Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – Feb. 28, 2020
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) worked a detail on Lake of the Woods with other officers from around the state and assisted at the Greenbush snowmobile safety class. During the detail, a large group of 13 anglers was found to be in possession of an overlimit of walleyes and sauger. Other violations encountered included angling with too many lines, possession of marijuana, and no shelter license.
CO Marc Johnson (Warroad) worked angling activity on Lake of the Woods. Violations encountered included taking fish without angling licenses, possession of an illegal-length walleye, fishing with extra lines, no shelter license, unmarked permanent shelters, and no angling license in possession.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) saw a huge increase in snowmobiling activity with the nice weather over the weekend. The area around a local vintage snowmobile ride was patrolled. He also checked area anglers.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) investigated a report about a dead moose that was found on an area snowmobile trail. The moose appeared to have died from natural causes or disease. The information was forwarded to the area DNR Wildlife office.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji) spent the past week checking anglers and monitoring snowmobile trails. Training was done with her K9 partner Storm.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports very warm weather did a number on parts of area snowmobile trails. Fish houses were marked and monitored for litter with the quickly-approaching shelter removal date.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sportfishing, coyote hunting, and snowmobiling enforcement. Time also was spent attending a career fair at Minnesota State University-Moorhead.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) patrolled area trails and lakes for snowmobiling activity. Anglers were checked; they were having mixed results. Warren spoke at a snowmobile safety class in Waubun.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports checking anglers, fishing shelters, and recreational vehicles. Efforts were concentrated on fish house inventory. Most shelters checked are legally marked with proper identification and are licensed. However, the CO is still finding plenty that are not.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week were concentrated on checking anglers and snowmobile operators. Baumbarger reminds anglers to clean up all trash around fish houses when leaving the lake.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) conducted a commercial game farm inspection and assisted a neighboring CO with a case involving multiple angling violations.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville)reports several fish houses have been identified as potential problem houses come the fish house removal deadline.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) worked the Frozen Block Party in Walker, snowmobile enforcement on trails in Remer and Outing, and did angling enforcement in her station. Enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of crappies, angling without an angling license, unattended lines, and extra lines.
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) investigated multiple areas where corn was being placed on roads for deer.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers and snowmobilers. Angling activity has continued to increase with the improving lake conditions. A call was taken about a sick deer. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobiling, angling, and ATVing violations.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports snowmobiling and ice fishing enforcement continue to be the main work activities. A Voyageurs National Park and Minnesota DNR work coordination meeting was attended during the week.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent the majority of the week assisting an out-of-state conservation officer investigating a possible big-game violation. The CO also wrapped up a case from the previous archery season. During the investigation, the person was fairly forthcoming about the violation and admitted to being “guilty as sin.” Enforcement action was taken, including an 8-point set of antlers being seized.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing)reports most folks aren’t happy when they receive a citation, but one snowmobile rider was so upset that upon his exit he nearly tipped his snowmobile over twice.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) assisted the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office and Rescue Squad after a hiker had gotten turned around and could not locate the path on the Bass Lake Trail north of Ely. Fortunately, the hiker stayed put after making the emergency call, and conservation officers and U.S. Border Patrol agents located him quickly.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) received multiple calls about border water fishing regulations and northern pike length restrictions.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent the week working trout lakes along the U.S./ Canada border and inland trout lakes. He also checked walleye anglers during the last weekend of the season.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked angling and snowmobiling enforcement throughout the past week. A detail also was worked with other officers on Upper Red and Lake of the Woods.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) spoke with concerned homeowners regarding a deer feeding conflict among neighbors.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports getting out and enjoying the sunshine and warm weather during the week. A few hundred miles were put on the snowmobile with some positive contacts being made with riders from all over Minnesota and Canada. One minor registration issue was handled. Hill also assisted various agencies with a severe snowmobile crash in Cook County with both riders sustaining injuries.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, patrolled area snowmobile trails, investigated a trapping violation, and worked a snowmobile trespass complaint. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile registration violations and speeding.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) patrolled the area snowmobile trails, checked anglers, and assisted the local police department with an intoxicated person walking in the middle of a roadway.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling and snowmobiling activity during the week with enforcement action taken for an overlimit of walleyes/sauger and having a slot walleye in possession.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) saw very heavy snowmobiling activity during the weekend. Violation rates for improper display of registration are still high. Loud exhaust also continues to be a significant issue on our trails. Angling activity was high with the warm weather, but not many fish were being caught.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) received calls/questions about wolf depredation, ice fishing, youth snowmobile training, and unlawful burning.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports time was spent patrolling Jay Cooke State Park in complaint areas. Enforcement action was taken for having a dog off-leash, allowing dogs on ski trails, and also fat-tire bikes being operated on ski trails. An injured owl was reportedly found in the Carlton area. The young barred owl was captured and turned over to DNR Wildlife to try to save it.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked snowmobile enforcement during the week. CO Olson also worked the vintage snowmobile run in the Fish Lake area, along with the Yeti snowmobile tour in the Island Lake area.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked sportfishing and snowmobiling activity this past week. CO Sullivan contacted one angler who was very excited about the fact that he had caught a nice northern pike but later realized he had not purchased an angling license.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) patrolled area lakes for fishing activity and fielded many outdoor law-related questions. Time was spent patrolling the state recreation area for vehicle permits and for illegal activity.
CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) spent time marking and monitoring fish house removals for littering issues, worked the Frozen Fore event on Gull Lake, and checked anglers and snowmobilers.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angler activities as the melt has begun and the season is winding down. CO Verkuilen also attended the Lake Mille Lacs Lake meeting and checked some late-season rabbit hunters.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) reports enforcement action was taken for storing property at a Lake Mille Lacs public access, unattended lines, failure to have an ice shelter license, litter, failure to display an ice shelter license, failure to properly display ice shelter identification, failure to have a fishing license in possession, failure to display snowmobile registration, and operating a snowmobile without a muffler. She also spent time assisting the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office on a domestic abuse call.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) found the highest level of ice-fishing activity of the season. Violations found included fishing with too many lines, operating unregistered ATVs, and illegal possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) monitored lakes around the station for angling activity. CO Silgjord also attended a Sauk Centre Conservation Club meeting and addressed current DNR-related issues.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked trapping and fish overlimit cases. Snowmobilers and anglers were monitored.
CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports a TIP report was received in regards to an illegally speared and possessed muskellunge. Enforcement action was taken after the completion of the investigation.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports a busy end to the game-fish season. One angler thought it was OK to leave his tip-ups out while he ran home 5 miles for a break. Another angler said he forgot his license at home and bought it 15 minutes after Bertram checked him. Unfortunately for that angler, all licenses are date- and time-stamped when purchased.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) conducted commercial inspections, checked anglers, and assisted with a Becoming an Outdoors Woman event.
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) responded to a TIP call in Wright County regarding a pair of men from out of state keeping too many fish. Once the initial investigation was completed, Benkofske charged the men with gross overlimits. Benkofske stopped an ATVer on Julia Lake, resulting in a DWI arrest after the impaired driver tested over twice the legal limit for alcohol consumption and driving.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) reports an angler was cited for fishing with an extra line on Briggs Lake. The same angler was cited by Seamans for fishing with an extra line approximately one month earlier in the same location.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and monitoring litter issues on station lakes. Grewe asks anglers to pick up trash, blocks, and other items on the lake as the snow melts. Violations this past week included litter, license issues, and failure to display registration.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) worked angling and snowmobiling activity on area lakes and trails. Time also was spent working on a big-game investigation.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) took a report about litter on Lake O’Dowd. The suspects were located in the litter incident and issued a citation. Fogarty checked anglers on local lakes. Two anglers were found with 93 crappies in possession. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) assisted Hennepin County with a crash accessible only by ATV/snowmobile. Enforcement action was taken for fishing overlimits and license violations.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and ATVing activity. Salzer documented several ice shelters that appeared to be abandoned. Please remember to have your houses removed by the March 2 deadline. Salzer also assisted the Forest Lake Police Department with a snowmobile accident.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) spent the week working ice angling, ATVing, and snowmobiling enforcement. Commercial inspections were completed. Daniels would like to remind anglers that Feb. 23 was the close of the walleye, bass, and northern pike season. Also, angling licenses expire at the end of the February.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time this past week working trapping and angling activity. Enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of walleyes.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working ice fishing, snowmobiling, ATVing, and coyote-hunting enforcement. Fish house owners are reminded that March 2 is the fish house removal deadline.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) worked angling and snowmobiling enforcement for the majority of the past week. Anglers are reminded to clean up around fish houses when they remove them from lakes.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) monitored area angling and snowmobiling activity. The past week also included an aeration inspection and possible aquatic management area violations.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls to clarify predator-hunting rules. He also worked angling and snowmobile enforcement.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) reports complaints about predator hunters and their running dogs continue to come in. Hunters are reminded that ethics go along with their sport.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) checked trout anglers out in the warm weather. He received complaints about trespassing and littering.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent much of the past week on fishing and snowmobiling enforcement. CO Howe also spoke on laws and ethics at a snowmobile safety class and participated in a wood duck house-building event sponsored by the Scott-Le Sueur Waterfowlers.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked predator hunters, trappers, anglers, and ATV operators during the past week. He also patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, and waterfowl production areas.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports time was spent checking anglers and coyote hunters. Shed hunters were out in force with the warmer weather as well.
CO Tyler Ramaker (LaCrescent) attended ice rescue training with first responders from local fire departments. Time also was spent checking ice anglers and open-water anglers. Enforcement action was taken for illegal-length walleyes, boat registration violations, and possession of drugs and paraphernalia.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) attended a district meeting. The new border-water regulations were discussed. They go into effect March 1.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) reports several complaints were investigated regarding predator hunters discharging firearms near roadways or building sites. Assistance was given to a man who suffered a medical incident while out hiking.