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
CONSERVATION OFFICER REPORT
District 1 - Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) attended training in Detroit Lakes and checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. Violations encountered included fishing without a license, possessing an overlimit of sauger, and possessing illegal-length fish.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad North) worked AIS, angling and boat and water enforcement. He provided assistance to the sheriff’s office at the Northwest Angle, investigated a wolf depredation and looked into a reported injured eagle. Angling activity has picked up across the lake. Some larger walleyes are being caught and individuals in possession of illegal-length fish were not uncommon this past week. Remember: All walleyes between 19.5 inches and 28 inches must be released immediately. Check and double check your measurements before reducing a fish to your possession. Enforcement action was taken for possessing illegal-length walleyes, overlimit of walleyes, transporting fillets without the required patch of skin, failure to remove drain plug and angling license violations.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette West) reports successful fishing on Lake of the Woods. He spent time working angling activity and boat and water safety. Along with CO Benjamin, Prachar assisted the sheriff’s office with a call at the Northwest Angle. Deputies, COs, and Border Patrol units worked a call of a burglary suspect who was confronted by local landowners and fled into the woods with a firearm. Prachar also attended computer training in Detroit Lakes.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) spent the week instructing at Camp Ripley for the CO Academy. Areas instructed included alcohol detection and enforcement, evidence gathering and photography, compass use and land navigation, and a mapping program. Other calls for service included nuisance beaver permits and nuisance bear calls.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working AIS enforcement, boating safety and angling activity on special regulation lakes throughout the week. He investigated a TIP call. Enforcement action for the week included possession of fillets without skin patches for identification and angling license violations.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette East) reports that slower fishing and windy/rainy weather have dramatically decreased the amount of angling activity on Upper Red Lake. Mishler also checked local ATV riders, focused on AIS enforcement, and assisted in the teaching of a new computer program for conservation officers.
Warroad South – vacant.
Karlstad – vacant.
Thief River Falls East – vacant.
Blackduck North – vacant.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking anglers and boaters during the week. He also attended a computer training session in Detroit Lakes and picked up a car-kill moose. Hutchins received a variety of wildlife-related complaints.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) followed up on a weed roller complaint, checked anglers and attended computer training.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) assisted with alcohol week at the CO Academy. He also taught a boating safety course to the Red Lake Nation’s fishery crew. The group of 10 all completed the training. Vollbrecht also prepared equipment for boating at Camp Ripley and attended computer training.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports taking calls related to injured and orphaned animals. Many of the calls were referred to the Fish and Wildlife Division. People should be reminded that baby animals, especially deer, are rarely abandoned. Vinton participated in an annual local festival’s parade and Safety Zone Day. The safety zone was a place to showcase emergency responders from the local ambulance crews and fire departments to the State Patrol, sheriff’s office and Minnesota Department of Transportation. Vinton handed out safety information for boat and water, ice safety and wildfire prevention. Vinton also issued a cease and desist order for ongoing work with a bobcat in an area lake.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) assisted Forestry with a timber trespass case involving unauthorized cutting and clearing of timber, worked AIS and boating/angling enforcement and attended training on computer software updates.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing, boat and water safety, and AIS and ATV enforcement. Time was also spent attending training in Detroit lakes and investigating an aquatic invasive species complaint.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on angling, boating and AIS activity. She also attended training in Detroit Lakes. Warren investigated a complaint of an individual keeping a fawn as a pet. She also attended an all-day firearms safety class in Fosston and patrolled trails for off-road vehicle activity. Beaver permit questions were answered. Follow up continued on a complaint of swimmers obstructing boats at a public access.
CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Detroit Lakes) reports focusing on boat and water safety and aquatic invasive species enforcement this past week. Time was spent locating a boat lift that had been removed from a zebra-mussel-infested lake and placed in a non-zebra mussel lake. Several phone calls were received including reports of a bear getting into bird feeders, harassment at a public access, someone using a skid steer in the lake on their shoreline, and an individual selling fox and bobcat kittens. Quittschreiber also assisted with an attempt to locate an individual who had run from the hospital with an IV. He located the individual, who was returned to the hospital for further medical treatment.
