to their property. Officer Staples continued to patrol Jay Cooke State Park for public safety and security.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Carlton) worked with other district officers on a boating detail during the July 4th holiday. Officer Humphrey also investigated a wolf depredation complaint and checked anglers on area waters.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine unit) assisted Douglas County (Wisconsin) and St. Louis County officials with a boating accident that resulted in an injury on the St. Louis River near Spirit Lake. Officer Olson also assisted the U.S. Coast Guard with a 42-foot sailboat that had run hard aground near Buoy 20 in the Duluth Harbor. The 15-ton sailboat took some coaxing, but eventually found good water.
CO Troy Ter Meer, (Lake Superior Marine Unit) assisted a freighter operator by clearing the channel of anchored boats whose passengers were listening to a concert in the harbor.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) found a 65-year-old female and two juveniles who possessed an overlimit of sunfish on a small lake in Cass County. The three had a total of 109 sunfish, one bass, and one perch. After paperwork was complete and fish seized, the woman asked if they could continue fishing for other species. AIS issues were handled, with one boater trying to launch his craft with vegetation with zebra mussels on his trailer. He was coming from Lake Minnetonka.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked a fireworks display where registration and equipment violations were detected. Officers responded to Mille Lacs Lake to assist the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Department with some anglers who spent the night on the lake unintentionally. Rain, lightning, and severe weather made the overnight stay dangerous.
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec Area) responded to a personal-injury accident on the Cuyuna mountain bike trails, along with Ironton Fire and Rescue and Cuyuna EMS. The victim was taken to the hospital with a broken leg. CO Tischler also assisted the Cass County Sheriff’s Department with the investigation of a boating accident on Gull Lake.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked boating activity, including local fireworks displays. Lack of adequate boat lights was the predominant violation. Several boaters have been getting unwanted assistance from their guests, as kids, grandparents, and mother-in-laws all took the blame for installing boat plugs before arriving at the lake.
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) received several calls regarding the safety of the water in the areas where severe flooding took place. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency recommends staying out of waters in areas affected by floods, as elevated levels of bacteria have been detected in some waters.
CO Mike Lee (Isle), along with other conservation officers, assisted the Minnesota State Patrol with the pursuit of a motorcycle on Hwy. 169. The party was wanted on Department of Corrections warrants.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports assistance was given to the Minnesota State Patrol regarding a disturbance at an access on Mille Lacs Lake. A subject was arrested and other parties on a boat were found to have slot-length walleyes.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued to handle nuisance bear reports and responded to another complaint about gray wolves harassing livestock. The latest gray wolf depredation complaint involved a newly born, Holstein calf that was attacked by wolves at a local dairy farm. The calf eventually died from its injuries, and trappers are attempting to remove the wolves in that area to prevent further livestock losses.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) received calls about illegal shoreline work being done, a wetland violation, and individuals cutting aquatic vegetation.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) participated in an open mic segment with a local radio station, emphasizing boating safety.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) made contact with the same individuals with the same boating safety violations on two separate days; stricter enforcement action was taken the second go-around.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) responded to a call regarding individuals blowing up fish with firecrackers.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a busy weekend on area lakes due to Karl Oscar Days. The fireworks on Friday night brought out a lot of recreational boaters.
CO Brian Dobbick (Cambridge) worked area lakes and rivers for boating and angling activity throughout the week. Time also was spent working AIS compliance. Enforcement was taken for registration and AIS violations.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) worked boat and water safety details on Lake Minnetonka with other district officers. Six individuals were arrested for BUI, numerous juveniles were found drinking alcohol, one individual was arrested on a warrant, and others were cited for safety violations.
CO Aaron Kahre (Minnetonka) took a complaint regarding a trophy buck that was illegally obtained. CO Kahre was patrolling Lake Minnetonka on July 4th when he encountered a boat full of people under the age of 21 who had been drinking. When one of the passengers received his citation, he stated the blood-alcohol reading was so low that a piece of pepperoni pizza would cause the same reading. The person told CO Kahre that he would see him in court because it was nothing more than a slice of pepperoni pizza. The CO noted there was no pizza on board the boat.
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) handled beaver and muskrat damage complaints. ATV and off-road vehicle areas were patrolled.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) assisted a biker who had a medical incident while biking and crashed. Salzer also patrolled Lake Minnetonka for boating activity. Several violations were observed, and one person was arrested for boating while intoxicated.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked boating activity on the 4th of July on White Bear Lake with a neighboring conservation officer. He also responded to TIP complaints and answered calls regarding injured animals.
CO Travis Muyres (Ham Lake) worked fishing activity in Anoka County. CO Muyres also conducted a follow-up investigation for a Wyoming warden.
CO Jason Jensen (Metro WREO) assisted the Washington County Sheriff’s Department with a search for a drowning victim. CO Jensen also updated WCA files and attended an Aviation Unit meeting.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) reports an AIS project was worked on Big Stone Lake with enforcement action taken for boat plug concerns.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) investigated someone dumping field rock on a WMA. Someone has been piling rock the past few years on a WMA in northwestern Chippewa County. The result has been loss of grassland habitat. Dead northerns were reported on Lac qui Parle. DNR Fisheries is investigating, and believes the die-off is related to the hot weather. He’s also investigating a report of a deer with an ear tag spotted six miles west of Montevideo.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers and enforcing boating/invasive species laws. Assistance was given to the Murray County Sheriff’s Department regarding an early morning fatal boating accident on Lake Shetek. The operator wedged his boat under the low bridge on the second dike. Assistance was given to the Slayton Police Department in apprehending a suspected thief. Assistance also was given to the Fulda Police Department with a domestic assault case.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) completed a background investigation on a potential CO candidate.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) reports four WCA restoration orders were issued in McLeod County, and one WCA restoration order was issued in Sibley County.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jim Steffen (Willmar) reports time was spent on a DWI stop that resulted in the driver being arrested and processed by the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Department. The officer also assisted in another DWI arrest following a traffic accident within sight of where the officer was standing.
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) worked with the area hydrologist on a lakeshore violation and received a complaint about bowfishermen too close to occupied residences after dark.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted watercraft-related inspections for safety equipment and invasive species. Abnormally hot weather brought lake surface temperatures close to 90 degrees, resulting in a lot of people enjoying the lakes.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) responded to complaints about water skiing after legal hours and boating without lights after dark. He also enforced boat and water rules throughout the busy week.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of crappies and transporting lake water.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Bob Geving (Mankato) worked angling and boating activities during the week. Several complaints were received about fish dying in the shallow lakes. Per DNR Fisheries, this is most likely due to high water temperatures and low oxygen levels.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent time on angling and boating enforcement. CO Howe assisted the Le Sueur County Sheriff’s Department Water Patrol during the fireworks show over Lake Washington. CO Howe and neighboring COs assisted Nicollet County sheriff’s deputies with a youth ATV safety class in St. Peter.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports more bear sightings in the area. Time was spent checking horse trail passes at Forestville State Park. A boat and water detail was worked with Officer Fritz on the 4th of July on the Mississippi. A few warnings were issued in no-wake zones, but overall compliance was good.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Zumbrota) and COC Anthony Bermel worked a boat and water detail for the 4th of July fireworks display in Red Wing.
CO Phil George (Rochester) reports spending a lot of time working angling and boat and water safety. A case also was made, with multiple violations, including taking different small-game animals during the closed season. Other violations detected were no angling license, no license in possession, no fire extinguisher, no navigational lights, and a child under 10 who wasn’t wearing a PFD.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) found a person fishing who give him a false name. Later in the conversation, a different person in the boat called that person by his real name. The person giving the false information became flustered and could not remember his false birth date.