Michigan Cuffs & Collars – July 5th, 2013
CO Marvin Gerlach, while on marine patrol on the Green Bay waters of Lake Michigan, contacted a 52-foot cabin cruiser that did not have displayed a registration decal. The owner stated he did not have to register his vessel because it was federally documented. After a brief discussion, the owner admitted he should have registered the vessel and paid the estimated $72,000 in sales tax from when he bought the boat in 2012. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Marvin Gerlach investigated a complaint that two subjects on ORVs attempted to pull the pay pipe out of the ground at a local state forest campground by using the ORVs and a chain. The subjects were unsuccessful in their larceny attempt and fled the scene as they were interrupted by a group of campers. CO Gerlach is following up on information provided by the witnesses.
CO Jason Wicklund was patrolling Lake Gogebic when he came upon a subject in possession of a short bass. The subject was issued a ticket and the fish was seized. Six days later, COs Wicklund and Doug Hermanson checked the same area and observed the same person fishing from the same spot. The COs watched him catch several fish, and, upon contact, located two undersized walleyes. Once again the subject was issued a ticket and the fish were seized.
CO Jason Wicklund checked a local access site for fishing activity. With only one truck/trailer at the access site, the CO decided he would still launch so that he could check the angler. Upon contacting the angler, the CO learned that the motor on the boat had quit working. The anglers were trying to make it back 4 miles to the access site into a strong wind with only a trolling motor, and they weren’t making much progress. The CO offered to tow them back, and they gratefully accepted.
CO Jason Wicklund was on marine patrol and came upon a boat with three occupants. When asked for a fishing license, the individuals produced Wisconsin fishing licenses and claimed the lake was boundary water. Further inspection of the boat revealed three youth life jackets and expired boat registration. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jason Wicklund responded to a call from a concerned camp owner regarding neighboring campers shooting “hundreds” of rounds of ammunition. When the CO arrived at the scene, he found several individuals sitting around a campfire. The CO also observed an AK47, AR15, shotgun, and a handgun nearby. All of the individuals had been drinking and were shooting at a pan hanging in a tree, as well as an old computer tower. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jason Wicklund was checking a local lake when an individual approached him to say that he had seen some “shiny” items at the bottom of the lake when he was looking for bass. The CO and individual recovered a large collection of diamond, gold, and silver jewelry, ammunition, and some personal items linked to a safe robbery the previous week. The items were turned over to the local police department.
CO Kyle Publiski was on patrol when he came upon an angler without a fishing license. The subject claimed to have bought a license, and as he continued to dig through his wallet, he claimed that he must have forgotten it at home. He went on to explain how he would never fish without a license. Further investigation revealed that the man didn’t buy a license and that he had been ticketed in the past. He received a ticket for fishing without a license.
CO Kevin Postma encountered two separate crews of anglers from out of state. One group from Indiana and was in possession of five short northern pike. They claimed that the legal limit for pike was 19 inches. The CO explained the regulations, and tickets were issued. Moments later, CO Postma ran into a Canadian crew with a few short walleye on board, and they explained that there is no size limit for walleyes in Michigan. Once again, the CO explained the regulations, and a ticket was issued.
CO Mike Evink ticketed a subject for not removing his ice shack from Indian Lake. CO Evink already had removed the shack from the open waters of the lake when he contacted the owner. At first the owner said he had removed his shack. CO Evink then reminded him that he had been ticketed in February for too many lines and the ice shack that he had been standing next to was the ice shack CO Evink removed from the water. After that explanation, the owner of the shack confessed.
CO Duane Budreau and Sgt. Greg Drogowski followed up on a complaint about a subject burning tires, a TV, and plastic drawers from a refrigerator. A ticket was issued for unlawful disposal of solid waste.
Sgt. Greg Drogowski investigated a complaint regarding a large amount of trash dumped on state land. Evidence was found in the trash that led to a suspect. An interview with the suspect produced an admission and a ticket for littering. Cleanup of the site is being provided by the defendant.
CO Bill Webster contacted the operator of an ORV parked in a closed area, who was cutting trees that were blocking the illegal trail on which he wanted to ride. CO Webster explained why the trees were blocking the trail and ticketed him for his violations.
