Michigan Cuffs & Collars – August 2nd, 2013
CO Trey Luce was patrolling along Deer Lake in Ishpeming. A subject stopped CO Luce and told him several young men were fishing on the back side of the lake. CO Luce located six subjects standing around a fire in a remote part of the lake. Despite being classified as a “No bait, catch-and-release-only” lake, the subjects were fishing with live bait and were cooking freshly caught fish over their campfire. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Trey Luce contacted occupants of a boat operating on Lake Michigamme that was short several PFDs for the five occupants onboard. Another vessel on Lake Michigamme was observed with an expired 2009 registration. Upon contact, the owner said he keeps the boat at his camp and did not think he would get checked on the lake. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Doug Hermanson received a complaint of unregistered campers that left a big mess at Big Lake State Forest Campground (SFC). Upon arrival, all campers were gone from the scene but left numerous items behind. Follow-up investigation led to three of the campers being ticketed for litter. CO Hermanson is still attempting to contact other subjects from the same campsite. Numerous violations included failure to register a campsite, operating a truck on the beach, and no recreation passport.
CO Mark Leadman stopped three ORV operators on a closed county road in Marquette County. One of the three ORVs had not been registered for the past 13 years. The operator stated this was the first time he had taken the ORV out of the garage. The three subjects were given an ORV guide and a ticket was issued for no ORV registration.
CO Jason Wicklund joined agents from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources with a group on marine patrol. The boundary water chain of lakes between Gogebic and Vilas County, Wis., was the focus of the group effort. More than 200 boats were checked during the nine hours on the water with more than two dozen marine violations observed. Several other individuals were ticketed for fishing without licenses.
CO Mike Evink, patrolling in a kayak, contacted an angler who claimed his fishing license was in his truck back on shore. After a short discussion while attempting to confirm his license via radio, the angler confessed to not having one. A ticket was issued. Later that same day, CO Evink again made contact with the subject. This time he was operating a PWC without a PFD and towing three young girls on a tube without an observer. The subject again received a ticket, this time for not having a PFD. A warning was given for not having an observer.
CO Robert Crisp, along with other area officers, conducted a group patrol on a local river that generates a lot of complaints revolving around disorderly canoers, kayakers, and tubers. A large number of people were participating with only a few causing problems. One event involved a bridal party canoeing down the river. One member of the bridal party thought it a good idea to wear a very small child’s PFD instead of her swimsuit top. A few minutes later she decided to remove the PFD. With many families and kids in the area, CO Crisp advised her to put her top back on. She objected, as did the rest of the bridal party and relayed that she had no intention of putting it back on. They then attempted to paddle away. After they were stopped, they began to sober up and were ultimately charged with failing to stop on command, rather than indecent exposure.
CO Kyle Publiski was on routine marine patrol when he contacted an angler trolling for salmon. The subject was using too many lines and his registration was from Ohio. Further investigation revealed that he used his 2015 Michigan registration sticker from his old boat and never registered his new boat. He argued that the CO was harassing him and that it wasn’t a big deal. The CO explained that everybody else he checked that day had registered their boats and obeyed the fishing regulations, and he was no different than anyone else. A ticket was issued for too many lines and a warning given for unregistered watercraft.
COs Jeff Panich and Kyle Publiski responded to a call for help in regard to a subject in distress. The subject had capsized his kayak and couldn’t get back in. He was one-half mile from shore and tried to swim for the beach. He was overtaken by waves and almost drowned when some good Samaritans rescued him. The COs met him on the beach and found that he didn’t have a life jacket with him. He stated that he thought his swimming abilities were good enough that he didn’t need a life jacket. It seemed that the subject learned his lesson in his near drowning experience.
CO Jon Sklba contacted subjects on a boat on Grand Lake, asking if they had caught any fish. He was informed that they hadn’t caught any fish, until the kids told him about the 13-inch walleye. A ticket was issued for undersized walleye.
