Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 24, 2020

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Marc Johnson (Warroad) worked angling activity on Lake of the Woods and ATV enforcement throughout the station. In addition, time was spent assisting CO Ben Huener on a wolf-depredation call and patrolling state forests and parks. 

CO Aaron Larson (Baudette) worked angling, ATVing, and aquatic invasive species enforcement. Violations encountered throughout the week included angling with an extra line, possessing an illegal-length walleye, no ATV registration, operating a Class 1 ATV on a state highway, no state park pass, and no motorized watercraft registration.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) helped with instruction during game week at the CO Academy. He also responded to calls about nuisance bears, a wolf depredation, and an abandoned paddleboat.

CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) reports that a call was taken about a young eagle that apparently had fallen from its nest. From the caller’s description, Elwell suspected it was a fledgling eagle trying to get used to its wings. He asked the caller to walk up to it to see if it would fly. As the caller approached, the young eagle took flight and landed in a nearby tree out of harm’s way.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking a water appropriations complaint site and following up on a wetland complaint. 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports assisting with training in night driving at the CO Academy, contacting anglers, and patrolling for ATVing activity. Several calls about nuisance animals, including bears, deer, and geese, were referred to DNR Wildlife.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week patrolling area lakes and assisting local agencies with cases. With another perfect weather week, lots of boaters were out enjoying themselves. While most boaters were legal, there were some who forgot life jackets. One juvenile was observed chasing a loon while operating a personal watercraft. Assistance was given to the county and local police with fleeing suspects, search warrants, and on a traffic stop in which the driver had warrants.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) assisted at the CO Academy. He worked ongoing game cases and leech-trapping, and conducted follow-up on a calf injury possibly due to wildlife. 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the past week focusing on recreational vehicle and angling enforcement. She took calls regarding youth waterfowl hunting, crop damage from geese, an eagle nest that had fallen out of a tree, a swan that appeared to have been shot, a dead loon, and a pontoon that was found floating on Lake Traverse after a storm. 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, ATV riders, and boaters. Complaints about slow/no-wake violations on Spitzer Lake were received, and extra patrol on the lake will be done in conjunction with the county’s water patrol units. Investigations of aqua thruster violations were completed with the area hydrologist.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports time was spent checking ATV operators and assisting the Pope County Soil and Water Conservation District office with water-quality sampling. Baumbarger also performed a site visit of a public waters restoration order. 

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports corresponding with DNR Fisheries to gather specimens for the current CO Academy use during sportfishing week. 

CO Brian Holt (Osakis) monitored recreational vehicles and AIS compliance throughout the week. Time also was spent checking angling activity and following up on wildlife-related complaints.  

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) continued to monitor busy area lakes covered with recreators and anglers. Late PWC operation has continued to be a problem this summer, with several more reported and observed. Lawler spotted a husband and wife angling from a boat at sunset while using slip bobbers and leeches. After watching for a couple of minutes through binoculars, Lawler observed a total of four bobbers off the side of their boat in the waves. Citations were issued to both for fishing with extra lines. Another angler was cited for fishing while his privileges were revoked, which was a result of not paying previous angling violation fines.

District 4 – Walker area

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked angling and boating activity. Two separate public waterway alteration complaints were investigated. Some time was spent checking for motor vehicles illegally using a paved trail to bypass a closed road at a construction site. Mathy also met with the county attorney regarding two cases from the deer season.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked multiple anglers, boaters, and ATV riders. She responded to two baby merlins that fell out of a tree, a boat that broke free from a dock during a storm, and a car vs. deer crash. 

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) followed up on ATV complaints in the Outing area, worked littering complaints, and investigated a public waters violation. Kunst assisted CO Hughes in recovering a boat that drifted off a boat lift on Woman Lake during a storm on Friday night. 

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) focused enforcement efforts on the lakes and trails. Campers in area campgrounds were talked to about possession and consumption of alcohol in state campgrounds and too many occupants at a campsite. 

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports fishing, boating, and water-related activities continue to be his main focuses. The activity on Rainy Lake has been the busiest Kittelson has seen in his career. 

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) fielded multiple nuisance-bear complaints. State campgrounds were monitored and continue to be very busy. Assistance was provided at a structure fire. 

CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) fielded a variety of calls during the past week. They included a dog repeatedly chasing waterfowl to multiple submerged watercraft that had been in the water for an extended period of time. He also assisted local law enforcement with a felony arrest warrant. After several attempts were made to make contact with the suspect, Zavodnik observed him inside a residence. The suspect was eventually found hiding behind insulation in the attic and was taken into custody. 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) reports that a wetland fill complaint was investigated. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, false application for a license, driving after revocation, and a number of boating, state park, traffic, and ATV violations.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports gusty winds and rough conditions didn’t slow down anglers and boaters during the weekend. Several water emergencies occurred involving smaller motorboats and canoes capsizing in the dangerous conditions. 

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling and boating activity. Schottenbauer also finished a litter complaint and assisted Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies at an ATV crash.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports focusing his efforts again on AIS during the week. Multiple boat plug violations were handled. One boat was full of water. Take the time to do an AIS check before leaving the lake. Hill also spoke with a parent about allowing a 15-year-old son to drive an ATV to work without a driver’s license.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled campgrounds, and monitored ATV riders and AIS.  

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, instructed at the CO Academy, worked TIP calls, and attended K9 training. 

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a busy week of angling and boating activity. Enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of bluegills for multiple boaters, angling without a license, and expired watercraft registration.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) monitored a variety of outdoor activities. Several angling violations were addressed, including fishing with an extra line and unattended lines. Assistance was given to the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office in apprehending two suspects who were involved in a road rage incident that turned into an assault in which a bat was used and a knife was brandished.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Jake Willis (Brookston) continued handling an ongoing wetlands violation in the station, along with St. Louis County staff. Willis also spent multiple days instructing the CO candidates attending the current Academy at Camp Ripley. 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time on area lakes working boating and fishing enforcement. Many people were talked to at area accesses about AIS issues as well. Many complaints about personal watercraft violations have been fielded throughout the summer, with the majority of the complaints being after-hours operation and driving at high speeds within 150 feet of shore. 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) administered a deed restriction on a property recently listed for sale that has an active protected waters shoreline restoration order in place. Calls about nuisance timber wolves and bears were received. 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports aquatic plant violations and wetland violations were addressed during the week. Extra time working invasive species enforcement found more boat trailers being transported with weeds on them. 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended training in the Twin Cities during the past week. He also spent time patrolling Lake Superior and safe harbors in the Silver Bay area. He detected violations for PWC issues and assisted the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office with a physical domestic in Lakewood Township. Help also was given to the Two Harbors Police Department in dealing with minor flooding issues during recent thunderstorms that moved across the Arrowhead.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled station lakes this past week. Numerous boating enforcement checks were conducted and violations were detected and addressed. Guida assisted DNR Parks and Trails at a state forest campground with a camper who was not following the rules. Guida also assisted an elderly man by moving a large, bloated, dead white-tailed deer from his lakeshore frontage. There was no indication of cause of death.

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked area lakes and ATV trails. Sullivan also focused patrols on invasive species compliance, and enforcement action was taken for failure to remove drain plugs and transporting aquatic macrophytes. 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked lake activity at the height of vacation season with a high occupancy at lake homes. He checked many nonresident licenses. Dead fish are being observed and reported, likely due to warm water and low water flows. Complaints about illegal fishing methods were investigated. 

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time maintaining equipment, delivering equipment, working on office work, and following up on calls. The calls she followed up on included questions on general fishing regulations, Lake Mille Lacs fishing regulations, and bear concerns.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on a public waters violation and continued attempts to find a landowner regarding a wetland fill violation. Assistance was given to local law enforcement with a pedestrian creating issues on a state highway. 

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) patrolled lakes and ATV trails, dealt with several Wetland Conservation Act violations, and worked with ranchers struggling with wolf depredation of calves. Assistance was provided with the apprehension of an individual running around town, causing disturbances, and threatening people while under the influence of controlled substances. Prior to being caught and arrested, the individual took some clothes off and ran around town hollering and singing. The individual even stopped a time or two to show off some dance moves for arresting officers.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) reports a busy fireworks event was worked on Big Sauk Lake. While he was on the water, Silgjord addressed multiple PWC violations. During the event, a small inflatable boat was stopped just after sunset as it was not displaying navigation lights. The operator also was found to be one PFD shy of what was needed. The operator was directed back to shore for safety concerns.  

