Editor’s note: The DNR’s Bureau of Law Enforcement is in the process of setting up new districts, teams, and administrative areas with the addition of 33 new field warden positions. For now, we will continue posting monthly field reports under the 19 original areas listed on the accompanying map, but that number is going to increase with at least eight changes already being identified. In this week’s report from southern teams, readers will notice that there is a new Rock River team with no district number assigned to it as of yet. The map and district number and name designations will be updated as soon as the changes have been finalized.
District 7 — Wisconsin Rapids area
Warden Bryan Lockman, of Stevens Point, worked with the Stevens Point Police Department in July on a suspected animal (squirrel and rabbit) poisoning case. The investigation is ongoing.
Wardens Jon Scharbarth, of Stevens Point, and Randy Dunkel, of Wausau, observed a pickup truck operating recklessly on a Marathon County roadway. Through authorized expanded authority from the sheriff’s department, contact was made with the operator and it was determined that he was intoxicated. A Marathon County deputy arrived at the scene and arrested the operator for his seventh OWI offense.
Warden Dunkel participated in training with the Marathon County dive team. The team focused on sonar operations to identify underwater objects.
Warden Dunkel and DNR fisheries technician Jake Thompson partnered to give presentations at a fishing class held at the John Muir Middle School in July.
District 10 — Wautoma area
Warden Nathan Ackerman, of Berlin, investigated a hotline complaint in July of a person reported in possession of a turtle during the closed season. Ackerman located the turtle on a porch and no one was home at the residence. It was found that the subject took a turtle out-of-season; the snapping turtle was also undersized. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Kyle Johnson, of Shiocton, observed a parked truck with a boat and trailer attached to it. The boat and trailer carried a large amount of aquatic vegetation. After locating the owner of the boat, the owner admitted to not removing the vegetation after leaving the boat launch. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Johnson and warden supervisor Ted Dremel, of Wautoma, checked a group of people fishing from a boat. After checking licenses and conducting safety checks, the boat operator was found to not have any wearable or throwable personal flotation devices. In addition, the boat registration was expired, and the operator failed to have taken a boater safety class. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Johnson and Kaitlin Kernosky, of New London, were patrolling the Wolf River near Fremont when they observed a boat displaying expired registration. Upon contacting the operator, the operator admitted to drinking alcohol and showed signs of impairment. Field sobriety testing indicated the operator was under the influence and was arrested for boating while intoxicated.
Warden Jonathan Kaiser, of Waupaca, joined warden supervisor Theodore Dremel, of Wautoma, at the annual trappers’ rendezvous at Waupaca Conservation Club.
Warden Kernosky received a call from a New London police officer who conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle in the city and found the driver to have a deceased spotted fawn and raccoon in the backseat of his vehicle. Kernosky followed up with the driver and found he had hit the fawn with his vehicle and failed to register it, as required. It was also found that the individual later littered the deer and raccoon on private property. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Benjamin Mott, of Wautoma, and Dremel worked a large event on the Wolf River in Fremont in July. They observed an individual operating faster than no-wake in the designated area. Upon contact it was determined that the individual was intoxicated. The individual was arrested for OWI and found to be nearly three times the legal limit. It was later learned that the individual had five OWIs in a vehicle prior to this boating arrest.
Warden Benjamin Nadolski, of Montello, responded late one night in July to assist a motorist with an unusual situation – having a live owl stuck in the grill of their vehicle. The owl flew away upon release.
Warden Nadolski investigated a man who chose to drive through a flock of Canada geese on a village street, killing at least one goose. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Nadolski contacted a subject fishing during a period of revocation of his hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges from an earlier violation. The person had been previously convicted of the same offense in July, making this his second offense, and a criminal charge.
District 11 — Peshtigo area
Warden Clark Delzer, of Shawano, did a routine fishing license check at Huckleberry Harbor that revealed the individual was fishing without a license, and was the subject of four warrants for his arrest. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Delzer received a call from Shawano County Sheriff’s Department dispatch of a coyote that was harassing swimmers in the Bonduel swimming pond. Delzer called the officer at the scene, who confirmed that there was a coyote watching the children in the pond. After further investigation, it was found that the coyote was a cardboard cutout attached to a fence.
Warden Delzer had been investigating an ongoing complaint in July of anglers who had been littering freshwater drum on the bridge below the Shawano dam. Delzer received a call that the suspects were back in the area and fishing again. Delzer responded and found that one of the individuals was fishing without a license. Two other suspects were found to have littered fish, as well as fast food wrappers, into the river. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Delzer responded to an accident on the Shawano Lake outlet channel of a powered parachute with a seized engine. The operator’s parachute collapsed. He plummeted more than 100 feet and landed in the channel, but swam to shore uninjured. The machine was recovered and had minimal damage.
