Minnesota Cuffs & Collars – March 30th, 2012
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) monitored ice shelter removal from area waterways and testified at a court trial. A report about a dead coyote left in a snare was investigated.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) assisted DNR Forestry staff with wildfire activity and the burning of illegal materials. A complaint about an individual cutting down trees and leaving them in the Red Lake River was investigated.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Stuart Bensen (Erskine) spoke to a group of law enforcement students at the University of Minnesota-Crookston about conservation officer duties. This will be Stuart Bensen’s final report. He will be retiring this week after 32 years of service to the citizens of Minnesota.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) continues to investigate a wolf-shooting incident, and recruit wolf controllers. Several fires also were investigated. Anglers were checked, and a rabbit owner reported several animals killed by a fisher. The fisher was shot by the rabbit owner when it returned.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored fish run activity and checked anglers. A complaint about a net between Irving Lake and Lake Bemidji turned out to be DNR Fisheries doing a northern pike population assessment.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) received a complaint about a person shooting a muskrat with a bow. The individual later was located and interviewed, with charges pending.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Wheaton) reports time was spent working invasive species enforcement on Lake Traverse and Lake Minnewaska. Minnow transportation permits were issued, and several fires were checked throughout the county. Litter complaints were handled, as well as a call about an individual who thought this past weekend marked the spring fishing opener. The individual was confused and thought we were into the month of April already, but after looking at the calendar on his phone, he realized it was still March.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) and CO Adam assisted the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office regarding a report about a lost child and with a rollover vehicle accident. COs were available at the scene to divert a muskrat from entering the overturned vehicle – with the victim and first responders still in the car.
CO Shane Siltala (Water Resource Enforcement officer) held a special training session for local law enforcement officers regarding aquatic invasive species laws and inspection authority.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Dan Starr (Tower) worked on a public waters violation in which somebody plugged a culvert to raise the water level in a lake. Blocking public waterways is illegal.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) assisted the Hibbing Police Department with a day-old report of a snowmobile that went down in an ice-free urban lake. A patrol boat was used, but the sled could not be found in the lake. The operator eventually was found by following the drag marks to a nearby garage. Charges are pending for the water skipper.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked the last of the trout ice fishermen and documented garbage left on the ice by fish house owners. They will be receiving their summonses in the mail. Everything left on the ice is garbage. This included cardboard, plywood, carpet, blocks of wood, tackle wrappers, piles of ash (with nails and tinfoil among other things), oil, etc.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked with other officers on a Rainy River detail. Two sober individuals thought it would be a good idea to have their intoxicated fishing partner drive the 115-horsepower boat while they fetched the truck and trailer for loading the boat after a day of fishing. The intoxicated boater thought it would be a good idea to draw attention to himself by driving the boat around in circles, creating a big wake next to where other anglers were trying to load their boats on the ramp. Enforcement action was taken.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, ATVers, and beaver trappers. He also investigated complaints about unauthorized motor vehicles on ATV trails.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) took several calls from the public concerning ice ridge and shoreland issues. A complaint concerning Canada geese was handled during the weekend.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) reports that complaints about bears in bird feeders and garbage cans have begun for the season. Please place feeders and garbage cans inside to prevent any problems.
CO Scott Staples and K-9 Schody (Carlton) report a call about a wildfire was investigated in Blackhoof Township in which a person admitted to starting the fire accidentally when her cigarette was left on a couch that she and another person were bringing to a burn pile to burn. She was cited for a careless/negligent act resulting in a fire.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Unit Leader-Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked a detail on the Iron Range and assisted Duluth police with suspects fleeing on foot from a stolen vehicle.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) received a TIP call involving a man shooting his shotgun toward a pair of geese in front of his lake home. The suspect claimed he was simply shooting in the air to scare the geese from making a mess on his beach and dock area and was not trying to kill the geese. He was aware that waterfowl season is closed.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reported investigation of incidents including wolves killing livestock, a domestic dog killed in a raccoon trap, illegal dumping of garbage on public lands, illegal ATV operation in closed state forest areas, and illegal placement of plastic sheeting in public waters to destroy vegetation.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) handled trespassing complaints in which trappers illegally set traps. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV in a prohibited area when the operator decided to wash the ATV in a lake. Heaton also assisted the county with an intoxicated individual who rode off a steep area of a bike trail.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports patrol was done in the Solana State Forest for ATVs and spring road closure violations. An incidentally trapped otter was seized during the week.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Brian Mies (Annandale) finished up with a complaint about a goose shot out of season. CO Mies also worked on wetland and shoreland complaints.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, boaters, spring fish run, and fires.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) reports a search warrant was conducted and an otter was picked up as an incidental catch by a beaver trapper.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports a busy weekend of fishing in the area. He also investigated people camping in Carlos Avery WMA. An old campsite was found, but nothing more.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) worked numerous TIP calls regarding fishermen taking bass and northerns out of season.
CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) assisted Shakopee officers regarding a call about shots fired in the Minnesota River Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) investigated a case of illegally taking waterfowl during the closed season. The individual was identified and charged.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) handled a complaint in which an individual let an ice-skating rink made out of bales of hay sink to the bottom of the lake.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports enforcement action was taken for taking northerns out of season, no life jacket, license fraud, and expired boat registration.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) reports two WCA restoration orders were issued in Nicollet and Faribault counties.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jim Steffen (Willmar) worked on a complaint regarding juveniles shooting waterfowl out of season.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) finished up a shining investigation that led to an individual being charged with the illegal taking of a raccoon.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking boaters, anglers, and ATV operators. In addition, a TIP call and other questions from the public were handled.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports a trapping issue was investigated, which resulted in trappers being cited for failure to remove traps and untagged traps.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) investigated a complaint about beaver carcasses found in the Mississippi River. All the beavers had been skinned and dumped into the river.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports heavy fishing pressure on the river. He investigated complaints of double-tripping for fish, fishing with extra lines, fishing too close to a dam, and taking fish during the closed season.
CO Phil George (Rochester) encountered overlimits of white bass, trout, and crappies.