District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked snowmobilers and anglers on Lake of the Woods. Enforcement action was taken for possessing marijuana and angling with unattended lines.
CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) checked anglers and snowmobilers and worked compliance checks at the Warroad Port of Entry.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) patrolled the area during the Thief River Falls I300 snowmobile race and responded to two car-struck deer reports. Area fishing was monitored, along with ice shelter removal.
CO Traci Hanson (Thief River Falls) worked anglers and snowmobilers, and assisted with an elk survey. CO Hanson also attended wolf-depredation training, made arrangements to speak at an upcoming snowmobile safety course, and assisted in checking snowmobilers and anglers on Lake of the Woods.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports time was spent conducting commercial inspections, investigating reports of a vehicle that had been driven down a state snowmobile trail, monitoring fish house removal, and assisting with instruction at the Blackduck youth snowmobile safety class.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports assisting other officers with a commercial-related enforcement detail. Time also was spent attending a training session in Thief River Falls. Anglers, ATV operators, and snowmobile operators were checked.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) monitored ATVing, snowmobiling, angling, hunting, and trapping activities. He continues to answer questions almost daily about the AIS sticker laws.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity on area lakes. CO Vollbrecht also had a Bemidji State student ride along for the day to observe the duties of a CO.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked snowmobiling and angling activity during the week. Area snowmobile trails are mostly in poor condition due to a lack of snow. Time also was spent working on a case from the 2014 firearms deer season.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports a TIP about illegally set snares was investigated, evidence was collected, and taxidermy inspections were conducted.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked anglers and coyote hunters. Several violations of hunters using radios without permits were found.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) checked fishermen and monitored fish houses for litter prior to removal dates. Plautz also responded to a report about an injured pileated woodpecker. Coyote hunters were checked, and a complaint about trespass was handled.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen, fish shelters, and predator hunters. Additional time was spent helping set up a local firearms safety class.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, snowmobilers, and ATVers. A presentation was given at the Eagle Lake Lutheran Church men’s group.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports that an individual, while in a fish house on Lake Miltona, was found to have an active arrest warrant. The individual was transported by snowmobile to the nearest lake access, where a deputy was waiting to finish transporting the subject to jail.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports several aquaculture and minnow dealer inspections were completed. Follow-up was completed on pending wetland and aquatic vegetation cases.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on ice anglers, fish house compliance, and snowmobile activity. Calls were fielded from the public about an injured great horned owl, canoeing the Minnesota River, upcoming firearms safety classes, and the fish house removal deadline.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked ice anglers and shelters in preparation for the removal deadline. Anglers are reminded that new angling licenses are required.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked perch and crappie anglers. Some anglers possessed closed-season walleyes and northern pike. CO Mathy also attended a bear committee meeting.
CO Beau Shroyer (Remer) reports drug evidence seized at the Eelpout Festival was delivered to the BCA lab in Bemidji. A gray wolf class was attended in Thief River Falls. The class was an update on wolf management and depredation compensation after the re-listing of the gray wolf as threatened in Minnesota. CO Shroyer also was re-certified to operate the breath test for DUI cases. A hearty beaver trapper was checked as he tended snares placed under the ice. CO Shroyer also assisted the State Patrol with a call about a snowmobile that fell off of a trailer on State Hwy. 6 while being towed at 55 mph. The snowmobile slid approximately 250 feet down the asphalt before stopping, apparently undamaged. The snowmobile owner stopped in Remer (6 miles away) to fuel up. A tip call was investigated on Lake Winnie with a neighboring officer. The case was closed with two anglers being cited for taking northerns and walleyes during the closed season.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports snowmobiling and ice fishing continue to be the main focuses of enforcement action. People are reminded new 2015 fishing licenses need to be purchased now.
CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) assisted Voyageur National Park staff in locating several radio-collared wolves in the surrounding area. On Saturday, CO Van Asch monitored the Rainy Lake Sport Fishing Club’s ice fishing derby. Officers encountered an interesting group of people who were observed over the weekend trying their hand at kite-boarding on Rainy Lake.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling and snowmobiling activity and continued working a complaint about the theft of a logging stockpile on state land. One individual was encountered cutting firewood off a chipping pile in the same area. Anyone cutting firewood on public land needs a permit from the managing agency.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a snowmobile safety class in Gilbert and ran the students through the riding portion of the class. Many people also took advantage of the nice weather to remove their fishing shelters from the ice of area lakes.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked for any fishing activity and found little to none. Many have been pulling houses off the lakes due to the slow bite.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports that with the close of the walleye and northern pike season, trout angling has picked up in the Ely area. Violations included angling with extra lines, taking trout with no trout stamp, and possessing live bait on a designated trout lake.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked snowmobile trails and lakes, completed computer training, and answered questions about camping in the BWCA and the recently approved Tilbury Trail re-route. CO Manning participated in a joint BWCA patrol with U.S. Forest Service personnel utilizing sled dogs. The officer also took a report about a goat killed in the owner’s yard by a wolf.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt/Ely) spent several days in Two Harbors preparing and testifying in a jury trial in which the defendant was convicted of all six charges. A fish house was burned on Birch Lake between Vintage Bay and Bob’s Bay on the north side. Anyone with information should call Bermel, as a terrible mess of hardware, glass, plastic, tar paper, etc. was left.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked area trout lakes and snowmobile trails. The officer also taught an armoring class on the Remington 1187 at Camp Ripley with officers Oberg, Robinson, and Schottenbauer.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and snowmobiling activity during the busy weekend. Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations and failure to stop at road crossings on snowmobiles.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled area snowmobile trails, checked anglers, attended a bear committee meeting, and checked snaring activity in the area. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display snowmobile registration and transporting fish without a patch of skin.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked angling and snowmobiling activity this past week. She also checked an ongoing complaint at Caribou Lake and followed up with a big-game investigation.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked snowmobiling and angling activity during the past week. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and for littering. CO Sutherland also attended a Taconite Trail planning meeting, where future plans and ideas were discussed for the Grand Rapids portion of the Taconite Trail.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, ski trails, and trappers. He also taught a snowmobile safety class and worked a school event during the week.
CO John Velsvaag (Northeast Region ATV officer) checked for ATVing activity on snowmobile trails and lakes while checking anglers. CO Velsvaag also worked snowmobile enforcement.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent time working snowmobile trails in the area. Lakes and rivers were checked for angling activity. A TIP report resulted in the locating of a couple of parties catching and keeping walleyes after the season closed.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports snowmobile activity has increased substantially throughout the station. Several citations were issued for speeding on snowmobiles.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent some time working snowmobiling enforcement on area trails and complaint trespass areas. Area lakes were checked for fishing activity. CO Duncan also worked on an ATV trespass complaint involving an ATV that was left on posted private property. The ATV was removed from the property with assistance from CO Schmidt and the U.S. Border Patrol. At this time, the owner of the ATV is unknown.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) received and investigated complaints about wolf activity. CO Humphrey also attended an aquatic invasive species meeting held by Carlton County officials.
WREO Mike Scott worked with the Lake County Sheriff’s Department in setting up a training date for their officers for AIS training so that they can assist lake associations and others in Lake County this summer by enforcing state AIS laws. Officer Scott also attended a planning meeting with Carlton County local units of government, lake associations, and the Carlton County Sheriff’s Department regarding the new AIS money allotted to counties from the Legislature for AIS enforcement.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers on the shifting ice on Lake Superior. Complaints were received from a logging company that’s hauling near the North Shore state snowmobile trail. They had experienced multiple close calls with snowmobilers blowing through stop signs and forcing logging trucks to attempt evasive action on an ice-covered road. A detail was worked in the area, with very poor compliance found for stopping at stop signs and before crossing roads. Some poor attitudes also were found from riders who didn’t seem to think that a loaded log truck was a threat to them. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) received a report about a possible bear being shot out of season. Officer Lee located the bear hide, which turned out to be a legally shot bear whose hide was placed out to thaw for the completion of a European mount completed of the skull.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked fish houses prior to the removal date, checked anglers, and conducted interviews for an on-going big-game case. Some days are better than others in a CO’s life. While checking anglers on an area lake, the officer found three senior women fishing by themselves out of a portable fish house they had set up. After finding out that they had the licenses needed for the new license year, the officer asked about the expired registration on the ATV with which they had pulled out their gear. After learning that the registration was indeed expired, the officer didn’t have the heart to issue a ticket after all the work they went through to go fishing. When a warning was handed out instead of a ticket, the officer got a “grandma hug” and a promise to update the registration the next day.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) encountered two separate incidents of anglers keeping bass and walleyes out of season. CO Peterson also assisted with a vehicle that became stuck after trying to cross over an ice ridge.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling and commercial enforcement throughout the week. Fish house removal appeared to be very good and nearly complete on area lakes.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity including monitoring fishing and ice shelter-removal activities, investigating a complaint about suspicious trapping, and work on ongoing waters cases. An individual pleaded guilty in court to charges resulting from an incident this past fall in which the adult took a 9-year-old and an 11-year-old deer while hunting without valid licenses or safety training, and gave youths the go-ahead to fire several shots at deer with a high-powered rifle – with an occupied residence directly behind the deer, in the line of fire, and in plain sight of the hunters, resulting in a bullet entering the residence and penetrating several walls.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) conducted angling checks throughout the weeks. The officer also fielded a call about an eagle caught in trap; the eagle was not located.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a TIP complaint about anglers tip-up fishing for northern pike after the close of the season. The anglers were located, and enforcement action was taken for attempting to take northerns out of season and operating a motor vehicle with a canceled driver’s license.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) took care of a dispute in which anglers were feuding over fishing too close to each other.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) handled a call regarding a sick trumpeter swan on the Mississippi River and calls regarding upcoming youth firearms safety classes. CO Kuske also attended the annual Camp Ripley conservation meeting and conducted minnow retailer license checks at area gas stations that sell leeches or minnows. A number of area bait sellers were not in compliance in having a current DNR Minnow Retailer license.
