Michigan Cuffs & Collars - July 20th, 2012
CO Marv Gerlach assisted Commercial Fish Specialist Terry Short and Commercial Fish Investigator Shannon VanPatten with a complaint about an angler getting his downriggers caught in an unmarked net in Lake Michigan. Using side-scan sonar, they were able to determine the angler did not get hung up on an illegal net, but was hitting old pound net stakes that were rising up from the bottom of Green Bay anywhere from 12 to 25 feet.
CO Jason Wicklund stopped an ORV operator who was traveling on a county roadway without a helmet. The operator also was operating on a suspended driver’s license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Dave Painter responded to a call about a lost angler, and directed the elderly subject out of the woods with the use of the siren on his patrol truck. The angler was happy to have had his cell phone to call for help, and walked out the short distance he was from the road.
CO Jason Wicklund contacted an ORV operator with multiple violations. The operator had failed to license the ORV, was operating improperly, and was operating on a suspended driver’s license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Marvin Gerlach investigated a complaint about two dogs observed killing a fawn. The witness identified the dogs as those of a neighbor who habitually allows his dogs to run at large. Enforcement action was taken.
Sgt. Marc Pomroy, Commercial Fish Specialist Terry Short, and CO Marvin Gerlach assisted with marine security on the Menominee River during the launch of a 209-foot NOAA vessel from Marinette Marine. It was estimated that approximately 3,000 people attended the launch, observing from both shores and from boats on the river.
CO Robert Crisp, along with additional local law enforcement, responded to a rollover accident in the Hiawatha National Forest. All occupants of the vehicle were gone when they arrived. They maintained the scene until Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers arrived. While there, the operator and her boyfriend arrived on an ORV. The two subjects, both intoxicated, attempted to flee the scene again but were apprehended. The female had been driving the vehicle and had two prior convictions for operating while impaired. The male subject operating the ORV also was suspended and had two prior convictions for operating while impaired, as well. Both were taken into custody by the MSP.
CO Mike Evink was called at home by Manistique Public Safety officials. They requested his assistance with a bear that had climbed a tree in downtown Manistique. Once at the scene, CO Evink and other officers blocked off the area to prevent a large number of onlookers from accessing the bear, for safety reasons and to allow the bear to climb down and leave the area. The bear left the tree later and exited the city without incident.
CO Mike Hammill was on routine patrol when he encountered a boat with several anglers on board. They indicated that they were doing well; however, when their fish were checked by the CO it appeared several were quite small. In the end, six short walleyes were discovered, and a ticket was issued to the group’s leader.
COs Kevin Postma and Kyle Publiski checked a boat with four subjects on board and no life jackets. A nearby boat was occupied by friends of the subjects and was hailed to come over and give them any extra life jackets they had. An inspection of the second vessel revealed that they also did not have enough life jackets. Two boat captains could only come up with one life jacket between the seven individuals aboard their vessels. Tickets were issued to both boat captains for failing to provide personal flotation devices (PFDs).
CO Kevin Postma was checking anglers in Sault Ste. Marie when he encountered a subject snagging fish with an M60 snag hook. The subject stated that he was a tribal member. Further investigation revealed that the subject was a tribal member, but was not appropriately licensed to legally allow him to snag fish. A Sault Tribal CO was contacted, who responded to the scene. The tribal CO recognized the subject as the man he’d contacted the previous day when he’d issued a warning to the man for the same thing. The subject was cited into tribal court.
While patrolling Six Mile Lake, CO Andrea Erratt checked several anglers, including one woman who decided to stop fishing after looking in the CO’s direction. The subject had not purchased a fishing license and the boat’s occupants had a dead boat battery. CO Erratt ticketed the woman for fishing without a license and towed the boat to the access site.
CO Andrea Erratt patrolled Susan Lake by kayak and checked several anglers catching bluegills. One angler, who said he had a license, eventually admitted that he had not purchased a fishing license since he went ice fishing last year. A license check revealed he had never purchased a license, and he was ticketed for the violation.
