District 1 – Baudette are
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods and the Roseau River. Assistance was provided in removing a dead and bloated deer from the bank of the Roseau River, adjacent to someone’s residence.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) reports that assistance was given to a juvenile bald eagle that was separated from its sibling and parents during the wind storms a week ago. The juvenile, which could not yet take flight, was discovered in the yard of a residence approximately 400 yards from the nest.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working ATV, AIS, and boating safety enforcement, along with angling activity on special-regulation lakes throughout the week. Time also was spent investigating wolf depredation complaints, issuing wildlife possession permits, and attending training at Camp Ripley.
CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck) took calls about raccoons that were causing issues with a landowner’s dogs. The raccoon was captured and re-located.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) handled calls about nuisance bears and started a wolf-depredation investigation.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked boating safety and angling activity during the week. Time was spent attending training at Camp Ripley and dealing with nuisance wildlife.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) continued to monitor and investigate the possible altering of the cross current of a lake.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) completed a trespass/theft case involving a juvenile, handled miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints, and took enforcement action for burning prohibited materials.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) conducted follow-up on zebra mussel violation cases, AIS compliance was monitored, and boating and angling checks were performed. A leeching violation case also was closed.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring AIS, ATVing, and angling activity in the Moorhead station. Numerous wildlife-related calls were answered, including coyote pup sightings, skunks living under buildings, and a grouse that made a nest next to a residence. The officer continued commercial investigations as well as investigated hydro jet usage, illegal transport of zebra mussels, and individuals taking geese.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) checked anglers and boaters. Additional time was spent fielding questions about safety classes, PWC laws, deer hunting, and nuisance beavers.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent the week on an interview panel, interviewing possible new conservation officer candidates. CO Plautz also responded to a complaint about an angry boater who almost ran over an AIS inspector. Complaints about vehicles parked at public access overnight were handled as well.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) worked fishermen, boaters, and AIS enforcement. Complaints were handled regarding cutting hay in road ditches, nuisance beavers, and public waters violations.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) continued to work on an angler harassment complaint. Several phone calls were received about injured animals, which turned out to be uninjured animals “acting funny” when approached by people. The animals likely had youngsters nearby.
CO Steve Chihak (Wheaton) spent the week working sportfishing, boat and water safety, and AIS enforcement.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) and a DNR Wildlife employee worked to address an adjoining landowner committing a waters/wetland violation and trespassing on an area wildlife management area.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports complaints about walleye overlimits were investigated.
District 4 – Walker area
Officer Paul Parthun (Lake George) addressed several wildlife-related complaints and spent time on area lakes. One angler received an official measurement of a large walleye in his possession. It was recorded as 30¼ inches.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring angling, boating, AIS, and ATV activity. CO Broughten also checked commercial minnow traps and gave presentations to a firearms safety class and a local lake association.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports rain and windy conditions have kept most people off Rainy Lake. Several animal-related complaints were handled throughout the week.
CO John Slatinski (International Falls) reports that even though the weather did not cooperate this past week, fishing remained a common outdoor activity. Public accesses were monitored, along with state campgrounds and parks.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) assisted two anglers who had their boat break down on Lake Vermilion. The officer also investigated another refusal to submit to an AIS inspection on Vermilion, and the individual was cited.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked a detail within Voyagers National Park, checking anglers. Violations of keeping slot fish, extra lines, no license in possession, and insufficient PFDs were found.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports he concentrated primarily on trout angling during the week. Several nuisance bears were reported inside the BWCAW on Agnes Lake. Please be extra careful with food storage while camping inside the wilderness.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that it is probably just a coincidence that as the black flies are starting to disappear the mosquitoes seem to be getting larger. The CO did a radio interview about black bears and attended division training at Camp Ripley.
CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais) was part of the U.S. and Canadian Law Enforcement Honor Guard welcoming the Special Olympics Torch of Hope to the U.S. from Canada.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area ATV trails and anglers this week. Cool, wet weather has kept activity down a bit for this time of year.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and boating activity during the week. Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations, and a nuisance-bear complaint was investigated.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, enforced AIS regulations, handled several calls about injured or nuisance wildlife, and worked ongoing cases.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked boating, AIS, and sportfishing. He received several nuisance-wildlife complaints, attended a lake association meeting, and answered various questions.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked boating activity, with enforcement action taken for failing to register a watercraft and transporting a prohibited species on a watercraft. CO Sutherland also worked ATVers in the area, with enforcement action taken for operating on a public highway, failing to transfer a title, failing to display registration, failing to have ATV safety, and allowing the illegal operation of an ATV by a minor.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) checked anglers, boaters, and monitored ATVing activity throughout the area. CO Van Asch also assisted the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office with a suspect who fled.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Nick Prachar (Brookston) spent time at Camp Ripley for training. Time also was spent working AIS enforcement, ATV enforcement, and angling activity
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work fishing and boating enforcement around the Duluth area. Some time was spent working at public accesses, talking with boaters about AIS laws and looking for compliance when boaters arrived at the accesses and also when they left. A waters complaint on an area lake was investigated.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended emergency vehicle operation training at Camp Ripley. Time also was spent training and getting ready for upcoming K9 testing. Bear-related complaints were received and advice was given out on how to keep them away.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked an ATV patrol north of Duluth. CO Olson also worked the lakes north of Duluth, with the most common violation being not having an angling license in possession. CO Olson also responded to a boating complaint on Grand Lake and a wetland shoreline complaint on Big Lake, which ended up with the landowners obtaining all the required permits.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked boaters and anglers on the St Louis River. ATV trails were monitored, and a complaint about a wounded deer was handled in the city of Two Harbors.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) assisted at Camp Ripley with training. The CO also patrolled for angling and ATV activity, answered several questions, and looked into TIP calls.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, AIS, and ATVing activity. Time also was spent on nuisance bears, altering the cross section of public waters, and an angling TIP call. The officer attended the funeral of retired CO Dale Ebel.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports helping the Cuyuna Iron Range Riders ATV club present its youth ATV safety class. Enforcement contacts were made for miscellaneous violations of state recreational area rules.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) assisted interviewing candidates for the 2018 conservation officer academy. CO Sullivan received a complaint about an unusual amount of vegetation floating in Pine Mountain Lake. The source was unfounded and the investigation is ongoing. Nuisance-bear complaints also continue.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked ATVers, fishermen, and boaters. CO Hunter also received a complaint about a baby otter whose mother had been killed by a car. The otter will go to a rehab facility.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this past week. A complaint about ATVers in a ditch and causing damage and illegal youth operation also received some time. A bear damaging beehives in the Pequot Lakes area was received.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked lake activity, including a lot of nonresident vacationers. He also attended training, helped on an interview panel for CO applicants, and assisted the county with the search for a burglary suspect.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) assisted at Camp Ripley with interviews for new CO candidates. The officer also assisted with another investigation in the area. A call was responded to at Father Hennepin State Park where a person was charged with disorderly conduct.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen, boaters, and ATV traffic throughout the week and weekend. Many outdoor law-related questions were fielded. CO Fitzgerald also attended division training at Camp Ripley, and assistance was given to another agency.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked ORV enforcement in area state forests. She also followed up on an AIS investigation, worked boat and water safety, and followed up on PWC complaints.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reports assistance was given to the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office on a kidnapping case and a burglary in progress.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent time patrolling ATV complaint areas and checking boating and angling activity on lakes. One fisherman was found trying to catch crappies while trolling around the lake with multiple lines in the water. After watching and documenting the illegal fishing for a few minutes, CO Grundmeier approached the boat to make contact. When the angler finally realized he was being watched and checked by a CO, he quickly dropped to the bottom of the boat in an attempt to hide himself while reeling up the extra lines. The furtive actions only made things worse, as the boat was not big enough or deep enough to hide what he was doing.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking anglers and monitoring boating activity in the area. A stranded boater was provided a tow back to an access after having engine troubles. A couple anglers were checked and found to have a limit of pike in possession. However, neither angler had a license, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) took a complaint about a homeowner taking squirrels out of season. She found that squirrels were doing damage and that woodchucks were legally shot. A road-kill bobcat was picked up, and a homeowner had a bear break through a house window when a sow and three cubs were trying to take down a hummingbird feeder for a treat. CO Kuske also watched a female angler fishing from a resort dock for a while and then approached the angler to check her fishing license. The angler said she was not fishing but was just helping fix the line on a reel. It was explained to the female that casting a spinnerbait for bass multiple times was considered fishing in Minnesota, and there didn’t seem to be any problems with the line.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters. Violations were found for extra lines and no angling licenses. Several animal-related complaints were handled, and a waters call was investigated.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen and boaters on area lakes and rivers. He also checked watercraft for plugs, invasive species, and transport of water.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) gave a presentation in South Haven for an ATV safety class.
