Minnesota Cuffs & Collars – August 16th, 2013
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored angling, boating, AIS compliance, and ATV activity on Upper Red Lake and surrounding trails. Time was spent investigating reports about reckless ATVers causing damage to area township and forest roads.
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods in the Warroad and Northwest Angle areas. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines and possessing illegal-length walleyes.
CO Angie Warren (Thief River Falls) checked anglers and boaters on the Red Lake and Thief rivers. Aquatic invasive species checks were performed. Investigations in regards to possible gray wolf depredations were performed.
CO Keith Backer (Blackduck) investigated a coyote depredation, the legal take of a gray wolf, and monitored ATV trails and activity. A number of overlimit complaints were received and investigated.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports finding few resident geese and few hunters during the August goose season opener. Area ATV grant-in-aid trails were checked.
CO Dan Malinowski (Fosston) assisted other agencies and responded to wetland drainage, litter, and trespass complaints. Calls about a problem bear, a destructive beaver, a bobcat in town, and a dead eagle – which was actually a sea gull – were fielded.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) spent the week working experimental-regulation lakes and Lake Itasca in Itasca State Park. He also patrolled ATV trails in the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest. The officer also dealt with a call regarding an injured loon on Deer Lake.
CO Chris Vinton (Detroit Lakes) has received a few calls about OHMers operating in ditches in violation of state law. CO Vinton investigated a possible trespass onto a pond that was accessed by a minnow trapper. CO Vinton provided the landowner with advice on posting non-agricultural lands and water access rights from the road right of way.
CO Phil Seefeldt (Moorhead) patrolled the area for hunters during the August goose season. CO Seefeldt also followed up on a complaint regarding a wetland being drained.
CO Gary Forsberg (Pelican Rapids) spent the week checking fishermen and boaters and working the August goose season.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) assisted with a firearm safety class in Underwood and spoke on the topic of hunting ethics. Few participants were found attempting to harvest geese during the early season.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked boat and water safety enforcement, with violations that included insufficient PFDs on board, no registration on boats, and no throwable device on board. The early goose opener also was worked, with two violations found for no small-game license while hunting waterfowl. A TIP call was investigated regarding goose hunters shooting from a tractor.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) focused enforcement efforts on fishing and early goose-hunting activity. Early goose-hunting activity was slow, but a group of hunters were investigated for a possible trespass violation and were cited for not making a reasonable effort to retrieve a wounded goose. A parent of three juveniles was cited for allowing his kids to illegally operate ATVs on roadways.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on anglers, ATV complaint areas, and boating safety enforcement. COs Anderson and Miska checked boaters and anglers on Lake Traverse and Big Stone lakes.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) initiated a case involving commercial use and monitored ATV trail use. Enforcement action was taken for registration violations, watercraft equipment violations, failure to use navigational lights after sunset, and license violations.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) received multiple calls about loons acting strangely.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) made arrangements for transportation of a dead bald eagle to the repository in Colorado.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers and boaters during the week. He spent time checking for early bear baits and following up on a minnow complaint.
CO Larry Francis (Remer) investigated a report that a lake had dropped 4 feet this summer; it dropped possibly 4 inches, but not 4 feet. He also checked a wetland complaint and conferred with the county soil and water conservation district. Officer Francis also prepared a big-game case file for court,
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) observed a higher amount of ATV traffic and spent time checking compliance with AIS laws. CO Broughten also gave a presentation to the Long Lake Association.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala followed up on an aquatic plant violation complaint in Hubbard County. He investigated an additional APM complaint in which the riparian landowner had destroyed emergent vegetation along 180 feet of shoreline.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Dan Starr (Tower) worked muskie fishermen, beaver complaints, and loud boats. Cooler weather is making biting insects move a little more slowly, for the most part.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, OHVers, invasive species, and took a three-day trip into the BWCA. He located a dispute on the day in which a couple became engaged. The officer found two canoes that had capsized in the BWCA. When he paddled over to the wet canoeists, he was told they were practicing “sea rescues.” The next day the officer came upon a father-and-daughter duo who had improper knives and no knowledge of how to clean fish. The officer filleted the catch of smallmouth bass and northern pike so they could eat boneless fish. The father mentioned that the help was part of the license fee they paid. An interview of four males at the parking lot of a designated trout lake led to charges of possession of live minnows on a designated trout lake, littering (of the beer cans and bottles they had been consuming and left behind), and unlawfully disposing of the minnows in the lake.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) reports some boaters are still amazed to learn it is required to have a PFD on board when in a kayak.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports a watercross event was held on Fall Lake in Winton during the weekend. Also, the area saw an increase in ATV activity with the warm weather.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports taking enforcement action for failure to report a submerged vehicle regarding an individual whose ATV went through the ice in March 2012, and subsequently was pulled up on the anchor of a houseboat this summer. The OHM operator fled from the CO. After pursuing for a couple of miles, the CO ended the chase, and with the assistance of Babbitt police, the subject was found at home.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked a complaint regarding angler harassment. Lakeshore property owners are reminded that their ownership ends at the waterline and recreation is permissible on the entire surface of public lakes, including in front of cabins.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) met with state park managers and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office regarding safety concerns on the Temperance River.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked aquatic invasive species, ATVers, and anglers. He also investigated a crappie overlimit and early bear baiting.
