Minnesota Cuffs & Collars – June 6th, 2014
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued to monitor area fishing and boating activity. The North Dakota Game and Fish Department was assisted with ongoing investigations. A complaint about a possible overlimit of walleyes was investigated.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) monitored angling activity, boating, and AIS compliance on Upper Red Lake and special-regulation lakes. Time was spent working with area cattlemen who reported wolves stalking livestock, as well as reports about an injured swan and nuisance beavers. Assistance was given to the sheriff’s office in attempting to locate a suspicious vehicle and possible burglary suspect.
CO Robert Gorecki (Baudette) monitored fishing, ATVing, and boating activity throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken during the week for fishing, boating, and ATVing violations.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports speaking at a firearms safety class at the Crookston Gun Club. Time also was spent investigating complaints regarding the illegal draining/filling of wetlands. Several fish-overlimit cases were encountered.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) reports follow-up interviews stemming from a taxidermy inspection were conducted.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) reports complaints about nuisance geese were taken.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) checked anglers and boaters and assisted a CO in removing a navigational hazard. CO Peterson also assisted in attempting to locate a theft suspect in the Paul Bunyan State Forest.
WREO Joe Stattelman spent the week checking AIS compliance. WCA complaints were investigated, and a PCA complaint was forwarded to the appropriate offices and staff.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports complaints about overlimits were received and investigated. Richards assisted CO Plautz with an ATV safety class in Battle Lake. A shoreline development was visited, with potential charges pending.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) held an ATV safety training class, certifying 12 students. Plautz checked several fishermen and boaters throughout the week and continues to work on numerous fishing complaints. An earthen dam has broken loose, dropping water on a private lake several feet and causing concern among landowners.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) worked fishermen, AIS enforcement, and ATVers. Osborne investigated complaints regarding fish overlimits, night bowfishermen, and a deer carcass at a public access.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports heavy boating and fishing activity as water temps are getting closer to summer norms. Several calls for service were investigated, including a possible overlimit of walleyes, double-tripping, angling without a license, and ducks being trapped in a sewer drain. Another call resulted in enforcement action after a citizen observed an employee of a local golf course chase, run over, and kill three goose goslings with a lawnmower while mowing the fairway. The suspect was located, interviewed, and cited for the violation. He was advised to coexist with them as they are abundant on every course in the county and his actions were illegal.
CO Jeff Johanson (Osakis) reports a man was found fishing without a license. The man said he tried to buy a license but was unable to because he has not paid a fine from a previous fishing-without-a-license citation. The man went fishing anyway, and received more citations.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) handled a situation in which a person had a burning permit, but was burning prohibited materials. The officer pointed out on the individual’s permit that it says burning those materials was prohibited.
District 4 – Wadena area
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) worked watercraft and aquatic invasives enforcement. An off-highway motorcycle Enduro race was worked, with a large number of riders participating.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) reports information on a gill net with decayed dead fish in it was referred to a tribal CO. CO Sommers also attended weigh-in at the Leech Lake walleye tournament and dealt with protected slot fish violations.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake)) reports fire activity was high, as two fires in the area were started by suspected arsonists. Complaints about unattended children jumping in front of boats being launched and loaded at a public water access and reports about nuisance bears were handled.
CO Larry Francis (Remer) handled calls regarding illegal dumping, wildlife, and a wildfire. Assistance was provided to local law enforcement and a local convenience store in locating a party who forgot to pay for his fuel.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) continued to receive complaints about nuisance beavers and continued to follow up on open public waters and aquatic plant violations.