District 3 - Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports attending training and a meeting this past week. He also received information about possible overlimits of fish and visited a shoreline violation site.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) finalized an illegal burning complaint, issued nuisance beaver permits, and worked AIS, fishing, and boating enforcement. Nuisance bear calls continue to come in. ATV complaints in the area were monitored and checked.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers and boaters. Several complaints were received and investigated including juveniles operating ATVs on roadways without helmets, taking turtles, abandoned boats at public accesses and injured animals. Osborne attended training in Detroit Lakes.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) attended a training in Detroit Lakes during the week on the new MPS computer dispatch system. He also worked a variety of lakes in the Douglas County area fishing boating safety and fishing. Several people were cited for angling without licenses. Recreational tubing activity on the Long Prairie River was also monitored with citations issued for littering and illegal drug possession.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) worked angling and boating during the week. Time was also spent on AIS, and MPS training was attended. A complaint was received regarding illegal activity in a wildlife management area. Holt followed up on a shoreline complaint and checked anglers participating in a fishing tournament on Lake Osakis. Enforcement activity included angling license violations and possessing illegal-length fish.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking anglers, boaters, ATV operators, and personal watercraft operators. Additional time was spent assisting the Pope County Sheriff’s Office with a house fire, and assisting in recovering boats adrift on Pelican Lake from heavy rains. Baumbarger issued beaver removal permits and attended training.
Elbow Lake – vacant.
Morris – vacant.
Wheaton – vacant.
District 4 - Walker area
CO Colleen Adam (Park Rapids) handled numerous calls about wildlife, including a lone wolf cruising through a local resort, beavers wreaking havoc on trees near a pontoon, sick-looking deer, road kill permits and someone seeking assistance with capturing a bat that scratched and bit them to avoid rabies shots. Adam assisted Cass County with a drowning and Itasca State Park with a bicyclist who broke a hip. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license and public waters violations.
CO Chelsey Best (Remer) worked an overlimit tip on Leech Lake, a detail at a state park, and handled an APM complaint. Enforcement action was taken for driving after revocation, no helmets on kids on ATVs, over capacity on an ATV and expired registration.
Lake George – vacant.
Walker – vacant.
District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports fishing, boating, and invasive species enforcement continue to take up most of his time, along with animal complaints. A youth firearms safety class was held to help with a statewide initiative to get youth certified. Kittelson also investigated wolf depredation in the Littlefork area.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports windy conditions and storms moving through the area have discouraged some people from spending time on the water but those who chose to fish the windswept shorelines have reported success. Seasonal insect hatches have been noticed the last few days with impacts on fishing techniques expected. Slatinski fielded a dog-chasing-deer complaint and assisted other officers and volunteer instructors with a district firearms safety field day, which ended earlier than planned with the weather not cooperating.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes and public access sites. He also checked boating activity, monitored area forest roads and dealt with animal-related issues. Equipment work is ongoing.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) investigated a number of wetland violations again this week and possible enforcement action is pending. He assisted other district officers with a firearms safety field day in International falls. The kids were great and very attentive.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked anglers, boaters, ATVs and OHMs, state park and invasive species enforcement. He also taught gun and boat safety to about 75 kids between the ages of 4 and 7 at the Hibbing Safety Town summer event. Bozovsky also assisted the Hibbing Police Department on a call about a man with a knife. A person left diapers from a toddler under a car that was parked at a lake access. The individual then left and apparently was unaware the officer had been sitting in his truck less than 50 feet away the entire time. The car was stopped and the individual was educated about littering. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, no license in possession, unregistered watercraft, operating a PWC at greater than no-wake speed within 150 feet of the shore, littering, a number of ATV and OHM violations, and driving after revocation
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) followed up on a TIP call regarding use of several unregistered watercraft at an area YMCA camp. An extensive ATV investigation that was started last year was submitted to court and is being charged out. Frericks also assisted at a firearms safety class in International Falls. Angling for panfish has picked up on area lakes.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) received a report of boaters harassing loons on Whitewater Lake in Hoyt Lakes. He also assisted with firearms safety class in International Falls and worked on boating equipment.
International Falls #2 – vacant.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a TIP complaint on a special regulations lake, spent time on a public access use complaint, and worked fishing, boating, ATV, and AIS enforcement. Enforcement action included driving after revocation on an OHM, failure to display ATV registration, failure to obtain a burning permit, and transporting fish without a patch of skin.
