Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — March 31, 2017
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. Assistance was given in taking inventory of permanent fish houses still on the lake in anticipation of the March 31 removal deadline.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked snowmobile, ATV, boat and water safety, and angling enforcement. Time was spent checking anglers on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports that boating traffic has reached the Rainy River. Accesses are open in both Koochiching and Lake of the Woods counties. Enforcement action was taken for overlimits of walleyes, operating an ATV on a state highway, and child under 18 with no helmet on an ATV.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) investigated the unlawful taking of a gray wolf, patrolled for light goose hunters, taught the law and ethics portion of a firearms safety class in Warren, and monitored fishing activity in the area.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports time was spent investigating TIP reports regarding illegal trapping activity and angler harassment.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette) spent the week at K9 patrol school with K9 partner Storm.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking anglers on area lakes. Some shore anglers are beginning to fish open-water areas near lake inlet and outlet areas.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity on area lakes. Closed trails and forest roads were patrolled.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) monitored area angling activity and fish house removal. Time also was spent checking commercial minnow trapping. CO Holt also patrolled roads and trails in the White Earth State Forest for recreational vehicle use.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports ice conditions have deteriorated to the point that anglers should think twice before venturing onto it. Reports about ATVers and anglers on foot breaking through the ice were received.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) reports ice conditions have deteriorated significantly in the area with open water and soft ice on the edges of area lakes, effectively ending the ice-fishing season for most anglers. The officer also taught the law and ethics portion of the Glyndon and Moorhead firearms safety classes and attended court in Becker County.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) followed up on complaints about dogs running loose. The CO also monitored ATVing activity and continued to work on an upcoming instructor appreciation banquet.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, ATVers, and trappers. Several complaints were handled, including a complaint about a dead bald eagle along Interstate 94 outside of Evansville. The eagle turned out to be 13 snow and blue geese that were harvested during the spring light goose season. The geese were cleaned and in bags and appeared to have fallen off or blew out of a hunter’s truck.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) assisted Douglas County Sheriff’s Department with several instances of ATVs and individuals falling through thin ice. Several machines were recovered from the water by a local recovery company. Remarkably, nobody was injured in any of the accidents.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) continued to focus enforcement activity on light goose hunters, ATV operators, and fishermen.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) reports checking anglers on special-regulation lakes and monitoring ATVing activity throughout the week. Time also was spent monitoring closed ATV trails and forest roads.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked ice anglers who were targeting perch and panfish. Ice is beginning to show signs of accelerated erosion. A truck went partially through the ice on Leech Lake. Anglers will have to use great caution when traveling on area lakes.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring angling activity. Multiple calls were received about ATVs and trucks that broke through the ice. CO Broughten also investigated a call about a fish house left on a lake past the deadline.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked ATV-related complaints regarding riding in state wildlife management areas. Halverson also investigated a burning violation and handled calls about injured foxes and deer.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO John Slatinski (International Falls) reports walleye fishing on the Rainy River began in earnest this week. Enforcement activity was taken on a wide range of fishing violations, including over-length fish, overlimits, and no angling license.
CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers this past week on area lakes. CO Velsvaag also checked activity on the Rainy River and assisted with some abandoned property. He had multiple questions about bait-water transport.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) took numerous questions about the restrictions on water-skipping. Numerous lake residents called, expressing their support for the restrictions. The officer worked with county deputies and other conservation officers at the Trout Portage area and had many opportunities to have discussions with individuals on both sides of the water-skipping issue. The officer is happy to report that all conversations went well and most agreed some changes had to be made.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) reports good compliance with fish houses being removed by the deadline. The officer worked with CO Slatinski in checking walleye-angling activity on the Rainy River.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) monitored ice shelter removal from Virginia-area lakes. All shelters were off the lakes before the deadline, and litter was kept to a minimum.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) continued to work on cases of birch trees being cut from state lands and sold as decorative material.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais) checked area lakes for compliance with fish house removal deadlines. Anglers on area lakes were checked. One angler who was checked forgot to buy his new license, but he remembered to get minnows. He was relieved of the fish he had caught and received paperwork in exchange.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) checked anglers and checked for fish house removal at the deadline. Litter continues to be a problem. Please pick up after yourself or expect a citation if caught. There were lots of negative comments from ethical anglers about the amount of beer cans, cigarette butts, etc., left at fishing spots.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers and snowmobilers, and patrolled by dog sled in the BWCAW.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and ATVing activity during the week. More open-water anglers are venturing out on Lake Superior and are finding some salmon.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, investigated a possible timber theft complaint and litter violation, worked ongoing cases, and reviewed items for the bear committee. Enforcement action was taken for failing to display ATV registration and failing to transfer ownership.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked ATVing activity and sportfishing. He also patrolled state park areas, state forests, and public water accesses.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) performed some commercial operation checks. Ice is deteriorating fast on area lakes.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked late ice-fishing activity. ATVing activity also was worked, with enforcement action taken for operating on a county road and expired registration.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) assisted both Itasca and Aitkin county deputies with a weapons-related call.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) assisted the State Patrol with a pursuit.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) worked shore anglers along the North Shore. The officer also assisted Fond du Lac tribal wildlife biologists with a wolf collar that was emitting a mortality signal. The collar was located, and it appears to have been a mishap with the collar fastener.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week working fishing enforcement along the north shore of Lake Superior. A TIP call about several unattended lines was investigated. CO Duncan also attended a neighborhood meeting and answered law enforcement questions about area concerns.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked late ice-angling activity and conducted patrols in the Fond du Lac State Forest and Sawyer WMA. CO Humphrey also investigated a fish shelter that was abandoned at the Chub Lake public access. Two water/wetland violations were investigated, with resource protection notification and cease and desist orders being issued. CO Humphrey also received a nuisance-wolf complaint.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore anglers and boat anglers on Lake Superior. CO Olson also met with a U.S. Coast Guard crew regarding some watercraft maintenance items and work planning. He also assisted the sheriff’s department with some local burglary calls north of Duluth. Calls with smelting questions are increasing as the spring run is fast approaching the North Shore.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore anglers on Superior. A report about a sick fox acting strangely around people was checked at French River, and the animal was located and destroyed for public safety reasons.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) checked late-season ice anglers throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for several overlimits of fish, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a small amount of marijuana.
CO Tim Collette (Crosslake) monitored ATV activity in seasonally closed state forests and checked late-season ice anglers. Areas of open water and bad ice are appearing on most area lakes. Reports about litter left on the ice and possible fish overlimits were investigated.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sportfishing and all-terrain vehicle enforcement this week. CO Guida also observed a large amount of illegal ATV trail operation.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) checked anglers who were chasing sunfish and crappie on area lakes. CO Sullivan also assisted local law enforcement with the recovery of a missing person near Brainerd.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) patrolled area ATV activity and assisted the county with a call about a male displaying a handgun at a passerby. She also patrolled area lakes for any late-ice anglers.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) reports a stolen trailer and snowmobile were recovered.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) responded to a grass fire this week as the snow in the area is almost gone. CO Hunter also assisted the county with a domestic call and worked at the Northwest Sportshow in Minneapolis.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on litter complaints. He continued with investigations of blocks of wood and garbage left on the ice by anglers after removing their fish houses. He also worked on Leech Lake regarding a TIP call about folks leaving garbage on ice and fish overlimits.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) followed up on some old cases and unfinished paperwork. The officer found a person who that kept a couple muskrats out of season but was aware of the season closure. This was a good educational moment for the newer trapper on what to do with incidental critters.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working area lakes for any late ice anglers. The officer found few fishermen and ice conditions that were deteriorating. A call about a calf killed by a wolf was investigated. CO Fitzgerald also patrolled Solana State Forest for spring road and trail closures. Several ATVers were found on some closed county forest roads during the weekend. A nuisance-beaver permit was issued to a local township for beavers doing damage. A call about someone possibly taking deer illegally was taken.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) assisted Fond du Lac tribal biologists and CO Humphrey with the search for a collared wolf. The collar was located and appeared to have malfunctioned and fell off the wolf.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) assisted a sheriff’s deputy with a possible stolen ATV and answered numerous questions about ATV laws. Ice-fishing activity was monitored. A damaged gate in the Mille Lacs WMA looked into, along with a vehicle in a closed area of the WMA. Fire activity has increased, with numerous permits checked and a couple cases of burning prohibited materials investigated. CO Starr also was called to investigate a dead bear along a busy county road. It turned out to be a black, wooly sheep that had been hit by a car.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) monitored ice-fishing activity and found that ice conditions degraded as the week progressed. Complaints were handled involving dirt work being done in wetlands.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) picked up an incidentally trapped otter and donated it to a high school natural resources class. A 16-year-old youth was checked while angling with his father and was found to not have a fishing license. The family recently had moved here, and the youth and was told that an angling license is required starting at age 16. Another youth was stopped who was riding his dirt bike in a county road ditch. The youth was transported home, and the father was surprised to learn that you cannot ride dirt bikes in public road ditches/rights of way anywhere in Morrison County.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, fire activity, and ATVers, and followed up on deer cases. Ice went off most lakes this week and some boats were seen out.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) followed up on a gross misdemeanor trespass case. CO Musatov also checked anglers, boaters, and ATVers.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) worked fire-related activities during the week. A few wildfires were investigated. Enforcement action was taken for no burning permit and burning prohibited materials.
