MInnesota Cuffs & Collars – May 11th, 2012
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Larry Milbridge (Warroad) investigated a timber wolf depredation complaint. A couple of wildfires were addressed, with enforcement action taken. A garbage-dumping complaint is under investigation.
CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) worked aquatic invasive species enforcement and assisted DNR Forestry with fire complaints.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and ATV activity throughout the week. CO Gorecki also investigated a possible arson fire. Charges are currently pending.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) checked anglers, boaters, and ATVers. A raccoon attacked a dog on the dog owner’s porch. The raccoon will be tested for rabies.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) monitored spring fish run activity and responded to trespass complaints. Turkey hunters and anglers were checked.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) focused enforcement efforts on angling activity. Complaints regarding people fishing in closed spawning areas were investigated.
CO Stacey Sharp (Bemidji) checked anglers, ATVers, and trappers. A TIP call about anglers taking bass out of season was investigated.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) assisted the Becker County Sheriff’s Office with an ATV crash. A 5-year-old boy and the ATV driver were transported to a hospital. A number of calls involving coyote or wolf depredation, and cougar sightings, were investigated.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) focused enforcement efforts on angling and turkey-hunting activity. A number of complaints about taking overlimits of crappies and taking walleyes out of season were investigated.
Water Resources Officer Traci Hanson (Northwest Region) met with a landowner and DNR hydrologist to inspect a public waters alteration site.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked turkey hunting enforcement as well as fish run activity. Plautz also worked on a background investigation and attended FTO training.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville), along with CO Johanson, presented firearms safety presentations to students at the Douglas County Safety First Day Camp.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) worked the rough fish spearing/archery/dip-net opener with many folks checked throughout the week. Unfortunately, several dead fish were left on the banks of creeks – along with the accompanying odor. Several juveniles were identified in one incident in which enforcement action was taken and the fish were picked up.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) reports a complaint was received regarding a possible Wetland Conservation Act violation, and it is currently under investigation.
CO Kurt Nelson (Glenwood) spoke to 100 Morris-area youth about boat and water safety. A TIP was received about fishermen keeping walleyes on an area lake. Three individuals were found. One individual was cited for no fishing license, one individual was cited for taking walleyes during the closed season, and another was cited for taking largemouth bass during the closed season.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) attended a district meeting, worked a dumping complaint, and monitored ATV activity.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked fishermen and ATV operators. She also received calls about injured animals and escaped cervidae.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) worked at the CO academy, providing firearms training to new officers. He also conducted aquatic invasive species and angler checks. Officer Oldakowski taught two firearms safety classes, presented a 50-year instructor award to a dedicated instructor, and prepared for upcoming field training for new conservation officers.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) received a complaint about spearers leaving dead fish along a creek bank.
CO Larry Francis (Remer) investigated the illegal filling of a wetland and the illegal taking of a beaver.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) continued to receive several calls concerning a bear that refuses to leave a road right of way. People are advised to not feed the bear, and the bear likely will leave. CO Broughten also assisted the Minnesota State Patrol with a single-vehicle crash and submitted a report to the county attorney’s office for charges.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) investigated a wetland violation with the Wadena County Soil and Water Conservation District. Officer Halverson also gave presentations to the Leader Lions Club, Lincoln Free Church Men’s Group, and the Staples High School fish and wildlife classes on AIS and new laws for 2012.
CO Shane Siltala (Water Resource Enforcement Officer) continued to work on open wetland and aquatic plant management cases. He was able to close out three cases due to satisfactory completion.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) continued to monitor sturgeon-fishing activity on the Rainy River; enforcement action was taken for failure to validate a sturgeon tag.
CO Dan Starr (Tower) took several complaints about beavers and a few regarding bears.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers and ATVers, processed accidental otter catches, readied boats for the season, and attended a meeting for feld training officers at Camp Ripley. Two ATV operators with new machines started them out on the wrong foot by being cited for OHV trespass after ignoring multiple “no vehicle” signs.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked some ATV enforcement and kept an eye on spawning areas. One party was found spearing illegally one day from a bridge that had “area closed” signs in the water. When the person was asked if he knew why the signs were there, he said he thought it was OK because it was after May 1. The officer pointed out the large, bold lettering following the “area closed” portion that read “May 1-12.”
