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Conservation Officer Report
Weekly Conservation Officer Report from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Division of Enforcement
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Joe Albert, Enforcement Division communications coordinator, 651-259-5060

Report Fish & Game Violations
Call T.I.P. at 1-800-652-9093 or Cell #TIP

 

Minnesota's Weekly
CONSERVATION OFFICER REPORT

7-16-18

District 1 - Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on the Roseau River. A complaint was taken regarding a dead calf but it was far too decomposed to see what had killed it. Area state lands were patrolled. 

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) monitored boating and angling activity on the Red River of the North, investigated a possible gray wolf killing a domestic dog incident, and conducted follow-up investigation on a previous wildfire. Enforcement action was taken for insufficient number of legal life-saving devices, no ATV registration, allowing unlawful operation of an ATV by a juvenile, and burning without a burning permit.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette West) spent time at Camp Ripley assisting with ATV training for the current CO Academy. Prachar also taught emergency vehicle operations to the new cadets.

Warroad South – vacant.

Karlstad – vacant.

Thief River Falls East – vacant.

District 2 - Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) attended a lake association meeting. Time was also spent working on commercial trapping activity and ongoing wetland/public waters cases. Anglers and watercraft operators were checked. Various fishing-related violations were encountered.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and answered questions about fall hunting seasons.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking anglers and investigating calls of possible destruction of bulrush and other aquatic vegetation. Vinton also assisted at the ongoing Conservation Officer Academy. Emergency vehicle operation and policy was the topic of instruction.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) assisted U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Officer Brent Taylor on a fish overlimit case in which two anglers were found with 72 bluegills and 49 crappies. State and federal citations pending. Peterson also assisted at the Academy and local agencies with several calls for service.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing, boat and water safety and AIS and ATV enforcement. Time was also spent assisting with emergency vehicle training at the CO Academy and working the Wall of Shame display at the Clay County Fair.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked boating and angling activity on area lakes. Leech-trapping activity was monitored and questions answered. Assistance was provided to White Earth police in an attempt to locate an individual who ran on foot from a stop. Time was spent on AIS compliance checks with good compliance observed. Warren investigated a complaint from an AIS inspector about an individual who refused inspection at a public access. Off-road vehicle activity was worked on area trails and wildlife management areas. 

CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Detroit Lakes) reports working boating, angling, AIS, and ATV enforcement this week. Time was spent assisting Becker County with Bash on the Beach. He also assisted with a domestic and a motorcycle accident. Quittschreiber assisted a Minnesota State Patrol trooper who was on a traffic stop with a vehicle pulling a boat that had several pounds of aquatic vegetation attached to the trailer and boat. The driver also failed to remove the drain plug and was coming from a zebra mussel-infested waterbody. Enforcement actions were taken. Other enforcement actions for the week included failure to display watercraft registration, operation of jet skis in closed hours, and numerous navigation light violations.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week working on public waters, AIS, and weed roller violations as well as checking anglers and boaters in the Pelican Rapids and Detroit Lakes stations. He answered calls from the public that included public waters complaints, dock complaints, trespassing questions, and injured wildlife reports. The officer issued resource protection notifications in a public waters case and would like to remind landowners to call before they harvest vegetation or alter the shoreline as there are restrictions and permits that they need to apply for. Landmark also patrolled Detroit Lakes with CO Quittschreiber during the Detroit Lakes Water Carnival. Numerous violations were observed, with the most common violation being lack of navigation lights after dark. It was also encouraging to see a majority of the boats with designated drivers. Enforcement action was taken for no navigation lights, several PWC violations, registration violations, and angling without a license.

District 3 - Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports fishing activity changed during the past week due to hot and humid conditions. However, the bite seems pretty good for various species. Richards, along with CO Osborne, hosted an ATV safety class in Fergus Falls over the weekend.  

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) investigated a complaint in which a deer had been shot in the chest with a small caliber rifle. Any information on the poaching activity near Deer Creek would be appreciated. Plautz assisted with Academy instruction at Camp Ripley and handled miscellaneous complaints through the week. 

