Michigan Cuffs & Collars - April 27th, 2012
CO Ryan Aho worked a covert patrol on the Menominee River. He targeted overlimit complaints and illegal take during the walleye run. He was able to conduct a few checks, but found no violations.
CO Mark Leadman reported numerous complaints received, including litter, fishing out of season, illegal camping on state land, and ORV complaints.
CO Trey Luce investigated the suspicious death of two moose that died within hours of each other, along county roads, and 10 miles apart in western Marquette County. At this point there is no evidence they were hit by a vehicle or shot. The DNR Wildlife Division will be conducting necropsies in an attempt to determine the causes of death.
CO Kyle Publiski was checking anglers fishing for smelt and contacted a subject who refused to show his fishing license or ID. The subject complained that the CO should be arresting people who were smelt fishing out of season instead of picking on him for a fishing license. When asked why he was smelt fishing, he stated that he was a tribal member and could do anything he wanted. Again he was asked for a fishing license and ID. He identified himself, but wouldn’t show any licenses or credentials proving his tribal affiliation. A ticket was issued for failing to display a fishing license.
CO Mike Hammill assisted the Michigan State Police with a vehicle inbound to the state prison in Newberry, which was reported to be transporting drugs, and a plan to smuggle them into the prison. The vehicle was intercepted, and CO Hammill assisted with the traffic stop and vehicle search. The drugs were located, and arrests were made.
CO Carl VanderWall encountered a subject who was fishing on a closed trout stream. The subject said he was not aware that the stream was still closed to fishing. A ticket was issued for the violation.
CO Carl VanderWall was checking a party site on state land and found an empty car parked near a smoldering campfire. On the dash of the car was a glass jar containing marijuana. A second vehicle arrived with three occupants, and upon contacting them,
CO VanderWall discovered that the driver had a suspended driver’s license and three warrants for his arrest. He also was in possession of marijuana. One of the passengers was in possession of marijuana and extracted THC that were packaged for resale. He was arrested for multiple crimes, including two felonies.
CO William Webster was patrolling the Devils River on foot when he observed two subjects fishing on a section of the river posted “no trespassing.” The two anglers were not having any success at catching suckers and started packing up to leave. CO Webster contacted the pair and found they did not have permission from the landowner to fish there. When CO Webster pointed out two “no trespassing” signs they passed, they said other people were doing it earlier so they thought it would be OK. The property owner is pressing charges for trespassing.
Three years ago, CO Steve Converse received a Report-All-Poaching (RAP) complaint from a person who had observed two subjects spearing fish in closed waters on Pine Creek. CO Converse responded but did not make any contacts that year. He has been working the complaint area during the same time period ever since. CO Converse’s persistence finally paid off as he observed the same two subjects spearing on Pine Creek in Manistee County. CO Converse apprehended the individuals and seized four steelhead they had illegally taken with a spear.
While patrolling closed waters in Manistee County, CO Steve Converse observed an angler illegally fishing on a small stream. The angler saw CO Converse and attempted to leave the area before the CO could contact him. When the angler returned to his vehicle, he discovered CO Converse waiting for him. The angler was ticketed for fishing in a closed stream.
CO Angela Greenway was patrolling in Lake County when she observed a senior citizen in a vehicle. CO Greenway recalled a previous dispatched report about this subject, which advised she was lost and possibly disoriented. Greenway contacted the subject and ascertained that she did not need medical attention. She then assisted in getting the woman home. The subject was several miles from her residence and was heading in the wrong direction.
CO Angela Greenway responded to a dangerous situation at an access site on the Pere Marquette River in Lake County, where an angler had been swept away by the current as he attempted to launch his drift boat. CO Greenway assisted in extricating the man from the swift current and assisted in attempts to resuscitate him. The victim did not survive.
CO Carla Soper responded to a complaint about subjects in trucks mud-bogging in a wetland in Manistee County. She located the vehicles and people involved and witnessed several violations occurring, including operating in a wetland, allowing unlawful juvenile operation, and several license violations. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Carla Soper and Sgt. Kevin Hackworth responded to several complaints about anglers blatantly snagging steelhead at Tippy Dam in Manistee County. The COs observed the anglers switch fishing rods and attempt to snag fish. The COs contacted the targeted anglers. Several other anglers nearby, not realizing the COs had been watching these anglers, approached and complained about the actions of the other group. The COs seized a total of five illegally taken steelhead, and tickets were issued for the violations.