Having received numerous complaints about anglers operating motorized vessels on the Jordan River where it is illegal to do so, CO Andrea Erratt patrolled the Jordan River by kayak from Webster’s Bridge to East Jordan. She stopped an unregistered motorized canoe that was the subject of the complaint. The operator stated he had not seen the “No Motorized Boats” signs posted at the mouth of the Jordan River. CO Erratt ticketed the angler for operating an unregistered motorboat and warned him for operating a motorboat in the Jordan River.
While checking a known camping problem area on Cochran Lake, CO Eric Bottorff checked a camp that was strewn with litter, had no camp card posted, and the occupants had cut down several live trees at the site. Tickets were issued and a warning was given for the litter, which was ordered to be picked up.
While patrolling Burt Lake, CO Mike Feagan observed two male subjects paddling a rowboat that had a motor. Concerned that the vessel may have broken down, the CO went to offer aid. Upon contact, the occupants stated nothing was wrong with the motor; they had just decided to get some exercise. While the CO talked with the subjects it was observed that there were no life jackets in the boat and the registration had expired in 2010. It also was learned that one of the subjects had been fishing without a license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kelly Ross received a complaint about individuals taking overlimits of panfish on Grass Lake in Montmorency County. CO Ross contacted three anglers coming in from fishing in the evening with a limit of panfish. After a discussion, they admitted to catching their limit that morning, too. Enforcement action was taken.
Sgt. Bob Torres and his officers assisted with two popular youth fishing events. The first one worked was in Grand Traverse County with CO Sean Kehoe and was sponsored by numerous community groups and the DNR Fisheries Division. This event, held on Grand Traverse Bay, was attended by about 500 youth. The second event, held in Leelanau County, was worked with CO Rebecca Hopkins and was again sponsored by numerous community groups and the DNR Fisheries Division. This event also has developed into a popular event and was attended by about 200 youth.
CO Brian Brosky was patrolling Lake Michigan near Ludington when he contacted a subject fishing alone in a boat. The subject was running seven lines. The subject asked CO Brosky why he would be out patrolling when there were only three boaters out fishing. A ticket was issued for too many lines.
CO Brian Brosky was checking anglers on Lake Michigan and checked a boat with three subjects trolling nine lines. While checking licenses, CO Brosky discovered that one of the subjects did not possess a valid fishing license. The subject’s friends began defending him by saying that “he wasn’t really fishing.” The CO then pointed out that there were enough lines set out for three licensed anglers, to which the owner of the boat asked that he be held responsible for the excessive number of lines set. A ticket was issued for the violation.
CO Carla Soper reported that two subjects who had pleaded not guilty to snagging at Tippy Dam in Manistee County were found guilty at trial and sentenced to over $600 in fines. At the time, numerous complaints were called in on this group of violators, including calls to the Report-All-Poaching (RAP) hotline, information from anglers in the parking lot, and information from several anglers along the bank.
CO Jeff Ginn, of Newaygo County, assisted an MSP trooper with his jet boat regarding a drowning that occurred on the Pere Marquette River in Mason County. The MSP cadaver K9 was able to locate the lost angler, and the dive team needed assistance to recover the victim. COs Ginn and Brian Brosky were able to launch his patrol vessel into the shallow water and loaded the victim for transport to a shoreline location. Sgt. Kevin Hackworth assisted transferring the victim once on shore.
CO Chris Bowen received information regarding an individual who took snapping turtles from the wild during the closed season. CO Bowen was able to locate the residence of the individual and, after receiving consent to search the residence, located three large snapping turtles in plastic tubs in the basement, which the CO seized and later released. The investigation led CO Bowen to two subjects who admitted to driving around and grabbing turtles on land. Enforcement action was taken.
CO John Huspen responded to a complaint about a subject cutting live trees and arrived to find the subject cutting wood without a permit, as well. The subject was acting nervous and suspicious during the contact, so CO Huspen and local police, with consent, searched the vehicle. They located a substance that appeared to be a narcotic called “bath salts.”