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, boaters, and ATVing activity. Nuisance-bear complaints were handled in the Randall area. TIP complaints were investigated relating to fish overlimits. 

CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports that investigations included a big-game incident, screws and nails spread across a public access site (Lake Charlotte), and boaters harassing a loon. A traffic stop resulted in pending charges for possessing a stolen dual-purpose motorcycle, careless driving, and unregistered motor vehicle.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters. Violations were found for no PFDs and no registration. Follow up was done on a waters/wetland investigation.

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) followed up on a call about water-skiers harassing loons on Maple Lake. An investigation into the incident is under way. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, no PFD on a watercraft, underage consumption of alcohol, illegal use of a hydro sweeper to get rid of aquatic vegetation, and no watercraft registration. 

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled district lakes for angling and AIS activities. He also responded to calls for service that included injured wild animals and vehicles on non-motorized trails at Fort Snelling State Park. 

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) assisted Hennepin County Water Patrol with a recovery effort on Lake Minnetonka and assisted Scott County with a concert event on Prior Lake. 

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked boaters and anglers on metro-area lakes and rivers. He worked AIS enforcement, responded to injured-animal complaints, and patrolled state parks and trails.

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on boat and water safety during the past week. He attended a boat accident investigation class during the week and worked a concert on Prior Lake with area officers during the weekend. 

CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) organized a work detail on Prior Lake for a large music event on the water. Numerous boating violations were found, and a boating while intoxicated arrest was made.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time checking local lake and river anglers, both on boat and on shore. Time also was spent patrolling local WMAs and WPAs. A cease and desist order was issued for illegal water appropriation. 

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and boating activity. Salzer also investigated a public waters complaint and a wetland complaint. Salzer assisted the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office with a vehicle fire.

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) conducted fishing enforcement on the St. Croix River, patrolled William O’Brien State Park, and did AIS checks at area accesses. 

CO Ryan Hanna (White Bear Lake) patrolled area lakes in cooperation with the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol. The focus was on water safety with an emphasis on PWC hours of operation. 

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) reports time was spent working recreational watercraft, angling, and an AIS detail with a neighboring officer. Enforcement action was taken for license violations and failure to remove the drain plug on a watercraft during transport. 

CO Craig Miska (Ortonville) monitored AIS, angling, ATVing, and boating activity during the past week. Miska also assisted with teaching at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. 

CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) spent the past week primarily working ATVing enforcement as well as angling and boat and water enforcement. 

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) primarily worked AIS and boat and water safety. Additional time was spent on sportfishing, and he continued an investigation into the improper use of wildlife management area lands. A possible public waters violation also was investigated. 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding commercial fishing, minnows, and turtle-taking rules. He worked fishing, boating, AIS, and ATV enforcement activities. 

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) concentrated efforts on AIS complaints. Many boaters are being complacent in pulling bilge plugs and entering accesses with them in. 

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent time checking angling and boating activity. He investigated two TIP calls and also spent time patrolling state parks and WMAs. 

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week patrolling for fishing, boating, and ATVing activity. Ihnen also spent time monitoring AIS compliance.

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) assisted other agencies with a search and recovery on the Root River near Rushford.  

CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on boating and ATVing enforcement this past week. VanThuyne also checked anglers and watercraft for AIS compliance. 

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) spent time checking area trout streams. Four people were found in possession of 48 trout, which is 28 over their daily limit. Citations were issued. 

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing, boating, and ATVing enforcement this past week and weekend. The recreational boat activity on the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin continues to be at record levels.

CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) assisted Fillmore County with the recovery of a drowning victim. Additionally, time was spent checking anglers and performing equipment maintenance. 

CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) attended five days of training on air boat operations. Kyllo also spent time talking with a new landowner about issues regarding an individual, who has permission to hunt the neighboring property, placing unauthorized deer stands on the landowner’s property. 

CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) assisted with instruction of airboat training for Enforcement and Wildlife staff in Brainerd. Urban wildlife-, deer-, and rattlesnake-related calls were handled. Enforcement action was taken for several fishing violations.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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