Minnesota Cuffs & Collars – July 5th, 2013
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) worked angling and boating activity on Lake of the Woods, Lake Bronson, and area rivers. AIS checks were performed. Complaints about deer damaging yards in Thief River Falls were received. A complaint about a nuisance bear was investigated.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored angling activity on Upper Red Lake and ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for over-length walleyes, angling without a license in possession, registration violations, and disposal of bait in public waters.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) worked mostly angling and watercraft enforcement. ATV operators were checked, and a suspected public waters violation site was inspected.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) reports multiple wildlife-related calls were taken, and multiple assists were given to other law enforcement agencies.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity on area lakes throughout the week. CO Vollbrecht also performed AIS checks at various Lake Bemidji accesses. While CO Vollbrecht sat at one access, a vehicle entered the lot and was parked illegally. The CO went to talk to the driver about moving the vehicle and smelled a strong odor of marijuana when the window was rolled down. After speaking with the driver for a short period of time, the CO discovered the driver was smoking methamphetamine and the passenger was smoking the marijuana. The driver was arrested and charged.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) reports a complaint about ATVers causing damage to a wetland was investigated. Officer Holt assisted local law enforcement with a call and also spent time working special regulation lakes.
CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) reports contacting several boaters and anglers. He also spent time discussing AIS rules and how to inspect watercraft. CO Vinton patrolled Detroit Lake during Operation Dry Water.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) continued with a depredation case with ongoing heifer loss, worked ATV enforcement, and attended training.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) reports complaints about unattended traps and taking snapping turtles out of season were investigated. CO Forsberg assisted Wilkin County deputies with flood duties in the city of Wolverton after it received almost nine inches of rain.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports complaints about aquatic plant removal were common during the week. Richards also spoke to students at Breckenridge Junior Police Academy about duties performed by conservation officers.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked boating and fishing enforcement during the weekend. Violations for illegal-length northerns, no fishing license, an insufficient number PFDs, and no license in possession were addressed.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked boaters, fishermen, and ATVers. Littering complaints involving dead carp were received and investigated.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) arrested an individual for DWI on an ATV that was being operated on a rural township road. This individual was arrested for the same offense a few years ago while operating the same ATV.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on anglers and boating safety. Additional time was spent issuing minnow transportation permits.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts included checking fishermen, boaters, ATV operators, and minnow trappers. Time also was spent investigating a goose-shooting complaint.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) received calls regarding a badger, which turned out to be a groundhog digging next to someone’s home, and a call about a deer caught in a fence.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked boaters. In one instance, he stopped a boat because the boat operator was towing a skier while others were jumping out of the boat simultaneously as the boat traveled at a high rate of speed. Once it was stopped, Officer Mathy discovered the boater had placed registration from another boat onto his boat to make it appear the boat was registered even though it was unregistered. In addition, the boat was overloaded with too many passengers, and two others were cited for underage consumption of alcohol. Enforcement action was also taken for towing a skier without an observer, failing to display registration, and operating a boat with people riding on the gunwales.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala enforced AIS laws during the past weekend. He also investigated a complaint regarding illegal destruction of aquatic plants. Officer Siltala also visited a possible wetlands violation site, resulting in information forwarded to the SWCD.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) checked fishing and boating activity on Rainy Lake, Rainy River, Namakan Lake, and Lake Kabetogama. Enforcement action taken for the week included illegal-length fish, fish overlimits, no angling license in possession, and taking sturgeon during the closed season.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports forest roads were patrolled for illegal ATV activity.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked invasive species enforcement, anglers and boaters, and the Operation Dry Water campaign on area lakes. An angler claiming he had a license, who signed an affidavit that he had a license, turned out not to have one after all. He will be sent two citations, including no fishing license and signing a false affidavit. The officer found a vehicle in the state park without a park permit. The park staff’s previous day’s demand-for-payment warning for the vehicle was torn up and left lying near the car. When the car left the park, Officer Bozovsky stopped it, discovering violations of no park permit, driving after suspension, no insurance, and littering..
