Illinois Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars – June 30, 2017
Region I – Captain Laura Petreikis
CPO Teas responded to a call of a missing subject on the Rock River after a kayak containing a wallet, cellphone, and other property was found floating down the river. CPO Teas was eventually able to make contact with others who had been kayaking with the person earlier in the day. CPO Teas learned the subject lost control of the kayak as he was attempting to get out of the water, and it floated away. The kayaker was then dropped off several miles away down river in the next county in hopes he would see his kayak on the river. CPO Teas was able to locate the sunburned boater, who had no shirt or shoes, walking down the road. The subject was retrieved and returned to his property and worried family.
CPO Francisko noticed a distressed boater at Sunset Marina. The operator had backed his boat into the water too far and was unable to start the engine. Strong winds turned the boat sideways at the launch and pinned the boat against the trailer. The boat owner worked for over 30 minutes without success. CPO Francisko assisted the boat owner in getting the boat started and secured to the dock. A boat safety inspection was conducted. CPO Francisko also assisted the boat owner in docking the boat in its slip across the marina. The man was very appreciative of the CPO assisting him.
While patrolling a closed area of Matthiessen State Park, CPO Fraser detained a group who were in the restricted area. During the stop, CPO Fraser observed a bulge in one violator’s pocket. When asked what it was, the subject removed a silver pill bottle from his pocket. The subject then opened the bottle, and despite being told to stop, swallowed the contents. The subject stated the pill bottle contained his prescription pills but knew it was illegal to carry them in an unmarked container. The subject was arrested for obstructing justice and entering a restricted area. Other members of the group were cited for entering a restricted area, possession of cannabis, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
CPO Alt responded to a complaint from a social media post depicting a department licensed animal rehabilitator playing with baby raccoons with her children and family dog. CPO Alt conferenced with the rehabilitator and directed her that the wildlife were not pets and directed her to use proper rehab practices using minimal contact to prevent spread of disease, parasites and imprinting. The rehabber was also directed to consult another nearby facility for further guidance. A follow-up will be made to ensure compliance.
CPO Alt cited two individuals fishing at Kent Creek in Rockford for unlawful fishing without a valid sport fishing license and a third for fishing without fishing license in possession. While running the individuals through LEADS/NCIC, one individual returned wanted on warrant. Once confirmed with the originating agency, CPO Alt took the subject into custody and transported him to the Winnebago County jail in lieu of bond.
CPO Thompson and CPO Elliott performed boat registration and safety checks at a lake in Knox County. During one of the checks, CPO Thompson observed a man operating a jet ski without proper registration displayed. Upon contacting the operator of the PWC, CPO Thompson detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on the man’s breath. Additionally, the man had trouble maintaining his balance while docking. CPO Thompson asked the man about the issues with the registration and the man responded with slurred and unintelligible speech. CPO Thompson performed field sobriety testing and concluded the man was impaired. The operator was arrested and transported to the Knox County jail for processing. At the jail, the man provided a breath sample disclosing a BAC of .116. The man received citations for OUI, OUI with BAC over .08, unlawful operation of unnumbered watercraft and unlawful consumption of alcohol by a subject under 21 years of age.
Region II – Capt. Brett Scroggins
CPO Davis observed two subjects using a cast net at the Carpentersville Dam. The subjects took approximately 25 fish including smallmouth bass, white crappies, and bluegills. They were cited for no fishing license, use of a cast net for sport fish, and failure to immediately release smallmouth bass. Multiple written warnings were also issued.
CPO Vaughan checked the fishing license of two subjects prior to them fishing off the Grass Lake Road Bridge. During that check, there was a third subject who stated he was not going to fish and was just along to watch his friends and enjoy the weather. Approximately two hours later, CPO Vaughan issued a citation to the third subject for unlawful fishing without a sport fishing license. Prior to citing the subject, CPO Vaughan informed the subject he could not fish without a license. The subject insisted he was just along to watch his friends fish and enjoy the weather.
