Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – May 8, 2020

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) worked ATV enforcement, turkey hunting, and beaver trapping around Roseau, Marshall, and Kittson counties. He also monitored sturgeon fishing on the Rainy River.

CO Marc Johnson (Warroad) worked angling activity on the Rainy River and at local public accesses. In addition, he patrolled area state forests and assisted DNR Forestry with burning activity. 

CO Aaron Larson (Baudette) worked angling and fire enforcement. Violations included angling with extra lines, failure to validate a sturgeon tag, illegally party fishing for sturgeon, failure to affix a sturgeon tag, no angling license in possession, and failure to obtain a burning permit.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working ATVing, spring beaver trapping, and fish-run activity throughout this past week. Time was spent working a district fire enforcement detail, handling reports of incidentally caught wildlife while spring beaver trapping, and a report about a nuisance bear. 

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) spent time this past week checking boaters and anglers on area lakes. Time also was spent contacting recreational vehicle operators. Wildlife-possession permits were issued, and an incidentally-caught otter was seized from a spring beaver trapper.

CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji) spent the majority of the past week patrolling ATV trails and checking anglers and people spearing rough fish. A trapping complaint was handled, as was a call regarding a bear with a trap on its paw. Turkey hunters were also checked, and time was spent patrolling area state parks. 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports several anglers complained about the inability to register their expired boat and ATV registrations due to the local Department of Motor Vehicle offices being closed. Vinton directed them to the DNR website for renewals. Anglers are reminded that seining minnows from AIS-infested waters is prohibited. Only licensed bait dealers with the appropriate training and tagged equipment are allowed in infested waters. 

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) worked a sturgeon-fishing detail on the Rainy River with CO Zavodnik. Many anglers were catching nice sturgeon. The biggest Swedberg saw was 69 inches long. 

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the past week working sportfishing, turkey hunting, and ATVing enforcement. A wolf-depredation complaint was investigated. 

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) reports a call about a bear and two cubs found shot near the Mahnomen/Norman county line is being investigated. Anyone with information is asked to contact Warren.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) reports bowfishing activity was monitored on an area lake after numerous reports were received about lights waking people up at night. Bowfishers were reminded to stay 150 feet or more away from residences, but overall compliance has been good and Landmark observed no violations. Other calls from the public were reports of possible fish overlimits, beaver-related complaints, trespassing, illegal pumping of public waters, and concerns about people walking in creeks at night with flash lights. 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Brian Holt (Osakis) checked angling, bowfishing, and turkey hunting during the past week. Time also was spent working with lakeshore property owners on shoreline and aquatic plant issues. 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports a couple of anglers were issued citations for not purchasing angling licenses before fishing. Dry conditions continue, and with recent high winds, fire activity was closely monitored. A TIP call about keeping bass out of season was worked.

CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) received calls and questions regarding fishing, nuisance/dead animals, minnow transport permits, and transporting firearms. 

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) has received several reports about illegal fires being started around the county. They’re likely arson. If anyone has any information about who may be starting these fires, please report it to Baumbarger or the Pope County Sheriff’s Office.

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) checked anglers, investigated litter complaints, and worked AIS and ATV enforcement. Miscellaneous wildlife-related calls were handled, such as a car-killed hawk and a dead swan on the roadway. 

District 4 – Walker area

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) saw a lot of fishing activity during the week. A reminder to make sure all required safety equipment is present and operational. 

CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked fishing enforcement this past week. No fishing license in possession was the most common violation he observed. Posner received a complaint about a bowfisher dumping carp at public landings. Flooding on area lakes, especially Lake Shamineau, is a significant problem for landowners and people trying to access the lake. The west DNR access on Shamineau is closed and will remain closed until the water recedes and repairs can be made.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) took several complaints about anglers taking walleyes in local streams. A complaint about sucker spearing in trout streams also was investigated. Other calls received included a wetland-filling complaint and an injured-bear report. 

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports most activity this past week was around the Rainy River and recreational ATV operation. Almost every angler contacted reported an active sturgeon bite with some anglers leaving the water in the early afternoon due to a mob of suckers that cleaned them out of large numbers of worms. Time was spent investigating a fire that burned a tree in a yard and caused some minor damage to a structure.  

