Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – March 13, 2020
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Aaron Larson (Baudette) worked angling and snowmobiling enforcement. The warmer weather has created slushy and wet conditions on Lake of the Woods ice roads.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) continued to conduct follow-up investigations from the past deer season and monitored area snowmobiling and angling activity. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile-registration violations.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports focusing on angling activity on special-regulation lakes throughout the past week. Regas reports working an ongoing timber-theft investigation and reminds the public to obtain fuel/firewood permits before scavenging firewood after logging operations.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck) worked snowmobiling activity and wildlife-related complaints. There are still numerous fish houses on Upper Red Lake. Be sure that your fish houses are off the lake by the March 16 deadline.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending the first part of this past week attending airboat training in the Winona area. Time also was spent checking anglers and completing aeration inspections.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) worked a detail on Lake of the Woods with CO McGowan where several angling violations were detected. Time also was spent checking perch anglers on Leech Lake and patrolling area snowmobile trails.
CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji) reports training was attended with K9 Storm, along with the rest of the Enforcement Division’s K9 unit. The 50th annual Snodeo, hosted at Pinehurst Resort, was also worked, along with area snowmobile trails.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports attending airboat operator refresher training in Winona in preparation for possible flooding in the Red River Valley. Area anglers are having moderate success with panfish and tullibees on area lakes. A local coyote trapper called to report an accidental catch of a timber wolf. The wolf was ear-tagged and was turned over to the local DNR Wildlife office.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked a snowmobile event in Naytahwaush and checked anglers and shelters. One rider tried to avoid the consequences of an expired snowmobile registration by not stopping at an intersection with officers. This action just delayed and added additional consequences.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) reports multiple people were found operating vehicles and ATVs on area snowmobile trails during the weekend. Landmark would like to remind everyone that only snowmobiles can be operated on trail systems through April 1.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent time checking ice anglers and coyote hunters. She also fielded calls about injured deer. Littering complaints were investigated, and several burning complaints were handled.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) has received several calls regarding aggressive turkeys in Breckenridge. Wood would like to remind anglers the deadline for fish houses on border waters has passed and to make sure fish houses and all garbage have been removed from the lake and river.
CO Emily Leeb (Morris) reports working fishing and game enforcement. She teamed up with CO Hanna Wood to provide outreach to students at Wheaton High School.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) monitored fish house removal and litter on area lakes. Holt also worked with local volunteer instructors to begin organizing a firearms safety class for the Osakis area. Complaints regarding possible wetlands violations were investigated.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports a nuisance-animal complaint was received and taken care of, and assistance was provided to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office with an ATV crash.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) continued to work fishing and snowmobiling enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for operating motor vehicles on a snowmobile trail, no ATV registration, and no angling license in possession.
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) continued to check anglers and trapping activity. She also attended an ice rescue class.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time working ice-fishing enforcement this past week. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, taking northern pike out of season, expired snowmobile registration, and angling without a license in personal possession.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports most activity this past week centered on angling, snowmobiling, and ATVing. People contacted are expecting the forecasted warm weather to impact ice- and snow-related activities in a negative way and are trying to squeeze what they can out of winter. Possession permits were issued. An incident was handled involving a car-killed moose.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) patrolled the area snowmobile trails and checked anglers during the week. Snowmobilers from all over the state were encountered. Many of them said this may have been the last weekend of the 2019-2020 snowmobile season for them. Zavodnik also responded to a snowmobile crash. The individual was ejected from his sled, resulting in a serious head injury. He was found to have not been wearing a helmet, and speed also was a factor.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked snowmobilers, ATVers, and anglers. Bozovsky assisted at a crash with injuries southeast of Hibbing. A complaint about ATVers tearing up a snowmobile trail in the Pengilly station was handled. The ATVers were located in the Grand Rapids station.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) assisted with a snowmobile crash with injuries. Broughten and other officers assisted a stranded motorist with young children stuck on a forest road. As the officers were rendering aid, a snowmobiler came by and stole the recovery strap Broughten had placed. The snowmobiler had to have driven right by the stranded vehicle. If you were the snowmobiler who decided you needed the recovery strap more than the stranded motorist, it would be appreciated if you returned it.