District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. Violations included angling with unattended lines, possession of marijuana, and possessing illegal-length walleyes.
CO Prachar (Baudette) reports increased activity on local snowmobile trails. Trail conditions deteriorated quickly with the warm weather and high-volume traffic. Enforcement action was taken on two gross overlimits of walleyes, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and angling with extra lines. Prachar also worked with local deputies and the Minnesota State Patrol on a DUI arrest and several snowmobile violations.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) responded to calls about injured eagles and sharp-tailed grouse. Ice shelter removal and area fishing activity were monitored. Anglers are reminded it is unlawful to fish for a species during its closed season. It also is unlawful to leave or store a fishing shelter at a public access. One group checked had kept numerous northern pike, not knowing the inland water season was closed.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette) focused primarily on snowmobiling enforcement. Mishler also attended a K9 handler conference in Mankato with COs Fairbanks and Staples.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) followed up on various TIP-related complaints. Time also was spent checking anglers and snowmobile operators, and inspecting aeration systems.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and snowmobile riders, and marked fish houses. Gray also finished up a case from the firearms deer season.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) reports complaints about dogs chasing deer were taken, and a detail was worked on Lake of the Woods.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports patrolling area trails and monitoring fishing shelter removal. Vinton marked several houses that haven’t had much activity around them and may be difficult to remove. One shelter owner had removed the tag and shelter marking, but CO Vinton had collected that information prior to its removal in case the shelter was on the ice after the removal date. A couple of ice anglers needed to be reminded that their 2017 angling licenses had expired.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sportfishing, coyote hunting, and snowmobiling activity. Time also was spent preparing for upcoming firearms safety classes and responding to miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week monitoring angling, snowmobiling, and fish house removal on area lakes. The officer also participated in a local radio show regarding fish house removal, and reminded anglers to pick up their trash around their houses.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports fishing shelter inventory has begun before the removal deadline. Most shacks already have been removed.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) took calls in the vacant Elbow Lake station and investigated hunting and fishing complaints. A firearms safety class in Ashby and a snowmobile safety class in Wheaton were attended, and the laws and ethics talks were given.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) focused on angling and recreational vehicle activity during the week. COs Holt and Lawler assisted a local sheriff’s office with patrolling snowmobile trails in a vacant station. Time also was spent following up on littering complaints and monitoring ice shelter removal. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and sunfish overlimits.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) retired March 6.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Chelsey Best (Remer) patrolled via snowmobile after the new snowfall. Fishing was slow, and many people were taking their houses off lakes in preparation for the March 5 deadline for those in the southern two-thirds of the state. Best is still receiving complaints about motor vehicles other than snowmobiles being operated on groomed snowmobile trails.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring fishing and snowmobiling activity. Snowmobile trails are in poor shape after the warm weekend. Anglers and snowmobilers are advised to check ice conditions before venturing onto area lakes.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked perch anglers. Some snowmobilers were out, but trails have gotten worse with the warm weather. Some time was spent preparing for the DNR Bear Committee meeting. Enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of perch.
CO Randy Posner (Staples) reports working fishing enforcement this past week. He also worked on a trespass complaint regarding snowmobilers on agricultural fields. A complaint of trash left on the ice by anglers on Fish Trap Lake also was investigated.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports a busy weekend with snowmobiling activity throughout the area. He gave the law and regulation presentation at a snowmobile safety class in Littlefork.
CO John Slatinski (International Falls) focused on angling and snowmobiling activity. Expired snowmobile registration and not displaying registration are still common violations encountered even this late in the season. More anglers are shifting their focus to crappies on area lakes.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes and snowmobile trails and checking angling activity. He also monitored public access sites and assisted the Border Patrol.
