Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Aug. 2, 2019
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers at the Northwest Angle, Warroad, and on the Roseau River.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) instructed at the CO Academy during “game week” responded to a call about a car-killed elk.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working angling and boating activity on special-regulation lakes throughout the week. Time also was spent investigating wolf depredation complaints and handling reports about nuisance bears.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette) focused primarily on angling and boat and water safety enforcement. Multiple contacts were made on various lakes around the Bemidji and Blackduck areas.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending time at Camp Ripley, assisting with the current CO Academy class. Time also was spent checking anglers and watercraft operators. Various bear-related complaints were received.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked boating and angling activity on area lakes. A complaint about an injured loon and a public access dock floating away were taken.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting RTO Greg Oldakowski with a volunteer firearms safety instructor clinic, checking anglers, and patrolling for ATV violations. Vinton also began work on a pair of background investigations for potential CO Prep candidates.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week working sportfishing and recreational boating. Swedberg also assisted the county with calls for service, the State Patrol with a crash, and worked on other ongoing investigations.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling and boating activity. Patrol was conducted for ATV and off-road vehicle activity. AIS inspections were performed. Warren assisted the Becker County Sheriff’s Office with a possible domestic disturbance.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports completing follow-up on aquatic vegetation removal and AIS complaints. Time also was spent checking anglers.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) attended Enforcement Division training this past week and began a pre-employment background investigation. Plautz also handled several nuisance-animal complaints and is working with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on a discharge complaint.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV riders. One angler who Osborne checked told him how much of a difference there was between fishing in Oklahoma and Minnesota. The anglers said that in Oklahoma, panfish can be used to catch catfish. He was glad he checked the Minnesota fishing regulations book before going fishing here.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports a few citations were issued to anglers who failed to purchase angling licenses before fishing.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) continued working on a background investigation of an applicant for the next CO Academy. Time also was spent working boating and water safety and angling activity. Holt also assisted with nuisance-animal complaints and answered questions about safety classes.
CO Dan Baumbarger (Glenwood) worked one of the busiest Waterama festivals on Lake Minnewaska in memory, with numerous boating and PWC contacts.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily worked on a background investigation of a CO applicant. Mathy also worked with the Hubbard County Attorney’s Office on open case files. Some time was spent working on items related to the Bear Committee.
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) reports checking anglers and watercraft safety. Hughes also patrolled a hydrofoil event, investigated a hydraulic jet on Leech Lake, and wrote nuisance-beaver permits. She also investigated a call regarding a possibly injured wolf.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls) responded to nuisance-animal calls and worked boating and ATV enforcement during the week. Zavodnik observed an increased number of boating safety violations and wants to remind operators to become familiar with personal watercraft operating hours as well as when to have navigational lights turned on. Time was spent investigating public waters and Wetland Conservation Act-related complaints.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) completed work on ongoing cases, fielded complaints about nuisance animals, and monitored compliance with invasive species laws.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports ongoing monitoring of boating and angling activities. He also checked local forest roads and monitored ATVing activity. In Fondie’s area, flying insects are plentiful and blueberries are scarce.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) assisted St. Louis County and the State Patrol with a couple of personal injury crashes this past week. Hopkins was among the officers who responded to a bear attack east of Ely. The victim sustained a bite to her leg. After being treated at the hospital, the victim was released.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a firearms safety and bowhunter education class at the Laurentian Environmental Learning Center. Enforcement action was taken on an individual who was exploring the Superior National Forest. The only problem was he was driving his truck down a snowmobile trail as he was doing it.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports that although nuisance-bear reports had subsided for several weeks, there seemed to be a resurgence. Berry crops continue to ripen, but are weeks behind a normal year. Williams has been asking residents in the Ely area to be vigilant with bird feeders and other attractants.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and boaters this past week. He received several nuisance-animal calls and questions about the statewide slot limits.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) assisted with a waters complaint in which someone obviously altered the shoreline and channel of a flowage between two lakes. The area will be restored after an evaluation is completed. Investigation into the responsible parties is continuing. Manning also issued a road-killed deer permit, checked boaters and anglers, and worked area boat accesses to check for AIS compliance by boaters.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) spent most of the week teaching big- and small-game enforcement at the CO Academy and evaluating scenarios. A complaint led to two citations being issued to intoxicated individuals drinking at a public access/day-use area. Bermel and two rescue squad members paddled at night to the campsite of a group of Girl Scouts on Knife Lake whose campsite was struck by lightning. The officer and others organized their evacuation. Several of the girls felt physical effects from the strike.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked boating and angling activity during the week. Murray also answered questions on the upcoming bear season and investigated a report of foxes being taken illegally.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked fishing, AIS, boating, and ATV enforcement. He also answered wildlife-related calls and patrolled parks and campgrounds.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) spent time talking with anglers who are reporting an overall decline in success as the summer goes on. Several natural resource-related phone calls were handled.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, instructed at the CO Academy, and assisted with a motor vehicle accident. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also assisted in locating a suspect who fled the scene of a domestic incident into the woods.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) monitored angling, boating, and ATVing activity. Van Asch also spent time assisting with instruction at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling and ATVing activity during the past week. During an ongoing investigation, it was discovered a wetland next to a lake was filled, so subsequent enforcement action was taken.
CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled area ATV trails and checked anglers and boaters. Patten also handled calls about nuisance and sick wildlife.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) answered regulation questions and followed up on a trespass complaint. Willis also responded to the Duluth Harbor for a drowning, assisted Carlton County with the search for an individual who had pulled a gun on a deputy, and assisted Carlton County at the Carlton Daze festival. Willis also was called to search for a missing paddler on the St. Croix River in Pine County. The person was able to make it to shore and find someone with a phone to verify that he was safe prior to Willis arriving in the area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) worked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior and at Duluth Harbor. Bear-related complaints have been steady, and time was spent completing equipment maintenance. Phone calls regarding border-waters angling and injured-animal complaints were returned. Schmidt assisted the Duluth Police Department with the search for a suspect who ran from a property during a search warrant.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, boating, and AIS enforcement during the week. Humphrey assisted with a take-a-kid fishing clinic sponsored by Pine County. Humphrey also attended a retirement gathering for CO Luke Croatt at the Aitkin-area DNR office. The CO received multiple nuisance-bear and beaver complaints during the week. Humphrey also investigated a report of a live goose found shot with a hunting arrow at Park Lake near Mahtowa. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Turn in Poachers at (800) 652-9093. Callers may remain anonymous.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) conducted K9 training with Schody and also gave a talk and demonstration for newly hired officers at the CO Academy. Extra patrols were conducted at area state parks. Assistance was given to the local sheriff’s office in locating a suspect who pointed a firearm at a sheriff’s deputy and fled the scene of a traffic stop. K9 Schody was deployed and located important evidence at the scene. The suspect has not been located and is being sought.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked Lake Superior in the Duluth-Two Harbors waters. Violations for life jackets and watercraft registration items were addressed. Olson responded to Pine County regarding a lost and overdue boater, and also responded to Carlton County to help with a search for a felon who fled into the woods during a traffic stop.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) assisted residents with recovery from storm damage. A complaint about a camper staying too long at a state forest campground was handled, as was a wolf depredation complaint. Materials and equipment were prepped for the CO Academy. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and AIS violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked on background investigations for the 2020 CO Academy. Sullivan also assisted with scenario training at the current CO Academy.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Crow Wing County lakes for angling and boating activity. He also prepared training materials for watercraft training at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sportfishing, background investigations, and aquatic plant management enforcement this past week. CO Guida worked with DNR aquatic plant management staff to verify compliance on the use of aquatic/hydro jets on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for illegal use, including alteration of the cross section of a lake or stream bed.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports assistance was given to a person who was injured while riding in the SRA, and many outdoor law-related questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, and AIS activity. A wetlands complaint was received and is being investigated.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Ben Karon (Isle) spent time this past week checking anglers, boaters, and recreational vehicle users. Karon and COs from surrounding areas, as well as the State Patrol and Pine County Sheriff’s Office, worked together to locate an overdue kayaker on the St. Croix River.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended an event hosted by Pine County during which several youths were taken fishing by area law enforcement officers.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) assisted concerned citizens with two young eagles that were not doing well and needed to be transported to a rehab facility. Bear-related concerns continue to be heard, with numerous sightings in areas outside of traditional bear areas. Assistance was given to a local sheriff’s office on an arrest warrant attempt.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) and county probation, the sheriff’s office, and area school administrations sponsored a fishing day for at-risk youth from the local area. COs, deputies, teachers, and school administrators lined up boats and a pontoon and took kids ages 12 to 19 out on a local lake for a few hours of fishing and a grill-out. Some of the kids caught their first-ever fish.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Annette Kyllo (Pierz) spent time on boat and water safety, as well as ATV and angling enforcement. Kyllo encountered numerous PWC operators riding during closed hours and encountered a boat with no lights on, on a lake nearly 40 minutes after sunset.