District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods and the Roseau River. Enforcement action taken for a pike overlimit.
CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) worked a busy Memorial Day weekend on Lake of the Woods and surrounding areas, doing angling and boat and water safety checks.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette), along with multiple other COs and watercraft inspectors, staffed a watercraft inspection check station.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) reports enforcement action for the week included possessing walleyes over the limit, angling without a license, boat registration and equipment violations, fish transportation violations, and violations for transporting infested water and failing to remove drain plugs from watercraft when traveling on a public roadway.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) worked a complaint regarding an illegal party that occurred in an area WMA.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) received complaints regarding leeching activity and wild animals.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) prepared to testify in a deer-baiting case and took a report about a dead eagle.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) spent time meeting with the Clearwater County attorney to discuss an ongoing case from the 2014 deer season. A summer intern rode with for a day to see what the duties of a conservation officer are and to learn more about the career.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports investigating a TIP about an angler who was making multiple trips a day to a local lake. After observing the anglers for several trips, CO Vinton and CO Forsberg contacted him and he was cited for a double limit of northern pike in a single day.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports a busy Memorial Day weekend with many boaters and fisherman out.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) received complaints about rough fish being dumped at multiple areas including public accesses. She also was contacted about a deceased loon, and a loon with fishing line possibly wrapped around its beak.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) responded to a report about a dead swan near a turkey producer south of Hawley. The bird was collected for examination.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports a fairly active Memorial Day weekend. Enforcement efforts concentrated on angling, AIS rules, and boat safety. Violations were encountered for all of the above.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) responded to multiple TIP complaints about overlimits of fish and double-tripping. Plautz also monitored fishing activity at Glendalough State Park and ATV/OHM activity in the area.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) worked complaints regarding minnow dealers and nuisance beavers. Calls were handled in the vacant Wheaton station, as well.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports a case in which a man and a juvenile were found to be “double-tripping” with crappies and were in possession of 30 fish over the limit. The overlimit was bad enough, but it also was disappointing to see the man knowingly allowing the juvenile to violate game and fish laws.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) reports that calls are coming in as folks activate goose depredation permits. Minnow transportation permits were issued, and calls from the public were fielded about a road-killed deer and nuisance beavers.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) assisted the Pope County Sheriff’s Department with a float plane crash on Lake Minnewaska.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked a busy Memorial Day weekend, taking enforcement action for angling violations, boat and water violations, and ATV and forestry violations.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) received a call about two dead swans on a pond.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports a serious ATV-related injury crash was reported after an ATVer crashed into another ATVer when the leader stopped.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) received a call regarding a dead eagle; the matter was referred to DNR nongame. He also received a call regarding squirrels in the walls in the Longville station.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of crappies, watercraft violations, and AIS violations.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) assisted the State Patrol with a car blocking a roadway.
CO Colleen Adam (ATV Rec) investigated a solid waste case found in a state forest, processed seized/confiscated furs, handled a nuisance bear-related call, and participated in an AIS work crew.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) attended ATV safety classes in the area and held the riding portion for the two classes later in the week. The youths in attendance were eager to get on the course and show off their skills.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) took a couple of bear-related calls, but in each case, the bears moved on without any issues.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) reports instances of fishing without a license and angling with extra lines were encountered during the holiday weekend, including one angler who was also cited for fishing after suspension as he had not paid the extra-line citation the officer issued him in 2014.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) dealt with nuisance-bear issues around the Virginia area. In one instance, it appeared a bear entered a trailer house twice in one evening. The homeowner was an elderly woman who had taken out her hearing aids in the evening and awoke to the mess the bear left. Instances like this are rare, but CO Frericks would like to remind people that until there are more abundant natural food sources, bears may be inclined to behavior like this.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) spent the Memorial Day weekend doing ATV and boating enforcement in and around the Ely area. The violation rate was found to be low, with many users thanking the officers for being out and visible.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) found a cabin owner from Nevada operating a boat with outdated registration. The man was advised that he would be receiving a citation like anyone else who did the same. The operator believed that he was being given a bad deal and that he shouldn’t be getting a ticket since he had been born in the area.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports a weekend full of bad decisions, including one family found on a remote Canada border lake well after dark, spot-lighting fish, with dad in the front drinking beer, while his young son ran the boat motor in a lake unfamiliar to them that is full of unmarked boulders and reefs.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) helped direct a group of hikers who got turned around on the Superior Hiking Trail, handled nuisance-bear and -beaver complaints, checked state forest campsites, checked anglers and boaters on inland and BWCA lakes, and handled an unattended fire at an area cabin.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) assisted the Lake County Sheriff’s Office with a complaint in the BWCAW in which a person was upset because other people were angling near the campsite at which he was located. CO Schottenbauer explained that the BWCAW was public property, and all visitors had an equal right to use the area.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked the holiday weekend along the Gunflint Trail with CO Fagerman. Enforcement action was taken for no life-saving device on watercraft, illegal-length fish, using artificial light to attract fish, and various registration and license violations.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) took enforcement action for failure to obtain a burning permit, possessing illegal-length walleyes, no throwable PFD, no angling license in possession, and no wearable PFDs.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers and boating activity, worked AIS, and answered various wildlife-related calls.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked angling and boating activity this past week. She also worked ATVing activity.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) took enforcement action on one individual who entered a lake with weeds still attached to his boat trailer, even after he was notified that the vegetation was present. A wetland that was filled was looked at by CO Sutherland.
CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV officer) took a call about a fox with mange and from a person with questions about the bass season.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) reports a pair of anglers in a non-motorized watercraft were so eager to get out that they resorted to using snow shovels as oars when paddles could not be located at a cabin. A female ATV rider who was stopped for operating on a county roadway said she went for a ride to dry her hair after a shower.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports a boater who was upset for receiving a citation for no life jackets in his boat wanted to know if this was a new requirement.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) issued a resource-protection notification on a wetland issue.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports a person was talked to about a bear in a tree in her backyard. She was advised to leave it alone. The bear left on its own.
WREO Michael Scott (Northeast Region Water Resource officer) reports that while working in the Twig area, a report about someone in a vehicle holding up a sign in the passenger window that said, “Call 911 he took us, please help.” Officers were in the immediate area and located the vehicle. A traffic stop was conducted, and officers found that the driver and four other people were under the age of 17. The driver said it was a joke, but was not looking at the situation the same after being stopped by law enforcement. Parents were notified, and arrangements were made for the underage folks to continue on their journey to Minneapolis under the supervision of adults.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller reports that while issuing a citation to a group of ATV operators, a group of young juveniles drove by on machines, unaccompanied by an adult. When the officer cleared the first stop and rounded the corner, he found one of the juveniles, an 8-year-old girl, walking toward him; she had a badly broken arm. Medical assistance and transport issues were handled, along with appropriate enforcement and education.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on complaints regarding shoreline violations and a report about a property owner repairing an ice ridge without a permit.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) issued several nuisance-beaver permits as road and field flooding have been issues after recent rains.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) assisted with a work crew at Foothills State Forest.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) received a complaint from a citizen reporting a nighttime bowfisherman with a loud generator and shooting too close to occupied residences.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports talking with students at the Cuyuna Range elementary school firearms safety program regarding laws and ethics. School staff made it possible for a blind student to participate in the program by transferring all of the DNR program material to Braille.
CO Amber Peterson (McGregor) took enforcement action on a boater who maneuvered his boat/motor/trailer over and around two large boulders in order to launch his boat at a carry-in only access.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked the holiday weekend surge of activity. ATV traffic included the inexperienced and oblivious operators lacking basic safety knowledge and equipment. Despite cold water and dark skies, boaters were still out without life jackets or lights. Verkuilen also responded to a wildlife-related complaint, helped staff the TIP trailer at a state park, and checked trailer traffic for vegetation and boat plugs.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) was working with a neighboring officer on Mille Lacs. The officers approached an angler on the lake and observed three lines in the water, two of which were poorly hidden. The angler realized who the officers were and broke one line, but he wasn’t able to get rid of the other extra line. The angler was cited for extra lines, and a fish was seized.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked anglers and boaters throughout the week and holiday weekend. One angler was spotted using extra lines. When asked why he was using more lines than allowed, he replied, “Because the fish weren’t biting.” He was cited for the violation and warned for his throwable life-saving device not being readily accessible and for having a non-working fire extinguisher.
