District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked angling activity on the Roseau River and at the Northwest Angle. Several calls were taken regarding nuisance bears, and people were advised to bring birdseed, garbage, and dog food inside until the bear left the area.
CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) checked anglers and boaters on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake, as well as ATVers and OHMers in Beltrami Island State Forest. Ride-alongs were provided to two students interested in natural resources law enforcement.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) worked with CO Woinarowicz near Waskish, and they found several overlimits of Upper Red Lake walleyes, as well as a few drain plug violations.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) investigated a gray wolf depredation complaint and assisted a stranded boater whose batteries had died on his watercraft.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports time was spent investigating multiple wolf-depredation complaints, nuisance-bear complaints, a litter complaint, and a report of a county contract trapper who had an accidental catch of a blue heron.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking a shoreline violation site on an area lake. Time also was spent checking ATV operators, watercraft operators, and anglers.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity on area lakes. CO Vollbrecht also investigated a nuisance-bear complaint with area wildlife staff that involved a dog being killed. It was unclear if the dog had been killed by the bear or another animal. CO Vollbrecht and CO Holt worked an AIS detail and responded to a call about an individual at an access with zebra mussels on a boat anchor.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports working on a trespass TIP and assisting neighboring officers with their investigations.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen and working shoreline issues. Time also was spent following up on fishing tips and a complaint about the spraying of a lake by an aerial sprayer.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) and CO Forsberg responded to a boat adrift on the Red River and secured it to the shoreline. The officer continues to see juveniles operating ATVs.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) took reports about orphaned deer and fielded questions on various topics. Richards also assisted with an ATV safety class in Battle Lake and checked anglers throughout the week.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) finalized an investigation regarding an illegally taken muskie; two individuals were charged. Plautz also worked complaints about overlimits of crappies, responded to a wolf kill in which a wolf killed a young calf, and multiple bear-related complaints.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen and ATVers, and worked AIS enforcement. CO Osborne received a call from a lakeshore owner in Douglas County who cleaned up the shore along his property and had a trailer full of garbage. Most of the litter was from ice fishermen, and the lakeshore owner was looking for ways to get the garbage taken to the dump. Osborne contacted the lake association and put them in contact with the lakeshore owner.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on anglers, boating safety, and AIS law compliance. Anderson worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a complaint about people taking minnows in a prohibited area.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked fishermen and ATVers. Officer Hunter also received a complaint about two dead swans.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) reports assistance was provided to local law enforcement with a calf. It was unknown if it was shot or if it was attacked by an animal, but it was found to have odd medical issues. Nuisance-beaver complaints were handled, as well as nuisance-bear calls.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) received a call regarding a pigeon that had a band on its leg, and had a question regarding placement of a loon-nesting structure in a lake.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, ATVing, and boating activity. CO Broughten also completed commercial inspections and handled several nuisance-animal calls. Enforcement action was taken for no commercial minnow retailer’s license.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked fishermen and handled bear complaints; one bear chased a guy mowing in his yard and then took a bite of his gas can.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) reports monitoring angling and boating activities on Kabetogama Lake. CO Van Asch also spent time fielding several nuisance-animal calls and investigating possible wolf depredation.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) arrested two anglers for gross overlimits of walleyes on Lake Vermilion (50 walleyes). One suspect’s walleyes, boat, motor, and trailer were seized. The officer also helped out with an ATV work detail, and arrested one person for DUI on an ATV.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) returned calls from several people who reported finding abandoned deer fawns. Each of the callers did not know that it was common for does to leave fawns alone for periods of time.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports nuisance-bear reports have significantly increased in the past week, both in the Ely area and inside the BWCAW.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that the blueberry crop is shaping up nicely. On the same subject, bears seem to be everywhere and will provide competition for nature’s bounty. The CO has never seen so many bears, and the complaints are starting to roll in.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) discovered that a local cat owner decided to beautify area overlooks with grocery bags of used litter. Anyone with info should contact CO Manning.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area anglers and boating activity. Time was spent working AIS compliance, as well. Complaints about “orphaned fawns” were handled.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, enforced AIS laws, patrolled for illegal ATV activity, and answered several calls regarding animal-related complaints and concerns.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity, and responded to nuisance-animal complaints.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling and ATV activity during the past week. Enforcement action was taken for angling with no license in possession, operating an ATV without safety certification, and angling in a restricted area.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working fishing and boating activity. Wichmann also attended a meeting at Camp Ripley to prepare for the upcoming academy. A trespass investigation was completed, with enforcement action taken.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on fire investigations in the area. Area lakes and rivers were worked for anglers and boaters. Boating violations continue, with PFD violations being the most common.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports complaints continued regarding people keeping illegal-length fish on a local lake. Several cases were made in which people kept walleyes outside of the slot limit. One angler was caught using extra lines, even though he had hand-painted his bobbers matte gray in an effort to hide them from the CO’s watchful eyes.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, boating, AIS, and OHV enforcement during the week. CO Humphrey received calls and complaints about nuisance and injured or orphaned wildlife, including wolves, bears, beavers, deer, ducks, raccoons, and rabbits. CO Humphrey also investigated livestock-depredation complaints.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended K9 training in the metro with K9 Schody and also assisted the sheriff’s office with the search for a burglary suspect who was caught after a K9 warning was given and a track started. An investigation into a wetland violation is ongoing where a new house is being built.
