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Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs and Collars – Aug. 18, 2017

DISTRICT 1

CO Brian Lasanen checked a family fishing off of the Bergland Bay landing dock. As Lasanen was talking with the family, the father stated they just got into fishing because their son was interested in learning how to fish. Lasanen took a few minutes to show the family how to set the depth for a bobber and a how to tie a few fishing knots for tying on hooks and leaders. The father was very appreciative of the assistance.

CO Shannon Kritz was on a marine patrol on Lake Gogebic when she observed two jet skis jumping wakes of boats in the area. The jet skis were being operated in a careless manner and eventually jumped the wake of CO Kritz’s boat at a distance of less than five feet. A stop was made of the operators and enforcement action was taken.

CO Mark Leadman arrived at Deer Lake in Ishpeming and located a family stranded at the dock when their boat would not start. The operator had just purchased the boat and this was his first time on any lake with the vessel. His children were anxiously awaiting a boat ride in the beautiful weather. Leadman helped the operator change the spark plugs and instructed him on the cold starting procedures of the boat motor. The very appreciative family was soon on their way out on the lake with their new boat.

DISTRICT 2

CO Mark Zitnik patrolled the Au Train River for marine violations and made contact with over 300 boaters that day and encountered several violations. In total, seven citations were issued for use of marijuana, littering and no PFDs.

Sgt. Mike Hammill and Sgt. Jerry Fitzgibbon, along with COs Brett DeLonge, Calvin Smith, Kevin Postma, Brett Gustafson, Patrick Hartsig, and Mark Zitnik assisted Michigan State Police troopers, along with officers from the Alger County Sheriff’s Department and the US Forest Service in patrolling and searching remote areas in Delta, Schoolcraft and Alger Counties in an attempt to locate a convicted sex offender who was holding a girl captive. The search went on for over four days. The subject was apprehended by Michigan State Police troopers in the early hours of Friday morning in the city of Munising. The woman was found restrained but in good condition.

CO Pat Hartsig was patrolling inland lakes in the Hiawatha National Forest for marine activity. While speaking with a boater whose registration was expired, Hartsig noticed a subject fishing from a dock reel in his line and hide his fishing rod on his dock behind some chairs. Once Hartsig cleared the initial contact he drove his boat to the subject on his dock. When asked for a fishing license, the subject stated it was in his truck near his cabin. After another minute of talking, it was found the subject had lied and did not have a fishing license. Further, the subject who’s been coming to his camp and fishing on the lake for over 20 years never bought a fishing license in any of those years. Enforcement action was taken.

DISTRICT 3

CO Chad Baldwin received a complaint from a source on Beaver Island earlier this spring about multiple hunters with loaded shotguns in a vehicle and road hunting wild turkeys. Baldwin contacted the local sheriff’s deputy on the island to see if he could find a vehicle matching the description. The deputy was unable to locate the vehicle so Baldwin continued his investigation until it led him back to a group of individuals who lived in Ohio. Baldwin enlisted the help of Ohio State Wildlife Officer Jason Keller who covers the county where several of the individuals lived. With the assistance of Keller, Baldwin was able to secure evidence, statements and a confession of an illegal turkey being possessed by one of the individuals while on Beaver Island. Law Enforcement action has been taken.

CO Adam LeClerc patrolled Torch Lake. Numerous contacts were made during the weekend. Tickets were issued for failure to have enough PFDs on a vessel, operating at greater than slow no wake, and operating an unregistered vessel. The subjects on the lake enjoyed seeing the increased police presence by the COs.

CO Nick Torsky investigated a complaint of angler harassment on a local lake that is surrounded by private land ownership, but can be accessed by an outlet stream. Two individuals had legally gained access to the lake, but were harassed by an individual from the private property, who believed the lake to be private. During the investigation, violations by both parties were discovered, including unregistered watercraft, fishing without licenses, and careless PWC operation. Follow-up interviews are being conducted.

DISTRICT 4

Upon clearing a marine patrol on a local lake, CO Sean Kehoe was approached by a man and a woman seeking help. The lady was clutching her hand and was shaking. Kehoe looked at her hand and learned that while launching their boat, her hand had gotten tangled in the line while launching. The lady suffered deep bruising all across her hand and a laceration on one of her fingers. Kehoe administered first aid while her husband put the boat back on the trailer.

Sgt. Mike Bomay and CO Kyle Publiski were working the Muskegon River task force and made contact with over 100 kayakers. Approximately 75 of them had PFDs, 25 did not. Citations were issued to eight and verbal warnings were provided to 16.

CO Angela Greenway responded to a sick deer complaint in the CWD surveillance area. Greenway dispatched the sick and unresponsive deer and provided it to the DNR Wildlife Division for testing. The lab results returned CWD negative and it was determined that the deer had been hit by a motor vehicle.

DISTRICT 5

CO Sam Schluckbier made contact with an individual and his son placing deer bait and hanging a tree stand on state land in Kalkaska County. The two subjects stated they wanted to get an early jump on the deer season in order to acquire the best spot. Schluckbier educated them on the laws for placing bait and stands on state-owned lands. The subjects were unaware of the regulations and immediately removed the items.

While patrolling Lake St. Helen in Roscommon County, CO Kyle Bader checked a group of anglers that had been fishing most of the day. In total, the group of three anglers had 118 sunfish, making them 43 over their total allowable limit. Enforcement action was taken and the excess fish were seized.