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) has received more complaints about beaver flooding activity; this is compounded by high water levels.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked BWI enforcement during the Operation Dry Water campaign during the pre-holiday weekend. CO Manning also checked area campgrounds on complaints of permanent campers; all sites were vacant when checked. A local motorcycle operator was stopped and ticketed for popping wheelies on city streets and was advised of better locations for playing on his OHM.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked fishing, watercraft, and ATV activity during the weekend. Murray also handled nuisance-beaver complaints and worked on a big-game investigation.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked the Operation Dry Water boating safety campaign during the weekend. Violations included no navigational lights after sunset and a PFD violation. CO Bermel arrested two subjects for warrants as a result of unpaid DNR tickets. One of the subjects was in possession of a controlled substance, resulting in a felony drug charge. CO Bermel observed two people bobber fishing off a dock one evening. When he turned the boat toward them to check their licenses, one subject left his pole and headed into the woods while the other took his with him and followed suit. Upon arrival and exit at the dock, the CO found the other pole in the woods with the minnow still attached. The subjects soon were encountered, with neither having a fishing license. Citations were issued and equipment was seized.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) report the small, fast mosquitos have arrived with vigor after all the rains. Invasive species enforcement was a priority, and compliance was pretty good.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled the area for illegal ATV activity, attended a meeting with Ontario officers, checked anglers and boaters, investigated litter and vandalism complaints on state forest lands, and enforced campground regulations.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, attended K-9 training, worked boat and water enforcement, responded to a float plane that was upside down in a lake, and assisted the county with a search for motor vehicle thieves that fled into the mines.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) worked area lakes for boating activity this past week. She also assisted the county with an ongoing investigation involving car theft in the Grand Rapids area. Sindelir handled a call from a hiker on the Trout Lake Tract concerning two gray wolves that had been following her. The caller was fairly shaken up as the wolves were only 30 feet away and didn’t appear to be startled by the hiker’s presence. Hikers need to be prepared for their journey and a few simple things to remember are water, a map, compass, cellular phone, food, and a whistle.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) reports violations of people intentionally running over turtles are being investigated. For running over a turtle, violators face a fines of $285, plus restitution for each turtle.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent time training and getting ready for upcoming dog certification trials. K9 assistance was given to the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office in tracking several individuals who fled from a stolen car.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (northeast Minnesota) reports planning for this year’s State Fair was attended, and the theme again is AIS.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and worked boating on the St. Louis River and bay.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. A local law enforcement student joined the officer one day for a ride-along.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) received a complaint about a loon’s nest being stolen from an area lake. The nest was not being used at the time, but has been used in past years. Officer Lee received assistance from fellow officers in District 9, as well as from District 10, in efforts on the Whitefish chain for Operation Dry Water.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) reports that he worked on fishing enforcement this past week. Some of the violations he observed were no license, an overlimit of large fish, and extra lines.
CO Nikki Shoutz (Pine River) participated in Operation Dry Water enforcement efforts with enforcement action taken for operating watercraft with children under 10 with no PFDs, insufficient PFDs, riding on gunwales and sides of boats while underway, failing to display registration, and operating personal watercraft after hours.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) fielded calls regarding the intentional running over of snapping turtles on the highway and digging up snapping turtle nests. A 17-year-old was reminded that she needed an angling license and was directed to the nearest ELS vendor to purchase one.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) spoke at an MDHA Forkhorn camp, handled a complaint about a bear, and also a complaint regarding lakebed filling. Time also was spent on a case involving the attempted illegal sale of a fox after the officer received multiple TIP calls. He assisted Officer Verkuilen with a boater in distress on Lake Mille Lacs.
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec Area) assisted the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department with a missing person search and investigated a wolf/cattle depredation incident.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked area boating and angling activity, including lots of shore anglers doing well. In one of those instances, anglers were cited for trespassing.
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) focused enforcement on Mille Lacs Lake during the week. The officer seized nine illegal-length walleyes from nine different individuals. One party mentioned he was attempting to “revive” his illegal walleye in his livewell.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports a presentation was given during the week in Aitkin on the duties of conservation officers. Assistance was given to neighboring officers on two different TIP complaints. AIS compliance also was monitored during the week, and a TIP on blocking public waters was investigated.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) finished up a wolf depredation investigation at a local farm, where two month-old calves were killed by gray wolves. Federal trappers spent some time in the area and were able remove an adult male wolf.
CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and ATV complaint areas. He took calls about nuisance animals, including badgers, beavers, and bears.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) investigated a farmer who was building dams in a wetland and a call about a person who had buried a chest freezer in his front yard in which to keep overlimits of minnows. A person may only have 24 dozen minnows in possession and transport 12 dozen without a bait dealer license. A call was handled regarding a whitetail buck that escaped from a game farm during one of the last storms. It is still on the loose in the Bowlus area. If you see this deer with a yellow ear tag, please call the officer. While working boat and water details, CO Kuske assisted two youths in a paddle boat who could not make it back to a cabin due to current and winds. Due to high water levels, a pontoon was found in a back bay that was floating loose. Owners were contacted, and the pontoon was towed back to their cabin and secured for them.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) reports several complaints were received about individuals picking up snapping turtles during the closed season.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) assisted the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office with an ATV rollover with injuries.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) checked anglers and watercraft activity. Sites were checked for WCA and feedlot violations.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports receiving a call about a small alligator in a tree in the caller’s backyard. The caller stated that the black-colored animal looked just like an alligator, and its eyes were moving. The caller was instructed to call some type of animal control agent or attempt to get the alligator in a box. The caller decided to hit the animal and found out it was made of rubber. The rubber alligator is safe, but the prankster is still on the loose.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) spent most of the week checking anglers and boaters on area lakes. Several TIP call were investigated regarding overlimits and individuals leaving carp along the shorelines of area lakes.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) took a number of complaints about nuisance bears in the Elk River area. CO Sladek also followed up on four game farm deer that escaped from their pens after a tree fell on a fence during a storm. Two deer were returned to their pen unharmed, one was dispatched by the owner, and one is at large.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) attended a children’s fishing event and a bowfishing meeting. A reminder to bow fishermen to have a good plan for their fish before they head out on the lakes.
CO Jackie Glaser (Mound) worked Lake Minnetonka during the Operation Dry Water weekend. Numerous violations were encountered.
CO Thor Nelson (Bloomington) assisted with a youth fishing clinic and gave a television interview.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked shore fishermen and boaters. He also provided a ride-along to a law enforcement student from Rasmussen College.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he rescued a 10-week-old kitten that had been injured on the road in front of him. He assisted Coon Rapids police by transporting the kitten to the vet clinic. Enforcement action was taken for shooting squirrels out of season.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) and CO Pril rescued two watercraft operators who were in distress. Both personal watercraft became disabled, and the operators, who were wearing life jackets, were unable to get back on them due to high winds and waves.
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) spoke to a group of 45 Urban Roots Minnesota youth about a conservation officer’s job.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the majority of the week working fishing, boating, and ATV enforcement. High water, fast current, and floating debris continue to be an issue on the Minnesota and other local rivers. Extreme caution should be used by fishermen and boaters if they decide to go out.
CO Neil Henriksen (Benson) reports local law enforcement was assisted with an armed and barricaded suspect.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers and working boat safety. Area lakes and sloughs are returning to normal water levels. Assistance was given to the Murray County Sheriff’s Office with trespass and other concerns.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) investigated a complaint about carp that were taken by bow and left at a public access. She also followed up on a TIP call regarding a possible overlimit of crappies in a freezer.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent time on sport fishing, ATV, invasive species, and boat and water enforcement. Operation Dry Water was worked, with minimal watercraft activity due to high winds for much of the weekend. Follow up also was done regarding a report of illegal dumping of crushed concrete into a waterway. Assistance was given to the Minnesota State Patrol when Beckmann located an intoxicated male stumbling into traffic on a four-lane state highway. The male only had 13 more miles to go to get to his residence.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) inspected watercraft and trailers at local accesses, along with educating the public on AIS prevention.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports assistance was given to local law enforcement with the search for a drowning victim.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) checked fishermen, boaters, PWCers, and ATV operators. Time also was spent monitoring AIS compliance.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling and boat and water activity during the week. The officer also assisted with a search on the Minnesota River.
WREO Julie Siems reports working AIS and WCA enforcement. A restoration order was issued for a WCA violation. Enforcement action was taken for failing to remove drain plugs and failing to display bait registration.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working angler trespass on an area trout stream. Trout anglers were reminded to stay within the easement corridor of the stream they are fishing.
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) assisted with a work crew addressing boaters that attended the Lake City Water Ski Days.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports spending most of the week doing water patrol. He worked with the Winona County Sheriff’s Office on a detail in Winona and several other COs on a detail in Wabasha County.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working mainly fishing and boating enforcement. The big river, as well as its tributaries, were all high, fast, and dirty. Fishing has been tough, but some nice walleyes were seen during the weekend. A boat and water safety detail was worked in conjunction with Operation Dry Water, and numerous enforcement contacts were documented.