Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 13, 2018

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked boaters and anglers on Lake Bronson and Lake of the Woods. Minor boating and fishing violations were found. A complaint about ATVers on a wildlife management area was handled.

CO Nicholas Prachar (Baudette) reports slow angling success on Lake of the Woods. Time was spent working angling activity and boat and water safety. Prachar worked with other COs from the area to monitor ATVing activity in the Beltrami Island State Forest.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working ATVing, boating safety and angling activity on special-regulation lakes throughout the week. Time also was spent handling reports about nuisance beavers causing flooding.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports contacting anglers and watercraft operators throughout the week. Time also was spent issuing special beaver-take permits, working on public waters violations, and responding to a trespassing-related complaint.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored boating and angling activity on area lakes. He also worked boating activity on the Cass Lake chain with CO Mathy. When the COs were stopping a pontoon for too many passengers, the pontoon did a nose dive as the operator shifted into neutral. Parts of the pontoon up to the driver’s seat went under water. The officers safely transported several passengers to shore and picked up personal effects that were floating around on the lake. The operator was cited for several violations. Vollbrecht worked with the county on a wetland violation and worked Lake Bemidji during the fireworks display. 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports a busy Independence Day week with good weather and lots of people enjoying the lakes. Vinton received two separate complaints that dealt with swimming at public accesses. Several boaters were contacted for displaying current Minnesota registration decals but with numbers from other states. Enforcement action was taken.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sportfishing, boating, and water safety, AIS, and ATV enforcement. Miscellaneous wildlife-related calls were handled. 

CO Kyle Quittschreiber (Detroit Lakes) reports a busy Fourth of July in lakes country. Time was spent checking anglers and boaters as well as doing ATV and AIS enforcement. 

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week monitoring AIS, boat and water safety, angling, and aquatic vegetation violations. Landmark focused most of his time on boat and water safety during a busy Fourth of July week, and overall compliance was high. The officer patrolled the Rock the Dock event on Lida Lake and assisted Otter Tail water patrol during the fireworks over Pelican Lake. 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent the week working boating and fishing, along with AIS enforcement. ATV activity was monitored.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) worked the Fourth of July holiday by checking boaters, anglers, and ATV riders. Several instances of people clearing aquatic plants without permits were observed. Anytime aquatic plant removal is done mechanically, a permit from the DNR is required.

CO Brian Holt (Osakis) worked boat and water safety, ATVers, and angling during the week. Time also was spent working during the busy Fourth of July holiday. Complaints were received regarding public waters and wetlands.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports boating and fishing activity was high this past week due to warm weather, the July 4 holiday, and Heritage Days in Starbuck. 

District 4 – Walker area

CO Randy Posner (Staples) reports spending most of his time this week on boat and water safety enforcement. Violations he observed were not enough life-saving devices, expired registration, and no lights after sunset. The CO also worked with Cass County Deputy Travis Collette and CO Tim Collette on Gull Lake on the busy Fourth of July holiday. Enforcement time also was spent on ATV complaints near Wilderness Park and Leader. 

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked recreational vehicle use during the busy Fourth of July week. Parents allowing juvenile children to operate ATVs illegally was routinely seen. An aquatic plant management case was completed, with enforcement action taken for using a chemical without a permit. Mathy also responded to a complaint about angler harassment and filling a narrow waterway with rocks to prevent access to an area lake. Enforcement action was taken for careless operation of a boat, an insufficient number of PFDs, an over-capacity watercraft, angling without a license, and ATV violations.

CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring fishing, boating, AIS, and ATV activity. Anglers reported limited success. Boating activity remained high through the Fourth of July week. ATV complaints continue to be reported. Broughten investigated a complaint about a homeowner chasing geese with a boat. Broughten also assisted the State Patrol with a road-rage incident that resulted in two-vehicle crash.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports fishing, boating, and invasive species compliance checks continue to be the main priorities. The activity on the Fourth of July was minimal as storms kept most people off Rainy Lake. Kittelson also worked a boat and water safety detail on Lake Vermilion with fellow officers. 

CO John Slatinski (Ray) fielded questions regarding a closed section of a multi-use trail near Big Falls. He received several calls from people with questions about transporting fish over the water in comparison to in a motor vehicle on the highway. He also answered questions in regards to size and limit restrictions on various water bodies in the area. 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports numerous storms and high winds have diminished outdoor activities. Fishing overall remains poor. Public access sites were monitored. 

CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers this past week on Lake Vermilion. PWC users were causing some problems. Velsvaag also followed up on some violations of working below the ordinary high-water mark without a permit.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) assisted the sheriff’s office with a man trying to get into an occupied home. The suspect was arrested and put in cuffs and then tried to run away. After a short run, he was apprehended. 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) investigated an ATV rollover accident in which the driver broke a hip. CO Bozovsky also investigated a truck load of illegally dumped garbage, issued two public waters resource protection notifications, and dealt with calls about injured eagles and deer fawns. Bozovsky dealt with two bison that were on the loose after escaping from their fence and wandering off. Assistance was provided to CO Hanson with an ATV fleeing incident. 

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at an advanced hunter and bowhunter education class at the Laurentian Environmental Learning Center. A trespass call was investigated and closed with a citation being issued for the violation.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) stopped an individual for driving into oncoming traffic while she was texting. He also dealt with a dead loon that had fishing line wrapped around its beak so that it couldn’t eat, and retrieved a gill net that had some rotten fish from Devil Track Lake.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked a boat and water detail with area officers on Lake Vermilion. Manning also worked a damp Fourth of July holiday, checking anglers and boaters on inland lakes. Calls were taken about nuisance beavers, nuisance bears, orphaned rabbits, and possession of birds of prey.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked boating and angling activity throughout the week. Time was spent checking ATV riders and patrolling the BWCAW. Enforcement action was taken for boating, angling, unattended fires, and storing equipment on state property.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled area ATV trails, and handled several wildlife-related calls. He also investigated several complaints regarding removing aquatic vegetation and another about illegal ATV operation.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked ATVing activity, fishing, boating, AIS, and state forest campgrounds. He also assisted the county with various calls. 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked a boat and water detail on Lake Mille Lacs, and responded to a boating accident. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si responded to a call about a missing 3-year-old boy with a history of seizures. Si tracked the boy from the youth’s driveway, across a county road, and down another dirt road about a mile, where the boy was located. Fairbanks and Si also assisted in locating a suspect who fled on foot after an ATV pursuit. Si tracked the suspect back to his campsite, where he was arrested. Si also located drug paraphernalia that was thrown by the suspect.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) monitored angling, boating, and ATV enforcement throughout the surrounding areas. Van Asch also assisted the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office with the search for a missing person. The individual was located, and medical attention was provided. 

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week working from a watercraft. Time also was spent working in the Duluth harbor during Duluth’s Fourth Fest concerts. Many contacts were made for invasive species education throughout the week. 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) reports a wolf/livestock depredation was reported and confirmed in the Cromwell area. Humphrey and CO Mike Scott worked a security detail on the water in the Duluth harbor during a concert event held at Bayfront Park. Heavy boating activity was observed during boat and water patrols on area lakes.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports more bear-related complaints were handled during the past week. Assistance was given regarding an impaired driver complaint in the city of Cloquet. 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent a busy week on the waters of Lake Superior and the Duluth-Superior harbor with Fourth Fest and numerous bands at Bayfront Park. There were large crowds and heavy boating traffic.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. Wild rice stands are starting to develop, and inland water levels remain plenty high. 

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports working fishermen and boaters throughout the holiday week. Fitzgerald also assisted local agencies with several calls for service. Time was spent patrolling the recreation area for park violations. Many outdoor law-related questions were answered throughout the week and weekend. Time was spent patrolling for ATV activity, and Fitzgerald assisted at the CO Academy during the wetlands and AIS week. Assistance was given to a neighboring officer in patrolling for illegal weed rollers and hydro jets.  

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled area lakes for boating and sportfishing violations. A report of illegal personal watercraft operation too close to swimmers and docks was received. PWC operators are reminded to stay 150 feet away when traveling at greater than slow/no-wake speed. 

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked boating safety on area lakes during the Fourth of July holiday. Violations observed included minor consumption of alcohol, no personal flotation devices, no navigation lights, and careless operation. 

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports a busy Fourth of July week with high activity on area lakes and rivers, which were patrolled for boating, fishing, and aquatic vegetation removal activities.  

CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) reports assistance was given in searching for a couple of PWC riders who fell off their machine and had it blow away from them in the wind.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked holiday activities such as ATV riding, angling, and a lot of water-related recreation. Water levels are up, which made for easier navigation on the Rum River. 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) reports several watercraft violations were encountered, including insufficient PFDs and failing to display current registration. Speldrich also investigated a wolf-depredation call and confirmed wolves likely killed a calf.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent a majority of the week patrolling area lakes during the Fourth of July. Quite a few boaters were found without enough life jackets, and a few anglers were found fishing without licenses. While the CO patrolled past a group of anglers fishing from a pontoon, an adult was seen dropping her fishing rod and hustling to the opposite side of the pontoon in hopes of not getting caught fishing without a license. Grundmeier also continued to work with farmers who had calves killed by wolves.