Water Resources Enforcement Officer Shane Siltala reports working on additional wetland violation cases, which resulted in a restoration order being issued to restore an illegal ditching project.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports patrolling area lakes and rivers for angling and boating activity. Large amounts of rain later in the week kept most folks indoors.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) continues to handle numerous beaver-related complaints from frustrated landowners. Permits to remove the beavers were issued. A person walking along the Mesabi bike trail in Virginia contacted CO Frericks and advised him about a deer head that was discarded along the side of the trail. When the CO located the deer head it was covered in maggots, but a site tag was found. The owner of the site tag said he wanted to let nature take its course regarding the deer head so he could later do a European mount with the skull. After a little bit of digging, CO Frericks learned the deer had never been registered and had been shot by another person. Citations were issued for failure to register a big-game animal and unlawful party hunting. Complaints about loud boat traffic on Lake Vermilion continue to come in from frustrated lakeshore owners.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports the Memorial Day holiday was spent working with area officers on a special aquatic invasive species work detail on Fall Lake. Compliance and existing knowledge of the regulations was excellent. Officer Williams also assisted a CO pilot with the stocking of walleyes on Stuart Lake by float plane.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked anglers during the week. When on group was asked where they were going, they told the CO they were going to shore to get some snow to put in their cooler. Sure enough, there was snow under some cedars on the south shore of the lake. CO Murray and CO Fagerman were eating dinner one night at a picnic table when along came a trouble-maker bear. He was snapping his teeth and circling, hoping the COs would run off and he would then finish their dinner. But the COs stood (sat) their ground; the bear wouldn’t get a picnic basket on this night.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) assisted CO Wahlstrom with a complaint about coyote pups living under a cabin. The mother apparently decided the area was a bit busy and relocated the animals herself.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports assistance was given during a Memorial Day work detail that focused on AIS and checking anglers coming out of the BWCAW. One nonresident angler who was checked fishing without a license said he’d just arrived, and since he had never been checked in 40 years he decided to stop and fish on the way to town, where he was going to purchase a license.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) assisted the county with the arrest of an unwanted person.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) taught EVOC at the CO academy, checked anglers, monitored OHV activity, and worked AIS enforcement. CO Fairbanks and his K-9 partner Si also assisted the county with the search for a suspect who fled into a swamp. K-9 Si was used to track the suspect through the waist-deep water. The suspect later was found in a residence, where he was taken into custody.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) worked at area public accesses this past week, educating boaters and anglers about invasive species regulations. There were a few people who had questions as to how they could legally transport their bait. One individual suggested COs carry Ph testers so we can test the bait water and prove where it came from – the lake or the bait shop.
CO John Velsvaag (Region 2 ATV officer) followed up on illegal motorized use on the Mesabi bike trail. Enforcement action was taken on ATVers and OHMers. CO Velsvaag also helped out training at Camp Ripley and took a trespass complaint. CO Velsvaag took several calls regarding pike regulations and border waters walleye regulations.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) investigated illegal burning, which caused a grass fire and resulted in damage to a structure. CO Humphrey also investigated a fawn deer that was taken unlawfully by a motorist. Charges are pending.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work fishing enforcement on area lakes and North Shore tributaries. Time also was spent talking with fishermen about invasive species regulations.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) received several nuisance-animal complaints in the area. Most of the complaints were regarding bears destroying bird feeders. One case was worked in which some people picked up a fawn and took it home and did not call anyone. Charges are pending.
WREO Mike Scott (Northeast) followed up on WCA violations in Grand Marais, working with the local government unit and county attorney’s office on the case.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) investigated a TIP complaint with CO Duncan. He also attended a court hearing with Lt. Speldrich.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) worked angling, boating, ATVing, and AIS enforcement throughout the week. He also handled a loon stuck on a road by capturing and releasing it in an area lake.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) received a call about a gray wolf coming close to buildings and cattle. The reporting party had cattle killed last year in this same area, and due to the circumstances, a state trapper was notified.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports investigating a large wildfire in the Nisswa area, and responding to complaints about garbage dumping, a suspected fish overlimit, nuisance beavers, and a sow bear with cubs causing a commotion in a private campground.
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) monitored ATV activity in the Foothills State Forest, spent time at public accesses doing AIS enforcement, and checked boater and anglers. Complaints of bears taking down bird feeders and a skid loader being operated in a lake were handled.
CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) worked on complaints regarding shoreline violations, with a report about a track hoe being driven in a lake to remove a cattail bog. A permit had been issued, and no violation was found.
CO Jim Tischler (Cuyuna Country State Rec Area) monitored AIS compliance, angling, boating safety, and trail use and ATV/OHM trespassing in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) assisted the State Patrol with a car/moose accident south of McGregor.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) saw an increase in nuisance black bear complaints throughout the week. In all cases, black bears were showing up near people’s doorsteps because the home or cabin owner had bird feeders or deer feeders or garbage cans out and available to the bears.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reports assistance was given to a motorist whose boat motor had been scraping on the pavement for many miles. The lower unit was worn down right to the gear case, and most of the prop was gone.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) met with the area hydrologist regarding a possible wetland violation and spoke with the local SWCD about several issues that had been reported. She also completed a fire investigation in which 13.5 acres were burned. Speldrich was able to track down the suspect, who was cited for several violations involving the illegal fire and fire suppression costs.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked anglers and carp shooters. Carp shot by archers are becoming litter issues again this year.
WREO Keith Bertram spent the week working AIS enforcement in Stearns, Todd, and Kanabec counties. Enforcement action was taken for AIS violations, extra lines, and overlimits of crappies.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) handled call regarding a deer with two broken legs in a farmer’s alfalfa field, an injured eagle, and nuisance raccoons in the Little Falls city limits.