CO Sean Williams (Ely) worked angling activity, which was busy before the end of the week when nonstop rain slowed both fishing and recreational boat activity. For the anglers willing to brave the fresh horde of biting insects, the reports from the BWCA were very good. Nuisance bear reports continue to be handled, including one within the BWCA.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling activity and answered nuisance wildlife complaints. Fishing has been slow on many area lakes. Recent rainfall has made area streams dangerous with fast-moving currents and rising waters.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) took a report of unsafe and illegal ATV operation on state forest roads. The group was familiar to Manning and a few group members returned home with a bit of paperwork. Manning patrolled state and U.S. Forest Service roads and trails with Forest Service Officer Belmore. Manning also attended a meeting in Sandstone on payable citations and patrolled area lakes.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area lakes for boating activity. Fishing in the area was slow with the recent rain bringing more bugs. Schottenbauer also assisted with area protection around an ore boat that ran aground in Duluth Harbor.
Ely #2 – vacant.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled area motorized trails, checked anglers and boaters, and enforced AIS regulations. He also handled calls on fishing without a license, taking slot fish, refusing AIS inspection, and removing emergent vegetation without a permit.
CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked ATV activity, fishing, small game enforcement, boating, AIS, and state forest campgrounds. Violations included transporting aquatic macrophytes, ATVs on the roadway, ATV registration, allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, and no license in possession. He also dealt with various wildlife complaints and wetlands violations.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, responded to complaints about nuisance animals, and attended training. The area walleye bite was better this week. Enforcement action was taken for license and watercraft registration issues.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked anglers over the past week with enforcement action taken for angling without a license, not having enough lifejackets on board a watercraft and angling with extra lines.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, boating, AIS, and ATV activity. Anglers report moderate success, and they had to endure poor weather conditions over the weekend. Van Asch completed follow-up work on an ongoing fire investigation and handled several nuisance animal complaints. Enforcement action was taken for various boating violations.
Hill City – vacant.
NE ATV officer – vacant.
District 8 - Duluth area
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, boating, OHV and AIS enforcement throughout the week. Assistance was given to local law enforcement with overdue juveniles who were in a canoe on Moose Lake. The juveniles were found at the public access unharmed and unaware. No lifejackets and registration resulted in enforcement action being taken. A few calls about nuisance animals were reported and assistance or advice was given. Humphrey and CO Hadrits assisted with a work detail in the Duluth Harbor and St. Louis River estuary during the busy weekend. Humphrey also assisted other district officers with a firearms safety field day event in Kettle River. A big thank you to former Firearms Safety Instructor of the Year Carl Boehmer for the use of his property and range facility!
CO Jake Willis (Brookston) assisted with training new conservation officer candidates at the Academy at Camp Ripley. Trespass issues were addressed as well. Assistance was also given to the Coast Guard for a safety zone around a 1,000-foot oar boat that ran aground in the Duluth Harbor.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with a local firearms safety class. Time was also spent working with K9 Schody in preparing for upcoming testing. A wolf complaint was investigated in which a local farmer lost several sheep.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) worked angling and boating enforcement throughout the Duluth area. ATV activity was worked in past heavy use areas. A youth firearm safety class was attended. Several calls for service were answered and he also assisted local law enforcement throughout the week. Time was also spent completing office work and equipment maintenance.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) spent much of the week working anglers on area lakes and rivers. The officer followed up on shoreline improvement violations and a wetland complaint. ATV complaint areas were worked and nuisance/abandoned animal complaints were handled.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked inland for ATV activity during the Grandma’s Marathon weekend. The weather was disappointing for all outdoor activities in the Duluth area and the heavy rains and thunderstorms caused flooding and road damage south of Duluth. Olson assisted the U.S. Coast Guard in the Duluth-Superior Harbor with enforcing a safety zone around the grounded freighter American Spirit near the aerial lift bridge.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. Equipment and lesson plan details were prepared for the CO Academy, and time was spent working ATVs in common violation areas. Varying weather conditions have posed a challenge for Lake Superior anglers. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations.
Lake Superior Unit – vacant.
