District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) investigated an illegal fire that got out of control near Roseau. Assistance was given to U.S. Customs regarding exporting furs. Area WMAs were patrolled.
CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) worked a fairly busy angling opener on Lake of the Woods. A few anglers were not as careful measuring their fish as they should have been, and enforcement action was taken for their illegal-length walleyes.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) assisted the sheriff’s office with a call about orphaned bear cubs.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working a busy fishing opener on Upper Red Lake. Enforcement action was taken for possession of protected-slot Upper Red Lake walleyes, watercraft registration, and AIS violations.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports continuing work on wildfire cases. A possible wetland violation site was inspected.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) took calls regarding an injured eagle, a coyote and fox in town giving mange to pets, a car-killed bear, a neighbor feeding bear, and a sow with three cubs living in a drain tile pipe.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked angling and ATV riding activity during the week. A complaint was received regarding an individual in possession of an overlimit of crappies.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) responded to complaints about trespass, worked ATV enforcement, and checked fishermen.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen. The fishing opener was busy with the nice weather, and fishing was good.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) checked anglers and boating activity during the fishing opener weekend. AIS checks were performed at public accesses.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring angling and turkey-hunting activity in the area. Many anglers were found to be a little too excited for the opener and had forgotten to bring their licenses or other required boat equipment with them. Several media interviews were also conducted regarding the fishing opener.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports despite low temperatures many lakes were full of anglers on the opener. A dead sturgeon was found with an apparent wound from a bow fisherman. The incident will be pursued, and any information will be appreciated.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) monitored sucker-spearing activity throughout the week and worked a busy fishing opener. Plautz responded to a TIP complaint about illegally taking fish.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen and boaters, and worked AIS enforcement. Additional time was spent handling complaints about fish overlimits in the vacant Wheaton station, and Canada goose and skunk depredation.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked a busy fishing opener weekend in the Alexandria area. Violations ranged from expired watercraft registration to keeping bass out of season and overlimits of crappies.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) and CO Lawler responded to an emergency call involving a capsized boat with two people in the water on Lake Vermont in Douglas County. Several other boaters were able to assist the people involved and get them out of the water, with no injuries reported.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked a busy walleye opener. Enforcement action was taken for numerous boat equipment violations, angling without a license, and no license in possession.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) checked several anglers during the annual fishing opener. A wolf complaint was investigated in which a wolf was reported near several homes. The wolf turned out to actually be a free-roaming husky dog.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent time checking compliance with AIS laws. CO Broughten also investigated complaints about a person building a boat house, and an illegally possessed bear. CO Broughten also assisted the State Patrol with a tree on the roadway.
CO Colleen Adam (ATV Rec) completed reports and responded to a nuisance-bear complaint. The CO also rode the trails, resulting in the investigation of litter, wanton waste, and ATV use in a wetland.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports a busy week with sturgeon harvest season coming to a close; people are reminded that harassing sturgeon during spawning is illegal.
CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) reports a busy weekend for anglers participating in the 2015 fishing opener. A reminder to the public traveling to International Falls-area lakes that water levels are extremely low and extra caution should be used when boating in unfamiliar waters.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reports the latter part of the week was spent getting ready for and attending Governor’s Fishing Opener activities. The officer gave a refresher presentation at the host banquet, going over regulations, safety issues, and invasive species concerns. The officer also assisted with the governor’s security during his time angling on the water, and he attended the shore lunch at Fortune Bay Casino.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked the fishing season opener, investigated a complaint about fishing out of season, investigated two complaints about wolves injuring dogs, and concluded a case of felony fleeing a peace officer on an OHM. The case will go to the county attorney for charges.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time preparing boating and other equipment for use. ATV and OHM activities still remain high, with enforcement action taken for operating unregistered machines, as well as other violations.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked the predictably slow fishing opener. The CO saw more fish than people, and many popular lakes were completely void of anglers by the second day. The CO did see some nice walleyes in livewells.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked steelhead anglers and Lake Superior tributary fishermen. Increased bear activity was reported to the officer; no serious damage was done.