CO Brian Brosky and Sgt. Kevin Hackworth responded to a complaint from a Ludington State Park employee regarding snagging occurring at the Ludington State Park dam. The COs located several anglers in violation and recorded their activity on video. One of the anglers attempted to claim he could not be issued a ticket for snagging because he was using a fly. Video evidence proved otherwise.
CO Rich Stowe observed an angler targeting bass while fishing from a boat on Long Lake in Grand Traverse County. Upon contact with the boater/angler, it was discovered the boat was unregistered and there was no life jacket aboard – in addition to the fishing bass out of season violation. Enforcement action was taken.
While patrolling the Platte River, CO Rebecca Hopkins pulled into the Platte River Campground and observed subjects cutting wood. Upon investigating, CO Hopkins found that no one had a wood-cutting permit. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike Wells responded to a complaint regarding an illegal fire and observed a large plume of black smoke. CO Wells discovered a blue tarp, three mattresses, two reclining chairs, and a TV among the rubbish being burned. The subject said he was trying to get rid of things someone had left behind. A ticket was issued for illegal disposal of solid waste, and the fire was extinguished.
CO Jeff Ginn responded to a RAP complaint about an ice-fishing shanty floating in the waters of Croton Pond. The complainant assisted by removing the shanty prior to CO Ginn’s arrival. CO Ginn was able to determine the owner of the shanty and contacted him at his residence. The owner was ticketed and had to complete the removal of the shanty from the location.
COs Jeff Ginn and Brian Lebel observed a vehicle being operated in an area closed to motor vehicles and contacted the occupants. The driver had purposely driven the vehicle around a barricade on the forest road to get to where they were. Occupants informed the COs there were looking for firewood to cut. The driver also was operating on a suspended driver license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jeff Ginn contacted two anglers in a boat on the Muskegon River. When asked how their luck was going, the men informed CO Ginn they had lost five fish earlier and were strictly catch-and-release anglers. CO Ginn checked their boat and cooler and located a walleye. The angler stated he had never caught a walleye of that size in his life and knew the season was closed but kept it anyway. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike Hearn has investigated two cases of people dumping brush and debris on state land. One subject used a front-end loader to drag an 80-foot white pine tree down the road onto a two-track on state land. CO Hearn followed the drag mark back to the residence and had the subject remove the tree debris.
While on patrol near a residential area, CO Mike Hearn observed black smoke coming from behind a privacy fence in a yard. There were no burn permits being issued that day due to high fire danger. Officer Hearn contacted the homeowner and discovered the subject was burning old furniture and mattresses.
CO Mike Hearn was nearby when an MSP trooper was called to a complaint regarding an intoxicated subject trying to gain entry into a house. The subject had a warrant for his arrest and was on probation, and fled on foot into nearby woods. CO Hearn was familiar with the wooded area and offered to track the individual. Officer Hearn quickly located footprints, and within 10 minutes, he located the subject lying down in a pile of brush.
In response to a complaint about several subjects snagging spawning northern pike below the dam in the city of Beaverton, CO Mark Papineau arrived on the scene and located the subjects fishing. On numerous occasions, the subjects were observed “ripping” the fishing line violently through the water. Contact was made, and the subjects told Officer Papineau that they were simply attempting to catch some fish “any way they could.” Numerous tickets were issued.
While attempting to check anglers at the dam in Beaverton, CO Mark Papineau observed two anglers actively snagging spawning northern pike. When approached, both subjects began to flee on foot. After wading across the Tobacco River, the two subjects fled into the city of Beaverton where they began climbing fences and hiding in random backyards. Approximately an hour later, a tip was filed with the Beaverton city police in regard to the identity of the subjects. CO Papineau returned to the dam the following day and immediately observed one of the identified subjects fishing. The CO contacted the subject and obtained a confession from the individual who also was fishing without a license.