WREO Michael Scott (Northeast Region Water Resource officer) checked anglers on area lakes and rivers. He followed up on several WCA cases, with enforcement action taken for not filing a contractor responsibility form before starting work in a wetland.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV activity during the week. Enforcement action was taken for some minor public access violations.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers and completed follow-up on ATV violations in neighboring stations. Assistance was given to the State Patrol with the resolution of a pursuit and in securing of suspects.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent the week working boating, angling, AIS, and ATV enforcement.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports checking fishing and boating activity, responding to miscellaneous nuisance-wildlife complaints, and investigating complaints about suspicious fishing activity and vandalism/damage to facilities in the Cuyuna Country SRA.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. He also worked on complaints about cattail bog cutting on Gull Lake; it is still under investigation. Complaints about litter and illegal fires in the Pillsbury forest were investigated.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) spoke to the fourth-grade elementary class at Pine River schools regarding boat and water safety. CO McGowan also spent time patrolling area lakes for boating and angling activity.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) checked anglers this past week. Officer Lee also received complaints about bears causing damage to garbage cans and bird feeders. Reporting parties were advised of options to take to prevent further bear issues. Officer Lee attended a meeting at Camp Ripley this past week for planning emergency vehicle operations training for the upcoming academy. Officer Lee also assisted the State Patrol and Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department with a multiple-vehicle crash on Hwy. 371, with three parties being transported by ambulance because of injuries sustained during the crash. Officer Lee also completed investigations into an ATV accident that included life-threatening injuries to a passenger on an ATV.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) responded to a watercraft inspector’s request for assistance after a boater and his buddy told him that they didn’t need to submit to watercraft and equipment inspection prior to launching at a public water access. The angler was identified and was issued a citation and now faces fines for the violation.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) reports a calf-depredation call was investigated, and assistance was given to Crow Wing County regarding a call about terroristic threats.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) worked with neighboring officers on a TIP call about possible fish overlimits and double-tripping, checked anglers and ATVers, and answered calls about nuisance bears hanging out in yards, looking for food.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked angling activity including the first week of bass season. Verkuilen also investigated an ATV complaint, assisted with a youth fishing event, and answered questions regarding the upcoming change in the Mille Lacs night ban.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen on area lakes and also on Lake Mille Lacs throughout the week and weekend. Several different calls regarding beavers causing damage to roadways were fielded, and two permits were issued, and a call regarding a waters issue was fielded and is under investigation. The CO also participated in an AIS checkpoint in the Malmo area and worked AIS on the holiday in the Garrison area with other District 10 officers. A call about a calf killed by wolf was investigated, and a federal trapper was called in to trap the nuisance wolves.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) attended the “Hooked on Fishing Not Drugs” event where children from Isle and Onamia schools were given the opportunity to go fishing with area DNR conservation officers, sheriff’s deputies, and private individuals.
WREO Rob Haberman responded to a call from an AIS inspector who found live zebra mussels in the transom area of an individual’s boat. The person was going to launch at an access into non-infested water. WREO Haberman was able to locate the individual and issue a citation for transporting a prohibited invasive species.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) joined DNR Fisheries personnel and met with Lower South Long Lake Association members to provide them information on the tribal fishing harvest that took place on the lake this spring.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) checked anglers and boaters on area lakes and the Mississippi River. Thesing also followed up on TIP calls.
