Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – April 5, 2019
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked ATV, snowmobile, AIS, and angling enforcement. The Rainy River is now open west of the Frontier public access, and anglers are trying their hand at the newly regulated catch-and-release season for walleyes and sauger through April 14. Before hitting the water, anglers should check their boat registration, ensure they have required safety equipment, and that their angling license is valid with a “19” displayed.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) taught the law and ethics portion of the firearms safety class in Lancaster and collected litter from area rivers left behind by sloppy anglers. Enforcement action was taken for littering and wanton waste of game fish left buried at the scene of removed houses. Woinarowicz and CO Elwell removed an abandoned ice shelter left on the Thief River north of the 8th Street bridge. The shelter had Arctic Cat factory banners as external siding for the shelter. Assistance in identifying the owner is requested. Contact Woinarowicz or Elwell with information.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working angling activity on special-regulation lakes and monitoring the station for ATVing activity. Ice conditions have improved on area lakes, but pockets of slush can be found from time to time when the sun softens the crusty top layer of ice and slush.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette) spent the week checking anglers on both hard water and open water. Assistance was given to another officer in the region in regards to a poaching case. K9 Storm searched for rifle casings.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking anglers on local lakes. ATV complaint areas also were worked. Watercraft were readied for possible spring flooding response.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling activity on area lakes. He also worked with neighboring officers in removing abandoned fish houses. Vollbrecht responded to a medical emergency in which a person smashed his hand while moving a piece of machinery. He suffered severe damage to his hand and was transported by ambulance to a hospital.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sportfishing, spring goose hunting, and ATVing enforcement. Time also was spent monitoring flood conditions along the Buffalo River.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) attended a deer forum at Waubun High School and answered law enforcement-related questions.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the past week monitoring ice-fishing activity. Time also was spent following up on a report about a fish house left on a small slough, issuing wildlife permits, and addressing wildlife-related complaints.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports the migration of snow geese in western Minnesota is nothing less than spectacular. Even nonhunters are amazed by the numbers and have been observed taking photos. Phone calls were received in reference to snow goose-hunting regulations.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent some time this past week retrieving an abandoned portable fish house from an area lake and tracking down the owner.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) attended waterfowl training at Whitewater State Park for the majority of the past week. Goodman trained and tested on species identification, waterfowl laws, and hunter-check scenarios. Numerous calls were fielded about the light goose season.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers and ATV riders and took injured-animal-related complaints. A complaint about two deer and a trumpeter swan shined and shot in Millerville Township in Douglas County was received and investigated. Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to call Turn In Poachers at (800) 652-9093.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports a possible wetland violation was investigated.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) followed up on a restoration order violation with the county attorney. Enforcement activity included angling license violations.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking anglers and ATV operators and monitoring spring fish run activity.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) investigated a report about dogs chasing deer and responded to a fire department call about animals breaking through the ice.
CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on litter complaints. He also continued investigating blocks of wood and garbage left on the ice by anglers after they’d removed their fish houses. He also worked with neighboring COs Tim Collette and Chelsey Best, checking residences along a flooded portion of the Crow Wing River between Motley and Pillager. They rescued a couple trapped in their home by the flood water.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) responded to a call about a sick moose that turned out to be a healthy juvenile that was relatively tame.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls) worked boating and angling enforcement on the Rainy River. With only the Birchdale access open for bigger boats through the weekend, longer-than-usual traffic lines were observed of anglers launching in the morning. Zavodnik cautions boaters, especially those with the bunk-style trailers, to keep their boats hooked up when launching. The colder weather freezes the bunks, making it easy for boats to slide off and onto the cement when launching.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) reminds anglers that the Rainy River is catch-and-release only. No walleyes or sauger may be kept from the river, no matter which side you are fishing, when returning to Minnesota.
CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring angling and ATVing activity.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers and ATV riders, investigated a litter complaint, attempted to stop a suspect wanted by a probation officer, and responded to a call about eagles that locked talons and ended up in a creek. The eagles were separated and flew away.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) followed up on an incident in which the owner of a fish house cut off most of the shelter after it sunk into the slush and burned the remaining parts of it. The owner found out that that was not a good idea when he was cited for burning prohibited materials.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports the winter trout season seemed to fizzle during the final weekend.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked anglers on inland lakes. Manning also worked a detail in the Ely area with CO Velsvaag, patrolling in the BWCAW and a detail with CO Bermel in the border country up the Gunflint Trail. She also took calls regarding pollution of Lake Superior, a recent land-trespass case, and CWD in deer.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) primarily checked crappie anglers throughout the week. Some success was noted. Time also was spent checking lake trout anglers inside of and outside of the BWCAW.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) checked late-season ice-angling activity and responded to nuisance-wildlife complaints. Several people were encountered while enjoying the yearly collection of maple sap or just getting out for a walk in the woods after the long winter.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers on area lakes, handled several calls about vehicle-struck animals, and worked on equipment and ongoing cases.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored trapping activity, attended K9 training, and assisted the county with a search warrant.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) followed up on a couple of litter complaints involving animal carcasses. She also investigated a complaint about fish house debris left on a local lake.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ATVing and angling activity. Enforcement action was taken for unregistered ATVs, fish houses left out after the deadline, and not having a shelter tag on a fish house left on the ice overnight. Sutherland also attended waterfowl school in southeastern Minnesota, where he helped new COs learn about waterfowl enforcement and identification.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) worked angling, ATVing, and fish house enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for several angling license issues.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jake Willis (Brookston) spent a large portion of the week dealing with people’s litter and parts of shelters they left on the ice. Citations were issued for litter and shelters on the ice after the deadline.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) spent much of the week following up on fish house issues and litter left on area lakes. ATV complaints and trail violations were handled. Lake Superior shore anglers and river anglers were checked, as most rivers are open and flowing.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked spring forest closures and fire enforcement during the week. Time also was spent checking a few late-season ice anglers.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked the remaining ice anglers on Lake Superior at the beginning of the week and shore casters at the end of the week. U.S. Coast Guard crews made quick work of the shipping channels in the Duluth-Superior Harbor.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) checked angling activity on area lakes and attended youth firearms safety classes.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) spoke with students at Central Lakes College who are pursuing careers in natural resources. She also fielded calls about dogs chasing deer, trespassing, and questions about ATV safety classes.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) reports that a mink was relocated to a place where it was less likely to continue to eat chickens.
CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) investigated a complaint of filling public waters, dealt with several burning complaints, and responded to assist riverfront residents flooded out after an ice dam formed on the Crow Wing River.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) checked fishing activity, attended training, and responded to issues regarding dogs chasing deer and several CWD wildlife feeding-restriction violations.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked ice anglers and followed up with some lingering fish house issues. Training was attended and questions fielded regarding the open-water season on Lake Mille Lacs.
CO Ben Karon (Isle) spent most of the past week at waterfowl training in southeastern Minnesota. There have been complaints about ATVs and OHMs being operated on closed trails.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time working fishing and ATVing enforcement. Whiteoak also followed up on a wolf depredation complaint in which she investigated further to determine the cause of death of a newborn calf.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) investigated a call about an unidentifiable green slime that was dumped in a road ditch and a report about household garbage dumped along a township road. The garbage was found to have been dumped by the same person that Kuske found had dumped garbage earlier in the month.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) reports an injured-deer complaint was handled and area lakes were monitored for ice-fishing activity. Follow-up on a big-game case was conducted, and a ride-along opportunity was provided to a college student.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spent the week monitoring angling and burning activity and ATV use. A beaver trapper turned in accidentally trapped otters.
CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports checking ice anglers and completing equipment maintenance. Area creeks were checked for spring fish run activity.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports ice fishing has all but stopped on area lakes due to receding shorelines. Burning and ATVing complaints were handled. Bertram also investigated a possible wetland violation.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and ATV riders. Several animal-related complaints were handled.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) spent the week checking anglers and handling miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints. Enforcement action was taken for targeting smallmouth bass out of season, fishing with an extra line, and spearing fish during the closed season. A resource protection notification was issued to a landowner who placed horse manure in a wetland. A sandhill crane was shot illegally near Sherburne County Road 3 and State Highway 25. Please report any information on the incident to the Turn In Poachers hotline at (800) 652-9093.
