Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Minnesota Cuffs & Collars Issue 31

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) monitored ATV and OHM activity in the
Roseau, Marshall, and Kittson County areas. A wetlands violation
was investigated in Kittson County. CO Huener assisted the
sheriff’s department with an incident involving a juvenile driving
an off-highway motorcycle on the highway.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) reports Beltrami
Island State Forest was patrolled for ATV activity and follow up
was conducted on an open investigation of unlawful farming of a
WMA. A cease-and-desist order for a Wetland Conservation Act
violation was issued.

CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) checked angling activity on area
experimental regulation lakes. Anglers were reminded to pull drain
plugs on boats before leaving landings. ATV activity was monitored
and complaint of no lights on a watercraft after sunset was
investigated. Enforcement action for the week included license and
angling violations.

CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) spent the week working in the
Boundary Waters Canoe Area checking campers and anglers. CO Gorecki
assisted local officers by working on numerous remote-access

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) issued a number of special beaver
permits to landowners experiencing water problems caused by beaver

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) assisted the sheriff’s department with
a missing person call, and investigated a burning complaint causing
a neighborhood dispute. TIP calls involving overlimits of fish also
were investigated.

CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) investigated fishing
complaints and met with the county attorney about pending

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Larry Hanson focused
enforcement efforts on invasive species issues on Lake of the
Woods, Becker County lakes, and Otter Tail County lakes. The
officer met with a county attorney regarding a wetland alteration
case and restoration. A resolution to the case is pending.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) followed up on aquatic plant
removal complaints with enforcement pending.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked boaters and fishermen this
week. Complaints were investigated of individuals keeping bass in a
closed area, along with goose depredation complaints.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) investigated a complaint of an
intoxicated boater in which the operator’s alcohol level was .21.
Enforcement action was taken for BWI, no fishing license, no PFDs,
and possession of a small amount of marijuana, and pot

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Wheaton) reports several fishermen and
boaters were checked. Trespass and nuisance animal complaints also
were investigated.

CO Kurt Nelson (Glenwood) reports a restoration order was issued
regarding a public waters violation.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) checked local trout lakes and
special regulation lakes. He assisted with the removal of a
snowmobile from the bottom of an area lake. The operator had been
skipping on the water when the sled sunk in 25 feet of water.

CO Gary Sommers’ (Walker) primary enforcement efforts this week
focused on sport fishing, boating, and ORV activity. In addition,
he received a call from a person in the Park Rapids station
regarding work that was being done by the DNR along the Heartland
State Trail. The caller was complaining that smoke and ash debris
were bothering him at his cabin near the trail where trees were
being burned. The caller was referred to the Division of Trails and

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) received a call about an old gill net
in a local lake; the matter was forwarded to Leech Lake
conservation officers.

CO Larry Francis (Remer) conducted follow-up on litter
complaints in a popular camping area and handled a TIP call
regarding an overlimit of fish.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent this week monitoring
fishing, boating, and ATV activity. CO Broughten also investigated
a complaint about ATVers operating in a wildlife management area
and fielded a call concerning a person excavating in public water.
Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession
and destroying aquatic vegetation without a permit.

CO Shane Siltala (Water Resource Enforcement officer) continued
to review wetland, public waters, and aquatic plant cases.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) assisted the
Koochiching County Sheriff’s Office in searching and locating an
emotionally disturbed person who walked off into the woods and was
missing for approximately eight hours.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) attended annual training and
responded to a TIP call concerning a possible wetland violation.
The violation is being investigated.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked boating regulation throughout the
week and found violations of expired boat registration, failing to
display boat registration, and no navigation lights on after
sunset. Officer Fredin watched an individual fish from a pontoon
with 2007 registration for about an hour and met him at his cabin
dock when he pulled in. When asked how fishing was and to see his
fishing license, the person said, “I wasn’t fishing, just taking a
boat ride around the lake.” He later apologized and said he didn’t
think he needed a license because the lake didn’t have a public
access and was surrounded by private landowners.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) worked ATV activity in the Two
Harbors and Silver Bay stations. Wild rice was checked at several
area lakes. Enforcement action was taken this week for unregistered
ATVs, allowing illegal operation of ATVs by a juveniles, and
juvenile ATV operation without a helmet.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) answered many questions about the
Horseshoe Bay dock, which is still under construction and
officially closed. The officer also answered questions at U.S.
Customs, worked on legislative updates, and issued road-kill deer
and nuisance beaver permits.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Jon Paurus (Hill City) patrolled area forest roads and trails
for ATV activity. Fishing activity also was monitored.

CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled state forests and
campgrounds, checked anglers and boaters, attended a meeting with
bear guides operating on the Chippewa National Forest, enforced ATV
laws, handled nuisance beaver complaints, and investigated a
complaint of possible pollutants being dumped in a creek.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked open wetland cases in
the area during the week. ATV activity was up in the area.

District 8 – Cloquet area

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) continued to work fishing and
boating enforcement around the area. Complaints about people
keeping undersized rainbow trout were investigated.