CO Brian Holt (Osakis) checked angling and ATV activity during the week. Time was also spent on boat and water safety and AIS compliance. Enforcement activity related to angling license and boating safety violations.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers and boaters and monitoring AIS compliance. Additional time was spent on follow up of fishing complaints, injured animal calls, and issuing beaver removal permits. Baumbarger also patrolled complaint areas for ATV activity and worked PWC complaints.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked boating and fishing enforcement throughout Alexandria. High activity for both made the lakes and rivers busy, with compliance very good. A few anglers were cited for no fishing license, no PFDs onboard watercraft and expired registration. More littering tickets were issued on the Long Prairie River as recreational tubers continue to throw empty beer cans onto the shoreline.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, boaters and ATV and OHM riders. Several weed roller and aqua jet complaints were received and investigated. Osborne assisted at an ATV safety class in Fergus Falls.

Elbow Lake – vacant.

Morris – vacant.

Wheaton – vacant.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring angling, boating, and ATV activity. Anglers reported limited success. Boating activity remained high this week. Broughten spent time investigating public waters and aquatic plant violations. He also assisted with training at the Conversation Officer Academy.

CO Colleen Adam (Park Rapids) worked on aquatic plant management issues, aquatic invasive species issues and nuisance animal complaints. She also patrolled area lakes for boating and fishing enforcement. Action was taken for no license in possession, insufficient personal flotation devices, no watercraft registration, and failure to display watercraft registration. She also assisted with an incident in which a person was injured while on a personal watercraft and assisted with the search for a missing teen.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers and boaters. Fishing was rather poor the past week. Many boaters were out enjoying the lakes with the warm weather. Enforcement action was taken for illegal-length walleye, an ATV violation, and several boating violations.

Lake George – vacant.

Walker – vacant.

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports time was spent at the CO Academy training new conservation officer candidates in emergency vehicle response and pursuit driving. Fishing, boating, and invasive species enforcement continue to be the main components of the Kittelson’s workload. ATV activity in the area has picked up. People are reminded to make sure they have current registration displayed.

CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports angling activity continues to be steady throughout the area with success reports inconsistent. ATV activity has picked up in the area as berry pickers hit the woods. Aquatic invasive species was monitored. Slatinski met with a landowner in regards to a restoration order for a project involving wetlands. He also followed with a campground attendant on a complaint of an unruly guest.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) monitored area lakes, checked forest roads, and monitored public access sites. Fishing remains poor. Beavers and wolves continue to cause problems.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) took a number of complaints this week of loud boats on Lake Vermilion. Efforts are being made to locate the violators, and enforcement action will be taken. He continued investigating two invasive species violations. With equipment down for repairs, Hopkins spent much of the week working area boat landings.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) reports working angling and boating activity, ATVs, OHMs, state park enforcement, and dealing with an eviction of a person from state property. Two off-highway motorcycles were seen illegally operating down a paved county road. At highway speed, one of the pair decided to pop a wheelie for a couple hundred yards and did so successfully. Neither of the OHMs had registration. Bozovsky received no good explanation for the antics and they were cited. Enforcement action was taken for no trout stamp, no PFDs, and underage consumption of alcohol.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) reports attending training for a new dispatch program and issued a restoration order for a wetland violation. Frericks was also involved in evicting a person from a house that was on state land. The house had been there since the 1940s and the person evicted had moved in and was squatting on the property after the previous owner had died. Frericks handled a TIP call regarding some illegally killed swans on Lake of the Woods. He spoke with the caller, who advised he was concerned that he was going to be blamed for the violation. When Frericks asked the caller how he learned of the violation, the caller told him the actual people (one of whom was Dog the Bounty Hunter) who committed the violation told him telepathically. When asked why they wanted to blame him for the violation, the caller told Frericks that he had a will that said he was the King of Scotland and the violators didn’t want him to have it.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) reports checking anglers throughout the week and most reported slow fishing. Complaints of beavers causing damage to trees have been received. Warm, humid weather brought out more recreational boaters trying the beat the heat.

International Falls #2 – vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports assisting the St. Louis County Rescue Squad early in the week locating a missing person who was overdue after a day of berry picking on the Echo Trail. The person had become disoriented and turned around in the heat and thick brush. Fortunately, they were experienced in the wilderness and had told people where they would be picking and when they would be returning. Rescue squad members were able to exchange signals with them and they were quickly located and assisted out of the woods.
  