While patrolling in Iosco County, COs Mark Papineau and Brian Olsen contacted numerous subjects fishing at the Van Ettan Dam. The subjects were observed using flashlights to locate spawning trout. During the contact, one of the subjects admitted to catching and keeping walleyes only days earlier. When asked for their licenses, it was determined that one subject had not purchased an all-species license.
COs Quincy Gowenlock and Dan Lee were patrolling a Saginaw County river by kayak when they observed two people fishing with illegal gear. During the closed season for walleyes, artificial lures are banned in Saginaw to protect the spawning walleyes. Upon contact, the two attempted to convince the COs that because they weren’t from the area they weren’t aware of the regulations. When asked how they had found such a secluded spot to fish, one subject started to say that he had been told it was good spot to catch walleyes, but then realized he may have said too much. Tickets were issued.
COs Jay Person and Joel Lundberg checked an area of state land closed to wheeled vehicles and found a large party in progress. The COs encountered numerous minors in possession of alcohol, along with other violations. The COs started checking the subjects through the LEIN/NCIC system when they observed one of the subjects jump into the pond and start swimming to the other side. He had given the COs a false name and he thought he could get away. CO Person stayed with the minors and CO Lundberg determined where the subject lived and was waiting for him when he arrived at his home. The subject showed up soaking wet, including his cell phone and wallet. The subject was arrested and lodged in the Midland County jail for resisting and obstructing a police officer.
CO Joel Lundberg watched an angler along the Tittabawassee River hook a large fish. When the fish was brought in, the CO observed that it was a large female walleye that was snagged in the belly. The angler then threw the fish onto the shore. The CO contacted the angler and discussed the law on retaining foul-hooked fish. It also was determined that the angler had a warrant for his arrest. The subject was lodged in the county jail for the warrant, and a ticket was issued for retaining a foul-hooked fish.
CO Seth Rhodea contacted several anglers after CO Jason Smith witnessed them snagging steelhead at Lexington Harbor. At first, the anglers denied attempting to snag fish, but after pointing out that CO Smith had been observing their activities for several hours, the anglers admitted to their violations and tickets were issued.
CO Gary Raak reported the apprehension of a subject who was operating his truck illegally in the Barry State Game Area (SGA). The subject was caught climbing hills, off road, with his father in the passenger seat. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Greg Patten contacted a subject who admitted to leaving a treestand on state land after the season and to cutting numerous trees for shooting lanes. The subject was ticketed for the violation and given a warning for the tree cutting.
CO Greg Patten contacted a tribal member who was in possession of an undersized bass during their open season. A report of the incident was forwarded to the tribal game warden, who ticketed the subject for the violation.
CO Andy Bauer was contacted by a subject he had assisted with trespass problems in the past. The subject stated that three men were fishing on a closed stream next to his property, and that he had told them it was closed until the April trout opener. The three subjects ignored the complainant, and went fishing on the closed stream anyway. CO Bauer responded and located the three anglers and issued tickets for fishing on a closed trout stream.
CO Chris Simpson worked a RAP complaint on three different evenings regarding subjects taking bass during the closed season at White Lake in Muskegon County. On the third evening, he observed the described subjects and was able to contact and identify one who had taken 25 largemouth and smallmouth bass. CO Simpson ticketed the subject for taking the fish during the closed season and returned the following evening to the same location to ticket another angler also taking bass. That person indicated he had watched the original subjects keeping bass so he thought it was OK.
COs Damon Owens and Jeff Walker contacted an angler who was in possession of two largemouth bass in a plastic bag near his vehicle. The angler stated his intentions were to take a picture of the fish and return them to the water. The COs didn’t buy the explanation, and the subject was issued tickets for taking/possessing bass out of season.