CPOs Davis and Kelley responded to a call about an injured great blue heron. The heron had been hooked in the foot by fishing line. The CPOs were able to rescue the heron and take it to a local rehab specialist for treatment.
CPO Reid and Sgt. Wollgast responded to a complaint of a capsized boat on Heidecke Lake. CPO Reid was able to locate one of the fishermen walking for help. They returned to the boat which had motor problems and had been forced by high winds against the rocks on the shore where it capsized and sank. CPO Reid, Sgt. Wollgast and Goose Lake Prairie Site Technician Jones were able to assist the boaters in recovering their boat and towing it back to the harbor without any significant damage.
Region III – Capt. Jim Mayes
CPO Wellum assisted Region 5 with the attempt to locate a missing boater. The subject’s boat was found unoccupied and drifting down the Wabash River. CPO Wellum checked several locations in Clark County where a boat could be launched in an attempt to locate the boat operator’s vehicle. The operator of the boat was located by Region 5 personnel.
CPO Mieure investigated an unlawful take of a deer during the 2015 season. CPO Mieure interviewed an Indiana man who confessed to the hunting violations. He was issued a citation for unlawful take of a deer and several written warnings.
CPO Mieure responded to a complaint of an Edgar County man’s trash on his property. CPO Mieure educated the man on the legal disposal methods and issued him written warnings for Illegal Dumping and Burning.
CPO Wellum receive a report of theft from a vehicle at Lincoln Trail State Park. The driver side window of the vehicle had been broken, and a cellphone was stolen from inside the vehicle.
Region IV – Capt. Jamie Maul
CPO Blazinic investigated a deer residency investigation. A Missouri resident used a P.O. box in Illinois and falsified his residency. The suspect was able to purchase hunting licenses, stamps and deer permits at resident prices. The suspect deer hunted in 2016. He saved himself hundreds of dollars and defrauded the State of Illinois out of the money. CPO Blazinic met the subject and issued citations.
CPO Goetten responded to a large boat stuck in shallow water outside the Mississippi River channel. A female on board the boat claimed she feared “sexual advances” from the male occupant. CPO Goetten responded with the assistance of a Grafton officer. The complaint was determined to be likely fabricated to get someone to come tow the boat in. CPO Goetten provided courtesy transport to the occupants. The boat was to be towed next morning by Tow Boat USA at the boat owner’s request.
CPO Gilmer was called by the Havana Police Department concerning three teenage kids kayaking on the Illinois River at night with no lights. They had almost gotten hit by another boater. CPO Gilmer responded to ensure the safety of the teenagers. He was able to find the three kayakers and ensure their safety. CPO Gilmer explained to the kids he understands they were just trying to have fun, but boating the river at night without lights is just plain unsafe. Each kayaker was issued a warning for boating after sunset without lights.
CPO Macias was on patrol on the shores of Lake Springfield near the Wildlife Preserve fishing area on the south side of the lake. He was conducting a fishing compliance check on a married couple fishing in the area. When asked for their license, they both responded quickly they did not have one. CPO Macias ran a background check on both people. The male was wanted out of Macoupin County for drug charges. The subject was placed in custody and transported to the Sangamon County jail. A pair of warnings and a citation were issued.
CPO Schachner was contacted by a local town regarding the possible discovery of a state-threatened species of frog living in a small area on one of the city properties. CPO Schachner spoke with the subject who made the discovery and after obtaining details of the find, CPO Schachner relayed the information to the state herpetologist for confirmation. Upon verification of the species, a plan will be determined with the city to best protect and enhance the habitat to protect the frogs.
CPO Charles and CPO Sievers were patrolling the Turkey Bluffs Fish and Wildlife Area and observed a group of young men standing on the bridge over Mary’s River. One male shot a bow in the water and a second male was holding a bow with a knocked arrow. One fisherman was issued a written warning for shooting a bow from the roadway and the other fisherman was issued a written warning for no fishing license.
