Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – April 3, 2020
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods and followed up on a fish overlimit complaint. Area wildlife management areas and state parks were patrolled.
CO Marc Johnson (Warroad) primarily worked fishing activity on Lake of the Woods and followed up on a complaint about an overlimit of walleyes. Violations encountered included fishing with extra lines, taking fish without an angling license, expired ATV registration, no angling license in possession, and allowing an ATV passenger under 18 without a helmet.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) removed shelters left on the ice past the deadline with CO Elwell, responded to a dogs-chasing-deer complaint, and monitored the end of the snowmobiling season.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) reports cranes and waterfowl are starting to filter into the northwest. Elwell is starting to see turkeys strutting as well. Elwell dealt with injured animals, patrolled area state parks/refuges, and investigated a dogs-chasing-deer complaint this past week.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working ATVing enforcement and angling activity on special-regulation lakes throughout the past week. Violations encountered and addressed included angling with extra lines and operating unregistered ATVs.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports contacting anglers on area lakes. Some open-water areas are beginning to develop on lake inlet and outlet areas. Time also was spent checking spring beaver-trapping activity and ATV operators.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) cleaned up a few fish house remains on area lakes and took a bear-related complaint.
CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji) checked anglers on area lakes and the Rainy River. Time also was spent on ATV and OHM enforcement as well as training with K9 Storm. Mishler and Storm assisted the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office in attempting to locate a firearm thought to be discarded from a vehicle.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports seeing angling pressure waning as ice conditions on the shore deteriorate. An increase in people walking the trails in area state parks seemed to pick up with the nicer weather and the shelter-at-home order that went into effect. A permit was issued for a car-killed bobcat. A dead eagle was collected and delivered to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the past week working light goose hunting, sportfishing, and ATVing enforcement. Large numbers of snow geese and other migratory waterfowl have moved into the area. Few hunters have been targeting the snow geese. Ice-fishing activity has dropped off significantly. Preparations have begun in anticipation of possible spring flooding emergencies.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) monitored state wildlife management areas and waterfowl production areas. Warren also assisted White Earth Police with a call about a possible domestic dispute.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the past week monitoring angling activity and aeration permits in the Pelican Rapids station. Calls from the public included questions regarding snow goose regulations and several individuals expressing their opinions on the proposed wake boat legislation.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports ice conditions have deteriorated quite a bit during the past week. Lawler observed a lone angler on a bay catching many panfish. After a couple of hours, the angler walked off the bay and Lawler checked him at shore. The angler said he stopped counting sunfish after his fourth keeper, which, unfortunately for him, led to an overlimit. The illegal fish were seized, and a citation was issued. Another citation was issued to an individual who burned a large pile of bed mattresses and furniture. The subject hung his head and admitted he should’ve taken the items to a landfill instead.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) focused on angling and recreational vehicle activity during the past week. Time also was spent monitoring coyote hunting and investigating a TIP complaint. Ice conditions continue to deteriorate on area lakes, especially along shore and near public accesses. Anglers were accessing lakes mostly on foot, and caution is advised when traveling out on the ice.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) took a call regarding an injured eagle, which the CO picked up and brought to a vet in Glenwood. CO Wood also responded to assist the city of Wheaton with a verbal domestic and a vehicle rollover where the vehicle landed in a river. The driver made it out of the vehicle and was transported to a hospital.
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports checking open-water and ice anglers during the past week. Light geese in spectacular numbers were observed all week along the western border.
