District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) testified in court regarding a drug case. Walleye and pike anglers were checked on Lake of the Woods.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked angling and ATVing enforcement. Assistance was given to the sheriff’s office in regards to a reported missing person.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) worked with CO Vollbrecht to arrest an individual for possession of methamphetamine, marijuana, and other drug paraphernalia while fishing.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) assisted a sheriff’s office in looking for a missing teenager in the Beltrami Island State Forest area and responded to a complaint about dogs chasing deer.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports attending a wildfire training session in Grand Rapids. Time also was spent checking anglers on area lakes and snowmobile operators. Past angling complaint sites were monitored.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked panfish anglers on area lakes and patrolled snowmobile trails for the last time – unless the area gets more snow. Vollbrecht worked with a neighboring officer on removing fish houses and worked a detail on Lake of the Woods. An individual was taken into custody after methamphetamine was located on his person.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking anglers and assisting local law enforcement with snowmobile registration issues. He also assisted area officers with fish house removal – shelters left past the deadline.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sportfishing, trapping, and ATVing enforcement. Time also was spent discussing laws and ethics with students taking firearms safety classes in Wolverton, Dilworth, and Hitterdal. A trapping complaint was investigated.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week monitoring ATVing and angling activity. Enforcement action was taken for several instances of fishing without a license.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports angling activity has been limited. Reports of illegal bowfishing already have been received.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked fishermen throughout the week and responded to a call about an injured bald eagle. She also responded to a call about an injured great horned owl.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports complaints about wetland draining and filling were received and investigated.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked late-ice panfishing activity on area lakes. A few anglers were found in possession of marijuana and paraphernalia and were issued citations. Others failed to realize their 2017 angling licenses were almost a month expired and hadn’t purchased new ones.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) attended an annual wildfire/arson investigation refresher training course in Grand Rapids.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring angling activity. Overall, anglers reported limited success in the Longville area. Broughten also investigated minnow-trapping violations and ice shelter violations and assisted with an investigation into a perch overlimit case.
CO Colleen Adam (Park Rapids) reports snowmobile trails are in poor condition. Panfishing is still popular. Enforcement action was taken regarding several houses out beyond the removal deadline.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers. Fish-house removal and associated litter issues were investigated. A prohibited materials burning complaint was worked. Enforcement action was taken for an angler who possessed a walleye during the closed season and also for five perch anglers who had a total of 42 fish over their limit.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) continued to monitor ice shelter removal from Rainy Lake. People are reminded that March 31 is the deadline.
CO John Slatinski (International Falls) continued to monitor angling activity and shelter removal from area waterways. He fielded several inquiries regarding access and fishing on the Rainy River. Expired registration on watercraft is showing up as people utilize their boats for the first time of the season. Along with CO Kittelson, CO Kittelson gave a presentation to an introduction to criminal justice class at a local college.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area forest roads, checking lakes and anglers, and checking public access sites. ATVs are out, and seasonal road closures have been put in place.
CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers and lakes for fish house removal. Litter was found at several fish house sites.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent the week doing a lot of catching up on station calls and activities. The officer also assisted at the Iron Range Home Sport and Travel in Virginia with CO Frericks.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) monitored lakes for fish house removal and associated litter. All but one fish house were removed by the deadline. Since the fish houses were earlier documented by GPS coordinates, a number of fish house and litter violations were located for citation issuance. One unidentified fish house was left on the ice and the officer had to chip it out of the ice to remove it.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) manned the TIP Wall of Shame at the Iron Range Home Sport and Travel Show in Virginia. A clear majority of the questions asked revolved around the new northern pike regulation.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports that he and CO Stage spent the end of the week patrolling areas of the of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area via cross-country skis. Activity was high for early spring in the wilderness, and included anglers, recreational skiers, and trekkers.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked a ski detail in the BWCA during the weekend. Fishing was good for the dog mushers and their clients, as travel conditions were excellent. One fisherman in the wilderness was frantically trying to reel up his extra line before the officer could get to him. He claimed it was a nonexistent person’s line – a person inside his fish tent. He also tried to casually hide his aluminum beer cans, but then claimed he had never known cans and bottles were illegal in the BWCA.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled area inland lakes and checked conditions on Lake Superior tributaries. The officer also followed up on a TIP complaint, assisted Cook County on a reported domestic call, and cleared out evidence from now closed cases.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) located a dead female yellow Lab that was wrapped in a blanket and recently dumped along the powerline between Country Club and Lamppa Road. If you have information who the dog belonged to, please contact the officer. This was a very inconsiderate location to get rid of a dog.