CO John Velsvaag (Cook) assisted on a work detail and checked snowmobilers. Snowmobiling conditions were very good but went downhill at the end of the week. Fishing was slow and slush showed up in some areas. Velsvaag received several calls about the new pike regulations and followed up on previous complaints.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) testified in court on a felony fleeing case and timber product theft case. The officer also assisted other agencies with a possible aircraft crash and in trying to locate a suspect involved in a burglary and snowmobile theft call.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) has noticed many ice shelters have been removed from Virginia-area lakes. As a courtesy to lakeshore owners, Frericks reminds owners of shelters to please clean up after themselves when they remove their shelters.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports a high number of snowmobilers were seen during the week. He also helped certify a group of the state’s newest snowmobile riders when he assisted with a snowmobile safety course in Tower.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) spent time in the BWCAW checking fishermen. The snow is very deep and some bad slush is occurring in places. Remember to buy your new fishing licenses.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked a BWCAW detail with other officers. He checked anglers and completed a couple of snowmobile patrols on area lakes and trails.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily angling and snowmobiling enforcement, including working the vacant Park Rapids station with CO Al Peterson. Violations were prevalent, including angling without a license, unmarked fish houses, no shelter tags, expired ATV registration, expired snowmobile registration, failure to transfer ownership, no state trail sticker, and careless snowmobile operation.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) taught snowmobile safety at the Cook County Middle School with a volunteer instructor. The officer also followed up on complaints about motorized vehicles being driven on non-motorized trails and loud exhaust on snowmobiles.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled area snowmobile trails, checked activity on area lakes, and investigated calls about angler harassment, littering, and trespass.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked snowmobiling activity and fishing enforcement, and answered miscellaneous calls about wildlife. He also assisted the county with various calls, checked area lakes, and patrolled area snowmobile trails, which were in good condition.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended K9 training, worked snowmobiling enforcement, and responded to K9 requests from other agencies. CO Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si assisted in locating articles of evidence thrown from a vehicle during a pursuit.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) focused on snowmobiling and angling activity. Anglers are having a difficult time maneuvering around area lakes due to large amounts of slush that accumulated after the warm weekend. A number of anglers have already removed shelters.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) spent much of the week working snowmobile trails and enforcement. He also handled calls about injured and nuisance animals, and investigated a report of a dumped carcass. Ice conditions are getting sketchy at some accesses.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week on snowmobile, working area trails and lakes for snowmobiling activity. Fishing activity also was monitored, with plenty of people still out fishing for crappies and other panfish. Several fish houses were looked at and documented in case they are not removed by the removal deadline.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked ice angling activity and shelter removal on area lakes. Snowmobile enforcement and patrols in area state parks also were conducted. Humphrey assisted CO Staples at Esko High School at its annual Imagine It! Day, in which seniors participated in mock job interviews.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a two-day K9 training session in Mankato. Time also was spent working area lakes and checking to make sure fish houses are removed by the upcoming deadline. Some complaints were received about trespassing and ATVers operating on snowmobile trails. Enforcement action was taken for no safety certification and registration violations. A meeting was attended with the Minnesota Trappers Association in Barnum.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent the work concentrating on snowmobile trail and lake enforcement, along with checking ice anglers on the lakes north of Duluth. There is a lot of slush on area lakes, and reports of vehicles that have breached the ice on Fish and Rice lakes. A wolverine sighting was reported by one of the anglers checked during the week.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ice anglers and snowmobile riders. Lakes are accumulating quite a bit of slush.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) completed arrest reports from previous Eelpout Festival cases. Sullivan also assisted with an injured eagle that was struck by a vehicle. The eagle was transported to the Raptor Center for surgery and is recovering. Area anglers were checked and advised of the shelter removal deadline.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports patrolling snowmobile trails, monitoring fishing activity and fish house removal, and investigating illegal use of area public accesses. A deer-shining case from last fall was wrapped up, with an individual pleading guilty to gross misdemeanor shining. Penalties included a several-hundred-dollar fine, three-year revocation of hunting privileges, and confiscation of an expensive bow. Numerous enforcement contacts were made for snowmobile speed, registration, and muffler violations, people fishing with expired fishing licenses, and illegal storage of a fish house at a public access.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked snowmobiling enforcement and monitored fish shelter removals. Compliance was good. He also worked an enforcement detail with CO Hadrits. The officers had numerous enforcement contacts on an area snowmobile trail.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) reports checking several anglers this week, some of whom had forgotten to get a 2018 license. One angler was on a designated trout lake without a trout stamp and was using two lines.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports working area snowmobile trails throughout the week and weekend. Fishermen were checked on area lakes. Assistance was given to a local agency on a call for service, and many outdoor law-related questions were fielded during the week and weekend. A fishing-related TIP was taken; follow-up is being conducted.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) checked area lakes and reminded anglers to purchase their 2018 licenses and to have permanent shelters off the ice by March 5. Snowmobile trails are in fair to good condition. Enforcement action was taken for failing to properly display registration. Speldrich received complaints about ATVers ruining ATV and snowmobile trails in the Nemadji State Forest by rutting them up and operating at dangerous speeds.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) continued to mark fish houses and work panfishing activity. Assistance was given to a gentleman who drove into a ditch on his way to his cabin. He was a long way out into a swamp.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) took calls regarding upcoming safety classes and fielded questions about licensing and shelter removal. He also checked anglers during the week and monitored trails for snowmobile activity. He also assisted the Pine County Sheriff’s Office in looking for a subject involved in a domestic assault.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) looked into snowmobile trespass complaints in which snowmobilers illegally drove across farmers’ alfalfa fields and others who drove in wildlife management areas. She also spoke at the Swanville snowmobile safety class. Kuske also investigated information about someone putting out shell corn to feed deer in the central Minnesota zone where deer feeding is banned. The pile of corn was found by a deer stand, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked snowmobiling activity and monitored fish house removal. A ride-along was given to a St. John’s University student.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent much of the week working fish house removal-related activities. A few coyote hunters also were checked.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers and worked snowmobiling enforcement most of the week. Enforcement action was taken for angling license, shelter, and snowmobiling violations.
