Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 19, 2019

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) attended the funeral of Red Lake Nation Conservation Officer Shannon Barron. Instruction was done at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. 

CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked OHV, AIS, and angling enforcement. Time also was spent monitoring traffic in the forest this past week as gatherers are starting to scout for berries and mushrooms. If you’re traveling on forest roads, please do so with your headlights on as conditions are dry and the dust is thick, causing some visibility issues and safety concerns. 

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) spent the week instructing at the CO Academy. Areas covered with the cadets were alcohol enforcement, compass and GPS, and evidence collection. Woinarowicz also patrolled local angling areas and took enforcement action for angling without a license and allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working ATV, AIS, boating, and angling activity on special-regulation lakes throughout the week. Regas observed that the fishing bite has been slow and the hot weather has brought out a lot of recreational boating activity on area lakes. Regas also assisted with the TIP Shooters Challenge at the Northwest Shooting Sports Park.  

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) attended the funeral of Red Lake Conservation Officer Shannon “Opie” Barron. The CO also attended meetings and issued a resource protection notification for a wetland case.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored angling and boating activity on area lakes. Time was spent at Camp Ripley teaching alcohol enforcement to the cadets at the CO Academy. He worked a detail on Upper Red Lake with CO McGowan and completed paperwork related to a BUI arrest. Vollbrecht assisted the DNR Forestry Division with wrapping up a fire investigation and delivered a fire bill to an uncooperative individual. 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports checking anglers and boaters and patrolling for ATV activity on area trails. Complaints about people drinking at a public access were taken. A call about an injured goose also was taken.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week on the lakes, working fishing and boating activity. Multiple AIS and aquatic plan management cases were investigated. 

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working fishing, AIS, and boating enforcement and safety. Time also was spent responding to miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints. 

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling and boating activity on area lakes. She also monitored AIS compliance. A complaint about an illegal sand blanket was investigated. 

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent time following up on ATV-related complaints and complaints about the illegal removal of vegetation from lakes. Assistance was given to Becker County for a report of a drowning. However, the individual was responsive and should make a full recovery.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports hosting a youth ATV safety class in Fergus Falls during the weekend. Time also was spent following up on reports about geese being shot at by lakeshore owners. Richards and officers from the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office worked a busy access (Deer Lake) due to complaints about conflicts between tubers and those attempting to launch boats. 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) followed up on complaints from the holiday weekend and is working with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on a discharge-into-a-waterway investigation. 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports a cease and desist order for excavation of a lake bed and removing wild rice without a permit were issued to an individual. Follow up was done with a hydrologist on another “aqua-thruster” violation. 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports a fishing/boating detail was worked in the Park Rapids station, with several citations issued. Lawler also worked with the Alexandria Police Department in rescuing a barred owl entangled in fishing line and hanging upside down near a popular fishing pier. The bird was gently handled, cleared of all the tangled line, and successfully released.

CO Brian Holt (Osakis) worked anglers and boating activity during the past week. Time also was spent checking ATVing activity and working on a TIP complaint. 

District 4 – Walker area

CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) reports checking many anglers. The CO also spoke at a firearms safety class and took calls about nuisance bears and watercraft complaints. Hughes also responded to a call regarding a dead loon.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls) worked with local law enforcement during the week at the Northern Minnesota District Fair. Multiple violations occurred outside the fairgrounds regarding off-road motorcycles and ATV use. Zavodnik also assisted the State Patrol with a commercial vehicle that had gone off the road and into the ditch in the opposite lane of traffic. The driver admitted to operating in the opposite lane of traffic because it was newly paved, but then had lost control.  

CO John Slatinski (Ray) monitored angling, ATV use, invasive species compliance, and commercial activity. Complaints about bears in the area and entering buildings were fielded. 

CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring angling, boating, and ATVing activity. Broughten also fielded calls regarding bear hunting and nuisance animals. He also spent time checking compliance with AIS laws and instructing at the CO Academy.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) assisted the Gilbert Police Department with an individual who was injured when diving from a cliff at the Genoa Pit. The CO and the State Patrol arrested a female for DUI. She had almost hit a biker before crashing into a road construction sign. After an investigation, Hopkins was able to locate the suspects responsible for illegally dumping garbage.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) issued a Wetland Conservation Act resource protection notification and served a public waters restoration order. Most of the past week was spent working complaints and investigations, including littering, a fish house violation, ATVs in a state park, failing to submit a bear tooth as required, shooting a bear, and intentionally running over and killing three Canada geese. Charges may be forthcoming on the bear-shooting incident. A kayaker was observed with another individual clinging to the bow with only his hands, feet, and head above the water, all while in the middle of a busy boating channel. They were oblivious to the traffic, including Bozovsky. They had no PFDs. Enforcement action was taken.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) assisted local Babbitt instructors with certifying 25 ATV safety students from Ely and Babbitt.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers this past week. He also took calls about an abandoned vehicle and pike regulations as well as nuisance animal-related complaints.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled area roads and trails and participated as part of the Minnesota DNR Honor Guard at the funeral of Red Lake Conservation Officer Shannon Barron. Nuisance-bear activity appears to have eased, but folks are advised to keep the bird feeders in storage and keep a clean yard or campsite to minimize conflict.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked with CO Zavodnik at the International Falls Port of Entry, checking fish and working AIS enforcement regarding anglers returning from Canada. Numerous fish seizures were made for overlimits, no skin patches, and uncountable fish, along with transporting water in a watercraft. 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked boating and invasive species enforcement during the past week. Enforcement action was taken for failure to remove a drain plug before transporting a watercraft and licensing violations.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled area lakes, checking boaters and anglers. He also spent time investigating calls about turtle law violations, ATV complaints, and nuisance bears.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) worked fishing, ATVing, boating, and AIS activities in the area. Several nuisance and/or injured-wildlife complaints were fielded and handled. An ongoing trespass investigation also was investigated. 

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) helped instruct during alcohol enforcement week at the CO Academy for the conservation officer candidates. Willis also participated as part of the Division Honor Guard at the funeral for fallen Red Lake Nation Conservation Officer Shannon Barron. Assistance was provided to Floodwood Police Department at its annual Catfish Days events

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time following up on several complaints throughout the past week. One involved manipulating lake levels and another the illegal operation of ATVs on closed trails.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) attended a retirement gathering for CO Mike Scott and presented him with his badge and a plaque from the Minnesota Conservation Officers Association. Humphrey also investigated waters complaints involving structures in Big Lake, responded to a TIP call about possible illegal netting, and assisted the State Patrol with dispatching and removing an injured deer from Interstate 35.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton), while driving on Interstate 35, observed a vehicle swerving and being driven slowly. After pulling up alongside the vehicle, Staples observed the driver reading a book while driving. The male subject was stopped and stated that he was having vehicle problems and was reading the owner’s manual to try to figure out what was wrong. A State Trooper was contacted, and enforcement action was taken.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked angling and recreational boating on Lake Superior in Zone 1 (Duluth-Two Harbors area). Violations for watercraft registration and angling violations detected. Olson also worked the Bayfront concert series on Sunday evening in the Duluth-Superior Harbor.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity this past week included working a canoe patrol detail in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, where he checked activity related to boating, fishing, and wilderness use. Enforcement action was taken on four individuals found illegally in possession of 42 walleyes and trying to catch more on a remote lake in the BWCAW. 

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Crow Wing County lakes for angling and boating enforcement. McGowan also assisted at Camp Ripley with CO Academy training. Enforcement action was taken for numerous boating violations and angling with extra lines. 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) followed up on holiday weekend activity and an illegal-camping complaint. Boating and fishing activities were monitored, and ATV violations were addressed.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended a site visit on a Wetland Conservation Act violation with the Pine County Soil and Water Conservation District. She also attended the funeral of Red Lake Nation Conservation Officer Barron, who passed away in the line of duty. 

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) investigated an injured calf that had been bitten by a large predator and had to be put down. There is no solid evidence of what broke the 3-week-old calf’s back, but teeth marks would suggest a bear. Starr met with the new owners of a resort and answered questions regarding natural resources concerns.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) continued to assist cattle owners with wolf depredation problems and took some calls from pet owners who were having problems with wolves killing their dogs. 

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area lakes and ATV trails. Time was spent answering questions at the Aitkin County Fair and assisting with downed power lines and trees across roads after a Sunday evening storm.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Annette Kyllo (Pierz) spent time on ATV and angling enforcement. A call about illegal aquatic herbicide application was investigated. Kyllo also assisted park staff with a raccoon that had decided the back porch of an area museum was a good place to take up residence.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the past week working boating, ATVing, and fishing activity in the station. A personal watercraft-related complaint was fielded and followed up on, and an overlimit of crappies on an area lake was found while the CO checked anglers.

CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports checking ATVers, anglers, and boaters. Wildlife-related calls also were resolved. Enforcement contacts during the past week were made for watercraft registration and equipment violations.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent time this past week checking anglers, boaters, and weed rollers. Enforcement action was taken for no boat registration, no PFD, and aquatic plant violations. 

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and working boat and water safety. Krauel also performed equipment maintenance on station watercraft. Enforcement action was taken for several boating safety violations, no angling license, illegal-length northern pike, operating an ATV on a road, unregistered ATVs, unregistered watercraft, and possession of marijuana.

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) dedicated a significant amount of time to a snowmobiling complaint. Several calls were received regarding juveniles at Elk Lake who were water skipping a snowmobile. However, the snowmobile never made it back to shore. Special thanks to several concerned citizens who aided in the investigation and the search for the snowmobile. A responsible party was found, and charges are pending the recovery of the snowmobile. 

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked anglers on Wright County lakes and rivers. One angler fishing the Mississippi River’s special-regulation waters for smallmouth bass was observed keeping an overlimit and oversized smallies and hiding them in his vehicle. When Reller contacted the angler, he stated he didn’t keep any fish. When asked if he had knowledge about the smallie regulations, he was able to recite them. Then it was revealed to the angler that he was observed for the past several hours keeping oversized smallmouth bass and double his legal limit. Enforcement action was taken, and a couple of smallmouth bass longer than 18 inches were released. 

District 13 – West Metro are

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) followed up on a shoreline violation and a trespassing complaint. 

CO Tim Maass (Osseo) investigated a complaint of possible waterfowl taken out of season. 

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) received a report about a number of geese shot out of season with pellet guns and possibly a shotgun in the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum off of Highway 7 during closed hours. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the TIP line.

CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) fielded calls about an abandoned dock underwater and a potential illegal gill net in a metro lake. Lerchen informed the concerned caller that the net belonged to DNR Fisheries, which was conducting a fish survey. 

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring boaters and anglers on area waters. The Mississippi River remained extremely high, and fishing was tough. He also spent time on AIS enforcement and patrolled area lakes with the sheriff’s office. 

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) investigated a littering complaint and answered calls about nuisance animals. Violations for the week included littering, fishing without a license, angling with extra lines, and being at a wildlife management area during closed hours.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored AIS, angling, boating, and OHV activity during the week. Littering issues at public accesses and shore-fishing locations continue. 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports assistance was given to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office with a missing person search near Marshall. Time also was spent on Cottonwood Lake for the annual fireworks show.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked boating and angling activity. The CO also followed up on a public lands complaint and assisted the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office with a medical situation. 

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the week working ATVing, boating, angling, and AIS enforcement. An AIS detail was worked at the Lake Ripley access prior to the Litchfield Watercade fishing tournament. 

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked anglers and boaters. Reports of illegal angling activity were investigated. Public accesses were patrolled. 

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) patrolled his station this past week for fishing, boating, and PWCing activity. Ihnen also monitored ATV and OHM use. Additional time was spent assisting with a local take-a-kid-fishing event.

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea), while working boating enforcement, observed several people throwing garbage and cigarettes into the water. Citations were issued and Henke reminds people to take garbage home with them or dispose of it properly. 

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports a fawn was taken from a well-meaning citizen who is not a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and was ill-equipped to handle the deer. The deer was placed with a licensed rehabilitator for care and eventual release. 

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) assisted Olmsted County law enforcement in locating a man who assaulted a police officer and fled. The man surrendered to Fitzgerald and was taken into custody.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) assisted the Winona County Sheriff’s Office in searching for a drowning victim after a boat with two people in it went over a spillway. Hemker also continues to follow up on hunting violations and taxidermist checks.

CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports focusing his efforts on recreational vehicles throughout the week. Hill patrolled western Wabasha County during the Mazeppa Daze festival, where ATV and ORV violations were extremely high. Hill observed only one ATV during the entire weekend that was legally driving on the shoulder of county roads. The rest were stopped for illegally operating in the lane of traffic.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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