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working AIS activity and conducting follow-up on wetland violations.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers, boaters, and ATVers. CO Musatov also investigated a trespass complaint and received several nuisance-animal calls.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen and boaters on area lakes and rivers. He also followed up on a number of litter violations in the Sand Dunes State Forest and WMAs.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports checking anglers and boaters in the area. CO Langevin also responded to TIP calls regarding angling with extra lines and keeping illegal-length fish. Violations included no license in possession, no horse trail license, angling with extra lines, keeping illegal-length bass, and no state park vehicle permit.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) handled several animal-related nuisance calls about beaver and goose damage. A ride-along was given to a person interested in becoming a conservation officer.
CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) spent the week following up on TIP complaints and checking boaters and anglers. CO Grewe also spoke at a Rotary Club meeting and worked on station equipment.
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) worked on the St. Croix River, patrolling around the Stillwater bridge construction and enforcing “no wake” regulations. She also worked the Wheaton station during an annual fishing tournament.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) responded to calls regarding a deer stranded and a beaver problem in Minneapolis. He also answered questions about zebra mussel transport and emails regarding raccoon removal.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and doing AIS enforcement. CO Arntzen also worked a detail in the Nemadji State Forest, monitoring ATV activity.
CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he attended the Water Fest at Lake Phalen, hosted by the Asian Outdoor Heritage Group.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked mainly fishing and boating enforcement around the metro area. He also spent some time on AIS enforcement at metro boat accesses.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring angling and boating activity around the area. He also responded to wild animal-related calls, one resulting in an orphaned fawn being brought to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. He investigated a sunfish overlimit that was forwarded by a local police department, with enforcement action being taken.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and boating activity. CO Salzer also patrolled Pine County for ATV and OHM activity. Several violations were detected, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) worked boating and fishing enforcement on area lakes. She also worked AIS enforcement at area accesses.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) worked angling and AIS activities. WREO Block also completed an interview with a metro media outlet regarding the use of hydraulic jets in public waters. WREO Block also attended a planning meeting at Camp Ripley for the upcoming CO academy and worked the Stillwater bridge project on the St. Croix River.
District 15 – Marshall area
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) checked fishermen, AIS compliance, ATV activity, and boat and water safety in vacant stations.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, invasive species, and ATV enforcement. The Minnesota River and other river levels have gone up in the past few weeks due to heavy rains. Extreme caution needs to be used if you plan on fishing, kayaking, or canoeing the rivers.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports there were two fishing tournaments on Lac qui Parle during the weekend. Multiple reports about abandoned fawns were called in to the CO. Many times, these fawns are not abandoned.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked anglers and boaters. He followed up on a small-game case in addition to issuing a nuisance-beaver permit.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) worked anglers and ATV enforcement during the week. Calls regarding an injured eagle and hawk were handled. Carp shooters were worked, with many boating safety violations detected.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) worked ATV, AIS, boating, and fishing enforcement during the week. Common issues were not having a fishing license in possession and missing life jackets.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding public waters violations, nuisance animals, and fishing questions.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked AIS enforcement at public accesses and responded to calls about sick and/or injured birds. Calls were referred to the DNR Wildlife Division.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking turkey hunters, anglers, boaters, and ATV and ORV operators. Time also was spent monitoring area lakes and public water accesses for AIS compliance. In addition, Officer Ihnen competed in a pistol match.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent much of the week checking boaters and anglers. Some boat owners still seem oblivious to the requirements to drain water and leave drain plugs out while transporting watercraft. Since 2015 is the sixth summer for this requirement, it can no longer be described as a “new” law.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, boating, and recreational vehicle operation this week. The officer also checked for AIS violations on local public water accesses.
WREO Julie Siems followed up on WCA and public waters violations. A check station was also worked with K9 Brady.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing enforcement on the big river, as well as following up on two other investigations.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports fishing in the area is improving. He continues to receive wildlife-related calls and follow up on ATV and trespass complaints.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week checking angling and invasive species activity. Time also was spent assisting other agencies with various calls.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking trout anglers and working a boat and water detail. Violations encountered were unregistered watercraft, no PFDs, and possession of drug paraphernalia.