Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Feb. 16, 2018
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked angling and snowmobiling enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for transporting fish without a patch of skin, possessing fillets on a special-management water, and possessing an overlimit of walleye/sauger.
CO Prachar (Baudette) worked with U.S. Border Patrol agents and local resort employees to investigate a suspicious item near the Canadian border.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports focusing enforcement activity on snowmobiling and angling on special-regulation lakes throughout the week. Time was spent giving a presentation at the Blackduck High School about a conservation officer career and assisting the sheriff’s office with a vehicle-related call.
CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck) worked complaints about trespass and angler harassment.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending the majority of the week checking anglers and snowmobile operators. Time also was spent checking predator hunters.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity on area lakes. Complaints about dogs chasing deer were taken and investigated.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking anglers and shelters for violations. CO Vinton also had contact with an angler who was suspected of being over the limit. There was no violation. CO Vinton also had contact with an angler and when asked for a fishing license, the angler proudly stated he didn’t have one. CO Vinton said, “You don’t have a fishing license?” The angler replied he was 92 years old. He said he likes to fish nearly every day and gives some of the fish he catches to “the old folks” at the nursing home. He admitted he’s probably 20 years older than many of them.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked snowmobiling activity on area trails. Angling activity was monitored, as was the Poles ‘N Holes fishing tournament. CO Warren also spent time on aeration permit inspections.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) reports a TIP call regarding an overlimit was investigated, and the individual suspected was within the legal limit.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) checked area anglers and conducted aeration inspections. There are still fish houses that are not properly marked as required by law. CO Plautz seized an illegal-length northern pike and donated it to an elderly couple. The couple had tears in their eyes and hugged the officer out of gratitude for the donation.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, ATVers, and fish houses. Several 12-hour minnow transportation permit requests were received and completed.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked an ice-fishing detail with CO Bermel and others on Upper Red Lake and Lake of the Woods. Lots of enforcement action was taken for various violations, including extra lines, unattended lines, drug possession, overlimits, and no fishing licenses.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) focused on angling and recreation vehicles during the week. Time also was spent checking coyote hunting and trapping activity. Complaints were received regarding litter on the lakes, including pet owners failing to clean up after their pets.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking fishermen and follow-up on deer season cases. Additional time was spent on trespass complaints, injured animal-related calls, and handling water access questions.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Chelsey Best (Remer) collected an incidentally-taken fisher this week. An investigation is also under way with regard to motor vehicles being operated illegally on snowmobile trails.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring angling and snowmobiling activity. Anglers report limited success.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continued to check anglers. Complaints about dogs chasing deer, littering, and an abandoned fish house were investigated.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports snowmobiling and ice-fishing activity continue to be the main focuses of law enforcement efforts. Some animal-related complaints were handled throughout the week.
CO John Slatinski (International Falls) reports ice fishing and snowmobiling continue to be popular activities in the area. Time was spent on equipment issues and maintenance. The officer assisted with removing a raccoon from the roof of a residence.
CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers and snowmobilers this week. Trail conditions are moderate for sleds and lake conditions are good.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked anglers, a fishing tournament, snowmobilers, followed up on a Wetlands Conservation Act violation, and closed out several open cases.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at classes at Cherry High School about CO duties and responsibilities. CO Frericks later attended a kids fishing event with the same students. Local snowmobile trails are seeing increased usage, but colder weather seemed to have the less enthusiastic snowmobilers staying home. CO Frericks also attended a PolyMet meeting in Aurora.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked a security detail at the PolyMet environmental meeting in Aurora.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports that cold weather slowed angling activity during the week. The majority of anglers reported fair success on several local trout lakes.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked snowmobile and fishing enforcement in the Ely area and Voyageurs National Park. Fishermen are reminded to carry their licenses with them. Not having licenses in possession continues to be a common issue.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) assisted Canada wardens with an illegal trapping case. The officer also patrolled snowmobile trails and checked area lakes, anglers, and fishing shelters.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily angling enforcement, including a work detail on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake. There was lots of enforcement action to report, including overlimits of sauger, extra lines, unattended lines, unmarked fish houses, possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, possession of smelt without the VHS-free label, and failure to transfer snowmobile and ATV ownership.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) monitored snowmobiling and angling activity. Snowmobiling activity has picked up and compliance has been decent.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and trapping activity during the week. Angling activity is high on areas of Lake Superior holding ice, with both salmon and lake herring being caught. A call about an injured wolf was handled in the Duluth station, and enforcement action was taken for licensing violations and illegal transport of a furbearer.