Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 17, 2020
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Marc Johnson (Warroad) primarily worked angling activity on Lake of the Woods and ATV enforcement throughout the station. Violations encountered included fishing with extra lines, possession of an illegal-length walleye, failure to display valid registration, fishing with no angling license in possession, and allowing illegal operation of an ATV.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) worked with CO Elwell in the Beltrami Island State Forest. He also investigated two wolf depredations and responded to multiple nuisance-bear complaints.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports inspecting public water and wetland sites this past week. He also spent time working AIS enforcement on designated infested waters. Anglers and watercraft operators were checked throughout the week.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports patrolling area lakes and trails for angling, boating, and ATVing activity. Calls about swans possibly shot were investigated, as was the improper operation of a hydro jet.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) reports time was spent contacting boat owners about registration issues and following up on aquatic plant violations and zebra mussel violations reported by local inspectors.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked state park enforcement, anglers and boaters, and responded to calls about an injured calf and a nuisance bear.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on angling and boating activity. Follow-up was conducted on a complaint about storing property at a public access.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) assisted local law enforcement after a tornado devastated parts of southern Otter Tail County.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent time this past week assisting with CO Academy instruction on trapping enforcement and techniques. Plautz also monitored fishing and boating activity as well as invasive species compliance during the weekend.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) followed up on an abandoned-watercraft complaint and aquatic plant management violations.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) worked on several hydraulic jet violations in Grant and Otter Tail counties. In two of the cases, the operators were cited in the past and continued, which will result in further enforcement action. Any excavation of the lake bottom requires a permit from the DNR, and any mechanical control of aquatic vegetation also needs a DNR permit.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports several citations were issued for various fishing and boating violations. A detail was worked after dark that targeted boating under the influence, navigation lights, and late personal watercraft operation. Several citations were issued.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. He also worked on boating-enforcement issues this past week. Complaints about PWCers chasing loons and careless operation of wakeboard boats received some enforcement time.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) attended training and spent time on ATV enforcement throughout the past week. Multiple violations were found, including allowing illegal operation by a juvenile, failure to display valid registration, and operating without headlights.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time on forest recreation. Reports about litter and unauthorized camping in Huntersville State Forest were investigated. Nuisance-animal calls also were handled.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers and recreational vehicle use. Reports of fish dying on area lakes are coming in and are a likely result of water temperatures in the low- to mid-80s. Nuisance-bear and otter complaints were received. Work continues on a public water alteration. Reports of campers littering and camping in a spot too long were investigated.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) continued to checked boaters and anglers. Enforcement action was taken for various fishing violations.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports another busy weekend as the weather has been cooperative for boating, fishing, and other water-related activities on Rainy Lake. A trespass issue was looked into, along with monitoring ATV activities in the area.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) assisted with instruction at the current CO Academy at Camp Ripley. Many bear-related complaints were taken during the past week. A common thing observed at all the locations was some type of food source, whether meant for the bears or not.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent the majority of his time focused on boat and water safety throughout the week. Zavodnik has noticed a common trend of individuals failing to have life-saving devices on board non-motorized watercraft. He continues to monitor such activity closely. He also fielded complaints regarding state campground violations and monitored loud watercraft exhaust on Lake Vermilion. He also assisted local law enforcement with a boating accident.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, state park enforcement, and an ATV complaint. Bozovsky received multiple PWC complaints about individuals operating PWCs while lying down, while on their phone, and operating the throttle with their feet. The latter nearly caused a crash with another watercraft.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring boating, fishing, and ATVing activity. Broughten also fielded calls regarding nuisance bears and aquatic plant violations.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) continued to receive nuisance-bear complaints in the Ely area. Most complaints involved bears getting into human trash that was not secured properly. Residents are reminded that careless garbage storage can create a nuisance-bear problem in the neighborhood.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked ATV riders and anglers this past week. Velsvaag also took several nuisance-animal calls and Basswood Lake fishing regulation questions.