Michigan Cuffs & Collars – June 21st, 2013


On the day before the walleye opener, CO Elton Luce contacted a group of anglers fishing on a lake with special regulations. The lake is open for catch-and-release only and artificial bait only. The subjects were in possession of a walleye and were fishing with live bait. They also had several marine violations. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Marvin Gerlach contacted a subject fishing on the Menominee River in a remote area. The subject claimed to be a local resident and familiar with the fishing regulations of the Michigan/Wisconsin Boundary Waters (bass season opens the third Saturday in June). He could not, however, explain the bass that he had caught and placed in a bucket in the back of his truck. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Dave Painter reported that a condemnation hearing regarding a subject who shot a deer with a bow out of season was successful. The subject shot a buck that was eating in his garden before the Oct. 1 opening of bow season. The bow used in the incident was forfeited to the state.
CO Brian Bacon contacted a subject fishing from a dock with a bucket that contained a few panfish. The subject stated that he did not catch the fish, but a subject who had just left caught them and gave him the fish. When asked for a fishing license, the subject could only produce a Wisconsin fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brian Bacon contacted two kayaks on the Groveland Mine Ponds. While approaching the kayaks, CO Bacon observed one of the kayaks nearly tip over. While talking with the subjects, one person stated that he was glad he had not tipped over because he was not a good swimmer. A check of the kayaks found neither had life jackets. Enforcement action was taken.


CO Jeff Panich was on marine patrol near the Brevort Lake boat launch when he heard a series of screams as a father and son team tried unsuccessfully to stop their truck, boat and trailer from going uncontrollably into the water. The CO ran for his patrol truck and towed the now submerged truck from the water. Reportedly the truck lost its hydraulic brakes as they were trying to launch their boat. The truck sank up to the windshield, but due to the sharp incline was still running when the CO pulled them out. The two were grateful that the CO was there.
CO Jeff Panich was working on Drummond Island when a call for help came in for a missing man. The CO conducted a search and rescue for the missing grandfather and was able to locate him. Upon returning him to his family safe and sound it was found out that the subject’s daughter and son were now lost as they went out to search for him. The CO conducted another search and rescue and after several hours located the lost mom and her son. All were safe and extended their heartfelt thanks to CO Panich.
CO Kyle Publiski was on routine marine patrol when he encountered an unregistered boat. Further investigation revealed that they didn’t have enough life jackets for the subjects on board. They were four short and didn’t have a throwable personal flotation device. The life jackets that were on board were unserviceable due to age and the fact that they had been chewed up by mice over the years. A ticket was issued.
Sgt. Darryl Shann was called by a neighbor who reported that kayakers were keeping bass during the closed season. Sgt. Shann went to the mouth of the river and after meeting with shore anglers in the area, contacted and ticketed the individuals involved.


CO Jon Sklba incurred an injury to his hand when an injured bald eagle sunk his talon into it while CO Sklba was capturing it. The eagle was taken to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for treatment. The CO went to the emergency room for treatment and is recovering well.
COs Andrea Erratt and Mark DePew assisted in a school lock-down at a Charlevoix County school. A report of a subject on a roadway near the school with a gun and covered with blood was received. An extensive search of the area failed to locate the subject.
CO Andrea Erratt had three separate groups of ORVs drive by several “No ORV” signs on state land prior to being stopped and ticketed for the violation. One group stated they were too busy looking for mushrooms to see any signs.
CO Kelly Ross received a complaint of a drunken boater on an area lake. The CO launched his boat and soon located the boat operator and attempted to stop the individual for the violation. The driver of the boat continued to drive away, oblivious to the CO just a few feet away from him. The driver did not stop even after other boaters on the lake were pointing at the CO trying to stop him. A stop was eventually made and the driver was arrested for operating while intoxicated.
CO Nick Torsky was patrolling Black River protecting the spawning sturgeon when he received a complaint of an angler keeping undersized trout on a lake in the Pigeon River Country. The angler was contacted with three undersized fish and was using worms on a lake restricted to artificial bait only.
CO Nick Torsky received a complaint of two people fishing in the closed pike marsh on Otsego Lake. The anglers left before CO Torsky arrived, but he was able to stop them on the expressway with one pike they had caught at the marsh. CO Torsky educated the anglers on the laws and was able to return the pike back to the marsh so it could finish spawning.
A subject arrested in December by CO Andrea Albert, Antrim County, for shooting two turkeys out of season while his hunting privileges were revoked, pled guilty to all three counts. Court fines and costs totaled $1,180 with an additional $2,000 charged for restitution for the two turkeys. The subject forfeited his rifle to the DNR and is not eligible to hunt until 2016.
CO Bill Webster contacted an angler who was in possession of an undersized smallmouth bass, which had been hidden under a pile of life jackets. He was ticketed for the violations.


