MInnesota Cuffs & Collars – March 15th, 2013
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) checked anglers and snowmobile operators in the area. Enforcement action was taken for no snowmobile registration, no state trail permit, and taking walleyes during the closed season.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) worked monitored fish house removal from area waters and public accesses.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) handled several complaints ranging from fishing complaints to snowmobile complaints.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking snowmobile operators on area grant-in-aid snowmobile trails. Time also was spent checking ice anglers.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) attended a sportsmen club meeting and continued to get complaints about individuals chasing coyotes with snowmobiles.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) patrolled area lakes and snowmobile trails and monitored fish house removal.
CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) and COC Regas monitored the Detroit Lakes and Perham area fish house removal. Enforcement action was taken for unmarked fish houses and abandonment or storage of fish houses at a public access.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) patrolled area lakes for fish houses not taken off the lakes by the removal deadline. Several house owners were cited for failing to have proper identification and for not having them removed by the deadline.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week monitoring anglers, snowmobilers, and fish house removal. While the CO checked the status of the removal of one particular shelter, a party was taken into custody after the CO discovered he was wanted on an outstanding warrant.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) monitored anglers, fish house removal, and snowmobilers. The officer completed required computer training and worked with DNR Ecological Services on a pending waters violation.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked snowmobilers and found that operating without registration was still an issue. Several snowmobilers were educated about altering their exhaust.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports enforcement action was taken for an ATVer driving through a wetland in a WMA. The tracks through the swamp led directly to the house where the owner lived.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports a lot of fishing taking place, with Lake Osakis continuing to receive heavy fishing pressure. Several citations were issued for crappie overlimits, including two men caught “double-tripping.” They had caught a limit of crappies in the morning and were halfway to a second limit in the afternoon. CO Johanson also investigated a wanton waste case in which several buckets of frozen whole fish were dumped in a ditch. The fish included walleyes, pike, crappies, and perch, and were found dumped off Patrick Road in Belle River Township in Douglas County. Anyone with information is urged to call the TIP line at 1-800-652-9093.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on crow and coyote hunters, snowmobilers, fish house removal deadlines, and angling.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) inspected the lakes for ice shelters left after the removal deadline and noted that compliance was good. Officer Oldakowski also attended a Minnesota Trappers Association meeting to answer enforcement-related questions.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked perch anglers and snowmobilers during the week. Enforcement action was taken for working in public waters without completing a contractor form, snowmobile violations, and angling violations.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) assisted with several stuck snowmobiles over the weekend as a result of heavy, wet snow. CO Broughten received several calls related to snowmobile trespass issues. The CO also assisted with youth ice fishing at Deep Portage Learning Center and investigated a complaint about people burning garbage.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) reports fish houses were removed from area lakes with few problems; however, one floor was left behind, resulting in contact being made with the owner.
Water Resources Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala met with lake service providers in the Alexandria area to discuss AIS laws and the upcoming open-water season.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) received a complaint about a vehicle stuck on a snowmobile grant-in-aid trail. The driver of the vehicle was found to have a felony warrant, so along with going to jail he was handed a citation for operating a motor vehicle on a snowmobile trail.
CO Dan Starr (Tower) monitored snowmobiling activity and found that the trails are in extremely good condition. Complaints about abundant wolves continue to be heard.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) reports boreal owls have been perishing, with a third owl turned in within two weeks. The officer received a call about a road-killed bald eagle. However, the eagle had been picked up by an unknown passerby prior to the officer’s arrival. It is unlawful to possess bald eagles, and many other migratory birds.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) reports a vehicle that got stuck on a state trail was towed away.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) monitored fishing and snowmobile activity during the week. Murray also assisted a stranded motorist who went in the ditch during the recent storm.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) executed a search warrant with other COs, deputies, and an agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as the result of an ongoing commercial bear-guiding operation. Several items were seized, including a bear rug made from a bear that was shot unlawfully. When the man asked what was going to happen to his bear rug, CO Fagerman said it could possibly be used for the Wall of Shame. The man was happy with that and stated that he would at least be able to see it when the Wall of Shame was displayed in the area.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked anglers and fish houses on area lakes in and outside the BWCAW. Reports of dying owls continue to come in during the irruption.
CO Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) worked the Deer Classic at the National Sports Center in Blaine. He also transported an injured boreal owl to the Raptor Center.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked snowmobile enforcement and observed a lot of tracks going past “no trespassing” signs and road gates/cables.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked snowmobiling and angling activity in the area. Enforcement action was taken for expired registration and angling without a license in possession. CO Sutherland also assisted the county with a broken-down snowmobile. The sled was towed to the nearest road crossing and was loaded into a truck.