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt/Ely) worked a busy fishing opener. While on a BWCA patrol, CO Bermel watched a group catch and keep 12 walleyes prior to the opener. When confronted about starting the season early, one member of the group said, “It’s the Friday before opener in the Boundary Waters. What do you expect?” The fish were released, but citations were issued and fishing rods seized. On the opener, assistance was given to Ely police at Vermilion Community College with drunk and belligerent students from a different college on the campus. During the investigation, an illegal slot-length northern was discovered in their possession, taken from White Iron Lake earlier in the day.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) focused enforcement efforts on AIS, boat and water safety, and angling activity on area lakes during the opening of fishing weekend.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, investigated burning complaints, and worked invasive species regulations. He also handled calls about a dead eagle, fishing violations, wolves, and turkeys.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked the fishing opener, did small-game enforcement, checked anglers, and patrolled state parks, campgrounds, and forests. He also investigated an overlimit complaint.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) helped out with a complaint about possible illegal spearing, which turned out to be legal. She also responded to a complaint involving a vehicle being operated illegally on an ATV trail, with enforcement action taken.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working fishing, ATV, and boating activity. Enforcement action was taken for illegal-length fish and boating while impaired. Wichmann also helped out a stranded boater on an area lake.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent time during the week following up on fire investigations. ATV complaints were investigated, and numerous violations were observed, with enforcement action taken. Wildlife-related complaints continue, and bear complaints seemed to be the most common this week.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time preparing equipment for the traditional fishing opener. Enforcement work continued at problem fish-run locations for netting and spearing. Officer Duncan also investigated another wolf depredation involving a family dog being killed by wolves.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) issued two restoration orders for wetland violations in the area. A complaint about someone poisoning wild animals is being investigated in the area. While checking an area of state forest land where there is frequent littering, a group of individuals were contacted and found to be making a skateboard park on a paved section of an old road. Concrete ramps and rails were all found on the property. The individuals were identified, and the local DNR forestry and trails offices were notified so discussions on how it’s going to be cleaned up could take place.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) spent the week working the tributary streams of the North Shore. Time also was spent responding to wildfire-related calls and maintenance items on his squad.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers on a cloudy and cool fishing opener weekend. Two anglers checked on a remote lake commented that they had never before seen a warden on the lake.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) responded to a water emergency, but the child in question was located safe on land before the watercraft was launched.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) reports a TIP call about a possible fish overlimit was followed up on, and a report of bowfishermen shooting northern pike was investigated with the assistance of a local sheriff’s deputy who was nearby. The deputy was able to get there and get suspect information before they left the area and provided it to the officer. The suspects were interviewed, and violations of bowfishing without a license, taking fish out of season, and wanton waste were determined.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) reports assistance was given to the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Department with a drowning/medical incident on Farm Island Lake.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled the Whitefish chain and other smaller Pine River-area lakes during the fishing opener weekend. Numerous citations and warnings were issued for a variety of boating and fishing violations.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports a TIP call investigation earlier in the week resulted in enforcement action against some individuals found targeting game fish during the closed season, fishing without licenses, extra lines, and using game fish for bait. Bowfishermen and sucker spearers were found having success on the Mississippi River and area creeks, with one pair of bowfishers checked with over 300 pounds of carp in one night’s shoot. Numerous enforcement contacts were made during the opening weekend for violations including no trout stamps, overlimits of trout, fishing after license privilege revocation, livewell culling of fish, consuming alcohol at a public access, and exceeding the posted boating speed limit.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) responded to a call about a canoe that capsized, with the two occupants were in the water. One occupant made it to shore and the other was rescued. There were no serious injuries.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) traveled to a fur buyer location with a neighboring officer to sell furs confiscated by the state, for the state. The officer also worked Mille Lacs and other area lakes for fishing opener. Enforcement action was taken for failing to remove drain plugs from boats during transportation, failing to remove weeds from boats, expired watercraft registration, and illegal-length walleyes.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reports suckers were found left along the Rum River to rot. This type of behavior is illegal and gives fishermen a bad name.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) saw a large increase in black bear activity. Quite a few bears were moving around the area, searching for a free meal, and a few car versus bear accidents were reported.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked late-season turkey hunters. One archery hunter reported missing a turkey and hitting his decoy. The tom then attacked his decoy, allowing him to get a second and successful shot. Time also was spent assisting area forester with a fire investigation and invasive species checks.
