Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — March 3, 2017
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) attended a meeting and training in Detroit Lakes. Assistance was given to the Wildlife Division with a young moose that got stuck on glare ice in a steep ditch.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports that a lack of snow has made travel conditions on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River difficult. Fishing activity is still in full swing despite the difficulty.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) monitored the removal of ice-fishing shelters as ice conditions changed drastically in a short period of time. Area shelter owners are reminded that storing ice shelters at a public access not only causes congestion, but also is unlawful. CO Woinarowicz also worked a detail on Upper Red Lake.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working angling activity on special-regulation lakes throughout the week. Time also was spent investigating complaints about litter left by anglers on area lakes, as well as discarded car-killed deer carcasses.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working on recent wetland and public waters-related complaints. Time also was spent checking ice anglers, completing a case from the 2016 deer season, and attending a district meeting in Detroit Lakes.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) worked angling, ATVing, and snowmobiling activities. He took calls about animals, litter, carcasses dumped in ditches, shelters at accesses, restoration efforts, and a person wanting to use tires as a fire starter.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity on area lakes. The bite remains slow on most lakes. CO Vollbrecht also assisted with a work detail on Leech Lake.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports attending an area district meeting to discuss legal issues including search warrants. CO Vinton received calls about trespassing and injured deer.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports spending the week checking fishermen and monitoring fish house removal. Time also was spent assisting a party with a fisher in a live trap and tagging a road-kill otter.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) assisted the Becker County Sheriff’s Office in handling a snowmobile crash.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) reports two anglers were found to be in possession of an overlimit of sunfish from an area lake, and enforcement action was taken for several individuals who left their fish houses at public accesses.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent the week monitoring fish houses on area lakes and fishing activity. CO Plautz also attended training this week and continues to work on an upcoming appreciation banquet for volunteer safety instructors.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, ATVers, and snowmobilers. Training was attended in Detroit Lakes. CO Osborne received and investigated fish-dumping complaints in Otter Tail and Douglas counties, and an incidentally trapped fisher was seized.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time on the ATV this week working fishermen. Ice conditions have deteriorated somewhat, so ATV and foot traffic seem to be the best options.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports the majority of the fish houses have already been removed from area waterways, and some fish house-associated litter complaints are being investigated.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) continued to work ice-fishing and ATVing activity. Fish houses have been completely removed from area lakes. COs Anderson and Daniel Baumbarger worked Lake Minnewaska during the weekend.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports primarily checking anglers and ATVers during the busy Eelpout Festival weekend.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) worked the annual Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake and assisted with multiple medical emergencies on the ice. CO Broughten also assisted local law enforcement with a pursuit. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession, angling with extra lines, angling with unattended lines, and possessing a small amount of marijuana.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports snowmobiling activity has been minimal as snow and trail conditions are poor. The Rainy Lake Sport Fishing Club’s Annual Fishing Derby was held on Rainy Lake, with lots of people and families enjoying the outdoors.
CO John Slatinski (International Falls) reports with the removal of fishing shelters from area lakes taking place, time was spent documenting litter around shelters and following up on abandoned shelters.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports most lakes have no snow cover, snowmobile trails have areas of exposed dirt and rock, and large areas of standing water on snowmobile trails have partially frozen again.
CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers and a few snowmobilers this past week. Trail conditions for snowmobiles, including lakes, are poor.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reports with the recent warmup and the rain, ice conditions have become difficult to predict. This past week, a vehicle and a snowmobile went through the ice of Lake Vermilion.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) investigated a complaint about a wolf killing a dog and injuring another, and a dead trumpeter swan in the Sturgeon River. CO Bozovsky also attended a Bear Committee meeting, a DNR commissioner’s listening session, and a deer plan public meeting.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) check anglers throughout the week, and most reported fishing slowed with the changing temperatures.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked on snowmobiling and angling activity. Recent rains and then the cold snap have made snow conditions unfavorable for travel by snowmobile on area lakes and trails.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports lots of angling and snowmobiling activity during the week. One group of trout anglers ended up on a snowmobile trail with a pickup truck. Luckily for them, they didn’t get buried up to their axles as most in that situation would.
CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais) watched as the rain opened up creeks and rivers along snowmobile routes, making some routes treacherous if not impassable. The officer spoke with a party concerned about his neighbor feeding deer near the shore of Lake Superior. While not illegal, feeding can concentrate deer near major highways, increasing vehicle crashes, resulting in deforestation of the area, and making it easier for wolves to travel on the icy snow crust to prey on them.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) was loading up his ATV at the Kawishiwi River after checking anglers on Saturday when several kids ran ahead of their dad as they were going back to the parking lot from fishing north of the bridge. The kids decided to go under the bridge and toward the south side, where one young girl broke through the ice and went into the deep water. CO Bermel grabbed a throw bag and ran toward the girl. The girl’s father got there first and was able to slide up to the edge of the hole and get her out of the water and to their vehicle to warm up.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored snowmobiling activity, and assisted the county with a motor vehicle accident. CO Fairbanks and his K9 partner also provided K9 demos for a convention and banquet. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, expired registration on an ATV, no license in possession, and angling without license.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked angling activity this past week. She received a complaint about a snowmobile being operated with a loud exhaust.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice anglers, some late season snowmobiling activity, and some open water boating activity. Some local ice still measured at over two feet, but some lakes with flowages have thinned up considerably, so be careful out there.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, snowmobilers, trappers, and state trails. He also handled complaints involving trespassing and ATVers using snowmobile trails during the week.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Brookston) spent time following up on trapping and big-game cases. Time also was spent patrolling for ATVing activity and handling complaints regarding litter and wanton waste.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) monitored area lakes for angling activity and ice conditions. Complaints about sunken fish houses and litter left on the ice have been common. CO Schmidt also followed up on an illegal fire, and a wolf depredation complaint was investigated.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued work on an ongoing trapping investigation. A fishing easement complaint was completed.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with ongoing K9 training in the metro area. An information booth and K9 meet and greet was attended at the Safari Club International annual conference in Brooklyn Park. A talk about the DNR K9 unit was given to the Minnesota Darkhouse and Angling Association at its banquet in Cambridge.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this past week. Ice anglers are out, but many anglers are removing permanent houses because of poor ice conditions and a slow bite. Complaints about garbage and wood blocks left behind were reported and investigated.
CO Tim Collette (Crosslake) checked anglers and monitored fish house removal for trash cleanup, as many people pulled houses off area lakes during the warm spell.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked angling and off-road vehicle enforcement throughout the week. CO McGowan also assisted at the Eelpout Festival in Walker.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sport fishing and all-terrain vehicle enforcement this week. Shelters are being removed from area lakes. Owners are reminded that they cannot be stored on public water accesses.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, spearing, and ATVing activity. Contacts included nonresident anglers with 2017 licenses that hadn’t become valid yet, no spearing license, too far from tip-ups, extra lines, and possession of marijuana/paraphernalia.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) made contact with several recreational vehicle operators and addressed registration violations, safety concerns, and equipment violations. Impaired operation was prevalent.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports checking fishing activity and monitoring fish house removal. He responded to several deer-related issues including CWD testing, dogs chasing deer, car kills, and a deer that found its way onto some people’s cabin deck, then got spooked and ran into the deck railing, breaking its neck.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked ice anglers as conditions deteriorated and houses continued to come off early. Even ATV traffic was getting tricky as access points broke up and shoreline ice receded. Some trappers were checked as they made use of the open water.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent time checking some trapping activity and angling activity, and responded to several ATV-operation complaints. A handful of youth ATVers were stopped and escorted home, where the young kids and parents were then educated about the requirement of ATV safety certificates and wearing helmets. While checking a very small remote lake, CO Grundmeier watched from the distance as a lone angler used more fishing poles than allowed. As the CO approached to make contact, the fisherman kicked a jig stick down the ice hole. However, the bail was open on the rod and the bobber stayed at the surface while the rod sank, making it difficult to hide the evidence.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week answering questions about ice shelter removal, trapping, and burning permits. He also spent time monitoring the Chengwatana State Forest closure, checked anglers, and assisted with a work detail in the Sturgeon Lake area.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) fielded calls concerning fishing shelters that were about to go through thin ice. One shelter was removed before it broke through.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, dealt with fish house issues, and handled animal-related complaints..