District 9 - Brainerd area
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) traveled to Camp Ripley and provided alcohol enforcement instruction to cadets at Academy 18. They received training on alcohol enforcement statutes and enforcement procedures. Sullivan also continued to receive complaints about bears destroying bird feeders.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports attending firearms instructor school during the week to assist with Division training. He also ran the Laser Shot system at the Rivers and Lakes Fair at Aitkin High School. Lot of kids and adults used the system. Fitzgerald answered many outdoor law-related questions during the event.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) worked boating and watercraft safety. Drownings have occurred in the lakes area and during lake patrols Guida has emphasized and inspected safety equipment. A group of a dozen canoeists was checked floating a river system. Not one watercraft displayed current registration and enforcement action was taken. Nuisance bear complaints continue to be fielded. Guida attended a local lake conservation club’s annual meeting and fielded questions regarding boating while intoxicated, invasive species, crappie fishing and life jackets.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) spent time teaching at the Conservation Officer Academy at Camp Ripley. McGowan also spent time on commercial minnow harvest violations and TIP calls. Enforcement action was taken for multiple violations.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports checking fishing and boating activity, patrolling the Cuyuna Country State Recreational Area, giving presentations at the Brainerd Northland Arboretum’s Kid’s Camp on natural resource conservation, CO duties, and furbearing animals, working a border patrol detail in the Duluth harbor area, and investigating reports of suspected illegal dock placement and wetland filling.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, AIS and ATV activity. Time was also spent working at Itasca State Park.
Cross Lake – vacant.
District 10 - Mille Lacs area
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked river anglers and ATV activity. While checking an angler at a county road bridge, CO Starr and the fisherman were almost hit by a truck that crossed well over the center line. The truck driver fled the scene but leads are coming in as to who owns the vehicle. Enforcement action was taken for expired watercraft registration and ATVs on the roadway. Other action was taken for allowing juvenile operation, no OHM registration, no helmets on youth, open bottle, and no seatbelts.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) checked anglers with several reporting a good panfish and bass bite. Speldrich assisted the State Patrol with a driving complaint and answered ATV questions.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) patrolled area lakes and found that most people were able to find good numbers of sunfish and crappies. Violations dealt with included not having life jackets and missing other required boating safety equipment. A high volume of nuisance bear calls was handled, along with continued wolf depredation complaints. Time was also spent instructing at the Conservation Officer Academy at Camp Ripley.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) took calls on nuisance beavers, geese, and coyotes. He spent time checking anglers and boaters in the Pine City area and monitored ATV complaint areas. Enforcement contacts included illegal youth operation of ATVs.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) handled fishing and bear complaints. Fishing has improved during the past week for walleyes and bass on Mille Lacs Lake. Time was also spent teaching the law portion for two firearms safety classes.
Isle – vacant.
Malmo – vacant.
District 11 - St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week assisting with two ATV classes and checking anglers. A TIP call regarding anglers cleaning and discarding fish entrails was investigated. Assistance was provided for Academy scenario training at Camp Ripley and a TEP meeting was attended where an ongoing wetlands case was discussed.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling and boating activity. He also handled administrative and vehicle maintenance duties. Bowfishing complaints were received regarding dumping the fish on the highway and a local farm where they are unwanted.
CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) followed up on complaints of unlawful aquatic vegetation removal, taking fish within a protected slot limit, and illegal personal watercraft operation. Area lakes and rivers were also patrolled over the Father’s Day weekend. Enforcement contacts were made for angling without a fishing license and watercraft operation and equipment violations.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent most of the week checking anglers and boaters. Fishing remains slow in the area. Several nuisance animal calls and wetland violations were handled.
Pierz – vacant.
Annandale – vacant.
District 12 - Princeton area
No reports available.
District 13 - West Metro area
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) spent time patrolling area lakes for angling and boat safety enforcement. Enforcement action for the week included boat safety and registration violations, angling without a license, and angling with multiple lines.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) worked angling activity on area lakes and rivers. Time was also spent checking and educating boaters on AIS violations. Enforcement action was taken for no PFD, no angling license, and angling with extra lines.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and following up on complaints. Grewe attended a division training and continued training with K9 Shelby. Violations for the week included failing to provide PFDs for all passengers aboard a vessel and fishing without a valid fishing license.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) attended a new in-squad computer system training in Red Wing. He worked angling, boating, and AIS activities in the Bloomington station and on the Minnesota River. He responded to TIP calls about fishing law violations and about a deer that had been killed. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, angling with extra lines, and no vehicle permit in the state park.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) attended training in Red Wing and checked shore anglers on metro-area lakes. He followed up on a couple of AIS cases in Hennepin County and talked to a youth firearms safety class at the Hmong Culture Center. He also responded to a couple of TIP calls in Minneapolis on boats with motors operating on non-motorized lakes.
