Minnesota Cuffs & Collars – April 19th, 2013

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers and boaters on the Rainy River with CO Gorecki. An owner was contacted about a fish shelter left on Hayes Lake.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) taught the law and ethics portion of firearm safety class at Oslo and Argyle. Calls about injured deer and possible gray wolf depredation were taken.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) patrolled areas for ATV and snowmobile activity. An injured deer on railroad tracks was reported and handled. A complaint about gray wolf activity near cattle was received.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored AIS compliance among anglers traveling to and from the Rainy River.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) continued removing fish houses from the ice on Lake of the Woods. Enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of walleyes, extra lines, expired boat registration, and boating safety equipment violations.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) attended use of force instructor training. Panfish anglers were checked on area lakes, and he patrolled the area for ATV activity.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) reports monitoring area ice-angling activity. CO Holt also assisted a landowner with a wolf depredation complaint and worked a TIP call with CO Vollbrecht.
CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) reports taking several calls about sick or injured deer. Most of those deer appear to be very weak due to the long winter. TIP calls about possible overlimits of panfish are under investigation. 
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) completed an investigation from the 2012 deer season involving illegal party hunting. An accidentally taken otter was confiscated.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week working on AIS materials for upcoming check stations.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) handled a call about a dead bald eagle and delivered it to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office in Fergus Falls.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen and investigated overlimit complaints.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent time monitoring panfishing activity. Lawler also responded to a TIP call involving a snowmobiler water-skipping near a flock of geese. Officer Lawler followed the track back to the operator’s house, where enforcement action was taken.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on light-goose hunter activity and anglers. The officer received a complaint about goose carcasses dumped in a ditch. The geese had been breasted, but an illegal specklebelly goose had been killed and was in the bunch.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, snow goose hunters, and ATV operators.

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked on road closures in the area and responded to a few miscellaneous wildlife complaints.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) focused on sport-fishing activity. Snow pack and water on the ice continue to make for difficult ice-fishing conditions.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling activity. Ice thickness on many lakes is still around the 30-inch mark. CO Broughten continued an investigation into a fish house left on the ice after the legal deadline. The owner of the fish house was contacted several times, but failed to remove the shelter. The shelter was seized by the officer and removed from the ice. The owner now faces his day in court, with multiple charges and restitution costs. CO Broughten also assisted the Cass County Sheriff’s Office with a one-vehicle rollover and received calls concerning dogs chasing deer.
CO Colleen Adam (OHV recreation officer – Park Rapids) handled injured wildlife calls, patrolled closed areas, and attended an off-highway vehicle meeting during the week. 
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala met with county soil and water conservation district personnel to discuss ongoing wetland issues.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports numerous concerns about the upcoming fishing opener, as many worry that the ice will not be gone in time. Equipment was prepared for training at Camp Ripley. Equipment maintenance was completed on the patrol vehicle.
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports another busy week checking fishing and boating activity on the Rainy River, with 300-plus boats one day and 400-plus another.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a firearm safety class in Virginia and followed up on a spruce top-cutting case from last fall in which an individual was found to have taken more than 2,000 spruce tops from state lands. CO Frericks removed the last ice shelter from a Makinen-area lake. The owner faces numerous charges.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) observed some fishing activity during the week. One individual who was cited for extra lines stated he was just testing out a rod/reel combo to see if it would work for catching smelt. A history check revealed this person has been charged twice previously for this same offense. A yearling moose found deceased was picked up and brought to DNR Wildlife personnel for a necropsy.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) responded to a call regarding an injured eagle on Hwy. 61. CO Brad Johnson helped capture the eagle, which was sent to a wildlife rehab facility for care.
CO Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) completed a wolf depredation investigation near the Silver Bay airport.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) handled calls regarding wolves, dead owls, cougars, and regulations regarding the upcoming fishing opener.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked anglers on the Rainy River with other COs. One fellow found out that it’s important to be able to keep track of the two-walleye limit. As the COs approached his boat, he was observed throwing something out the back of the boat. When asked what he tossed out, he stated that he threw fish out because he didn’t know how many he had. He and his fishing partner were still over the limit. Other overlimits were encountered as other people had trouble counting to two or were simply making up their own rules regarding fish possession.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked snowmobilers and fishermen throughout the week. The bad spots with current on the lakes are starting to show up, and the river ice is eroding. Caution is advised.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) monitored crappie fishing throughout the week. The ice and snow are holding on, making for easy access by ATV, snowmobile, or pickup on most lakes.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked a complaint about possible out-of-season bass fishing. She also received a call regarding two dead birds of prey – an owl and a hawk – that were brought to Grand Rapids High School for educational purposes.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) taught the law and ethics portion of the firearm safety class in Hill City. CO Wichmann also investigated a raccoon found caught in a trap.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked ice anglers, snowmobilers, and ATVers on area lakes. Arhart also worked the open Rainy River, checking anglers and boaters.
CO John Velsvaag (Region 2 ATV officer) attended a trails task force meeting this past week as well as conducting ATV enforcement patrols.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, attended K-9 training, and assisted the local police department in a standoff with burglary suspects.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) took enforcement action for angling without a license in possession. CO Sutherland also took enforcement action regarding six bags of garbage that were dumped. A citation was written for littering.

