District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) assisted a cattle producer and a turkey producer with wolf depredation. Bear baits were checked, and a regional meeting was attended at Itasca State Park. Assistance was given to other officials during the search for a missing person in the Beltrami Island State Forest.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) monitored area bear-baiting activity and found some hunters using ATVs in closed areas of wildlife management areas. CO Woinarowicz also checked anglers and investigated a large plume of black smoke visible for many miles. Upon arrival, enforcement action was taken on the landowner for burning prohibited materials that included multiple tires.
CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) worked on complaints of overlimits of fish being taken. Wild rice harvesters were checked, angling activity was monitored on area experimental regulation lakes, and nuisance-bear reports were handled.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Erskine) spent time working on a wildfire complaint in Roseau County and checked anglers, watercraft operators, and public water access sites.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) responded to a possible wolf depredation and removed more than 150 illegal leech traps from a WMA.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) responded to complaint about an elk cape left in a dumpster, which was determined to be a game farm animal.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) assisted with a long-term investigation that resulted in a citation for selling fish.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) reports field training with COC Peterson during the past week. The officers observed aquatic vegetation on a boat trailer, which led to a traffic stop and further investigation. They discovered the livewell had not been drained and contained over a gallon of lake water from an infested lake.
CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) conducted equipment maintenance, investigated wildlife-related and waters complaints, and assisted with an arson investigation at the Juneberry Road Fire near Greenbush.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) responded to a complaint from a farmer who discovered injuries to six calves. Four of them were dead and have been buried; the other two are healing. The incident remains under investigation.
CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji) monitored fishing, boating, and bear-baiting activity throughout the week. He spent time patrolling area OHV trails and noted use of area trails is still limited due to blowdown from the July storms. Officer
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) checked anglers and boaters on area lakes. An annual regional enforcement meeting was attended. Additional time was spent answering questions related to the upcoming hunting seasons.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) responded to a complaint about an injured hawk. Plautz and CO Kurt Nelson rescued the hawk from railroad tracks and relocated it to another location.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) continued working fishing, boating, and PWC enforcement on area lakes. Additional time was spent following up on BWI and weed roller cases, attending area firearm safety classes, and patrolling for ORV and fire activity. An assist was given to local law enforcement, and a Glock pistol armoring course was attended in the Metro.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Wheaton) and COC Beckmann worked the TIP trailer at the Traverse County Fair and participated in an AIS check station in Alexandria near Lake Le Homme Dieu.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) and COC Lawler continued field-training duties. COC Lawler became acquainted with his upcoming patrol station equipment, including a PWC.
CO Kurt Nelson (Glenwood) reports that fishing and boating activity has dropped off recently. Time was spent working AIS enforcement and answering questions regarding the upcoming hunting seasons. This is his last weekly report as he prepares to retire. He said it’s been a fantastic 14 years with the DNR.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) addressed a complaint regarding a wolf, took care of some equipment maintenance, and checked bear baits.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) received a call about a fisherman who had kept an illegal-length fish on an area lake. An investigation showed that the individual had caught and kept a slot fish. Officer Hunter received a call from an individual who had shot a fox that he believed was sick. Subsequent investigation resulted in the individual being arrested for illegal possession of a firearm by a felon.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) received a call late at night about a boat that had capsized with several people on board. The operator was going quickly across a lake, pulled the throttle back, and the bow of the boat dove down and took on water, sinking the boat in seconds. Another boat was there to pick up the passengers and get them to shore. There were no injuries, and the boat was recovered the next day. However, most of the gear was lost.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) assisted the Walker Police Department in locating a subject who left the scene of a personal-injury crash. Officer Sommers also responded to a request for assistance from the Cass County Sheriff’s Department regarding a personal-injury crash involving a car and ATV, with three injured parties.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) was working ATV activity when he stopped two ATVers suspected in operating in wetlands. After making contact, the officer discovered several violations, which resulted in citations and one operator arrested for DUI. CO Broughten also assisted with Longville firearms safety range and field day, attended a regional meeting, and gave two individuals an educational ride-along.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked fishermen and handled a complaint regarding a bear in a cornfield.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala spent time enforcing AIS laws on area lakes.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time on wolf-depredation issues, nuisance-beaver issues, and nuisance-bear issues. The International Falls Bass Championship took place during weekend, and a short talk at a rules meeting was given about safety and invasive species.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time checking anglers and boaters on Virginia-area lakes and rivers. Citations were issued to those anglers and boaters who decided to not bother with the formalities of purchasing licenses, having enough PFDs, or having their lights on past sunset. CO Frericks responded to a call with CO Starr regarding a deer that fell into a dry well. Upon arrival, the COs looked into the well that was about 10 to 12 feet deep and found a doe looking up at them. After a few minutes of scheming, the COs and a deputy for the sheriff’s office pulled the deer from the well by using a tow strap and manpower. After the deer was released from the strap, it immediately ran away and should survive.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked boating and fishing activity. When checking one boat, an adult had a rod lying by his side with the line in the water and stated he wasn’t fishing. He then pointed to his 12-year-old son and stated it was his rod, that he was fishing with two lines. The youth looked confused, since he was standing on the transom, casting. The father was a nonresident who didn’t realize you can’t angle with two lines.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked bear baiting activity and anglers. CO Velsvaag also responded to multiple complaints regarding boats without lights, with multiple citations issued.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) fielded numerous complaints about campers, bears, and bear baiters. While following up on a reported unattended fire from the previous weekend, the officer discovered another smoldering fire left unattended at the same hunters’ camp; paperwork was issued.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Brent Speldrich (Northeast ATV Rec) worked high-use areas in Aitkin, Pine, and Cass counties during the week. Enforcement contacts were made for failing to display current ATV registration, no youth safety certification, failing to transfer title, and operating an ATV on a county road.
