Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 28, 2019
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on the Roseau River, Red Lake River, and Lake of the Woods. EVOC training was attended at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, angling with extra lines, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and failure to transfer ownership of a watercraft.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) worked boat and water safety, angling enforcement, and ATVing enforcement this past week. Elwell also fielded a number of calls about nuisance bears, one of which was a young bear in the city of Thief River Falls. The bear was behaving itself as it traveled through town and there were no reports of bird feeder damage, trash-can pillaging, or stolen picnic baskets.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working AIS, boating, and angling activity on special-regulation lakes throughout the past week. An ongoing trapping case was completed, and enforcement action was taken for trap-tending violations and failure to remove traps after the close of trapping seasons.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette) focused on angling and ATVing activity and enforcement. Follow-up was completed on an overlimit of walleyes coming in from Ontario.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked boating and angling activity on area lakes. He investigated a complaint with CO Regas regarding individuals taking snapping turtles out of season and throwing them into a fire. The investigation revealed numerous other violations. Several individuals will be receiving citations.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) responded to a call for assistance from the Becker County Sheriff’s Office about a missing 2-year-old. The child was found under a bed. The CO also assisted the Detroit Lakes Police Department with an accident involving an injured child.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week working fishing, leech trapping, and boating enforcement. Time this past week also was spent working nuisance beaver, bear, and goose complaints.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) attended fraud investigation training.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) reports follow-up on a complaint about a paddleboat left in an aquatic management area was completed. A complaint about leeching on waterfowl production areas was received and worked on with tribal conservation officers. Warren also assisted a local resort with angling license sale issues and regulation questions. Warren also assisted Becker County with a call about a possible intoxicated driver.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) reports calls from the public included requests for possession permits and reports of “abandoned baby animals.” Landmark would like to remind people that young animals often are not abandoned.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports questions were answered regarding nuisance geese around lakeshore property.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) focused enforcement efforts on invasive species through the week and assisted at the CO Academy with “scenario day.” Plautz finalized a complaint in which a muskie was shot by two bowfishers; charges are pending. Plautz also responded to a TIP call regarding a lakeshore owner who was irritated with a group of Canada geese so he shot one with a 12-gauge shotgun. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) reports complaints were received regarding car-killed deer and possible aquatic plant management violations. Time also was spent on TIP complaints and assisting a neighboring officer with an ATV accident.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) reports continued checks of anglers and ATV riders. She investigated a goose taken out of season and assisted DNR Wildlife in catching three bear cubs that were brought to a wildlife rehab facility after the sow was killed by a car.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports a busy summer week in the area. Several anglers, boaters, and ATV riders were checked in the area. Separate complaints about cattail removal and illegal-length walleyes were investigated that led to enforcement action taken in both incidents. Mathy also attended emergency vehicle operations training at Camp Ripley.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports the first part of last week was spent instructing fellow officers in emergency vehicle operations and response at Camp Ripley. Animal-related complaints and ATV operation complaints were handled throughout the week as well. The week ended with conducting a game and fish check at the International Falls U.S. Customs Port of Entry.
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls) spent time working ATV and angling enforcement during the week. A few violations found during the week included possessing fish unlawfully taken or possessed in Canada, failure to drain a livewell, bilges, etc., failure to complete an independent study before continuing to operate an ATV, and a parent/guardian allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a minor.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports a landowner was contacted when open fires were noted on his property in the middle of the day. It was found he did not have a permit and the fires were extinguished. Along with a neighboring officer, CO Slatinski assisted in locating a canoe on the Littlefork River that had been reported by another paddler. The canoe was lodged against a rock in the middle of the river and was full of water. The reporting party also had found camping gear floating farther downstream several days prior to getting off the river. The canoe was located, and the owner was identified. The owner said everyone was accounted for and nobody was injured.
CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring angling, boating, and ATVing activity. He also worked compliance with AIS laws, assisted local law enforcement with a welfare check on a Lake Vermilion island, and attended training at Camp Ripley.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a firearms safety and bowhunter education class at the Laurentian Learning Center in Britt.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) spent the week performing commercial inspections of local bait dealers and retailers. He also focused on aquatic invasive enforcement and found a high level of compliance.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked boaters and anglers this past week. He also conducted AIS work and a special boat and water project. Velsvaag took multiple nuisance-animal calls and questions about the northern pike regulations
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) contacted numerous ATV operators. One couple had gotten turned around. They had a map but they had no idea where they were and had not stopped at the previous intersection to check the street sign. Manning also assisted Cook County in searching for a person during a welfare check, and took a complaint about foxes killing chickens.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked angling, boating, and AIS enforcement throughout the week. A stripped-out boat was dumped at the One Pine access with all identifying information painted over or removed. Bermel was able to scrape paint away from the registration number and track down the owner of the boat. The owner removed it, and a litter citation was issued.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV and boating activity during the week. Murray also completed commercial inspections and attended a training session at Camp Ripley.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, instructed EVOC, monitored OHV activity, and investigated a fire. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also attended the USPCA Region 12 PD1 K9 trials and assisted the county in locating stolen firearms.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, boating, AIS, and ATVing enforcement. Nuisance-bear complaints remain a constant in the area. The public is reminded to remove all food sources (bird feeders, for example) in the area to prevent further bear complaints.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) continued to focus on ATVing and fishing enforcement. Time also was spent working with the Itasca County Sheriff’s Department, putting on a boating safety course for youth students on Pokegama Lake. Enforcement action was taken for various ATVing, ORVing, and fishing violations.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) responded to a fire on an ATV bridge near Meadowlands. The cause is still under investigation.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work fishing and boating enforcement around the Duluth area. Time also was spent checking accesses and talking with people about invasive species, including livewell water, weeds on trailers, and removal of drain plugs. Duncan also followed up on a wetland violation that required paperwork to be served to a landowner.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended annual K9 certification trials in Lino Lakes where K9 Schody got certified for another year of patrol work.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) fielded complaints about bears wreaking havoc within the city of Duluth. Please keep trash cans in until pickup day and remember that bird feeders also are bear feeders.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) prepared materials for a boating safety class. Trollers were checked on Lake Superior, and charter record issues were followed up on. A report of dogs killing a young deer turned out to be dogs scavenging on roadkill.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, and invasive species activity. A law presentation was given at a Minnesota Deer Hunters Association Forkhorn camp. Lakeshore properties were also monitored for lakebed and aquatic vegetation removal.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sport fishing and boat and water safety enforcement this past week. A call was received and investigated regarding a loon and her chicks nearly being run over by a watercraft on an area lake.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) received a complaint about somebody illegally shooting and killing a great blue heron while it stood in the caller’s driveway. The complaint was investigated. Numerous enforcement contacts were made for violations including tampering with a beaver dam without a permit and miscellaneous boating equipment and fishing license issues.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) patrolled the Mississippi River with a neighboring officer and checked quite a few anglers. Time also was spent working AIS enforcement during the weekend. Assistance was given to the Minnesota State Patrol on several calls for service. Enforcement action was taken for various fishing violations.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) worked fishing, boating, invasive species, and ATVing enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, expired boat registration, failing to transfer watercraft ownership, boating without legal life jackets, failure to remove a drain plug while transporting watercraft, transporting watercraft with aquatic plants attached, and operating an ATV without lights. Whiteoak also followed up regarding a nuisance bear that was shot without the shooter notifying a conservation officer afterward. The subject also trespassed to dump the bear onto another person’s property.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked AIS enforcement throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for failing to remove a drain plug. Speldrich also issued a cease and desist order for a wetland violation.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) worked with ranchers who continued to struggle with wolves harassing livestock and killing calves. Reports of hungry black bears on porches and decks also kept homeowners on their toes and making sure garbage and bird feeders were locked up and put out of reach. A couple of the reports involved bears hanging out near graduation parties, likely checking out the smells of outdoor cooking and extra garbage.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Annette Kyllo (Pierz) contacted an individual who is kayaking down the Mississippi River from Itasca State Park. The person started three weeks ago.
CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports investigating a fish overlimit complaint, checking ATV operators, and checking boaters and anglers on area lakes.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports handling a number of odd calls last week. Examples include a reported cougar sighting that was actually a fisher, a person in possession of a fawn deer, and an angler who became upset while watching a pelican eat fish near his dock. He decided to shoot the pelican.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking anglers and boaters. AIS prevention was also was completed. The most common violation this past week was not having enough life jackets for the number of people on board a boat.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) responded to several wildlife-related calls this past week involving a deer doe being protective of her fawn and kicking a dog that got too close and a hen mallard that had a nest in a flower planter in a busy mall parking lot.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) focused enforcement efforts on anglers and boaters. More drift-boats were observed as Mississippi River levels continue to drop.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent time this past week monitoring anglers and AIS compliance and training with K9 Shelby. Grewe also spoke at a water safety fair and attended a fishing clinic for kids.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked shore anglers and patrolled the Gateway State Trail. He attended EVOC training at Camp Ripley and handled a nuisance-animal complaint in Minneapolis.
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) reports spending time working an AIS detail. Time also was spent following up on a call about an injured deer near a local cemetery.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused activity on boat and water safety and angling enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for license and registration violations and angling with multiple lines.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) patrolled for illegal ATVing activity within a local AMA and monitored fishing activity at local lakes. He also responded to calls regarding illegal netting, damage to property, and nuisance beavers. Thomas also arrested an individual found to have a felony drug warrant.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (White Bear Lake) spent time working angling and recreational enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for transporting prohibited invasive species without a permit, angling without a license, allowing a minor to violate fish and game laws, and the use of game fish for bait. Gutzwiller issued a cease and desist order involving a wetland violation. Time was spent assisting with a safety camp for youth held in Fridley.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring anglers in the area. He also spent time at Camp Ripley instructing emergency vehicle operations. Enforcement action for the week was taken for fishing violations.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) spent time during the week checking anglers and recreational watercraft users and attending training for emergency vehicle operation at Camp Ripley.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, AIS, and ATVing enforcement. ATV enforcement continues to be focused on illegal road operation and the ag zone ditch restrictions.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored AIS, angling, boating, and OHVing activity during the week.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on wetland and animal-related complaints.
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked boating and angling activity. He also assisted with scenarios at Camp Ripley for the CO Academy and followed up on a wetland complaint.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the majority of the week at Camp Ripley, training officers on emergency vehicle operations. Other time was spent at an ATV safety class and following up on reports of dogs chasing deer.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) assisted sheriff’s deputies in attempting to locate possible burglary suspects.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) worked a TIP event in the north metro and attended training at Camp Ripley during the past week.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) continued to center activity on boat and water safety, AIS, and motor vehicle enforcement. Gruhlke and CO Eric Schettler worked an AIS detail in Jackson County and noted high compliance.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent much of the week enforcing laws related to angling, boating, and aquatic invasive species. An AIS “saturation detail” was conducted in the Le Sueur/Blue Earth county lakes area with neighboring officers. In general, compliance was high, except related to bait containers coming in from off the lake. Anglers are reminded that the law requires all water to be drained from portable bait containers before leaving a water access or riparian property, including bait containers that haven’t been placed in lake or river water. Numerous anglers were educated on the law, preventing them from inadvertently violating it when leaving the public water access. The week was capped off by participating in “Casting with Cops,” an excellent youth angling program in St. Peter.
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) is investigating a case of cutting aquatic plants and not removing them from a lake.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked anglers and boaters this past week. AIS activity was monitored at public access points. He also traveled to Camp Ripley and assisted with CO Academy training.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) spent time checking anglers on pools 7, 8, and 9 of the Mississippi River and the Root River.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) followed up on taxidermist and fishing investigations. He also found a person who was fishing without a license and smoking marijuana to have an arrest warrant.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) spent the week checking anglers. Enforcement action was taken for no OHM registration, bass and crappies overlimits, and no angling license.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin this past week. Measuring fish and transporting them without skin patch-issues were addressed again this week.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports heavy rain and high water have slowed or stopped most activities on area streams and rivers. Time was spent patrolling ATV trails, complaint areas, and teaching at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley.