Minnesota Cuffs and Collars – March 23rd, 2012
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods and made sure fish houses were off area inland waters. Wildfire activity has picked up significantly, and people are reminded to obtain burn permits and keep an eye on weather conditions.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) monitored fish shelter removal from area waterways and testified in a court case in Kittson County. He transferred evidence to St. Paul Central Office and investigated a call about a coyote left in a snare.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) reports a complaint about an individual cutting down trees and leaving them in the Red Lake River was investigated.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored ice-fishing activity on Lake of the Woods and open-water fishing on the Rainy River. The Rainy River is now open past Frontier, and numerous anglers were checked. They reported varying success.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) monitored fish house removal, and responded to wildfire complaints. At one scene, Malinowski was instrumental in saving a pull-behind camper by deploying a fire extinguisher and knocking a fire down.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked anglers and investigated a wolf depredation complaint.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports an ATV and its rider broke through the ice on Walker Lake. The ATV operator was able to get out of the water on his own.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) reports deteriorating ice conditions on area lakes. The fire danger in the area is very high, and people should get a burning permit before doing any burning. Calls about trespass and incidentally taken furbearers were handled.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) reports several fires were investigated. In most cases a burning permit was not obtained prior to burning.
Water Resource Officer Traci Hanson (Northwest Region) met with Board of Water and Soil Resources personnel about a wetland alteration violation. Hanson also spoke with area sheriff’s deputies about aquatic invasive species law enforcement. Hanson also met with Otter Tail County officials and a landowner about a wetland alteration violation.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports ice angling has come to the end, and it’s not safe to venture out anymore. Richards received a report regarding an angler dropping an ATV in an area lake during the weekend. Anglers should concentrate on getting their watercraft ready for the open water and make sure their registration is up to date.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spoke to a firearms safety class in Battle Lake about hunting ethics and laws.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports focusing enforcement efforts on fishermen and working complaints about fishermen taking overlimits of fish.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Wheaton) monitored fish run activity, and checked fishermen and ATV and OHM operators. Time also was spent investigating some illegal fires.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) reports a complaint was received and investigated regarding juvenile operation of ATVs on roads and trespassing. The area will continue to receive extra patrols. Burning complaints were handled, as were calll regarding individuals wanting to place fishing structures in public waters.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) monitored trapping activity, ATV trails, and angling in the area. Parthun assisted the sheriff’s department with a burglary in progress complaint. He located several illegal fires and took enforcement action when appropriate. One such fire burned 25 acres.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked fishermen, beaver trappers, and ATVers. Officer Hunter received two calls about dead bald eagles.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) monitored fish house removal and checked perch anglers. Although the legal deadline for removal was March 19, at least one fish house was in jeopardy of breaking through the ice on Lake Winnibigoshish. Officer Mathy worked with the Leech Lake Band to locate and advise the owner of the fish house. Mathy also received and investigated a complaint about a resident burning waste, which resulted in a citation issued for burning prohibited materials.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring ice-angling activity. During the weekend, CO Broughten responded to reports of ATVs and trucks breaking through the ice. CO Broughten also responded to several fires, one fire burning nearly 80 acres.
CO Colleen Adam (OHV recreation officer – Park Rapids) patrolled state forest roads and trails during the spring breakup closures and checked a few diehard ice anglers. Officer Adam also conducted seasonal equipment maintenance and responded to wildfires and various fire investigations.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) checked on beaver-trapping complaint and followed up on a wetland issue. Open-water fishing on Rainy River has started earlier than normal with warmer weather. CO Kittelson also responded to a wildfire that burned approximately 20 acres, and resulted in the loss of one building/shop and lots of equipment. The fire would have engulfed a home if it wasn’t for the great work of the three rural fire departments in Loman, Birchdale, and Littlefork; area neighbors with logging equipment; and DNR Forestry staff. People are reminded to use extreme caution when burning, as the conditions are becoming increasingly dangerous.
CO Dan Starr (Tower) monitored fish house removal and checked some perch and tullibee anglers. ATV activity is increasing rapidly.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a firearms safety class and spent time following up on trespass cases. A large amount of time was spent on area lakes documenting litter left behind by ice anglers. Some area ice anglers will be receiving littering citations in the mail.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers this past week. CO Velsvaag followed up on multiple fish house litter complaints and took calls on nuisance animals and accidentally caught fur.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) reports a speedy switch from winter to spring. The officer investigated an unattended burn pile lit by a party who was overly optimistic about the 3 inches of snow cover required for unpermitted burns. The officer also is investigating the shooting of a bobcat found in a ditch west of Grand Marais; anyone with information is urged to call the TIP line.
