Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Aug. 9, 2019
Mississippi River Team
Warden Trevor Tracey, of Stoddard, was checking shore anglers for fishing licenses below the Genoa dam in June. While Tracey was checking a group of three fishermen, another group of approximately six fishermen took off and left the area when they saw the warden. Tracey tried to stop the group but was unable to. The group had left all their fishing gear on shore, including a stringer of fish. Tracey was then able to contact one of the fishermen who had left the area that day. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Tracey assisted a Vernon County deputy with an OWI investigation in June. During contact with the subject, the subject pulled a piece of tinfoil from his sock and consumed it. The subject became uncooperative and the officers had to forcefully restrain the subject in order to place him under arrest. The subject was found to have drugs and drug paraphernalia on him. The subject was then transported to the hospital because of the drug ingestion. After the contact it was found that the tinfoil that the subject was in possession of had heroin in it. Charges are pending though the Vernon County Sheriff’s Department on this case.
Warden Stringham responded to a large fish kill in Bostwick Creek. With the assistance of DNR fisheries staff and warden McCann, the fish kill was investigated, evidence was collected, and a responsible party was identified. Enforcement action is pending.
Wisconsin River Team
Warden Kyle Ziembo, of Wisconsin Rapids, contacted a fishing group to check licenses and noticed they had a large amount of trash spread out on the ground and reminded them to pick it up. Ziembo came back two days later and the trash was still there. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Ziembo responded to a complaint about an individual catching and killing turtles in June, which was before season. Ziembo contacted the individual and discovered he had four snapping turtles in a wire cage to keep them alive until the season opened. All of the turtles were released and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Erika Taylor, of Marshfield, spoke to participants at the AMS Big 20 Carp Tournament about rules and regulations and answered questions from the fishermen.
Warden Tyler Flood, of Wausau, reports there are two closed areas for fishing in the Wausau area. The area north of the Schofield dam and north of the Wausau dam (Stewart Avenue) to Brokaw are closed to all fishing. The closed areas are posted very well, and many people are still fishing these areas. All fishing is temporarily closed in these waters due to water level draw down.
Warden Flood gave a fishing talk to classes at Bluegill Bay Park and at Horace Mann Middle School in June.
Warden Paul Leezer, of Wausau, completed an investigation from this past spring’s turkey season resulting in enforcement action against a subject hunting turkeys without a valid harvest authorization for the zone and time period he was hunting.
Wardens Bryan Lockman and Jon Scharbarth, both of Stevens Point, were monitoring activity on Lake Emily in Portage County in June when they observed bubbles surfacing in the middle of the lake. It turned out to be a scuba diver diving without a flag well over 150 feet from shore. The wardens contacted the new diver and educated him on the laws as it pertains to diving.
Warden Lockman attended the Prime Water Angler youth fishing event and spoke about boating, PFD use and invasive laws. He also attended the Woodlands Church youth learn-to-fish event at Lake Pacawa and talked about fishing and AIS laws.
Warden Jon Scharbarth cleared a floating cattail bog from blocking the boat landing on Lime Lake.
Wardens Henry Bauman and Ryan Caputo, both of Madison, investigated a complaint in June regarding interference with lawful fishing in the canals on Bell Island in Monona. It was found the suspect did yell at fishermen and jump up on down on his dock near where the fishermen were fishing to “scare away fish.” Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Bauman and Caputo investigated a complaint of illegal septic tank pumping into navigable waters by a business in Utica. Their investigation did show that the business was doing this and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Bauman investigated a complaint of wildlife poisoning in Madison by a suspect attempting to poison moles with outdoor rat traps containing poison, and incidentally killing baby rabbits and potentially other wildlife enforcement action taken.
Warden Nick King, of Green County, observed a UTV operating on a public trail with three passengers not wearing seatbelts. Contact was made and it was found one of the passengers was a 6-year-old not wearing a helmet, as required. Enforcement action was taken. The operator (grandfather) complained about the citation to King and eventually called King’s supervisor and complained. It was explained the citation was issued due to the safety violation. Later in June, King responded to an ATV accident with an injury. The injured person just happened to be the 6-year-old who was wearing a helmet this time. When King arrived at the scene the grandfather was nearly in tears and stated that he understood why the citation was issued. Wearing the helmet likely saved the girl’s life.
Warden King observed a UTV driver operating a vehicle on a road route in June without the headlights illuminated. Two passengers were not wearing seatbelts. King observed the operator was holding what appeared to be a young child on their lap (no helmet). Contact was made and it was found that the child on the operators lap was a 9-month-old infant without a helmet. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens King and Ryan Caputo were working in Dane County during Shake the Lake when they contacted a boat operator on the Yahara River for having blue lights illuminating the outside of the boat contrary to law. The operator was operating while intoxicated. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Pete McCormick, of Columbia County, and recreational safety warden Marty Stone patrolled Lake Monona in Madison during the Shake the Lake fireworks show. They stopped a boat operator who was underway with four young children riding on the bow. The operator showed several signs of impairment and was arrested for OWI.