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) fielded questions about the 2017 Lake Mille Lacs walleye-fishing season. One individual was upset about the fact that he couldn’t use live bait for bass fishing during the three-week walleye closure in July.
CO Mike Krauel (Milaca) spent the week patrolling for ATVing activity. With the recent warm weather, he received numerous complaints about ATVers destroying road ditches. CO Krauel would like to remind ATV enthusiasts to make sure to read the regulations before heading out on an ATV.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked anglers on metro-area lakes and investigated a wetland complaint in Eden Prairie. He also patrolled state parks and state trails and assisted with a deer-removal program in Bloomington. CO Lee also coordinated youth firearms safety classes in the Asian community and answered animal-complaint calls.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week at K9 training with his partner, Shelby.
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) received a TIP call about a person potentially poaching a deer in his neighbor’s backyard. Upon investigation, several skulls and cleaned hides were found on the property.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) assisted the Carver County Soil and Water Conservation District with a wetlands violation. Time also was spent investigating a littering complaint on Lake Waconia. Numerous animal-related complaints were taken, including the recovery of road-killed bald eagles.
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) spent time checking shore anglers and patrolling area wildlife management areas. Time also was spent in the St. Lawrence State Park in regards to recent vandalism and illegal vehicle operation. CO Leuthardt took a report of a potential deer-poaching incident in Prior Lake and spent time investigating the report, which is ongoing.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Jake Willis (Maplewood) investigated a call about a property owner pushing fill into a wetland, and checked anglers. CO Willis heard more than one person say they didn’t think they needed a fishing license on rivers. It is unknown how this bad information got started, but a license is needed on any body of water. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) investigated a dead deer in East Bethel. The deer had been shot last firearms season and no meat was harvested from the deer. Enforcement action was taken.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Benson) conducted a commercial minnow inspection and patrolled an area ATV park after receiving complaints about ATVers driving at high speeds out of the park and into town.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working ATVers and light goose hunters. Light geese have been scarce, with a few more flocks showing late in the week.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports 40-plus swans were seen on one WMA in Lyon County; goose hunters are asked to be certain of their target before shooting.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) took phone calls regarding land use, shed hunting, deer hunting, and trapping.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) followed up on a recurring wetland issue. She also continued with taxidermy inspections in her station.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) taught the law and ethics portion to a firearms safety class in Windom. Enforcement action was taken on an individual who had a small fire going during heavy winds and had embers blow into a WMA, igniting a portion of the WMA.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) investigated a complaint about snow geese that had been dumped in the I-90 right of way.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) investigated a TIP complaint about the improper disposal of light geese. A total of 58 light geese were breasted out and dumped from an overpass onto the grass right of way of Interstate 90.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers and ATV operators during the week. Litter complaints were investigated, and activity was monitored at wildlife management areas.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week focusing primarily on angling and spring trapping activity. Additional time was spent patrolling for ATV and ORV activity. Officer Ihnen also responded to illegal burning and litter complaints.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) received a fisher from a subject who found it dead alongside a road. Although they have been seen in this area before, it is unusual.
CO Trent Seamans (Rochester) investigated the mysterious death of a turkey in the city of Rochester. A wanton waste complaint also was investigated. Enforcement action was taken for fishing with an extra line.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports taking enforcement action on various burning violations throughout the week. A would-be violator was deterred after the officer discovered a pile of cabinets, carpet, and other various household items stacked approximately 8 feet high and placed on an already prohibited-materials burn pile. The subject was grateful the officer stopped the violation before it occurred and agreed to dispose of the items in the trash.