MInnesota Cuffs & Collars – June 8th, 2012
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Jeff Birchem (Baudette) checked anglers and boaters after sunset on Lake of the Woods. Enforcement action was taken for operating watercraft without lights and insufficient PFDs. Several complaints about nuisance bears were handled. An investigation of illegal ATV activity continued, and AIS compliance was monitored.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) worked angling activity and boating safety on area waterways. Calls about possible wolf depredation were received and investigated.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing and ATV activity throughout the week. Parents are reminded that all people under 18 years old must wear helmets while riding ATVs. A wolf depredation complaint was investigated and several complaints about nuisance animals were handled.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) assisted with training at the conservation officer academy. Anglers and boaters were checked, with emphasis on AIS law compliance.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) focused enforcement efforts on boating and angling activity. Forest roads and trails were patrolled for ATV activity.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) investigated a TIP call involving a bow fisherman dumping carp on the shore and back into the water. Anglers and boaters were checked and educated about AIS issues.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) spoke to a group of Clay County deputies about ATV and OHM law enforcement. Calls about a dead eagle, a nuisance bear, and coyotes coming into yards were checked.
CO Joe Stattelman (Detroit Lakes) monitored AIS law compliance by anglers and boaters. Nuisance animal calls, public waters alteration complaints, and aquatic plant removal issues were investigated.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) responded to a complaint about a boater chasing/harassing a loon. The boat operator turned out to be a 14-year-old girl. The parents were contacted, and appropriate action taken. A wolf depredation complaint, and the wanton waste of northern pike were investigated.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) checked boaters, anglers, and ATVers. Fish-related TIP calls were investigated. Complaints about bears damaging beehives, an owl caught in a fence, and a deer that crashed through a metal fence causing $1,200 in damage also were investigated.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) continues to work on two background investigations for future employees. Officer Plautz conducted two ATV classes in the area, certifying 27 students.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) focused enforcement efforts on fishermen, boaters, and working AIS enforcement. Several calls were handled in the vacant Alexandria station.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Wheaton) checked fishermen and boaters, and monitored AIS law compliance. CO Baumbarger helped teach the new CO recruits at Camp Ripley and fielded questions from the public regarding AIS, ATV operation, and boating regulations.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts this week on boating safety checks, anglers, and AIS enforcement. Another request was received for information on obtaining a goose-shooting permit, and the person was referred to DNR Wildlife.
CO Kurt Nelson (Glenwood) met with waters personnel to investigate possible waters violations.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) continued AIS checks this week and noted that compliance was good. He assisted with training new officers at the academy and worked an OHM enduro race. Compliance was good at the race and no injuries were reported. Officer Oldakowski also initiated a cattle depredation complaint, which remains under investigation.
CO Gary Sommers’ (Walker) assisted with the Leech Lake Walleye Tournament, which involved 310 anglers. Officer Sommers worked on a TIP call regarding three anglers possessing an illegal-length walleye, resulting in enforcement action. He also received a TIP that some anglers were possibly in possession of an overlimit at the fish-cleaning shack at Walker City Park. CO Sommers contacted the anglers and discovered they had 76 perch, four short of their daily limit.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked several anglers and ATVers, as well. Officer Mathy also investigated a 4-acre forest fire that resulted in enforcement action. He spent time working with Wisconsin conservation wardens on a case involving an individual purchasing resident fishing licenses in both Wisconsin and Minnesota.
CO Shane Siltala (Water Resource Enforcement officer) worked Lake Winnie, Leech Lake, Otter Tail, and the Alexandria chain of lakes this past week enforcing AIS laws. Officer Siltala also met with SWCD personnel to discuss ongoing wetland issues.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports following up on wolf depredation complaints and complaints about nuisance beavers. Public waters and restoration order investigations also were handled on Rainy Lake.