District 8  – Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) handled a call regarding trespassing and damage to property complaints. The officer took enforcement action for boat registration, angling without a license, an overlimit of walleyes, and life jacket issues.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports several calls regarding injured animals were fielded. Concerns about wolves acting aggressively around a ranch were registered. Assistance was given to local law enforcement with a number of vehicles in the ditch due to several recent snowstorms.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) followed up on old cases that included an illegally taken bear and an illegal snare. An investigation into a possible waters violation had to be put on hold because of the recent snowstorms.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (northeast Minnesota) reports a wetland case was investigated and, pending snow melt, more will be done.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) assisted area law enforcement agencies with traffic-related problems during the recent heavy snowfalls.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore anglers along Lake Superior. A few snowmobiles were still seen running the Ramstad State Trail. A few others operating on the now-closed grant-in-aid trails were given verbal warnings and advised to trailer their sleds at the state trail parking lot.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) was at Camp Ripley this past week preparing for the division’s annual in-service training.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) checked anglers and monitored state forests under seasonal closures. While observing a group of anglers, the officer noticed drug-related activity. When confronted about the drugs, one of the individuals told the officer that it was OK, as the drugs were synthetic, not real. Evidently they had not heard that synthetic drugs also are illegal. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) says a nuisance muskrat problem in Pine River was reported and a trapper was notified. A Backus lakeshore resident reported a swan with a “sleeve”/ number on its neck, and this information was passed on to DNR Nongame folks. 
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) completed a civil investigation with the Breezy Point Police Department regarding dogs chasing deer. The deer died, and the dog’s owner faces a $500 penalty. 
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) assisted District 9 officers in hosting a banquet this past week to honor local volunteer DNR youth snowmobile, ATV, and firearm safety instructors. The banquet was held in Aitkin, and approximately 120 volunteer instructors from Crow Wing and Aitkin counties attended. 
CO James Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec Area) monitored angling and ATV activity and enforced temporary road and trail closures in the state rec area and Pillsbury State Forest.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) checked an individual burning a mattress and box spring also was contacted.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen on Mille Lacs Lake. Patrol was done in the Solana State Forest for spring road closure violations. Trapping activity was monitored throughout the week, and Fitzgerald assisted the Isle officer with a TIP complaint of stolen traps and trap tampering. Officer Fitzgerald also assisted the Wealthwood officer in retrieving a portable fish house that was partially frozen in the ice. Also, the public should be aware that the Brainerd State Patrol dispatch number has changed to (651) 582-1543.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) reports an increase in beaver-trapping activity was found in area streams that started opening up.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) assisted the State Patrol with several accidents and multiple vehicles in the ditch during brutal weather conditions this past week. It seemed that winter driving skills quickly diminished as he watched vehicles being driven obviously too fast to stop for traffic being held at accident scenes go into the ditch to avoid hitting the vehicle in front of them.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