CO Carl VanderWall issued a ticket to a 22-year-old subject for keeping a fawn in a shed and small enclosure for a month. The fawn was removed. The subject’s father showed up at CO VanderWall’s house while he was off duty, stating his disagreement with the ticket. CO VanderWall attempted to explain several times, but when the subject failed to accept the explanations and became agitated, he was advised he would be arrested if he didn’t leave. When the CO went into his residence to get his handcuffs the subject left. The subject later apologized to CO VanderWall for his behavior.
COs Duane Budreau and Carl VanderWall received a complaint in Bay Harbor regarding a subject shooting geese with a paintball gun. The subject stated he was sick of the mess the geese made and hadn’t received any help from the DNR. After some discussion, it was learned he had never attempted to get any help. The subject had shot and wounded two goslings then finished them off by shooting them with the paintball gun approximately 20 times. He was charged with taking geese during the closed season.
CO Andrea Albert and Sgt. Joe Molnar worked a patrol on Torch Lake. The COs were on the water only an hour before arresting a subject for operating under the influence of alcohol. A short time after CO Albert finished processing the intoxicated operator, a second intoxicated boater was located and arrested. After lodging the second subject, CO Albert returned to the lake access site and immediately assisted Sgt. Molnar and emergency medical personnel with a subject who dove off a boat, hit his head and was unresponsive and undergoing CPR.
CO Kelly Ross was checking anglers on Fletchers Pond when he contacted two subjects who were in possession of three short bass. One of the anglers said he had caught them but they did not have a tape measure, but while the ticket was being written the angler was able to find two tape measures.
COs Steve Converse and Sam Koscinski received a tip that a subject wanted on DNR warrants from a 2008 deer violations case was possibly camping in Wexford County. Shortly after the illegal deer warrants were issued in 2008, the subject moved to Arizona and has been a fugitive ever since. The COs were able to locate the subject and arrested him on the warrants. The subject was lodged in the county jail.
CO Rich Stowe responded to a complaint from a landowner who reported hearing a gunshot on his property. The landowner investigated and located a subject chasing down a wild turkey he had just shot with a .22 cal. rifle. The landowner escorted the subject off the property and photographed the license plate from the suspect’s vehicle. CO Stowe recovered the dead turkey and ran the license plate. CO Stowe was very familiar with the suspect as he was one of the subjects arrested last fall in Grand Traverse County for the night shooting of a black bear and several bucks just for their antlers. An interview led to a full confession to the turkey poaching. Warrants are being sought for taking a wild turkey during the closed season, taking a turkey with a rifle, hunting while his hunting privileges were revoked and recreational trespass.
CO Angela Greenway was patrolling Big Starr Lake when she observed an 8-year-old operating a PWC with a 5-year-old in front of the handlebars and a parent on the back. The parent was upset about being stopped and informed CO Greenway that she was scaring his children. CO Greenway explained the reason behind the marine safety stop and issued a ticket to the adult.
CO Brian Lebel was patrolling a wetland area when he located a suspicious unoccupied vehicle parked with the driver’s door open. CO Lebel observed shovels and buckets in the bed portion of the pickup truck. CO Lebel tracked the subject into the swamp and was surprised by an aggressive dog. The subject ran out of the swamp area to contain his dog and eventually admitted to CO Lebel that he was planting marijuana. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Mike Hearn and Matt Liestenfeltz stopped a boat on Torch Lake that was displaying an Alabama number registration, with a 2014 Michigan registration sticker. The owner said he had just obtained the boat and had not had a chance to put the Michigan numbers on it. Upon inspection of the paper registration, it was determined he had registered the boat in Michigan in September, 2012 with an expiration date of 2015. After further questioning, it was determined the 2014 sticker was borrowed from a friend and fraudulently used on his vessel. The owner was ticketed for the violation.
CO Steve Lockwood contacted four subjects who were fishing, none of whom had a fishing license in their possession. The anglers assured the CO they had purchased their licenses earlier in the day and had simply left them in their cabin several miles away. A check of the license system the next day revealed the foursome had not purchased their licenses until several hours after CO Lockwood had checked them. Enforcement action taken.
