Minnesota Cuffs & Collars – August 9th, 2013
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods and the Roseau River. Multiple boaters were stopped for operating without navigational lights on Lake of the Woods. Other enforcement action for the week was taken for illegal-length walleyes and angling without a license in possession.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) reports that while checking anglers, he observed an angler fishing with two lines. As CO Gorecki approached the boat, the angler cut one of his lines. The man was asked about fishing with the extra line, but denied fishing with it. CO Gorecki discovered that the line got snagged on the last eye of the fishing rod and the second line was pulled up. Enforcement action was taken, along with an equipment seizure.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending most of last week checking anglers and watercraft operators. Several watercraft and fishing-related violations were found.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) worked area angling and ATV activity, and time was spent at Itasca State Park. CO Holt also attended the Beltrami County Fair, working at the DNR booth. CO Holt assisted WREO Stattelman with an AIS violation on Lake Bemidji, and continued to work on a public waters violation.
CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) patrolled area ATV trails and contacted bear hunters scouting for baiting locations. CO Vinton answered several questions about the upcoming special goose season.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) followed up on aquatic vegetation complaints, worked AIS, and checked anglers and boaters. Richards also spoke at a bowfishing expo at the Prairie Wetlands Center in Fergus Falls, highlighting common complaints associated with the sport.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) encountered five people fishing without licenses during the weekend. Aquatic plant-removal complaints were investigated, and inspections were completed.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on ATVers, anglers, and boaters. AIS law compliance was worked at local access sites, and a roadside pheasant survey was completed for DNR Wildlife.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) received a TIP call regarding a possible fishing violation; the suspects were gone upon his arrival. He also received a call from a concerned citizen regarding a bobcat that the person believed walked too close to his house and didn’t appear to be afraid of them.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) received calls about a cougar and an injured eagle, which were forwarded to DNR Wildlife.
CO Larry Francis (Remer) investigated a TIP call regarding taking an overlimit of fish and received another call about illegal cutting on state land, which remains under investigation.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week focusing on angling, boating, and ATV activity. He received several complaints regarding ATV operation, including ATV damage to property, destroying or damaging “closed area” signs, operating ATVs in closed areas, and operating ATVs on a public highway. CO Broughten also assisted the sheriff’s office with a residential alarm.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala enforced AIS laws this past weekend. Several new lakes have now been confirmed to have zebra mussels.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time on Rainy Lake checking fishing and boating activity. An investigation into timber trespass and wetland violations on state, county, and private lands also was handled, with enforcement action and restoration orders forthcoming.
CO Dan Starr (Tower) spoke with the county attorney about a moose case and took several nuisance-animal calls.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) reports a complaint in which a property owner had dumped two large piles of asphalt shingles into a wetland was addressed. The report regarding a rural landowner who had shot a bear is being investigated.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV and fishing activity during the week. The recent cooler weather seemed to improve fishing and certainly slowed mosquitoes and black flies. Murray also responded to an emergency call at Gooseberry Falls State Park in which a girl fell several feet onto the rocks and had to be evacuated from the area by stretcher.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers on Lake Superior with the Marine Unit during the fishermen’s picnic in Grand Marais. Wahlstrom also assisted in the search for a missing person along the Gunflint Trail. Multiple agencies from four counties helped in the search.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) continued dealing with wolf depredation issues, investigated bear-baiting violations, assisted with the successful search for a missing person, and took a call from a blueberry picker who had a run-in with a large pack of wolves.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked aquatic invasive species enforcement efforts around Lake Winnie and other area lakes. CO Arhart also responded to public waters and Wetland Conservation Act violations by issuing restoration orders.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) handled calls about injured loons and a crow. CO Sutherland also is working with the DNR Waters Division on two possible waters violations on local lakes.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work fishing and boating enforcement on area lakes. Night work on area lakes also was worked. Two separate waters complaints were investigated during the week that will require follow-up from the area hydrologist. A site visit of a possible wetlands violation also was completed. Officers Duncan and Keith Olson interrupted four individuals spray-painting (damaging property) under a bridge from their boat late one night last week.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports a waters complaint was looked into in which fill from an adjacent work site was washing into a stream that eventually becomes a protected trout stream. The investigation is ongoing, and will include the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Complaints about nuisance beavers and bears also were addressed.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (northeast Minnesota) investigated a public waters complaint in which a gravel pit operation was piling gravel, sand, and rock near a creek that was being impacted every time it rained and caused sediment runoff.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked Lake Superior from Duluth to the Grand Marais area. He assisted Duluth police with calls in the downtown area.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) responded with a 1854 Treaty enforcement warden to a water emergency at the Temperance River, but was cancelled en route.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) reports an individual was contacted and educated on the permit process for removing aquatic vegetation from his lakeshore.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) reports a call about a juvenile who had run away from home was addressed, and there was time spent in the woods looking for the young lad.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) assisted Baxter police and the Minnesota State Patrol with a motor vehicle hit-and-run accident on Hwy. 371. Officer Lee also received a complaint about traps being located by a hiker. The traps were located, and follow-up investigation is continuing.
