District 1 – Baudette area
CO Angie Warren (Thief River falls) worked aquatic invasive species enforcement, boat and water safety, and angling activity on Lake of the Woods, as well as on Union and Maple lakes. Warren also performed equipment maintenance and answered questions regarding the upcoming gray wolf season, invasive species, and angling.
CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) registered a nuisance bear. Two boat and water details were worked this week. Rice beds were checked and are looking good, although not yet ripe. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling and boating activity on area lakes. He investigated a case involving illegally possessed Canada geese, with assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He also investigated complaints about nuisance beavers and bears. Officer Vollbrecht also assisted a state park ranger in locating a person who left the park without purchasing a pass, and continued investigation of a group that damaged a campsite at Bemidji State Park.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) investigated the report of a deer causing multiple injuries to a rural Fertile man. The individual was struck several times with the whitetail buck’s front hooves. The deer was dispatched after the attack. CO Seefeldt and CO Gary Forsberg assisted USFWS agents with a large crappie overlimit case. Multiple individuals face charges. CO Seefeldt also investigated aquatic vegetation permit violations, including operating weed rollers without permits and exceeding permit conditions.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) reports continuing field training with COC Bermel. During night patrol, officers saw a vehicle operator having trouble negotiating a straight road. An attempt to stop the person led to a high-speed pursuit. The chase ended off-road, with the suspect attempting to flee into the nearby woods. The suspect was captured and was charged with fleeing in a motor vehicle, DWI, fleeing on foot, possession of a dangerous weapon, and no Minnesota driver’s license. Several local agencies assisted. Officers also continued to check local businesses for bait sales, finding several more selling leeches without a minnow retailer’s license.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen and boaters. He also worked shoreline violations, followed up on fishing tips, and worked complaints about PWCs. While working CO Forsberg encountered a fisherman angling with too many lines. While Officer Forsberg completed the enforcement paperwork, the fisherman’s buddies videotaped the encounter, saying they couldn’t wait to show friends and family back home. The fisherman in violation was not happy with his fishing partners.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) and COC Mueller followed up on two weed roller permit violations on Ethel and East Battle lakes. A day was spent on an ATV detail with other COs, patrolling the Smokey Hills and Two Inlets areas for ATV violations, early bear baiting, and wetland violations. Officers continued to investigate a wolf depredation case in the Henning area.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued working fishing, boating, PWC, and AIS enforcement on and around area waterways. New investigations were started regarding possible weed roller violations and time was spent patrolling Lake Carlos State Park and monitoring area ORV activity. An angler visiting from Iceland was angling without a license.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Wheaton) checked fishermen and ATV operators, and issued minnow transportation permits. Baumbarger worked in the Alexandria area, checking PWC operators, fishermen, boaters, and monitoring AIS compliance.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) reports a complaint was received from the Big Stone County Sheriff’s Department about people possibly hunting ducks or geese near Ortonville. Several dead cormorants were found in a wetland. The incident is still under investigation.
CO Kurt Nelson (Glenwood) investigated a case of a person shooting geese on a lake lot. Neighbors pointed out where the offense took place.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) attended the 2nd annual National Wild Turkey Federation Jake’s Day youth event at Camp Wilderness Boy Scout Camp. Officer Hunter also received a call about an injured eagle and attended a firearms safety class near Walker.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport fishing, boating, AIS, and OHV activity. In addition, he assisted with a firearms safety class and assisted a Leech Lake tribal CO with wild rice bed inspections.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continued checking boaters and anglers for invasive species violations. Officer Mathy also assisted a Chippewa National Forest officer with removal of illegal stands and signs on forest land.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) received information that on the previous evening, an angler arrived at a boat landing on Leech Lake in violation of several invasive species laws. The boat owner only cleaned the boat after being advised by a watercraft inspector. CO Broughten was attempting to locate the suspect’s vehicle when he observed it being operated on the roadway with several aquatic plants hanging from the boat trailer. Officer Broughten stopped the vehicle, and the owner confessed this was the second time in two days that he was contacted about invasive species. The owner of the watercraft was advised of Minnesota’s invasive species laws, and appropriate enforcement action was taken. CO Broughten also assisted the Cass County Sheriff’s Office with a boating incident that resulted in severe injuries.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time checking fishing and boating activity on Rainy Lake. Enforcement action was taken for an insufficient number of PFDs, no current boat registration, no angling license in possession, and transporting/possessing unmeasurable fish while on the water.