CO Mike Krauel (Milaca) spent the week checking anglers and patrolling for ATV activity. CO Krauel also spent time working boat and water safety.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) spent time at Camp Ripley providing mandatory training to a group of conservation officers. She also worked on the St. Croix River ahead of the opening of the new Hwy. 36 bridge.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) focused on shore fishing along the Minnesota River. Assistance was given to the Carver County Sheriff’s Office with a car-versus-deer crash. Violations encountered include angling without a license, angling after revocation, and failure to comply with a restoration order.
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) spent most of the week following up on zebra mussel violations on several area lakes. A “mudding” in a wetland complaint was closed, as was a venison sales case.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) assisted Fort Snelling State Park staff with a case of an ATVer who was found operating illegally in the state park.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) and his K9 partner Shelby attended the annual Cops and Kids fishing event in Brooklyn Park.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) investigated a complaint about a possible abandoned boat on the Mississippi River in north Minneapolis. CO Lee was able to locate the owner and had the owner take care of the boat.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week doing AIS enforcement and checking anglers. He also scheduled firearms safety classes and patrolled state wildlife management areas.
CO Jake Willis (Maplewood) worked boat and water safety and anglers this week. Assistance was provided to local agencies with large events on the water.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week working boating enforcement on the St. Croix River. He also spent time at Camp Ripley instructing other conservation officers.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Andrew Dirks (Redwood Falls) spent time throughout the week checking fishermen, watercraft, and ATVers.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) conducted his weekly radio interview with KLOH Radio in Pipestone. A “Fishing Has No Boundaries” event was attended on Cottonwood Lake.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Benson) reports working OHV and fishing enforcement. Numerous wildlife and OHV regulation questions were fielded, and the officer continued to receive OHV complaints.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) reports an invasive species detail was worked at Lake Shetek.
Officer Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) continued to follow up with ongoing investigations. Assistance was provided to the Lac qui Parle Sheriff’s Office.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports that litter continues to be a focus, as trash is being left behind at popular shore-fishing areas.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time during the week at Camp Ripley, training officers in emergency vehicle operations. Other time was spent assisting with a commercial detail. While doing field work, CO Klehr came across an accident on Hwy. 55 that had just occurred. He was on the scene while the 911 calls were still being made.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked AIS and angling enforcement in the area. CO Oberg also spent time assisting on a commercial detail.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) spent the week assisting with interviews for the hiring process of new conservation officers. CO Miller also received numerous calls related to young wildlife that may be orphaned.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) reports AIS inspections were conducted at two public accesses with the assistance of CO Mike Gruhlke from Jackson County. Watercraft owners were in 100 percent in compliance with AIS laws. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations. Calls were taken regarding young raccoons and ducks.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) reports working AIS, boating, angling, and commercial enforcement this week. CO Henke located individuals angling without a license. During one angling check, CO Henke located a male party fishing with three lines, and two of the lines were baited with sunfish. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV operators during the week. An aquatic invasive species detail was worked with a neighboring conservation officer.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) monitored AIS and fishing activity throughout the week. A new boat owner was educated on the importance of following AIS laws. Miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints also were handled. CO Hill stopped a dirt biker who was operating in the ditch of a state highway. As it turned out, the driver did not have a driver’s license and the machine was unregistered. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) checked ATV areas and received many calls about nuisance wild animals. He found a person driving where he should have not been who was stuck in a mud hole. He had used articles from the car, like cushions and blankets, to unsuccessfully try to get the car out.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) received a call regarding a timber rattlesnake on a homeowner’s front steps in Red Wing. It was verified that the snake was indeed a rattlesnake. The snake was carefully removed from the steps and transported to a nearby designated den site, where it was released.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports investigating dumping complaints and waters violations. Time also was spent checking trout anglers and ATV complaint areas.