Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 3, 2020

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) assisted with training at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley and checked anglers and boaters on Lake of the Woods and the Roseau River. Violations encountered included possession of an illegal-length walleye, a juvenile operating a personal watercraft without training, and operating a PWC within one hour of sunset.

CO Marc Johnson (Warroad) worked primarily angling activity on Lake of the Woods and ATV enforcement. In addition, he fielded numerous calls including nuisance-bear complaints and assisting the U.S. Department of Agriculture with successfully releasing a bear cub from a trap. 

CO Aaron Larson (Baudette) predominantly worked angling enforcement on Lake of the Woods. Larson discovered multiple walleye overlimits throughout the week while conducting regulatory checks of anglers.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports time was spent working an Upper Red Lake enforcement detail, monitoring ATV trail use, and investigating a wolf-depredation complaint. Regas also conducted multiple commercial minnow dealer inspections with area Fisheries staff and Ecological and Water Resources AIS inspectors. 

CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck) responded to a TIP about ATVers operating in the water at a local public water access. When he responded to the area, he found two juveniles operating the ATVs in deep water. Prachar spoke with the parents of the youths, and enforcement action was taken for allowing illegal operation of an ATV.  

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports spending the majority of this past week checking anglers and watercraft operators on area lakes and rivers. Time also was spent checking ATV operators. Various angling and boating violations were encountered.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored boating and angling activity on area lakes. Complaints about nuisance bears were taken. 

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week patrolling area lakes for fishing and boating activity. Swedberg focused his enforcement efforts on PWC violations DURING the past week and talked to a lot of juvenile operators about proper PWC operation and safety when out in groups. 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) followed up on complaints about hydro jets being operated illegally to control weeds and lake sediment. 

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on angling and boating activity. A call about a boat washed up on shore was investigated and the owner was located. 

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) discussed regulations with area bowfishers during a tournament and observed good overall compliance. As the weeds begin to thicken on area lakes, Landmark would like to remind lakeshore owners to check into aquatic vegetation regulations and to make sure they are abiding by the rules for operating weed-control devices. 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports concentrating efforts on fishing and boating. Richards worked with CO Jordan Anderson on Upper Red Lake during the weekend. 

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers, boaters, and monitoring AIS law compliance. Additional time was spent on injured/orphaned animal calls and follow-up on aquatic plant-removal violations. 

CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) assisted Traverse County in searching for a missing person as well as assisting boaters who got stranded on Lake Traverse. 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) took questions about boating, ATV, and firearms safety classes. Please check the DNR website for any announcements regarding the future scheduling of DNR safety education classes.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports that a popular tubing spot along the Long Prairie River is being worked, with multiple citations issued for litter and underage consumption of alcohol. 

District 4 – Walker area

CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. He checked boaters and PWC operators on area lakes. PWC violations observed were issued for driving too close to shore at faster than no-wake speed. He also received a complaint of bears getting into garbage cans and knocking over bird feeders. 

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time working areas with high ATV activity in her station. ATV violations included failure to display valid registration, operating without headlights, and children under 18 years old without helmets. 

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) continued to check angling, boating, and ATVing activity. She responded to calls about an injured loon and a bear causing damage to property. She also assisted with a motorcycle vs. deer crash. 

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers and recreational vehicle use. A deer-possession permit and nuisance-beaver permit were issued. Complaints about nuisance bears and dogs chasing deer were investigated.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports fishing and boating enforcement on Rainy Lake continues to be the main emphasis of the work load. Instructing emergency vehicle operation training was also conducted at Camp Ripley during the week. 

CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent the majority of the week patrolling Lake Vermilion, checking anglers and working boating safety enforcement. The mayfly hatch is in full bloom, and the walleye bite has been found to be difficult as of late. Zavodnik assisted the State Patrol with multiple calls during the week, including a DWI arrest of an individual who was nearly four times over the legal alcohol concentration. He also responded to a motorcycle crash in the Tower area and assisted with a fire that got out of control on a Lake Vermilion island. 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) assisted the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office with an injury vehicle accident at a lake access. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, no license in possession, and a number of boating, invasive species transport, and ATVing violations.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports angling activity was steady through the week. Violations included no fishing license in possession, operating an ATV with expired registration, and failure to display current watercraft registration.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers this past week. He also checked boaters and canoers in the BWCAW. Velsvaag also responded to several nuisance-bear complaints and took questions about slot-limit pike regulations on Ely-area lakes.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) took a couple more reports about nuisance bears at campsites and cabins. The DNR and Bearwise.org both have information that is helpful to folks living in black bear-frequented areas. 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) patrolled lakes inside and out of the BWCAW. A complaint about people camping in the day-use area of Lake Vermilion State Park was handled. 