While working boating enforcement on High Falls Flowage, warden Timothy Werner, of Crivitz, contacted a personal watercraft operator for illegal operation. Upon contact, the operator was determined to be under the influence of an intoxicant. The defendant also was on felony probation and had violated the conditions of his probation. Enforcement action was taken.
District 12 — Green Bay area and Northeast Operations Marine Unit
Warden Chris Kratcha, of Sturgeon Bay, contacted two fishermen on an inland Kewaunee County lake in July when the anglers were found to have exceeded their daily bag limits for crappies. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Alyssa Neff-Miller, of Manitowoc, with the assistance of the DNR’s environmental staff, completed an investigation from April regarding the demolition and burning of a barn. It was determined that a subject was hired to demolish and burn a barn, but did not obtain any permits from the DNR and – most importantly – did not conduct an inspection for asbestos. The investigation showed asbestos was present in the barn and was disturbed and burned. Enforcement action was taken.
Marine Enforcement Unit
Warden Mike Neal, of Sister Bay, responded to an illegal sport trolling complaint in Algoma. Upon arrival, Neal found that the “troller” was a paid charter-fishing situation and the captain was operating without a license. Enforcement actions were taken.
Wardens Neal and Resop assisted Rock Island State Park staff in July with the investigation of a complaint of underaged drinking and possible controlled substance use on Rock Island. Enforcement actions were taken.
Wardens Dave Allen, of Kewaunee, and Chris Groth patrolled Lake Michigan near Manitowoc and Kewaunee and took enforcement action against one boater who had 13 lines in play for two anglers.
District 13 — Oshkosh area
Wardens Jacob Bolks, of Appleton, and Thomas Sturdivant, of Neenah, and Calumet County Sheriff’s Department deputy Ken Matusek were patrolling Lake Winnebago in July when they observed an individual alone in a boat fishing with four lines. As the officers approached the boat, the individual lifted one of the rods and used a knife to cut the line. Upon contact, the individual told the officers that at one point he did have four baited lines out in the water. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Michael Disher, of Chilton, conducted fishing and boating enforcement on Becker’s Lake and Round Lake in Calumet County. While on patrol, Disher found two anglers fishing without licenses, and two kayakers without any lifejackets. Enforcement actions were taken.
Warden Jason Higgins, of Oshkosh, and deputy warden Zach Seitz, of Oshkosh, checked a subject fishing along the Fox River and found the subject in possession of a dead 19-inch northern pike. The subject admitted to catching and keeping the pike earlier from another spot along the river. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Sturdivant observed a personal watercraft (PWC) operating well in excess of the posted no-wake speed (Winnebago County). The PWC was up on plane in a designated no-wake zone. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Sturdivant observed a PWC being operating on the Fox River (Winnebago County) without registration numbers attached, nor displaying valid DNR decals. The operator admitted to owning the PWC for at least one year, but knowingly did not affix registration numbers. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Sturdivant observed an individual riding on the gunwale while the boat was under way (Winnebago County). Nor were there sufficient PFDs for each occupant in the boat. Enforcement action was taken.
District 14 — Sheboygan area
Warden William Hankee, of Fond du Lac, and warden supervisor Juan Gomez assisted the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Department with a drowning recovery on Lake DeNevue during the Fourth of July holiday.
Warden Nicholas Miofsky, of Fond du Lac, was the lead liaison for Camp Hometown Heroes. Eight wardens from around the area participated in the event. Camp Hometown Heroes is a national free week-long summer camp for children and siblings between the ages of 7 and 17 of fallen U.S. service members who died in any manner: combat, accident, illness or suicide. Wardens took the kids on Long Lake fishing and boating for the day.
District 15 — Milwaukee area
Warden Marcus Medina contacted a three anglers fishing from a boat on Pewaukee Lake and found 97 panfish in the live well. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Steve Sanidas was checking anglers in the town of Mukwonago and contacted a boat with three people actively fishing. One of the anglers was unable to provide proof of a current fishing license and DNR records showed that his DNR privileges were revoked. The individual had been revoked for failure to pay a previous fishing-without-license citation. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Sanidas and Blaine Ziarek were checking anglers in the town of Eagle and found one angler battling a northern pike on his line. The angler asked for assistance from the wardens to help land and remove his lure from the pike’s mouth. When asked to present a fishing license, the individual simply advised that he did not possess one, and has never purchased a fishing license in Wisconsin. Enforcement action was taken.
District 16 — Racine, Kenosha area
No report available.
