Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

MInnesota Cuffs & Collars – May 22nd, 2015

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) monitored angling activity on the Roseau River and at the Northwest Angle. A calf depredation was investigated, and USDA wolf trappers were called to help prevent further losses. 
CO Hannah Cowden (Warroad) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River and did multiple AIS checks. A presentation was given to the Lake of the Woods High School careers class on a career as a conservation officer. 
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) responded to multiple nuisance-bear complaints and issued special beaver permits for nuisance beavers. 
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) worked boat safety and angling activity on Upper Red Lake and special-regulation lakes, worked AIS enforcement, and monitored ATV trail activity throughout the week. Time was spent investigating TIP calls, numerous wolf-depredation complaints, patrolling for groundwater violations, and attending a safety and security meeting at the U.S. Forest Service office in Blackduck. 

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity on area lakes. CO Vollbrecht also patrolled ATV trails and checked boaters for AIS compliance at area accesses. CO Vollbrecht responded to a complaint about an individual hiding walleyes in a cooler and filling a minnow bag with lake water before leaving Upper Red Lake. The individual was talked to about the proper ways to transport minnows and was found to be in compliance with the walleye possession limit.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) worked angling activity during the week. Numerous complaints were received regarding nuisance bears and injured eagles.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports contacting boaters and covering basic boating safety regulations and AIS prevention. CO Vinton received a call from a local minnow trapper who has had his minnow traps tampered with; his complaint is under investigation. 
CO Al Peterson (Osage) assisted with a “Hooked on Fishing” event that involved taking more than 60 4th-graders fishing. 
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) reports he had several contacts with juvenile dirt bike riders throughout the course of the week and would like to remind everyone that the use of OHMs is limited to designated trails and private property only.  

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked area fishermen and boating enforcement throughout the week. And investigation of a large muskie killed by bowfishermen is being conducted. Any information about this violation would be appreciated.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) focused enforcement activities on checking fishermen, boaters, ATV operators, and working AIS compliance. Additional time was spent working on crappie overlimit complaints and handling a complaint about a dog chasing deer. The dog’s owners were located, and appropriate action was taken.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on anglers, boating safety, and AIS law compliance. One subject was cited for fishing without a license, as his privileges were suspended for failing to pay fines. A possible wetland violation received from the Enforcement Aviation Section was investigated. The incident was forwarded to the local government unit regarding a possible WCA violation. 

District 4 – Wadena area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) handled a few wildlife-related complaints and checked anglers and ATV operators. Additional time was spent assisting with an open container with the sheriff’s office and a marijuana grow with the local drug task force.
CO Greg Oldakowski (Wadena) responded to a number of beaver-related complaints where fields and pastures were being flooded. A TIP call was received and investigated regarding a possible overlimit of turkeys.
CO Gary Sommers (Walker) reports primary enforcement focused on sport fishing and ATV activity. Calls were received regarding a dead deer in a lake and a walleye overlimit case.
CO Mark Mathy (Bemidji) reports walleye fishing was excellent on some area lakes. One group of six anglers was found to be in possession of 34 walleyes over their limit. The anglers now face substantial fines and restitution as a result. 
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) responded to a call regarding a boat taking on water on Leech Lake. 
CO Colleen Adam (Northwest Regional recreation officer) attended a monthly OHV monitoring meeting. Mushroom hunters having been searching for edibles between rain showers.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports public waters violation investigations were followed up on; people are reminded that permits may be needed if they are working below the ordinary high-water level on public waters. 
CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) reports assisting Voyageurs National Park rangers in a search-and-rescue on Kabetogama Lake after officers received a call from two concerned parties. The two fishermen were found to be doing just fine and catching fish. 
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent the week working commercial bait enforcement, and a number of citations were issued. Investigation is ongoing in relation to garbage and hazardous materials being dumped near Tower. 
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) worked on equipment-maintenance issues and patrolled area lakes, checking anglers and boaters. Numerous anglers were issued citations for angling without a license. The excuse, “I was just going to release anything I caught anyway,” does not work. 
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) reported that rain was present throughout most of the week, bringing lake levels up significantly. 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked a TIP complaint throughout the week concerning fishermen taking illegal slot walleyes. Stage located a boat tied to the shore, and he crawled through the woods to get to the boat. The fishermen were laughing and saying they would just tell the game warden they only had beans at the cabin. After six hours, the officer observed  the fishermen keeping illegal slot-length fish, using extra lines, using game fish for bait, sinking fish guts in the lake with lead sinkers, and chopping designs in a 200-year-old red pine on private property. Many thanks to those who paid attention to the resource and called in the TIP information the prior weekend.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) encountered an intoxicated individual in a car at a public lake access. It was determined there was a warrant for his arrest, and he was taken into custody. While the CO was handcuffing the subject, he began to boast about his criminal past and the fact that he had done time in prison for armed robbery. A sheriff’s deputy arrived, and the man was arrested for DUI, which was his third drunk-driving arrest in less than a month. He also was found with marijuana. His vehicle was littered with empty beer cans. 
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked anglers and boaters on inland lakes. The officer took reports of illegal dumping of trash on state property and garbage burning at a residence, and helped teach an ATV safety class in Grand Marais.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and boating enforcement activities along Lake Superior during the week. Enforcement action was taken for various licensing violations.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, investigated a wolf-related complaint, and looked into several calls about dead birds. 
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity, attended K-9 training, handled nuisance-animal complaints, and assisted the county with a vehicle accident. 
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activity over the past week. CO Sutherland took enforcement action for possessing multiple walleyes from within the protected slot and angling after being revoked from angling in Minnesota.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft operators, and at state parks and campgrounds. 