CO Rebecca Hopkins received a call from Leelanau County Central Dispatch stating that a turkey hunter was at the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department and wanted to turn himself in. CO Hopkins contacted the subject and was informed by him that he had shot a turkey but then discovered that he had failed to purchase a turkey hunting license. CO Hopkins investigated the situation and discovered that the subject had actually tried to first purchase a license after the fact to tag the turkey he shot but when the retail license system denied this action, he decided to turn himself in. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brian Brosky issued a ticket to a charter boat captain who was fishing too many lines. The boat was running nine total lines with only two subjects on board. The charter boat captain stated he was only trying to locate some fish for his future clients.
Sgt. Mike Bomay and CO Brian Lebel were transporting a utility vehicle when they experienced a blowout on one of the trailer’s tires. The COs went to a nearby residence and requested leaving the trailer there until they could return with proper tools. The resident insisted on changing the tire for the officers as he relayed a story of how approximately 10 years ago, Sgt. Bomay had stopped and helped him change a flat tire. The COs thanked the gentleman and were appreciative of him repaying the good deed.


COs Chuck McPherson and Bobbi Lively were patrolling the South Branch of the Au Sable River and contacted six anglers fishing with illegal gear in the “artificial flies only” area. Enforcement action was taken.
While on patrol, CO Chris Bowen passed a motor vehicle and observed the driver wave to him with an opened beer in his hand. CO Bowen stopped the vehicle and found others in the vehicle with open intoxicants. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Mike Hearn and Chuck McPherson conducted marine patrols on Kalkaska County lakes and contacted subjects operating watercraft with expired registrations and no PFDs. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jason McCullough received a tip that a subject was hunting turkeys over bait and possibly taking an overlimit. CO McCullough put an extensive effort into surveillance, which finally paid off when the subject was caught in the act of hunting over the bait pile. An interview led to a confession that the subject had already killed two turkeys this season and was attempting to bag his third. In addition, a neighbor was also implicated and later confessed to taking a turkey off the same bait pile. Both subjects were charged for the illegal take of turkeys, hunting over bait, and overlimit.
The two subjects CO Steve Lockwood checked while fishing on an area lake were surprised to see him; they were in possession of a bass prior to the opening of the season. They assured the CO that it was not as it appeared. In fact, according to them, they were simply testing out the live well to see if it worked correctly. Enforcement action was taken for possession of a bass during the closed season.
CO Jonathan Warner, accompanied by a college intern, was on marine patrol when they approached a boat with a lone angler. As they made the approach, CO Warner observed at least one bass on the stringer that was tied off to the side of the boat. When asked if any fish had been caught, the angler responded that she had caught a few bluegills. It was only after the CO asked to see all the fish that she admitted she also had a few “other fish” on the stringer. A ticket was issued for possession of bass during the closed season.
CO Mark Papineau and Sgt. Jon Wood were on marine patrol when they observed a subject fishing from a dike. When the subject noticed the COs, he disappeared over the dike. The COs were able to get to shore and stop the subject before he fled the area. The subsequent check revealed the subject was fishing without a license and had a warrant out for his arrest from a local police department. The subject was arrested, issued a ticket for fishing without a license and then turned over to the local police department.