CO Jaysen Hansen (Bigfork) dealt with nuisance beaver complaints. Violations included angler harassment, obstructing legal process, failing to display ATV registration, and careless operation of an ATV.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) took enforcement action for angling without a license, angling without a license in possession, operating a watercraft after sunset without navigational lights, and for angling with too many lines. CO Sutherland also performed a site visit on a property where the cross-section of the lake was altered.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, boating, and OHV enforcement. CO Humphrey conducted a ride-along with a local law enforcement student and issued a restoration order on a wetland violation.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports special focus was on boating enforcement on the Duluth Harbor during the Bayfront Blues Fest celebration. K9 Schody assisted the State Patrol with the search for a person who fled a rollover accident on I-35 near Duluth. The person was tracked to a roadway where St. Louis County Rescue observed a vehicle leaving the scene shortly before the K9 arrived at that location. No other indication was given by K9 Schody at this point that this person was walking in the area. The license plate of the vehicle observed was registered to the subject’s relative and it was believed he was picked up at this time. The State Patrol is investigating.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (northeast Minnesota) staffed a booth at the Game Fair on Friday. A public waters violation in Carlton County was inspected with CO Staples.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. Questions have started to come in regarding the new open-water duck hunting on Superior.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) patrolled for ATV activity and assisted with a possible wetland violation.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) responded to calls about bears raiding bird feeders, a dispute between campers at a Forest Service campground, and regarding anglers possibly taking too many fish. A large deer stand left on state forest land was removed, to be sold at auction, and the vacant McGregor and Pine River stations were worked.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) attended the “National Kids Night Out” event held in Merrifield. The kids attending received water safety training, fish identification instruction, and learned the roles and duties of a conservation officer. The event ended with a fishing tournament held for the youth.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked at the DNR booth at Game Fair in Ramsey. The most frequent questions asked were about the upcoming waterfowl season. He also checked horse riders in the Pillsbury forest for horse passes.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) reports contacts included an unmarried couple fishing on a husband/wife license. They had been doing so for the past five years.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked a boat and water enforcement detail on the Whitefish Chain with another conservation officer. Numerous loud boats were detected and tested with a decimeter, and numerous citations were issued for operating well-above-legal noise limits. A large number of those boats were equipped with illegal exhaust cutouts or bypass devices. One operator was issued a warning two years ago for the noise violation and had not made the necessary changes. A passenger on one such boat said COs should be worrying about intoxicated boaters and also pointed out an overloaded pontoon of elderly people. The COs determined the pontoon was not overloaded.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) started to prepare for the bear-hunting season. Assistance was given to the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Department regarding a missing person. The officer also assisted the State Patrol at the site of a vehicle accident.
CO Dustie Heaton (Willow River) responded to complaints about ATVers in the Rutledge area. Enforcement action was taken for allowing the illegal operation of an ATV and an OHM by a juvenile, operating an OHM on a public roadway, and operating an ATV on a county road. Heaton also investigated a wolf depredation complaint in the Willow River area. The livestock owner reported a loss of nine calves. Heaton investigated, and it was determined that wolves killed at least five calves and injured one. Trappers were called in to assist.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) took a nuisance wolf complaint that involved an area farmer who saw a gray wolf circling his pasture and stalking his cattle. The farmer was able to remove the wolf before it had a chance to attack and kill his livestock.
WREO Rob Haberman (WREO) followed up on a call about an individual cutting emergent vegetation on a lake near Backus.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) reports a commercial turtle trapper who is well into his 80s was provided assistance with loading equipment at a local lake access. The grateful trapper stated he would bring a partner next time. Time also was spent working anglers during the evening hours. While watching one group of anglers, CO Silgjord noticed an angler smoking a pipe. Upon speaking with the individual, CO Silgjord noticed the smoke was not from tobacco, so enforcement action was taken.