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) found several untagged leech traps and leech traps that had been left in a pond over the winter. Reports of more stolen beaver traps were taken.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked area anglers along North Shore streams and monitored AIS compliance. The officer handled numerous calls about the upcoming wolf season and the new AIS laws.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) assisted with firearms training at Camp Ripley, investigated litter and trapping complaints, did fishing and boating enforcement on the Rainy River, answered ATV-related questions, and took care of nuisance animal complaints.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked activities on or near area infested waters. Arhart checked minnow and leech bait-harvesting activities, attended a district planning meeting for aquatic invasive species enforcement efforts, and spoke at the Deer River Sportsmen’s Club’s meeting about aquatic invasive species. Arhart also reissued a Wetland Conservation Act restoration order for a St. Louis County impact.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) took enforcement action for angling without a license, operating an ATV on a county road, and for working with heavy equipment below the ordinary high water mark of a public water.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling and spring turkey enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey also patrolled in the Sawyer WMA and Fond du Lac State Forest. CO Humphrey assisted on a search warrant in Pine County with other area COs, and also dealt with a transient unlawfully camping near a state trail in Moose Lake.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time at Camp Ripley working on background investigations for possible new-hire conservation officers.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports lots of ATV users have been enjoying the spring weather. Most riders are responsible riders, but there have been a few complaints about irresponsible riders tearing up a wetland. A complaint of a group of riders knocking over signs, tearing up the parking lot and pushing an outhouse off its foundation was reported at the Comstock boat landing.
CO Scott Staples and K-9 Schody (Carlton) attended and passed a tracking certification test put on through the U.S. Police Canine Association. Follow-up on a wetland violation was finished with the issuance of a restoration order. A game farm inspection was completed, and a follow-up on a call about a dead wolf in a ditch was investigated. It was found that the wolf had been hit and killed by a motor vehicle.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (Northeast Region) reports several wetland issues were investigated, with two restoration orders being issued.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore and river anglers, and assisted local departments with calls. Equipment maintenance was handled, and calls were returned regarding to wildlife questions.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) reports a TIP call was handled involving four teenagers spearing northerns on the opening day of sucker spearing. A rancher reported to the CO that a calf was bitten by a wolf, and a call was taken about PWCers running up a creek one morning at a greater than no-wake speed. Operation of a PWC is allowed between 9:30 a.m. and one hour before sunset.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked on sportfishing activity, academy training, and exotic species enforcement. An investigation was started regarding a contractor who was observed damaging a public water access.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked fishing, invasive species, watercraft, turkey hunting, and ATV enforcement during the week.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) saw a large increase in boating and angling activity throughout the week. More livewells were found with fish in them, and some of the violations dealt with included fishing without a license and fishing with too many lines. Nuisance animals continued to be a problem, and complaints included wolves harassing cattle and beavers caused flooding.
CO Mike Lee (Isle) assisted with training at the CO academy. Officer Lee also followed up on a possible illegal dumping complaint into Lake Mille Lacs.
WREO Robert Haberman (Brainerd) worked AIS enforcement around Brainerd and Mille Lacs areas. WREO Haberman also worked on wetland enforcement cases.
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) and other conservation officers, as well as Pine County Sheriff’s Office deputies, executed a search warrant stemming from an ATV violation. Heaton also assisted with the search for a missing horse in the General Andrews State Forest. The horse broke free from its handler’s grasp as it was being loaded into a trailer.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) followed up with numerous calls about nuisance animals during the week. One of the calls was a first, with a grouse “attacking” a small child. The caller was informed that the child probably got too close to its nest or young, and to steer clear of the area. CO Wynn started receiving calls about nuisance beavers, with the large amounts of rain the area has received.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) taught the law portion of Little Falls firearm safety classes and assisted with an ATV certification class in Browerville. Nuisance beaver permits were issued.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked anglers, turkey hunters, and trapping issues. Court was attended for a juvenile case.
CO Keith Bertram (WREO) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, planning AIS work crews, and working on wetland case files.
CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) checked anglers, watercraft operators, OHM operators, and ATV operators during the week. Officer Martin spoke about AIS issues and the fishing opener on several radio shows, and started a background investigations for the upcoming CO academy. Officer Martin also answered several TIP calls and miscellaneous wildlife calls, as well. One caller wanted “the DNR” to be aware that there is a black bear in rural Benton County. Another caller reported a coyote in a trap out in a field about 50 yards off of County Road 75 in Stearns County. Officer Martin discovered that the “coyote in a trap” was in fact a coyote decoy used to keep geese out of the farmer’s sprouting field. Three adult brothers were cited for angling without a license at the same time while fishing on the Mississippi River in Stearns County. All insisted that they had a license but just didn’t have it with them.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) met with a watercraft service provider to discuss its role in preventing the spread of AIS.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters. A dumping complaint and complaints about shooting from a motor vehicle were handled.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) spent time focusing on angling and boating activity, with numerous invasive species-related contacts at local public accesses.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes and rivers. He issued summonses and written warnings for angling without a fishing license, no fishing license in possession, expired boat registration, unattended lines, and a set line. He followed up on a couple of illegal burns and responded to a TIP call about a person shooting a turkey from a motor vehicle; after a number of interviews a summons was issued.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) performed ATV patrol in the Rum River State Forest and Snake River State Forest.