CO Dan Starr (Tower) reports a call to Lake Vermilion regarding careless operation of a watercraft by juveniles was investigated. The mother of one of the juveniles was warned about allowing a watercraft to be operated in a manner that endangered persons or property. A citation was issued for operation of a personal watercraft within 150 feet of shore. A site visit was done with a contractor to answer questions regarding work on a shoreline. The contractor was told to have the landowner apply for appropriate permits. CO Starr also responded to a car/bear crash.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, and state park enforcement. Park security alerted the officer to a campsite with an intoxicated individual. The two campers found at the site violated a number of park rules, including loud noise, collecting firewood, collecting mushrooms, consuming alcohol, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) continues to receive complaints about nuisance bears. He checked a report of possible early bear baiting and found deer stands already being baited with corn.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked in the BWCAW most of the week on boating and fishing enforcement. A common theme with unregistered canoes is that the user is “just borrowing it.”
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) assisted Marine Unit officers with an overlimit case at the Grand Marais Rec Park, and assisted U.S. Customs with a couple fish overlimit cases involving fish imported from Canada. An ATV operator was found driving on the paved shoulder of State Hwy. 61; he admitted he did not know the rules for operation or whether the machine was registered, since he was just borrowing the machine to visit a friend. Appropriate paperwork was issued.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling and boating activity with enforcement action taken for angling without a license and not having enough life-saving devices on board a watercraft. CO Sutherland also took a complaint about a wolf attacking a dog in the area.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) reports enforcement action was taken for plugs in boats, no angling license, no boat lights after sunset, no PFDs, wetland filling, no contractor notification, and work in public waters without a permit. Arhart also placed a deed restriction and issued a wetland restoration order for two different impacts in St. Louis County. The CO assisted at a local firearms safety course and attended the Dixon Lake Association meeting.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) patrolled for angling and ATV activity. He also answered questions about nuisance bears. Violations for operating an ATV on a roadway, illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, and unregistered ATVs were encountered.
CO Randy Patten (Northome) dealt with multiple complaints about bears in crops and wolves harassing cattle. He also assisted county deputies with traffic control regarding a juvenile party.CO Brent Speldrich (Northeast ATV Rec) arrested an intoxicated ATV operator who fled after being signaled to stop by Officer Speldrich. The individual went to jail, and the
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on complaints about wildlife involving attacks on domestic animals. Early bear-baiting complaints were investigated.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) participated in a local invasive species roadside check along with several other area officers. A possible WCA violation was investigated. A couple of stranded anglers were towed back to the boat landing after their outboard motor sustained damage from hitting a submerged rock.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) finished up an investigation into a wolf depredation complaint and worked a complaint regarding early bear baiting.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (Northeast) worked on a potential wetland violation and a public waters violation in Lake County with DNR ecological waters folks and Lake County Planning and Zoning. Officer Scott also attended the change of command ceremony at the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Duluth.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) and fellow district officers worked the annual Bayfront Blues Festival in the Duluth-Superior Harbor.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. Assistance was given to the local sheriff's department with calls.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) handled many calls regarding nuisance and injured animals and birds during the week. Questions were handled involving upcoming bear baiting for bear season. The “leftover” bear permits, which went on sale at noon Monday, were sold out in less than three minutes for bear permit areas 44 and 45.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) handled complaints about wolves chasing cattle, checked for early bear-baiting activity, monitored boat accesses for aquatic invasive species violations, and checked anglers.
CO Jim Guida (Nisswa) and COC Genereux attended a court hearing for a BWI in which the defendant pleaded guilty. They transported an injured loon to an animal hospital and later released it to the wild. They also set a trap for a nuisance bear.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked invasive species enforcement in the Gull Lake area. The most common violation continues to be transporting aquatic vegetation on trailers and boats. The CO received a complaint from an AIS inspector about a person transporting zebra mussels attached to aquatic vegetation that was stuck on the anchor in the boat. Evidence was collected and the investigation continues.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled Mille Lacs Lake and other area lakes with COC Arntzen. The officers finalized a trespass case and patrolled the state forest for ATV activity. COC Arntzen and CO Croatt checked a number of fishermen on Mille Lacs Lake. Cases were made for illegal-length fish. Some involved fish being filleted on the water and brought back to shore in coolers without the carcasses, while others were returning late at night to avoid being checked by officers.
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) handled a wolf depredation investigation in which a farmer lost two lambs. It was determined that both of the lambs were killed by wolves. The CO also investigated a call in which the reporting party found decayed fox carcasses. The caller believed someone had taken them out of season. It was determined that the carcasses were actually coyotes.