CO Dan Starr (Tower) worked some BWCA lakes via canoe, and checked other fishing activity in the station. Walleye overlimit cases were made.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers and boaters, a work detail at a BWCA portage in the Ely station, an aquatic invasive species work detail in the Ray station, and a multi-day detail on Kabetogama and border waters, Namakan and Sandpoint lakes. Distracted driving doesn’t only just happen on the road. The officer investigated a rear-end boating accident that occurred on Namakan Lake, with damage to the boat and outboard of the boat that was struck, and the operator was injured. One contributing factor was the striking boater’s decision to look at his GPS while underway. Had the struck boater been driving a tiller-steer outboard, the injury could have been more severe.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) received a report about several kayakers who lost their kayaks in the St Louis River near Zim after they fell in the fast-moving water. The kayakers made it to shore safely, but their kayaks were lost downriver. Anyone who locates these lost kayaks is asked to contact the state patrol dispatch in either Duluth or Virginia or the St Louis County Sheriff’s Office.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) received a call about an extremely aggressive doe deer that came into a yard and attacked a black Lab. The reason was a newborn fawn was nearby in the woods.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) received a complaint about a boater and arrested a juvenile for operating while intoxicated, as well as other violations.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) spent time working area lakes and spent time in court finishing up a gill net case from 2009. The whitefish net had been left unattended on the lake 21 days after the season had closed and had many dead and decomposing fish in it. The operator claimed he could not find the net and thought someone had stolen it, but he did not bother to notify anyone. The net was easy to find and was at the mouth of the river where nets normally are placed. The net was not marked properly with the name and address of the operator and did not have the required 2-foot markers on the floats.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) took a report of a cougar sighting during the recent holiday weekend.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent time checking anglers in the BWCAW. Officer Wahlstrom also worked on Lake Superior and checked for AIS violations during two details in both Lake and Cook counties.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked anglers, ATV use, and the Wetland Conservation Act requirements. CO Sutherland also took enforcement action for transporting walleyes without a skin patch, transporting a watercraft on a public highway with the plug in, and for not having an angling license. CO Sutherland also took a report regarding a local dog being attacked by a wolf.
Officer Speldrich (Northeast Region ATV Rec) continued to patrol ATV trails. During these patrols, Officer Speldrich encountered ATVers who were traveling illegally on county roads, failing to display current registration, and two youths operating without helmets. Officer Speldrich also appeared in court regarding an ATVer who had been arrested for operating his ATV while under the influence of alcohol and carrying a loaded firearm. Officer Speldrich also spoke with a boater who was pulling into a access and had water spilling from his watercraft. After checking the livewells, and seeing that the plugs were removed, the CO determined that the individual’s well water that he brought from home to refill livewells had tipped over and spilled.
Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity, worked AIS enforcement, and assisted local police with a disturbance call. While assisting local police with the call, the suspect claimed that he would become a “spider monkey” while en route to the jail.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) continued work on a background investigation. AIS details were worked, and overall compliance was good. Officer Schmidt responded to a report about dogs attacking a fawn. Officer Schmidt also assisted on a TIP complaint about a party double-tripping and an overlimit of walleyes.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) and K9 Schody assisted with a work detail in the BWCAW. A complaint about dogs chewing on a fawn deer was investigated. A person who decided not to show up for court on a citation that was issued for a burning violation, which resulted in quite a bit of damage, was located and informed that a warrant was issued. The subject was immediately taken into custody and taken to the Carlton County jail.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, boating, OHV, and AIS enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey patrolled in the Sawyer WMA, Moose Lake State Park, and Fond du Lac State Forest.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked anglers on Lake Superior and monitored commercial fishing on Lake Superior. AIS details were worked along the St. Louis River basin and the North Shore of Lake Superior. Sgt. Olson also assisted St. Louis County deputies with an underage drinking party north of Duluth.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) worked AIS, fishing, boating, commercial, and public access enforcement during the week. A TIP call also was investigated. A public access grand opening was attended, and work continued on a background investigation.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) worked on Upper Red Lake in Beltrami County. CO Shoutz received reports from several area residents in both Breezy Point and Ideal Township regarding a tame deer with a metal tag in its ear, with a seven-digit number. No escaped game farm deer have been reported at this time. If anyone has information on this deer, please give Officer Shoutz a call. Officer Shoutz assisted Brainerd police involving a chase that ended when the suspect’s vehicle got stuck on railroad tracks east of Brainerd. He then fled on foot.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, watercraft, invasive species, and ATV enforcement during the week. High water generated several calls and invoked a no-wake restriction on Big Sandy Lake.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) monitored ATVs in the Spider Lake ATV area, spent time at public accesses for invasive species checks, and checked anglers and boaters. Other activities included responding to calls about bears damaging bird feeders, reports of commercial minnow dealers not tending traps, and calls of people angling without valid licenses. One couple angling together had been divorced for 9 years and had continued buying husband and wife combination licenses. When asked why they still had combination licenses, they responded that although they didn’t get along well enough to stay married, they did get along well enough to continue to fish together.
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec. Area) assisted the Brainerd Police Department with a fleeing vehicle operator and suspect search, and handled calls about nuisance bears, including two car-killed bears.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) worked invasive species enforcement at accesses. He also assisted local law enforcement with an extensive manhunt for a fleeing felon.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
WREO Robert Haberman (Brainerd) conducted observation flights with CO pilots for Gull Lake debris after heavy rain fell. WREO Haberman also conducted Wetland Conservation Act enforcement.
