Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 5, 2019
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River. Violations included possession of illegal-length walleyes and failure to transfer ownership of a watercraft.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked OHV, AIS, boat and water, and angling enforcement. An investigation into a deer-poaching case from last November was completed with help from the sheriff’s office.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) checked angling activity around the station and conducted angling and boat safety checks on Lake of the Woods. Enforcement action was taken for boat registration violations.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working AIS, boat and water safety, and angling activity on special-regulation lakes throughout the past week. Regas also assisted the sheriff’s office with the recovery of three anglers who were ejected from their boat. The boat then went spinning out of control on Blackduck Lake. All three anglers and their dog were rescued with no apparent injuries, but they were wet and shaken by the incident. None of the anglers were PFDs. This incident is a good reminder to wear a PFD, as you never know when something like that will occur.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) spent the majority of the past week at Camp Ripley, attending a training session. Time also was spent following up on a suspected wetland violation site.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked boating and angling activity on area lakes. Time was spent conducting follow-up interviews on ongoing cases. ATV traffic was monitored on area trails and along roads. As CO Vollbrecht began to fuel up at a local store, a vehicle that was emitting a strong smell of marijuana pulled up next to the CO. The driver was contacted and did not have a driver’s license or insurance for the vehicle. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports patrolling for fishing, boating, and AIS violations. A call was taken about a woodchuck in the caller’s yard.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) reports several complaints have come in about pet owners not cleaning up after their dogs at area public accesses. Swedberg reminds owners this is a form of littering.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) focused on boating and angling activity. Follow-up was conducted on a complaint about angler harassment.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) received calls from the public with questions about vegetation removal and complaints about personal watercraft being operated carelessly and chasing wildlife.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) followed up on water resource permits and nuisance-beaver complaints. Several bear sightings were reported.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) spent time investigating an ATV accident involving three juveniles who weren’t wearing helmets or seat belts. All involved should make full recoveries.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports cases were made for angling without licenses, littering, and illegal drug possession. Several night anglers were cited for not turning on their navigation lights more than an hour past sunset. One boat with several college-age anglers had registration that expired in 1988, which is before any of the boat’s occupants were born. A citation was issued.
CO Dan Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week included checking anglers and boaters and monitoring AIS law compliance. Additional time was spent checking ATV operators and investigating complaints about illegal burning.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) reports continued checks of anglers and ATV riders. She responded to calls about bears hit by cars, a sick fawn, and an injured bear. She also responded to an ATV rider who was stuck in a muddy area along a trail.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers, boaters, and AIS. Several injured- or nuisance animal-related calls were received regarding deer, loons, bears, geese, and eagles. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, unregistered boat, towing a person on a tube without an observer, and riding on the bow of a watercraft.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports the majority of his workload involved fishing, boating, and invasive species enforcement. Fishing and boating activity on Rainy Lake has increased significantly with the warm weather. An AIS check station was worked along Highway 33 near Saginaw with fellow officers.