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy week of snowmobiling and angling enforcement. Assistance was provided with a snowmobile detail in the area of the Crane Lake snowmobile race.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) checked anglers and snowmobilers during a work detail along the Gunflint Trail. He also worked a joint operation with Ontario conservation officers and the U.S. Forest Service. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobiling violations.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and snowmobilers this past week. Several vehicles were stuck trying to drive onto unplowed areas on lakes, and ice conditions have deteriorated in some areas with the warm weather.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports taking the time to finalize a few fishing investigations from last week. Lakes in the BWCAW were monitored and traffic has been slow.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers and worked small-game, ATVing, and snowmobiling activity. Numerous game and fish questions were answered.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling and snowmobiling enforcement. Area snowmobile trails are deteriorating quickly due to the warm weather and high use. Van Asch also gave assistance to the Greenway Snowmobile Club’s annual snowmobile safety class.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) monitored the first round of fish house removal in the southern part of his station. Compliance in meeting the deadline was good, and Hochstein was pleased that little litter was left behind.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) spoke to a firearms safety class at South Ridge School. CO Willis also reports angling activity is still steady.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) monitored area lakes and rivers for angling activity and fish house removal south of Highway 2. Schmidt also worked a detail near the border on Crane Lake.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) checked area lakes for fishing enforcement. Warmer weather brought plenty of people onto the lakes to enjoy ice fishing during mild temperatures. Many people were shore fishing along the North Shore of Lake Superior. The McQuade public access on Lake Superior is now ice-free, which is allowing boat anglers to access Lake Superior.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a K9 meeting and training session at Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area. Several questions were answered about the new feeding ban that recently went into effect in the county. Assistance was given to the State Patrol in apprehending a suspect who fled in a motor vehicle, and assistance also was given to a local police department by having K9 Schody search for evidence in a homicide case.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) received complaints about wolves pursuing deer along the North Shore and near Schultz Lake. He also checked shore and boat anglers checked along the Duluth-Two Harbors waters of Lake Superior.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked early-season boaters who were excited to get out after salmon and lake trout. A few fish were seen in the bag, including coho salmon, Kamloops rainbows, and lake trout.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled area station lakes for panfish-angling activity. New 2020 angling licenses were checked and compliance was great. Guida stopped two young males for careless operation of an all-terrain vehicle and operating a snowmobile with expired registration.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) worked area lakes and snowmobiles. Anglers were reminded to remove all items from the ice when they leave. Enforcement action was taken for recreational trespass, extra lines, unattended lines, fish house shelter license violations, and speeding.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked area angling activity, ATV trail use, and hunting activity. Sullivan also checked anglers, who reported some success with sunfish and crappies. ATV riders were contacted and education was provided about snowmobile trail restrictions. Sullivan contacted one hunting group that harvested a deer out of season. During the investigation, several items of evidence and property were seized.
CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) took enforcement action this past week for expired registration, feeding deer in the CWD zone, and shelters left out after the deadline.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked anglers and followed up on fish houses left out after the removal deadline. A public-waters filling case also was investigated.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) checked local lakes for fish houses left on the ice after the removal date. Speldrich also checked anglers, who were reporting an OK panfish bite. She checked ATV riders, received a report about a nuisance bobcat, and patrolled state forests.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked pike and tullibee anglers who were finding some success. Enforcement action was taken for an illegal fire and failing to register a deer.
CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) primarily patrolled Lake Mille Lacs this week. Anglers are reminded to purchase new fishing licenses and read the 2020 fishing regulations book. The DNR website also has up-to-date information on special management lakes, including Mille Lacs. Enforcement action this past week was taken for an overlimit of fish, taking fish without a license, no license in possession, and fish shelter removal violations.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this past week checking anglers. With the warm weather, there has been increased ATVing activity. Remember that youth under the age of 18 need to wear a helmet while on class I and II ATVs.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) started the week checking for any fishing shelters left on area lakes after the deadline. One shelter that was reported was found to be frozen into the lake. Upon locating the owner to see why the shelter had not been removed, Silgjord found the person was under house arrest. A TIP complaint about illegal bowfishing was fielded and resulted in enforcement action for various violations.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) focused the first half of the week on fish house deadline issues. No fish houses were left on the ice after the deadline. A fish overlimit case was worked with CO Seifermann.
CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports receiving several calls from the public, which included a trespass complaint, a report about an injured/sick deer, a possible overlimit of sunfish, wanton waste (fish) and a possible wetland violation.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers, local lakes for shelter removal compliance, coyote hunters, and ATV riders. Londgren would like to remind ATV operators that snowmobile trails are not open to ATVs. Calls were taken about injured animals, carcass dumping, and ATV complaints.
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) received numerous reports about deer carcasses dumped that have been found beneath the melting snow.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) spent time this past week checking lakes for fish houses and litter left on the ice. Several fish houses were found out on the lakes past the deadline, and enforcement action was taken.
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week working ice anglers and making sure all fish houses were removed by the deadline. He also spent time assisting neighboring officers in removing fish houses from their lakes.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) spent the majority of the past week patrolling for unlawful smallmouth bass anglers along the Mississippi River. A detail was worked and multiple citations were issued for targeting smallmouth bass in the closed season. Additional enforcement action was taken for littering, fishing without a license, and parking in front of a public water access.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) checked anglers on metro-area lakes and assisted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with an investigation. He also worked a VIP detail at Ft. Snelling State Park and monitored local trails.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) assisted Carver County and the State Patrol with an injury crash in which a vehicle entered the water.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) reports there was 100% compliance locally with the fish shelter removal deadline. However, enforcement action was taken for issues related to fish house licensing.
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) spent time preparing equipment for open water. Lerchen also provided a ride-along to a college student.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) reports the north access of Cedar Lake opened due to warm weather and road salt. Prior Lake Bait and Tackle reported one driver had put his front axle through the ice at that landing. Fogarty followed up on a social media post about a squirrel-hunting contest. It was discovered the hunters possessed and later sold an overlimit of squirrels after the hunt. Charges are pending in the case.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the past week checking area lakes for fish shelters that had been left after the deadline and also for litter left behind. CO Arntzen also issued a wildlife-possession permit and fielded calls about nuisance animals and trespassing.
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) primarily spent time checking late-season ice anglers and patrolling the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers by boat. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, various license violations, no PFD, and boat registration issues.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent time checking wildlife management areas for dumped property and illegal off-road activity.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) spent the past week working ice fishing and small-game enforcement. Several wildlife-related complaints were fielded and investigated.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time this past week attending a K9 meeting and training. Aeration inspections were conducted on local lakes.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the past week working ATV riders and fish shelters. Several hunters have been watching for light geese, but few geese have come through the area.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) fielded questions regarding nuisance wildlife and trapping. He also attended training and worked angling and solid waste enforcement activities.
CO Ryan Hanna (Hutchinson) reports good compliance with the fishing shelter removal deadline on area lakes. Hanna also investigated an animal-dumping complaint in Sibley County.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) continued patrolling local lakes for litter and fish house removal issues. Time also was spent checking anglers, answering questions from the public, and monitoring ATVing activity. An investigation into a small-game violation was conducted.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports working anglers and small-game hunters. The ice conditions really took a hit with the warmer weather.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked trappers and anglers, as well as snowmobile and ATV operators during the week. Multiple violations were encountered. Davis also patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, and waterfowl production areas.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports lake activity has dwindled after the warm weather took a toll on ice conditions. Some anglers walked out and found fish.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking anglers during the week. The ice is in poor condition and caution should be used. ATV operators became active and are reminded to check laws on where they can legally operate.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) reports a ride-along was provided to a high school student interested in becoming a CO.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) assisted the local fire department and sheriff’s office with a call about three individuals through the ice on an area lake. A woman’s dog had fallen through the ice, and when she attempted to rescue it, she fell in the water. Two anglers saw the woman in the water and went to help, but ended up going through the ice as well. All three individuals and the dog were rescued.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports many positive comments have been heard regarding the new border-water fishing regulations. Another deer-related investigation is under way.