Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Aug. 16, 2019
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) worked OHV, AIS, boat and water, and angling enforcement. Several reported shoreline violations were investigated and a Critical Intervention Team course was attended.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) gave a presentation at the MinnAqua Youth Fishing Clinic in Thief River Falls, provided a ride-along for a local high school student, monitored ATV use during Karlstad’s Moose Fest, and patrolled Lake Bronson.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) talked to area youth during Heritage Days in East Grand Forks. Subjects covered were hunting laws, hunting safety, and the importance of hunting. Elwell also investigated a feral swine complaint and patrolled the station for angling and ATVing activity.
CO Hannah Mishler (Baudette) spent time checking anglers and boaters on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake. ATVing activity and early bear-baiting activity were monitored. Mishler also attended Crisis Intervention Team training and assisted with the ongoing CO Academy.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) spent time at Camp Ripley teaching nighttime operation of watercraft and state laws and regulations to the CO cadets. A DNR booth was worked at the Beltrami County Fair.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham), along with several other conservation officers from the region and with assistance from the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division, dedicated a fishing pier in memory of CO Kyle Quittschreiber in his hometown. Quittschreiber was tragically killed in an off-duty accident one year ago this month. Members of his family were there, and a copy of the memorial plaque was presented to them.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week working ATVing, boating, and fishing enforcement.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) reports a complaint about illegal leeching activity was received. A site visit of a shoreline violation with the area hydrologist and Polk County SWCD was performed. Follow-up was conducted on complaints of possible wetland fill and sand blanket violations.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent time answering questions at the DNR booth at the Becker County Fair and received calls from the public regarding potential aquatic vegetation violations and nuisance bear- and beaver-related complaints.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports continuing to discover aquatic vegetation violations. The Fergus Falls Police Department assisted him with a fish overlimit case. Time also was spent checking boaters and anglers.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) worked angling, boat and water safety, and ATVing activity throughout the past week. Various wildlife-related complaints were handled as were questions about the upcoming hunting seasons.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, ATV riders and boaters. An aquatic plant management check was performed on lakes in Otter Tail County with the APM specialist. One lake had at least seven different violations, with one violation consisting of using an aqua thruster to create a large crater in the lake bottom, spraying herbicide to kill cattails, and removing cattails without a permit.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports assistance was given to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in addressing an AIS violation involving a lake service provider at a local access. An individual was cited for burning a large bed mattress on his land. The black smoke from it could be seen from miles away.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continued to work on the background investigation of a CO applicant. Training was attended at Camp Ripley. Complaints about an injured bear and nuisance beaver also were taken.
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) reports checking ATV riders and boating equipment for invasive species. Hughes also took a call about a nuisance bear, investigated a found kayak, and assisted the State Patrol.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports that a background investigation, teaching at the Academy, and attending Division training were the focuses of the past week
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls) reports that while working on Rainy Lake with the sheriff’s office, a call came over dispatch regarding an individual who had suffered a head and facial injury while recreating on a lake. Zavodnik and a deputy transported the individual back to land where EMS personnel were waiting to care for the patient.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports enforcement action was taken for illegally transporting fish fillets, failure to display registration on a watercraft, failure to transfer watercraft ownership, and operating ATVs on a state highway. He also gave a law and ethics presentation at an MDHA Forkhorn Camp where the campers were excited to be there and engaged in the discussion.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring angling and ATVing activity. Broughten also investigated complaints about dogs chasing deer and a public waters violation.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) attended training, worked several TIP calls, and checked anglers. An early bear-bait complaint revealed a fish-carcass dump site. After surveillance of the site, the individual responsible was identified. A search warrant was executed at his residence, resulting in a gross overlimit of walleyes in possession. Charges are pending.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent time checking ATV riders and anglers on remote trout lakes. He also responded to a harassment call involving firearms in the BWCAW.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended training at Camp Ripley, checked anglers, and monitored OHVing activity this past week. Enforcement action was taken for illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working boating, angling, ATVing, and AIS activities in the area. Several questions regarding the upcoming bear season were fielded and answered.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) focused efforts on patrolling ATV and fishing activity. Violations included not having enough wearable PFDs on board a watercraft and illegal-length fish.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) investigated a complaint regarding work in a wetland and handled calls about floating bogs causing damage on a local lake. Schmidt also assisted with the Festival of Sails event in the Duluth Harbor and Lake Superior.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) served as part of the Enforcement Division’s Honor Guard on two funeral details during the past week. The CO also followed up on public water-related investigations involving structures and surface water use. Humphrey also investigated a wolf-depredation complaint in Pine County and assisted an Ontario conservation officer with an interview regarding a litter investigation.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended training at Camp Ripley during the week and gave assistance at a work detail in Duluth. A complaint about littering was looked into after pictures were taken of a truck that was on a trail where trucks were not allowed. The truck was pulling a trailer full of garbage and also had the bed of the pickup full of garbage. The investigation is ongoing.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) gave instruction to cadets at the DNR CO Academy. A water security detail was worked in conjunction with other officers and departments for the Duluth “tall ships” event. Commercial cisco nets were checked during the week.