CO James Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec Area) responded to a complaint about a man riding his mountain bike inappropriately on the trails in the Yawkey Unit. The suspect was cited for disorderly conduct in a state park. Other enforcement action was taken against a group of people camping in a closed area and for illegal ATV operation in the SRA.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Greg Verkuilen (Garrison) worked lake activity where there were a lot of family reunions and other social gatherings. These gatherings bring a lot of people who don’t get on the water very often. This often results in people forgetting PFDs and boat lights, or just fishing without a license for a short time, thinking the odds are in their favor.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) had some more wolf-depredation activity at an area beef farm where a healthy, 400-pound calf was taken down by gray wolves.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled state forests and WMAs and responded to a loon entangled in fishing line. Please do not throw unwanted fishing line into the lake, which could lead to an animal becoming entangled.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) attended taxidermy-inspection training at Camp Ripley and assisted with an AIS road check in Crow Wing County. Violations found included boat plugs left in while transporting boats and livewells not being drained. CO Kuske watched as a Class 2 ATV operator turned onto a state highway and drove in the full lane of traffic for over a mile before turning onto a county road while still in the lane of traffic, blocking cars. When the ATV was stopped, the person driving adamantly said that he could legally drive a Class 2 ATV on highways and county roads, just like a car. Officer Kuske informed the person he needed to reread the ATV regulations booklet, and took enforcement action.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) reports two separate wolf-depredation complaints involved four beef calves killed. Compensation claims have been submitted, and USDA Wildlife Services has begun trapping in the complaint areas.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) worked several TIP calls regarding overlimits of fish and fishing out of season. Four anglers were found on the St. Croix River with five illegal-length smallmouth bass.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) spent time patrolling the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge, the Rum River State Forest, and local WMAs. Complaints were taken regarding trespassing, wetland violations, and nuisance geese.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) checked fishermen and investigated a TIP call about the possible illegal possession of a snapping turtle.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) checked anglers and boaters in the West Metro area. While checking boaters on Lake Minnetonka for AIS, CO Le saw a boy step onto a broken beer bottle, which cut his foot cut badly, as he was wearing flip flops. CO Le sat him down, cleaned and field-dressed the wound, then turned him over to his father, who was at the fishing dock. They refused an ambulance.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked AIS and did a couple of presentations for youth firearm safety classes in Baker Park and the Hmong Lutheran Church in St. Paul.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked an aquatic invasive species work detail in Washington County with neighboring conservation officers. He also responded to calls and complaints regarding wild animals throughout the week.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports he participated in an AIS check station with other district officers at St. Croix Bluffs Park. He also assisted Wyoming Game and Fish officers with an interview in Ramsey.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Neil Henriksen (Benson) reports a complaint regarding a pasture fence across a river was made after it caused a boating accident.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) reports that with the absence of July rains, the water levels on local lakes are quickly dropping.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked watercraft for AIS law compliance, in addition to checking anglers and boaters. He also spent time assisting DNR Wildlife with complaints regarding animals.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) spent time working angling and ATV activity, and worked on August roadside counts. Oberg also spoke at a firearms safety class in St. George and completed a game farm inspection.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) reports assistance was given to the Windom Police Department with an arrest.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked angling and boating activity, and ATV activity. CO Howe also assisted DNR Trails with an issue and turned an impaired driver over to a local police department.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) reports a water appropriations complaint was investigated. Enforcement action was taken for an angling violation.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) worked with Wisconsin wardens and La Crosse deputies in monitoring boater activity at the annual “Rock at the Docks” event.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and boaters during the week. Fishing success continues to be good, with lots of limits and overlimits of sunfish seen taken.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) checked a fisherman who had what he thought was a legal-size walleye in his livewell. Hemker observed the fish to be about three inches short, but also found it was not even a walleye. Hemker also had a complaint from an AIS inspector about a boater not stopping for an inspection.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working mainly boating and fishing activity this past week and weekend.