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers and OHV riders, as well as invasive species and state park enforcement. Bozovsky investigated a TIP call of someone taking two Canada goose goslings, as well as a number of dogs-chasing-deer complaints with the same suspect dogs. 

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the past week monitoring fishing, trapping, and ATVing activity. He also investigated a complaint of people filling wetlands. 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) spent the past week focusing on trapping and ATVing activity. The lakes in the Ely area are almost completely ice-free thanks to windy and warm conditions. 

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time checking traps and ATVing activity and monitoring the spring fish run. Trout anglers along North Shore tributaries were checked. He also assisted the sheriff’s office with calls and met with trappers about incidental takes.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled forest roads and trails and checked lakes and rivers. Stretches of some forest roads still have snow, making travel difficult even by ATV. 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy week of ATVing, trapping, and fish-run enforcement activities. Enforcement action was taken for an untagged trap, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, numerous ATV- and OHM-registration and operation violations including an ATV DWI arrest, camping at a public access, and no state park vehicle permits.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) contacted multiple people in violation of the no-camping and no-campfire order issued by the U.S. Forest Service. They were also in possession of marijuana.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored trapping activity, and worked the spring fish run. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also assisted the county in locating evidence in an ongoing criminal investigation. 

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked the Rainy River, with enforcement action taken for party fishing for sturgeon and unattended lines. Sutherland also worked wildfire activity, with enforcement action taken for burning illegal substances and having a fire without a permit.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) worked beaver trapping, turkey hunting, angling, and ATVing activity. Violations included a juvenile passenger on an ATV not wearing the required helmet, expired ATV registration, and driving on a closed forest road.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) continued to see heavy outdoor activity and fielded many phone calls related to regulations. A trespass complaint resulted in multiple citations for trapping violations. 

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) spent much of the past week working the North Shore for shore anglers. Smelting activity was extremely high all week and smelt were cooperating for the most part.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked fire, fishing, turkey hunting, and OHVing enforcement throughout the week. Humphrey also patrolled the Fond du Lac State Forest during spring road and trail closures. 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent time following up on litter complaints and checking angling activity in the area. A resident of Wisconsin was found angling with a resident Minnesota license. After receiving a citation, the angler decided to go out and purchase the proper nonresident license so she could continue fishing. A waters complaint was investigated where work was being done in an area lake. The current work done was found to be legal and did not need a permit.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked Lake Superior tributaries during the day, checking anglers, and by nights, checking smelters. He also worked surveillance details. District 8 officers teamed up during night work to catch several groups netting and taking steelhead illegally, resulting in numerous charges. 

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) monitored smelt harvest, river anglers, and overnight fish-run activity in fish sanctuaries. 

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) provided enforcement for fishing, ATV operation, spring fire season, and trapping. Enforcement action was taken for registration issues, juveniles operating ATVs illegally, and no safety certification. 

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled area lakes for fishing violations and area ATV trails for all-terrain vehicle violations. 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling and turkey-hunting activity. Questions were answered regarding bowfishing and sucker spearing. Mlynar also assisted with a search for a boy in Crow Wing County.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked an increase in anglers brought out by the warmer water and the bite picking up. Burning was monitored due to high fire danger. Verkuilen also checked beaver trappers, turkey hunters, and lake equipment going back into the water. 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated several possible public waters/Wetland Conservation Act violations on Sturgeon Lake. ATV use in the area of the Nemadji State Forest continued over the weekend. Reports of ATVers operating in the state forest at night with high-powered lighting were taken. She also responded to a complaint about turkey hunting in a state park. The hunter was located. After a short interview, it was determined the hunter believed he was in the state forest as his hunting app was less than helpful. Hunters are responsible for knowing where they’re at, so make sure to double-check your hunting locations.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on sucker spearing and bowfishing activities with a few complaints coming in about lights on the lakes at night. Starr is currently mediating a neighbor dispute over a beaver dam that is causing flooding of ag land. 

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) found high numbers of people out at popular shore-fishing spots. Several people were caught targeting bass out of season and trying to bring them home. One individual was found sitting on his 5-gallon pail with his fishing pole hidden in the grass a few feet away. After initially refusing to stand up from the pail, he finally had to get up to retrieve his billfold and ID, which revealed a few smallmouth bass inside the pail. Another group was caught hustling through the woods, to their truck, with a pail containing over a dozen smallmouth bass.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the past week monitoring area lakes for angling pressure. A TIP complaint regarding a turkey overlimit was investigated with enforcement action being taken for multiple turkey hunting violations. Another TIP complaint was fielded regarding anglers keeping pike and bass at an area dam. An angler was located and found to be in possession of multiple northern pike and a largemouth bass, all out of season. Silgjord would like to thank those members of the public who keep an eye out for violations and utilize the TIP line when they are seen. 