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls) spent time working AIS and angling enforcement. With summer temperatures finally here, Some common violations found during the week included failure to remove plugs when transporting water-related equipment, transporting aquatic macrophytes, failure to retain a skin patch on dressed fish, and restrictions on packaging and wrapping fish.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports most of his time the previous week was spent on boating, fishing, and aquatic invasive species enforcement. An AIS detail was worked in the Saginaw area. He assisted with a reported complaint about an aggressive beaver that was attempting to keep people away from a dock near a cabin.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, ATV riders, AIS checkpoints near Saginaw and Vermilion Lake, and dealt with state park complaints including illegal dumping, illegal camping, and indecent exposure. AIS checkpoint violation rates were high at one checkpoint and nonexistent at another. Bozovsky also worked a domestic animal trespass complaint on an area state wildlife management area and assisted the Hibbing Police Department with a child abduction call that turned out to be false.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) reports a landowner contacted him to report two ATVers stuck in a swamp on a snowmobile trail. At the time of the call, Frericks was several miles away and didn’t think he had a chance of finding the ATVs. The landowner added that there were two State Patrol troopers at an intersection just down the road from his house. With assistance from the troopers, the ATV operators were located. Both were wearing chest waders and told Frericks they planned on going mudding when they left their houses. The ATV operators were cited for operating on the snowmobile trail and carelessly upsetting the ecological balance of the wetland.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) witnessed two Class 1 ATVs loaded with small kids and adult drivers cruising a forest road. She tracked them down and educated the drivers about safety and operation regulations. Manning also helped with the Great Lakes Landing Blitz, educating folks about aquatic invasive species. She also attended a county AIS task force meeting. Manning also assisted the county on a report about a young man who was thought to have fallen into the Pigeon River Gorge. It turned out he had ignored signage and climbed into a closed area around the falls and had difficulty getting back out.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports that assistance was provided, along with that of CO Velsvaag, to Lake County law enforcement regarding a call originating in the BWCAW and involving an unstable individual with a hatchet.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked a commercial netting complaint and checked anglers on Lake Superior.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and invasive species enforcement activity this past week. Anglers headed for Lake Superior to escape the hot and humid weather and catch a few trout during the weekend.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled area ATV trails, and looked for AIS violations. He investigated calls on possible violations for work in public waters, turtles, and trespass. Enforcement action was taken for possessing illegal-length northern pike.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked fishing, AIS, boating, and ATVing enforcement. He also answered wildlife-related calls and patrolled parks and campgrounds.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) assisted the county with a traffic accident. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also provided K9 demos at community events in the area.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) checked anglers throughout the area with most folks reporting success. Violations included fishing with extra lines, having an insufficient number of PFDs on board a watercraft, registration issues, and transporting a watercraft with the drain plug in.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) worked two AIS details within the district and participated in a multi-agency emergency mock aircraft incident in the Duluth Harbor. Schmidt also completed equipment maintenance and patrolled area waterways for angling activity.
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) assisted the Duluth Police Department in attempting to locate a subject who was missing under suspicious circumstances. The missing person was found safe.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time on area lakes checking anglers and conducting boating enforcement. Duncan also participated in an area work crew, concentrating on water-related equipment transporting aquatic invasive species.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with an aquatic invasive species check station in the Duluth area where several violations were encountered. A K9 training class was attended at Camp Ripley where the DNR K9 unit worked with the dogs in obedience and searching for firearms.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson reports bear-related complaints were fielded after animals were getting into garbage and bird feeders in Duluth.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. An AIS detail was worked with multiple violations found for transporting lake water and weeds.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports checking fishing and boating activity, patrolling grant-in-aid ATV trails and the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, handling miscellaneous nuisance-wildlife issues, and assisting district officers with a firearms safety program field day.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) fielded miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints including a rabid fox and loons entangled in fishing line. Enforcement action was taken at a day-use campground area where numerous alcoholic beverages were consumed and displayed illegally.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) focused on boating safety and angling enforcement. The CO contacted people who did not have personal flotation devices onboard, and one person was caught angling without a license for the third time. The person was arrested and transported to jail. A loon that had a crankbait stuck in its tongue and wing was also was reported. Sullivan responded and was able to cut the hooks and get them removed. The loon was unharmed and released.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports attending an interview school at Camp Ripley during the week. He also assisted with a District 9 firearms safety field day in the McGregor area. Time was spent patrolling the SRA for boating and fishing activity. Time also was spent checking for illegal dispersed camping in the SRA.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) responded to a call about loon harassment with personal watercraft.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked lake activity. Water recreation continues to increase along with the water temperatures. Verkuilen also spoke at a hunter education class and answered calls regarding wildlife damage.