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) checked anglers on Lake Superior and inland lakes and monitored ATVing activity. He followed up on boating complaints and calls related to nuisance wildlife.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked ATV-complaint areas, primarily ATV operation on trails closed to their use. One individual operating on a state snowmobile trail buried his ATV in the mud and water and several people tried to assist by driving their trucks down the trail. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports focusing a lot of time on AIS, sportfishing, and ATV safety throughout the week. Multiple drain plug violations were observed. One person said he put his plug in at the beginning of the year when he put his boat on a lift in another state. When Hill stopped him in Grand Marais, his boat was full of water because he had yet to remove the plug. A citation was issued. Multiple people were issued citations for possessing aluminum cans of beer in the BWCAW. One group had three large coolers full of the illegal items.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled campgrounds, and monitored ATV and AIS activity. Numerous game and fish questions were answered. He also responded to wildlife-related complaints and assisted with use-of-force training at the CO Academy.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, investigated TIP complaints, handled nuisance-animal complaints and assisted the State Patrol with a motor vehicle accident.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) followed up on a few cases she’s been investigating involving the illegal taking of a turtle, a canoe found on a river, and a private-land trespass issue.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) worked a mix of ATVing, boating, and fishing activity. Follow-up work was done on a variety of complaints, including litter that was left at a public access. Several violations were addressed including operating an ATV on a bike path and on a state highway.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time working area accesses for AIS enforcement. ATV complaint areas were patrolled. Fishing and boating activity was worked. Trespass and burning violations were investigated.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with teaching trapping skills and enforcement at the CO Academy. A complaint about someone taking an overlimit of fish is under investigation. ATV and invasive species activity was worked in the area.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling and boating, OHVing, and AIS enforcement throughout the week. Humphrey received calls and complaints about unlawful ATV operation in the Moose Lake area, the taking of an illegal-length muskie, lakeshore and water surface use violations, and harassment of a watercraft inspector.
CO Jake Willis (Brookston) reports a complaint about people harassing a watercraft inspector in a neighboring station was handled, and the suspects were identified. A TIP call regarding unlawful fishing activity was found to be natural resources staff conducting routine activities.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked boaters and anglers on Lake Superior. ATV access points and crossings were worked, and questions were answered relating to nuisance animals.
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked Lake Superior during the past week. The nice weather had many boaters out on the water. Bear-related complaints in and around Duluth have increased.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) spent time patrolling area lakes and enforcing recreational boating laws and checking anglers. The No. 1 boating complaint continues to be wakeboard boats not being responsible for their wakes. Shoreline erosion and damage to equipment tied to docks are the major complaints. Collette also worked high-use ATV areas in the Foothills State Forest area and assisted with a work detail in the Outing/Remer area.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked the area lakes and ATV trails. Boating safety was a primary focus while on the water.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked boating, PWCing, and angling activity. Lakebed alteration and aquatic vegetation removal also were monitored. Assistance was given to the Aitkin Police Department with a call of careless, erratic driving in a hospital parking lot, which resulted in a DWI.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked boat and water enforcement this past week. A large number of boaters were contacted and most had safety equipment in place. Some anglers checked did not have angling licenses as required. Guida followed up on AIS watercraft inspector reports where boaters did not submit to having watercraft and/or water-related equipment checked. Citations were issued. A report was received about numerous wild berries being found in the forest, which is the likely cause of a recent decrease in nuisance-bear complaints received.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked lake activity where the aquatic vegetation is getting lush and labor-intensive to remove from trailers. Warm water is equating to more water recreation and associated complaints such as harassing loons and late PWC operation.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) spent a great deal of time with public-waters, wetlands-, and altering-stream-bed investigations this past week. Inquiries about bear season are coming, as well as the Lake Mille Lacs special regulations. Assistance was given to a Montana CO who was conducting an investigation of a Minnesota resident.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) checked area lakes that continued to be busy with recreational boating during the hot weather. Wolf-depredation-of-cattle complaints also continued to come in. One rancher had wolves harassing a herd of cattle and had a large calf (weighing about 400 pounds) killed by wolves. Multiple sets of wolf tracks were found in the pasture and surrounding the site where the calf was taken down.
CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked sportfishing, boating, aquatic invasive species, and ATV/OHM activity this past week. Various complaints were investigated. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, insufficient PFDs transporting watercraft with the drain plug in, possession of live bait on Lake Mille Lacs, and targeting walleye on Lake Mille Lacs.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked boating activity in the area this past week. He took calls concerning PWC operation by juveniles and a call about an injured bald eagle. Assistance was given to the county with a local festival.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spent most of his time monitoring area lakes for boating, angling, and PWCing activity. Assistance was given to Stearns County Sheriff’s Office with crowd control in St. Martin for a large gathering at a local watering hole.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Nate Benkofske (Milaca) reports teaching trapping enforcement at the CO Academy this past week. Benkofske also checked boaters on area lakes. The CO also arrested an individual for BWI on West Rush Lake with the help of CO Krauel.
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the past week patrolling for boating activity. Krauel also spent time working on evidence follow-up from a drug-related case.
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) assisted with getting a great horned owl and a trumpeter swan to the Raptor Center and Wildlife Rehabilitation Center this past week.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters. ATV complaint areas were worked. Follow-up was done on a trespass investigation.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled district lakes for angling, boating, and AIS activities. He also patrolled Fort Snelling State Park for trail usages. He took enforcement action for failure to display valid watercraft registration, failure to remove a drain plug, and no angling license in possession.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on boat and water safety and angling enforcement during the week. Kpachavi also worked AIS at several smaller area lakes during the week.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) assisted with CO Academy training at Camp Ripley. He also received a complaint about mowing ditches before Aug. 1.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) responded to a nuisance-animal call in Wayzata and patrolled state parks and trails. Lee also returned phone calls from the Asian community regarding youth firearms safety classes and state park regulations.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for boating and angling activity. Salzer also assisted with teaching trapping at the CO Academy and fielded several wildlife-related calls.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers and watercraft users. Arntzen also assisted with locating a missing person on the St. Croix River.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the past week monitoring boaters and anglers in the area. He assisted multiple boaters, whose boats had broken down, back to a safe harbor and assisted Washington County with a body recovery.
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time checking river and lake anglers via boat and on shore. Enforcement action was taken for multiple instances of bass overlimits, extra lines, trap-tending issues, blocking public access, and various boating safety and license/registration-related issues.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored AIS, angling, ATVing, and boating activity during the past week.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time this past week instructing at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. Time also was spent working fishing and ATVing enforcement.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the past week patrolling ATVs and watercraft. ATVs operating in roadway driving lanes continues to be an issue. Trails and parks continue to see high activity from recreationalists.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the past week working fishing, boating, invasive species, and ATVing enforcement. Extra time was spent patrolling the Shady Oaks ATV trail system.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked boating and ATVing activity. He also followed up on an AIS complaint and assisted a neighboring officer with an AIS work crew.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the majority of the past week working boat and water enforcement, along with ATVing and angling. An AIS detail was conducted in Meeker County with the help of neighboring officers. Klehr also rescued an injured osprey with the help of a State Patrol trooper and transported it to the Raptor Center.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent time this past week checking compliance with sportfishing, AIS, and boat and water safety. Big-game and trespassing investigations continue.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) patrolled wildlife management area locations throughout his station related to littering issues. ATV complaint areas were worked after ongoing complaints were taken. A public waters investigation was started after a potential violation was discovered.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV operators this past week. Additional time was spent patrolling area lakes for AIS infractions.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent much of the past week checking angling, boating, and ATVing activity. Angling-related TIP calls were investigated. Howe also patrolled state park and WMA properties to monitor law compliance.
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) checked boats for AIS compliance and followed up on a public waters violation.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, boaters, AIS activity, and ATV operators during the past week. Davis also assisted other law enforcement agencies with various incidents.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) responded to several complaints about rattlesnakes near homes. Anglers and boaters were checked on the Mississippi River pools 7, 8, and 9. Assistance was given to the Winona County Sheriff’s Office.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) contacted a boater on Lake Zumbro who was found to be under the influence. The boater was arrested and taken to jail.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) spent the week at Camp Ripley assisting with trapping week.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports providing CO Academy training for trapping week for the new officers at Camp Ripley.