CO Mike Hearn located a camp occupied by several young people. He went back to the camp after their 15 days had passed and found the campers had not yet moved on. They told CO Hearn they were homeless and had come from the Saginaw area. CO Hearn informed them of the regulations regarding dispersed camping. He later checked with local law enforcement and discovered that MSP was looking for one of the female subjects in the camp. He was able to direct the troopers to the location.
While patrolling Wixom Lake, COs Mark Papineau and Brian Olsen checked a boat with several anglers on board. While they talked with the subjects, the anglers advised the COs that they were heading back to shore after catching their limit of panfish. A subsequent count of the day’s catch revealed they were actually over their limit. Tickets were issued.
While on patrol on Crystal Lake in Montcalm County, CO Ken Lowell stopped and checked a couple anglers fishing from their boat. Upon inspection of the livewell, the CO located three undersized bass. The CO issued a ticket to the owner of the boat for keeping undersized bass.
While on patrol in Montcalm County, CO Ken Lowell received a complaint about a dog caught in a trap. When the CO arrived, the dog was released and more traps were found. No names were on the traps, so the CO made contact with the landowner. The landowner admitted to setting the traps for animals digging in his woods and garden. The landowner was ticketed.
While patrolling the Saginaw River during a music festival in Saginaw, COs Joel Lundberg and Dan Lee observed a vessel spray several other anchored vessels with mud and water from the river bottom. The COs stopped the vessel. The operator explained that the other vessels around him had been playing music from their stereos so loud that he couldn’t hear the concerts. He thought he would teach them a lesson by spraying them as they left. A ticket was issued for careless operation of a watercraft.
COs Nick Atkin and Phil Hudson were on patrol when they checked an area in their county that had not been patrolled in quite a while. They surprised a group of three anglers who had a limit of walleyes. Upon questioning the anglers about their success, the COs discovered that this was the anglers’ second trip out fishing that day, and the second limit of fish. Enforcement action was taken for taking an overlimit of walleyes.
CO Nick Atkin was on patrol when he checked a boater coming to shore at an out-of-the-way area of Saginaw Bay. CO Atkin found the angler was in possession of an overlimit of walleyes. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Joshua Wright received a tip that a person was keeping a fawn and was going to raise it to butcher in the future. CO Wright was able to make contact with the individual and recover the fawn from the person’s living room. While checking the property outside the residence, CO Wright discovered that the homeowner had two raccoons that he’d also taken from the wild. Charges are pending with the prosecutor’s office for both violations.
While conducting surveillance along an inland lake, which is open to catch-and-release fishing only, CO Gary Raak observed a subject stowing the fish he caught in the bottom of his canoe. As the subject came near shore, CO Raak identified himself. This prompted the subject in the canoe to head back out onto the lake and dump the fish he’d illegally kept. CO Raak instructed him to come back to shore immediately. The subject refused. After the fish had been discarded, he headed back to shore and proceeded to fall out of his canoe. CO Raak met with the wet subject and enforcement action was taken for keeping fish and resisting and obstructing a peace officer.
CO Andy Bauer responded to a RAP complaint and observed a subject fishing with too many lines on the pier in St. Joseph. Upon contact, the subject said he’d been told by another angler that what he was doing was illegal and that he was going to report him if he didn’t stop fishing with too many lines. The subject stated that he only fished with too many lines when he wasn’t taking up too much room on the pier. CO Bauer explained the law and issued the subject a ticket for the violation.
CO Mike McGee received a RAP complaint about a subject fishing and keeping too many steelhead on the pier in St. Joseph. Upon arrival and making contact with the subject, the CO discovered that the subject had kept six steelhead, but had shuttled four of the fish to a residence. CO McGee followed the subject to the residence and verified the overlimit. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Chuck Towns and county deputies responded to a complaint about a disorderly person in the Pine Point campground in the Allegan SGA. The subject was stopped in a vehicle outside the campground and was arrested for operating while impaired. CO Towns visited the subject’s campsite and issued a ticket to the other camp member for possession of alcohol, and evicted the camp.
CO Ivan Perez responded to a report about two bow anglers shooting and leaving rough fish in the water on Lake Macatawa and the Black River. While CO Perez did not see the anglers shoot any fish and they denied having any success, CO Perez located blood on one of the angler’s arrows. After a brief investigation, CO Perez issued tickets to the vessel operator for no fishing license and for no PFDs.