WREO Keith Bertram and CO Thesing checked two anglers on a small lake, only to find one possessing a northern pike during the closed season and the other to be smoking marijuana. Citations were issued, and the items were seized.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) completed commercial license checks in districts 9 and 11. Several minnow retailers were found without proper licensing.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen and marked fish houses on area lakes. He also followed up on a number of littering issues and answered questions about spring turkey hunting.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) made a presentation at the Isanti County Forestry Landowners meeting, and checked snowmobiles and anglers.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) followed up on a litter case and a deer-related case from last fall. An otter was seized for failure to register the animal.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) spent the week checking anglers and monitoring fish houses. CO Grewe also spoke to a group of preschoolers at a local daycare facility.
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) investigated two solid waste/litter dumps in her area that included the disposal of nearly 20 paint cans in a state park area.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) took a complaint regarding littering in Robbinsdale and answered questions about firearms safety classes in the Hmong community.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring anglers, ATVers, and snowmobilers on area lakes and the St. Croix River. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, no valid fishing license, and angling for fish out of season.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) assisted a neighboring officer with a stolen ice shelter investigation and spoke to students in Forest Lake about firearms safety.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) handled calls about dead and sick trumpeter swans, checked on an aquatic vegetation violation on White Bear Lake, and assisted with a deer-removal program in Ramsey County.
District 15 – Marshall area
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) investigated a possible WCA violation in Lyon County and assisted with AIS lake service provider training in Kandiyohi County.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked ice fishing, snowmobiling, predator hunting, and trapping activity during the week. Fish houses were checked for the impending removal deadline. More litter was found on the ice and at public access locations.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) conducted his weekly radio show on KLOH radio. Fishing violations for unattended lines and distance from unattended lines seemed to be problems.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) checked ice fishermen and fish houses that were out, checking around them for litter. Time also was taken to attend the Cedar Mills Rod and Gun Club meeting to answer questions from the members.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) took a call about a strange smell coming from some fish houses and a large coyote in the Glencoe area.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) attended the Martin County Conservation Club banquet in Fairmont. The indoor Wall of Shame was on display. The main topic revolved around frustration about new AIS legislation.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers on area lakes and rivers. The officer patrolled for ATV and snowmobiling activity.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling and snowmobiling enforcement. The officer also attended the Tri-Lakes Sportsman Club monthly meeting. A snowmobile radar run was worked in Waseca with a neighboring officer.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, as well as ATV and snowmobile operators. Officer Ihnen also attended a safety instructor forum for area firearm, snowmobile, and ATV instructors.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent time monitoring ice shelter removal. CO Howe recovered a tandem-axle cargo trailer that had been stolen from a construction site and abandoned at a public water access. The trailer was turned over to the local sheriff's office.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending most of the week checking anglers and marking fish houses in preparation for the removal deadline.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) continues to check area taxidermists. He continues to do follow-up on hunting, fishing, trapping, and trash-dumping complaints. Officer Hemker also is trying to locate the party responsible for an abandoned vehicle left at a state forest.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working ATV and fishing enforcement on and around the backwaters of the Mississippi River. Another case from the fall was investigated, and some additional information was provided to the county attorney’s office.