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports a contact was made with an angler who had a walleye clearly outside of the slot. He tried to explain that he didn’t know how to properly measure the fish. However, after several attempts by the angler to bend the fish and manipulate the tail, he was still unable to change the length enough to make it into a legal-length fish. The angler was issued a citation.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) reports several bear-related complaints were received, with wildlife feeders and garbage cans left outside being the reason for the bear activity. Officer Duncan also talked with a local outdoor group about the job of a conservation officer and answered many questions. 
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) issued a possession permit for a bobcat that was killed by a car and spoke to a bowhunter education class in Carlton. K9 Schody assisted the sheriff’s department in locating a wallet that was stolen. The suspect threw the wallet along a local bicycle trail. It was located in a matter of a few minutes and turned over to sheriff’s deputies to be collected as evidence. Interviews were conducted in the Barnum area where someone is suspected of poisoning wild animals
WREO Michael Scott (Northeast Region water resource officer) worked with DNR Eco Services and local conservation officers in the International Falls area on several new public waters violations in which landowners were altering the shoreline and lake bed near their properties. Officer Scott attended the 2015 Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in St. Paul, honoring all police officers who have died in the line of duty. DNR enforcement officers honored two fallen game wardens who died in the line of duty by purchasing a wreath for each one and placing them at the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, with family members of the fallen officers present.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on the St. Louis River. AIS compliance was monitored at local access sites. A car was found parked blocking an access ramp at the McQuade Safe Harbor, less than a car length from the water's edge. Upon eventual contact, the driver said he thought the lines marking the boat ramp were there to delineate a parking spot, but he realized they didn’t. Advice was given about situational awareness and rules regarding parking at public accesses. 

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Randy Posner (Brainerd) spent time in the Pillsbury forest where he found vehicles being operated on closed forest roads and causing damage. He checked horse passes and followed up on litter complaints. 
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) assisted Aitkin Fisheries with a presentation on water safety for Aitkin fourth-graders.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing counties for angling activity. CO McGowan also spent time checking turkey hunters and patrolling for invasive species violations. CO McGowan also towed a pontoon off a rocky shoreline after it had drifted across the Whitefish chain. 
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports reaching closure on two lake bed alteration cases that have been ongoing for the past three years, resulting in successful restoration and criminal fines. 
CO Tim Collette (Pequot Lakes) worked together with DNR Wildlife with a problem bear that kepts returning to a resort, making campers nervous.
CO Mike Lee (Crosslake) assisted with training held in the metro where COs completed firearms training. 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen on Mille Lacs and smaller station lakes. The CO assisted a neighboring CO with an ATV work detail in the Red Top Loop Trail, where quite a few ATVers were seen. A lot of questions concerning the night ban on Mille Lacs have been answered. A call about a possible waters violation was investigated, and it was found that it was permitted work. 
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended Elk River Police Officer Todd Besser’s funeral with the LEMA honor guard. She also checked anglers at local accesses. Speldrich followed up on ongoing investigations and assisted the sheriff’s department with a disturbance at a campground where a woman with an altered mental state and had a knife. There were no injuries.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued to deal with an increase in black bear activity. Property owners have been reporting bear damage, and multiple car-versus-bear crashes have occurred on area roadways. In almost all bear complaints, the common factor was bird feeders, dog food, or garbage that caused a bear to keep visiting.
WREO Rob Haberman conducted education outreach at the Minnesota Sea Plane Association’s annual meeting about AIS laws and the importance relating to sea planes. 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) watched an experienced 5-year-old casting from shore, and he caught a good-sized smallmouth bass. The youth picked the heavy fish up by the mouth for a photo opportunity. CO Kuske asked the youth if he knew what kind of fish it was, and he said, “A smallmouth!” Many adult anglers wouldn’t have been able to answer that fast.  
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) took a TIP complaint regarding a double-tripping incident that resulted in an overlimit citation. CO Silgjord received multiple calls regarding bears damaging bird feeders and roaming the city of Melrose. 
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked bowfishing activity, finding high violation rates, including shooting and wasting game fish, litter, navigational light issues, and PFD problems. 
CO Paul Kuske (Pierz) received a complaint from a livestock owner about two calves being attacked and killed, presumably by a wolf. After looking at the type of injuries and tracks left in the area, it has been determined that the kills were made by someone’s dogs roaming the area. Assistance is being given to the farmer in identifying the dogs’ owner. CO Kuske issued a resource protection notice to an individual who built a road through a wetland, dug a pond, and placed fill in a wetland and created a ditch to drain the wetland.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes and rivers, with enforcement action taken for a number of violations. He also followed up on three wetland and public waters violations. The CO assisted Sherburne County and Elk River police with security on Lake Orono during a funeral for an Elk River police officer, and assisted Elk River and Wright County with the arrest of a possible robbery suspect. 
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) reports several burning-related complaints were taken and investigated. Enforcement action was taken for burning without a permit and for the burning of prohibited materials.   