WREO Robert Haberman (Brainerd) conducted AIS enforcement throughout the area. WREO Haberman also met with local SWCD offices and reviewed WCA cases. WREO Haberman also checked ATV riders in the area.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) reports working boating and fishing enforcement. The officer conducted wildlife roadside surveys, as well.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked boaters, anglers, and ATV activity. Thesing also took several calls regarding a bear, a cougar, and a sick-looking raccoon this week.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) received waters complaints in Todd and Morrison counties. ATV complaint areas also were worked on in Todd and Morrison counties. A poaching complaint was received, and a TIP call was investigated.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) reports a possible mountain lion sighting is being investigated.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) patrolled area WMAs and state forests due to an increase in ATV and motorized vehicle activity.
CO Brian Dobbick (Cambridge) worked boaters and anglers on area lakes and rivers throughout the week. Illegal ATV activity on a WMA was investigated.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) investigated gill nets on Lake Waconia, which turned out to be DNR fisheries nets. Anglers and boaters were checked on the Minnesota River before the Belle Plaine catfish tournament.
CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) worked invasive species enforcement. She also investigated a waters violation on Long Lake and assisted DNR staff at a scientific and natural area.
CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) gave a presentation to a youth fishing summer camp. He also spent time working angling, boating, ATV, and invasive species enforcement.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park and responded to calls about illegal camping and an overturned canoe in the park.
While working a boating detail on Prior Lake, CO Adam Block (Prior Lake) and CO Steve Walter detected dark smoke in the night sky. Further investigation revealed a lakefront homeowner burning old boards and shingles during a remodel project.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) handled various TIP calls, such as an overlimit of sunfish, expired boat registration, extra lines, and illegal shoreline work. She also met with a large group of Karen (from Burma) individuals at the Carlos Avery WMA to talk about hunting laws and regulations in Minnesota.
CO Travis Muyres (Ham Lake) worked angling enforcement in Anoka County. CO Muyres also continued K9 training with CO McGowan. CO Muyres worked with the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office regarding injured and nuisance wildlife.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent part of the week working the DNR tent at Farmfest in Redwood County. Attendance was excellent, with most of the questions and concerns dealing with aquatic invasive species and the newly released 2012 hunting regulations book.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports that enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, an overlimit of catfish, and nonresidents fishing with resident licenses.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) spent three days working the DNR information tent at Farmfest in Redwood Falls. Many people were interested in the Walk-In Access program.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) conducted roadside wildlife counts throughout the week. The officer issued several out-of-state minnow transport permits.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) reports AIS checks were completed on area waters. Fishermen were checked on the Minnesota River, where enforcement action was taken for fishing license violations.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) attended a fisheries meeting in Albert Lea. Both Iowa and Minnesota fisheries and enforcement personnel were present. Gruhlke also checked fishing and boating activity.
CO Greg Abraham (New Ulm) reports conducting August roadside counts. Pheasant numbers are better than last year, but still below average. Abraham also checked boating and angling activity on area lakes and rivers.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) staffed the DNR information and education tent at Farmfest. Boating activity has decreased as water levels continue to decline.
CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) enforced ATV and state forestry fire laws, and assisted DNR Wildlife with local pheasant counts.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) continued training with COC Peterson. The officers spent time at several busy public access points, checking for AIS compliance. Overall, the boaters who frequent the area have been vigilant with AIS compliance and were appreciative of our presence. A day was spent patrolling the St. Croix River in Washington County.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked angling and AIS activity. He also worked the Belle Plaine catfish contest. Low water conditions challenged boaters during the contest. An AIS road check was conducted by District 17 officers, with violations detected for transporting aquatic macrophytes.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) responded to questions from the public regarding shoreline and dock access issues.
CO Bob Geving (Mankato) worked ATV, angling, boating, and invasive species checks. Geving assisted with an invasive species checkpoint in Le Sueur County and conducted two August roadside wildlife surveys in Blue Earth County.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) and COC Wichmann helped with roadside counts for different species of wildlife. An ATV detail was worked in Blue Earth County with other officers. Enforcement action was taken for license issues, OHM violations, extra lines, and AIS violations.
WREO Julie Siems reports multiple site visits for wetland violations were completed. Violations included people illegally taking live mussels and transporting aquatic vegetation.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports a black bear continues to be seen in the Caledonia area.The annual pheasant survey is near completion.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports the busiest boating activity of the summer. Several homemade boats were observed in the area. Enforcement action was taken for possession of marijuana, littering, fishing without licenses, and various boating violations.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and boaters during the week. Heyn also handled miscellaneous calls about animals and got some equipment ready for the fall.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Zumbrota) reports working fishing and boating enforcement as well as answering numerous hunting questions.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports speaking at a firearm safety class in St. Charles. Time also was spent checking anglers on the Mississippi. CO Boyum investigated a call about subjects shooting and hunting on state land. Upon investigation, it was found that subjects were in the woods shooting off fireworks.