WREO Rob Haberman conducted AIS compliance checks around the Brainerd and Mille Lacs areas for the fishing opener. WREO Haberman also stopped two ATVers at a public landing – one for expired registration, and one for no helmet on a juvenile passenger.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) conducted retail minnow inspections during the week. Angling activity was monitored, and equipment maintenance was completed. A call regarding nuisance beavers was handled, with a special beaver permit being issued. A complaint regarding dumped dogfish at a local access was fielded and is currently under investigation.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) spoke at the Little Falls VFW for the Camp Ripley Disabled Veterans Turkey Hunt, handled a trespass complaint at Lindbergh State Park where a neighboring landowner had put up a deer stand, and assisted the State Patrol in cleaning up deer parts on the highway.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) worked AIS enforcement at public access sites and found good compliance, with only a few folks forgetting to pull the plug on their boats. CO Kuske continues to find Class 2 ATV owners driving in the traffic lane of county highways instead of on the shoulder. One ATV owner was frustrated to find out that his ATV may look like a Class 2 but is actually a Class 1, requiring him to drive in the ditch instead of the shoulder.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers on the fishing opener. A wetland complaint was investigated and several animal-related complaints were handled. A complaint of bowfishermen dumping dead rough fish at the Sartell Mississippi River access was received. CO Musatov found dead carp and suckers with holes in them lying in the water near the dock, on the landing, and in the outhouse.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) assisted the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office, a State Patrol helicopter, and the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge staff with a missing person in the refuge. The person was located very cold, but happy to be picked up by the State Patrol helicopter and escorted to the LZ, where she was escorted home by a Sherburne County deputy.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) spent the week checking anglers and following up with complaints. CO Grewe also assisted a neighboring officer with a complaint about a camper in a wildlife management area.
CO Traci Hanson (Minnetonka) worked anglers, boaters, and did aquatic invasive species checks on Lake Minnetonka. Hanson also responded to tip complaints of fish overlimits and bass out of season.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked the fishing opener with CO Grewe in Hennepin County and checked trout fishermen on Courthouse Lake. He also worked fishing and boating enforcement in the Mound station and responded to nuisance-animal complaints.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked fishing opener weekend and checked several shore anglers around metro lakes and rivers. CO Pril also responded to TIP complaints about possible fishing violations in Eagan, and handled miscellaneous animal-related calls during the week.
CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he worked the fishing opener, checking anglers and conducting AIS checks. He received reports of black bear sightings in Woodbury and Lake Elmo.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) patrolled the area for illegal ATVing activity and did an orientation ride on the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office airboat.
District 15 – Marshall area
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended a meeting at Camp Ripley and worked with the McLeod County attorney on a WCA violation. Officer Hanson also taught an AIS Level 1 Inspector law enforcement class in Willmar.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) was a guest speaker at a Youth Conservation Day event, held at the Bonanza Education Center at Big Stone Lake State Park.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports the walleye opener was busy, with a lot of eager fishermen. AIS continues to be one of the main enforcement focuses. Boat owners are reminded to drain the water out of their livewells before leaving the accesses.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) conducted his weekly radio show on KLOH radio. Enforcement action was taken for not having fishing licenses in possession and no throwable PFD in boats.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) started the week following up with enforcement action from a large fire near Litchfield. Time also was spent going to check on wetland violations and possible future wetland violations.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) worked a busy Saturday of the fishing opener, while rain and cold weather slowed the activity on Sunday. AIS compliance was 100 percent on the opener. During the week she investigated a TIP call about bass taken out of season.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) assisted a local sheriff’s office with securing the scene at a natural gas leak. Other time was spent on fishing, boating, AIS and ATV enforcement activities.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked fishing, boat and water safety enforcement, and turkey-hunting. Gruhlke did observe some nice catches of walleyes during the weekend.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked turkey hunters and answered several calls concerning trespassing mushroom hunters. A busy fishing opener was worked.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking boaters, anglers, and turkey hunters. Additional time was spent monitoring AIS compliance at area lakes. Officer Ihnen also assisted in attempting to locate a drowning victim on the Minnesota River.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers, boaters, ATV operators, and turkey hunters. Time also was spent monitoring public access sites for AIS violations. The officer reports a busy fishing opener with license violations being the most common issue.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports speaking with a frustrated archery turkey hunter. The hunter stated that he finally got a tom to respond to his calls and it was coming in. The hunter prepared himself in his blind. Once the bird got into range, the hunter drew his bow and prepared for the shot. At about this time, a gust of wind came up, folding in two sides of his blind and in turn collapsing the whole blind. Unfortunately for the hunter, the tom decided not to hang around.
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports morels finally started popping up with the recent rains and warm weather. Mushroom pickers need to remember that it’s trespassing and theft if you do not have permission from the landowner.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports another outstanding deer case was closed out from the fall, along with a turkey case from earlier this spring.