WREO Keith Bertram spent most of the week conducting aquaculture-related inspections. Enforcement action was taken for failing to keep proper records, transporting VHS-susceptible aquatic life without disease-free certification, and failing to properly mark aeration systems.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) reports a TIP call was investigated for an overlimit of sunfish that resulted in enforcement action.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time checking anglers that are still trying their luck on the ice. CO Silgjord also attended a district meeting and gave a law and ethics presentation for a youth firearms safety class at the Meire Grove City Hall.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) handled a nuisance-bear call regarding a sow with cubs getting into bird feeders, and a call about a sick-looking deer.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) attended training related to groundwater appropriations. CO Kuske also met with the area DNR hydrologist to discuss water appropriation permits and several pending cases of unpermitted wells.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports receiving a call about a car-killed bear. The bear was hit just outside of Harris around midnight. The vehicle’s driver and passenger were unharmed. The driver’s father was given the bear with a permit.
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) reports some trappers are targeting spring beavers due to creeks and rivers opening up. 
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes and rivers. He rescued a trumpeter swan on the Mississippi River and had it transported to rehab.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) assisted District 14 conservation officers with a search warrant in North St. Paul. He also attended training at Camp Ripley.
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) investigated a potential waters violation near Norwood Young America. He also assisted with a firearms safety presentation in Rockford. Creeks and rivers were monitored for spring fish run.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers and boaters on the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers.
CO Adam Block (Prior Lake) spent the week working off-road vehicle and angling activity. CO Block also checked some aerators still operating on area lakes.
CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) assisted CO Peterson with a search warrant. He also gave a laws and ethics presentation to a youth firearm safety class and spent time training at Camp Ripley in preparation for in-service training.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) handled a call about a fish house left in a grocery store parking lot in Anoka County. She also handled TIP calls and set up future firearm safety classes. CO Kruse attended a district meeting and training at Ft. Snelling State Park and did equipment maintenance.
CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) reports a busy trout opener in the Dakota County area. Despite winter-like conditions, numerous trout anglers were out on the opening morning with varied success. CO McGowan also checked anglers on the Mississippi River border waters.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reports handling several nuisance-animal calls, trapping complaints, and a littering complaint.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) checked anglers along the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. He patrolled wildlife management areas for ATVs and off-road vehicle activities.
CO Amber Peterson (Maplewood) reports working a case of ATVers going through a wetland; enforcement action was taken. She also gave several presentations at local schools and firearms safety class. CO Peterson also prepared and executed a search warrant after months of investigating a suspect. She executed the warrant with the assistance of several other COs, Ramsey County law enforcement personnel, and North St. Paul police. The warrant led to initial charges of a felon in possession of a firearm and illegal possession of wildlife.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) reports that Rock and Nobles counties were devastated by a mid-week ice storm. Thousands of trees were either damaged or completely destroyed.
CO Neil Henriksen (Benson) reports the enforcement focus of the week was directed at investigating complaints about waterfowl and deer being shot. A well-attended youth ATV safety class was taught in Kerkhoven.
CO Doug Lage (Marshall) reports that the snow depth is at 18 inches. Snowmobilers were out, with several checks being made on groups out for their final ride of the season.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports enforcement action was taken after the CO found ATV tracks in a wetland. Flood preparation work continues.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports that a storm that dropped about 12 inches of snow and 1½ inches of ice caused a lot of problems. The storm delayed trout stocking on designated trout streams in the area, which made for a quiet trout opener.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working investigations and snowmobilers.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) issued a public waters restoration order in Nobles County and a WCA restoration order in Lincoln County.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) assisted the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department with a public assist call and with storm issues relating to downed power lines.
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) attended division training, a furbearer committee meeting, and spoke about laws and ethics at a firearm safety class.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent time on sport-fishing, small-game, ATV, and snowmobile enforcement. A late-winter storm allowed snowmobilers some extra time outdoors.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) reports public accesses were patrolled for litter and winter damage. Trapping complaints also were investigated.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) patrolled for fishermen and ATV operators. CO Ihnen also monitored area turkey activity.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling activity on local lakes and rivers. The officer also responded to TIP calls and taught the law and ethics portion of a firearm safety class.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week responding to a report about an injured animal, monitoring angling activity on area trout streams, and working the trout season opener.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working another busy week of fishing enforcement with both open-water and ice anglers having some success on the Mississippi River.
CO Phil George (Rochester) followed up on a deer-feeding complaint in Olmsted County.
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports a wet and windy week. The Mississippi River continues to rise, and accesses on Pool 9 are flooded.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the weekend checking trout-fishing activity and river anglers. The trout opener saw some of the worst conditions in recent memory, and fewer anglers.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a slower trout opener than usual assisted CO Boyum with a trout overlimit case in which two people were fishing without licenses.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working a busy trout opener. One angler checked was frustrated as he had no trout but had repeated hits on his lure. After fishing for a couple of hours, he noticed that the treble hook had broken off.

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