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports training in advanced duck-hunting enforcement and identification techniques in southeast Minnesota..
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked angling activity on metro-area lakes. He also spent time taking care of maintenance on issued equipment.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) handled several complaints involving a nuisance coyote. Maass also investigated a complaint about a deer possibly taken out of season.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) continues to see litter left on area lakes and public lands. The CO also conducted multiple taxidermy inspections with other area officers and checked area anglers.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) conducted taxidermy inspections and did follow-up on investigations during the past week. Enforcement action was taken for failure to register deer and operating ATVs on a roadway.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent the majority of the week at the Whitewater Wildlife Management Area, completing waterfowl school. He also spent time following up on a variety of calls, including litter, questions about the upcoming turkey season, and the process for classifying lakes as public waters. The public is reminded to use extreme caution on the ice as it is rapidly deteriorating due to warm weather.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reports talking to a group of students at a firearms safety class in Marine on the St. Croix. He also issued a wildlife possession permit for a car-killed animal and fielded questions about nuisance animals.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (White Bear Lake) assisted with Enforcement Division training at Whitewater State Park involving waterfowl identification and enforcement. He also followed up on wildlife-related calls.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity at area dams. Water remains high on the rivers and ice is starting to recede and/or become weak along the shore.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent most of the week at Camp Ripley, maintaining his EMT certification. He also patrolled the area, monitoring some shore anglers. Enforcement action was taken for trespassing.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) continued with follow up with ongoing investigations. Equipment maintenance was conducted on his squad vehicle.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) spent time checking spring light goose hunters and ATV riders. Dirks also spoke at the Slayton firearms safety class about laws and ethics.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working ice fishing, ATVing, light-goose hunting, and coyote-hunting enforcement. Flooding issues continue to be monitored. Goose hunters are reminded that white-fronted geese are not allowed to be taken during the light goose season.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored ice fishing and spring light goose-hunting activity. The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance with the use of an airboat related to flooding in Montevideo. Miska utilized the airboat to transport city workers to water lift stations.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) reports large amounts of litter were removed from state wildlife management areas. The light goose season was worked, with TIP calls fielded related to the illegal harvest of speckle-belly geese, shooting at Canada geese, and driving in a WMA. Miller continues to conduct commercial inspections throughout his station.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked angling, hunting, and ATVing enforcement. There are a limited number of snow geese in the area. Gruhlke noted the Des Moines River is receding and the ice on area lakes is in various stages of decay. Some lakes have vast areas of open water.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) reports illegal carcass dumping is still being reported. Waterfowl are moving in but there is little sign of light geese in the area.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) took a call about a dead elk calf in a ditch. It was actually a goat.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent time this past week on ATV and litter enforcement, patrolling WMAs, and monitoring flooding conditions on area rivers.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked anglers this past week. An issue regarding operating an ORV in a wetland was addressed. Wiebusch monitored flooding in the area and assisted with the recovery of an individual who drove into a river.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) patrolled his station primarily for fishing activity this past week. Additional time was spent responding to public waters, burning, and litter complaints.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Phil George (Rochester) spent the week checking shore anglers and ATV operators. George also assisted with waterfowl school at Whitewater State Park and on the Mississippi River.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports time was spent monitoring flooding areas and preparing boats. Shed-hunting trespass complaints were investigated, as was feeding in a feeding ban area.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) worked at waterfowl school for the Enforcement Division’s newest COs. Time was spent instructing on waterfowl laws and enforcement techniques and providing on-the-water assistance with waterfowl identification. An ongoing investigation was worked, and more preparations were made regarding flood conditions. Some nuisance-animal calls were addressed and some complaints handled.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports the high river water has slowed fishing with only a few people fishing in nontraditional spots. He also observed people out looking for antlers and hunters preparing for the upcoming turkey season.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) spent the week at waterfowl enforcement training.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) spent most of the week attending waterfowl enforcement school at Whitewater State Park. Enforcement action was taken for feeding ban violations.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports assisting with training at waterfowl school. Hill also assisted multiple agencies in recovering the driver of a vehicle who went into the Straight River south of Owatonna.