COs Seth Rhodea and Josh Wright contacted two anglers who appeared to act suspiciously when they saw the COs at a gas station. The anglers had shot 10 carp with only one of them claiming to have shot them. Further investigation revealed that the second angler shot seven of the fish and did not possess a fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jason A. Smith found a couple of young anglers bow fishing from shore, one of whom did not possess a fishing license. They were also in possession of a cooler full of beer even though they had not yet celebrated their 21st birthdays. Enforcement action was taken.
On the bass opener, CO Bob Hobkirk checked an angler at his vehicle who was heading out to a local river. The subject told the CO that he was meeting up with his father and uncle who were already out fishing. After the angler walked down to the river, CO Hobkirk followed. CO Hobkirk observed the uncle of the first angler catch over his limit of bass and put them on his nephew’s stringer. The man was issued a ticket for taking over his daily limit of bass.
CO Quincy Gowenlock responded to an emergency call from a deputy with an unconscious elderly man in his car on the side of the road. The CO responded and assisted the deputy with providing medical care until emergency medical personnel arrived. It was determined that the victim had suffered from a brain bleed.
Sgt. Ron Kimmerly was reviewing craigslist when he came across an ad of a turtle for sale for $50. The sergeant made a phone call to the seller, who advised that he would drop the price of the turtle to $40. The unsuspecting seller told the CO that the turtle would be sold at a garage sale. The sergeant then contacted the seller at the garage sale and found out that the snapping turtle was taken from the wild. Violations involved selling a turtle taken from the wild and possessing a snapping turtle out of season. Enforcement action was taken and the turtle was released.
COs Jeremy Payne and Ken Lowell contacted a group of campers who had several ORVs parked at their camp on state land. The COs observed trails and damage to the state land and asked who was riding the ORVs. The owner of the ORVs advised it was not him and he did not know who was riding on state land. A LEIN check on the owner found that he had just gotten out of prison for identity fraud and a new warrant had just been entered in LEIN for owing $22,000 in child support. The subject was lodged in the Montcalm County Jail.


CO Mike McGee contacted a father and young son fishing a few weeks ago and found that the father did not have a fishing license. CO McGee issued a warning and informed the subject that he had three days to purchase a fishing license or CO McGee would follow up with a ticket. CO McGee checked after a few weeks and found that the subject had not taken the warning to heart and had not purchased a fishing license. CO McGee contacted the subject at his residence and issued the subject the ticket.
CO Andy Bauer and Sgt. Zach Doss patrolled Lake Michigan near St. Joseph for marine and fishing activity. After ticketing one angler for fishing with too many lines, they observed the next boat with too many lines and one of the occupants reeling the extra line in as fast as possible. The subjects were fishing with too many lines and one of the subjects did not have a fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike McGee was on patrol on a Berrien County lake when he discovered two subjects fishing who were in possession of overlimits of panfish. Both anglers were ticketed for the overlimits.
CO Cary Foster was one of the first officers to arrive on the scene of a homicide in Ionia County and assisted with an initial search and securing the scene until other officers arrived.
COs Greg Patten and Chris Simpson conducted a patrol on Lake Michigan from Muskegon to Whitehall and were able to locate and obtain coordinates for an abandoned trap net off Whitehall. This information will be turned over to the Commercial Fish Section and tribal enforcement officials. During this patrol a trolling boat was checked and found to be trolling too many lines. Enforcement action was taken for the violation.


