District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) worked angling enforcement and patrolled local state forest and parks facilities. Violations encountered at Hayes Lake State Park included people entering the park without park permits and one angler using an extra line.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) responded to a call about a dead raptor on the side of a road, presumably struck by a vehicle. When retrieving the bird, an adult red-tailed hawk, the CO saw it had a leg band. In reporting the band, Woinarowicz learned the bird had been banded in Saskatchewan, Canada, when it was too young to fly in 1994. It is truly amazing that this bird lived in the wild for 26 years.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports many anglers were checked in their pursuit of panfish. The ratio of nonresident anglers and anglers traveling considerable distances greatly outnumbered local anglers on area lakes.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck) has noticed a significant uptick in people enjoying the outdoors, including a significant amount of traffic from the Twin Cities and other areas of the state. Prachar urges anglers to do their part in slowing/stopping the spread of the COVID-19 virus by staying local to their primary residence and enjoying the outdoors in those areas.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports usage is up in area state parks due to the stay-at-home order. A spring beaver trapper surrendered an accidental otter that was taken in a beaver set.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the past week working light goose hunting, sportfishing, and ATVing enforcement. Litter complaints on public lands were investigated.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week focused on checking anglers, monitoring the fish run, and checking ATV operators. Additional time was spent on WMA and WPA enforcement, including the removal of several illegal treestands.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) received a call about two bald eagles locked together in a field. Lawler arrived and observed the eagles struggling and exhausted, lying in a field with their talons locked together. He used a jacket and a wood stick to pin them to the ground, and then he unlocked their talons so they both could fly away.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) assisted the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office with a fishing-related trespass complaint. A road-killed fisher was processed and tagged.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) focused on angling enforcement this past week. She also took phone calls regarding an injured deer, hunting in a game refuge (not allowed), and trespass-posting requirements. She would like to encourage people to scout their hunting spots the night before – or days before – and not the morning they plan to hunt. This way, if they have questions, they’re not calling the CO a half-hour before shooting hours begin.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) checked anglers and monitored spring fish run activity throughout the past week. Ice conditions have deteriorated significantly on area lakes.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked fishing enforcement this past week. The ice conditions are dangerous on area lakes. He also worked on ATV enforcement issues. Complaints about bears in garbage cans and bird feeders were received.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) continued to check anglers. She investigated multiple TIPs regarding possible fishing overlimits. She also received a call about a dead eagle and responded to a call about the negligent discharge of a firearm. Enforcement action was taken for various ATV and fishing violations.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) received a call from a person who was fishing near a culvert when he heard a gunshot nearby. Kunst determined it was a woman shooting chipmunks, not trying to scare off anglers.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) tended to equipment maintenance and seasonal changes. Angling locations were monitored. Slatinski assisted a local agency with a call about an individual with little clothing on who was suffering from exposure to the overnight temperature of 16 degrees.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) fielded calls regarding nuisance animals and trespass issues during the week. Late Saturday evening, Zavodnik observed a truck parked on the shoulder of a road with its hazard lights on. While proceeding with a motorist assist, it was clear that the operator was extremely intoxicated and unaware that he was nearly 200 miles from his residence. The operator was charged with 3rd degree DUI, 4th degree driving under the influence, and open bottle.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers and ATV riders, conducted a decorative materials investigation, assisted the Hibbing Police Department with an intoxicated pedestrian lying in an alley, dealt with a complaint about a goose caught in a beaver trap, and issued a beaver permit.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) checked trout anglers trying their luck during the last couple of days of the season. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile violations.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked anglers and rechecked lakes where ice-fishing houses had been. She also checked anglers along the shore of Lake Superior. State parks are still fairly busy and compliance with park-permit-purchase requirements continues to be low.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports a large amount of time was spent in the BWCAW monitoring crappie anglers.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked shore-angling activity along Lake Superior and monitored busy state parks. He encountered visitors from all over Minnesota and surrounding states.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked birch pole-harvesting complaints, and patrolled for OHV activity. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and trespass.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked late-season ice anglers. Ice conditions are rapidly deteriorating. As ice angling season comes to an end, fire season begins. A couple of grass fires were worked where it was believed an older car accidentally started them.