MInnesota Cuffs & Collars - August 10th, 2012
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) monitored area ATV and angling activity. Assistance was given to a turkey producer who lost birds to wolves. Anglers were checked on Lake of the Woods. CO Huener assisted a police department with a juvenile with a BB gun who was shooting at sea gulls.
CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) assisted local law enforcement in investigating numerous cabin burglaries in the state forest.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) worked aquatic invasive species enforcement, angling activity, and boating safety on Lake of the Woods.
CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) checked angling activity, monitored AIS compliance, and checked ATV trails. Calls about nuisance bears and wolves were handled.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) reports calls about bears continue to come in as several farmers report crop damage. CO Gorecki worked the TIP Wall of Shame at the Lake of the Woods County Fair.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) checked anglers, boaters, and leech trappers. AIS law compliance was monitored. Malinowski accompanied an MPCA sampling crew during a survey. He also spoke to a sportsmen’s club, investigated a goose-shooting incident, followed up on nuisance-bear complaints, and checked on a dock system complaint.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) reports enforcement action was taken for weed rollers being operated without a permit or failure to comply with the conditions of permits.
CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) and COC Mitch Lawler continue field-training duties. WE Fest brought many people to the area. The beaches were busy, and public accesses were checked for illegal camping and alcohol consumption. Enforcement action was taken for underage consumption, violating public access rules, and no angling license.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) reports enforcement action was taken for multiple business owners selling leeches without a minnow retailer license.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) checked anglers, boaters, ATVers, and OHMers. Maplewood State Park personnel were assisted with trees downed by high winds. Some pontoons, docks, and lifts were flipped over, and damaged on nearby lakes during the storm.
Lt Brian Kuphal retires this week, with more than 29 years of service with DNR Enforcement.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) and COC Mueller were confronted at a local gas station, and COC Mueller stepped in and de-escalated a possible domestic assault situation.
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) worked fishermen, boaters, and AIS enforcement. Nuisance complaints were handled regarding geese and raccoons.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen and boaters. Osborne also received calls about injured animals in the vacant Alexandria station. Testimony was provided in Douglas County court as a result of a gross misdemeanor shining case from last fall.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Wheaton) checked fishermen, boaters, PWC operators, and ATV operators. Time also was spent performing pheasant roadside counts, issuing minnow transportation permits, checking minnow trappers, and working the Alexandria area with COs Nelson and Johanson. A subject was contacted at a public access parking lot and was found to be in possession of a small amount of marijuana and underage possession of alcohol. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on boating safety, anglers, and invasive species rules at area water access sites. Anderson assisted CO Paul Nelson with checks of anglers on Grant and Ottertail county lakes. A complaint was worked in an area where dirt bikes were being operated illegally.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) assisted the sheriff’s department in arresting an individual observed on a local lake who was drinking while on “no-drink” probation. Officer Hunter also investigated the theft of timber from a local logging site.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on fishing, boating, AIS, and OHV activity. In addition, he prepared for an upcoming firearms safety class and received a call regarding a sick/injured loon. The matter was referred to a nongame specialist.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring ATV, boating, and angling activity. CO Broughten checked a group of five anglers who stated their licenses were back at the cabin. While the CO checked licenses at the cabin, one of the anglers stated he had a license but couldn’t find it. During a check of the angler’s license status, it was found that the angler purchased a license via the internet at the cabin while the officer was checking the other members’ licenses. The angler confessed he did not have a license while he was fishing, and appropriate enforcement action was taken.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Dan Starr (Tower) addressed many complaints about nuisance bears. A public waters violation was investigated, and a voluntary restoration order was agreed upon with more follow-up to take place. A possible overlimit case was investigated, and a summons was issued for transportation of fish without the skin patch attached.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) responded to a call about an automated paragliding-type winch being used to pull knee-boarders across a lake. A few potential violations with this device were discussed with the users. The officer also responded to a call regarding a dead deer fawn that was dumped off an ATV near a road in Balkan Township. Anyone with information should contact the officer.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) observed that a tullibee die-off is still happening on Shagawa Lake. CO Velsvaag took several phone calls about bears in the area and an ATV complaint in Ely.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) enforced ATV and canoe registration laws. Two TIP complaints came in concerning fishing violations.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) assisted the sheriff’s department with a call. He also followed up on another incident involving a state park ranger.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled inland lakes and Lake Superior accesses. One campsite checked had garbage burning in the fire pit, trash on the site, and an untagged minnow trap in infested waters. A couple reports of nuisance bears were received involving a sow and cubs.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) took enforcement action for a wetland fill by issuing a ticket and a Wetland Conservation Act restoration order. Arhart also worked aquatic invasive species, aquatic plant management, and sportfishing enforcement activities at nearby lakes.
