District 16 - New Ulm area

Last updated: 2016-07-28

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar-West) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. He educated lake users about AIS laws. Officer Denz also received calls from the public with concerns about wild animals.

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar-East) spent time on area lakes for boat safety and fishing enforcement. He also continued follow up on a wetland violation and worked area ATV activity. Time was spent on an injured bald eagle, deer complaint, beaver damage questions, and commercial minnow dealer inspections.

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time working boating and personal watercraft safety along with ATV safety during the week. Officer Klehr also spent time at Camp Ripley helping out at the academy. Over the weekend Officer Klehr was on the St. Croix River by Stillwater working the no wake zone through the construction area.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson-West) along with CO Dirks responded to stranded group on the MN River downstream from Franklin. Their boat sank while tied up the night before. The group was able to bring the boat up to the surface and drain most of the water out, but the motor would not start. The officers were able to pull the four people, a large service dog, and the boat back to the boat access. Officer Mueller also checked boaters and anglers during the catfish tournament.

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson-East) reports working a very hot Franklin Catfish Derby this past week. Anglers were out putting their best effort into landing a trophy flathead catfish. The tournament is typically won with a 50lb fish. One group of anglers decided to make a ?Cool Tub? to beat the heat and lined a pickup bed with a tarp and filled it with water. The tub was later occupied by a large flathead catfish but that did not stop it from being used as intended. Enforcement issues involved angling license and ATV issues.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) gave instruction at a youth ATV safety class. He also answered questions regarding animal concerns. Officer Nelson spent the rest of the week on angling, boating, invasive species, and ATV enforcement.

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) reports that he testified at an omnibus hearing in Pine County related to a 2015 hunting deer over bait case. He spent the week focusing on angling activity and made contact with three particular anglers from South Dakota that informed the officer they were able to fish all 50 states since they had purchased only a South Dakota angling license. The officer informed the anglers of the MN angling laws. He also informed them that they may want to purchase valid South Dakota angling licenses as theirs all expired in 2014. Appropriate enforcement action was taken. Officer Miller also reports assisting neighboring officers during the Franklin Catfish Days.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) assisted the Martin County Sheriff?s Office with enforcement of a slow-no-wake ordinance set forth on all county bodies of water. Angling activity remains high and many anglers were checked. Public accesses were patrolled and individuals were reminded to clean up after themselves. ATV activity was monitored.

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) main focus was ATV enforcement this week. CO Oberg dealt with issues related to operating ATV?s on streets. Time was also spent checking anglers and boaters and reminding them of our AIS laws. Injured animal calls were also taken.

Conservation Officer Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) reports that he worked boat and water safety, sport fishing, AIS and patrolled throughout the county. Boaters reminded of the youth PFD law as it relates to age and the wearing of them. Officer Gruhlke also patrolled through Kilen Woods State Park.

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) assisted Meeker County Sheriffs after there was a tornado touchdown in Litchfield and Watkins that caused lots of damage. Other time during the week was spent up at Camp Ripley training the cadets in Emergence Vehicle Operations.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson #1) checked anglers in the Hutchinson area during the week. She also focused on AIS activity. Officer Mueller assisted wildlife with an injured pelican and swallows causing problems at a local restaurant. She also attended a meeting at Camp Ripley.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) took calls regarding the illegal use of fuel oil as a herbicide and taxidermy questions. He also worked an invasive species detail with other officers at a local lake. CO Nelson primarily worked boating, angling, invasive species, and ATV enforcement.

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted inspections on anglers and watercraft. Recent heavy rains in the area prompted Martin Co. to place in effect a slow no-wake ordinance. Boaters were advised this is to protect property and shorelines. Public accesses were patrolled and individuals were reminded to clean up after themselves. Enforcement activity was taken for angling violations.

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) reports taking several nuisance beaver calls this past week. Time was spent working the TIP trailer at the Watonwan County Fair in St. James where the officer fielded numerous questions regarding upcoming hunting seasons and ATV operation. Time was spent patrolling public access points for AIS compliance. Anglers are continuing to have sporadic success fishing for walleye and pan fish. Enforcement action for the week was related to angling license violations.

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time with boat safety and angling checks on area lakes. He also assisted with an AIS detail around Norway & Games Lake area. Attention was given to several calls regarding floating bog after the past week?s storms.

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar West) checked anglers and boaters. He educated lake users on AIS laws and followed up on aquatic plant management concerns.