CO Ben Karon (Isle) reports complaints are still being taken about people driving too fast and aggressively on the Soo Line and Red Top trails.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated a report of trespassing. She also assisted local law enforcement with a report of a stolen vehicle. Speldrich also followed up on wetland cases and worked ATV, AIS, and boating activity. She rescued a snapping turtle from a window well.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) took enforcement action for dogs chasing deer fawns and assisted CO Kyllo with a bear case. WMA and public lands were patrolled for illegal activities and underage gathering spots that have been left riddled with litter.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued to work with livestock owners who are struggling to keep wolves from killing newborn calves and harassing cattle.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood)reports time was spent assisting with tree cleanup on area highways and township roads after an early-morning storm Sunday.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Annette Kyllo (Pierz), with the assistance of CO Starr, investigated a TIP about a bear shot out of season. The responsible person stated his motive for shooting the bear was, “I don’t like bears.” Individuals transporting zebra mussels on a swim raft also were located and enforcement action was taken.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) reports an ATV operator was arrested after it was found his license was canceled for multiple DWI offenses.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) completed a case in which a road construction company was appropriating water from a local river without a permit. The river was a zebra mussel-infested water, which made the situation worse.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers, ATV riders, and boating activity. Calls were taken about nuisance beavers, dogs chasing deer, and bears getting into bird feeders.
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports a fishing case was worked with a neighboring officer that resulted in enforcement action for an overlimit of panfish.
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) assisted county officers with an assault case. Krauel also spent time working boat and water safety enforcement.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) reports a ride-along was giving to a person interested in becoming a CO.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked with a Division of Fish and Wildlife intern to provide a fishing regulations workshop to the Vietnamese and Karen communities.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) remains focused on boating safety, angling, and invasive species enforcement. A report about bowfishers dumping their kill back into a lake was received.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) patrolled Lake Minnetonka and prepared for upcoming July 4 celebrations on the lake. He also conducted a media interview concerning boating safety and alcohol enforcement and assisted multiple agencies with an alcohol enforcement detail.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and following up on complaints. Grewe attended a Cops and Kids fishing event in Brooklyn Park and continued training with K9 Shelby.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) assisted with a complaint about people using gas motors on a non-motorized lake.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time conducting boating and fishing enforcement throughout the area. He also responded to calls regarding nuisance wildlife and abandoned minnow traps.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week patrolling area lakes and doing AIS enforcement. He also handled several nuisance-animal complaints and did follow-up on a wetland violation.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) reports calls regarding squirrel trapping were investigated.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, state park, and ATVing enforcement. Extra time was spent working AIS at public accesses.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) spent time throughout the week checking anglers, recreational watercraft, and ATV riders. Dirks, with the assistance of regional training officer Jen Mueller, spoke to students at a Worthington Community Education class about fishing laws and regulations and fire
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked boating and angling activity. He continued to follow up on AIS violations turned in by AIS inspectors and spoke with anglers about AIS at area lake accesses
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding sick and injured animals, requests for permits, and questions about fishing regulations. He primarily worked angling, boating, and aquatic invasive species activities.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) fielded numerous nuisance-wildlife calls during the past week.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) took information and followed up on illegal dumping at a public access and also took information concerning illegal personal watercraft operation.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) checked anglers in the Albert Lea area. He also assisted Forestville State Park staff in looking for a horse missing from a campground, but they were unable to locate it.
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports that time was spent checking boaters and anglers on local lakes. Lusignan also attended an informative K9 meeting at Camp Ripley.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and PWC operators. Additional time was spent monitoring AIS compliance at area public water accesses.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) assisted the Owatonna Police Department with a personal-injury crash between a car and motorcycle.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) assisted with a federal investigation. Time also was spent patrolling during a bowfishing tournament on pools 3-9 of the Mississippi River.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) reports assistance was also given to an area resident who discovered a fox snake in his garage. The snake was removed from the garage and released.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports assisting with flooding issues on the Zumbro River. Assistance was provided with the airboat for three people whose cars were found submerged in the Zumbro River. Everyone was located safe.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a busy week on the river with a national bowfishing contest in the area. Hemker also checked a person who was fishing. The man gave the CO false information about himself. The man said he did it not because he didn’t have a fishing license, but because he had active warrants. He also possessed marijuana.