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) reports a sick-looking deer was dealt with. Aquatic invasive species enforcement was conducted at area boat ramps.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports enforcing ATV and fishing laws in the area. A great-horned owl was freed from a barbwire fence and managed to fly away. A car was followed after the driver was seen doing donuts and burnouts, resulting in a DWI arrest with the help of the State Patrol. Benkofske also stopped an ATVer for traffic violations. The ATV was found to be stolen. The owner was happy to have it recovered.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) assisted other law enforcement agencies with the apprehension of suspects who fled from law enforcement in a stolen vehicle. Krauel also spent time investigating wetland complaints and CWD feeding ban violations. 

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo)reports a lakeshore violation was handled in Stearns County where a homeowner was placing fill on the shoreline. 

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Tim Maass (Osseo) continued to work several TIP complaints regarding bowfishers illegally dumping carp in road ditches. 

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) was checking fishing licenses when one angler said he didn’t think he needed a fishing license to catch and release bass. He was cited for no fishing license and informed he cannot target bass until the opener. 

CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) took a TIP report about a turkey shot and left on the side of the road. The turkey was found with its beard and spurs cut off and no meat taken. Fogarty also followed up on a turkey hunter who failed to register his turkey as required. 

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked anglers and boaters on metro-area lakes and rivers. He patrolled state parks, state trails, and took a TIP complaint in Shakopee about people fishing on a designated trout lake.

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on angling enforcement and boating safety. He continued to encounter anglers fishing out of season on designated trout lakes. 

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) worked the walleye and northern pike opener on the lower St. Croix River. Most boaters were out for the first time of the season. Please ensure that prior to boating you have all required safety equipment and know the local boating laws. 

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent a very busy weekend working anglers on the St. Croix River. Anglers were out in high numbers.

CO Ryan Hanna (White Bear Lake) patrolled area lakes for shore anglers. Complaints were investigated regarding keeping northern pike out of season and angling without a license.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the past week conducting investigations, patrolling for ATV riders, and checking anglers. He encountered a large number of ATVs being unlawfully operated on roadways.

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored angling, boating, OHV riding, and turkey hunting activity during the week. 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the past week working fishing, boating, ATVing, state park, and turkey hunting enforcement. Complaints about taking walleyes and northern pike out of season were investigated. 

CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) spent the past week working angling and boat and water enforcement. He also following up on several wildlife-related complaints. 

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent time this past week responding to TIP complaints and patrolling local public accesses. Area lakes and waterways also were also checked as the spring fish activity increases with warmer water. Investigations into taking bass out of season, overlimits, and big-game violations continue. 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received complaints about possible crappie overlimits and questions about how to transfer and register boats while deputy registrar offices are closed. 

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) fielded numerous TIP calls during the past week related to fishing violations. Taking game fish out of season continues to be an ongoing issue. He also worked a case related to taking a protected bird. Litter at WMAs and WPAs is becoming a problem, and anyone observing this type of behavior is encouraged to contact their local CO. 

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on fishing and boating activity. The CO also checked turkey hunters.

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) continued to check angling activity on area lakes and rivers. Complaints about individuals targeting and keeping walleyes and bass are being investigated.

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) worked angling, ATVing, and boating activities this past week. Pike anglers are reminded of the southern zone regulations for keeping northern pike.  

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) arrested an intoxicated boater on the Mississippi River after the boat tipped over near a public access. The intoxicated man went to retrieve the pickup/trailer and left a juvenile holding onto the boat. The boat was taking on water due to strong waves and tipped over near the dock. 

CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) contacted a nonresident trout angler fishing Pine Creek without a license. The angler had three brown trout in possession. The angler said he wanted to go trout fishing, but his state’s trout season was not open yet so he took a chance. Enforcement action was taken, and the trout were seized. 

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports checking area state forest lands and state parks. Folks are reminded that camping is not allowed at this time on any state forest lands or campgrounds. 

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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