While attempting to launch a patrol boat, CO Mark Papineau observed two subjects on PWCs chasing each other around the lake. The subjects quickly approached a nearby posted swimming area that was full of swimmers. One subject stopped abruptly just outside of the buoys, forcing a wake into the swim area. As the swimmers began yelling at the operator, the second PWC approached at a high rate of speed and swerved at the last minute, pushing a second wake into the swim area and also soaking the first PWC operator. As the arguments continued, the PWC operators noticed that CO Papineau had observed the entire incident. Both operators quickly sped away, placed their PWCs on a hoist, and attempted to flee into a residence. CO Papineau was able to apprehend the subjects and issue tickets for careless operation.
CO Larn Strawn was called to an environmental complaint at a local cemetery. Upon arriving and investigating, the CO discovered two subjects had driven into the back of the cemetery and dumped an entire 55 gallon drum of used motor oil onto the ground. The subjects were confronted by the cemetery groundskeepers and fled the scene almost running down the groundskeeper with their vehicle. The groundskeeper was able to give a detailed description of the suspects. Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call the Report-All-Poaching (RAP) hotline.
While conducting a nighttime marine patrol, CO Larn R. Strawn observed a small boat navigating across Coldwater Lake without navigation lights. The CO stopped the boat and discovered there were men bow fishing from the boat. A check of their safety equipment revealed they had no life jackets of any kind aboard, they also had no horn or signaling device. The CO advised the men of the hazards of standing and bowfishing on the deck of a boat with no lights, no life preservers. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Nick Atkin was checking anglers when he located an angler in possession of an undersized walleye. The angler claimed he measured the walleye and the CO asked how he measured the fish. The angler showed him two lines of tape on the rail of his pontoon. The CO measured the marks and found they were off by more than an inch. The angler advised that he would get a tape measure and this would not happen again. Enforcement action was taken.
While on his way home from a marine patrol, CO Seth Rhodea took a detour through one of his local state game areas where he had been having problems with illegal ORV activity. After observing fresh vehicle tracks leading into a desolate area, CO Rhodea walked in and located a pickup truck that was parked. Upon sneaking up to the truck, CO Rhodea was caught off guard with what he found. CO Rhodea had thwarted a criminal sexual conduct between a father and his 14-year-old daughter. CO Rhodea removed the juvenile female from the vehicle and arrested the father for the crime of CSC 1st Degree. The Sheriff’s Department assisted with the transport of the father to jail and the case was turned over to the Sheriff’s Department Detective Bureau.
COs Chris Simpson and BJ Goulette were observing boating activity at Wolf Lake in Muskegon County when they encountered four persons who were in possession of 128 bluegills, 28 fish over a limit. One person agreed to take responsibility for the overlimit and was ticketed at the scene.
While on marine patrol along the Kalamazoo River, CO Chris Holmes contacted several subjects fishing from shore. While checking fishing licenses CO Holmes asked one of the subjects if he had any fish in the cooler he was sitting on, and the subject replied no. Upon checking of the cooler CO Holmes located seven undersized largemouth bass. Two subjects were ticketed, and one arrested for an outstanding child support warrant.
CO Chris Holmes reports the disposition of a case that he had investigated earlier in the year. The subject pled guilty to multiple counts of trapping and hunting without a license. The subject was ordered to pay over $4,000 in restitution to the state fish and game fund for illegally taking fur bearing animals and small game species without a license in 2012.
CO Brad Brewer received a complaint from the St. Joseph County Sheriff Department regarding a conflict between people fishing at an access site and boat operators wanting to launch their boat. CO Brewer responded and in addition to settling the conflict, CO Brewer located a total of seven undersized bass and one undersized channel catfish on two stringers. Tickets were issued for the undersized fish.
Simpson encountered and ticketed two anglers for trolling with 10 lines. During another patrol the CO became suspicious of a boat that had formerly operated as a charter boat and the owner recently was investigated for failing to submit required catch reports. A check of the vessel found that passengers aboard were clients and the charter was running unlicensed and uninspected. The operator was ticketed for operating an unlicensed charter vessel.