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) handled a TIP call about an angler using game fish as bait. Upon her arrival, CO Heaton observed the suspect angling with extra lines. When she approached the suspect, he was reeling up one of his lines. Attached to the end of the line was a small sunfish. The suspect stated he knew it was against the law to have two lines this time of year but he didn’t know that he couldn’t use sunfish as bait. The suspect also mentioned that he thought conservation officers couldn’t check someone fishing on private property. Enforcement action was taken for the violations.
CO Mike Lee (Isle) was contacted by the tournament officials from a tourney held on Mille Lacs Lake this past weekend. Officer Lee is investigating an illegal incident that took place during the tournament.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent time assisting with angling and boating training at the current conservation officer academy at Camp Ripley. Numerous calls about nuisance animals were taken that involved black bears damaging property and gray wolves harassing cattle.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) worked a TIP complaint with a neighboring officer that resulted in enforcement action for an overlimit of walleyes.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) again took calls and investigated carp shooters regarding the dumping of fish they shoot, as well as walleyes being shot and found dead on shore. Panfish anglers are telling the officer they are seeing several dead carp (with holes in them) in shallow areas.
CO Mike Martin (St. Cloud) assisted Stearns County deputies with the removal of a boat lift from the navigational channel of the Mississippi; if anyone is missing a boat lift north of Sartell, please call Stearns County Sheriff’s Department.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) reports a case of possessing a snapping turtle out of season was found.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked anglers during the week. Time was spent on invasive species details at Knife Lake (Kanabec County) and Green Lake (Isanti County). Enforcement action was taken for PFDs, no registration, and failure to remove boat drain plugs during transportation.
CO Brian Dobbick (Cambridge) worked anglers and boaters on area lakes and rivers. ATV activity was monitored.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Tony Salzer (Osseo) received a TIP call regarding anglers using extra lines, and worked a special invasive species detail at Medicine Lake.
CO Aaron Kahre (Minnetonka) took a call regarding a bear cub in the metro. The CO also continued working on a background investigation for the upcoming academy. He checked fishermen on Lake Minnetonka and the Minneapolis lakes.
CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) received calls regarding taking muskies out of season, a fish kill, and boating in a closed area. He also worked a presidential detail. The rest of the week was spent on angling, boating, and invasive species enforcement.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers and boaters in Hennepin County. He worked with CO Walter at Red Lake for a special work detail that focused on boating safety, the walleye slot limit, and AIS.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked boating and AIS enforcement with a neighboring conservation officer. He also checked shore anglers around the metro lakes and rivers.
CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) patrolled Dakota and Washington counties for angling activity. High water on the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers has slowed fishing down considerably. CO McGowan also continues to train with K9 Axel.
CO Jason Jensen (Metro WREO) reports a week of AIS ramp inspections. Officer Jensen continued work on a background file for a potential employee.
CO Travis Muyres (Ham Lake) trained the newest DNR K9 Axel and CO McGowan. CO Muyres also talked to a Cub Scout group in Andover.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers and enforcing boating laws. Enforcement action was taken for failing to remove boat plugs, failing to drain livewells, failing to drain minnow buckets, insufficient PFDs, no helmets, operating ATVs on roadways, and other violations.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) spent much of the week checking boaters and anglers in the area. The officer reports that drain plug violations continue to be a problem in the area.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) worked on WCA and public waters case follow-ups. AIS work continues, with compliance getting better and people becoming more aware of the invasive species issues around the state.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar East) worked angling enforcement throughout the week with enforcement action taken for overlimits and license violations.
CO Wayne Hatlestad (Litchfield) checked angling, boating, and PWC activity. Additional time was spent enforcing AIS laws and following up on public waters violations.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted site inspections in Cottonwood County for public waters violations. Site inspection showed an owner blocked off a section of the river in an attempt to straighten the river, with hopes to use the area for farming.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) responded to a call about deer being dumped on the side of the road. CO Oberg discovered two does that had been butchered and were dumped, along with two fawns. Anyone with information should call the TIP line.
District 17 – Mankato area
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.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports time was spent on area rivers, checking canoers and kayakers. The officer responded to a group of stranded boaters on the Minnesota River. He also responded to a boat that hit a rock, which damaged its motor on the Blue Earth River.
CO Tom Hutchins (Albert Lea) reports checking a suspected wetland violation site. A case follow-up regarding an illegal fire was worked.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) took enforcement action regarding complaints involving the illegal taking of minnows from infested waters and illegal methods of taking raccoons.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports the Mississippi River has come up very fast and the current is strong, with large amounts of debris in it. River users should use caution.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Zumbrota) reports some inexperienced vessel captains were observed attempting operation of newly purchased vessels on area lakes with limited success, thus providing entertainment at accesses.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports spending time helping the Winona County Sheriff’s Office search for and eventually find a drowning victim on the Mississippi River. While off-duty, a person approached him at a boat landing to advise him of the DNR’s crackdown on AIS.