Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — May 26, 2017

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) investigated several fires around the Roseau, Pennington, and Marshall County areas. Anglers were checked on Lake of the Woods. A law enforcement memorial service was attended in Grand Forks with several other conservation officers and officers from Minnesota, North Dakota, and Manitoba.

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked ATV, boat and water safety, and angling enforcement.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports continued angling activity on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River after the busy opener. Time was spent working angling enforcement as well as activities in Beltrami Island State Forest.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) worked an AIS detail in Lake of the Woods County. Compliance with AIS regulations was good, with only a few minor violations detected.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports time was spent working on cases from the trapping season and a couple of fire investigations.

CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck) reports time was spent on an angler harassment case. Assistance was provided to county officials with a medical situation on Upper Red Lake.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working on wildfire investigations. Time also was spent responding to wetland and public waters complaints.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity on area lakes. The cool, windy weather during the weekend slowed the bite a little. A restoration order was issued regarding a public waters violation.

CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) worked angling and boat and water safety during the week. The officer also provided a ride-along opportunity for someone interested in becoming a CO. A presentation was given to a Boy Scout troop on the duties and responsibilities of a CO.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) continues to receive calls about the removal of floating vegetation plugging the outlet of a lake. A local fowl owner called to report he had killed a fox that was trying to drag one of his geese away.

CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) worked angling and boating activity. Areas were patrolled for off-road vehicle activity. Complaints about bowfishing activity and a possible injured goose were received.

CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) reports a potential wetland violation was investigated, as was a report about an individual killing geese.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) received information about several potential violations. CO Richards issued a life-saving award to a Fergus Falls man for an ice rescue in March.

CO Paul Nelson (Elbow Lake) focused enforcement efforts on checking fishermen, boaters, and AIS activity. Complaints were handled regarding untagged minnow traps, overlimits of fish, and abandoned fawn deer.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked fishermen, boaters, and ATVers. Nuisance-beaver complaints were received.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports an incident of a boat lift covered in zebra mussels and brought to an access was handled. The subject said it had been pressure-washed, but in every corner there were hundreds of juvenile zebra mussels attached. To make matters worse, this same person was warned for an AIS violation last summer by CO Lawler. Enforcement action is pending.

CO Tony Anderson (Morris) focused enforcement efforts on checking fishermen and boaters, and working AIS enforcement. A complaint about a fisherman taking an overlimit of walleyes over 20 inches was investigated.

District 4 – Walker area

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) reports being busy with wetland violations. Several cease and desist and restoration orders have been issued this spring. A special detail was worked on special-regulation lakes. Enforcement action was taken for several watercraft violations and possessing illegal-length walleyes.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports a stolen vehicle was found and investigated at a recreation area in the Chippewa National Forest. Enforcement action was taken for ATV, boating, and angling violations.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring angling, boating, AIS, and ATVing activity. CO Broughten continues to receive nuisance-bear calls.

CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) handled many bear-related complaints – attacks on garbage, bird feeders, and public/livestock safety were the reason for the calls. “Hooked on Fishing not Drugs” was attended by CO Halverson and CO Oldakowski in the communities of Staples/Motley and Menahga. One little girl who called herself a “city slicker” was able to go fishing in a boat for the first time.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO John Slatinski (International Falls) reports the inclement weather that moved in this past weekend did not hold the determined back from plying the waters in search of their favorite fish. Several complaints about beavers and bears causing damage were taken.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports weekend rain and wind kept boating and angling activities down. Area forest roads were monitored, and public access sites were checked.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) assisted DNR Wildlife and the sheriff’s office with a call about hogs destroying a lawn. The officer also assisted Breitung police with a DUI arrest. Enforcement action was taken on an individual who drove his truck into a wetland and got stuck.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) was the first officer on the scene regarding a call about a man with a gun at a rural residence. The officer took control of the suspects until backup arrived. CO Bozovsky was nearly hit head-on by a pickup on a rural county road. The driver had been drinking, had a revoked driver’s license, and had no insurance on the vehicle. The subject had a licensed driver in the passenger seat.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) reports a follow-up investigation continues on reports of ATVers on state snowmobile trails.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) reports a complaint about minnow trap tampering was checked into, along with concern about the size of a minnow trap. A TIP call was investigated in Chisholm, and a camping complaint along a lakeshore was investigated.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) assisted the St. Louis County rescue squad with a canoeist who was hypothermic after he and another paddler flipped their canoe on the Kawishiwi River.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) responded to a call about a capsized motorboat with two fishermen floundering in cold water. The capsized boat looked like a rock in the distance, except for some bright coloring on a PFD that became visible when one of the men moved. The officer was able to use his canoe to quickly get to the men with one member of a search and rescue team members aboard. One party member had no PFD. The victims had hung onto the capsized boat, but hypothermia had prevented the men from being able to get out of the water on their own.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) did a patrol on a border lake with U.S. Border Patrol and did a couple of canoe patrols.

CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais) participated with the DNR Honor Guard in St. Paul remembering the 277 fallen Minnesota peace officers on Law Enforcement Memorial Day. CO Manning also took a call about a deer that appeared to have been shot from an area roadway. Upon examining the animal, the officer located and removed a stick 1 inch in diameter and over 15 inches long from inside the animal’s chest cavity.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) responded to a couple rescue calls involving overturned canoes. CO Bermel also assisted Lake County officers with a felony fleeing case where the individual ditched his vehicle and fled on foot.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) reports time was spent investigating a DNR Forestry complaint about a person living on a state trail system.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked ATV activity, boating, AIS, and sportfishing. He also patrolled state park areas and state forests, and answered questions and took complaints about various wildlife issues.

CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) spent time checking angling activity and followed up on a couple littering complaints. She also handled a nuisance-bear call and continues to work on other case follow-up in the area.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activity in the area. CO Sutherland also took enforcement action for angling without a license, possessing a walleye within a protected slot, and failing to have registration for a watercraft.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) spent most of the week working anglers on area lakes. ATV-related complaints are on the rise, and the officer taught a law enforcement ATV class for the Duluth Police Department.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) gave a talk to Safari Club International on the DNR K9 Unit. A complaint about a dog that was killed by wolves was taken, and the investigation is ongoing with assistance from USDA Wildlife Services. A complaint about anglers intentionally snagging sturgeon was received and is under investigation. A fur committee meeting was attended in Brainerd, where seasons and some trapping regulations were discussed.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers along the St. Louis River and Duluth-Superior harbor. The rivers along the North Shore were fast-flowing due to the recent wet weather.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) patrolled area lakes and rivers for fishing and aquatic invasive species. She also patrolled ATVing activity and investigated several complaints about ATVer trespass. She handled several nuisance-beaver calls and a call from a concerned citizen about high wolf activity in the area.

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) patrolled area lakes, ATV trails, and highways. CO Sullivan contacted two individuals riding ATVs in the Foothills State Forest whose ATVs had expired registration and no registration on the ATVs they were operating. CO Sullivan assisted with four red-breasted merganser ducklings that were rescued in the ditch of Hwy. 371. A State Trooper was in the area and responded to ensure the ducklings’ safety after citizens completed the rescue. CO Sullivan assisted with the ducklings transport for care.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) handled numerous wildlife-related calls, including nuisance foxes, beavers, bears, and an unusual report of an aggressive beaver that was shot while attacking a dog and a person in a residential area.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sportfishing and all-terrain vehicle enforcement this week. A call was received and investigated regarding an individual shooting at geese that were occupying his lakeside lawn. The individual admitted to being frustrated with the nuisance fowl. Five .22-caliber shells were discovered at the scene, and enforcement action was taken.

CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) investigated a complaint about a commercial minnow trapper working in infested waters.

CO Tim Collette (Crosslake) took a report about a bear that had killed a deer and dragged it across a person’s yard in the daylight. The deer was found a short distance into the woods, but appeared to be a car-killed deer. Several reports of beavers doing damage also came in, and permits were issued to have them removed.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Scott Fitzgerald (Malmo) reports checking fishermen. ATV traffic was monitored throughout the Malmo station, and boating activity also was monitored on area lakes. Patrol was done for AIS violations, and the officer answered many outdoor law-related questions.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended Law Enforcement Memorial Day with the LEMA Honor Guard. She also assisted the Pine County Sheriff’s Office and the Pokegama Lake Association with a boat and water safety class in Pine City.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) took calls this week regarding trespassing questions, concerns about burning, and questions about trapping. High water on the St. Croix River led to a party of campers swamping their canoe. Thankfully, they were wearing life jackets, made it to shore, and lost minimal gear.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) reports a complaint about truck operators ripping up a local state wildlife management area was investigated. The responsible parties were located, with enforcement action to be taken.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) handled a call about an illegal burning where a large amount of prohibited materials were burned along with violations that included no burning permit and allowing a smoldering fire. The responsible party was located, with citations issued. An angler that had just come to shore in his kayak was found to have no life jacket on board, along with no angling license (the angler was found to have last purchased a fishing license in 2012). When the citation was issued, it also was found the angler did not have a valid driver’s license to leave in the vehicle he had come in.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Milaca) spent the week checking anglers, working on wetland violations, and following up on several nuisance-bear complaints.