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked on cases from previous weeks. He also handled calls concerning three fawns being seen in town and gave advice to callers.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports working fishing, boating, and AIS enforcement throughout the week. Time was spent teaching laws and ethics at the Annandale firearms safety class and South Haven ATV safety class. A wildlife-related complaint was handled.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) patrolled the Rum River and local lakes checking angling and boating activity. Londgren also spoke to people at the local county fair, conducted site inspections, worked on a background investigation, and followed up on complaints.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) assisted at the CO Academy this past week and followed up on several interviews for Wisconsin officers. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and illegal ATVing activity.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) monitored AIS-related activity on lakes and patrolled state parks, trails, and WMAs.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) investigated a TIP call about geese being taken out of season. Time also was spent assisting with a firearms safety class field day.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled lakes and rivers for angling, boating, and AIS activity. He worked with a DNR Fish and Wildlife Division Outreach liaison to present a fishing regulations workshop to the Karen community. About 25 people attended.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) took a report about a hot tub left on public lands and made a BWI arrest during the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for boat safety violations and BWI.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and following up on complaints. Grewe also responded to an overlimit complaint in a neighboring county and assisted with a K9 demonstration at Camp Ripley.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time checking shore anglers and boaters on local lakes. Thomas also took calls regarding nuisance wildlife and responded to TIP calls regarding the use of extra lines and possible illegal transport of waterfowl. Multiple calls and complaints regarding trapping activity were received and handled.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) reports assistance was provided to another law enforcement agency in the drafting of a search warrant for an ongoing investigation.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored angling, boating, and OHV activity during the past week. Assistance was provided to the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. Time was spent on a background investigation of a potential candidate for the next CO Academy.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, ATVing, state park, and AIS enforcement. Extra time was spent working Franklin’s Catfish Derby Days during the weekend. Higher-than-normal river levels caused issues for anglers. A 50-year volunteer firearms safety instructor award was presented to Ron Bergman, of Granite Falls. A special thanks to him and all instructors for the work they do.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Jeff Denz (Willmar) followed up on complaints about litter and nuisance beavers.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) assisted with CO Academy training at Camp Ripley during the week as the cadets learned about big-game enforcement. Klehr also dealt with more off-highway motorcycles being ridden illegally in road ditches and on roadways.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) spent time at Camp Ripley this past week assisting with the training of new officers. A background investigation has begun on a candidate for employment with the Division of Enforcement for upcoming CO Academy 20.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) checked fishing and boating activity. VanThuyne also inspected boats at accesses for AIS compliance and assisted local agencies.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) assisted local agencies with recovery efforts of a drowning victim on a local river.
CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) dealt with people burning garbage. Many ATVs seen were not registered, along with other operating issues.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) reports time was spent checking anglers and boaters on Pool 8 of the Mississippi River. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license and dumping live bait into the water. Assistance was given in the search for a missing boater on Lake Pepin.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) reports time was spent following up on an abandoned sailboat and assisting with use of force training for the ongoing CO Academy. A hunter-harassment complaint was also received and is being investigated.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reported the river continues to be high and fishing slow. He assisted Wabasha County in the search for a drowning victim and attended annual training. Hemker received many calls about nuisance wild animals and followed up on a complaint about the illegal taking of protected wildlife.