Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 12, 2019
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on the Roseau River and Lake of the Woods. ATV activity was monitored in the Beltrami Island State Forest during the Fourth of July holiday. Enforcement action was taken for operating an off-highway motorcycle on city streets, minor in possession of alcohol while driving, transporting fish with no patch of skin, and possessing an overlimit of walleyes.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) worked the Independence Day weekend in the Beltrami Island State Forest and on Lake of the Woods. Anglers are encouraged to have a reliable and accurate measuring device while fishing waters with length restrictions. One group encountered was in possession of three illegal-length fish. When their measuring device was checked, it was off by 1 inch.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) happened to be launching at the Blackduck Lake access when he received word of a boat fire on Blackduck Lake. He was the first to arrive on the scene as the occupants of the burning boat had taken to the water and crawled to safety on nearby swimming rafts. The boat was ablaze from the driver’s seat to the outboard motor. Regas backed his patrol boat up to the burning craft, raised the outboard motor to the surface of the water, and extinguished the fire with spray from the prop wash. Nearby boaters assisted by tossing buckets of water on the boat once the majority of the fire was extinguished. The suspected cause of the fire is a fuel leak that was ignited when the motor backfired upon starting. None of the occupants of the boat were injured. Regas towed the burned boat, and nearby boaters assisted the occupants back to the access.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked a busy Fourth of July holiday and weekend. He worked Operation Dry Water and made numerous stops for watercraft violations. One individual was arrested for boating under the influence. Vollbrecht also responded to a complaint about a dog caught in a foot-hold trap. The dog was safely removed by the owner and was not harmed.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports patrolling for complaints about ATVers riding in the ag zone ditches of state highways and for angling and boating activity on local lakes. Vinton attended the funeral of a White Earth tribal conservation officer who was killed off-duty in a motorcycle accident out of state.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week monitoring angling, ATV, AIS, and boat and water safety activity in the Pelican Rapids station. Nice weather during the week led to a high number of boaters on the water enjoying their Fourth of July weekend. Calls from the public included reports about possible wetland violations and illegal use of chemicals in the water. Several lakeshore owners who were removing vegetation were contacted. Landmark would like to remind everyone that permits are required for emergent vegetation removal and for mechanical removal by devices such as weed rollers. Assistance was given to the State Patrol and local agencies on a variety of calls including driving complaints and reports of missing people and possible drownings. Assistance was also provided to Otter Tail County regarding a wake skier who beached his watercraft during a stop and fled on foot.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) and CO Richards responded to a TIP call in which citations were issued for an illegal-length walleye and fishing with extra lines. Plautz finalized a complaint regarding juveniles who were destroying the rip rap at a public access.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports assistance was given to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office at the Evansville Street Dance for fights between some attendees.
CO Dan Baumbarger (Glenwood) spent time checking ATV and OHM operators and investigating a complaint about people shooting at geese from a motor vehicle.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) responded to an accident involving a car that hit a deer, which then struck a bicyclist. The CO also responded to a watercraft accident and a motorcycle-related accident. She investigated a wetland complaint and took calls about nuisance beavers.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls) had a busy week working boat and water safety enforcement for Canada’s national holiday, Canada Day, and working with local law enforcement on the Fourth of July.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports a complaint about ATV use in a state campground was addressed. Assistance was given to St. Louis County and first responders with a medical emergency that began on an island in Kabetogama Lake.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent much of the week on Lake Vermilion. A number of boaters were stopped for loud exhaust, which continues to be a common complaint on the lake. There were a number of complaints regarding personal watercraft issues, which prompted Hopkins to focus patrol on PWC enforcement.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked a complaint about intoxicated individuals in the state park. Two extremely intoxicated individuals were cited for alcohol in the park, including one 18-year-old. Arrangements for transportation were made for their safety.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) received information from area lakeshore owners about three dead loons that have shown up on an Eveleth-area lake. The loons were collected and will be turned over to be examined.