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked angler activity and fish house removal progress on area lakes, attended training, processed accidentally caught furbearers, and patrolled area snowmobile trails.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) reported enforcement action was taken for operating a snowmobile with expired registration, speeding, no angling license in possession, possession of a stolen vehicle, fleeing in a motor vehicle, DWI, and possessing an overlimit of perch.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) attended a career fair day at Greenway High School.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working snowmobile and fishing activity. Enforcement action was taken for no trail sticker, failure to display registration, operating a snowmobile without a safety certificate, and allowing the illegal operation of a snowmobile by a juvenile.
CO John Velsvaag (Region 2 ATV officer) checked snowmobilers this past week, as well as fish house litter complaints. CO Velsvaag also attended a district meeting and assisted the U.S. Forest Service with a trail project.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports time was spent marking area ice shelters to ensure on-time removal and that all associated debris was removed. Radar enforcement was conducted along some of the area’s snowmobile trails. A great gray owl was turned in to be used for educational purposes.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked snowmobile and angling enforcement during the week. Area snowmobile trails were in good shape with recent snowfalls. CO Humphrey patrolled the Fond du Lac State Forest, checking cross-country ski passes.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with a search warrant in the area that dealt with bear-hunting violations. Investigations regarding an illegally possessed bobcat and unlawful waterfowl hunting are ongoing. A citizen who hit a bobcat with his car called the officer, looking for a permit to keep the cat so he could mount it. When the officer went to the location to retrieve the bobcat, the bobcat was nowhere to be found. Further investigation revealed tracks in the snow from two wolves that likely took the cat and made a meal out of it.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) assisted district officers with a follow-up investigation concerning a big-game case from bear season in Carlton County. The officer also assisted the St. Louis Sheriff’s Office investigate a hit-and-run accident. The driver was located and determined to be three times over Assistance also was rendered regarding a one-vehicle rollover accident in Canosia Township.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reports that while speaking with a group of snowmobile riders at a road crossing, another snowmobiler on a shiny new sled passed the group on a high snowbank. When the rider began to cross the road, he gunned the throttle, spraying the group with snow and gravel. This sort of riding gives all snowmobilers a bad image.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers, fish houses, and snowmobilers throughout the week. One angler was found to have too many lines out, with three tip-ups outside and two lines down inside his fish house. He knew the pike season was closed, but thought he could still fish for them. He also lied about his date of birth, stating he was 15 instead of 16, since he did not have a fishing license.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Nisswa) received calls regarding a dead owl and an individual who was putting a large amount of snow on the grant-in-aid snowmobile trail. The individual has been told in the past to not place plowed snow directly on the trail within the right of way.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports garbage and fish houses left on the ice after the removal date received enforcement time. Snowmobile enforcement also received some time this past week. Speed and jumping roads seemed to be the most popular violations. The CO stopped a snowmobiler who was operating in a road ditch. The rider saw the patrol truck but did not realize it was a conservation officer. The rider put his head down and squeezed the throttle and exceeded 80 mph. CO Posner paced the sled and stopped him by activating his red lights and siren. The snowmobiler’s excuse was that he wanted to see if he could go faster than the cars.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) followed up on investigations of shelters left on the ice past the removal deadline. In one of the incidents, Officer Lee was assisted by fellow CO Rob Haberman. Through multiple days of investigation, and with the assistance of the Crosslake Police Department, the officers were able to identify the owner of the shelters. The officers made contact with the owner, along with three other parties were assisting him as they were removing the shelters and debris from the lake. Upon contact with the parties, numerous fishing violations were encountered, along with multiple felony charges for controlled substances, drug paraphernalia, felon in possession of a loaded .45-caliber handgun, and an outstanding warrant for arrest. Upon completion of the investigation, three of the four people were transported to jail for felony charges and a warrant arrest. The fourth party received numerous citations.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) assisted with a snowmobiler who failed to stop for Lt. Speldrich. The snowmobile had expired registration. It was confirmed that the snowmobile was stolen. The operator was arrested for felony fleeing and possession of a stolen vehicle.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
Conservation Officer Brian Mies (Annandale) took part in the career shadow program for Kimball High School.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) reunited a missing spear house with its owner. The owner had thought it had been stolen earlier this winter, when it really had just blown down the river and was camouflaged by trees on the river bank.
