MInnesota Cuffs & Collars - May 25th, 2012
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods, the Roseau River, and Lake Bronson. Enforcement action was taken for possession of illegal-length walleyes and for angling without a license. A number of vehicle operators were found transporting watercraft without first removing the drain plug.
CO Larry Milbridge (Warroad) worked with a neighboring officer on a wetlands violation case.
CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) assisted DNR Forestry personnel with suppression and evacuation plans for the Northwest Angle in response to large wildfires in Manitoba.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) responded to a complaint about a nuisance bear in a local community, a TIP call about a fishing violation, a gray wolf depredation incident, and a complaint about cruelty to animals concerning a squirrel.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and boating activity throughout the week. A TIP call was received about a possible overlimit in progress. Upon further investigation, three anglers were found to be making multiple trips per day. One of the anglers was found at a cabin where numerous bags of fish were located. CO Gorecki seized several overlimits of walleyes, sunfish, and northern pike from a freezer, and then found the other two anglers, who were found on the water taking another limit of fish for the day. These two anglers were warned prior to CO Gorecki’s arrival and had dumped seven dead walleyes into the water. Charges are pending for overlimits of walleyes, sunfish, and northern pike, angling without a license, wanton waste, and possession of marijuana.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and boaters. Many water enthusiasts were talked to about AIS laws.
CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji) reports angling activity slowed a little. ATV complaint areas were checked, and forest roads were patrolled. Nuisance bear and wolf depredation complaints were investigated.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) helped a young angler release a swallow that became tangled in his fishing line. The bird was released unharmed. Another angler was identified as having a warrant for his arrest.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) assisted with use of force training at the CO academy, and attended taser training.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) assisted with a runaway horse at a state park. Several fishing-related TIP calls were investigated, and off-highway motorcycles and anglers were checked.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) rescued baby raccoons and an injured mallard. Invasive species questions continue to come in, and a nuisance bear complaint was handled.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports a busy week of fishing enforcement, responding to several TIP calls, and investigating complaints regarding double-tripping and overlimits, taking bass during the closed season, and speared rough fish being left on the banks of waterways.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Wheaton) reports a complaint was received regarding an individual killing a pelican. The individual was located and admitted he hooked the pelican in the wing and killed it so that he wouldn’t lose his Dardevle. After receiving his citation, he admitted it would have been a lot cheaper to buy a new fishing lure.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) assisted the Pope County Sheriff’s Office with a search for a kidnapping victim.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) completed work on a trapping case, worked an AIS detail, and checked anglers on area lakes. He spent time conducting a background investigation on a conservation officer candidate. Officer Parthun also checked area trout lakes and started an investigation in a case of wanton waste.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) continued to receive questions regarding AIS issues and taught a Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs class.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily conducted angler and invasive species checks. He prepared for a 3rd degree ATV DWI court trial that resulted in a guilty plea and conviction. Enforcement action was taken for illegal-length walleyes, several invasive species violations, and driving without a license.
CO Larry Francis (Remer) dealt with issues relating to a nuisance bear and handled a call regarding injuries to a horse believed to be caused by a predator. The injury was caused by fencing.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring ATV and angling activity. CO Broughten also attended court for a DUI arrest, investigated a public waters violation, and assisted the Minnesota State Patrol with a single-vehicle rollover.
CO Colleen Adam (OHV recreation officer – Park Rapids) patrolled state forest roads/trails during the week. Officer Adam also assisted with youth ATV safety training in Pine River.
CO Shane Siltala (Water Resource Enforcement Officer) continued to enforce AIS laws on area lakes. Compliance was good overall. Officer Siltala also spent time preparing for upcoming academy training. Enforcement action was taken for failing to remove drain plug.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) handled a wolf depredation complaint in the Littlefork area and checked on a waters violation on Rainy Lake.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) says a report of boats being driven too fast through a small channel before and during a competitive fishing event was received. A complaint about wild animals wandering through a church camp was referred to the DNR Wildlife Division.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling and boating activity, an invasive species work detail on infested waters in the Ray station, a trapping complaint, and a fishing TIP call about a person who was fishing without a license and had game fish in a home aquarium. The officer also dealt with a group of people shooting illegal fireworks on a street near a home during high winds. The fireworks container on the street started on fire, with 3-inch flames and embers blowing toward the woods. An individual shoveled the fireworks packaging into a campfire while the winds became even stronger, causing embers to blow under vehicles and across the street and into the garage.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) patrolled the Virginia area for ATV and OHM traffic. Numerous complaints have been taken regarding youths operating the machines illegally. Parents are reminded that they can be issued a summons for their children’s actions on ATVs and OHMs. Area lakes were patrolled and a high number of citations were issued to boaters for not having their navigation lights on after sunset.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and assisted with an ongoing public waters violation restoration on an area lake. CO Velsvaag also assisted at the scene of a fire near Ely and checked for compliance with AIS rules at several boat accesses.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) spent time working in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and encountered multiple ATVers illegally driving on the road.