CO Brandon McGaw (Mora) reports a wolf depredation complaint was investigated, and follow-up work was conducted on a wetland violation

CO Phil Mohs (Center City) says lakeshore owners are reminded they cannot have sheds or other structures below the ordinary high water level of a lake.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and following up with complaints. CO Grewe also continued training with his K9 partner, Shelby.

CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) reports that a number of complaints were fielded regarding illegal ATVing activity around the Belle Plaine boat launch.

CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) reports several wetland violations were investigated.

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) reports assistance was given to the State Patrol with a vehicular crash that resulted in a felony narcotics arrest.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity. CO Salzer also investigated several TIP complaints regarding angling in the area.

CO Jake Willis (Maplewood) reports 11 mallard ducklings were found underneath a stormwater grate on Hwy. 61. CO Willis noticed the hen was distressed. All 11 ducklings were reunited with the hen in a nearby pond after receiving assistance from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Newport Fire Department.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week working anglers throughout the area. The Mississippi and St. Croix rivers are running high and dirty. The CO also spoke at a boating safety class and returned calls.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Andrew Dirks (Redwood Falls) checked anglers, boaters, and ATVers throughout the week. An AIS detail was worked during the weekend at Wood Lake, which showed good compliance with AIS laws.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers. The Lake Shetek Walleye Tournament registered 57 boats, with the top team weighing four walleyes.

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) spent time attending a furbearer committee meeting.
CO Gutzwiller also had the opportunity to speak to the Lac qui Parle summer fishing league at Milan Resort. Information on angling regulations, AIS rules, and boat and water safety equipment was discussed.

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Benson) assisted a neighboring officer with an investigation into illegal fishing.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored angling, ATVing, boating, and commercial minnow dealer activity during the week.

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, AIS, state park, and ATV enforcement. A good walleye bite continued until midweek, when heavy rains slowed the walleye bite and fishing activity. Over 5 inches of rain has fallen in spots.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time checking anglers, boaters, and ATVing activity. The CO issued a commercial minnow transport permit and worked at area boat landings to check for AIS compliance.

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent a day in Brainerd for tactical flight operations training where he learned how to assist a CO pilot during enforcement flights. A few fishermen were checked during a rainy weekend. CO Klehr also issued a restoration order for a wetland that was drained, and checked on other wetland complaints.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) followed up on calls about animal nuisances and orphaned animals. He also took complaints about keeping bass during the catch-and-release season.

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) focused enforcement efforts this past week on sportfishing. CO Miller observed one angler catch a largemouth bass and keep it during the catch-and-release season. Upon contact, the angler was unable to identify any of the species of fish he had caught and was unsure of limits of those fish. CO Miller informed the person of the bass violation and helped to identify the other species, which included a near-limit of sunfish. Enforcement action was taken, and the angler was educated on the importance of reading the fishing regulations before venturing out.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports checking anglers, boaters, bowfishers, and ATV riders this week. CO Howe also spoke about outdoor recreation safety to a local group. CO Howe also provided assistance to other agencies at the scene of a traffic accident.

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) assisted a local agency in locating a suicidal individual.

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) says ATV owners are reminded that anyone under 18 needs to have a helmet on when operating or riding on a machine.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) gave a presentation to the fish and wildlife classes at Zumbrota High School. CO Hill received a call about a muskie that had been caught and placed inside of a cooler. However, the angler decided to stick around and continue to fish. CO Hill made contact with the angler, and a citation was issued for keeping a muskie out of season.

CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) reports assistance was given to the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Department with a disturbance call, and the Red Wing Police Department with a suspicious person.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports an albino buck whitetail that had been known to be in the area for a while was hit on a roadway.

CO James Fogarty (La Crescent) worked anglers and boaters on the Mississippi River. High water levels have made fishing difficult. The Mississippi River is at flood stage and is expected to crest this week. CO Fogarty cautioned boaters and anglers to be careful. CO Fogarty also issued a permit for a road-killed bobcat and river otter.

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