Bloomington – vacant.
Ft. Snelling – vacant.
District 14 - East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) assisted with training scenarios for the cadets at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. He continued checking anglers and boaters and did invasive species enforcement. Arntzen also issued a beaver permit and worked on a case from last deer season.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring anglers and boaters in the area. He spent significant time enforcing AIS laws at area landings. He also responded to TIP calls and patrolled with the Dakota County Water Patrol. Enforcement action for the week included unattended fishing lines, wanton waste, failure to remove the drain plug, and transporting aquatic macrophytes.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) checked anglers on area lakes and rivers. Some people had success catching walleyes. Boat and water safety checks were conducted on area lakes and rivers. Tetrault also attended a firearms safety class at the Oakdale Gun Club. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license.
Ham Lake – vacant.
Metro Officer – vacant.
Eagan – vacant.
White Bear Lake – vacant.
District 15 - Marshall area
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent time working angling, boat and water enforcement and commercial activity. He continued to follow up on ongoing investigations. Gutzwiller received a complaint of an angler discarding rough fish on the shoreline and fielded numerous calls about wildlife.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored angling, boating and OHV activity during the week. He also assisted with the CO Academy at Camp Ripley.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) spent time checking anglers and watercraft throughout the week. Time was also spent at Camp Ripley for division training.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers and working boat safety. Most lakes have slowed in angling success. Warm, windy days mixed with thunderstorms have made angling challenging. Recreational boaters have taken to the shade between boat outings.
Lake Benton – vacant.
Benson – vacant.
Redwood Falls - vacant.
District 16 - New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar-West) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. He also followed up on investigations.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent most of the week at Camp Ripley assisting training the new cadets with alcohol enforcement, scenario evaluations, and transporting equipment. Other time was spent working angling and boating enforcement. An ATV safety course was attended at the Meeker County OHV Park where CO Klehr talked to the students about ATV rules, regulations, and safety.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls about nuisance animals. He spent the majority of the week working fishing, boating, and AIS activity. Fishing success was down but floodwater bowfishing opportunities improved.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) assisted with the ongoing Academy at Camp Ripley over the past week. A Payables Committee meeting was attended and assistance was given at the DNR auction in New Ulm. Numerous nuisance animal complaints were taken.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) checked activity related to fishing, aquatic invasive species, and ATVs. Gruhlke handled several calls about baby animals (fawn deer and ducks) being found and/or “saved.”
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted inspections of anglers and boaters and their water-related equipment, with enforcement action taken. He also investigated complaints of bowfishermen illegally dumping rough fish.
Hutchinson East – vacant.
Hutchinson West – vacant.
District 17 - Mankato area
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV operators during the week. He also answered calls for service and from the public for information.
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato #1) focused on angling and ATV activity. VanThuyne also checked boats for AIS compliance and followed up on a trapping violation.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) patrolled for fishing, boating, and ATV activity. Ihnen also checked for AIS compliance. Additional time was spent responding to calls related to waters and wetland complaints.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent time checking boaters and anglers. Heavy rains have continued to keep area river levels extremely high. If you are thinking of heading out on area rivers, please check conditions before heading out.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato #2) reports the lakes continue to be busy with boaters and anglers. The officer spent the week checking anglers on lakes and rivers in the area. Some time was spent checking boats for AIS violations. Questions about ATV regulations were also answered.
Faribault – vacant.
Spring Valley – vacant.
District 18 - Rochester area
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week patrolling the Mississippi River for fishing and boating activity. A wetlands violation was followed up on and assistance was given for the making of an ATV safety video. Assistance was also given to the Red Wing Police Department for a suspected intoxicated boater. Enforcement action for the week included no license in possession, operating personal watercraft after hours, no throwable device, and failure to affix valid registration.
CO Phil George (Rochester) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV operators throughout the week. He also issued wildlife possession permits and attended a fishing event in Lanesboro. George took enforcement action for no PFDs in a watercraft and gave assisted to a stranded boater.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports attending multiple division meetings throughout the week. Very few anglers were checked but all were in compliance. A wildlife call was handled.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports heavy boating activity on the river. He attended a special needs fishing day in Lanesboro and, as always, saw a lot of positive people. He checked on a complaint of juveniles hunting from an ATV in an unsafe manner and spoke with the parents. Hemker also investigated a complaint of a possible waters and wetlands violation.