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked snowmobiling activity and fishing enforcement, and answered miscellaneous calls about wildlife. He also assisted the county with various calls.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored snowmobiling activity, and responded to a deer stuck in a fence along a snowmobile trail.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) spent time checking snowmobilers and anglers this past week. She also checked on a trespass complaint on Bass Lake.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) worked primarily angling and snowmobiling enforcement throughout the area. Trails were monitored, and the Greenway Snowmobile Club speed run held on Swan Lake was attended.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked ice-angling activity on area lakes and worked snowmobiling enforcement. CO Humphrey, along with other officers, assisted Duluth police with a detail held at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked on an ongoing wetland complaint and checked several anglers in the area. Complaints about possibly illegally taken deer and overlimits of fish were investigated.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended a PolyMet meeting in Duluth, checked area lakes north of Duluth, and fielded questions about border water regulations and season closing dates in February. Olson also checked North Shore anglers in pursuit of coho salmon and Kamloops rainbow trout. Ice anglers are starting to appear on the pack ice in the Duluth area, some within a 100 yards of open water.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ice and shore anglers, where salmon and herring are a common catch. A public comment hearing on the PolyMet project was worked.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sportfishing and miscellaneous nuisance-wildlife complaints. An accidentally caught bobcat was turned in and processed for donation to the Minnesota Fur Project. CO Guida also prepared for an upcoming law enforcement officers training in snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle enforcement.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked ice fishing and snowmobiling activity. The officer also joined parents and grandparents in helping Rippleside Elementary students build fishing rods prior to an ice-fishing event. A farmer with deer depredation concerns was contacted.
CO Tim Collette (Crosslake) worked snowmobiling and angling activity this week. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a valid license, angling with extra lines, no fish house shelter license, expired registrations, and failure to transfer snowmobile ownership. When the CO attempted to stop a pair of snowmobilers for no registration, the male operator took off, leaving his girlfriend behind. Later in the day, the officer took a snowmobiler trespass call in which the snowmobile was abandoned after being driven across someone’s septic system. Upon arrival, the officer recognized it as the same snowmobile that had taken off earlier. While the officer was there, the snowmobile operator got dropped off to pick up the snowmobile by his girlfriend. Charges were filed, and the snowmobile was seized.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked area lakes and snowmobile trails this past week. CO Sullivan also observed people using highway-licensed vehicles and ATVs on a grant-in-aid snowmobile trail. They were using the snowmobile trail to access a remote lake. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports working trout fishermen throughout the week and weekend, with a few nice trout being seen. Area panfish lakes were checked, too. A lot of outdoor law-related questions were answered, and assistance was given to a local agency on a call for service. The officer checked area snowmobile trails for activity and the park was patrolled for SRA violations. Several complaints about unauthorized travel on the bike trail were taken, and the officer assisted at two different elementary schools with building ice-fishing rods for an upcoming fishing event.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) notes some anglers are taking their fish houses off the ice already. Just enough tracking snow motivated some beaglers to bring their dogs afield and chase rabbits.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) patrolled area lakes, checking anglers. She also conducted snowmobile patrol. The trails were in decent shape. Enforcement action was taken for failure to transfer ownership and failure to display valid registration. Speldrich also attended LEMA Honor Guard training.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked fishing and snowmobiling activities. Some violations for expired registration on snowmobiles were taken care of, as were violations for unattended fishing lines. Time was spent looking into a coyote-hunting situation in which hunters had shot from the roadway, which is legal but not safe. CO Starr also assisted with the MnUSA snowmobile event where some novice snowmobile operators were coached on ways to safely unload their snowmobiles and dress for cold weather.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) found a decrease in angling activity that was likely due to sub-zero temperatures throughout the week. Snowmobile groomers were out on a few trails, but trail conditions were still poor in most areas. While the CO watched anglers on a small area lake one morning, a pair of individuals were caught destroying a muskrat house. In addition to enforcement action taken, the individuals were educated about the importance of the houses for the muskrats’ winter survival. The responsible parties also agreed to repair the damaged house.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent a majority of the week checking anglers in the Pine City area. Fishing has been on the slow side, with a majority of the anglers chasing panfish. He also checked snowmobile trails in the area, but the trails are in poor condition.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) provided traffic control for the MnUSA snowmobile ride at Izatys Resort. Time was also spent checking fishermen on Lake Mille Lacs.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) is continuing to investigate a dogs-chasing-deer complaint that first came in last fall. The CO then was unable to locate the owners. Multiple complaints have come in about the same dogs chasing deer and chasing cattle. A call about a brush pile filled with other items staged to burn was taken. The caller wanted to try to locate the landowner for education on what is legal to burn.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent the week training to become a field training officer.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, ATVers, and snowmobilers. CO Thesing also participated in a radio call-in program with an Albany station.
CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports assisting with transport and setup of the TIP trailer for the St. Cloud Sportmen’s Show and checking ice fishermen.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) spent the majority of the week checking anglers, who had poor reports. The few snowmobile riders who were checked reported poor trail conditions. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, shelter violations, and license violations.
CO Mike Krauel (Milaca) spent the week checking anglers. CO Krauel also assisted a neighboring officer with a large snowmobile event.
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) worked snowmobile activity and attended a local National Wild Turkey Federation banquet. Time also was spent training at Camp Ripley.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) spent the week checking ice anglers. Additional time was spent attending meetings and assisting a Kansas game warden with a big-game investigation.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent time this week checking fishermen and snowmobile trails and doing some equipment maintenance. CO Grewe also worked the busy Wayzata Chilly Open on Lake Minnetonka during the weekend.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) spent the majority of the week working ice anglers, snowmobilers, and ATVing activity on area lakes. Most anglers were reporting a slow bite. Maass also spent time investigating a possible public waters violation.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) spent a majority of the past week checking ice anglers around the station. Assistance was given to the Carver County Sheriff’s Office in locating an angler with a warrant who was on the ice. A trap-tampering complaint also was investigated. Enforcement action was taken for fishing with extra lines and no license in possession.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week focusing on angling and recreational vehicle activity. He also continued working on open cases, handling nuisance-animal complaints, and assisting with a possible wetlands violation.
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (White Bear Lake) attended a week-long training course at Camp Ripley. She also spent time checking angling, snowmobiling, and ATVing activity. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license in possession, angling with extra lines, failing to display valid snowmobile registration, metro trespass, and DUI.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) conducted investigations and checked angling and ATVing activity during the week.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent time completing training at Camp Ripley. Despite the cold weather, there was a good showing at the Ice Castle Classic ice-fishing tournament on Lac qui Parle Lake. CO Gutzwiller had the opportunity to speak to one youth who caught his first walleye through the ice during the weekend.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Benson) worked a fishing tournament on Lac qui Parle Lake during the weekend. Despite chilly weather and a slow bite, anglers contacted by the officer appeared to be in high spirits and enjoyed the event.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) spent much of the week attending training. The officer also spent time working ice fishing and snowmobiling activity.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) patrolled the Ice Castle tournament on Lac qui Parle Lake. The organizers did an excellent job of helping clean up the area after the event and asking sportsmen to assist in cleaning up whenever they’re on the lake.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked anglers and fielded calls about injured animals. He also gave a talk about DNR veterans’ benefits at a training for 20 veteran service officers.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the week at Camp Ripley training to be a field training officer, so he’ll be able to assist with the upcoming CO Academy. After training, he spent time checking anglers and following up on a trapping investigation.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) investigated a commercial violation. He also received calls regarding injured/nuisance wildlife and questions regarding to dog training on wildlife management areas.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked anglers, ATV riders, and snowmobilers this week. Area lakes have been seeing decent amounts of angling activity.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) worked ice anglers and snowmobiling enforcement this week. CO Henke encountered numerous snowmobile riders operating without registration.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Boyum (Rushford) reports working the late-season landowner deer hunt. Success varied and complaints were low. CO Boyum closed a trespass case from November with help from CO Thesing in Albany.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) reports assistance was given to Red Wing Police Department on a complaint regarding a snowmobiler who was riding around town and attempting to ride where not allowed. CO Hauser stopped the suspected driver and discovered multiple violations, including expired registration.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) handled multiple calls about violations of the CWD feeding ban and completed a taxidermy inspection with other officers in the district. A person was contacted and cited for burning prohibited materials. Mattresses and lawn chairs were a few items of note in the burn pile, but the individual was quick to tell CO Hill he had a burning permit.