District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked coyote hunters and anglers around Roseau County. Anglers were checked on Lake of the Woods. Violations encountered included angling without a license and angling with extra lines.
CO Aaron Larson (Baudette) worked angling, ATVing, snowmobiling, and trapping enforcement. Larson attended fisher/marten registration in Baudette and spent time checking anglers on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette) reports participating in snowmobile safety and operations training, checking furs and trappers at the recent furbearer registration, patrolling the area for trapping activity, and checking anglers on the Rainy River and Upper Red Lake. CO Sura wants to remind folks to make sure they have current registration on their ATVs and snowmobiles before hitting the lakes and trails, and that all non-portable fish houses and shelters require licenses.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) worked a New Year’s Day detail on Lake of the Woods. During the detail, a report about a skinned mountain lion along the ice road was received. An investigation showed it to be bobcat carcass.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports time was spent investigating a TIP report with CO Brown of an archery hunter hunting deer with the aid of bait.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports assisting the DNR Wildlife Section with annual fur registration. Time also was spent checking several anglers throughout the past week.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports snowmobile and winter angling activity is picking up. Several riders have taken to area road rights of way to ride and have found some trails passable. Anglers are finding 11 to 14 inches of ice and larger houses are starting to show up on area lakes.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week checking ice anglers and snowmobile riders. The first groomers were seen on area snowmobile trails, but more snow is needed for quality riding.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling activity. Follow-up on open cases was performed. Questions about fish house shelter tags, angling licenses, and fish house reflective materials were answered.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) reports one of the busiest New Year’s weekends he’s worked in his career. Anglers need to check ice conditions and use extreme caution. Most lakes have 11 inches of ice and there is flooding around houses. On more than one occasion, Landmark checked anglers in permanent houses on 11 inches of ice and they reported that just yards away they found 6 inches of ice. Anglers fishing special-regulation lakes are reminded to get a good measuring board and measure their fish with the mouth closed and tail pinched.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) took reports about snowmobiles through the ice. There were no injuries. Pheasant hunters were blessed with great conditions for the last weekend of the season.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the majority of this past week focused on small-game and angling enforcement. She would like to remind anglers on the border water that shelter tags are not required but that portables (if left unattended) and permanent shelters need to have ID attached.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) worked ice-fishing, pheasant-hunting, and recreational vehicle activity throughout the week. Time also was spent assisting with fur registration in Glenwood. Complaints were received concerning nuisance wildlife, trespassing, and a vehicle through the ice on Lake Osakis. Reckless operation of a snowmobile resulted in a DWI arrest of an individual by officers working on Lake Osakis during the weekend.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports a shooting complaint was handled outside of Sebeka on the last day of the grouse season.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports numerous citations were issued during the week for many different kinds of violations. Possessing marijuana and paraphernalia has been more commonly found this year. A pair of anglers were having great success catching crappies one evening when Lawler stopped by their shack. They proudly showed off their catch, saying they had around 13 fish in the pail. After counting together with Lawler on the ice, their pail actually contained over their limit, and a citation was issued.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Mike Cross (Lake George) worked trapping, snowmobiling, ice angling, and big-game-hunting investigations, as well as ATV enforcement.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked angling and snowmobile activity. She also followed up on a deer case and assisted with a vehicle off the road. Enforcement action was taken for illegal possession of big game.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time on fishing and snowmobiling enforcement and assisted Wildlife staff with furbearer registration. The number of furs registered was up drastically from last year, which is surprising, given the low fur prices.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time monitoring snowmobile trails and worked angling enforcement during the past week. Zavodnik observed a large increase in snowmobile traffic over the weekend, and many anglers were out and about during the warm weekend.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) worked fur registration at the Eveleth office. There was a marked increase in both fisher and pine marten taken compared to last year. Over the long New Year’s weekend, Frericks concentrated on snowmobile enforcement. Hundreds of sleds were seen in the Lake Vermilion area on New Year’s Day alone.