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) assisted other officers with interviews regarding several deer-hunting violations from southeastern Minnesota.
CO Mike Krauel (Milaca) followed up on big-game cases and worked on a complaint about a cable placed across the public water.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked anglers and snowmobiling activity during the week. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, taking northern pike out of season, and operating an ATV without safety certification.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked ice anglers and snowmobilers. Follow-up was done on a big-game case, and an animal-related complaint was handled.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) interviewed an individual who wanted to register a deer he supposedly shot during the 2017 archery season. It was discovered the individual’s son shot the deer while the individual remained in his house. Enforcement action was taken against the son for failing to register the deer.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking fisherman and monitoring fish houses before the removal date. Grewe also spoke at a boater safety class and attended an invasive species summit with K9 Shelby, where a demonstration was performed.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) spent much of the week working an ongoing investigations of hunting violations. He took enforcement action for no angling license in possession, fishing with extra lines, unattended lines, and state parks visitors trespassing into restricted areas.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (White Bear Lake) spent time checking anglers and reminding individuals of the ice shelter removal date. She also spent time checking shore and boat anglers on the Mississippi River.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers, doing recreational vehicle enforcement, and monitoring ice shelter removal. He also scheduled firearms safety classes, responded to TIP calls, and issued a car-kill deer permit.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week working anglers and boaters on Pool 2 of the Mississippi River. He also spoke at two firearms safety classes.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working snowmobile riders and checking ice anglers. Trails have deteriorated drastically. A report of sledders water-skipping was received.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working ice fishing, snowmobiling, wildlife management areas, and coyote-hunting enforcement. A few flocks of snow geese are starting to show up.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports that warm weather is quickly melting the snow that was around for a week. The CO thanks all the sportsmen who have given information regarding littering on Lac qui Parle Lake.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Benson) followed up on a complaint about shooting from a motor vehicle, originally taken by another officer.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) reports an investigation was conducted involving coyote hunting from a motor vehicle.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time talking to a criminal justice class at Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City High School about what it is like to be a conservation officer.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) assisted the sheriff’s office with a domestic dispute and attempted to locate a suspect.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) reports complaints related to coyote hunters trespassing continue to be fielded and worked.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked angling and ATVing activity this week. Howe recorded interviews regarding shelter removal with area radio stations. A TIP regarding overlimits of crappies was investigated.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, predator hunters, and small-game hunters during the week. The officer also worked with neighboring officers and investigated a coyote-hunting complaint.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) responded to numerous TIP calls regarding illegal trapping activity and trespassing issues.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) reports time was spent helping the local Minnesota Waterfowl Association chapter, which built wood duck houses with area youth.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports receiving calls about people feeding deer in the banned area. Time also was spent checking trout anglers.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week patrolling the Mississippi River near Lock and Dam 3. Many fishermen were checked, but few livewells had any fish. Time also was spent finishing up the paperwork for a DWI case, and a call was received regarding a sick swan. With the help of a citizen, the swan was captured and transported to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Assistance was also given to the area non-game specialist in regards to a possible eagle’s nest violation.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports handling multiple coyote hunting and other wildlife-related calls. Hill also documented the remaining ice shelters on area lakes. One shelter owner was cited after keeping an unlicensed shelter on a lake for the majority of the season. An angler was observed fishing on a river in the Zumbrota station. Hill noticed the fisherman making large, exaggerated jigging motions. When contacted, the subject was found to be in possession of snagged fish with visible hook marks and holes throughout the body of the fish. The angler was cited, and the fish were seized.