CO Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) received a call about a pine marten in a cabin. CO Johnson participated in the St. Urho’s Day parade in Finland, and cited a motorist on Hwy. 61 for an unsafe pass on the road shoulder.
CO Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) reports calls about property and animal owners’ rights with regarding wolves and the potential wolf season are ongoing.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV traffic, worked fire activity, and assisted the county with a warrant arrest.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) assisted the county and local police departments, worked fishing and ATV enforcement, and checked area lakes for fish house removal. Violations encountered included obstructing legal process, possessing a small amount of marijuana, minor consumption of alcohol, no license in possession, operating an ATV on a road, burning prohibited materials, an uncased firearm in a motor vehicle, and miscellaneous motor vehicle equipment violations. A DUI in a motor vehicle was turned over to the county. CO Hansen also spoke to a lakeshore owner on Connors Lake about violations regarding altering the cross section of a lake or stream.
CO Randy Patten (Northome) spent the week answering questions about state laws pertaining to wolves around livestock and notifying trappers of what they need to do if they want to be a certified wolf controller.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling enforcement throughout the week on area lakes and the St. Louis River. CO Humphrey also patrolled in Moose Lake State Park.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent some time training with K9 Schody. Some recreational vehicle complaints are being worked in the area. These violations consist of operating on county roads and careless operation. A call about an injured deer at a local rest home was investigated. The deer was badly injured from being hit by a car and had to be euthanized. The deer was shot by an 1854 warden and was donated to a needy family.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (NE) worked on a public waters violation with the officer for the Crane Lake area; lakeshore owners had installed rip-rap and other work below the ordinary high water level. Site visits with the property owner and others were set for this spring.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) assisted the Coast Guard, Duluth Fire Department, and St. Louis County with the removal of a fish house left on the St. Louis River.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine Rive) reports that ice conditions continue to deteriorate. Two trucks driven by anglers needed to be pulled from Norway Lake in Pine River.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) reports a license fraud case is being investigated. ATV operators are reminded that local trails continue to remain closed and that it is also still illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) continued checking anglers and had a first in his career – he had to swat mosquitoes while watching ice fisherman in March.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) attended a wildfire investigation meeting during the week. He also investigated a fire near Brainerd and checked fishing activity on area lakes. Ice conditions are deteriorating rapidly and it is advised to stay off area lakes. Several vehicles and ATVs were reported to have broken through the ice.
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) attending a Wetland Conservation Act meeting and followed up with ongoing wetland cases. Heaton also attended fire investigator training.
CO Angela Londgren (Onamia) checked anglers and ATVers, and patrolled state parks and WMAs. Officer Londgren also took complaints about nuisance animals, as well as angling and trapping questions.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) responded to three different instances in which fishermen had broken through the ice with ATVs on Mille Lacs Lake.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) reports a few wildfires were reported and fire danger in the area increased to moderate.
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) reports beaver trappers are enjoying the early prime pelts without having to chip ice to get to them.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) checked angling activity on area lakes. CO Kuske also gave a law-enforcement presentation to a firearm safety class.
CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) checked anglers, and ATV and OHM operators during the week. Officer Martin also received several calls about aquatic invasive decals that are required by law for watercraft; watercraft owners or operators should call St. Paul Central Office if they have questions or need the decal – 1-888-MINN-DNR.
CO Robert Haberman (Little Falls) checked trappers and received reports of tampered and stolen traps.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) reports working late-season ice anglers and trapping activity. The officer is finding lots of new trappers out and about with the nicer weather. Assistance was given to neighboring officers with investigations pertaining to trapping, as well.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters on the open river. Violations were found for no PFDs and no watercraft registration.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes and rivers. He also followed up on a number of dumping complaints.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) investigated a shoreline violation that resulted in a cease and desist order being issued and a contractor being cited for several violations. Enforcement action was taken for boating without required PFDs onboard a watercraft and bowfishing out of season.
CO Brian Dobbick (Cambridge) spent time working anglers and ATV activity. Time also was spent investigating animal complaints and setting up numerous safety/educational classes.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Aaron Kahre (Minnetonka) focused on litter and fishing enforcement. The CO investigated littering complaints that ranged from vacuum cleaners to golf balls and lighters. He also checked fishermen on both the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. CO Kahre would like to remind folks that the ice is no longer safe for man or beast.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) checked fishermen along metro rivers. He gave presentations to a firearms safety class and a turkey clinic.