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and snowmobiling activity during the week. Late-season riders were still finding some good snowmobile trail sections but conditions were deteriorating.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked ATVing and snowmobiling activity, fishing, and small game enforcement, and answered miscellaneous wildlife-related calls. He also checked area lakes and patrolled area snowmobile trails.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers and answered trapping regulation questions. He also assisted the county with a stabbing investigation. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si assisted in locating a suspect from the stabbing incident and also gave K9 demonstrations in Grand Rapids.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice-angling activity, with the bluegill bite heating up. Sutherland took enforcement action on one group of individuals who went bluegill fishing on a special-regulation lake. The group split up while angling on the lake and didn’t communicate how many fish they had caught that day or the previous day. The group ended up being over their limit of bluegills. The daily limit and the possession limit of bluegills in Minnesota is the same.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) spent much of the week working shore anglers along Lake Superior and issues with fish houses. Nuisance-animal complaints were handled, and the officer assisted DNR Fisheries with the sampling of area lakes. Schmidt also taught the laws and ethics portions of firearms safety classes in Hermantown and Alborn.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) followed up on a complaint about a possible deer shot north of Duluth. Fishing activity has slowed on area lakes. Time was spent patrolling area state parks. Enforcement action was taken for no vehicle permit and a suspended driver’s license. A K9 first aid training session was attended in Hibbing, and K9 training continues with K9 Schody.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling and OHV enforcement throughout the week. Snowmobile trail conditions have deteriorated.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore anglers and a few remnant snowmobile riders. Wildlife-related complaints were handled for the Wildlife Division, including a turkey that was hanging around an elementary school parking lot. While entertaining for some, it created a hazard for others.
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended a meeting of the Western Lake Superior Trollers Association. The discussion focused on topics related to Lake Superior boating and fisheries laws. Olson also checked North Shore anglers on the Duluth end.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked fishing enforcement and nuisance animal/wildlife complaints. A livestock producer reported a calf was killed by a gray wolf and it was investigated. A federal trapper was contacted for wolf-removal assistance.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) received complaints about subjects feeding deer in the north-central deer-feeding ban area. The cases are under investigation, with pending enforcement action. Area lakes still have large amounts of snow, and travel in vehicles is difficult. Sullivan was a guest speaker at the Pequot Lakes firearms safety class. Calvin Wallin is celebrating his 50th year as a firearms safety instructor. Congratulations, Calvin!
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports checking fishing and snowmobiling activity and working a detail with the U.S. Border Patrol along the Canadian border in Cook County.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for angling and snowmobiling activity throughout the week. Time also was spent investigating a dogs-chasing-deer complaint. McGowan also attended division training.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) reports an angler decided that two lines were not enough to get his fish. He attempted to reel in the extra line when he observed Ladd approaching. He did not have any more fish in his bucket than any other anglers on the lake. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Tim Collette (Crosslake) investigated a violation in which a lakeshore property owner had filled a portion of his lakeshore almost 300 feet long and out into the lake, nearly 100 feet in spots. No permits had been obtained prior to the work. Charges are pending, and a possible restoration order is being considered.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports that a call about calves being killed by wolves was investigated, and federal trappers were called in to trap the nuisance wolves.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angler activity. Lakes continue to have lots of ice, but also plenty of slush. Area sled trails are mostly bare. Despite the lack of open water, local trappers were checked while trying for beaver pelts at the peak of their prime.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked panfish action, answered calls, and worked a Lake Vermilion detail. Starr observed a broken dog sled on a lake where some fishermen had gathered for the dump, helping clean up the lake. A short time later, a sober driver was found towing two intoxicated people behind his truck on the broken sled. Though legal, the sled was already broken and could have been dangerous to ride on.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) fielded quite a few complaints about dogs chasing deer. Follow-up on one complaint resulted in evidence that a dog had chased a deer through the snow, right to a homeowner’s front porch, and then chased the deer down the steps to the backyard where it was able to take the deer down. Owners who allow their dogs to chase and injure deer are subject to a $500 fine.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) has started to get nuisance-animal complaints, with raccoons and squirrels getting into people’s garbage.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area state forests and WMAs for illegal ORV and ATV use. Assistance was given to a neighboring officer on a warrant arrest and also to the sheriff’s office on a residential alarm.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) checked angling and trapping activity. The officer had incidental otters turned in.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked ice anglers and ATVers, and followed up on a trapping case. Car-kill animal permits were issued for deer, turkeys, and an owl. Enforcement action for the week included failure to tend traps, no license in possession, and no helmet on a child under 18 on an ATV.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) worked fishing activity. Follow up was conducted on several deer-hunting cases. Time also was spent talking at a wild turkey-hunting clinic. Assistance was provided to the Chisago and Pine county sheriff’s offices.