CO Brent Speldrich (Northeast ATV specialist) patrolled area ATV trails, responded to calls about ATVers running on closed trails and reports of ATVers operating on roadways, and fielded questions about youth operation.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored ATV activity, and responded to complaints about nuisance animals.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ATV activity during the week, with enforcement action taken for operating on a county road and having an unregistered ATV. CO Sutherland also took calls regarding an injured loon and a nuisance raccoon.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) assisted other officers with a commercial fishing violation. Complaints about bears in garbage cans and bird feeders continue to be reported.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) testified in court regarding a case of hunting over bait from last deer season. An online firearm safety class was completed as part of ongoing training for all conservation officers.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a meeting of the Minnesota Trappers Association and also worked an information booth at its annual convention, which was in conjunction with the National Trappers Association Convention in Owatonna. A wolf depredation complaint was investigated. It was determined that wolves had killed a farmer’s calf and, according to the farmer, they have taken several others in the past. A trapper was brought in to assist in the removal of the nuisance wolves. Assistance was given to the Carlton County Sheriff’s Department on a call about an abandoned vehicle in a remote area. They found that the owner of the vehicle was reported missing from the metro area and may have some mental or health issues. K9 Schody was brought in to assist in locating the missing person. After a short track, it was determined that the person had gone up the driveway to the complainant’s house. Schody was called off at this time, because officers were notified that the person had been found in another county. The complainant still wanted help in checking his property. So officers walked toward the direction K9 Schody was heading, and the complainant realized one of his cars was gone and most likely was stolen by the subject the search. The information was passed on to the sheriff’s office for possible vehicle theft charges.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott investigated several Wetland Conservation Act violations, and two restoration orders were issued to repair the damage to wetlands. A public waters violation in the Ely area is being worked on with DNR Waters personnel and Lake County Planning and Zoning.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reports that anglers and boaters were checked on Lake Superior and the Duluth Harbor. Bayfront Festival Park had several bands on stage during the weekend.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. A charter captain was found to be running his business without the required licensure and is facing criminal charges and equipment forfeiture.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) prepared confiscated and incidentally taken furs to be turned over to the Minnesota Trappers Association for the tanned fur project.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) responded to a complaint about commercial divers going from the zebra mussel-infested Mississippi River directly to the mine pits, and checked boaters, anglers, and ATVers.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, ATVers, and aquatic invasive species during the week. Contacts were made for transporting vegetation and failing to remove drain plugs. A group of young men from Ontario traveling to WE Fest found out that is illegal to pitch beer cans into road ditches.
CO Jim Guida (Nisswa) and COC Genereux investigated a wolf depredation in which a calf was killed. They also investigated a report of undersized non-native baby turtles being sold; they referred the case to the FDA.
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) patrolled recreation sites, trails, and lakes in the Cuyuna Country State Recreational Area. He monitored angling and AIS and found compliance was good. He took enforcement action against ATV operators who were trespassing in the state recreational area in two separate incidents.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Mike Lee (Isle) followed up on a possible wetland violation, and information was turned over to the county for further investigation.
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) handled weed issues ranging from cutting them illegally to trailering them illegally. Area lake use was typical for this time of year, including a lot of water recreation, nonresidents on vacation, and small bass and panfish. Boaters needed to be educated regarding a lack of basic knowledge about safety equipment and a lack of basic knowledge about how their boats function.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area lakes and Mille Lacs Lake with COC Arntzen. COC Arntzen and CO Croatt also patrolled area state forests for illegal ATV activity.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent time monitoring local state forests, checking accesses for activity, and answering numerous questions about nuisance animals. CO Wynn finished the week assisting the Pine County Sheriff’s Department with the recovery of a drowning victim from Cross Lake.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked with neighboring officers on boating details. The officer also followed up on an aquatic vegetation removal violations.
CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) checked anglers and watercraft operators. Officer Martin spent time at the Benton County Fair and on an AIS detail. Officer Martin also assisted Officer Musatov with an ongoing big-game case.