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) investigated an ATV damage to property case; an ATV operator intentionally drove over a brush berm to tear up a hillside and numerous trees recently planted there. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIP line. Manning attended training in Duluth and patrolled forest roads, lakes and area campgrounds. She also conducted a commercial minnow retailer inspection and followed up on angling issues.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area anglers and ATV activity. Schottenbauer also took a call from Tettegouche State Park of a wounded turtle that was found. He advised the staff and visitors to release the turtle and let nature take its course.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers, boaters and ATV riders. He assisted the county with a drowning incident in the BWCA. Enforcement action was taken for boating, speeding and PWC violations.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and boating activity during the week. Warm weather increased water recreation activity in the area and a complaint on personal watercraft illegal operation was investigated. A division training session was attended and enforcement action was taken for marijuana possession and licensing violations.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked ATV activity, boating, AIS, and sport fishing. He patrolled state park areas, state forests, answered questions and took complaints on various wildlife issues, and checked public water accesses. Violations included ATVs the on roadway, ATV equipment, and youth on ATVs without helmets.  

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) worked the week at the Conservation Officer Academy at Camp Ripley. He instructed for the new officers in recreational vehicle enforcement as well as EVOC training.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling and boating activity over the past week. Enforcement action was taken for possessing protected slot walleyes, angling with extra lines, operating an unregistered watercraft and angling without a license.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) primarily worked boating, angling, and AIS activities throughout the surrounding areas. Van Asch also spent time instructing at the CO Academy’s emergency vehicle operation certifications. Enforcement action was taken for illegal-length walleyes, angling with extra lines, no angling license in possession, failure to display watercraft registration, and operating a watercraft without required navigational lights.

Hill City – vacant.

NE ATV officer – vacant.

District 8 - Duluth area

Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) continued to work boating and angling enforcement on area lakes. Water recreation continued to be popular due to the warm weather. A couple complaints continue to be worked that involve public water issues. Duncan also worked past complaint areas for ATV and OHM violations. Public access at lakes with AIS concerns were also worked. 

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) assisted Lakewood first responders and Gold Cross with transporting an injured motocross rider on a private track out to the ambulance. Willis also assisted the Floodwood Police Department during their Catfish Days Street Dance and attended a fish with a cop event hosted by the Duluth Police Department. Multiple phone calls were fielded regarding animals causing damage, general regulation questions, and ATV complaints.
 
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with updated computer training for local officers. Both he and K9 Schody attended detection certification where they were tested and certified for another year. Assistance was given at a local state park where there were possible hikers overdue. Everything turned out fine. Complaints of boating and waters violations were investigated.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked commercial enforcement efforts and checked boaters and anglers on Lake Superior. Fishing has seemed to slow on the Duluth end but has been better farther up the shore, where the water is cooler. Bear complaints were received and advice to take in bird feeders was given.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked boaters and anglers on Lake Superior. Commercial activity was checked in the upper shore areas, and AIS reminders given to boaters at multiple accesses. A complaint was followed up on of a dog left in a truck at an access. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports patrolling boating and fishing activity, the CCSRA, and state forest lands. Complaints of shoreline erosion, illegal jet ski operation, and transportation of zebra mussels were investigated, and issues of deer depredation on crops and car kill wildlife were responded to. 

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) worked with cadets at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. All-terrain vehicle operation was covered, including proper loading and unloading. A complaint about nuisance beavers was fielded.

CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) focused on APM violations as well as boating, fishing and ATV activities. Enforcement action was taken for gunwale and transom riding, short PFDs, fishing license violations, removing aquatic vegetation without permits, no ATV safety, operating ATVs in wetlands and operating OHMs in the road right of way.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for watercraft and fishing activity throughout the week. McGowan also assisted at Camp Ripley with the current CO Academy. Enforcement action was taken for numerous boating violations. 

CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) worked the Gull Chain and other area lakes. Violations included angling without a valid license, overloaded boat, lack of life preservers, riding on boat transoms and front decks of pontoons, kids under 10 not wearing life jackets, transporting aquatic vegetation and transporting zebra mussels.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, ATV, personal watercraft and invasive species activity. Aquatic vegetation and altering-the-cross-section-of-lakes cases were also worked.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports assisting at the Conservation Officer Academy with training the new COs during Recreational Vehicle week. The new COs learned operation and laws regarding recreational vehicles. Time was also spent answering questions regarding outdoor laws and patrol was done for AIS and ATV law violations. 