CO Randy Patten (Northome) handled complaints about wolves and worked with wolf controllers, validated numerous licenses to kill nuisance bears in crop fields, and worked AIS enforcement on infested waters.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) assisted St. Louis County deputies and rescue squad members with a water emergency.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) investigated a possible illegal bear guide and worked fishing and boating enforcement.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a regional meeting in Grand Rapids and gave a talk to the local Kiwanis club regarding the DNR K9 unit. A talk on the rules and regulations for the upcoming wolf season was given at a seminar put on by Safari Club International in Brooklyn Center.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) worked boating safety details in Duluth-Superior Harbor. He assisted the U.S. Coast Guard and rescue squad with a boat that was taking on water at Park Point beach. The physically challenged operator was missing. The operator was located later, farther down the beach, and was not hurt.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) checked anglers, boaters, AIS violators, and bear baits though out the week. He assisted on a search for a missing boater after his boat washed ashore on Lake Superior. He also assisted in searching for a bear hit by a car.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked invasive species enforcement in the Gull Lake area. Boats coming off Gull that have aquatic weeds on them also have a high probability of having zebra mussels attached to the vegetation. The CO also received a complaint about aquatic vegetation being cut on Gull.
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) reports two bear complaints were handled and many questions were fielded about the upcoming bear season. A report regarding the remains of more than 200 fish carcasses that were dumped on public land also was investigated.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) checked area rice beds for ricing activity. The outlook on rice in the area looks dismal. Officer Guida received a TIP call regarding the illegal killing of a heron. The call was investigated and enforcement action was taken. The violator indicated that the heron was “doing its business” on a swim raft.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked anglers and ATVers, and worked boat and water enforcement. Other activity included assisting with a helicopter/FLIR presentation for the St. Cloud Civil Air Patrol and meeting with a property owner on Gull Lake about a complaint of oversized docks.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) investigated a public waters and wetland violation. The investigation resulted in a cease and desist order issued to the landowner. Heaton also investigated a dispute among neighbors over water runoff and worked the Enduro OHM event in the Nemadji State Forest.
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) checked bear baits and ATV activity. Several questions about the wolf season were answered.
WREO Rob Haberman (Brainerd) worked AIS and Wetlands Conservation Act enforcement around the Brainerd and Mille Lacs areas. WREO Haberman also checked for illegal OHV traffic on state forest land.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent a majority of the week assisting farmers with nuisance bears and investigating gray wolf depredations. Several farmers reported bears tearing down areas of standing corn, and several farmers reported calves and cows being harassed and killed by gray wolves.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) checked anglers on area lakes and rivers. CO VanderWeyst also worked a boating and an aquatic invasive species detail. ATV complaint areas were patrolled.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spent two days working the DNR information booth at the Minnesota State Fair. An invasive species work crew was worked with neighboring officers, as was as a boating enforcement detail.
CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) checked anglers and watercraft operators. Officer Martin spoke with the Benton County Attorney’s Office regarding a felony fleeing case from this spring. The suspect will plead guilty prior to trial.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled the Rum River State Forest and the Mille Lacs WMA, and checked bear-bait stations. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, and PFD violations.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) reports a complaint about illegal ATV use on an SNA was investigated.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) and COC Mueller spent the week on boating and fishing enforcement along the Mississippi River, Crow River, and area lakes. Common violations were fishing without a license, fishing with an extra line, use of a net to catch game fish, not enough PFDs on board a boat, and registration issues. A day was spent on Lake Minnetonka, working boat and water safety with another officer. Two individuals were arrested for BUI.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) spent additional time in the Snake River State Forest and area WMAs due to increased activity associated with the upcoming bear season. Time also was spent at several accesses, working invasive species.