CO Adam Block (Prior Lake) spent part of the week working angling and off-road vehicle activity. CO Block assisted the New Prague Archery Club by delivering a LaserShot system they used for an event. CO Block also assisted with a wildfire in Le Sueur County, which was started due to someone burning household garbage.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked fishing and boating enforcement activities on the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. Along with CO Salzer and CO Glaser, he represented the DNR Enforcement Division at the LEO fair in Brooklyn Park. He also took TIP calls for illegal waterfowl hunting.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Jason Jensen (Metro WREO) had a hearing for an AIS citation issued last summer. CO Jensen also spoke to a wildlife management class at Forest Lake High School.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) assisted with a deer removal program in Ramsey County.
CO Travis Muyres (Ham Lake) responded to a TIP about a goose possibly shot in Andover. CO Muyres utilized his K9 partner Hunter in locating the kill site and evidence. The suspect was located, and the goose and gun were located. Charges are pending for taking a goose out of season.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) reports that most lakes in the area are now completely ice-free. The officer responded to complaints about nuisance animals and reports of illegal dumping. Several out-of-state minnow transport permits were issued.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking light goose hunters. Unseasonably high temperatures have brought out ATVers. Enforcement action was taken for operating on a roadway and license/stamp/registration violations.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) reports that area lakes have opened up. Burning violations continue to be a high priority. Enforcement action was taken for no burning permit – unable to control a fire. A litter violation was also handed out when a motorist threw out a beverage can in front of the officer.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) worked light goose hunting, fishing, ATV, and invasive species enforcement. Warm weather has opened up all the lakes in the area. The law and ethics portion of a firearms safety class was taught in Minneota. At the class, six volunteer instructors were given 30-year award prints. All six were certified together in the spring of 1982.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored angling and small-game activity. Ice conditions are extremely poor. A wetland violation is under investigation after a DNR pilot flew over and found tile through a wetland.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports enforcement action was taken for taking walleyes and northern pike out of season.
CO Neil Henriksen (Benson) reports the enforcement focus of the week included ATV and fishing enforcement. An incidentally caught otter was turned in by a beaver trapper.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended lake service provider training for AIS in Marshall. He also conducted AIS checks on light goose hunters and their equipment along the Minnesota River. A possible WCA/public waters violation on a WMA is under investigation in Big Stone County. A restoration order was issued for a WCA violation in Nicollet County.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jim Steffen (Willmar) spent the week checking fishermen, as well as ATV and OHM use and access sites for fish houses left on them.
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) worked trapping complaints and monitored spring beaver-trapping activity.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted commercial activity inspections. Site inspections were performed for possible wetland impact violations.
CO Greg Abraham (New Ulm) reports he worked the end of the trapping season for foxes and raccoons. He checked out a couple shooting complaints in the Minnesota River Valley that turned out to be crow hunters competing in a contest out of Watson. CO Abraham also talked to a youth firearm safety class in Westbrook.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Tom Hutchins (Albert Lea) reports spending time last week working snow goose-hunting activity. Several thousand snow geese were in the Freeborn County area during the first part of last week. A deer-related TIP call was checked in a vacant station.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports a few thousand light geese moved through the area, garnering some hunting attention. ATVers are out in the ditches, getting some riding in before the Ag Zone restrictions close area ditches to riding on April 1.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, ATVers, and watercraft operators. Officer Ihnen also was at Owatonna Junior High School speaking about various environmental and enforcement topics.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports checking many anglers during the week. Commercial checks continue to be a priority. ATV activity in the area remains steady. Time was spent at Minneopa State Park handling issues, while the search for a park manager continues. Assistance was given to several different law enforcement agencies on St. Patrick’s Day for alcohol-related incidents.
CO Julie Siems (Faribault) reports assistance was given at the site of an injury roll-over crash.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Phil George (Rochester) spent the week checking boaters and anglers. He took a complaint about an individual hunting squirrels after the close of the season. He also received complaints about people feeding deer in the CWD zone.
CO Dan McBroom (Rochester) spent the week on fishing, off-highway motorcycle, ATV, boating and safety, and invasives enforcement. Hundreds of boats are already out on the Mississippi, and boaters are reminded that the water temperatures are still low, and falling overboard without a life jacket would be hazardous.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) followed up on complaints about a fire on a WMA, illegal fishing in closed areas, and people taking too many fish.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) reports an angler fell through the ice on his way to go fishing and after wringing out his socks, still managed to catch a few fish.
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) attended a meeting with DNR Wildlife staff addressing deer depredation. He also assisted a Wisconsin warden with an arrest warrant. Enforcement action was taken for undersized walleyes, expired boat registration, no throwable PFDs, uncharged fire extinguisher, no fishing license in possession, and using extra lines.