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week checking boaters and fishermen. WREO Bertram also assisted with a District 12 AIS work crew in Sherburne County and talked about AIS at the “Take a Day Off on the Mississippi River” event near Sartell.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) checked boaters, anglers, and wetland complaints. Time was spent working TIP overlimit complaints in the area. A work detail was worked in a no-wake zone regarding the Stillwater lift bridge project.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) reports a loon was captured that had fishing line and a lure caught on it, so it was unable to feed or fly. The loon was released after the CO cut the line off and took the lure out of its beak. Reller also checked hunters during the new August goose hunt. One goose hunter was found hunting without any license, stamps, or a plug in his gun. The hunter also tried to hide his gun and walk away from his hunting party when he saw the CO walking into the field. During contact it was determined the hunter also was revoked from hunting. When he was trying to explain his actions to the CO, the hunter stated: “Can’t a guy have any fun anymore?” Enforcement action was taken.
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) checked anglers and boaters on local lakes, attended the “Deer Day” event in Mora, checked ATVers, and took complaints regarding wetland violations.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Kevin Neitzke (Fort Snelling) set up the Wall of Shame with CO Arntzen at Game Fair.
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) gave a presentation to a firearm safety class at the Watertown Rod and Gun Club. He also worked the earliest goose opener ever held in Minnesota.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) assisted with the execution of a search warrant regarding an illegal bear-guiding case.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) responded to a complaint about a sick deer in Maple Grove, and worked a boat detail with CO Neitzke on the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports he worked the DNR booth at Game Fair in Anoka County. CO Johnson also assisted other COs with a search warrant in Prior Lake.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) handled cases of individuals removing aquatic vegetation and using weed rollers without permits. She also handled a dock-placement complaint and attended two days of training at Century College in White Bear Lake.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working AIS enforcement, reviewing open wetland and shoreline cases and scheduling firearm safety classes.
CO Patrick McGowan (Hastings) worked the Pine River station throughout the past week and weekend. Enforcement efforts were primarily focused on boating and angling activities. One boater was arrested for boating while intoxicated.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent time setting up and working the DNR tent at Farmfest. Most of the questions at Farm Fest dealt with deer and raccoon issues and the new August goose and fall hunting seasons.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked anglers and boaters during the week. Canada goose-hunting activity was monitored during the weekend.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking ATVers and working boat safety.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reported that most August goose hunters were found in ponds due to the fact that fields were not harvested.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) conducted roadside wildlife counts, gave presentations to firearm safety groups in Brewster and Adrian, and patrolled area lakes.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) worked with county attorneys regarding charges on WCA violations. Hanson also worked on AIS enforcement, finding that watercraft plug violations are still an area of concern.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) investigated a wetland violation, along with a littering complaint at a public access. Mueller also spent a day down at Farmfest working at the TIP trailer and DNR tent. The last of the roadside surveys was completed with few pheasant and deer being seen.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked the inaugural August goose season with some success being had close to Hutchinson. Oberg also worked a booth at Eggstravaganza in Gaylord this past weekend.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent time on ATV and sport-fishing enforcement. Beckmann also worked with other officers at Farm Fest. A TIP report was received and is under investigation. Follow-up was completed with an area hydrologist regarding a possible public waters violation.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) attended a border waters meeting in Ventura, Iowa.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) staffed the DNR tent at Farmfest. The most frequent topic raised by the public was, “Where are all the pheasants and ducks?”
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked angling and boating activity. Violations were documented in both areas. CO Howe also assisted a local sheriff’s department with a complaint in a county park.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. Officer Ihnen also assisted with an ATV safety class, continued work on public waters violations, and attended state championship pistol matches.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked angling, boat and water, AIS, and ATV activity during the week. The officer also assisted a neighboring officer with an overlimit of fish.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring sport fishing on area trout streams, and ATV activity. Chihak also attended Farmfest in Morgan and assisted neighboring officers with an AIS check station near Rochester.
WREO Julie Siems (southeast) worked AIS enforcement and WCA enforcement.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) attended a Wabasha County board meeting to discuss an ATV ordinance that would allow them on county roads.
CO Phil George (Rochester) spent the week checking anglers and boaters and boats for AIS issues. He also conducted an AIS check station with several other officers and a WREO.
CO Scott Fritz (La Crescent) reports the river level is getting low. The CO did an invasive species check at a couple of river accesses and investigated a complaint involving a timber rattle snake.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) patrolled ATV trails and checked state lands for early ginseng harvest. Hemker also spoke at a firearm safety class and assisted the Winona County Sheriff’s Office with a person who failed to stop for a deputy.