District 11 - St. Cloud area

Last updated: 2014-09-30

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent the week checking for angling activity and preparing for duck opener. The fish bite is starting to pick up with fisherman reporting success with panfish, walleyes and bass. Assistance was provided to fisheries staff with a walleye fingerling survey on Little Birch Lake. Duck hunters were checked on opening weekend. The most common violation seen was no/insufficient PFDs in duck boats. One hunter was found to be using an unplugged shotgun. A mixed bag of ducks was seen at most locations in the area with teal and woods ducks were the most prevalent species seen.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) continued training with a COC. Officers worked duck, squirrel and deer hunter, anglers, shoreline and wetland issues. Waterfowl success in the Albany area was good with most groups having several ducks in the bag. Teal, wood ducks and a few mallards were seen. Angling success has been picking up in the area. One angler was found angling out of a pontoon. As the officers approached, the angler began throwing some sunfish out of his bucket into the lake. The angler realized that the fish were not swimming away so he began trying to hide fish in his jacket pocket. When asked about the fish in his pocket, he explained that he was going to release those fish. The angler had six sunfish in his jacket pocket and was 11 fish over limit on the lake. The officers went to his house and the angler got into the house before the officers and attempted to hide packages of fish behind his toaster. Enforcement action was taken. Enforcement action for the week included over limit walleye, over limit sunfish, transport loaded gun, shoot from a motor vehicle, no federal duck stamp, unplugged shotgun shoot non-game migratory bird and ATV 2nd degree DWI.

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) continued working on open cases. Unseasonably warm weather and relentless mosquitoes did not make waterfowl opener very pleasant for hunters. The number of waterfowl hunters was about half of average. A trespass complaint was handled. A possible WCA violation is under investigation.

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) while stopping at a local state park CO Kuske overheard two dissatisfied park visitors tell the park manager that they were disappointed that the fall colors in the park were not as pretty as they had expected and the trails were way too muddy. W Waterfowl opener had quite a few hunters out but success was limited. CO Kuske did law talks at the Upsala firearms safety class and the Royalton ATV safety class. Coincidentally enroute to the Royalton ATV safety class CO Kuske stopped an ATV illegally operating on the county road near where the class was being held.

WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working AIS in Todd and Wright counties. Enforcement action was taken for AIS violation, unplugged gun, no angling license, and no boat registration. Wetland restoration orders were also served in Wright County.

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers during the past week. CO Mies gave a law talk at the South Haven Firearms safety class. CO Mies checked waterfowl hunters this weekend.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity in the area. The waterfowl opener hunters in the area were educated on AIS regulations. An angler was reminded that smallmouth bass is currently a catch and release season.

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) reports an act of sportsmanship, an archery hunter shot a nice buck but after searching for hours and hours couldn?t find the deer. Two days later it was located and already begun to spoil. The hunter called CO Kuske to say he was going to tag and register the deer anyway, with a one deer limit this was a challenging decision, but said it was the right thing to do. A family feud had one brother, the day before duck opener, hire a contractor to breach a dike which would drain a 40+ acre wetland complex, which presumably is some of the family?s hunting area. CO Kuske responded by issuing two wetland cease and desist orders and a citation to the contractor. Two hours later the other brother went in and plugged the breach to stop the draining until the matter can be settled by Soil and Water Officials. In another case a contractor hired by a township is being cited for not following the proper protocols when he placed a culvert in a road adjacent to a wetland. CO Kuske continues to investigate several illegal deer cases, a headless buck was dumped along a road, a small fawn was shot at night and left behind, and a case that involved a hunter that lost his tags after taking a deer in North Dakota. Assistance was provided to another CO with removing several illegal stands in a WMA. Duck hunters found removing aquatic plants a challenge from their boats and equipment but all that were checked understood the importance of the AIS issue and showed a good faith effort in cleaning their gear. With the nice weather most waterfowl hunters were done by 10AM or earlier on opener, average number of birds per group was five, mostly teal and wood ducks.

St. Cloud - vacant.