CO Mike Krauel (Milaca) spent the week doing equipment maintenance and working on evidence storage. Krauel also had the privilege of giving a law talk at a local turkey clinic.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked a few ice anglers during the week. Ice conditions remain stable, but ice fishing pressure has dwindled. While on patrol, McGaw stopped and allowed three hen grouse to cross the road in front of him. The fourth grouse was a male in full strut. Many people were found to be cooking maple sap and reports indicate the sap is running well. Enforcement action was taken on an arson wildfire in the northeast portion of Kanabec County.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) gave a presentation to a firearms safety class in Waverly and assisted fellow conservation officers with a firearms safety field day at the Delano Sportsmen’s Club.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) assisted at a field day in Delano. CO Fogarty observed heavy, dark smoke while driving down a highway. He located the source of the smoke, which was a landowner burning an old residence on the property. The landowner did not have the proper permits to burn a home. The local fire department extinguished the flames, and the property owner was cited.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) donated an incidentally trapped otter to Waconia High School. Many students were not aware otters existed in the metro area, and the students asked many questions about local wildlife and trapping.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking fisherman and following up on complaints. Grewe also investigated a complaint about geese being taken out of season. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) gave a law and ethics talk to several students at a turkey clinic held at a Three Rivers park. Maass also assisted with an investigation involving the illegal taking of geese out of season.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked ice fishing on metro-area lakes and patrolled state parks and trails. He also took a call about a turkey complaint in Eden Prairie and assisted a neighboring officer in locating a fish house owner in St. Paul.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (White Bear Lake) spent time checking anglers and monitoring ice shelters on area lakes. She also spent time working with a neighboring officer new to the metro area. Time was spent following up on a trapping complaint and littering complaints regarding litter left behind by ice anglers.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers and doing recreational vehicle enforcement. He also responded to TIP calls, handled nuisance-animal complaints, and worked on a littering case.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) checked anglers fishing from shore on the St. Croix Rive. A taxidermy inspection was conducted, and no violations were found. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) worked commercial activity involving inspections of game farms and commercial trucks transporting minnows across state lines. He also attended regional airboat operations training and spent time following up on an out-of-state big-game investigation.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Benson) reports patrolling the area ATV park and patrolling for angling activity. He presented at a firearms safety class and taught at a firearms safety field day with other officers
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working ice fishing, ATVing, coyote hunting, and commercial enforcement. A late-week snowstorm dumped up to a foot of snow, which halted outdoor activities. S
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) checked anglers and conducted commercial inspections throughout the week. A few snowmobilers were checked during the weekend, given the recent snow.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) assisted local law enforcement with accidents due to winter storms. Public assesses were patrolled and predator hunters were checked.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received complaints of angling for walleyes during the closed season. Late-season ice anglers need to be especially cautious: The recent snowfall has covered unsafe ice both near shorelines and in off-shore areas.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) attended airboat operator training during the past week. Miller focused patrol efforts on WMA and WPA locations and public access points.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked anglers and ATV operators. Ice conditions continue to deteriorate, and there were few ice anglers out. CO Howe also assisted with division training for new airboat operators.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, trappers, predator hunters, and ATV operators during the week. The officer also completed a commercial business inspection. Violations encountered included taking furbearers with a firearm and illegally transporting furbearers.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) patrolled state wildlife management areas and federal waterfowl production areas for deer stands left in the woods.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) fielded calls about a lost pet fox, which was collared, that was running with a wild fox. Hemker also received calls about an injured hawk, injured eagles, and deer.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports speaking at multiple firearms safety classes. Time also was spent checking trout anglers in the area.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working ice-fishing enforcement on the backwaters of the Mississippi River. The ice is getting bad, and several reports of folks breaking through have been received.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports handling multiple calls regarding the chronic wasting disease feeding ban in Olmsted County. A landowner was cited for burning a large pile of plastic siding from a house. The person said they have always burned their trash and household items and that they would now use a disposal service.