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers, worked on a dog-chasing-deer complaint, along with a littering complaint.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) checked area lakes for fish house removal with the deteriorating ice and found a few houses were still out. Calls about nuisance beaver issues, a family member forging signatures on “no trespassing” signs, and a possible illegal party-hunting complaint from the deer season were handled.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel spent the week checking ice anglers and patrolling for ATVing activity. He would like to remind anglers that fish houses cannot be left at accesses overnight. CO Krauel also followed up on several big-game cases. One observant TIP caller notified CO Krauel when he observed an individual unloading a deer from his vehicle at the end of his driveway. Upon further investigation, CO Krauel discovered that the deer was a roadkill.
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) worked ice-fishing activity and attended the local Pheasants Forever banquet.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) followed up on several investigations involving illegal trapping and deer-hunting violations.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) reports a trapping complaint was investigated and an easement/trespass issue was handled.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) issued summonses and written warnings for storage of fish houses at public accesses and fishing without fishing license in possession.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) spent time checking ice conditions and anglers around Scott County. The warm weather caused a mass exodus of ice shelters from area lakes, but people continue to fish on foot.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked anglers and ATVing activities on metro-area lakes. He also responded to an injured turkey and injured deer in Minneapolis.
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) dealt with a fish house that was left on deteriorating ice on Lake Minnetonka. The owner pulled the house off late in the week. Aeration inspections were completed for a second time, with a lot of the systems being shut off due to the recent high temperatures and increasing open-water areas.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) traveled up to Walker to assist local officers with the Eelpout Festival. A sportsmen’s meeting was attended in Belle Plaine to discuss potential fee increases for angling- and deer-hunting licenses.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP), along with Major Todd Kanieski, gave a presentation about the duties and roles of a Minnesota conservation officer to the Bhutanese/Nepalese community organization, with approximately 45 to 50 attendees.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time checking anglers and patrolling state wildlife management areas. He handled nuisance-animal complaints, continued working on cases from the deer season, and scheduled firearms safety classes.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked anglers around area lakes and rivers. He also investigated a complaint regarding a possible nongame violation and responded to various calls during the week.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week working open-water anglers in the area. He also assisted other officers with a case involving migratory waterfowl.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Benson) reports working primarily on ATV and snowmobiling enforcement on Leech Lake. The officer reports working with other officers patrolling Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working ice anglers and predator hunters. Heavy snow along the southern tier of counties brought out snowmobilers and predator hunters.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent most of the week working fishing, ATVing, and commercial enforcement. A few shore fishermen took the opportunity to try to catch a few walleye before the season closed on Feb. 26.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports all permanent fish houses are off Lac qui Parle Lake. There was a marked improvement regarding the amount of litter left on the lake this year.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) continues to monitor complaints about motor vehicle traffic on wildlife management areas where prohibited.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked trapping and ATVing activity. He also attended a community meeting regarding proposed license fee increases.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) worked on the removal of a fish house from Lake Ripley. The owner failed to remove the house and the ice conditions were quickly deteriorating with the warm weather and rain, causing it to start to fall into the lake. The Litchfield Rescue Squad airboat assisted with removal by pulling the house off of the lake.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) checked anglers on the Minnesota River. She also checked trapping activity and traps for identification.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) worked angling, ATVing, trapping, and snowmobiling enforcement this week. Ice conditions have deteriorated, and anglers have not been on the lakes.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked anglers, ATV riders, and snowmobilers this week. Ice is pulling away from shore on area lakes, with many large areas of open water present.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) assisted the Minnesota State Patrol with numerous serious traffic accidents after a snowstorm.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Trent Seamans (Rochester) spent the majority of the week patrolling for sport fishing and snowmobiling enforcement. Fishing on area reservoirs has slowed due to poor ice conditions.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) reports a wildlife possession permit was issued and a littering complaint was received.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) checked anglers and worked on equipment during the week. CO Heyn also assisted officers at the Eelpout Festival in Walker.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports the lack of snow brought out ATV riders during the first half of the week and the 12-plus inches of snow brought out hundreds of snowmobile riders during the weekend. CO Hill worked an ongoing littering case that included various animal carcasses dumped under an area bridge near a heavily used hiking area.