CO Ivan Perez was fishing with his family along the Grand River in the Bass River Recreation Area when several people arrived and began to use bottle rocket-type fireworks within the recreation area. CO Perez contacted the sheriff’s department and assisted a deputy, who ticketed the subjects for illegally using fireworks on state lands.
While on marine patrol, CO Rich Nickols checked two subjects in a small boat. Neither subject had a fishing license, and one of the subjects was on probation. Part of his probation order was to have no contact with the other subject in the boat. A ticket was issued and the subject’s probation officer will be contacted about the probation violation.
CO Damon Owens responded to a complaint about someone in possession of a spotted fawn. CO Owens was able to locate the subjects, who had been previously convicted for non-related wildlife violations. The fawn was turned over to CO Owens and relocated to a licensed rehabilitator. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Shane Webster responded to a RAP complaint regarding an individual fishing on a local lake who was suspected of taking overlimits of panfish. The complainants stated that he was seen fishing there frequently and often left with a full basket of fish, and that he also used too many lines. CO Webster responded to the area to observe the subject and waited for him to return to shore. After a couple hours, CO Webster had observed the man fishing with five lines off his vessel and catch well over his limit. Upon contact, the man stated that his son had just left the vessel, which is why he had so many fish. CO Webster told the subject how long he had been watching and stated he knew no one else had been with him. The subject admitted no one else was with him, but said he was from Florida and wasn't aware of Michigan's rules. CO Webster located 55 panfish, 30 over the limit, and one short largemouth bass. A check of the subject’s minnow basket revealed another eight small panfish the angler stated he was going to release in a pond. The subject’s 20-foot pontoon boat was without a type IV PFD. The smaller panfish were released. When asked how many years he had been fishing in Michigan, the angler said he’d been coming to this lake more than 50 years. Enforcement action was taken.
Sgt. Troy Bahlau observed two anglers around 10 a.m. on a local mill pond that connects to the Kalamazoo River. As Sgt. Bahlau approached them, one of the subjects threw a beer bottle into the woods behind him. Sgt. Bahlau made contact and found one of the two did not have a valid fishing license. Sgt. Bahlau found that both subjects were in their mid-20s and asked why they threw the beer in the woods. The subjects said they thought it was illegal to drink beer that early in the morning. Sgt. Bahlau had them clean up the litter and issued a ticket for the fishing and littering violations.
CO Brian Fish is working with sheriff’s deputies regarding an assault of a swan on Duck Lake. The swan was attacked by a male on a three-person PWC. Witnesses were unable to obtain the MC numbers and did not believe the subject was a lake resident. The subject left via the access site; the investigation continues.
CO Mark Ennett responded to a fishing complaint of a subject keeping short bass. CO Ennett was able to arrive in time to conduct surveillance on the small group of anglers at the Detroit River fishing pier. The subject was seen with a bucket that included one 9-inch bass. The angler said he thought it was a perch. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kris Kiel responded to a RAP complaint about a fawn in captivity. The CO found that the fawn was in a dog cage under a shade tree. No one was around. While he took photographs, a car pulled into the driveway. The CO contacted the occupant, who was the girlfriend of the suspect. She told the CO that her boyfriend had picked it up at a job site and brought it home. CO Kiel requested the cell phone number of the boyfriend and called him. He said he took the fawn home because it was left alone and would not move out of their way. The fawn was transported to a licensed rehabilitator. Enforcement action will be taken.
While working a nighttime fishing patrol on the St. Clair River near the Bluewater Bridge, CO Ben Lasher observed a vessel with dim navigational lights. As the CO pulled alongside the vessel to identify himself, the operator of the vessel turned away from the CO. CO Lasher activated his vessel’s emergency lights and stopped the vessel. The operator attempted to get to a cooler on the boat, but the CO stopped him. CO Lasher found 11 walleyes in the cooler. The subject had a felony warrant out of Texas. Enforcement action was taken, and the subject (no extradition) was released.