Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — Feb. 24, 2017

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) met with the Lake of the Woods county attorney to discuss some ongoing cases. A group project was worked at the Northwest Angle with U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Provincial Police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Treaty Three Police.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports a busy week for snowmobilers. Angling activity was worked as well. Enforcement action was taken for use of illegal bait, operating a pickup truck on a state grant-in-aid snowmobile trail, possession of marijuana and paraphernalia, and no registration displayed on an ATV.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) taught the law and ethics portion of the snowmobile safety class in Lake Bronson.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports checking anglers and monitoring snowmobiling activity on area trails.

CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck) reports a felony snowmobile DWI arrest was made after a snowmobile driver crashed into a sign.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports attending the annual Wildlife Society meeting and speaking to students about the duties of a conservation officer. An incidentally caught bobcat was seized from a local trapper, and a fishing-related trespass complaint was investigated.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and noticed fewer shelters left on the ice. He also heard the first Canada goose and saw first trumpeter swan of 2017.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked angling and recreational vehicle activity during the week. Time was also was spent checking ski trails and commercial minnow trapping in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking anglers and monitoring shelters regarding the upcoming removal date. A call was taken about a pickup whose front end dropped through the ice. Complaints about litter on the ice, including human waste, are being received.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) spent time working angling activity. CO Warren also attended a Wildlife Society mixer with area college students.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports ice conditions have changed significantly. Most ice shelters were removed from area lakes during the weekend. Canada geese have been observed around the Fergus Falls area.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) checked ice anglers throughout the week. Unseasonably warm weather has caused anglers to remove almost all fish houses from area lakes. A trespass complaint was investigated, litter complaints were handled, and car-kill deer possession tags were issued.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, investigated fishing complaints in Otter Tail County, and checked lakes for fish house removal and deteriorating ice conditions. Complaints about fish overlimits, dumping fish along the side of the road, and illegal burning were received and investigated.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports assistance was given to a neighboring officer working a local fishing tournament with nearly 1,000 participants.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on ATVing activity and ice fishermen. CO Anderson also worked with a neighboring officer on Lake Minnewaska.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen and ATV operators. Additional time was spent investigating a complaint regarding shoreline alteration, and patrolling public access sites for violations of storing fish houses overnight.

District 4 – Walker area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked ice shelters, anglers, and ATV operators. Ice on local lakes is covered with water, as high temperatures continue to melt the snow.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked ice anglers. The perch bite was starting to pick up.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring fishing activity. Warm weather has deteriorated snowmobile trails and is starting to take its toll on area lakes. CO Broughten fielded calls regarding injured animals and snowmobile trails. He also assisted local law enforcement with a domestic assault.

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked fishermen. He reports another partner will retire Tuesday – CO Paul Kuske will be missed in Morrison County.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports a busy weekend with lots of people snowmobiling and ice fishing. The local snowmobile club held its annual charity radar run, which brings lots of snowmobiles to the area.

CO John Slatinski (International Falls) met with Koochiching County, Lake of the Woods County, and other local and state agencies in preparation for upcoming spring fishing activity on the Rainy River. He also monitored popular area snowmobile trails.

CO Colleen Adam (Ray) checked area fishing spots and trails. Snowmobiling activity the past two weekends greatly impacted area businesses. However, trail and lake conditions have suffered under unseasonably warm weather, intense sunshine, and the multitude of sleds.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reports the trails were very busy and the officer worked a good amount of snowmobiling enforcement. With the warm weather, the water-skipping has started near the Trout Lake Portage.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked anglers and snowmobiles during the week and assisted Hibbing police with a household garbage fire call.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) saw many anglers on the ice, enjoying the warm weather. A trespass complaint was received.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports snowmobiling activity was high at the beginning of the week, but trail conditions went from good to poor after several days of 50-degree weather.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) reports the weekend was a busy one for snowmobilers until the rain and heat shut it down.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked with COs Hutchins and George, and Ontario officers on a Canadian border lakes detail. Fishing and snowmobiling activities were high, as were violations that came with increased activity.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked snowmobiling enforcement and checked anglers in and out of the BWCAW. In one instance, while working speed enforcement, two snowmobiles were clocked racing at 90 mph on a trail. It was a father and son, and CO Bermel awarded prizes to both riders in the form of citations.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) worked ongoing cases and processed evidence for completed cases. CO Patten also checked anglers, patrolled area snowmobile trails, and followed up on a waters violation.

CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked snowmobiling and angling activity this past week. She assisted Itasca County with a snowmobile complaint on Prairie Lake that resulted in citations issued for various violations.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice anglers, ice and open-water anglers, and snowmobiling activity. A furbearer presentation was given at a local elementary school.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) focused on angling and snowmobiling activity. Area snowmobile trails have deteriorated tremendously due to the warm weather.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Brookston) spent time during the week monitoring snowmobiling activity. A wanton waste issue involving a deer that was reported and investigated in the Brookston area.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time working on a trapping investigation and working winter fishing along the North Shore. An area meeting was attended.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked the TIP booth at the Duluth Sport Show with other officers and DNR personnel, addressing questions/comments on various resource issues. CO Humphrey also assisted with a work detail in the Vermillion area. Some ice anglers were starting to remove fish houses early as a result of warm weather.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports K9 assistance was given to a local agency in searching for evidence in a case in which some suspicious activity was found. K9 training was attended in the metro area, where training in detection of game and zebra mussels continues. Enforcement action was taken for speed on a snowmobile, sled registration, and failing to transfer ownership of a snowmobile.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore anglers and answered questions about nonresident licenses. The DNR booth was manned at the Duluth Sport Show.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked snowmobiling and angling activity. The Aviation Section offered assistance to the officer with a snowmobile trespass issue.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sport fishing and off-highway vehicle enforcement this week. CO Guida also worked an enforcement detail on Lake Mille Lacs in conjunction with a large fishing tournament. A thank you goes out to the anonymous individual who purchased our lunch in Garrison!

CO Tim Collette (Crosslake) monitored angling activity on area lakes. Conditions are starting to deteriorate with the warm weather. Anglers venturing out are finding lots of standing water on the ice, with slippery conditions. The officer also assisted with the Fishing for Ducks event on Mille Lacs, assisting with a medical situation and attempting to locate an individual who assaulted a couple of people and then fled on an ATV.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for angling activity throughout the week. CO McGowan assisted other agencies with a vehicle that went through the ice.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) checked anglers and trappers in the area who were enjoying the warmer weather. The officer also attended the Lake Mille Lacs input meeting.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen on area lakes throughout the weekend. The officer also assisted a neighboring officer with a snowmobile race on an area lake and in checking fishermen on the lake. Fitzgerald also issued a deer possession permit, and reports enforcement action was taken for various fishing violations.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) located many ATV users in the state forests during the unseasonably warm weekend. Many were found to be operating on designated snowmobile trails, contrary to law. Other violations included operating without registration, failing to display registration, operating without a safety certificate, and operating unregistered OHMs and operating OHMs in prohibited areas. CO Speldrich was called to a litter complaint in which dead livestock was dumped on public land.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked a good fish bite, with warmer weather creating some ice road hazards. Assistance was given to other law enforcement agencies with a fleeing situation and a crash involving air transport.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) assisted the Pine County Sheriff’s Department with several ongoing cases and checked anglers in the Pine City area.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) reports ice conditions are deteriorating rapidly. Most shelters have been removed from area lakes. The annual Race on Trace vintage snowmobile races were cancelled due to poor ice conditions.

CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) finished up a 28-year career with DNR Enforcement at a weekend work detail in Silver Bay, and conducting snowmobile and trout fishing enforcement. It’s been a great job, he’s met some great people, appreciated all the adventures, and really enjoyed serving Minnesota!

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) reported while working fishing enforcement on an area lake she checked a house where the two anglers invited CO Kuske in even though there was a cloud of marijuana smoke in the house. The anglers hadn’t caught any fish, but did get a ticket for possession of marijuana. Upon sitting down to dinner, CO Kuske and former CO Paul Kuske looked out their dining room window and noticed a large amount of black smoke coming from a farm place on the other side of the section. Upon investigating the fire, CO Kuske found that the farmer did have a burning permit to burn a brush pile but had included in the pile many railroad ties, metal gates, plywood, and canvas. A citation was issued for burning prohibited materials.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked ice anglers and ATVers. Violations were found for no registration and unattended lines.