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports spending most of the week in the BWCAW. Multiple canoes and campsites were checked, and the fishing wasn’t the best. Hill was happy to see that every person paddling on the lakes had an approved personal flotation device and every canoe was property registered. 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) assisted Lake County Sheriff’s Office with the extraction of an injured hiker.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) handled nuisance/injured animal-related complaints, checked anglers, monitored OHV activity, and provided EVOC instruction. 

CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) handled a couple of snapping turtle cases this past week. One involved the illegal killing of a turtle by a motor vehicle operator. The other involved a snapping turtle in a port-a-potty at a public access. Targeting snapping turtles in these ways is illegal, and persons found breaking the law will be investigated.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling and boating activity during the past week, with enforcement action taken for transporting walleyes without skin patches and transporting aquatic vegetation.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) primarily worked boating and fishing enforcement. Several miscellaneous wildlife and nuisance-bear calls were handled. 

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) saw heavy boating activity in the area this week. Willis also assisted county staff with addressing a wetland/shoreline violation. 

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) spent time at Camp Ripley teaching emergency vehicle operation course. He also followed up on wetland and shoreline cases that are ongoing. ATV-related complaints were handled, and the officer assisted county officers with a vehicle crash.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) followed up on a wetland complaint and issued a restoration order. Several violations for ATV operation, angling license, AIS, boating equipment/licensing, and public access rules were addressed

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked on training with K9 Schody and patrolled area lakes and high OHV use areas. Assistance was given at a traffic crash where several people were injured.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked Lake Superior from Duluth to Two Harbors. A steady catch of lake trout was seen from deeper water. The warm weather had many power boaters and sailing enthusiasts enjoying the calm waters and nice weather. 

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked boaters and anglers on Lake Superior. State parks have been busy with standard summer activity, and violations of no park permit and dogs off-leash were too common. 

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) checked anglers, ATV riders, and boaters. The lakes were busy and violations included angling without licenses, lack of life preservers, kids under 10 without life jackets being worn, expired registrations, and operation of personal watercraft at high rates of speed near shore and swimmers. He also took several calls about loons being harassed and run over.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, invasive species, and ATVing activity. Illegal aquatic vegetation removal and various wildlife calls were handled. Training was attended, and assistance was given to the sheriff’s office regarding a stabbing incident.

CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) took enforcement action this week for no licenses, no PFDs, bow-riding, fish overlimits, and no helmets. During an ATV stop, the driver stated he saw the CO sitting off the side of a township road, and knew he was driving too fast, but wanted to see if she was “courageous” enough to follow at a high rate of speed to get him stopped. 

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) assisted with alcohol training at Camp Ripley for the CO Academy. Sullivan also worked area lakes and ATV trails. 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked lake activity. Dry local conditions are causing low water levels and more boating hazards than usual. ATV riders and fireworks users should also be aware of the drought-like conditions during the holiday weekend. 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) followed up on a wolf depredation where calves that were attacked and injured have now died. She also followed up on complaints about state forest users dispersed camping in areas not authorized for dispersed camping. Speldrich was informed of an unoccupied picnic area with a camp fire still smoldering. She extinguished the fire. With the lack of rain in the area, this type of carelessness could have resulted in a very bad situation.  

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked boat and water complaints, nuisance-bear activity, fishing activity, and ATV use. Walleyes are still biting well, as the July 1 Lake Mille Lacs arrives. Extra-line violations and no license in possession were found on Mille Lacs while Starr and CO Verkuilen were patrolling for night ban activity. Starr also attempted to stop a careless motorist only to have the wanted felon flee on foot. Charges are pending as the known suspect remains at large with multiple felony warrants.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) reports cattle producers continue to struggle with calf losses by wolf depredation and homeowners continue to report problems with black bears damaging property.