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Steve Walter (Waconia) attended spring training in Rougemont. Several complaints were taken about bowfishermen shining lights on houses late at night. 
CO Brent Grewe (Osseo) spent the week checking anglers and working an ATV detail in the Mille Lacs area. 
CO Traci Hanson (Minnetonka) responded to a concern about a concrete restoration project that was going to threaten a hen mallard that was sitting on a clutch of 12 eggs. Hanson met with the contractor the next morning to discuss concerns regarding the project, and a short while later, it was discovered the ducklings had hatched. Later that day, the mother and ducklings made their way to a watercourse. A complaint about a lakeshore owner who placed his dock over the neighboring property owner’s lakeshore property was investigated and turned over to local law enforcement officials for enforcement. 
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) did a presentation at Como Park High School in St. Paul for Southeast Asian students on CO duties, and hunting and fishing regulations. 

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers and watercraft users, and patrolling wildlife management areas. He also issued a nuisance-beaver permit, investigated a littering complaint, and did equipment maintenance.
WREO Adam Block (Metro) spent the week working AIS, angling, boating, and wetland enforcement. WREO Block also attended a meeting at Camp Ripley and attended divisional training in Dakota County.  
CO Brad Johnson (Maplewood) reports that he participated in the “Take Aim at Summer” event held at the regional office. He also investigated a waters violation on Sunfish Lake. 

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) responded to a call for assistance after three fishermen were stranded on Lac qui Parle Lake during a tornado warning. Heavy rains in the area have changed river and stream conditions considerably. 
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, invasive species, and ATV enforcement. A TIP call regarding an illegal-shining incident was investigated, with enforcement action being taken. 
WREO Larry Hanson (Southern Region) assisted with a WCA violation in Sibley County and a WCA violation in Nobles County. Officer Hanson also assisted with AIS enforcement in Murray County at Lake Shetek. 

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on a hunting violation. He also followed up on TIP reports regarding anglers keeping bass out of season, and clarified confusion involving the new catch-and-release season for bass. 
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) responded to a fire that was reported to the county. The person who started the fire had a burning permit for natural vegetation but was using the permit to burn a structure, which is illegal. Time also was spent working with another officer to check late-night anglers and carp shooters. The carp shooters had multiple boating safety violations, and also were caught shooting game fish.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) responded to a complaint regarding a person who shot a pelican. With the help of deputies in Cottonwood County, the suspect was stopped, and enforcement action was taken. 

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Luke Belgard (Faribault) checked anglers, boaters, ATV operators, and turkey hunters this week. Time also was spent monitoring public access sites for AIS violations. 
CO Steve Chihak (Spring Valley) attended a kids fishing tournament at the Preston Trout Days with more than 100 parents and children enjoying the festivities.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports another investigation was completed with charges filed, and a vehicle trespass issue was addressed. 
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports many nuisance- and baby animal-related calls and questions. One person, after finding a dead hen mallard, dropped off several ducklings at the county courthouse and explained her frustration with the drake mallard not talking care of the brood. 
CO Phil George (Rochester) attended an FFA trapshooting invitational where more than 100 kids took part. Enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of crappie and failing to release a bass, along with various boating issues.

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