CO Eugene Wynn (Pine City) assisted the Pine County Sheriff’s Office with a search and rescue operation and spent time monitoring ATV complaint areas. 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week checking anglers and monitoring boating activity. Assistance was provided to CO Rezac with the St. Cloud fireworks show. A pontoon that was vastly overloaded was stopped on an area lake. The pontoons were completely underwater, and it was found to be rated for 12 passengers. A count revealed 16 passengers, one of whom was riding on the front deck. 

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports several calls were handled. Topics included injured animals, storing property at a public access, and a city resident burning a mattress in his front yard. 

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) worked the busy holiday week, checking boaters and anglers on Wright County lakes. Assistance was given at the fireworks display in Annandale on the Fourth of July. 

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for sportfishing and boat and water safety. Additional efforts were spent following up on wildlife complaints involving cliff swallows and baby ducklings. Enforcement action was taken for various boating safety violations. Protected slot violations for both pike and smallmouth bass also were encountered.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) spent nearly all of the past week patrolling west metro lakes for boating safety enforcement. Assistance was given to the Carver County Sheriff’s Office in locating a shoplifting suspect who fled on foot into nearby woods.  

CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) focused on boat and water safety during the Fourth of July holiday. Many contacts were made with boat operators. Two homeowners were found to be using hydro jets, causing damage to lake bottom.

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled for angling, boating, and AIS activities. He participated in a work detail on Lake Minnetonka during the Fourth of July holiday that focused on boating safety enforcement. He took enforcement action for no vehicle permit while in a state park, no angling license, angling with extra lines, no angling license in possession, no fire extinguisher on a watercraft, illegal operation of a PWC, underage consumption of alcohol, failure to display valid boat registration, and an unregistered kayak.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) took a call in Edina regarding an aggressive hawk that attacked an individual. Lee also talked to an Asian youth firearms safety class in St. Paul and participated in a field day in Afton. 

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent a busy holiday week monitoring boating activity around Dakota County. He also spent time following up on shoreline violations as well as assisting the county with calls. 

CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) worked on area lakes and rivers throughout the week. Angling activity remained slow with the warmer weather and high water. The St. Croix River is still under no-wake restrictions. 

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working around flooded areas in Murray County. The Murray County sheriff and his deputies, dispatchers, and staff should be commended for their rapid and efficient response to heavy rains that flooded Murray County. No-wake ordinances are posted for several area lakes.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored angling, boating, and OHVing activity. 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working a flood event that occurred in the area and dealing with the after-effects of flood waters. Assistance was given to local law enforcement and emergency departments. Up to 10 inches of rain fell in Lyon and Murray counties in only a few hours. Extra time was also spent working inside Camden State Park, through which the flooded Redwood River travels. 

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent time working boating safety and angling enforcement. CO Klehr had a ride-along for one day during the week.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) assisted with a missing person search and recovery. He also gave a laws and ethics presentation at a youth firearms safety range and field day class. 

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) worked boating, angling, and AIS enforcement. An AIS check station was performed with other officers and AIS inspectors in Fairmont. Numerous AIS violations were encountered, and enforcement action was taken. 

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) reports checking anglers and boaters during the week. Henke also assisted local agencies with calls and returned calls from the public. AIS enforcement was conducted at access sites.

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, PWCers, and ATV operators. In addition, Ihnen patrolled the area for AIS violations. Time also was spent responding to a number of TIP calls regarding angling and boating activity. 

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports the Mississippi River continues to be high and fast. He observed a person leave several articles of trash on the river bank. Upon contact, the person told Hemker there needs to be signs and trash cans along the river. He checked a person fishing on the river with a boat with expired registration. The boat operator said he only uses the boat for duck hunting so he did not need to display registration.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports time was spent checking anglers along trout streams. One citation was issued for an illegal trout possessed on a special-regulation stream. While checking one angler, Boyum found him to be in possession of methamphetamines. The subject was arrested.

CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) reports a call was received regarding a young raccoon that had boarded a watercraft that was docked at a marina and that the raccoon was making himself at home and taking a nap on the deck of the boat. The raccoon was successfully removed from the boat and was placed in a cage for transport elsewhere. 

CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports handling multiple serious ATV violations. One party was arrested for operating an ATV within the road right of way after it was found that their driver’s license was canceled inimical to public safety. Another operator was arrested and is being charged with felony controlled substance possession after Hill located a suspected methamphetamine pipe in his possession. 

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