Rochester #2 – vacant.
LaCrescent – vacant.
Planning is ongoing for this year’s training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.
NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) was called to assist with the search for a lost boater on Hay Lake north of Pine River. He and TFO Jim Guida were notified very early in the process and arrived on scene less than 45 minutes after the call. Murky water hampered the search. He also took part in a day of practice with the bucket for forest fire training. The next day was a practice event by Forestry at Hibbing involving our new helicopter, a Brainerd Helicopter Service aircraft, and an air tanker in a practice scenario dropping water on various targets, simulating wildfire. Partway through the exercise, there was a call about a small fire about 12 miles east of Hibbing, so Maas and the other helicopter went to help. Conditions were right for some fire activity. Warm, gusty winds, lack of recent rain, and sparks from a powerline had caused the 6-acre fire in a brushy area. Both aircraft put the fire out after about 45 minutes of water drops.
CO Pilot Bob Geving (New Ulm) flew WCA and APM patrol flights along with training activities. Violations located were subsequently forwarded to the local COs.
CO/Pilot Christopher Lofstuen (Grand Rapids) reports that despite generally poor flying weather, he flew a return to service flight after an inspection, as well as an APM flight. He also spent a day on fire duty in Grand Rapids for MIFC and completed various administrative tasks.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew wolf telemetry and two days of fire bucket training with helicopter 155NR.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of APM enforcement flights in various areas of central Minnesota. Jensen forwarded many sites of concern to field officers for follow up.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week working on AIS activity and following up on complaints.
WREO Mike Scott (NE) attended a TEP meeting and conducted site visits to several new Wetland Conservation Act cases. Along with other officers, he also attended a District 8 youth firearms safety field day event in Kettle River. Scott worked a solo trip into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area last week, checking anglers, campers and other people he encountered.
WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked on wetland activity and site visits in Aitkin and Crow Wing counties. Public water and APM flights were conducted with the Aviation Unit in Wright and Stearns counties.
WREO Leah Weyandt (Central) trained local county watercraft inspectors about how invasive species laws are enforced. A public water violation was investigated where the landowners were dumping horse manure along the shoreline. A restoration letter was delivered to a resident in Minneapolis who owns and has a public water violation on a property in Grand Marais.
WREO Luke Belgard (SW) worked angling and ATV enforcement. Time was spent following up on ongoing WCA cases and monitoring public access sites for AIS violations.
WREO Julie Siems (SE) assisted in instructing seated field sobriety at the CO academy. Follow up on WCA and public waters cases was conducted. Boating and angling enforcement was also worked resulting in violations for PWCs operating outside of the allowed hours.
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.
Southwest Metro RTO Brett Oberg put on an ATV instructor clinic at the SCALE facility in Jordan. Oberg also assisted Carver County and the State Patrol with calls. He also worked on registration and planning for upcoming training classes.
Southwest RTO Jen Mueller spent the week getting ready for upcoming Academy training. She also worked on lesson plans for hunter education and firearms safety. Mueller also finished up on work from a case this past fall.
North Metro RTO Brandon McGaw spent time at Camp Ripley instructing at the current Academy. Patrol time was also directed toward angling and ATV enforcement. Future safety education instructor classes are being scheduled.
Southeast Metro RTO Chelsie Leuthardt spent time checking anglers and boaters. She also attended training for the state’s new MPS CAD System and worked on the new firearms safety manual.
Rec Vehicle Coordinator Bruce Lawrence completed revisions to training tasks on ATV safety and operations training for upcoming Academy training. Lawrence responded to several emails and calls on ATV-related topics. Lawrence completed Trail Ambassador Program reports and feedback on program progress.
NE RTO Mike Lee firstname.lastname@example.org
NW RTO Greg Oldakowski email@example.com
Southwest Metro RTO Brett Oberg firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern RTO Jen Mueller email@example.com
North Metro RTO Brandon McGaw firstname.lastname@example.org
Southeast Metro RTO Chelsie Leuthardt email@example.com
Rec Vehicle Coordinator Bruce Lawrence firstname.lastname@example.org
Curriculum Specialist: Vacant
Education Specialist: Vacant
Curriculum Coordinator: Vacant