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth West) reported many wildlife calls were
received this week – everything from injured fawns to a report
about a charging bear. The officer also assisted research
biologists recover a sick moose so it could be transported to the U
of M for study to determine the cause of its illness.

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on possible wetland
violations. The officer also worked boaters and anglers in the
area. ATV complaints continue to be reported.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked ATV complaint areas during
which enforcement action was taken for operating without a safety
certificate and registration violations. Patrols were done in Jay
Cooke State Park where enforcement action was taken for swimming in
a posted “no swimming” area.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) reports working angling, boating,
and off-highway vehicle enforcement throughout the week. CO
Humphrey patrolled the Fond Du Lac State Forest. Violations during
the week included an overlimit of crappies, angling without a
license, and watercraft operation and equipment violations.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (northeast
Minnesota) worked with local government units on several new
wetland violations in the Duluth area. Officer Scott spent the
weekend checking boaters and anglers on area lakes and Lake
Superior for invasive issues as well as fishing activity.

Marine Unit

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Unit) checked anglers and boaters
on Lake Superior. Fish identification continues to be an issue for
anglers. Commercial fishing issues were discussed with Fisheries
personnel, and work plans were discussed with the U.S. Coast Guard
for a work detail during the Duluth Tall Ships event.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) investigated a complaint in Cass
County regarding filling a wetland along a private road. More than
one neighbor along the road reported the unsightly change after the
project. Officer Shoutz also received a call that involved three
young girls chasing and harassing loons while on their respective
PWCs. A concerned neighbor contacted the offending family on the
shoreline to put a stop to the activity.

CO Cary Shoutz (Crosslake) responded to a garbage-dumping
complaint, a nuisance bear, and several ATV violations. Public
water violations continue, along with requests from lakeshore
owners seeking permits to remove emergent vegetation from their

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) spent time working invasive species
enforcement this week. Officer Guida also followed up on a weed
roller violation that resulted in an enforcement contact.

Conservation Officer Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) did follow-up
interviews with a guide and his nonresident clients regarding a
crappie overlimit.

CO Brent Speldrich (McGregor) met with county attorney staff
regarding upcoming court cases, worked on an active hazardous waste
case, checked reports of illegal wetland work, checked on a report
of illegal aquatic vegetation removal, and answered questions
regarding aquatic vegetation removal.

CO Chad Sherack (Pequot Lakes) took enforcement action for
illegal burning, burning prohibited materials, operating an ATV on
a highway, and no license in possession.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Mike Lee (Isle) continued checking anglers this past week.
Officer Lee checked on a possible wetland violation that appears to
be from operating mudder-style trucks in a wetland.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) took care of a few nuisance animal
calls that involved injured deer, bears doing damage, and foxes
eating chickens. Time was spent at public accesses, checking
anglers coming off the water. Assistance was provided in the
recovery of a sheriff’s office boat that was stranded in the rapids
of the Kettle River.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent time working ATV and OHM
complaints near Pokegama Lake during the week. CO Wynn also dealt
with exotic/invasive species and monitored ATV use in the local
state forests.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) worked Mille Lacs and area lakes.
Officer Croatt patrolled area ATV trails and checked WMAs for
garbage dumping. Enforcement action was taken on fishing and
boating violations.

District 11 – Albany area

CO Brian Mies (Annandale) checked anglers and boaters this week.
CO Mies also checked on a garbage-burning complaint and received
information about someone illegally poisoning raccoons.

CO Robert Haberman (Little Falls) observed a woman fishing with
friends during the weekend with friends on a local lake. As CO
Haberman approached the watercraft, she handed the fishing rod to
another individual. When CO Haberman asked to see her fishing
license, she replied, “I’m just sun tanning.” CO Haberman explained
to her that with binoculars he noticed she had been fishing for
several minutes with the rest of the group. A citation was issued
for angling without a license.

CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) fielded several unusual calls during
the past week. During one phone conversation, a person stated that
he had just witnessed a bald eagle take his neighbor’s cat. The
person went on to say that he was worried about his small dog and
wanted to know if he could kill the eagle if it attacked his dog.
During another call, Officer Martin was being told about how “the
DNR” had lost the registration for the caller’s boat and he was mad
because he hadn’t received a registration renewal notice but had
been issued a summons for operating his watercraft with 2009
registration. The caller was upset until Officer Martin looked up
the registration and found the watercraft was registered to the
caller’s brother-in-law. The caller explained that he had bought
the boat with his brother-in-law, but had forgotten who registered

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) reports working with
neighboring officers on boat and water details. The officers had
many contacts for safety and registration issues. The officer also
fielded calls concerning aquatic vegetation and mooring buoys.

District 12 – St. Cloud area

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters.
Violations were found for no angling license, angling with extra
lines, and no PFDs. Several waters violations were

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fisherman on area lakes and
rivers. He followed up on a littering complaint and assisted with
an escaped deer in Elk River; Elk River police also assisted and
helped locate the deer.