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls) reports spending time this past week working trappers and checking ice anglers. Simonson also worked marten/fisher fur registration at the International Falls station and the Big Falls registration station. The overall number of trappers was down, but the people who participated in the marten/fisher season had success.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports anglers were contacted, with mixed results observed. The last house checked of one group had a 14-year-old reporting good success with a combination of walleyes, sauger, and perch in his bucket. He had more than the entire rest of the group.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports the BWCAW winter trout season opener saw a slushy start, making wilderness travelers work extra hard to get to local lakes. Violations included angling with no license in possession, failure to transfer snowmobile registration, and expired snowmobile registration.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked anglers on a very busy BWCAW trout opener. Several folks had to be reminded to have their licenses in possession and to leave their aluminum beverage cans at home. Manning and CO Kylan Hill assisted the Cook County Sheriff’s Office with a deer on the ice in the downtown harbor. The deer was safely escorted off the bay and onto shore.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked angling, snowmobiling, and ski pass enforcement, along with assisting the Wildlife Section with fur registration.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity this past week. Several snowmobile riders who were trying to ride on poor trails were also checked. Time also was spent working a busy BWCAW trout opener this past weekend.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports working the BWCAW trout opener with other officers in the area. No license in possession was a common violation seen. A few people left with citations after bringing aluminum cans into the wilderness. Hill rescued a cross-country skier lost on a ski trail.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vincent Brown (Northome) spent the past week patrolling area lakes, monitoring angling and darkhouse spearing activity. Enforcement action was taken for expired ATV and snowmobile registration, no fishing licenses in possession, allowing youth to operate an ATV without a helmet, and possession of marijuana.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored trapping activity, and worked snowmobiling enforcement. Fairbanks and K9 partner Si were also requested to assist in locating a firearm that was thrown by a fleeing suspect. K9 Si was able to find a handgun buried in the snow. Enforcement action was taken for license issues, possession of illegal-length northern pike, possession of a small amount of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working trapping, angling, and snowmobiling enforcement activities. A trespassing complaint was fielded and investigated. Van Asch also assisted neighboring officers with furbearer registration.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) worked ice fishing, snowmobiling and ATVing activity. Nice weather brought several big groups out fishing during the weekend. A law and ethics talk was given at a snowmobile safety class where 14 youth students were certified.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) focused patrol efforts on ice anglers for the majority of the past week. Slush has been a factor on area lakes. Snowmobile trails were worked and violation rates were high for registration issues and altered exhausts.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time on the snowmobile, working area trails. Plenty of people are out using the trails, but the trail conditions are still not good locally. Winter fishing has been busy on most area lakes. A trespass complaint was investigated, which turned out not to be a violation.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked ice anglers on several area lakes. Ice conditions varied from lake to lake, with 6 to 15 inches of ice observed. Slush was making some problems for those with hard houses.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked snowmobile complaint areas and the BWCAW trout opener. Anglers saw a little slush as they began their season, but also some cooperative fish.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) continued field training with a conservation officer candidate. McGowan worked Crow Wing County lakes, Upper Red Lake, and Lake of the Woods. Enforcement action was taken for numerous angling violations.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) worked sportfishing and snowmobiling activity this past week. One vintage snowmobile operator was given some mechanical assistance after he mistakenly bumped his machine’s cut-off switch. Having the same experience once himself, Guida pushed the switch and the sled started right up. The operator appreciated the assistance.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking snowmobile riders during the past week and weekend. The trails were rough by the end of the weekend, but there were still quite a few sleds out. Time was spent checking anglers on area lakes and a few fish were seen. Fitzgerald also checked for anglers on the closed trout lakes; they’re closed until the trout season is open. Calls about illegal fishing activity, suspicious dead deer, and trespassing were fielded.
CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) worked area ice fishing and snowmobiling activity. Sullivan observed several violations, including unattended lines, extra lines, failure to display registration as required, underage alcohol consumption, and possession of controlled substances.
CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) worked fishing, trapping and snowmobiling enforcement this past week. A deer-season investigation was wrapped up with action taken for lend/borrow and site-tagging issues.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) monitored angling activity on Lake Mille Lacs. ATVing and snowmobiling activity was also monitored. Enforcement action was taken for possession of drug paraphernalia, fishing without a license, fishing with extra lines, expired snowmobile registration, failure to display ATV registration, and failure to display a license tag on an ice shelter.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked snowmobiling activity throughout the week and holiday weekend. Enforcement action was taken for registration issues. Complaints about snowmobilers trespassing were investigated. Several 4×4 operators ventured into the Nemadji State Forest on a memorial ride. Their four-wheel-drive vehicles were needed because many forest roads are not plowed.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked ice fishing, trapping, snowmobiling, and ATV activities. Numerous violations were found for extra lines, minors with alcohol, illegal fish, and fishing license issues. Starr found a juvenile fishing with extra lines, only to find out that the juvenile’s father was issued a citation three years earlier, by the same officer, in the same fish house, and in the same location on the lake. A lengthy conversation was had with the father and son on how to break this family habit.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent the past week checking anglers on various lakes. Time also was spent on snowmobile patrol. Illegal-dumping complaints in the Chengwatana State Forest were investigated.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Tou Vang (Pierz) investigated a wolf depredation of livestock, checked ice anglers and ice shelters, patrolled for snowmobiling/ATVing activity, and followed up on the deer season.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, pheasant hunters, and trappers. ATVing and snowmobiling activity was monitored. Many calls about sick and injured swans were taken, with some transported to a rehab facility for lead-poisoning issues. Vehicles are still going through the ice on area lakes.
CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports checking anglers, trappers and pheasant hunters. He assisted the Training Unit at Camp Ripley and completed snowmobile inspections/maintenance. He fielded injured-animal reports and investigated a big-game incident.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the past week checking ice anglers, following up on a trespass incident, and patrolling for snowmobiling activity. Some of the enforcement action taken was for agricultural land trespass, no angling license, expired recreational vehicle registration, angling with an extra line, possession of marijuana, and an overlimit of crappies.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for anglers and snowmobile operators. Additional time was spent fielding wildlife-related complaints.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) captured three trumpeter swans this past week that could not fly due to lead poisoning. There were transported to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for treatment.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishing and snowmobiling activity on metro-area lakes and trails. He responded to a TIP complaint about people fishing for trout at a trout pond and checked small-game hunters. Lee also returned phone calls from the Asian community regarding youth firearms safety classes and small-game hunting regulations.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) checked anglers and patrolled snowmobile trails. Ice anglers were out in good numbers, and some lakes had up to 6 inches of good ice, while others had just frozen over.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) worked angling, snowmobiling, and trapping activity. Maass also handled several snowmobiler trespassing complaints.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time checking ice anglers and patrolling during the CWD special hunt. Time also was spent patrolling local snowmobiling activity. Among other issues, many violations related to trout fishing were located and dealt with, and illegal trout were seized.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the past week monitoring anglers and pheasant hunters in the area. A fair number of deer hunters were out for the special CWD hunt.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) conducted interviews stemming from the deer season that included licensing issues.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Stephen Westby (Madison) continued working ice-fishing activity on Lac qui Parle Lake. Ice conditions on area lakes are still very inconsistent. Westby checked several pheasant hunters on the last weekend of the season.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the past week checking hunters and anglers. Many pheasant hunters were worked the last few days of the season with hunters encountering difficult footing and wary birds.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time following up on possibly poached deer that were left to waste. The rest of his time was spent checking anglers, ATV riders, and snowmobile operators. Ice anglers are advised to use caution. Ice conditions vary greatly on lakes, with more reports of ATVs and fish houses breaking through.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls about injured wildlife and questions about fishing regulations. He worked fishing, small-game hunting, and snowmobiling enforcement activities.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) reports ice angling activity has picked up quickly. Ice thickness of 3 to 10 inches has been seen on different lakes. A large number of pheasant hunters made it out for their last hunts of the season and saw success when focusing on heavy cover.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) followed up on a complaint of hunting in a scientific and natural area with the assistance of CO Eric Schettler.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked ice-fishing activity this past week. A few snowmobile riders were checked. He also reports seeing several small-game hunters during the weekend who were looking for pheasants and rabbits.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports working on angling, snowmobiling, and big-game enforcement this past week. Ice-fishing activity was heavy, but ice thickness varies. Howe saw several tracks where anglers on foot had been checking ice thickness with a chisel as they went, which is an excellent idea.
CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) spent time working hunting and fishing enforcement. A good number of hunters participated in the late-season special deer hunt.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports having to mediate when a hunter shot a deer that ended up on land where the landowner had told him several times not to come onto the property.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) reports a snowmobile crash was investigated in which the rider was thrown from a snowmobile while riding through a field. The rider was transported by first responders for treatment of a head injury. The rider was wearing a helmet, but other riders in the group were not.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) spent time checking goose hunters, deer hunters, and anglers. A couple of individuals were contacted during the special CWD hunt who were hunting over bait. Enforcement action was taken.