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) assisted St. Louis County and Lake County Search and Rescue for several days in the BWCAW, searching for a camper who had walked away from his group. During the second day of searching, it was discovered that the missing person had intentionally left his group to attempt to walk through the 1.1 million-acre Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario. Rescue efforts were called off after no sign was found. A Canadian search plane was able to locate him after three days of being missing, and he was brought to American authorities in International Falls.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) encountered an 8-year-old who was refusing to wear a PFD as required by law. He offered the kid a ride back to the boy’s campsite and an end to the day’s boating activities. The kid promptly put on his PFD while the kid’s Grandma smirked.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a busy Fourth of July. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license in possession, an overlimit of crappies, and failing to have a throwable life preserver on board a watercraft.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) focused efforts on ATVing and boating activity throughout the busy holiday week. Many local lakeshore owners expressed concerns about shoreline erosion with high water levels and increased boating traffic. Enforcement action was taken for both ATV and boat registration issues, fishing without a license, not having enough PFDs on board, and illegal-length fish.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) worked area lakes and rivers for anglers and boating activity. Complaints about nuisance bears were handled, as were a few calls about wolves that are hanging around populated rural neighborhoods.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) reports time was spent working the Duluth Harbor in the evenings during the Fourth Fest celebration. Several nights included concerts on the Bayfront. Time was spent working from watercraft for two different fireworks celebrations. A few minor complaints were handled involving PWCs.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked boating and off-highway vehicle activity this past holiday week. One boat that was checked had three anglers in it. All three lied about having fishing licenses. Two of the three bought licenses online within 20 minutes after they were checked, and the third was unable to try to purchase one because he was already suspended for fishing without a license from last year. All three were cited.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reports Operation Dry Water was worked in the Duluth-Superior Harbor during Fourth Fest and the five consecutive days of concerts at Bayfront Park. Olson assisted CO Murray with a case of steelhead taken illegally in the Two Harbors area of Lake Superior. He also worked an Operation Dry Water detail on the St. Croix River on Saturday.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers on Lake Superior, Lake Minnetonka, and the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers. One PWC operator out over an hour before legal time also forgot to bring a life jacket. Another chose to consume far too many drinks before taking a friend for a ride.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) investigated complaints about ATVers causing damage to property and operating in a careless/reckless manner, a major illegal shoreline alteration incident, illegal removal of emergent aquatic vegetation, illegal feeding of wildlife, and the discovery of zebra mussels in an area lake that was not previously designated as infested.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports assisting at the CO Academy with firearms training during the week. He also spent time patrolling the mine lakes and surrounding lakes for fishing and boating activity during the holiday weekend.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked boating enforcement and safety, invasive species, and miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints this past week. Enforcement contacts included an evening impaired watercraft operator arrest. The intoxicated boater was arrested after operating through heavy watercraft traffic immediately following the Crosslake fireworks display, without a navigation light displayed. The operator indicated that he had misplaced the navigation light and decided to chance it.
CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) spent the busy Fourth of July week monitoring recreational boaters on area lakes. Enforcement activity included expired boat registrations, lack of life jackets, allowing riders on boat sides or transoms, camping at a public boat access, after-hours operation of personal watercrafts, PWCs being operated within 150 feet of swimmers and boats, and careless operation of a PWC where the operator flipped the machine and threw off his passenger in the process. The passenger wasn’t wearing a life jacket.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked boating safety and ATV enforcement this past week. Several contacts were made with people who did not have life jackets.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Ben Karon (Isle) reports a busy week with Fourth of July activities. Many hours were spent on area lakes, checking anglers and boaters.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) worked the Fourth of July holiday weekend. In addition to finding a handful of boating and safety equipment violations, several anglers were found fishing without licenses. One of those caught without a license tried hiding his fishing pole. Another claimed to have left the license at home and then, as soon as Grundmeier left the area, attempted to rush to the nearest gas station to purchase one.
CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area forest roads and checked anglers. Complaints about ATV and PWC issues were investigated, as was a problem bear. There have been lots of inquiries about the big muskie from Lake Mille Lacs, so hopefully the article in Outdoor News will answer all the questions.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Annette Kyllo (Pierz) assisted CO Kampa and the Annandale Police Department with maintaining a safety perimeter during a fireworks display. Many boat and water safety checks were performed, and enforcement action was taken for failing to have proper safety equipment on board and for underage alcohol consumption.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) reports a complaint about a lakeshore owner chasing geese with a pontoon was investigated, with enforcement action taken.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling and boating activity this past week. He gave a ride-along to a student interested in a career in law enforcement and assisted the State Patrol with a DWI arrest.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) had a car cross the highway in front of him with no headlights on in the middle of the night. The stop resulted in a DWI.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked anglers, boaters, and ATVing activity in the Wright County area. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, angling with extra lines, no PFD onboard watercraft, and watercraft registration violations.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) focused enforcement efforts on boaters and anglers. Additional efforts were spent assisting the State Patrol and addressing miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints. Seamans also assisted a local agency with a search and rescue.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) spent the first part of the week teaching at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. Operation Dry Water was worked on local lakes with enforcement action taken for numerous boating violations. Birdsall and CO Le responded on foot to a residential structure fire after seeing the blaze from the lake.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked with a Fish and Wildlife Division intern to create a PowerPoint presentation on fishing regulations for the Southeast Asian communities. He also provided a ride-along to a Division intern who is assigned to District 14.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) worked boating enforcement on Lake Minnetonka. Multiple arrests were made on the lake for boating while intoxicated.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) worked area lakes and rivers during the busy holiday weekend for Operation Dry Water. Time also was spent handling several nuisance animal-related complaints.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time conducting boating and fishing patrols on local lakes and rivers. Time was also spent responding to multiple TIP calls and assisting local agencies on multiple medical emergencies due to the hot weather.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) patrolled the St. Croix River on the Fourth of July. Enforcement action was taken for failing to transfer a watercraft title, failing to display valid registration on a watercraft, and angling without a license in possession.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week patrolling the St. Croix River and area lakes. He also did AIS enforcement and fielded questions regarding watercraft operation. Violations for the week included felony fleeing on an OHM, careless operation, possession of a controlled substance, expired registration, fishing without a license, and no-wake violations.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored AIS, angling, boating, and OHV activity during the week. A boating enforcement detail was worked on Lake Minnewaska with CO Baumbarger. Assistance was given with Honor Guard duties at the funeral of North Memorial flight nurse Deb Schott, who passed away in the line of duty.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) spent time throughout the week at Camp Ripley instructing for the CO Academy. Area lakes were busy with recreational watercraft for the Fourth of July weekend.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked boating activity during the holiday weekend. He followed up on an AIS violation and reminded anglers about northern pike size regulations. Vernier also assisted Kandiyohi County with a disturbance call.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the majority of the week working boating, AIS, fishing, and ATV enforcement during the busy Fourth of July holiday, with numerous violations detected. Klehr also assisted the State Patrol with the removal of a large number of two-by-fours along Highway 15. The driver of the vehicle that was hauling them was located.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received a call to rescue a fawn trapped in an enclosure at an industrial business complex.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) continued to focus his activity around boat and water safety and AIS enforcement. Gruhlke worked Operation Dry Water throughout the weekend. He responded to a complaint about illegal operation of personal watercraft and addressed other boating violations. Gruhlke also assisted the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent most of the week on angling and boating enforcement. Assistance was provided with safety and security during a large fireworks show on Lake Washington. Angling and boating activity was high until late in the week, when heavy rains dampened activity. Most Le Sueur County lakes have been placed under no-wake restrictions by the sheriff’s office.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports time was spent checking areas for turtle-trapping activity.
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) assisted local agencies, responded to a burning complaint, and checked anglers.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) spent time patrolling at La Crosse Riverfest. Enforcement action was taken for multiple boat registration violations. A boat was found to be exceeding the noise-level limit. An individual was arrested and charged for operating a motor boat while impaired.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports violations encountered included a gross overlimit of trout.
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) came upon multiple PWC violations on Lake Byllesby. One owner was spoken to last week for launching a PWC with expired registration. The owner was grateful that Hill allowed him to load the PWC back on the trailer with no citations being issued. However, the owner took advantage of Hill’s generosity as he was cited over the weekend for allowing a 13-year-old to operate the still-unregistered machine more than 40 minutes past allowed hours. A lake service provider was cited because none of their employees had taken the required online AIS training. This was after Hill had contacted the owner last year and issued a warning for the same violation.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a busy holiday week with heavy boating and good fishing. He worked with several other boating enforcement agencies in the Winona area. Hemker was the first on scene to a person reported to have jumped off a high bridge into shallow water. The man was taken by ambulance to a hospital. One boat went through the river lock and dam after a mechanical failure, and all three victims were rescued.