CO Emily Leeb (Morris) reports working fishing, ATVing, and various public waters enforcement. Enforcement action for the past week included various ATV violations as well as operating an aeration system and placing fill into a public water without permits.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) continued to check anglers. Lakes are beginning to open around the area, and anglers should use caution when traveling onto the ice.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) worked ice fishing and ATVing enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for angling without an angling license and failure to renew ATV registration.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports angling activity in the area was higher than normal. Ice conditions had held up but are now showing signs of weakening. A big-game complaint was investigated, and work continued on items related to the Bear Committee.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports people were starting to open-water fish on the Rainy River. People are reminded to take the governor’s “Stay at Home” executive order seriously. Get outdoors, but please stay within your local communities and practice social distancing while doing outdoor activities.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports the recent warm weather has put an end to the snowmobile trails. The CO assisted a local law enforcement agency with a domestic incident on the shoulder of Highway 53.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time during the past week presenting local law enforcement with an off-road vehicle refresher class and working ATVing and angling enforcement. Zavodnik also spent time assisting local and state law enforcement on a variety of calls, including a search that involved two ATV riders who fled from the State Patrol.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling and ATVing activity, investigated a calf depredation, and took part in an online meeting to develop a Living with Bears plan and literature.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing activity. Few anglers were observed and the ones encountered reported limited success. Broughten investigated a complaint about a person on an SUV stuck on an area snowmobile trail.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports angling activity was high for the final weekend of the winter trout season. Many anglers were contacted, including several groups who had traveled hundreds of miles. In line with the “Stay at Home” executive order, enjoy the outdoors but please do so near your home and while practicing social distancing.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled area parks, lakes, accesses, forest campgrounds, and cross-country ski trails. She also handled calls about bear hunting, road-killed deer, snowmobile traffic, and fishing licenses. Park visitors are reminded that social distancing does not mean driving past the unstaffed self-service registration kiosk and avoiding buying a park permit. Please enjoy the outdoors close to home and don’t forget to get your current licenses and registrations.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy week of outdoor enforcement activity. Time was spent inside and outside of the BWCAW. Bermel observed the highest number of anglers he’s ever seen on Birch Lake during the weekend. The activity was not due to a hot crappie bite, but more to get out and enjoy the outdoors and nice weather. Plenty of enforcement action to report: trapping without a current trapping or small-game license, untagged trap, taking muskrats in a closed season, fishing without a license, expired snowmobile, OHM, and ATV registrations, ATV and OHM operation violations, and operating an aerator without a permit.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) contacted several groups of young adults from central and southern Minnesota and Wisconsin camping at public accesses and at closed state park campgrounds.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked fishing activity and a litter case where a large pile of trash was dumped at a public access. Many people were encountered from out of town, venturing outdoors. Although outdoor activities are allowed, do not travel across several counties to get to your favorite fishing hole at this time.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHVing activity, patrolled state parks and offices in the area, and investigated TIP complaints. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also assisted the sheriff’s office in locating burglary suspects and assisted in the arrest of a suspect who was wanted for multiple outstanding warrants and domestic assault.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) reports enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession and for trespassing on public lands where forest products were illegally taken from public lands.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the past week working along the North Shore of Lake Superior, checking shore anglers. Many boat anglers took advantage of mild weather to enjoy Lake Superior. Area lakes still have plenty of ice, which is allowing anglers to chase crappies.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling and OHVing enforcement, including Fond du Lac State Forest trail closures. Humphrey assisted CO Willis with an overlimit case.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) worked shore anglers and anglers on Lake Superior. The bite has been slow, but not for lack of effort. Nuisance-animal complaints were handled, and complaints about illegal dumping were handled. Calls concerning public-access use and the upcoming open-water season were returned.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers, boaters, snowmobilers, and paddleboarders. Snowmobile trails are quickly falling apart with the wet, warm weather, and ice conditions inland are deteriorating. When the wind cooperates, anglers are getting out on Lake Superior for trout and salmon. Enforcement action was taken for angling and state park violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked angling activity throughout the past week. He also spent time checking perch and tullibee anglers on Leech Lake.
CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) took enforcement action this past week for expired snowmobile and ATV registrations, as well as no licenses and helmets. Ice conditions are deteriorating fast with a few vehicles already going through the ice this past week. Remember, too, that Gov. Walz urges everyone to quarantine at home, not their cabins.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling and ATVing activity. Time also was spent on dogs-chasing-deer and lakeshore-alteration complaints.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked anglers despite shorelines rapidly deteriorating. ATV traffic was up likely due in part to snow-free ditches. Verkuilen also addressed complaints regarding litter and work in public waters.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) assisted the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office with a structure fire. The house was a total loss. Speldrich also patrolled state parks and state forests.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) reports time was spent handling a TIP call about a person using a cast net on the Snake River.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked the fish bite in the area and assisted neighboring officers with what may be the last of the ice fishing in the area for the year.
CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports fielding numerous complaints related to the spring crappie and sunfish bites on several area lakes. Enforcement action was taking for an overlimit of sunfish, no angling license in possession, helmets required on youth, ATV passenger violations, and a traffic stop that lead to a DWI arrest.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports taking calls regarding public land and water access. TIP reports of carcass dumping also were investigated. Illegal-carcass dumping creates a bad image for hunters among nonhunters and hunters alike and will be strictly enforced.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked ATV riders, patrolled state parks and WMAs, and took complaints about dumped carcasses. A reminder that there are currently burning restrictions on and to view the DNR website (mndnr.gov) for updates on what they are.
CO Trent Seamans patrolled for anglers and ATV operators. Additional time was spent patrolling state lands. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines and operating a motor vehicle off-road in the Sand Dunes State Forest.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled Fort Snelling State Park as many people were out enjoying the warm weather. He continued to work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a nonprofit organization to deliver management deer to the designated community.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on ATVing and angling activity throughout the week. Ice on area lakes is melting quickly and many will likely see ice-out by the end of the week.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) continued to check ice anglers and anglers on area rivers. Time also was spent checking bowfishers on area rivers.
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) spent time checking anglers on the Mississippi River. Success was mixed, but anglers noted the fishable conditions. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and angling with an extra line.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) reports some anglers are still out and about along the rivers. Just a reminder that closed doesn’t mean catch and release for walleyes, northern pike, and bass. A littering issue was addressed at a local boat launch, and enforcement action was taken for a juvenile with multiple ATV violations. The juvenile was traveling at approximately 65 miles per hour on a county road on a Class 1 ATV.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) primarily spent time patrolling Pool 2 and checking shore anglers along the rivers. Time also was spent on numerous wildlife-related calls and helping local law enforcement agencies on numerous calls for assistance.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time patrolling wildlife management areas and state parks. He also looked into a littering complaint, responded to an injured-animal call, and fielded questions about the upcoming turkey season.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) observed a great increase in trespassers this past week. People are reminded social distancing is not a free pass to trespass.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) spent the week working angling, ATVing, and waterfowling enforcement. Many area lakes are beginning to open up with the recent warm weather and rain.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the past week working fishing, light goose hunting, and ATVing enforcement. Extra time was spent patrolling state parks. Migratory waterfowl numbers remain high with the spring migration.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent this past week patrolling local WMAs, checking anglers, and working ATVing activity. Small-game violations and open burning also were investigated. Questions were fielded regarding dog-training permits and a public water issue.
CO Ryan Hanna (Hutchinson) patrolled his area for spring cleanup brush fires and burning permits. In this past week, Hanna also received multiple ATV-related complaints. He wants to remind people to review the off-highway vehicle regulations prior to operating on public rights of way.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted site inspections for possible creek excavation. Assistance was provided to local law enforcement. Public accesses were patrolled. A couple of lakes have shown fish kill on different scales. Anglers were checked, and even one watercraft was out floating amongst the ice.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Tony Flerlage (Spring Valley) spent the week checking trout anglers. ATV use increased with a few registration issues. Fishing and hunting are still allowed, but please stay close to home.
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) checked fishing, boating, and ATVing activity this past week. Additional time was spent patrolling area WMAs and WPAs.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) reports shore-angler activity is picking up as the ice disappears from shorelines. ATVing activity also has increased with individuals stating they need to get outside and “do something” during these times.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports abundant trout-angling activity. Time also was spent investigating a complaint of people killing pheasants out of season. Shed-hunting trespass is continuing to be an issue.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) spent the past week monitoring angling activity. Additionally, time was spent investigating a trapping complaint.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports a lot of activity on the river as it continues to rise. Hemker investigated complaints about illegal trout fishing, illegal walleye fishing, and trash dumping.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) reports a landowner was cited for burning prohibited materials and without a permit.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) spent time checking anglers and ATV enthusiasts as many people are acting on the suggestion of Gov. Tim Walz and are going outside to enjoy some spring weather. People who Kyllo encountered had a positive attitude and were working to maintain the social distancing guidelines while recreating. Kyllo also took various wildlife-related calls.