While patrolling the Grand River, CO Damon Owens contacted five subjects attempting to launch two kayaks and a flat-bottomed boat. CO Owens advised the subjects that prior to launching it would benefit them to obtain PFDs for both kayaks as well as updating the expired registration on the boat. Verbal warnings were issued and their river trip was cancelled.
While conducting a marine patrol, CO Damon Owens contacted two subjects at a Jackson County boat launch. The subjects were pleased to see CO Owens and wanted to make sure their vessel had the proper equipment to enjoy the inland lake. Everything checked out except for the expired registration that the owner did not have in his possession. The boaters weren’t far from home and were advised to retrieve and attach the current registration prior to launching the vessel.
CO Damon Owens and Sgt. Troy Bahlau conducted a marine patrol and issued a ticket to a subject fishing without a license who was “testing” his pole. A license check showed he last purchased a fishing license in 2008. A consent search revealed he had an entire trunk of well used fishing gear. After a short conversation, he admitted he has been “testing” his fishing gear since 2008, and getting caught was overdue.
CO Dan Bigger completed his investigation and interviews on a turkey case in which the subject shot three turkeys. The subject proceeded to tag one of the turkeys with a 2012 license, as he did not have a current license. A complaint is being submitted to prosecutor for warrant authorization
COs Dan Bigger and Pete Purdy patrolled for marine activity on the Shiawassee River. Several anglers were encountered along the shoreline and the COs split up to approach the anglers from land. While watching one angler, CO Bigger saw him looking at where the patrol trucks were parked. Upon seeing CO Bigger approaching, the subject threw his pole into the water hoping to avoid being caught. Upon contact with the angler, CO Bigger learned that the subject had just bought the fishing pole and tackle and indeed was trying to avoid being caught. The subject was unable to give an explanation for failing to buy his license when buying the pole.
CO Pete Purdy observed an angler slip on rocks, fall into Kent Lake, and break his new fishing rod in half. CO Purdy contacted the subject and confirmed that he wasn’t injured but slightly embarrassed. He immediately admitted to CO Purdy that his day had now gotten even worse because he didn't purchase a fishing license. CO Purdy decided that the subject had suffered enough and, in lieu of a ticket, CO Purdy requested that the subject purchase a 2013 fishing license when he went home and changed into dry clothes. Which he did!
CO Todd Thorn found an undersized bass in a five-gallon bucket used by a man to keep fish that he was catching at the Brehnke fish ladder. The man stated that he was unaware of size limits on fish even though he had been fishing for many years. Enforcement action was taken.


COs Kris Kiel and Ben Shively responded to a Report-All-Poaching (RAP) complaint revolving around a subject on Harsens Island who had caught a sturgeon the night before and was in the process of cutting it up in his pole barn. The COs arrived on scene and determined that the subject had been fishing with friends the night before for sturgeon. The anglers had caught three sturgeon that night and kept the shortest one. Although the suspect had consumed a great deal of the sturgeon the night before, the COs were able to find sturgeon steaks on the floor as well as the head and tail in a bucket of walleye entrails. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Kris Kiel and Ben Lasher were on marine patrol on Lake St. Clair, and stopped 14 vessels in the course of the patrol. One of the subjects fishing without a license had four warrants for his arrest; however, no one was able to pick up. The subject was advised and released.
CO Kris Kiel received a RAP complaint regarding a subject who was in possession of three baby Canada geese. CO Kiel arrived on scene and located the three geese inside a small fenced in area. In the enclosure was a dish of water and a plate with beans and rice on it. When the CO asked the subject where he got the baby geese, he indicated he received them as a birthday gift. CO Kiel had looked at his driver’s license and determined that his birthday was in February. However, the geese were only a few weeks old. CO Kiel finally got the truth out of the subject, who admitted he had taken them out of the wild when he was fishing. CO Kiel transported the baby geese to a licensed rehabilitator and enforcement action was taken.
CO Ken Kovach assisted local deputies with a suspicious vehicle complaint in the Port Huron SGA. CO Kovach was able to sneak in and conduct surveillance on two huge four-wheel drive trucks “mud bogging” in a closed area. CO Ken Kovach contacted the individuals and took enforcement action.
Sgt. Arthur Green, COs Lacelle Rabon and Mike Drexler, and a ride-along conducted a group patrol checking shore anglers along the Detroit River. The COs checked anglers throughout Wayne County and issued several citations for taking overlimits of white bass, possessing smallmouth bass during the closed season and fishing without a license. More than 50 white bass were confiscated, and half of the fish were able to be donated.
Sgt. Arthur Green and CO Mike Drexler worked a marine patrol on the Detroit River. One vessel was stopped for failing to display registration numbers or decals. The occupants stated that they had been operating the vessel for approximately three weeks and they were planning on ordering the numbers soon. The vessel was also missing some important safety equipment. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mike Drexler was checking anglers at the Belleville Dam. As he approached two anglers, one set his fishing pole down and started to walk away from it. CO Drexler asked to see both anglers’ fishing licenses and the one that walked away stated he wasn’t fishing but just out enjoying the day. CO Drexler informed the subject he watched him fishing and a check in the angler’s fish basket also turned up a smallmouth bass that was taken during the closed season. Enforcement action was taken.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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