District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) investigated two possible wolf depredations and checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. Huener, along with CO Aaron Larson, also worked a joint operations detail that included the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Border Patrol, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on the Fourth of July in support of Operation Dry Water, patrolling the lake and Minnesota/Canada border on Lake of the Woods.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette) spent time on AIS enforcement and checking boaters and anglers on Upper Red Lake. Sura also assisted CO Simonson with a DWI arrest after an individual was observed crashing his car and trailer into a ditch at a local public access.
CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) reports working fishing, ATVing, and boating activity in the area. He reminds boaters that, in most cases, children under the age of 10 are required to wear a life jacket while on a boat. Some exceptions are if it is anchored for the purpose of swimming/diving or it is attached to a permanent mooring/dock.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck) reports steady ATVing activity and an increase in water sports as the weather gets warmer. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations, and time was spent working AIS enforcement.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked a busy Fourth of July weekend. The warm and sunny weather brought a lot of recreational boaters out to area lakes. He also followed up on wetland complaints and took nuisance-bear calls.
CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV riders in the Bemidji/Bagley area. She also worked a BWCAW detail with another officer. Assistance was given by Mishler and K9 Storm to Mahnomen County in the search for a firearm related to an ongoing investigation.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports a hot and windy holiday weekend with lots of boating activity. Most boaters observed where enjoying the hot weather responsibly. Area lake accesses have taken a hit with the low water conditions, with several boaters not being able to launch due to the shallow water.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent a busy Fourth of July weekend patrolling area lakes. While most boaters were law-abiding, there were several who needed some education on boating laws. Swedberg also worked a couple of details with area conservation officers on Big Cormorant and Pelican lakes, focusing on boating safety.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sportfishing, AIS, and ATVing enforcement. Chihak also assisted the Clay County Sheriff’s Office with a vehicle theft apprehension.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling and boating activity, with anglers reporting tough fishing. AIS compliance was monitored. A complaint about campers blocking a public access was received.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week focusing on boat and water safety enforcement. Boaters, specifically those operating wakeboard boats, are reminded that it is illegal to sit or lie on the back deck of those boats while underway. Minnesota law requires a railing or adequate guards to prevent occupants from falling overboard. A large number of beer cans were observed in the water at party locations on area lakes. Landmark encourages people to report individuals who are littering on area lakes and provide a boat registration number to area officers.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV riders. Several contacts were made during the Fourth of July weekend for riding on gunwales and overloaded boats.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the past week focused on boating safety. Angling enforcement and other recreational vehicle enforcement were also worked. She assisted with a TIP call, and minnow permits were issued.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked a TIP call resulting in an overlimit of sunfish.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports time was spent investigating a wetland complaint and handling calls about injured/orphaned animals. Area lakes were busy during the holiday weekend with many people fishing and boating.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked an extremely busy Fourth of July weekend on area waterways. This included a work detail with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office on the Alexandria Chain of Lakes, resulting in several arrests for boating while impaired.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) spent time patrolling Cass and Crow Wing county lakes for boating activity. Enforcement was taken for numerous violations, and two boat operators were arrested for DWI.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked boating and angling activity. She also spoke at a firearms safety class. Enforcement action was taken for a juvenile without a helmet on an ATV and no license in possession.
CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports seeing an increase in recreational activity in the area with the holiday weekend and warm weather. He focused enforcement on angling, boater safety, and ATVing activity. He also reports assisting other agencies, conducting commercial inspections, and working a detail for Operation Dry Water.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) worked a warm and dry week on the trails and waters. Fire restrictions are in place and will remain unless significant precipitation is received.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports a hot and busy holiday weekend on Rainy Lake and the Rainy River. Overall compliance was good considering the number of people enjoying the outdoors.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports the holiday weekend was busy, as expected. The state campgrounds and associated day-use areas received more than usual attention. A high number of violations were encountered, with most of them related to boating safety. A heat-related medical assist was provided to a hiker. An assist response also was provided in an incident in which a boat tied to a dock caught on fire and was reported to have a full tank of fuel on board. The fire department was able to keep the fire from spreading to the dock and other structures, but the boat was a total loss.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked ATV/OHM enforcement, boat and water safety, and angling activity. Time was spent assisting local law enforcement agencies on several calls, including a motor vehicle accident and an ATV rollover.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the past week monitoring fishing, boating, and ATVing activity. Broughten also worked a boating enforcement detail on Lake Vermilion.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time checking anglers and boating activity this busy holiday weekend. He responded to several nuisance-animal complaints. Enforcement action was taken for boating, angling, and ATVing violations.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) reports a busy holiday weekend on the North Shore. Despite extremely hot weather and the haze and the smell of smoke from Canadian wildfires, some area campers still left unattended fires and lit illegal fireworks, risking the safety of themselves and others. Several young people were sent back to cabins to retrieve life jackets for their watercraft and parents were advised. One new ATV owner was also sent home to retrieve helmets for his juvenile passengers. “Not off to a good start,” he said of his first weekend of ownership.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports hitting the water throughout Cook County during the week. No license in possession was the most common fishing violation. A few boaters were documented with insufficient life jackets. One person in particular brought a life jacket to the lake, but it didn’t make it out of the truck.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked boating and ATVing activity during the busy holiday weekend. The heat wave brought many travelers to the North Shore to enjoy cooler lake-water temperatures.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) took complaints about ATVer trespassing, nuisance bears, and nuisance beavers. Area lakes were patrolled for angling and boating activity. Time also was spent focusing on ATV and OHM (dirt bike) enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and OHM registration violations, allowing youth to ride on ATVs without helmets, and various angling and boating safety violations.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) patrolled state parks and worked anglers, watercraft, and ATV riders. Numerous game and fish questions were answered. He also responded to wildlife-related complaints.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, assisted with locating a drowning victim, monitored OHVing activity, and worked boat and water enforcement.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, boating, and ATVing enforcement. Area lakes and ATV trails saw a significant increase in activity with many individuals participating in the holiday weekend.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) worked a busy Fourth of July weekend. Most people on the lakes were trying to stay cool with water sports or swimming. Several instances of children under 10 not wearing life jackets were addressed.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) saw heavy boating activity during the holiday weekend. There were significantly more recreational boaters and fewer anglers, probably due to the heat.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week working out of a boat. Time was spent checking anglers and boating safety. Many people were talked to about PFDs when on paddleboards. Many PWC operators needed to be talked to about lawful operation, such as operation of PWCs within 150 feet of shore and operation within an hour of sunset.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports a water emergency was responded to in which a pontoon flipped over on an area lake. No one was injured in the incident.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) took part in a boat and water safety enforcement detail on Lake Minnetonka. Thousands of boaters were out enjoying the hot weather on the water. Multiple contacts were made for various boating violations. In one instance, a large group whose ski boat had swamped was in the water trying to save equipment, yet refused officers’ initial directions to put on life jackets. Another PWC operator from out of state found operating at high speed in a no-wake zone and within a few feet of shore gave the excuse that, “We don’t have those rules where I live.” Enforcement action was taken for boating, public access, and BUI violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) focused work on the area lakes and Mississippi River. He also dealt with calls about injured and nuisance bears.
CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) worked area lakes and investigated illegal use of hydraulic jets. He also investigated a road-improvement project that involved the filling of a wetland.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) focused on ATV activity on the Soo Line Trail and Redtop Trail throughout the week. A call was fielded about a loon that was on the side of a road and unable to fly away. Griffith brought the loon to Lake Mille Lacs, where it was successfully released. Assistance was given to a neighboring officer who had an ATV rider flee.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling for fishing, boating, and ATV riding activity. During the busy Fourth of July weekend, Whiteoak also responded to two ATV rollovers and assisted the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office on a domestic assault call.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) responded to a water emergency on a local lake. A pontoon had flipped over. Luckily, no one was injured. Speldrich worked area lakes, finding many violations for expired watercraft registration, insufficient PFDs, angling without licenses, operating PWCs at greater than slow/no-wake speed when under 150 feet from shore, and no observer or mirror when towing tubers. Dago Lake Day Use Area and McCormick Lake Day Use Area were patrolled because these have become dumping and littering sites for household garbage and used syringes in the bathroom vaults.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on two pending cases of property damage in the Mille Lacs WMA, with charges pending. Starr also cited an individual for using illegal fireworks, which set a fast-spreading swamp fire. The Isle Fire Department did a great job and prevented the evacuation of Father Hennepin State Park.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) found what seemed like record levels of activity during the July 4 holiday weekend. One individual, who was enjoying the day on a rented pontoon, decided to jump in the lake for a swim prior to realizing the pontoon did not have a swim ladder. The swimmer was happy to see two conservation officers arrive who could help her get back on board the pontoon.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) followed up on an aquatic plant destruction complaint on an area lake. A possible wetlands violation also was investigated. Silgjord worked multiple area lakes for Operation Dry Water.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers and boaters on the busy Fourth of July weekend. Calls were taken regarding nuisance beavers, illegal lake vegetation cutting, injured and sick animals, and trespass.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Nate Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking ATV riders and boaters. Violations encountered were infants on ATVs without helmets, expired registration, unlawful OHM operation, and fishing without licenses. Several DWI arrests were made with CO Ladd.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) responded to an injured-deer complaint in the city of Elk River. Seamans was about to issue a car-kill permit when he noticed a small hole near the deer’s spine. Seamans followed the trail of the wounded deer to a nearby garden. The original caller was interviewed and admitted to shooting the deer with a pellet gun to keep it away from his flowers. The pellet mortally wounded the deer, and the caller was cited.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked angling, boating, and state park activities this week. He encountered violations including no angling license, lack of life jackets, failure to display valid boat registration, unregistered watercraft, no fire extinguisher, riding on gunwales, angling with extra lines, off-leash dog in a state park after hours, fireworks in a state park, and no angling license in possession.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) spent most of the past week patrolling local lakes on the boat. Assistance was given to the Carver County Sheriff’s Office in regards to a PWC collision involving two juveniles. There were only minor injuries.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) worked the busy holiday weekend on Lake Minnetonka. Several boaters were found operating while intoxicated.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent most of the week working fishing and boating activity. He also handled several calls about nuisance animals and spent time patrolling William O’Brien State Park.
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time patrolling rivers and lakes. Thomas also assisted a local police department with a “Fishing with the Cops” event where many kids caught their first-ever fish.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Stephen Westby (Madison) worked ATV riders in the area and at the Appleton ATV Park. Westby also worked boat and water safety on Big Stone and Lac qui Parle lakes during the weekend.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, ATVing, state park, and invasive species enforcement. Lake were busy during the Fourth of July weekend, with Operation Dry Water the main enforcement focus.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time working boating and ATVing activity during the Fourth of July holiday weekend. He followed up on a public waters complaint and a wetland violation.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the majority of the busy Fourth of July weekend working boat and water safety. Some violations observed included riding on the deck or bow of a watercraft, no observer while towing someone, PWC operation after hours, no life jackets, expired watercraft registration, no navigation lights, and no fishing license.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted checks of boaters and anglers. Lakes were busy with a wide range of activities. AIS efforts were stressed to watercraft owners.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) focused on boating, angling, and AIS enforcement this week. The Fourth of July weekend was busy, with high activity of all sorts. Conditions are very dry, and the Minnesota River has an extremely low water level.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. Additional time was spent patrolling for AIS violations.
CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) worked fishing and boating activities. Recreational boaters were out on the lakes in high numbers, and hundreds of tubers were floating down the Root River. Moua also followed up on angler/landowner disputes and possible wetlands violations.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) patrolled the Mississippi River Pool 8 for River Fest. Multiple PWC violations were encountered. A disabled pontoon was towed to a La Crosse marina.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) worked a busy Fourth of July weekend on area lakes. Plenty of PWC violations were observed. Enforcement action was taken for operating personal watercraft after hours, operating within 150 feet of swimmers without being at no-wake speed, and juveniles being allowed to illegally operate PWCs.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) reports a busy holiday weekend with many people out celebrating Independence Day. Time was spent specifically focusing on boat and water safety by participating in Operation Dry Water.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a busy holiday weekend on the river with good fishing. One angler was found to have felony warrants. When local law enforcement came to transport him to jail, he took off running but learned he had only limited areas to go on the island he was on. He attempted to swim upstream for a short time before giving up.