COs Kyle Cherry, Kyle Bader, Jeff Panich, Casey Pullum, Jon Warner, Sam Schluckbier and Sgt. Bobbi Lively participated in a multi-agency joint patrol on the Au Sable River in Oscoda County. COs, US Forest Service law enforcement officers, and Oscoda County deputies addressed multiple safety and criminal issues along that section of the river. Twenty-five citations were issued and five custodial arrests were made. Many families made comments they were grateful for the extra law enforcement presence on the river.

DISTRICT 6

COs Will Brickel and Quincy Gowenlock were conducting a marine patrol on the Tittabawassee River when they came upon two subjects fishing. As the COs pulled alongside they noticed a stringer with several fish. The subjects were contacted and when asked the size of his fish, the angler stated 15 inches. Brickel pulled the stringer out of the water and noted three smallmouth bass. As he measured the fish one measured 12 inches and the second measured 12.5 inches. When asked what he used to measure the fish with, the subject stated he uses his foot. The subject was issued a citation for possessing the short bass.

CO Mark Siemen received information about a subject that had a spotted fawn living in his house. Siemen and a local animal control officer responded to the residence and located the fawn. The fawn was removed and the subject was educated on the laws of possessing a spotted fawn.

CO Dan Robinson received a complaint that a subject had shot two geese at a local Isabella County lake. Robinson identified a suspect who admitted to shooting the geese. The subject stated that a neighbor took the geese and dumped them for him. It was determined that the subject shot the geese well within the safety zone of several residences. The subject was cited for three of six violations and his shotgun was seized. Charges are pending for the individual who assisted in disposing of the birds.

DISTRICT 7

While observing anglers along the Grand River near the Webber Dam in Ionia County, CO Cary Foster located two subjects using cast nets, which is illegal on inland waters. Further investigation revealed a walleye, 21 undersized largemouth bass, and five blue gills among 59 fish taken illegally. Enforcement action was taken.

While watching the Sixth Street Dam along the Grand River, CO David Rodgers observed two subjects hooking a tow strap to a large boulder. They attempted to move the large rock to make shoots for when the salmon and steelhead run up the river. This creates areas that they can easily snag the fish when the high water increases the current. Enforcement action was taken.

While working the Flat River, CO David Rodgers came across individuals fishing near gthe Fallasburg Park covered bridge. While checking a stringer with two short bass, another member of the group paddled up in a canoe. Rodgers noticed a stinger and had the person hold up the stringer. It had four bass on it as well and they appeared to be less than 14 inches. As Rodgers was getting to the canoe, the subject untied the stringer and two fish “accidentally “ got free before Rodgers was able to handle it. The two fish left on the stringer were both undersized. Both subjects were cited for keeping undersized bass.

CO Paul Higashi issued a citation to a subject who was licensed to rehabilitate wildlife for violating conditions of her permit. An inspection was made after a complaint that resulted in a search warrant for the property. Forty-eight raccoons were removed from the property. Permit sanctions are pending due to the poor conditions at the property.

DISTRICT 8

CO Mike Drexler responded to a citizen assist call where a young fawn had its leg caught in a farm fence. Drexler located the spotted fawn with its leg tangled in the top strand of a barbed wire perimeter fence. Drexler used a pocket tool to cut the strands of barbed wire and the deer fled.

CO Carter Woodwyk responded to a complaint of a copperbelly water snake being killed. The copperbelly water snake is a species that is listed as endangered in Michigan and threatened in the United States. The suspect admitted to shooting the snake with a shotgun. This information is being passed on to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and charges are being sought.

CO Todd Thorn took a Report All Poaching complaint of a partially submerged boat on Lake Lansing. Thorn kayaked to the location and found a boat resting on the bottom of the lake with water over most of the hull. The owner of the vessel was contacted and the vessel was removed before any contamination of the lake occurred.

DISTRICT 9

CO Kris Kiel responded to a tip of two subjects keeping undersized walleye on Lake St. Clair. He was unable to make it to the launch in time so he headed straight to the subject’s address he got from the registration numbers of the vessel. The fish were checked and of the 12 walleye, three were found to be under-sized. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Matt Zultak observed a truck “framed out” on an earthen barrier surrounding a parking lot in the Lapeer SGA. The driver was contacted, and explained to Zultak, he had made a poor decision to drive the truck onto the berm. There were violations regarding damage to vegetation, erosion, and operating a vehicle in an improper manner on state land. Enforcement  action was taken.

COs Justin Muehlhauser and Travis Dragomer patrolled Lake Fenton and passed a pontoon with several people on board with one of the occupants waving his middle finger at the COs. Officers noticed that the vessel did not have any MC numbers and did not display a current registration. The COs stopped the vessel and addressed the violations. The occupant stated he thought the COs were one of his friends. Enforcement action was taken.

While patrolling Holloway Reservoir, COs Justin Muehlhauser and Matt Zultak contacted a group of fishermen at Zemmer Park. Two in the group were fishing without a license. The group became agitated and felt that they were being harassed. The COs explained the laws about licensing and ran files on the fishermen. One had a felony warrant as a parole absconder and was arrested and lodged in the Lapeer County Jail.

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