CO Rebecca Hopkins handled a burning complaint where a subject in his 20s was playing with matches and lighting Cottonwood seed fluff on fire in his driveway. A gust of wind took some of the burning Cottonwood down the driveway and across the roadway into the distant ditch. The embers ignited the grass resulting in four acres being burned before the fire was suppressed. A ticket was issued for allowing the fire to escape.
CO Brian Brosky received a complaint about a subject shooting at Canada geese along a river system. CO Brosky responded to the complaint and located the suspect. The subject admitted to shooting at a goose and killing it. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brian Lebel received a complaint that a subject had shot two wild turkeys. He went to the residence and found that the suspect was at work. CO Lebel was granted access to the freezer, where he located and seized two frozen wild turkeys. CO Lebel went to the suspect’s place of employment and was able to obtain a confession that the subject had indeed shot two wild turkeys. Further questioning led to the suspect turning over a still-unused turkey kill tag. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brian Olsen was nearly hit by an ORV operator who disregarded a stop sign on an ORV trail in Ogemaw County. The CO was able to catch up to the operator and explain the important safety aspects of obeying traffic signs. A ticket for failing to stop before crossing a road went along with the explanation.
CO Jason McCullough was patrolling through state land in Clare County when he observed illegal ORV activity. Upon further investigation, he discovered two young subjects with a pellet gun. During the contact, it was discovered that the youth were squirrel hunting and had already killed one squirrel and had taken it back to their house. Upon reaching the house, CO McCullough was able to retrieve the squirrel and make contact with the subjects’ father. The two youths received an explanation regarding the importance of conservation and ethics, and the father received a ticket for the numerous ORV infractions.
While on marine patrol on Lake St. Helen, COs Mark Papineau and Brian Olsen observed several subjects fishing from a moored pontoon boat. As the COs approached, one of the subjects quickly put down his pole. During the contact, the subject said that he was not fishing, just watching the others who were fishing. Further discussion led to a confession and a ticket for fishing without a license.
CO Jon Warner assisted local and federal agencies in trying to locate a 14-year-old youth who was missing in the Au Sable River. The youth was recovered from the river but could not be revived.
While working ORV patrol, CO Jon Warner encountered an ORV operator who was not wearing a helmet and was operating against the flow of traffic. The subject also was operating with a suspended driver’s license and had several outstanding arrest warrants. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Steve Lockwood and Sgt. Jon Wood checked a subject who was fishing in Gladwin County. During the initial contact, the angler complained about how slow the fishing was, but he added that it didn’t matter because he did not eat fish. During the conversation, CO Lockwood observed a stringer with what appeared to be an undersized northern pike anchored close to the angler. When the question finally came up as to how many fish he had kept, the subject admitted he had kept a few rock bass and reluctantly mentioned that he also had a pike. The reluctance probably had to do with the fact that the pike was only 22 inches in length. Enforcement action was taken.
While on marine patrol, CO Joshua Wright found a muskrat trap that was still set from the prior trapping season. He followed up with the owner of the trap and issued him a ticket for trapping out of season. CO Wright has had prior contact with the trapper and has given him warnings for the same issue.
COs Chad Foerster and Nick Atkin were contacted by the U.S. Coast Guard, requesting assistance on the Saginaw River with a vessel containing numerous intoxicated and disorderly subjects. With the CO’s assistance, order was restored and the operator of the vessel was arrested and issued a ticket for operating while under the influence.
CO Scott Brown received a complaint about an individual on Facebook posing in pictures with a fawn he had taken home after finding it in the wild. The fawn died a few days later and was retrieved by CO Brown. A warrant request has been submitted for the illegal possession of the fawn.
CO Scott Brown contacted a group of anglers in the Grindstone harbor. While checking their catch, it became apparent that they were not measuring any fish and were keeping whatever they caught. Five undersized bass were in their bucket, and their only explanation was they thought fishing was to catch fish to eat. A ticket was issued for undersized bass.
While patrolling in Montcalm County, CO Ken Lowell located a couple anglers fishing from the roadside. Both men produced fishing licenses and stated that the fish were not really biting. One angler admitted to not catching any fish to keep, and the other angler admitted to only catching a couple small bass. Officer Lowell located a bucket in the anglers’ van. A check of the bucket produced an overlimit of bass, as well as four undersized bass. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Steve Mooney contacted a subject who was in possession of 15 panfish over the limit at a local VanBuren County lake. The subject also had a warrant for his arrest. The subject was ticketed and lodged at the local jail.