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked lake activity. Warm water is causing the recreation to pick up but the fishing success to slow down. A lot of nonresidents are in the area and needing education on PWC restrictions, youth PFD requirements, and boat plugs. Verkuilen also assisted with a chain reaction highway crash and spoke at a hunter education class. 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) assisted the sheriff’s office with a search for a drowning victim. She also patrolled state forests for ATV violations and followed up on an abandoned watercraft call.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked fishing and boating activities. Extreme heat and thunderstorms hampered outdoor use. Numerous species of animals were found to be on the move this week, with road kill otters, deer, and rabbits becoming victims. ATV riders are reminded to be cautious when going through wet areas on the trails, as rutting can lead to trail closures. 

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) took dozens of calls from lakeshore owners complaining about boats creating wakes during high water and also reporting boats and other property breaking loose from shore. High water, caused by heavy rains, had boats and docks and other equipment breaking loose and floating out into the lakes and in some instances drifting downstream of some rivers. A group of kayakers was recovered after finding themselves in dangerous, fast-moving rapids and getting stranded on an island for close to eight hours. Time was also spent instructing ATV enforcement to conservation officer candidates at Camp Ripley.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent a majority of the week and weekend dealing with high-water issues around the Pine City area. Be advised that Pine City waterways, including Cross Lake, Pokegama Lake, and the Snake River are currently declared no-wake areas by the Pine County Sheriff’s Office. Current estimates show the water levels cresting around Tuesday this week. Other complaints dealt with included nuisance animals and improper ATV operation.   

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) assisted with Academy ATV training and scenarios. Heavy rains have not helped the wild rice and only time will tell how it will affect this year’s crop. Time was also spent investigating an invasive species complaint.

Isle – vacant.

Malmo – vacant.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) and CO Chad Thesing (Albany) finished an investigation that all started with Conservation Officer Candidate Fitzgerald from the CO Academy spotting two “fresh” deer hides in the back of a truck. A major deer case was initiated from this sighting and resulted in charges from last deer season for lend/borrow a youth’s deer license and taking an antlerless deer in a lottery deer area without a permit. 

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking anglers. The panfish are still cooperating on many area lakes and most people out trying their luck were seen with some fish. Assistance was provided to CO Bertram with a deer complaint and AIS issues were addressed. 

CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports checking anglers and working boat and water enforcement. During the week he also spoke at an area youth hunter education firearms safety class and assisted with Academy training at Camp Ripley. Enforcement contacts were made for angling without an angling license, possession of smallmouth bass within the protected slot limit, and watercraft equipment and registration violations.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking area lakes and working calls. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license, no PFDs, boat registration violations, operating PWCs during closed hours, and no weed roller permits. Nuisance beaver permits were also issued. 

Pierz – vacant.

Annandale – vacant.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked boaters, anglers, and ATV riders. Time was also spent working at public accesses conducting invasive species checks. Londgren followed up on wetland and public waters violations as well.

CO Phil Mohs (Center City) focused on fishing and boating activities. Time was spent working lakes during an area fireworks display. A noise detail was worked on the Whitefish Chain with other officers. Enforcement action was taken for using game fish as bait, extra lines, illegal-length bass and many boating violations.
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week working boat and water safety and angling activity. Krauel also spent time working on boat maintenance. Krauel also worked a fireworks detail on an area lake. Enforcement action was taken for boating while intoxicated, possession of marijuana, no life jacket, no fishing license, illegal-length fish, and no fishing license in possession.

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) spent the week patrolling for boating safety and sport fishing. Additional efforts were spent enforcing AIS laws. Numerous violations were encountered including fishing without a license, fishing with extra lines, possessing protected slot smallmouth bass, fishing with an unattended line, operating a watercraft with expired registration, failing to have enough life jackets, transporting aquatic vegetation on a roadway, and failing to remove drain plugs from a watercraft. Seamans would like to remind anglers to have their fishing licenses in possession while floating the Mississippi River.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) gave a presentation to students at a firearms safety class at the Hasty/Silver Creek Sportsmen’s Club. Time was also spent assisting at the CO Academy. Enforcement action was taken for angling, AIS and watercraft regulation violations. 

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters. Violations were found for no angling license and possession of drug paraphernalia. ATV complaint areas were worked and animal complaints were handled.

Milaca – vacant.