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) followed up on weed roller and hydro-jet issues, met with a property owner on an oversized-dock issue, checked anglers and boaters, attended training at Camp Ripley, and assisted with ongoing training at the CO Academy.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) monitored angling activity on area lakes. CO Guida and CO pilot Jason Jensen assisted DNR Fisheries with an evening watercraft flight survey.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) attended Game Fair and answered questions about upcoming hunting seasons. Sullivan also patrolled recreational vehicle traffic, and enforcement action was taken for registration violations, illegal operation, impaired operation, and possession of controlled substances.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking the park for SRA violations and checking to make sure park users had state park vehicle permits. He also fielded a complaint about a nuisance bear and a call about an injured sandhill crane.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Crow Wing County lakes for boating and angling activity. He also spent time teaching at the CO Academy. One boater was arrested for BWI.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) worked fishing and ATVing enforcement. She also spent time training with the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office and followed up on nuisance-bear and raccoon complaints.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) attended training at Camp Ripley and worked on some equipment needs. A BWCAW detail was worked with CO Bozovsky.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) fielded calls and questions about bear hunting, checked anglers, and followed up on TIP reports. One case included an individual who was caught attempting to shoot sandhill cranes. Callers reported that while standing outside and grilling burgers, they saw someone shoot from the window of a pickup truck and in the direction of a sandhill crane. Thanks to witness observations, Grundmeier tracked down the shooter within minutes of the poaching event.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) started work in his new station. Time was spent checking anglers and patrolling for ATVing activity. Time also was spent at Camp Ripley for training.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Annette Kyllo (Pierz) reports that during a routine angling check, an individual stated he had an angling license but had forgotten it at a cabin. A check showed he not only didn’t have a valid angling license but also that there was a warrant for his arrest. Kyllo caught up to him at a private dock and took him into custody.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) reports a retirement gathering was attended for CO Frank Rezac, who patrolled the St. Cloud station.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports several wetland violations were addressed and a firearms safety class was attended.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and working boat and water safety. One individual tried to avoid an angling license check by throwing his fishing rod down and walking away from it when Krauel approached. When Krauel asked for an angling license, the individual stated he was not fishing. After Krauel advised the individual that he had been observing him angling, the individual admitted he didn’t have a license and was hoping Krauel hadn’t seen them angling. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, unattended lines, no life jacket, possession of marijuana, and using a bluegill for bait. Krauel and a neighboring officer also made an arrest for boating under the influence.
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports a boater with zebra mussels tried to enter Green Lake when a local watercraft inspector called and reported it to Benkofske.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) attended a three-day training course at Camp Ripley and took complaints about nuisance beavers and trespassing.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the majority of the week training at Camp Ripley. He also spent time working with K9 Shelby.
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) spent time following up on nuisance-animal complaints. An AIS inspection follow-up was conducted.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled Fort Snelling State Park, which is still closed to public use. There were issues regarding bikers and hikers continuing to enter the closed park.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent the majority of the week checking anglers and boaters at local lakes and rivers. Additionally, one individual found fishing without a license also had a warrant, so he was arrested and taken to jail.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers, watercraft users, and doing AIS enforcement. Arntzen also attended training at Camp Ripley and spent time working on open cases. Violations for the week included failure to remove a drain plug, no fishing license in possession, and transporting aquatic vegetation.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) worked fishing, boating, ATV, and AIS enforcement throughout the week. Time also was spent working the DNR tent at Farmfest.
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) provided instruction at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. He also monitored ATVing, fishing, and recreational boating activity throughout the week.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked boating and angling activity. He also attended training and assisted with a firearms safety field day. Vernier also investigated the burning of prohibited materials.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) assisted in setting up the TIP trailer Wall of Shame at Farmfest. Klehr also participated in a firearms safety class at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center. Follow-up was done on possible aquatic plant violations in which the lakeshore owners already got the permits that were required and were following their permit conditions so they were not in violation.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) reports checking angling, boating, and ATVing activity this past week. With the no-wake restrictions lifted on area lakes, water recreation is picking up.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, and waterfowl production areas. He also assisted with staffing a DNR tent at Game Fair.
CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) spent the week at the Mower County Fair. Violations around the station involved litter, trash burning, boat registration, and ATVs. He also attended the funeral of Hopkins Police Officer Kevin Hegyi.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kylan Hill (Zumbrota) reports handling multiple calls about injured, abandoned, and nuisance animals throughout the week. A few ATVers were stopped for operation violations.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) reports enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, operating without required navigation lights, and no sound-producing device.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) and other local law enforcement assisted a boater whose boat trailer and vehicle became partially submerged at a boat ramp. The vehicle and trailer were recovered. A rattlesnake-related complaint was taken.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) investigated a deer-related complaint and a waters violation.