Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars — June 9, 2017
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on the Roseau River and Lake of the Woods. Enforcement contact was made for anglers keeping illegal-length walleyes, failing to remove drain plugs/transporting infested waters, and angling with too many lines. Assistance was given to local emergency personnel with a serious motor vehicle crash on Memorial Day that required a victim be flown to a hospital via helicopter.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) would like to remind boaters that all watercraft over 10 feet in length require watercraft registration, whether motorized or not. Also any watercraft, including kayaks, canoes, paddleboats, and paddleboard operators are required to have Coast Guard-certified life jackets for each person on board.
CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Blackduck) reports focusing on angling, boat and water safety, AIS, and ATV enforcement this past week. Several nuisance-bear complaints were addressed. Assistance was provided to the State Patrol with a DWI arrest.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette) focused on angling and boating safety enforcement on Upper Red Lake and Lake of the Woods. Time also was spent patrolling for ATV activity, and assistance was given to the county with an ATV complaint.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked anglers and ATVers. He also answered calls regarding orphaned fawns and nuisance bears.
CO Brian Holt (Bemidji) checked angling and other recreational activity in Itasca State Park and the Mississippi Headwaters State Forest. Time also was spent monitoring AIS compliance throughout the area.
CO Angie Warren (Detroit Lakes) investigated leech-trapping complaints and violations. A complaint of camping on a WMA was investigated. Information was provided to individuals concerned about a disturbed robin nest, a possibly sick bear, and waterfowl hunting regulations.
CO Bill Landmark (Moorhead) reports a case of wolf depredation was investigated, and it was confirmed that wolves had indeed taken a farmer’s livestock. The CO also investigated two separate instances of illegal commercial minnow harvest. The CO has observed an increase in the number of boaters without enough life jackets on board their craft.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports checking boaters and anglers. Permits were issued to address nuisance beavers causing damage.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports an angler was cited for having an extra line – he was fishing with one line out on a bobber while also jigging over the side of the boat with a small ice-fishing rod.
CO Steve Chihak (Wheaton) spent the week working sportfishing, boat and water safety, and AIS enforcement. Miscellaneous wildlife-related calls were handled, and minnow transportation permits were issued.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking fishermen, PWC operators, boaters, and monitoring AIS law compliance. CO Baumbarger also spoke to a group of parents and their children about boat and water safety at the annual Glenwood Kids Safety Festival.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) worked invasive species details, and checked anglers and ATVers. Wetland violation work continued, with restoration orders issued.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continued to check anglers, boaters, and AIS compliance. Time also was spent on an ongoing waters/wetland violation. Minnow traps were checked. Enforcement action was taken for angling with an extra line, minnow traps in AIS waters, untagged minnow traps, failing to tend minnow trap, and boating violations.
CO Jeff Halverson (Staples) worked fishermen. Contacts were made for no license, and one boat had 1992 registration.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO John Slatinski (International Falls) spent time investigating waters use complaints and shoreline work. Public accesses and campgrounds were monitored. Boating and fishing activity was worked, with a lack of safety equipment still being a common infraction. CO Slatinski also assisted St. Louis County with a search for three individuals in the BWCAW.
CO Colleen Adam (Ray) took calls about an injured eagle, ATV complaints, and a disabled boater. Enforcement action was taken for campground violations, unmeasurable, filleted fish, and several cases of no license in possession.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes and rivers. Angling success remains poor. Forest roads and public access sites continue to be monitored. Boating activity remains light.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reports fishing slowed on Vermilion. The changing weather throughout the week probably was the main reason. The officer made a felony narcotics arrest with the assistance of the Breitung Police Department. Some juveniles let a campfire get away from them, and DNR firefighters had to respond. The officer also took a number of complaints regarding bear issues, including a dog that was attacked. One individual was cited for failure to submit to an AIS inspection when leaving Lake Vermilion.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked anglers, boaters, and recreational vehicles. He also gave a presentation to the fifth-grade class in Hibbing regarding the duties of a CO. A boater was encountered with registration that expired 10 years earlier and without a wearable PFD in the craft.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent a majority of time patrolling for and encountering ATV and OHM traffic. A wide variety of violations were witnessed. CO Frericks checked anglers and boaters on Virginia-area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and insufficient PFDs.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports that he took part in an extended Memorial Day week BWCAW patrol with CO Lawler. Activity levels were fairly high, and several cases were made in regards to BWCAW rules and illegal drugs.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers and boaters, and worked invasive species enforcement. CO Wahlstrom completed other investigations as well.