CO Brian Dobbick (Cambridge) worked boaters and anglers on area lakes and rivers throughout the week. ATV complaints were investigated and bear baiting activity was monitored. Animal complaints were handled and time was spent presenting the law portion of a firearms safety class in Forest Lake.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) checked shore fishermen and worked AIS enforcement around metro-area lakes. He worked a VIP detail at Ft. Snelling State Park and gave a hunting regulations talk at the Asian Outdoor Workshop in St. Paul.
CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) received calls regarding the taking of geese during the closed season and taking small game during the closed season. He received questions regarding archery deer and early goose hunting. He also assisted Secret Service and local law enforcement with a security detail near the MSP airport and attended a weapons armoring training course.
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked several AIS details on area lakes, checking watercraft for exotic species and failure to remove drain plugs. A range day event was worked at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge where the CO assisted with firearms handling and walk-through scenarios.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) assisted Fort Snelling State Park staff with several events. He also worked fishing and AIS activities.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Anoka and Hennepin counties for angling and boating activity. Salzer also attended the wolf-hunting seminar that was held in Brooklyn Center.
CO Aaron Kahre (Minnetonka) took a complaint about squatters along the Luce Line Trail. He also checked fishermen on area lakes and patrolled Lake Minnetonka by boat.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) attended court for a deer-poaching case and a felony drug arrest. Both cases were from last fall. CO McGowan also attended a regional meeting where law updates were presented.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) gave a presentation to a firearms safety class at the Lino Lakes Police Department. She worked aquatic vegetation cases and issued an ATV permit. CO Kruse also handled wolf hunting and trapping application questions and worked boating and fishing enforcement on area lakes.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, AIS, ATV, and state park enforcement. Along with WREO Hanson, an investigation was done dealing with illegal ORV operation in a wetland. Horse riders were checked inside Upper Sioux and Camden state parks for state trail passes. ATV complaint areas also were worked.
CO Neil Henriksen (Benson) reports the focus of the week was training. Time was spent assisting a volunteer ATV safety instructor with holding a youth field-training session. The officer talked with current firearms safety instructors about the need to transition from the traditional methods to the self-study CD-based training/field day.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week responding to calls about boats being operated with no lights at night on Lake Shetek. Time also was spent on commercial wildlife investigations and the firearms safety online certification program.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) assisted DNR Wildlife staff with numerous nuisance-animal complaints throughout the week. The officer also captured an injured red-tailed hawk and transported it to a raptor rehab center.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) worked with the Lac qui Parle County Attorney on a waters violation on the Yellow Bank River. Follow-up was done on a second waters violation in Cottonwood County.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jim Steffen (Willmar) spent the week checking fishermen, boaters, and ATV operators. Time also was spent working AIS enforcement and working a horse trail within Sibley State Park for permit compliance.
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) continued checking boaters for compliance with AIS laws and noted overall good compliance. He followed up on shooting and boating complaints, and checked anglers who continue to have success with bass and panfish. He answered numerous questions regarding the upcoming deer season and the new wolf season.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) continued patrolling the Minnesota River Valley, working angling and ATV enforcement. CO Oberg also responded to nuisance-animal calls and WCA calls and did a game farm inspection.
CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked angling, boating, and PWC activity. Additional time was spent checking and advising boaters regarding AIS laws. Hatlestad also assisted another agency with court testimony, and spoke at firearm safety classes in Eden Valley and Dassel.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) completed his weekly radio program, discussing topics including ATV safety, area activity, and the DNR website. Gruhlke also answered questions concerning upcoming hunting seasons.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked evening/night activity on the Minnesota River. Several catfish anglers were checked.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports a complaint about excavation along a shoreline was investigated. While on an area lake, Howe saw some burning being conducted along the shore. As the officer watched, a skid loader was driven over a couch that was dropped into the fire. Enforcement action was taken for burning prohibited materials.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. Officer Ihnen also responded to TIP calls and handled nuisance-animal complaints.
CO Bob Geving (Mankato) worked angling, boating, and aquatic invasive species enforcement.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports assisting with a firearm safety field day during the weekend. Time also was spent on equipment maintenance during the week.
CO Phil George (Rochester) continued training with COC Arntzen, checking anglers and watercraft users.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) observed a person throw trash out the window of his car. Hemker stopped the car to find there was not a licensed driver in it. The CO asked him where the remains of the wrapping were located, and he advised Hemker he had thrown the other trash out earlier in the trip.
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) addressed trespass issues in southeast Minnesota.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) attended a meeting with Southeast Asian community members in St Paul. He also fielded deer season and waterfowling questions.