CO Pete Purdy contacted an angler who did not have a fishing license or identification. Further investigation revealed he was unlicensed and had a felony warrant and three misdemeanor warrants for his arrest. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kyle Bader checked a shorefishing spot in Coldwater and recognized one of the anglers. CO Bader only had to watch him for about 10 minutes before he observed him catch two largemouth bass. He looked around to see who was watching before he took the fish off the hooks and hid them in the weeds. CO Bader enlisted the help of an MSP trooper to keep an eye on the subject until he could get into position to make contact. CO Bader and the trooper located seven bass in various locations around the subject, three of which were less than 14 inches. CO Bader is seeking multiple warrants through the prosecutor’s office. Prior to this case, he has successfully charged this individual on four different occasions for fishing violations.
CO Kyle Bader swore to a three-count warrant on the subject he caught in possession of seven largemouth bass. While at the courthouse, he received a disposition from a deer case submitted in December. The subject shot a 10-point buck the last day of the late antlerless season, without a license. He was sentenced to pay $200 in fines and costs, $1,000 in reimbursement to the state, and he lost his hunting privileges for one year.
CO Pete Purdy responded to a bank robbery in progress in the city of Owosso. CO Purdy was the first on the scene at the bank; he confirmed the suspects had all fled the area in the same vehicle and that all the bank patrons and employees were unharmed. CO Purdy then secured the scene until local police officers took over. All four suspects were caught 40 miles away after a high-speed chase.
CO Lacelle Rabon received a RAP complaint of subjects taking and keeping smallmouth bass from the Detroit River. Upon approaching the pier, CO Rabon observed approximately 40 to 45 anglers milling around and fishing. He was unable to determine if anyone had taken or possessed smallmouth bass. After surveying the area and walking approximately 150 feet back from the shoreline, CO Rabon found an old, abandoned television frame, minus the picture tube, covered with a garbage bag. Sitting inside the frame was a 5-gallon pail containing three smallmouth bass. None of the anglers claimed the smallmouth bass, or admitted to taking the bass. CO Rabon confiscated the bass.
CO Mike Drexler finalized a case from last November in which one subject was found shining deer while having an uncased bow in a motor vehicle at a Wayne County Sheriff Office Road Patrol parking lot. After ignoring the advice of his lawyer, the defendant insisted on having a jury trial. The jury deliberated for about 10 minutes and found the subject guilty of possessing an uncased bow in a motor vehicle. He was sentenced to two years hunting license revocation, one year probation, and over $800 in fines.
CO Brandon Kieft was checking an area along the Huron River in the Proud Lake Recreation Area when he observed an angler fishing along the shore. The angler was fishing in an area where trout had been planted by the DNR Fisheries Division. When CO Kieft contacted the subject, he stated that the trout just wouldn't bite on any of the lures he was casting toward them. CO Kieft stated that the fish likely were still in some "shock" from having been planted a day earlier. CO Kieft also mentioned that the trout season was still closed on that section of the river. The angler claimed he was unaware, but CO Kieft pointed to a sign stating "No Fishing before April 1," which was only about 20 yards away. The angler also didn't have the required all-species fishing license or the correct tackle. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kris Kiel received a RAP complaint in the middle of the night regarding subjects taking overlimits of rock bass and taking largemouth and smallmouth bass during the closed season. The CO responded to the fishing pier on Lake St. Clair. While checking the anglers, CO Kiel did not find any bass out of season, but did locate one angler in possession of 30 rock bass. This subject had been ticketed in the past by CO Kiel and CO Szyska for possession of bass during the closed season and fishing with too many lines. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kris Kiel observed a subject fishing and asked to see the angler’s fishing license. The subject pulled a fishing license from his tackle box and the CO noticed that the birth date would have made the angler quite a bit older than he appeared. The subject admitted that the fishing license was his father’s, but that he did have his own license in his vehicle. After checking with dispatch, it was found that the angler had not purchased a fishing license since 2009. Enforcement action was taken.
While on a boat on the Flint River in the city of Flint, CO John Borkovich and Sgt. Tom Wanless approached the area near Atwood Stadium. A few of the anglers cut their lines, started to leave, and one subject attempted to dump a bucket of fish back into the river. The COs rounded up several of the anglers and checked them for fishing licenses. Three of the subjects did not have fishing licenses and were fishing with illegal tackle. One of the subjects had a 15-inch smallmouth bass and another subject had a 22-inch walleye. Enforcement action was taken.