CO Sean Williams (Ely) assisted the St. Louis County Rescue Squad with another search in the BWCAW. The two canoeists who were overdue by three days had sent a message for help almost a week before rescuers were called. COs Williams and Bermel, with the help of the U.S. Forest Service, flew into the BWCAW and began searching the area until dark. Air units from the State Patrol and National Guard arrived to take up the night search. The aircraft officials spotted the canoeists just after midnight when they signaled the rescue crew by using a flashlight. Both victims were lifted out and brought directly to an Ely hospital.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) handled several wildlife-related calls regarding nuisance-bear activity and fawns being found that were thought to be orphaned.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked area boat accesses, checking anglers and boaters and enforcing aquatic invasive species regulations. The officer also patrolled ATV trails and state forest roads and took a call regarding operation on private property.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked remote lakes and the BWCAW this week. CO Schottenbauer also dealt with a beaver problem area. There also was a report of a young bear getting into food left out at walk-in campsites at Tettegouche State Park.
CO Darrin Fagerman (Grand Marais) was surprised to find a youngster in the middle of nowhere on top of a high ridge. When asked what the young man was doing, he stated that he left camp to find some cell service so he could use his mobile device. He seemed to be happy and oblivious to the hundreds of biting black flies that were surrounding his head.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked area lakes for angling and boating activity, patrolled for illegal ATV operation, issued nuisance-beaver permits, and assisted other agencies with several calls.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked ATV activity, boating, AIS, and sportfishing. He also patrolled state park areas, state forests, answered questions, took complaints about various wildlife issues, and checked public water accesses.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, responded to multiple calls about injured wildlife, monitored OHV activity, and worked boat and water safety this week. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, no fire extinguisher on board a watercraft, no sound-producing device on board a watercraft, and possession of illegal-length walleyes.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked walleye and panfish anglers. Enforcement action was taken for boating without enough life jackets in a watercraft and angling without a license.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) spent time assisting a neighboring district with a work detail and fielded several miscellaneous wildlife-related calls.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) spent much of the week working aquatic invasive species enforcement at local accesses. Complaints about illegal ATV use were investigated, and numerous complaints about nuisance bears were handled.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent time working anglers and recreational vehicle enforcement in the area. Several contacts were made for illegal operation, registration violations, angling without licenses, and operating OHM (dirt bikes) on the road. Complaints about boaters harassing loons were received and are being investigated. An investigation is ongoing regarding problems occurring in the Blackhoof WMA where litter, illegal fires, and illegal shooting have ben issues.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent the week working AIS enforcement at area lakes north of Duluth and along the North Shore. Overall, compliance was good. CO Olson also responded to a report of a sheen on Island Lake. After investigating the report, it was found to be unfounded.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Crosslake) checked recreational boaters and anglers. Other activity included handling calls about a road-killed bear, an injured eagle, somebody running down geese crossing a road, and a possible deer-poaching case.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) monitored fishing activity this week. Some questions were fielded regarding special regulations on panfish. CO Guida also assisted the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office with a car-killed bear.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) assisted with a TIP call on Lake Mille Lacs. He found an angler keeping walleyes was a Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe member.
CO Sam Hunter (Park Rapids) assisted the State Patrol and the county sheriff’s office with a crash and a party who was running in and out of traffic.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) reports this week’s activities were focused on water safety, invasive species violations, and angling activity. CO Sullivan contacted one angler who was transporting a livewell full of water and bass. CO Sullivan was told by the fisher that he liked the fish alive when he got home. CO Sullivan also spoke with one angler who did not think he needed a fishing license if he was not keeping fish.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity this week included handling numerous young wildlife-related calls, responding to issues of shoreline alteration and stolen minnow traps, checking fishing and boating activity, patrolling the Cuyuna Country State Recreational Area, and giving presentations to students at Riverside Elementary School about furbearing animals and natural resources conservation.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked fishing and boating activity. The opening of muskie season and holiday events brought new anglers to Lake Mille Lacs, where special regulations and the night ban were enforced.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked AIS enforcement, finding good compliance. She also checked anglers and boaters on area lakes. CO Speldrich received multiple wildlife-related questions and complaints.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reports numerous wildlife issues came up this week, including beavers, eagles, fawn deer, and raccoons. A detail was worked in the Vermilion Lake area, where compliance was found to be good regarding ATVing and fishing activities.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) investigated a complaint about wolves harassing livestock at an area beef farm and found evidence that wolves had killed and eaten a day-old calf. A 90-pound wolf was caught and removed from the area within a day.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time monitoring angling and boating activity. A high number of boats were seen on the water. Contact was made with multiple boaters throughout the week due to no navigation lights after sunset. CO Silgjord also attended a local pet expo during the weekend where the TIP trailer was set up for viewing.