CO Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) responded to a wolf depredation incident in which a wolf attempted to carry off a pot-bellied pig. The squealing of the pig and quick response of the owner caused the wolf to drop the pig and retreat into the forest. The pig should make a full recovery.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked AIS enforcement, and monitored OHV activity. Enforcement action was taken for possessing illegal-length fish, no angling license in possession, driving after expiration of a driver’s license, and failing to pull drain plugs.
CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked angling activity and took care of wolf complaints. Violations for slot fish, no license in possession, walleyes without a skin patch, and AIS violations were encountered. Two different wolf incidents occurred in the Bigfork area this week.
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled for ATV activity, dealt with wolf issues, enforced aquatic invasive species laws, investigated a wetland violation, and assisted the Koochiching County Sheriff’s Department.
CO Brent Speldrich (Northeast ATV Rec.) patrolled state forests where he received complaints about illegal use, returned calls regarding youth operation, completed reports on a current fire investigation, spoke with a county attorney’s office regarding an ongoing case, and checked anglers on area lakes.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked aquatic invasive species details in the area and found most anglers to be in compliance. ATV and ORV violations were observed, and enforcement action was taken. Wolf depredation zones are still open and new complaints continue. Officer Schmidt and Officer Ter Meer stopped an ATV that had an adult operator and three young girls on the same machine. The young girls were not wearing helmets and were dressed in swimsuits. The ATV had expired registration, and the operator was arrested for operating while under the influence of alcohol.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) spent time working on area lakes. The officer also worked with other local COs on a special invasive species detail.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) taught DNR K9 activities at the academy. Several boat accesses were worked to make sure folks were in compliance with invasive species laws. A call about an owl that was tangled in some netting at a game farm was received. Assistance was given in removing and releasing the bird unharmed. An investigation into a waters violation was finished and turned over to the area hydrologist for further follow-up. Complaints about wetland violations are being investigated. Enforcement action was taken when a complaint about a minnow trap in a trout stream was received. There were three brook trout found in the trap and no minnows.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended the NASBLA Tactical Watercraft Operator Course in Washington, D.C. with Officer Ter Meer, and attended National Police Week events at the Law Enforcement Memorial. Partnerships were established with other maritime officers from across the country that will lead to better working efficiencies on Lake Superior and higher levels of port security in Duluth.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked angling activity and patrolled for all-terrain vehicle violations. Officer Guida presented an informant with a check for reporting a violation through the TIP line, which was successfully prosecuted. The violator was convicted and paid $575 in restitution and fines. Officer Guida received complaints of individuals taking overlimits of crappies, and the investigation is ongoing.
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec Area), while investigating an illegal campsite in the Portsmouth mine unit, encountered several individuals at the campsite. One person left the scene on a motorcycle and later returned, but when the officer confronted him he fled on foot. Officer Tischler gave chase and then had to use chemical spray and physical force to arrest the suspect who was booked into the Crow Wing County jail for several charges, including 2nd degree DUI and test refusal for operating the motorcycle and resisting and fleeing on foot. Help was received from Crosby and Deerwood police departments and the State Patrol and COs Collette and Posner. Others in the campsite were cited for illegal camping and illegal off-highway vehicle operation in the SRA.
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) reports a boy believed he may have shot a Minnesota record river redhorse with his bow in the Pine River, as it weighed over 12 pounds on his scale. The fishing regulation book showed the record as just over 10 pounds. Further research with DNR Fisheries revealed that it must be taken with a hook and line to be considered for the record books. A Pine River man reported his English setter was chewed on by a timber wolf a few weeks ago, before he could scare it away. He got the vet bill that was over $200, but was told there is not reimbursement for domestic dogs.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) reports contact was made with a lakeshore owner who was removing cattails without a permit.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked Mille Lacs Lake angling activity. Lack of lights, shortages of PFDs, and substandard fish measuring continue to be problems. Verkuilen also worked AIS enforcement; boaters appear to have stepped things up since the opener. Several boat owners commented on getting checked the previous weekend and had heard about tickets being issued.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports assistance was given to the State Patrol on a two-vehicle crash on Hwy. 47.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued to assist farmers having problems with wolves harassing the livestock. Other calls were handled that involved nuisance animals, trespassing, and ATV activity.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) assisted with instruction at the CO academy for game enforcement theme week. CO Kuske also handled several nuisance beaver complaints in the vacant Little Falls station.
CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) assisted the Stearns County Sheriff’s Department with a car in the Mississippi River north of Sartell. Officer Martin attempted to stop an off-highway motorcycle operator along Hwy. 10 by Rice when the driver fled the scene. The driver and the dirt bike were found a short time later at a the operator’s girlfriend’s house. The driver is facing felony charges for fleeing a peace officer, along with multiple misdemeanor charges, and the OHM was seized. The driver said he didn’t want to get another ticket for operating along Hwy. 10 because he had just received one at the beginning of the month for the same thing.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) issued a citation and warning to archery carp shooters for shooting game fish. The officer also took complaints about rough fish with single punctures in them being dumped at various areas, including ditches and shorelines.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) worked an AIS detail on Lake Mille Lacs, checked anglers and boaters, investigated wetland complaints, and took calls about nuisance animals.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked anglers during the week. Time also was spent with the Pomroy Lake Association discussing lake issues.
CO Brian Dobbick (Cambridge) worked boaters and anglers on area lakes and rivers throughout the week. Time also was spent assisting at the Minnesota Outdoor Youth Expo at Wild Wings of Oneka in Hugo.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling activity. Salzer also worked invasive species enforcement.
CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) received calls regarding angling with extra lines, taking bass during the closed season, and taking walleyes and bass in a closed area.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) did aquatic invasive species enforcement in Dakota, Scott, and Hennepin counties. He assisted with training at the conservation officer academy.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) responded to a TIP complaint from Long Lake about someone targeting bass out of season.
CO Adam Block (Prior Lake) spent the week monitoring angling, off-road vehicle, and invasive species activity.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) patrolled Washington and Dakota counties for angling activity. Enforcement action was taken for numerous angling violations. CO McGowan also assisted a southern suburb’s enforcement department with an armed home invasion/robbery incident.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) responded to and investigated two TIP complaints of fish overlimits and unattended lines. CO Pril also worked at the “Take Aim at Summer” event, teaching kids and adults how to shoot a simulation gun.
CO Travis Muyres (Ham Lake) continued training the new DNR K9 unit. CO Muyres also worked fishing and boating enforcement in Anoka County.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) participated in a weekly radio show discussing fishing activity in the area. AIS details were worked on Big Stone and Lake Benton.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers and enforcing invasive species laws. Minnow bucket questions dominated conversations last week.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) provided instruction to the CO recruits at Camp Ripley last week. The officer also investigated a TIP report of an overlimit of walleyes.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) continued work on background investigations. A Wetland Conservation Act extension was issued in Blue Earth County.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) continues to check anglers and follow up on complaints about bass being kept out of season.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) continued working AIS laws in the area. Officer Oberg also worked an AIS detail in the Alexandria area, where several educational contacts were made.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) responded to TIP overlimit calls. Investigations were completed for angling violations. He attended the annual Ducks Unlimited Greenwing event in Trimont.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked angling and boating activity. CO Howe also assisted with recovery efforts for a drowning victim.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. Officer Ihnen also spent time patrolling for AIS violations, and participated in a pistol shoot during the weekend.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) spent the week checking area lakes and rivers for fishing activity. A trespassing complaint is also being investigated.
CO Tom Hutchins (Albert Lea) reports spending most of last week checking anglers and watercraft operators. Violations encountered included fish overlimits, no angling license, and failing to remove drain plugs.
WREO Julie Siems (Southeast Region) reports working multiple AIS details. Many wetland cases are being investigated. Assistance was given to other agencies in the search for a missing boater on the Mississippi.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Zumbrota) assisted other agencies with incidents including a domestic assault, stolen vehicle, the search for a drowning victim, and an active shooter on the Mississippi River.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) received complaints and questions about nuisance and baby animals.
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked boaters, anglers, and ATV operators throughout the week. AIS and Boat and Water details were worked. Enforcement action taken was taken for extra lines over limit and angling without a license and no registration on watercraft.
CO Scott Moran (Wabasha) reports an interesting weekend after a typical week. On Saturday, assistance was given to the Winona County Sheriff’s Office in dragging for a drowning victim on the Mississippi River at Winona, as well as assisting with a subject who was shooting on the Mississippi River.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working AIS details along the Mississippi River with other officers. Time also was spent assisting the Winona County Sheriff’s Department locate a drowning victim. Trout anglers were checked, as were a few turkey hunters. Trout anglers have been doing well. Reports of fawns being spotted also have been coming in. Violations encountered were angling without a license and litter.