WREO Rob Haberman educated individuals about not taking water from the lake and transporting it. After WREO Haberman educated one individual, the officer left the landing to get a bite to eat. A DNR employee overheard a woman in the restaurant on the phone, explaining to someone that a CO told her to dump her water out from the lake and she said OK, but left the landing with the water and played “dumb” to the CO. The employee notified WREO Haberman, who was in line at the restaurant, and WREO Haberman followed the individual to her car while she was still on the phone explaining how she was not going to follow the rules. WREO Haberman approached the woman and found the bucket of water and fish from the access. The individual admitted to not draining the bucket. The individual was cited for transporting infested water.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling, bowfishing, and turkey hunting. High violation rates continue regarding the bowfishing activity.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers and boaters, and did AIS enforcement. An AIS road check was worked in the Darwin area. Most boaters have been doing a good job with the AIS laws. An illegal fire was investigated in which the citizen was burning plastic silage bags and various household garbage. Enforcement action was taken for the burning of prohibited material.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers, boaters, ATVers and minnow/turtle trappers, and conducted AIS compliance checks.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) spent time this week checking anglers, boating, and ATVing activity in Wright County. Several angling-related complaints were investigated.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) received a call about a great blue heron caught in a pan trap on a dock. CO Langevin was able to remove the trap from the heron’s foot. The landowners were contacted regarding the issue, and enforcement action was taken.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) worked a St .Croix River bridge detail in Stillwater. A District 13 work detail was worked for AIS violations on Lake Minnetonka. Several complaints about goose damage of crops and beaver damage were handled.
CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) worked an aquatic invasive species detail in the Minnetonka area during the holiday weekend. Violations included no life jacket, license issues, expired boat registration, and failure to remove a boat’s drain plug while on a roadway.
CO Traci Hanson (Minnetonka) worked anglers, boaters, and aquatic invasive species enforcement. CO Hanson also gave the law enforcement aquatic invasive species training to Carver County deputies, as well as a law presentation to a boating safety course in St. Louis Park.
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) caught up on some pending work leading up to the Memorial Day weekend. Leuthardt spent the week checking anglers and recreational boaters and participating in an AIS saturation detail.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked anglers and boaters in the Mound station. He inspected weed rollers with Lt. Glaser and worked an AIS detail in the Lake Minnetonka area. He also assisted CO Reller with interpretation on a fish case and answered a complaint regarding a coyote.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) followed up and completed two incidents of transporting zebra mussels found by Minneapolis watercraft inspectors, and appropriate action was taken.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) responded to a possible shoreline violation, patrolled wildlife management areas, and worked on a littering case.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) worked AIS enforcement at various accesses in the area. She also handled fawn-related calls, nuisance animal-related calls, and worked on a deer license case.
CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he worked the bass opener and Memorial Day weekend, checking anglers and boaters. CO Johnson also investigated a reported waters violation on Twin Lake in Little Canada. He also received calls about dock trespass and injured geese.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) received several calls regarding newborn fawns that had been found. He’d like to remind people not to touch or move fawns.
District 15 – Marshall area
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) assisted with AIS checks in Meeker and Jackson counties. Training was attended in New Ulm.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reported Memorial Day weekend was busy, with a lot of fishing activity due to a good walleye bite. Multiple boating violations were found during the week.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked AIS, angling, boating, and OHVing activity during the week. This officer was a guest speaker on Minn-Dak Outdoors, a weekly radio show on KDIO radio in Ortonville. Multiple reports of illegal fishing activity were reported within a local waterfowl production area.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) educated some anglers who had just caught a shovelnose sturgeon on the Minnesota River and had no idea what it was.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked fishing, boat and water safety enforcement, turkey hunting, and AIS throughout the county. Gruhlke has received several calls concerning efforts of both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state DNR and their clearing of woody vegetation on WPAs and WMAs, respectively. The calls have been referred to the appropriate agencies.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked AIS enforcement, ATV-related complaints, and handled several wildlife-related complaints.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers, boaters, and recreational vehicle operators. Time was spent monitoring public water accesses for AIS violations.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers on area lakes and rivers. A wild turkey wanton waste investigation was started in Dodge County. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIP line.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports receiving a call from a subject who was mushroom hunting and who found a cooler in the woods full of trout. CO Chihak and CO Boyum watched the cooler until a vehicle showed up later in the day. Four subjects later were found to be over their limits of trout. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing enforcement, along with returning calls and questions regarding baby animals.
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked the week checking anglers and watercraft operators. Officer George also took a complaint of ATVers operating in a road ditch. Enforcement action was taken for various boating violations, ATV violations, and angling violations.