District 17 — Madison area
Warden Ryan Volenberg, of Poynette, and warden supervisor Nate Kroeplin stopped a boat for operating without lights after sunset. It was found that the operator had been convicted for six OWIs in a motor vehicle and subsequently was arrested for boat OWI upon failing field sobriety tests.
Wardens Volenberg and Boyd Richter, of Janesville, stopped a boat for a no-wake violation on the Rock River. The underage operator was arrested for boating OWI after failing field sobriety tests.
Warden Ryan Caputo, of Green County, and recruit warden Josh Litvinoff observed an ATV almost hit another ATV as the front machine slowed down. The wardens stopped the ATV operator and found that he was intoxicated and in the possession of marijuana. Enforcement action was taken by the wardens and the Green County Sheriff’s Department.
Wardens Caputo and Litvinoff responded to a citizen complaint concerning two subjects keeping 30 catfish at the Indianford dam. From the information provided by the citizen, the wardens made contact with the two individuals who had possession of the catfish. Enforcement action was taken.
District 18 — Poynette area
Warden Amanda Kretschmer, of Wisconsin Dells, contacted a PWC operator on the Upper Dells whose PWC had flipped with two other people aboard, including two juveniles who were in the water adjacent to the flipped craft. The individuals were not wearing life jackets, as required. They were assisted to shore after uprighting the machine. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Amanda Kreteschmer assisted the Sauk County Sheriff’s Department in July with an exotic animal complaint in Baraboo. An individual was in possession of several venomous and non-venomous snakes, a venomous tarantula, and an American alligator, along with legally possessed turtles – a red tagoo and a tortoise. All animals being illegally possessed were surrendered to the UW-Madison Herpetology Society.
While on patrol on the Wisconsin River in the Upper Dells, warden Kretschmer, observed a group of four in a closed cliff area at the dells of the Wisconsin River State Natural Area. Upon attempting to make contact, the subjects ran into the woods and the warden was unable to locate them. Later in the day, the warden observed one of the male subjects on the beach. Upon contact, the subject stated he ran because he did not want to get in trouble. The subject was underage and in possession of, and had consumed, alcohol. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Michael Weber, of Mauston, and Kretschmer were on patrol on Castle Rock Flowage when the Juneau County Sheriff’s Department called for assistance on the lake involving a domestic abuse incident.
While at Mirror Lake State Park, warden Kretschmer observed a vehicle enter a closed area. Upon making contact with the vehicle operator, an odor of burned marijuana was detected, along with an underage alcohol violation. The driver and passenger were in possession of marijuana and enforcement action was taken.
District 19 — Dodgeville area
Warden Marty Stone, of Grant County, assisted the U.S. Coast Guard with security at a Mississippi River event, the Dubuque air show. Contacted dozens of boaters and arrested one intoxicated boat operator.
Warden Nick Webster, of Lafayette County, twice contacted an individual who was in possession of a large variety of snakes and reptiles. During the first contact, Webster seized a protected timber rattler. The person also had 13 other snakes, an alligator, a monitor lizard, several turtles, and a tarantula. The snakes included other venomous and constrictor snakes up to 12 feet long. The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department gave the individual 10 days to remove the remaining dangerous animals from the county and public housing unit. A week later, Webster assisted the Sauk County Sheriff’s Department and warden Amanda Kretschmer with the same individual. Sauk County seized most of the dangerous animals, according to their ordinance.
Warden Webster responded to Argyle to assist a boater who was hung up on the “dam ahead” wire upstream from the Argyle dam in flood waters. Webster put the patrol boat on the water below the dam and headed upstream toward the dam that was covered and almost indistinguishable under the water. As Webster neared the dam, fire personnel signaled they were able to get a rope to the boater and drag him along the cable to the shore.
Warden Mike Nice assisted the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and emergency government personnel due to the flooding from heavy rains throughout the county in July. Nice helped in the command center and transported equipment and the emergency government coordinator to affected areas.
Rock River Area
(Dodge, Jefferson, and Rock counties)
Warden Pearl Wallace, of Watertown, was performing routine fishing license checks on Hope Lake in the town of Lake Mills when she came upon a boat with 55 panfish aboard. The daily bag limit for panfish in that location is 25. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Ryan Ellifson, of Jefferson, attended a town of Koshkonong board meeting to provide information on ATV rules, regulations, and routes.
Warden Keith Meverden, of Beaver Dam, worked cooperative patrol with a Dodge County Sheriff’s Department deputy and arrested an intoxicated boater on Beaver Dam Lake during a fireworks show.
Wardens Boyd Richter, of Janesville, and Mitch Groenier, of Waukesha, assisted the Rock County Sheriff’s Department with a body recovery on the Rock River in Janesville. The wardens used the ROV-underwater robot and side-scan sonar to attempt to find a possible drowning victim.