CO Brian Dobbick (Cambridge) worked boating and angling activity on area lakes and rivers throughout the week. Time also was spent at the Isanti County Youth Day where kids shot various firearms, bows and arrows, and learned about hunting and fishing.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) checked turkey hunters all week. One turkey hunter shot a coyote that was chasing a deer, and another hunter shot a coyote that attacked his turkey decoy.
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) patrolled Hennepin County for angling activity. He investigated the possible illegal shooting of a turkey. Officer Salzer also responded to a TIP about three individuals keeping game fish out of season. Salzer responded and found the individuals cooking the northern pike they had caught during the past two days. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) responded to several TIP calls regarding fishing during the closed season, taking deer out of season, and extra fishing lines. She also performed a taxidermy inspection, finding numerous violations.
CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) received calls regarding wetlands, public waters, and aquatic species management violations. He also received calls regarding nuisance and injured animals. He investigated a poached deer that was field-dressed and dumped, along with the dumping of what appeared to be parts of an elk found in another location.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) patrolled Ft. Snelling State Park and worked on an investigation of multiple park violations.
CO Adam Block (Prior Lake) issued several nuisance beaver permits to landowners and municipalities, alike.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers for angling and boating activities. He also worked invasive species enforcement efforts. Violations found were angling without a valid fishing license and no throwable PFD.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Jason Jensen (Metro WREO) attended the Minnesota Seaplane Association’s annual meeting to address AIS issues. CO Jensen also served a search warrant on a public waters violation and performed a site inspection at another site.
CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) patrolled Dakota County for angling and turkey-hunting activities. A TIP call was investigated in which a hunter trespassed and shot a turkey near a house; enforcement action was taken.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) spoke at a firearms safety class in Lake Elmo and to a group of 45 Cambodian adults about fishing and state park rules and regulations.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers. Big rainfalls slowed angling success. Turkey questions still abound.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports that many Canada geese have hatched. The first batch was observed on April 28. Time was spent patrolling the Minnesota River. Citations were issued after two men walked past a “no trespassing” sign to fish. Neither of the men had an angling license.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) reports that several nuisance beaver permits were issued due to beavers causing flooding damage in agricultural fields.
CO Neil Henriksen (Benson) reports the major enforcement focuses of the week were ATV operation and fishing enforcement. Local law enforcement agencies were assisted with the successful search for a missing juvenile female who had traveled many miles on an ATV over several days.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southwest Region) investigated a possible waters violation, which was unfounded, in Lincoln County. Officer Hanson also assisted with lake service provider training for invasive species in Owatonna, and ATV training in Yellow Medicine County.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked boats at accesses for compliance with AIS laws and continues to answer many questions related to AIS.
CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked angling, boating, and AIS activity. Additional time was spent checking turkey hunting and ATV activity.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) spent the majority of his time following up on possible Wetland Conservation Act violations.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked angling and turkey-hunting activity. CO Howe also attended background investigator training at Camp Ripley, investigated a wetland complaint, and delivered the Wall of Shame for the youth day at the Key Cities Conservation Club.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) attended a youth event at an area conservation club with CO Geving, and assisted CO Ihnen with an ATV class for law enforcement.
CO Tom Hutchins (Albert Lea) reports spending most of last week checking anglers and working fishing-related complaint areas. Time also was spent checking watercraft operators, PWC operators, and completing follow-up on a wetland violation site. Violations encountered included taking fish during the closed season, intentionally angling for fish during a closed season, no angling license, and no fire extinguisher on a watercraft.
WREO Julie Siems (Southeast Region) reports working multiple wetland cases. A restoration order was delivered.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports talking to a turkey hunter who shot and wounded a tom. After a lengthy chase involving contacting different landowners, the hunter finally tracked the bird down along a fence line. The hunter believed it to be dead. He was surprised when the bird jumped into his face, cutting his shirt and gashing his arm before flying off. The hunter collected himself enough to put a finishing shot on the bird. The sequence started around 7:30 a.m. and ended around noon.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) observed a person fishing with game fish for bait, but the person cut his line as the officer approached. The fishermen said he would not tell the officer if he was using game fish for bait, but later remarked he had caught his bait and did not buy it.
CO Phil George (Rochester) took complaints about people using setlines and taking overlimits of panfish, as well as walleyes and bass, during the closed season.