CPO Sievers was patrolling local strip mine cuts and observed a truck with a boat trailer parked at a gravel ramp. CPO Sievers launched his kayak and found the boat with one fisherman at the back of the lake. The fisherman stated that he was fishing on private property so he did not need a fishing license. The fisherman was informed that the fishing club was not a licensed fee fishing area so the members were required to possess a fishing license. While completing the boat safety equipment inspection, a long gun case was observed in the bottom of the boat. The fisherman stated that the gun was for varmints such as muskrats. The fisherman uncased the .22 semi-automatic rifle. The rifle had one round of ammunition in the chamber and four rounds in the tube. The fisherman was told that the gun had to be unloaded to be legally transported and that it was illegal to shoot varmints. The boat safety equipment inspection revealed multiple violations which included no lifejackets. The fisherman was issued a citation for no lifejackets and several written warnings for the other violations.
Region V – Capt. Jim Mayes
CPO Folden received information from Mcleansboro Police involving three young men who were stopped by the police department for a traffic violation and were in possession of freshly killed bullfrogs. Interviews with each of the three revealed the bullfrogs were illegally harvested during a closed season on Ten Mile Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area. None of the men had fishing licenses as required. CPO Folden issued a citation to each for unlawfully harvesting bullfrogs during a closed season and written warnings to each for taking bullfrogs without a valid fishing license.
CPO Mohrman was contacted by the owner of a small jon boat which was left on the bank of Merganser Lake within Pyramid State Park. The boat was seized and removed from the site by CPO Mohrman in December of 2016. The owner just noticed his boat was gone and found the seizure tag which the CPO left. The owner of the boat was cited for abandoning the watercraft on DNR property, and the boat was returned to him. When asked why he left the boat in the park, the owner replied he had no excuse, he was just being lazy.
CPO Schoenhoff issued a citation to a female for possession of a short bass on Dolan Lake. A written warning was issued to her companion for a second violation of a short fish. Both were given an education and a fishing digest on creel and length limits.
An investigation initiated by CPO Goetten was forwarded to CPO Folden in January of this year. Extensive research, investigations, and coordination of officers in Illinois and Michigan was led by CPO Folden. The progress in this case has resulted in charges being filled on two Illinois landowners and three Michigan hunters. The Michigan hunters have allegedly been coming to Illinois for multiple years purchasing only antlerless only deer permits, harvesting bucks, and tagging them with Illinois landowner tags. So far, five large bucks have been seized from the Michigan hunters, and 22 citations were issued. The main citations issued were for unlawful loaning of deer permits, unlawful use of another person’s deer permit, falsification of records to obtain harvest records, unlawful take of deer and unlawful take of antlered deer with only antlerless permits. Court dates are set for later this summer.
CPO Smith received information from Sgt. Hyatt reference a fish kill that occurred near the landfill located at Effingham. CPO Smith went to the area and observed numerous small fish dead in a creek downstream from the landfill. CPO Smith walked into an area where he observed a toxic liquid pouring out the landfill into the creek. CPO Smith and Sgt. Hyatt notified the proper authorities. An investigation is pending.
While on patrol at Borah Lake, CPO Roper was conducting a boat inspection and discovered several fish onboard. Two of the fish were identified as largemouth bass. The legal bass length limit for Borah Lake is 14 Inches. The two bass aboard the boat measured less than 14 inches. The individuals on the boat stated they had each caught one of the bass. The two individuals were each issued a citation for failure to immediately release short fish.
While on patrol at East Fork Lake, CPO Roper observed an individual fishing from the bank. Upon conducting a fishing compliance check, it was discovered the individual was in possession of several fish. The individual had three largemouth bass. The legal bass length limit is 15 inches. All three fish were less than 15 inches. The individual was issued a citation for failure to immediately release short fish.