District 13 - West Metro area

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) attended a training class in Forest Lake for the majority of the past week. Watercraft safety enforcement continues to be a primary focus with the summer heat in full swing. A PWC operator was stopped for jumping the wake of another boat that was less than 25 feet away. When the violation was addressed the operator stated there was no point in jet skis other than horsing around. Other enforcement action was taken for driving after revocation, insufficient personal floatation devices, passengers riding on the transoms and gunwales of boats, and various other safety equipment violations.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the checking anglers, training with K9 Shelby and following up on complaints. Grewe and K9 Shelby attended the Regional Detector Dog Certification over the weekend in Ramsey County and received our certificate of certification. 

CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) assisted with Academy training at Camp Ripley.

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on boating and fishing enforcement during the week. He investigated an unpermitted fishing tournament on an area lake. Kpachavi encountered many jet skis being operated after hours over the weekend and enforcement action was taken. Enforcement action was also taken for boat safety violations and AIS violations.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled the district for angling, boating and AIS activities. He spent time working on issued equipment maintenance, coordinating management deer to needy families, and returning calls for service that included calls regarding injured animals. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, failure to display and unregistered non-motorized watercraft, no PFD.

CO Tim Maass (Osseo) spent time working on an Advanced Youth Waterfowl hunting class that is going to be held in August at the Carlos Avery WMA. Information to sign up for the class can be found on the DNR website under Advanced Hunter Education classes. Maass also spent time handling several nuisance and injured wildlife calls.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishing and boating activities in the metro area. He took calls about animal complaints in Edina and Minneapolis. He also followed up on AIS violations in Hennepin County and returned calls to the Asian community on firearms safety classes and state park regulations.

Bloomington – vacant.

Ft. Snelling – vacant.

District 14 - East Metro area

CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) worked on the St. Croix River throughout the week. The no-wake restriction was lifted temporarily then put back in place; please be aware of your speed during the slow-no-wake. Tetrault assisted a neighboring officer with an investigation. A firearms safety class was attended at the Oakdale Gun Club.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent a very busy week assisting with the CO Academy. He instructed on recreational vehicle enforcement and emergency vehicle operations. He also patrolled areas of the river for fishing activity with little success observed with the high water.

Ham Lake – vacant.

Metro Officer – vacant.

Eagan – vacant.

White Bear Lake – vacant.

District 15 - Marshall area

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working anglers and ATV riders. Despite a couple more rain storms, water in the area is receding. No-wake ordinances are still in effect in Murray County. Enforcement action was taken for creating a wake, obstructing a public access, and driving after revoked.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, AIS, state park, and ATV enforcement. Extra time continues to be spent assisting the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office with no-wake-restriction education on lakes. No-wake restrictions have been lifted on Rock, Goose, and Cottonwood lakes in Lyon County as lake levels slowly begin to drop.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored angling, boating and OHV activity during the week. He also assisted with emergency vehicle operations training at the CO Academy. Enforcement action for the week included angling with extra lines and littering.

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent time this past week assisting the Yellow Medicine County area hydrologist and watershed district with the investigation of a watershed violation. Enforcement action for the week included extra lines, license issues and allowing a minor to violate fish and game laws.

CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) reports taking various calls involving wildlife- and angling-related questions. Numerous complaints have been received in recent weeks involving individuals netting fish. Dip netting is a legal method of angling when targeting rough fish species. See Page 67 of the angling regulations synopsis for more information.

Lake Benton – vacant.

Benson – vacant.

Redwood Falls - vacant.

District 16 - New Ulm area

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar-West) followed up on investigations and gave a firearms safety talk to a group of campers attending a Forkhorn Camp at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center. Denz also checked anglers and boaters.

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the majority of the week at Camp Ripley assisting with training for the Academy. Training involved ATV operations and ATV enforcement along with vehicle stops and emergency vehicle operations. Klehr spent other time during the week on wetland violations, AIS inspections, and follow-up on violations from AIS inspectors. RTO Mueller assisted Klehr with an AIS detail checking anglers getting ready to put their boats in Lake Ripley for the Litchfield Watercade fishing tournament. Twenty-six boats were checked and only one was found to be in violation. They were transporting water in the livewell with both plugs in the boat and had weeds in their boat and on the motor. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) along with CO Gruhlke finished up a TIP investigation into a reported overlimit of crappies. Two individuals were charged with restitution added for the taking/possessing of more than 250 crappies over their limit. The Division of Enforcement’s partnership with the TIP program is an extremely valuable asset to officers across the state. You can report violations by calling the TIP line at 1-800-652-9093 or #TIP from your cell phone. Miller also continued to assist with an out-of-state investigation.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted inspections on anglers and boaters. Public accesses were patrolled. Anglers are reminded that rough fish caught must be put back alive or taken and utilized. Leaving them on shore is illegal.