CO Reller (Buffalo) assisted a neighboring officer with
investigating possible shoreline violations. Officer Reller also
attended training in Grand Rapids this week.

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked some anglers but spent most of
his time working ATV and motorcycle complaint areas. Time also was
spent at the Kanabec County Fair with members of the Mora Forestry

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers on Minneapolis lakes and
the Minnesota River. He patrolled Fort Snelling State Park. He also
spoke with approximately 40 to 50 Minneapolis high school students
and Wilderness Inquiry staff camping in the park regarding the
conservation officer’s duties.

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) returned several calls about nuisance
turkeys damaging cars, coyotes in back yards, and deer doing damage
to crops.

CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) arrested five people for boating while
intoxicated during the weekend on Lake Minnetonka. She and Officer
Block worked an underage drinking detail with the Hennepin County
Sheriff’s Office that resulted in underage consumption tickets and
another for providing alcohol to a minor. Other boating safety
violations were found as well. After a boat full of musicians was
stopped for having riders on the transom, the officer found several
other safety equipment violations. While she was writing out a
citation, the musicians started singing her a song titled, “The
Ticket-Writing Song.” The song lasted five minutes with lyrics
pleading for a warning. However, there were too many violations and
a citation was issued.

CO Todd Kanieski (Osseo) assisted local authorities in a search
for a missing suicidal male, believed to be in Wolsfeld Woods SNA
in Medina. The deceased male eventually was located on private
property near the SNA.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Jason Jensen (Metro WREO) reports working a boating
enforcement detail at the Flugtag contest in St. Paul.

CO Alex Gutierrez (Forest Lake) worked Lumberjack Days with CO
Muyres. Many boaters were out on the river, along with several
PWCers. Minor violations were encountered with proper enforcement
action taken. The COs also assisted the Washington County Sheriff’s
Office with a domestic dispute on a boat during Lumberjack

CO Greg Salo (East Metro) worked with a DNR hydrologist on an
Anoka County lake to ensure restoration orders are followed by the
lakeshore owners.

CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked anglers around the metro lakes and
rivers. He also worked the Red Bull Flugtag event by boat on the
Mississippi River in St. Paul.

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) worked with the area hydrologist
on White Bear Lake regarding shoreline violations. She handled
calls regarding injured deer, worked ATV enforcement, and did
equipment maintenance.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) and neighboring conservation
officers patrolled the Minnesota River during Franklin’s “Catfish
Derby Days.” The most common violations encountered were angling
with extra lines, unattended lines, no license, and boating
equipment violations. An investigation continues with DNR Waters,
DNR Fisheries, and WREO Larry Hanson regarding a public
waters/APM/wetland violation on Lake Yankton.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) received several complaints
regarding commercial minnow dealer activity.

CO Neil Henriksen (Benson) reports several calls came from the
public, reporting dead young-of-the-year fish. The Division of
Fisheries was contacted. The likely cause of the die-off was
determined to be low oxygen, due to decaying algae. CO Henriksen
assisted the Swift County Sheriff’s Office with an overdue boater.
The boater was found OK before law enforcement arrived.

CO Doug Lage (Marshall) received several complaints of mowing
next to or on wildlife management areas. Investigations are still

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) reports severe injuries have resulted
from two off-road vehicle accidents in the past two weekends in
Murray County.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked angling, boating, and
PWC activity. He also enforced ATV laws and investigated possible
violations of public waters and aquatic vegetation laws.

CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson East) worked a catfish detail with
area officers this week. Strong storms slowed the fishing, but a
few nice cats were caught, along with a couple walleyes.

CO Greg Abraham (New Ulm) testified in court regarding a felony
case from last fall. Numerous beaver complaints are coming in from
rural landowners.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week continuing to focus on
fishing, boating, and invasive species enforcement.

CO Julie Siems (Faribault) reports working mostly angling
enforcement. Calls are coming in regarding a bear in both the
Lonsdale and Kenyon areas.

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) worked area lakes and rivers for
boat and water activity. Several unregistered kayaks/canoes were
discovered on the Blue Earth River. A boater on an area lake was
assisted to shore when the boat’s motor quit. Officer Wiebusch also
responded to a drowning in the Minnesota River in Mankato.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers during the week.
Officer Heyn also worked ATVers and helped a Wisconsin warden with
a case.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports heavy ATV and boat traffic. He
investigated complaints of ATVs being operated in the state forest.
Officer Hemker had a trial on a deer case involving an illegal
party hunting and lending a deer tag.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports complaints about raccoons
raiding sweet corn patches are coming in. People are reminded that
“fly bait and coke” used as a poison to kill raccoons is illegal
and cannot be used.

CO Scott Moran (Wabasha) reports heat and storms have been the
topic this week. Fishing has been up and down. Some anglers have
had good luck, while others are having none. Recreational boaters
have been active with the hot weather. ORV trails have been muddy
with the large amount of rain.

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