WREO Keith Bertram spent most of the week conducting follow-up on wetland violations and serving restoration orders. Assistance was given to Eco/Waters, answering law-related AIS questions at a lake service provider training session in St. Cloud.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) assisted D12 officers with a search warrant at a commercial taxidermist operation.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) reports coyote hunters were active through the week, and aerators were inspected.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) checked anglers during the week. Some litter and fish houses left on area lakes were investigated and handled. A game farm inspection also was conducted.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) assisted Sherburne County deputies on a case involving the illegal operation of ATVs. He also checked on a possible violation regarding water being pumped into Briggs Lake.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports only a few people failed to remove their fish houses and one was left with no information. Several shelters were left at area accesses. All owners were cited, and most houses were quickly removed. One was sold at the access.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) set up the Wall of Shame at the Deer Classic with CO Arntzen. He also patrolled Dakota and Scott counties with CO Pril.
CO Jackie Glaser (Metro Water Resources Enforcement officer) attended an EMT conference in Brooklyn Park. Two students did ride-alongs with the officer to learn about the job duties of a CO.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) marked fish houses and monitored to make sure they were off the lakes by the deadline. He also investigated a dead swan on Otter Lake in White Bear Lake.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) handled a few fish houses that were still on area lakes after the deadline. The owners were found, and enforcement action was taken. She also attended court regarding a case of hunting deer over bait, assisted with a deer-removal program in Ramsey County, and handled calls regarding injured deer. CO Kruse had a ride-along, did aeration system inspections, and worked snowmobile and fishing enforcement throughout her station.
CO Amber Peterson (Maplewood) reports most anglers got their ice houses off of the ice on time. CO Peterson spent several hours at the Minnesota Deer Classic, answering many questions.
CO Travis Muyres (Ham Lake) worked snowmobile enforcement in Isanti and Anoka counties. Anoka County was patrolled for compliance with the fish house removal deadline. CO Muyres also worked on an AIS project for the division.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) spent the week checking predator hunting, ice fishing, and snowmobiling activities. Anglers are still venturing onto Big Stone Lake for the perch bite. Commercial inspections were done at minnow dealer locations.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) received several complaints about snowmobilers trespassing. This included one that was on RIM land off the Minnesota River. The operator was cited. A coyote hunter got his vehicle stuck on a snow-covered railroad crossing. The county dispatcher was able to contact the railroad company and slow down an approaching train, allowing a tow truck to get there before an accident occurred.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) issued several out-of-state minnow transport permits throughout the week. The officer also investigated the illegal dumping of numerous coyote carcasses.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) attended meetings in New Ulm. A restoration order was served in Chippewa County on a public waters violation from 2008. Invasive species info was issued to ice fishermen.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked lakes for fish house removal and followed up on litter, shelter ID, and license issues. He checked snowmobilers and ATV operators in addition to checking panfish anglers. The CO also completed aeration inspections and followed up on a wetland complaint.
CO Greg Abraham (New Ulm) worked fish shelter removal and litter issues on area lakes and at public access sites. He also checked snowmobiling activity on lakes and trails in the area. A few crow hunters were in the field. There have been no light geese so far.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent time on fishing, snowmobiling, and commercial enforcement. A public input meeting was attended in Windom, and a district meeting was attended in New Ulm. Assistance was given to the Minnesota State Patrol with weather-related traffic issues, including a one-vehicle crash with injuries.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) reports a lockdown exercise was attended at a local school.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) continued to monitor public accesses in the area. Coyote hunters and anglers were checked, and a firearms safety class was set up.
CO Bob Geving (Mankato) conducted commercial taxidermy inspections and checked local lakes for fish shelter removal compliance and fishing activities.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports giving firearms safety presentations to Houston and La Crescent classes. He also gave a presentation to a boat class sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard and completed DVS training. He began preparing equipment for possible spring flooding.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) spent the week and weekend checking anglers and snowmobiling activity. Snowmobile trails deteriorated quickly with the rain during the weekend. Time also was spent meeting with city of Red Wing officials regarding this fall’s city deer hunt.
CO Phil George (Rochester) worked with a COC during his final week of field training. Game farm inspections were done and calls about people feeding deer in Olmsted County were taken.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working snowmobile and fishing enforcement, with area trails in good condition. Activity was impressive and numerous stops were made for speed, registration and trail sticker violations.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports time was also spent checking a few trappers. They are reminded to purchase a new license, as the old license expired at the end of February. A few trout anglers were out with the warmup over the weekend and having some success.