CO Ben Karon (Pine City) assisted the Pine County Sheriff’s Office with a rescue on the St. Croix River of an injured person. There have been many complaints about PWCs on area lakes. Please read the PWC rules sticker that is required to be on your machine. ATV patrol was conducted and boaters were educated about possible AIS issues.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week attending emergency vehicle operations training. Assistance was also provided at the CO Academy with scenario training. 

CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports monitoring summer recreational activity in the area. He received several calls from the public regarding nuisance wildlife. 

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) handled a wolf-depredation complaint and several nuisance-bear issues. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license, no PFDs, and no weed-roller permit. 

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV riders, and patrolled state lands. Enforcement action was taken on a large public waters project. Calls about trespass, nuisance animals, and litter also were responded to. 

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) worked a BWCAW detail, checking canoe safety laws and campsite and fishing regulations. On the drive back home, Benkofske and CO Seamans came upon a man with a shotgun who was shooting at vehicle traffic from his lawn. The individual then shot at the COs and was taken to jail without anyone getting hurt.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) assisted two kayakers who got lost and couldn’t find their way back to the access on Pelican Lake. An injured trumpeter swan was captured and transported to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in the Twin Cities.  

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Tim Maass (Osseo) worked boaters and anglers on area lakes and rivers. Maass also investigated a complaint about possible weed harvesting on an area lake without a permit. 

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled district lakes and rivers. He also assisted DNR Wildlife staff with distributing venison to the Karen community.

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on boat and water safety throughout the week. Nice weather during the weekend contributed to significant boat traffic on area lakes and waterways. Enforcement action was taken for registration, boat operation, and boating equipment violations.

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked AIS at public accesses, monitored state parks and state trails, and took phone calls from the Asian community on fishing regulations. 

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reports attending training at Camp Ripley. He handled several calls regarding nuisance animals and trespassing. Arntzen also did AIS enforcement and continued checking anglers on area lakes. 

CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) completed an investigation regarding the sale of minnows without a minnow dealer’s license. A complaint was followed up on regarding a person shooting and killing nuisance geese. 

CO Ryan Hanna (White Bear Lake) patrolled area lakes for boating violations. During his patrols, he located people pulling aquatic vegetation from the lake water. The landowner did not have a permit and was advised of activities that require and don’t require a permit. Hanna also assisted the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office with an injured person in Carlos Avery WMA. The person sought medical attention for non-life threatening injuries.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time this past week working angling activity and complaints about litter on the shores of the Redwood and Minnesota rivers. Assistance was given to the Redwood County Sheriff’s Office in locating a plane that was having mechanical issues and made an emergency landing. 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, ATV, state park, and AIS enforcement. Kayakers and paddle-boarders are reminded that they need to have life jackets. 

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week patrolling ATVers and checking anglers. Boating activity is high across the area.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent time this week investigating a possible wetland violation and violations at public accesses and DNR-owned lands. Additional time was spent on boat and water safety, sportfishing compliance, and aquatic invasive species. Investigations into trespassing and shooting range violations are ongoing. 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls about injured and orphaned wildlife and boating complaints. 

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) reports that he worked angling, ATVing, and AIS enforcement throughout the week. He also assisted with an AIS detail in Fairmont.  

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted commercial inspections of game farms. AIS inspections were performed at public accesses.  

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV operators this past week. Additional time was spent checking park and trail permits at area state parks.

CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports working boat and water safety, AIS, and checking anglers on local lakes. Many boating violations were detected. 

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) received a call from an individual who had a snapping turtle relaxing in his yard. It was not causing problems. Because the individual had never seen a turtle in that location, he felt that this one needed to be relocated. The individual was advised to leave the turtle alone and it would move on by itself. 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) responded to several nuisance-animal calls. One call involved a snake found in the passenger compartment of a car days after the car had been used to transport brush to a dump.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports several people were contacted Saturday night with a total of 11 live turtles stuffed in bags and backpacks while leaving the Mississippi River. The turtles were seized due to the closed season, and enforcement action was taken. 

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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