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) provided an opportunity for a fourth-grade boy from Pierz Elementary to be an actor in a training scenario at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. The scenario involved the common enforcement situation of a parent allowing a juvenile to illegally operate an ATV.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Princeton) checked anglers and boaters for invasive species compliance on local lakes and rivers. Officer Londgren also had a ride-along, patrolled state and federal lands, checked for wetland violations, and conducted a game farm inspection.
CO Todd Langevin (Center City) reports checking anglers on area lakes and rivers. CO Langevin also worked several wetland and public waters complaints. One cease and desist order was issued for a landowner who was digging a trench to drain one wetland into another.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) investigated bowfishermen dumping carp in the area of Big Lake.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Steve Walter (Waconia) responded to several calls about bowfishermen dumping carp on private property, in road ditches, and even in the middle of roads. Watercraft operators were checked for safety equipment, drain plug removal, and transport of invasive species.
CO Kevin Neitzke (Ft. Snelling) checked fishermen on metro lakes and rivers. He also did boating and AIS enforcement, including checking lake service providers.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked shore fishermen and boaters in Scott and Ramsey counties. He also took calls regarding animal-related complaints in Scott County and took enforcement action for fishing without an angling license and no license in possession.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers and watercraft users. CO Arntzen also assisted a neighboring law enforcement agency with a DWI and in locating a suicidal person. He also assisted in executing a search warrant for game violations, responded to several TIP complaints, answered questions about trespassing, and fielded calls about nuisance animals.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working AIS- and wetland-related enforcement. WREO Block also instructed emergency vehicle operations at the CO academy during the week.
CO Brad Johnson (Ham Lake) reports that he assisted other COs from outstate with investigations in the metro area. One involved a deer fawn taken illegally, and one was a fish overlimit case. CO Johnson also spoke to a firearms safety class in Ramsey and investigated a wetlands complaint in Blaine and the cutting of aquatic vegetation on Crooked Lake.
CO Lisa Kruse (White Bear Lake) handled various TIP calls and nuisance-animal complaints. She worked AIS enforcement at area accesses and continued working on a bear-hunting case.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, AIS, and ATV enforcement. Assistance was given to CO Lage in working a fishing tournament on Lake Benton.
CO Gary Nordseth (Worthington) spent the week checking anglers and performing AIS inspections of watercraft at area boat landings. Enforcement for the week included equipment and license violations.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) checked angling and boating activity during the week. Time also was spent at the Appleton OHV park. Visitors to the park are reminded that this is a state grant-in-aid trail system. OHVs need to be registered, and safety certification is required for most riders.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) reports fishing has picked up with warmer water temps. Bowfishing for carp is becoming more popular this year. Remember that it is unlawful to leave carp on shore or to put them back in the water after you shoot them.
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) reports a site visit was completed on a large public waters violation in Lyon County, where two cease and desist orders were issued and enforcement action was taken.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) checked anglers and boaters and noted an increase in fishing success. He also checked ATV activity and continued to educate boaters about AIS laws.
CO Jen Mueller (Hutchinson) worked boat and water safety on Memorial Day. A complaint was taken about carp left on shore after being taken by bowfishermen.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) spent time checking anglers along the Minnesota River. More people seemed to be out mushroom hunting than fishing.
CO Jason Beckmann (Windom) spent the week on sport fishing and ATV enforcement. Time also was spent checking minnow traps.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked anglers, ATVers, boaters and water safety, and turkey hunters this week. Gruhlke continues to take calls concerning suspected abandoned or injured fawn deer.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent time on angling, boating, and AIS enforcement. Boaters continue to be found with obvious weeds on their trailers. The Minnesota River continues to see high water levels due to recent rains.
CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) focused on angling, boating, and AIS activity. Various calls from the public were handled. An AIS checkpoint was worked on Lake Elysian with neighboring officers.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) assisted with academy training at Camp Ripley. An AIS detail was worked, and a wetland complaint was investigated.
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) spent the week monitoring trout fishing and recreational vehicle activity. A few nuisance-beaver permits were issued.
WREO Julie Siems (SE) followed up on WCA violations and restoration orders.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked anglers and boaters during the week. Heyn also followed up on a few cases of people who were found by watercraft inspectors to be transporting zebra mussels.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports receiving multiple calls about fawn deer. Time also was spent on complaints about nuisance beavers. Trout anglers were out and having some success. CO Boyum also worked ATV and OHM complaint areas and assisted the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Department with a confused subject.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports that while working an access for AIS violations, he observed a person dump a pickup load of brush at the access. Hemker also responded to ATV complaints.
CO Tyler Quandt (Red Wing) reports spending the week checking angling and boating activity. Time also was spent responding to numerous calls regarding baby animals and enforcing invasive species laws. Some fishing violations were detected.