Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — May 19, 2017
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) taught the law and ethics portion of hunter education in Greenbush. CO Huener also attended a stakeholders meeting at Wheeler’s Point with CO Benjamin. Opening weekend on Lake of the Woods saw lots of good fishing and large wave activity.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked ATV, boat and water safety, and angling enforcement. Regardless of high winds and high waves, this year’s fishing opener was a success for most anglers on Lake of the Woods. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license in possession, possessing an illegal-length walleye, and possessing an overlimit of walleyes.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) attended firearms qualification training, answered questions regarding a displaced family of geese, and monitored turkey-hunting activity. CO Woinarowicz also worked Lake of the Woods for the walleye opener.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports time was spent working on a couple of wildfire arson investigations, a wolf depredation complaint, issuing wildlife possession permits, and handling nuisance-beaver complaints.
CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck) reports a busy fishing opener on Upper Red Lake. The walleyes cooperated and most anglers were able to have find success. Some anglers were found trying to get a head start, keeping several walleyes Friday evening. Enforcement action was taken.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) fielded several calls from anglers about accessing a local lake from a roadway.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked boat and water safety, sucker spearing, and angling during the week. Time also was spent checking anglers in Itasca State Park and assisting park staff with a medical emergency. A TIP complaint was investigated.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) investigated a shoreline violation TIP and a trespass complaint about people leeching without permission. Fishing opener weekend saw fantastic weather but rather slow fishing. Some anglers struggled to find many fish. TIPs about crappie anglers double-tripping were taken.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) spent time on angling and boating activity including the fishing opener. A complaint about zebra mussels on a boat lift was investigated.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) spent the week monitoring angling and boat and water safety in the Moorhead and Pelican Rapids stations. The CO followed up with complaints about a juvenile shooting a rabbit out of season within a city limits, turkey hunters trespassing and hunting after sunset, an extremely tame deer, and a juvenile possessing a coot out of season.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) checked fishermen and boaters, and worked AIS enforcement. Additional time was spent with a hydrologist and landowner regarding work in a public water without a permit.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports a felony fleeing case was made against an ATV operator and the ATV was seized.
CO Steve Chihak (Wheaton) spent the week working sportfishing, boat and water safety, and AIS enforcement.
CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on the fishing opener, AIS enforcement, and boating activity. A pretty high violation rate was discovered when checking boaters for AIS law compliance at area public accesses. A complaint was received and investigated regarding a party destroying goose eggs. Wetland violation complaints also were investigated.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports one group of perch anglers were issued citations for an overlimit of 39 perch. Trapping and littering TIPs were investigated.
CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring angling, boating, AIS, and ATV activity. CO Broughten also assisted local law enforcement with locating a suicidal individual.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked fishing opener. Contacts were made for extra lines, no licenses, no PFDs, and fishing during the closed season. He received his first complaint ever regarding boating and texting, when a driver of a pontoon was texting and nearly hit a fishing boat.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports opening day of the game fishing season on Rainy Lake brought many people onto the water, with most having some success. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, no angling license in possession, and expired boat registration.
CO John Slatinski (International Falls) reports even though the harvest season for sturgeon on the Rainy River is closed, there were still plenty of anglers in search of the prehistoric creatures, and the catch rate has stayed consistent.
CO Colleen Adam (Ray) reports anglers were presented with a great fishing opener, weather-wise. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, fishing during the closed season, registration issues, and aquatic invasive species-related problems.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) observed numerous anglers who had fishing success. Numerous contacts were made and enforcement action was taken on too many lines, no license in possession, registration, and some invasive species violations.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) investigated a wildfire started by a person who had no permit, a dog caught in a snare, and a TIP call about walleye carcasses dumped in a lake prior to the season. The CO also worked ATVers, OHMers, and invasive species enforcement. An angler harassment citation was issued to an individual who intentionally harassed two individuals lawfully taking minnows. An angler was checked in a boat on the opener, less than six hours before his wedding. He had no fish, so his bride apparently was his catch of the day.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) took reports from several concerned citizens regarding a group of ATVers who tore up numerous stretches of the Laurentian snowmobile trail in the Virginia and Britt areas. COs Frericks and CO pilot Lofstuen flew over the trail and verified the damage. State snowmobile trails are closed to ATV traffic. If anyone has information regarding this group of ATVers, please contact CO Frericks at (218) 404-0600. You can remain anonymous. In other activity, two anglers were checked fishing from shore. Both anglers were inebriated, didn’t have licenses, and one had a warrant for his arrest.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked area lakes during the opener and found fishing to be slower than what had been predicted.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) spent much of the week checking the minnow and leech traps of commercial harvesters, along with a few private traps. Boats were found cached on public property, and enforcement action was taken. Places where these boats are left seem to attract trash and other items.
CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais) checked boat accesses and spoke with boaters about preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species. The officer also worked one of the nicest fishing openers in recent memory. The CO also provided assistance to a Superior Hiking Trail backpacker who had gotten turned around and ended up about 3 miles off course and heading in the wrong direction.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked the busy fishing opener on area lakes and saw mixed success among anglers. Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations, transporting fish without a skin patch, and possession of marijuana.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, enforced AIS regulations, patrolled for illegal ATVing activity, and processed seized furbearers.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked ATV activity, boating, commercial minnow dealers, AIS, and sportfishing. He also patrolled state park areas and state forests, answered questions, and took complaints about various wildlife issues.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked angling and boating activity during the fishing opener this past weekend. Enforcement action was taken for camping at Taylor Lake public access in Hill City.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) worked angling, boating, AIS, and ATV enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for illegal-length walleyes, no angling license in possession, having a passenger under 18 on an ATV without wearing a helmet, and failure to display valid boat registration.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) spent much of the week working the fish run and smelters along Lake Superior tributaries. Opening weekend of fishing was extremely busy, with great weather for opening day. ATV-related complaints and nuisance-animal complaints were handled throughout the week.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked OHV, boating, angling, AIS, and fire enforcement during the week. Several calls/complaints about illegal burning, injured deer, nuisance bears and beavers, incidental otter catches, OHV operation, illegal-hunting activity, and AIS regulations were received.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) and K9 Schody did a demo for a DARE class in Duluth. Fishing opener was busy with several calls responded to that involved enforcement action for burning without a permit, camping in a prohibited area in Jay Cooke State Park, no vehicle permit in the park, angling in a closed area, insufficient PFDs, and angling with an extra line.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers along the North Shore and on the St. Louis River. Enforcement action was taken for boat registration issues. CO Olson also responded to a deer that had become trapped in a backyard soccer net. The landowner was able to cut the deer free just prior to the officer’s arrival. CO Olson also assisted Two Harbors police with a traffic stop concerning drug possession.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Crosslake) took a call from a family concerned that a coyote that had taken up residence under their cabin would attack their dog. It turned out it was a fox with a litter of pups that kept out of sight most of the time. Enforcement activity included weed rollers in operation without a required permit, an individual dumping chemicals into a lake at the end of his dock, and several ATVers who went past “closed” state forest signs.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) checked fishermen and boaters during the opening weekend of fishing. CO Hunter also received a complaint about a bear on someone’s deck and a report about a dead eagle.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) checked anglers this week during the fishing opener. Boating violations were detected, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked ATVing activity, burning violations, and fishing activity during the opening fishing weekend. CO Sullivan contacted two anglers using planer boards and crankbaits prior to the opener. The subjects informed CO Sullivan they were definitely going to release any northerns and walleyes they caught. Enforcement action was also taken for possession of largemouth bass out of season, transporting aquatic macrophytes, and possession of controlled substances.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) responded to issues involving nuisance beavers, sick and injured wildlife, dogs chasing deer, and suspicious fishing activity. Enforcement contacts were made for keeping bass during closed season, possession of alcohol in a prohibited area, motor vehicles on bike trails and watercraft registration and equipment violations.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) contacted several ATVers this week as the weather warmed up. CO Ladd also contacted boaters who were drinking responsibly as their operator was not.
CO Robert Mlynar (Aitkin) received several wildlife-related calls including one regarding an eagle in a beaver trap. He also was on a fishing opener show on a local radio station with the Aitkin Fisheries supervisor. Assistance was given to the Aitkin Sheriff’s Department regarding a watercraft accident on Big Sandy Lake, as well as a vehicle pursuit that ended up in the Mississippi River.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Chris Tetrault (Isle) prepared for and worked the fishing opener. Parties fishing on Lake Mille Lacs had a lot of smiles. Water-related equipment was inspected for invasive species. Two arson investigations also were started.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports working the 2017 open-water fishing opener. ATVing activity was monitored throughout the Malmo station, and a special beaver permit was issued for beaver doing damage.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) presented two 50-year awards to Askov-area firearms safety instructors during a youth firearms safety field day.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reports assistance was given to the local sheriff’s department with late-hour shooting/partying activities.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) helped locate an individual on a motorcycle who tried to outrun officers. After dumping the cycle, the individual ran and hid inside a house. A stolen motorcycle and drugs were recovered.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week monitoring angling activity. Complaints regarding crappie anglers taking overlimits at an area shore-fishing spot were taken and investigated. In one case, CO Silgjord watched as an angler counted a large number of fish into a pail and left the area in a haste. When the CO stopped the angler, he stated that he had “grabbed the wrong bucket.” Enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of crappies.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) reports a Wetland Conservation Act violation is under investigation.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) issued permits for a car-killed bear and turkey. CO Kuske also had the pleasure of checking the fishing licenses of the St. Cloud mayor, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Lt. Governor Tina Smith, and Gov. Mark Dayton at the Governor’s Fishing Opener in St. Cloud. While checking shore anglers along the Mississippi, CO Kuske found an angler targeting fish out of season. As CO Kuske was entering the information for the violation, the angler ran, due to having an active warrant. With help from the local police, sheriff’s department, and state troopers, the man was found walking down the street a half-mile away. The angler also was found to be revoked and had driven and left his truck at the scene. It was towed as the angler got a ride to the local jail.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, boaters, fires, and injured-animal calls. Time was spent assisting with the Governor’s Fishing Opener events in St. Cloud and on the Mississippi and Lake George.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) worked river and lake anglers during the week. Fishing success was good. One morning a father and daughter were checked turkey hunting. Both had big smiles on their faces because the daughter had taken her first turkey.