CO David Rodgers, along with an intern, stopped to watch seven persons fishing along the Grand River near Grand Rapids. As the intern maintained watch, CO Rodgers stepped into view and all anglers walked away from their fishing rods. At the conclusion of the investigation, five adults were ticketed for fishing without licenses; and two stringers containing six short bass, two undersized catfish and small sheephead were located along the bank. One person had been ticketed by the CO in the past, two subjects had prison records and all had officer safety caution alerts.
CO Derek Miller patrolled Lenawee County and checked a boat with an expired watercraft registration. Both subjects on board provided him with identification because they did not have fishing licenses. The boat registration also was expired. One of the subjects had multiple warrants out for his arrest out of the Detroit area. CO Miller arrested the subject on an assault with intent to do great bodily harm/less than murder warrant. The subject was lodged in the Lenawee County jail.
CO Damon Owens responded to a complaint of a subject netting largemouth bass that were recently released from anglers who participated in a local bass tournament earlier that day. CO Damon Owens contacted the individual who was in possession of two bass on a stringer –18 and 20 inches – and the landing net in the nearby weeds. Enforcement action was taken.
After receiving several complaints regarding subjects mud bogging, CO Dan Bigger contacted a subject who had just crossed the road and began tearing up the land adjacent to the river. CO Bigger positioned his truck in a fashion that was not noticed by the violator until he turned a corner in front of some deep mud holes. The subject saw CO Bigger and put the truck in reverse only to find himself buried and unable to continue. CO Bigger contacted the subject and enforcement action was taken.
CO Shane Webster conducted a late night marine patrol and observed a vessel travelling in his direction. The vessel continued on a would-be collision course and CO Webster noted that they were not going to yield the right-of-way to his patrol vessel as required. CO Webster notified the boat to stop, identifying himself as Michigan conservation officer. Upon contact with the driver it became apparent he was intoxicated and several sobriety tests confirmed that suspicion. The operator was placed under arrest and transported and lodged in the county jail.
CO Brandon Kieft responded to a residence in Holly Township on a report of a captive baby raccoon. While attempting to locate the subject described in the complaint, CO Kieft observed him fishing along the edge of a lake in the backyard. After the subject admitted that he had been trying to care for the young raccoon, CO Kieft informed the man that his actions were illegal. The man had no permit for the animal and no valid fishing license. The subject was ticketed for possession of a captive raccoon and fishing without a license.
Sgt. Arthur Green and CO Brandon Kieft stopped a vessel on Pontiac Lake for operating the wrong way (clockwise) around the lake. Further investigation revealed that the vessel didn’t have the proper number of life jackets on board and the operator had an outstanding warrant for child neglect. The subject was ticketed for failure to provide enough PFDs and arrested on his warrant. He was eventually turned over to the Oakland County Sheriff Department for transport.
Sgt. Arthur Green and CO Brandon Kieft observed a subject get on a PWC without a life jacket and quickly accelerate from shore violating the 100-foot rule. When the operator was stopped for his actions, it was determined that the PWC had not been registered since March of 2012. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Ben Shively conducted marine patrols on high use lakes in Oakland County. CO Shively had 172 contacts and issued three tickets for expired registration, two tickets for operating a PWC without wearing a life jacket, and tickets for no fire extinguisher, failing to provide a life jacket, and for fishing without a fishing license.
While on marine patrol on Lake St. Clair CO Kris Kiel contacted a vessel with three subjects fishing. The owner/operator of the vessel did not have his fishing license, identification, or the vessel’s paper registration on board. The subject had also caught and retained an undersized smallmouth bass. The CO recognized the subject from three years ago for failing to provide enough PFDs for persons on board. Enforcement action was taken.
COs Ben Lasher and Todd Szyska conducted a marine patrol at the Holloway Reservoir. Many boaters were contacted and an assist was given to a vessel needing a tow to the launch. The COs also checked two anglers hiding in heavy brush along the tubes. One angler had an undersized bass in her bucket that measured 10 inches and was seized as evidence. The female angler’s friend also had two warrants. Although both warrants were confirmed and valid, due to the holiday no one was able to respond to pick up. The subject was advised and released on the warrants, and the female angler was ticketed for the undersized largemouth bass.