Hutchinson East – vacant.

Hutchinson West – vacant.

District 17 - Mankato area

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and PWC operators. Additional time was spent patrolling for ATV and other ORV activity. Ihnen also patrolled area public water accesses for AIS violations.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, boaters, ATV operators, and monitored public accesses for AIS violations during the week. Time was also spent patrolling state parks, waterfowl production areas and state wildlife management areas. 

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato #2) spent time checking anglers and boaters this past week. The lakes were busy with the warm weather and compliance with regards to boating laws was high. He also traveled to Camp Ripley and assisted with Academy training.

CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato #1) focused on fishing and ATV activity. VanThuyne also assisted with Academy training at Camp Ripley and worked with neighboring officers at an AIS check station.

Faribault – vacant.

Spring Valley – vacant.

District 18 - Rochester area

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking anglers, who had limited success. Compliance was high. Reports of subjects fishing with bait on an artificial-only stream were investigated. Enforcement action was taken for a subject keeping a slot fish on a special regulation stream. Time was also spent on a narcotics case.

CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week at defensive tactics training. Time was also spent patrolling the Mississippi River for boating activity. Enforcement action included no Type 4 device, no sound-producing device, operating a PWC after hours, and no lights on watercraft after sunset.

CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports working a variety of enforcement activities throughout the district. Hill worked with CO Prodzinski and contacted people fishing without licenses, fishing without licenses in possession, illegally transporting aquatic macrophytes and failing to renew watercraft registration. Hill patrolled for recreational activity during Mazeppa Daze. He ended up arresting two ATV operators for suspicion of DWI during the festival. This serves as a reminder to always find a sober driver. Recreational vehicles are no exception.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and boaters during the week. Heyn worked with several officers on the Whitefish Chain with various violations detected. He also worked on other reports and equipment maintenance. 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a busy week on the river despite the high water. He worked a river saturation with the Wisconsin DNR and Winona County Sheriff’s Office. Several boating, PWC, and fishing violations were found including catfishing with undersize bass for bait. Hemker also followed up on waters, wetlands, and ATV complaints and attended a firearms safety class. Rattlesnakes are beginning to find their way to unwelcomed locations.

CO Phil George (Rochester) checked watercraft users and anglers. He also prepared for trapping week at the Academy.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working a busy week and weekend on the Mississippi River. Fishing started off strong early in the week but seemed to tail off a little as the heat increased toward the end of the week. Limits and near-limits of sauger and walleyes were checked on Lake Pepin along with numerous catch-and-release bass anglers reporting good fishing. A rattlesnake was captured and relocated near Lake City and other nuisance wildlife calls were handled. Enforcement action include license, registration, permits and safety equipment violations.

Rochester #2 – vacant.

LaCrescent – vacant.

Training Section

Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.

Aviation Section

CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) flew WCA violation patrol flights, worked on administrative tasks and attended to aircraft maintenance issues. 

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) continued with preparations for aerial spraying of cattails. He also worked on helicopter maintenance and flew a forestry storm damage assessment northeast of Bemidji. Maas also did refresher training in the helicopter with one pilot.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew multiple sketch mapping flights and a wolf telemetry search. Heineman also gave two annual low-level waiver check rides to DNR pilots. Furthermore, Heineman did night currency in the airplane.

CO/Pilot Christopher Lofstuen (Grand Rapids) reports flying missions related to waiver, certificate and night currency. A local sheriff’s office was backed up with air support while searching for an ATV theft suspect. A yearly line check flight for Forestry was also completed.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week focusing efforts on WCA, public waters and APM cases and updating old case files. Time was spent loading old case files into LETG and closing out cases. Status updates from hydrologists, local government units and field officers were conducted. Anglers and boaters were worked for AIS compliance.