CO Cary Foster observed three subjects fishing near the Lowell Dam in an area enclosed within a fence and marked as a no-trespassing area. Upon watching the subjects for a short time, the CO observed one of the subjects catch a short smallmouth bass and toss it into a bucket. Upon making contact with the subjects, three short bass were located. None of the three subjects had purchased fishing licenses, and all three were ticketed.
While patrolling the Flat River SGA near Belding, CO Cary Foster observed a subject digging in the dirt near a wetland area. When the CO made contact with the subject, she said she was bird-watching and denied digging. Further investigation revealed the subject was indeed digging and had dug up two turtle nests and had the eggs in her backpack. The subject stated she was “a naturalist” and was trying to save the eggs from raccoons. It was explained to the subject that this was illegal, and that she was interfering with wildlife. The subject was ticketed for removing the eggs, and the eggs were returned to the nests.
COs Andy Bauer and Steve Mooney patrolled Lake Michigan out of St. Joseph and located two different boaters fishing for salmon and using too many lines. One boat’s occupants exceeded the legal limit by seven lines, while the second boat had six additional lines. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Dave Rodgers was on patrol in Kent County, along the Grand River, at approximately 3 a.m. one night. After checking three anglers near the dam, a computer check indicated one was wanted on a felony drug warrant and was taken into custody. During the arrest, another subject quickly tossed a container in the river to avoid CO Rodgers locating the item. The subject was ticketed for littering and license violations, and one subject was transported to jail.
COs Derek Miler and Damon Owens conducted a marine patrol in Lenawee County. They contacted a boat with three subjects fishing. None of the subjects had a fishing license, and the watercraft registration was not visible. The owner could not show proof of registration, and one subject had a felony warrant out of Texas. They also did not have a fire extinguisher on board. Tickets were issued for the fishing and marine violations. Texas officials were contacted and said to release him, as they would not come to get him.
CO Rich Nickols contacted three subjects fishing in a boat on Hi-Land Lake. Two of the three subjects had fishing licenses, and one readily admitted to not having his license and said he was done fishing. The subjects also had a mess of bluegills in their cooler. CO Nickols asked how many they had, and they said maybe 30 or 40. CO Nickols felt fairly confident the subjects had more than 50 fish, and told the person without a license he’d make him a deal. If they had less than 50 fish, he would be given a warning, but if they had more than 50, he would be issued a ticket. Tension mounted as they counted 30 then 40 then up to 55. The subject also admitted to fishing the last couple years, and not having purchased a license since 2010. He was still not happy when CO Nickols wrote him a ticket.
CO Rich Nickols stopped to check a shore angler who was just getting ready to leave. When asked if he had caught anything, the subject said no. Just then, several fish on a stringer began to splash in the water. Two undersized smallmouth bass were on the stringer. The subject said he kept them on the stringer to show his daughters, and then was going to release them. The subject also did not have a fishing license.
CO Damon Owens reports closing a deer-season case with a guilty finding of three illegal deer, totaling $3,000 in reimbursement to the state, community service, and other fines.
CO Ben Lasher was working with an intern on the wall on the St. Clair River near the Voyager Restaurant and checked several anglers. Two different subjects were fishing without a license. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Ben Lasher checked anglers in the Port Huron SGA along the river. Upon walking on the trails along Mill Creek, contact was made with anglers using nightcrawlers as bait. However, two of the anglers did not have licenses. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Ben Lasher followed up on a tip from CO Todd Szyska, who had observed an angler with four lines trolling south down the St. Clair River from Marysville. CO Lasher was able to respond from his patrol boat and found the subject and made contact. The angler was fishing with more than three lines and did not have any PFDs aboard. The angler commented to CO Lasher that he knew it would just be a matter of time before he was caught. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Ken Kovach checked on suspicious vehicles at the Port Huron SGA. Upon walking along a beaten-down trail, CO Kovach came upon a large camp. The CO found that there were six individuals living on the land. The subjects were from North Carolina, they had a large campsite set up, they were in possession of undersized trout, and because they were nonresidents they did not possess any Michigan fishing licenses. They were “homeless” and had purchased a home in the area, but could not move into it until a certain date. Enforcement action was taken.