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) spent much of the past week checking anglers along the shore. ATV-related complaints have begun to come in regularly, and nuisance-animal complaints are starting as well.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling and OHVing enforcement. Humphrey patrolled the Fond du Lac State Forest during spring road and trail closures. He also patrolled area state parks and wildlife management areas.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked a busy North Shore in the Duluth and Two Harbors waters. Enforcement action was taken for trespassing on a road closure and a complaint of shore anglers along Stony Point. He also responded to a vehicle rollover in Duluth Township. There were no injuries.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked ATVing, beaver-trapping, and what was probably the last of ice-fishing activity.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) patrolled the Foot Hills State Forest area, which is closed to all motor vehicle traffic. Sullivan also checked spring angling activity and worked ATV traffic in the area.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) patrolled local state parks. A reminder to park users that dogs must be on a leash at all times. She also patrolled state forests and local trails for recreational vehicle operation. Several warnings for operating ATVs without required equipment were issued.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on equipment, late-season ice fishing, and recreational public areas. Incidental fur catches were reported. He issued a deer-possession permit.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) reports a few grass fires popped up as conditions were dry enough to cause some spring burning to get away from homeowners.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, illegal burning, ATVing activity, and the spring fish run. Injured-animal calls were handled including deer, turkeys, and a loon.
CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports an increase in outdoor activity. He spent time patrolling Charles Lindbergh State Park, Lake Maria State Park, and several area WMAs.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the past week checking anglers and patrolling for ATVing activity. Krauel also handled several calls about nuisance bears and dogs on the loose.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) followed up on several TIP calls this past week. Most lakes in the area are ice-free, and some anglers have been out open-water fishing.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for anglers and ATV operators. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license and operating an ATV in violation of the agricultural zone law. Seamans also responded to an off-highway motorcycle crash on private property.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) patrolled local lakes, rivers, state parks, and WMAs. Several inspections were conducted on public water and wetland violations.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) reports several complaints about bowfishers dumping fish onto the shore and back into water were received. Maass would like to remind people they must take the fish they harvest with them.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) took several calls about people targeting largemouth bass during the closed season in Hennepin and Washington counties.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) primarily spent time this past week checking lake and river anglers throughout the area. Time was also spent handling various calls regarding litter dumped on state land and responding to multiple TIP calls about individuals targeting fish out of season.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the past week patrolling state parks and wildlife management areas. He also worked bowfishing complaints and spent time checking anglers and boaters.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working ATVers and checking anglers. Anglers are reminded that rigging for and/or fishing for species that are in a closed season is unlawful.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored boating, fishing, and spring goose-hunting activity during the week. The spring waterfowl migration is in full force with many species of ducks and geese in the area.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked angling and ATVing activity. He received two incidentally taken otters and followed up on a beaver-damage complaint. Vernier also attended a furbearer meeting.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received numerous questions regarding whether fishing, hunting, and water access will be affected by COVID-19 response regulations.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent time on angling and boating enforcement and checked ATVing and burning activity. The Minnesota River has risen noticeably with recent precipitation.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers and boaters, AIS activity, and OHM and ATV operators during the past week. He also patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, and waterfowl production areas. Multiple violations were encountered.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) assisted CO Clint Fitzgerald in removing a large tom turkey from an enclosed courtyard. The turkey was unable to gain enough altitude to clear the tops of the surrounding buildings. Using blankets and some volunteers, Kyllo and Fitzgerald were able to herd the turkey into the building, across a hall, and back outside.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) received a phone call from a concerned farmer about one of his cows. He had found the cow dead with various parts missing. Upon further investigation, it was determined the cow was shot from the road and someone stole the prime cuts of meat. Anyone with information should call the Mower County Sheriff’s Office.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports the river is high but people have found areas to catch walleyes, northern pike, and perch. Hemker checked a boat with three people and three limits of walleyes. Shortly after the check, he observed one of the anglers throwing a walleye from his boat to another boat. Hemker explained the party fishing rule to the anglers.