WREO Mike Scott (NE) attended training for the new MPS dispatching system. A site visit with Cook County LGU was conducted on a WCA and PW violation on Devils Track Lake. Scott participated in CO Prep interviews at Camp Ripley for an Enforcement Academy in 2019. Scott staffed a booth with the Lake County SWCD in Silver Bay for Bay Days, talking to folks about AIS issues and concerns.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) spent time training cadets at Camp Ripley for EVOC training. TIP calls were investigated and cases followed up on.

WREO Leah Weyandt (Central) helped dispatch for Academy scenario day at Camp Ripley. A cease and desist order was served for irrigating crops without a permit. A restoration order was served for violations that took place in a wetland.

WREO Luke Belgard (SW) worked angling, boating, and ATV enforcement this week. Time was spent following up on wetland cases and an AIS check station was worked in the Elysian area.

WREO Julie Siems worked toward completion of some WCA and public waters violations. A lot of training work was also done with K9 partner Brady.

Enforcement Education

Please check the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Education Courses and instructor training sessions.
 
If you missed a fall class and are over 18, check online for the online course information. (It’s also at www.mndnr.gov.)

Please check the DNR website www.mndnr.gov for a current class listing of all DNR Enforcement Youth and Adult Snowmobile Safety Courses and instructor training sessions.

Please direct questions to 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.

Reminder: Anyone born after December 31, 1979 cannot purchase a license to hunt in Minnesota without first taking a DNR Safety Training Course and receiving a certificate. In addition, many states have even more stringent mandatory Hunter Education requirements. Check before you go!

Reminder: Any resident born after December 31, 1976, who operates a snowmobile in Minnesota must possess a snowmobile certificate. Two options are available to complete certification. Ages 11 and older can take the online course and hands-on day or attend the traditional youth course. Those 16 or older can take the online course.

Reminder: Anyone born after July 1, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training online course. People under age 16 must complete the ATV online course and riding component before riding on public lands. Please direct questions to 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.

SCHEDULED INSTRUCTOR TRAINING SESSIONS

If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador or one of the Advanced Hunter programs, contact your local conservation officer or regional safety training officer. Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR website.

See Also:

STAFF NOTES:

Southwest RTO Jen Mueller spent time at the Academy during recreational vehicle week. She assisted teaching the cadets basic ATV driving skills and traffic stops. She met with a new instructor group in the St. Cloud area and worked on getting dates for upcoming trainings. Mueller worked with a neighboring CO during an AIS detail. She also continued to work on a Division initiative project. 

North Metro RTO Brandon McGaw assisted at Academy during the week. Instruction was given in ATV operation, transportation and maintenance. Instruction was also given in traffic stops and high-risk traffic.

Southeast Metro RTO Chelsie Leuthardt spent the majority of the week training at Camp Ripley. The 2018 DNR Academy cadets were given training in ATV operations, traffic stops and recreational vehicle enforcement. Leuthardt assisted with night driving scenarios and traffic stop training. She also worked with the cadets on emergency vehicle operations. Cadets were taught proper driving techniques including evasive braking and steering, backing and pursuit driving.

Rec Vehicle Coordinator Bruce Lawrence along with DNR Academy staff spent part of the week conducting training relating to off-highway vehicles to new conservation officers, which included hands-on operation of ATVs. Officers were trained in turning and braking maneuvers for safety handling. Lawrence assisted with training of new officers with high-risk traffic stops and emergency vehicle operations course for state issued vehicles. Lawrence patrolled areas along the St. Croix River and state park property, checking for angling and boating activities. Enforcement action was taken for parking violations in a restricted public water access. Lawrence met with off-highway user groups as well.

RTO                                                                                       E-MAIL:
NE RTO Mike Lee                                         mike.lee@state.mn.us
NW RTO Greg Oldakowski                           gregory.oldakowski@state.mn.us
Southwest Metro RTO Brett Oberg               brett.oberg@state.mn.us
Southern RTO Jen Mueller                             jennifer.mueller@state.mn.us 
North Metro RTO Brandon McGaw              brandon.mcgaw@state.mn.us
Southeast Metro RTO Chelsie Leuthardt       chelsie.leuthardt@state.mn.us
Rec Vehicle Coordinator Bruce Lawrence     bruce.lawrence@state.mn.us

Curriculum Specialist:  Vacant

Education Specialist:  Vacant

Curriculum Coordinator:  Vacant

 

 

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