CO Keith Bertram (WREO) spent the week checking boaters and anglers. While CO Bertram was issuing a subject a citation for no angling license, it was discovered that the subject had a warrant for being a felon in possession of a handgun. The subject was arrested. CO Bertram also took enforcement action for insufficient boat safety equipment, destroying aquatic vegetation without a permit, and possession of an undersized snapping turtle.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) followed up on two TIP calls that resulted in 79 fish over the limit, and taking a bear out of season. Anglers, boaters, and ATVers were checked, and a car-killed great horned owl was seized.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked anglers and boaters during the week. Investigations were conducted regarding garbage dumping on the Snake River State Forest and Lake Five WMA. Time also was spent on the St. Croix River with neighboring COs. Enforcement action was taken for illegal-length bass.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) checked watercraft operators for AIS compliance. Law enforcement student interns were given the opportunity to ride along and observe what conservation officers do.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for boating activity and AIS compliance. Officer Salzer also patrolled for angling activity along the Mississippi River, south of the Coon Rapids Dam.
CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) checked boaters at Carver County public accesses for invasive species violations.
CO Aaron Kahre (Minnetonka) investigated a TIP call about some “scoundrels” netting on a lake. Turns out it was a DNR fisheries crew doing lake surveys.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) talked to a firearms safety class in South St. Paul. He responded to a TIP call about fishing with extra lines and keeping an undersized muskie. CO Neitzke also patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park and responded to a call about a woman stuck in the mud while jogging in it.
CO Adam Block (Prior Lake) spent the week working boating, angling, and AIS activity. AIS violations continue to be detected. One watercraft operated was arrested for boating while under the influence of alcohol.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked mostly fishing and boating activities in the metro area. He took enforcement action for fishing without an angling license, vehicles without state park permits, fishing without angling licenses in possession, and a dog off its leash on a state trail.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked anglers around the metro lakes and rivers. He also worked boating and aquatic invasive species enforcement at some of the east metro lake accesses. CO Pril also handled calls and complaints throughout the week.
CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) patrolled the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers. CO McGowan also helped the DNR hydrologist with a wetlands violation.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports fishing activity has slowed and he has seen an increasing number of people scouting for deer, doves, and ducks. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines and no license in possession.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers and enforcing boating and invasive species laws. Most area lakes are green. Trenching and dredging activities have been investigated.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) followed up with a site visit on an old aquatic plant management violation in Blue Earth County where the lakeshore owner agreed to replace bulrush and cattails. Two WCA extensions were issued in McLeod County and Sibley County.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jim Steffen (Willmar) spent the week checking fishermen, boaters, and ATV riders. Phone calls are starting to come in related to the upcoming fall seasons, and AIS remains a popular topic.
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) continued follow up on public waters cases involving illegal fill and obstructing waterways. He spent time completing coursework for firearms safety training.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) reports continuing field training with COC Amber Peterson. The officers spent a day patrolling heavily traveled areas on ATV, and spent time along the Minnesota River Valley checking boaters and anglers. The officers also spent time checking for AIS compliance. While at a public access, they met up with DNR Fisheries staff and accompanied them as they brought in some nets on Lake Washington. An illegal burn was investigated.
CO Greg Abraham (New Ulm) reports working on annual August roadside surveys, speaking at a youth firearm safety class in New Ulm, and checking anglers on area lakes and rivers. Abraham also worked boat and water enforcement, as well as ATV complaints. Time was spent enforcing AIS rules, reporting purple loosestrife in an area lake, and investigating the dumping of old appliances and furniture on a WMA.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted annual roadside counts for the Division of Wildlife. Observations were lower than expected for pheasant numbers even though ideal conditions were available for the survey. Public water accesses were patrolled.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports a complaint about two otters tossed in a ditch was investigated. CO Howe also investigated a complaint regarding property owners posting road ditches adjacent to their residences closed to ATV operation.
CO Bob Geving (Mankato) worked ATV, angling, boating, and invasive species activities. Geving also gave a law and ethics presentation for a firearm safety class.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) continues training with COC Wichmann. The officers spent time checking areas for trapping and angling activity.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Scott Moran (Wabasha) reports spending the week checking anglers and boaters. Time was spent at accesses with AIS inspectors as boaters continue to get educated about invasive species.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) attended the National Trappers Convention in Owatonna. Many questions were asked about the upcoming wolf season.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Zumbrota) reports working another week of fishing and boating enforcement. Fall-related questions continue to roll in, along with calls about nuisance wildlife. Enforcement action was directed toward unlawful camping activity on state forest land.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports checking anglers, boaters, ATVers, and state forest activities during the week and weekend. Time also was spent working with other DNR employees regarding waters and forestry issues. Some fishing and forestry violations were detected by the officer.