CO Mike Krauel (Princeton) assisted with security at the Governor’s Fishing Opener. He also had the opportunity to assist at a kids fishing event at Lake George in St. Cloud.
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) worked the busy fishing opener on Chisago-area lakes. Nearly all accesses were full on both Saturday and Sunday. One angler reported that finding a parking spot was as tough as finding the walleyes on the lake.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) worked fishermen on area lakes and rivers. He also assisted with the Governor’s Fishing Opener on the Mississippi River. He continues to investigate a deer-hunting case from last fall, with more possible charges. He issued a number of summonses for extra lines, unattended lines, no fishing license, ATV registration, and operational charges.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) reports a complaint was received regarding trucks being driven through a wetland.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) investigated a report about ducks being shot at out of season. Time also was spent checking boaters and anglers on area lakes and rivers during the fishing opener weekend.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) and CO James Fogarty (La Crescent) had a busy weekend with the 2017 fishing opener. Earlier in the week, CO Birdsall assisted Carver County officers with a juvenile who broke her arm on a school field trip.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reports working the fishing opener and finding a lot of anglers having success on area lakes. He also fielded calls about nuisance animals and attended a meeting regarding laws on border waters.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity on the fishing opener weekend. CO Salzer also attended training in Dakota County.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Andrew Dirks (Redwood Falls) reports a busy fishing opener weekend with numerous boaters checked. CO Dirks wants to remind parents that children under the age of 16 cannot operate ATVs within public road rights of way unless accompanied by someone 18 years of age or older.
CO Ed Picht (Montevideo) worked the busy fishing opener with many limits of crappies, walleyes, and catfish observed. Enforcement action was taken for no licenses, failure to remove drain plugs, and overlimits. CO Picht is looking for information regarding who dumped a door, sink, cabinet, and bunch of lilac bushes between Milan and Watson.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) fielded a variety of animal-complaints/concerns involving foxes, turtles, and geese.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) assisted with a field and nature day at Piepenburg Park, attended meetings at Camp Ripley, and spoke with the Litchfield Lions Club.
CO Brett Oberg (Hutchinson) worked AIS, boating, and ATV enforcement this past week. One individual who thought it was OK to throw cigarette butts into a lake was educated on the practice.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) reports one angler impressed CO Nelson with his ingenuity. He salvaged the propeller from a broken trolling motor, bolted it onto some threaded rod enclosed in a PVC pipe, and chucked it into a cordless drill. His homemade, cordless trolling motor seemed to work well.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, boaters, turkey hunters, and ATV operators during the week. Many boaters and anglers were out with the warm weather for fishing opener.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent much of the week focusing on angling enforcement. Anglers and bow fishermen were out in force during the beautiful weekend. CO Howe assisted CO VanThuyne with a call about stranded boaters on an area lake.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking fishermen, boaters, and turkey hunters. CO Ihnen also patrolled area public water accesses for AIS compliance.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Phil George (Rochester) took a TIP complaint about people keeping bass during the catch-and-release season.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) spent time patrolling for angling and boating activity on Lake Zumbro, Byllesby, and a few lakes in neighboring stations. Walleyes have been seen in possession on the Cannon River. However, the majority of the walleyes seen were taken in the days leading up to the May 13 fishing opener. A few boat owners were educated about the importance of removing drain plugs from their boats before transporting.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) reports that while checking fishermen by Lock and Dam 3, the officer began to have some issues with the patrol boat. The officer would like to thank the two families that stopped to assist the officer and helped get the patrol boat back to the marina. Your kindness was noticed and greatly appreciated.