Warden Paul Nadolski, of Columbia County, attended the 38th annual Elks Club youth fisheree in Portage. More than 500 fish were registered. The winning fish was a 17-inch largemouth bass.
Warden David Youngquist, of Iowa County, took enforcement action on the Wisconsin River against two Illinois anglers who were camping and using their Illinois fishing licenses for Wisconsin. Youngquist also checked two anglers fishing on the river who said they had kept one walleye. They produced a legal sized walleye, and tried to hide an undersized walleye that was also in the cooler.
Wardens Al Erickson and Nick Engelhardt, both of Iowa County, issued citations to four individuals in June for underage alcohol consumption and possession of drug paraphernalia win Governor Dodge State Park.
Warden Erickson observed a boat trailer being towed out of Governor Dodge State Park with an excessive amount of aquatic vegetation dragging from the axle of the trailer.
Warden Hans Walleser, of Grant County, conducted a traffic stop of a driver after the driver almost hit Walleser head on the county highway along Governor Dodge State Park. The driver was found to be under the influence of alcohol and was arrested for OWI (second offense) and operating after revocation.
Rock River Team
Warden Brad Burton of, Beaver Dam, observed an ATV operating on Hwy. 33, which is not an established ATV road route. Burton discovered the ATV was not registered and the operator had not attended a required ATV safety course. Enforcement action was taken.
While checking fishermen at the Hwy. 60 bridge in Hustisford, warden Ryan Mannes, of Horicon, encountered a person who handed him an Indiana fishing license. The Indiana fishing license was not valid in Wisconsin, and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Mannes received a complaint in June regarding people snagging fish at Beaver Dam dam. Mannes responded and saw an individual snag two fish (hooking them outside the mouth). Prior to contacting that individual, Mannes observed another person also illegally snagging fish in the area. Mannes and warden Brad Burton, of Beaver Dam, contacted both parties at the same time and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Kyle Johnson, of Janesville, contacted a group of fishermen at the Indianford dam. The group was found to be in possession of seven undersized walleyes. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Johnson and Nick King, of Green County, were patrolling on the Rock River near Newville in June when they observed a boat violating the no-wake regulation. Upon contact, the driver showed signs of impairment. After conducting field sobriety testing, the driver was found to be under the influence of an intoxicant and was arrested for boating while intoxicated.
Warden Johnson was checking fishermen at Monterey Park when he smelled a strong odor of burned marijuana coming from the observation tower. Upon locating two individuals in a secluded area, they were both found to be using illegal drugs and in violation of their probation. The two individuals were turned over to the Janesville Police Department.
Warden Johnson was patrolling the Rock River in Newville when he observed a motorboat operator violate the buoyed no-wake section of the river. Upon contact, the operator showed signs of impairment. After conducting field sobriety testing, the subject was found to be under the influence and was arrested for boating while intoxicated.
Warden Johnson observed a fisherman fishing from a pier with four poles/lines in the water. Upon contact, it was found the person was the only one fishing and admitted to illegally having four lines in the water. While talking with Johnson, one of his fishing poles was dragged into the water by a fish. Johnson was able to retrieve the pole. The person then reeled in a large freshwater drum. The person also was found to be fishing without a valid Wisconsin fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens joined forces with Jefferson County watercraft inspectors and a DNR specialist to conduct an aquatic invasive species patrol in Jefferson County in June. Numerous warnings were issued and about 60 individuals were educated on aquatic invasive species and other DNR laws.
Racine/Kenosha/Walworth Counties (June)
Wardens Brandon Smith, of Twin Lakes, and Brad Latza, of Racine, patrolled on the Fox River in June when the water was very high and just below flood stage. Multiple contacts were made with boat operators and kayakers not having the required wearable PFDs.
Warden Brandon Smith contacted two individuals fishing on Long Lake near Burlington. The subjects were each found to be fishing with four lines and knew the legal limit was three lines per person. One subject was also fishing without a license. Enforcement action was taken. Both subjects were also found to have warrants and were turned over to the Racine County Sheriff’s Department.
Wardens Taylor Meinholz, of Union Grove, and Zack Feest located a great blue heron that had a wax worm cup over the beak. Wardens could tell something was wrong because the bird could only fly a short distance. The wardens caught the animal and removed the cup to see if that would help, but the bird was malnourished. The wardens brought the bird to wildlife rehabilitators.
Racine/Kenosha/Walworth Counties (May)
Warden Smith patrolled on the Fox River in May and contacted three people observed to be using a cast net. The individuals discarded the net in the river to conceal it from the wardens. The net was later recovered and enforcement action was taken for illegal netting and littering.
Warden Smith, with assistance from other DNR staff and local agencies, worked to remove the remains of two abandoned waterfowl blinds on Camp Lake. All waterfowl blinds must be properly identified and removed within seven days after the waterfowl hunting season. It is illegal to place or hunt from an unidentified or unlawfully placed blind on public waters.
Wardens Smith, Meinholz, Mike Hirschboeck and Feest assisted with a search-and-rescue effort at the New Munster State Wildlife Area for a person who called out and needed assistance.