CO Rhonda Friese (Long Prairie) observed more water recreation than angling activity during the recent warm weather. Turtles were very active.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked boaters and anglers, and handled nuisance-animal reports. Several unwed people have been checked during the past few weeks with combination angling licenses. Reminder: For the combo license to be legal, the people need to be married, not dating and not engaged.
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) pulled into a local public access where a few people were shore fishing. As soon as one of the female anglers saw CO Kuske, she immediately set her pole down in the grass. When asked for a license, the gal said she forgot it at home but later in the conversation admitted she did not have a fishing license.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Phil Mohs (Center City) reports numerous wildlife-related complaints were fielded during the week. Local bears have become active of late. Officer Mohs encourages everyone to take their bird feeders down during this time of year as the bears scavenge for their next easy meal.
CO Mike Krauel (Milaca) spent the week checking anglers and following up on wetland complaints. CO Krauel also assisted a neighboring officer with a fishing enforcement work crew. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, no watercraft lights, and unregistered watercraft.
CO Mitch Sladek (Big Lake) followed up with the Sherburne County Attorney’s Office on a big-game case.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) investigated a possible illegal wetland drain that created flooding on a neighboring property.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked anglers and boating activity on metro-area lakes. He also returned phone calls regarding problem animals and took a call from the State Patrol for another DNR Enforcement district on a fish house complaint.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) assisted with the search of a missing person on Lake Minnetonka.
CO Leah Weyandt (Mound) spent time this week following up on zebra mussel-related violations that occurred on Lake Minnetonka. CO Weyandt also assisted the Hennepin County Water Patrol with the search for a missing person.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked the Bloomington station and Fort Snelling station for angling, boating, and AIS activities. He took enforcement action for no angling license, angling with extra lines, untagged snares, and trapping without a valid license.
CO Chelsie Leuthardt (Prior Lake) spent time checking anglers and boaters, and following up on various complaints. CO Leuthardt wants to stress the importance of checking regulations when fishing on a new lake.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Vuthy Pril (ELCOP) worked angling, AIS, and boating enforcement on area lakes and rivers. He also checked on TIP complaints and responded to miscellaneous animal-related calls. CO Pril also spoke to a group of police explorers at the Eagan Police Department about the duties of a conservation officer.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) investigated a wetland complaint and handled calls about nuisance animals.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring angling activity in the area. CO Kulhanek also responded to TIP calls and worked AIS enforcement at local boat landings.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored angling, ATVing, boating, and commercial minnow dealer activity during the week.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Benson) spent the week checking anglers and working boating enforcement on area lakes and rivers. Enforcement action was taken for an ATV passenger under 18 without a helmet, failing to display watercraft registration, no fishing license in possession, and giving a false name to a peace officer.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Madison) concentrated enforcement efforts this past week on angling activity, AIS and OHV enforcement, and boat and water enforcement.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) checked on a report of a person trapping beavers out of season and found the person trapping the beavers because they were nuisance beavers. CO Klehr had to explain to the person that he had to get a permit to be able to trap beavers out of season, and enforcement action was taken. Numerous other beaver-related complaints were taken and special beaver permits were issued.
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time on area lakes working boating and angling activity. CO Vernier also took calls regarding an abandoned kayak and questions regarding boat and water regulations.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) reports a public waters case was handled. The CO is asking all anglers to help with reporting any littering observed. Large amounts of litter have been observed and picked up by the CO recently. Vandalism also occurred at a public access where 150-year-old oak trees were spray-painted, creating upset outdoor enthusiasts who frequent the lake.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports assistance was given to the State Patrol and local agencies after a motorist fled.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) worked the Stillwater bridge detail and assisted the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office with a boat that struck the lift bridge during which one passenger was injured. Individuals were charged for taking geese during a closed season and shooting wild animals from a motor vehicle.
CO Jeremy Henke assisted local law enforcement with several vehicles’ occupants who attempted to cross a flooded roadway and got stuck in high water; all were safely removed from the vehicles.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) reports assistance was given to the Red Wing Fire Department regarding a possible gas spill in a local marina.
CO James Fogarty (La Crescent) encountered a construction truck with a water tank pumping water from the Mississippi River (a known infested water body). The operator of the truck/pump was found to not have a water appropriation permit and was using the water for recently laid sod well away from the river.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working mainly fishing and boating enforcement on the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin. Several tournaments were held over the weekend, which once again brought in anglers from all over the Upper Midwest.