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes. He issued summonses and written warnings for unattended lines, no fishing license in possession, litter, and wanton waste of fish.

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked ice anglers during the week. Ice conditions have deteriorated quickly, and many fish houses are coming off area lakes ahead of the deadline.

CO Phil Mohs (Center City) reports a TIP call was handled regarding a large number of un-filleted sunfish that were dumped in a dumpster at a local apartment complex. The violator was located with the help of the community, and enforcement action was taken for wanton waste. CO Mohs would like to thank the caller who reported the violation and those who assisted him in locating the violator.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled district lakes and rivers for fishing activity. He also assisted Fort Snelling State Park staff regarding a report about an individual having an off-leash dog and illegally camping. Appropriate action was taken.

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) spent the past week working ice-fishing activity on area lakes and multiple littering cases at public accesses. Assistance was provided to the Carver County Sheriff’s Office regarding an armed robbery.

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week at detection training with his K9 partner, Shelby.

CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) assisted with a vehicle that went through the ice at an access on Lake Minnetonka. She also participated in a television interview warning anglers about deteriorating ice conditions.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Jake Willis (Maplewood) had the opportunity to work open water this week with the unseasonably warm weather. People are reminded to fully prep their boats before heading out for the season.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent a busy week monitoring anglers in the area. With the above-average temperatures, people flocked to the Mississippi River to fish.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) investigated a trespass complaint and a litter complaint in Lakeville.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) checked ice anglers and monitored ice shelter removal due to poor ice conditions. He also responded to TIP calls and handled nuisance-animal complaints.

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity. CO Salzer would like to remind anglers with ice shelters still on the lake that they should be removed before they freeze in and are difficult to remove at the deadline.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working ice anglers and ATVers. Ice conditions are poor. Trucks and ATVs were reported breaking through on several area lakes. Blue Mound State Park personnel reported that rock climbers discovered two deer that had fallen over a cliff and were gravely injured.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) conducted a weekly radio interview with KLOH Radio in Pipestone. Time also was spent working ATV, small-game, and ice fishing enforcement.

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Benson) reports working primarily ATVing and fishing enforcement. The officer reported seeing an increasing number of people recreating on ATVs, while most anglers had their houses off of the ice by the end of the week.

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) reported working ATV enforcement, trapping, and angling activity. Enforcement action was taken for fishing license violations and failing to obtain a state park permit.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on litter complaints. CO Denz also checked anglers and trappers. Ice conditions continue to deteriorate with most fish houses removed from area lakes.

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked area trapping and ATVing activity. The CO issued multiple wildlife possession permits and completed follow-up on litter complaints.

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time during the week following up with people who were leaving fish houses at public accesses. ATV operators are reminded to make sure their registration is current.

CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) followed up on a complaint of work done in a wildlife management area without a permit.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) reports that he worked ice fishermen and ATVing activity. CO Gruhlke also completed area aeration inspections.

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) fielded a call about a fuel oil spill potentially leaking into a nearby lake. An investigation involving the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has begun.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) checked angling and ATVing activity throughout the week. CO VanThuyne also spoke at a firearms safety class and worked snowmobile and angling activity in the Red Lake area.

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports that ice angling is coming to an abrupt end. Unseasonably warm weather combined with rain continues to degrade ice conditions.

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) responded to a vehicle that broke through the ice on Morin Lake, and subsequently assisted the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office in implementing a vehicle ban on ice travel within Freeborn County.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) assisted Red Wing police with a call about suspicious people.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports investigating multiple reports of trespassing while shed antler hunting. CO Boyum also is investigating a timber violation on state forest land.

CO Phil George (Rochester) assisted with a minnow retailer inspection and a taxidermist inspection. He also issued a wild animal possession permit.

CO James Fogarty (La Crescent) took a report about a bald eagle that was possibly shot. The eagle was located approximately one-half mile off the road and appeared to have suffered trauma from being struck by a vehicle.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) used the DNR airboat to search for a lost kayaker and to transport fishermen over poor ice after a fisherman went through the ice and spent over 30 minutes in the water. CO Hemker also assisted local fire and rescue workers help a hiker who had slipped and was stuck on a bluff ledge.

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