Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 31, 2020

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) assisted with the CO Academy at Camp Ripley, where he taught boating to the new cadets. Work was done on Lake of the Woods, checking anglers and boaters. Citations were issued for possessing illegal-length walleyes, insufficient life jackets on a watercraft, and operating an unregistered personal watercraft.

CO Aaron Larson (Baudette) worked primarily angling, ATVing, and aquatic invasive species enforcement. Larson patrolled trails around his station by ATV. He also spent time enforcing park rules at Zippel Bay State Park.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) responded to a call about a deer fawn that had fallen into an outdoor sump hole and was trapped. With assistance from a local farmer, Woinarowicz was able to loop a rope around the fawn and pull it up, freeing it from its location 8 feet underground. The fawn was checked out then released to the wild.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports that many berry and mushroom hunters have been encountered in area forests. Overall compliance has been excellent, and a violation encountered and addressed was for possession of protected slot-size northern pike on a special-regulation lake. 

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports a TIP about a goose taken out of season was investigated. Vinton also worked with a local beekeeper who was having issues with bears and followed up on a possible hydro jet violation.

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week patrolling area lakes for sportfishing and boat and water safety. Other time was spent on area ATV trails checking the trails after storms knocked trees down. 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked wildlife-related complaints and trespassing and retrieved abandoned property from Itasca State Park.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) responded to reports of misconduct within a state park. State park users are reminded that it is still required that they obey all traffic signals and speed limits. Enforcement action was taken for speeding and traffic violations within the state park.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) assisted Traverse County and Pope County and worked a boating safety detail with other officers on Lake Minnewaska during the weekend.  

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports time was spent investigating littering complaints and taking calls about a bear sighting. 

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) worked with Fergus Falls Community Education to reschedule an ATV safety class. Weather continues to change fishing plans on a day-to-day basis, with success being inconsistent. 

CO Brian Holt (Osakis) spent time working a TIP complaint concerning a fish overlimit with a neighboring officer. Complaints were received regarding a nuisance bear. Holt worked a detail with other officers on Lake Minnewaska during the annual Waterama event.

District 4 – Walker area

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports the area remains busy with recreational vehicle use and angling activity. Two nuisance-bear reports were received from separate resorts. An investigation into aquatic plant destruction was completed, with a citation being issued. 

CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. He worked on boating enforcement issues this past week as well. Violations observed were no fishing license and expired registration. Complaints about bears damaging bird feeders, getting into garbage and in cornfields were reported. The CO also spent time working on cattail-cutting and bog-removal violations.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports multiple reports about nuisance animals and injured animals were taken this past week, ranging from black bears to eagles and a pelican. 

CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) focused his patrol time on boat and water safety around the Cook and Tower areas. While Zavodnik was waiting for the remaining anglers to come off a lake, he observed what looked like a boat moving across the lake in the dark. He eventually encountered the operator, who was found to be operating a watercraft without navigational lights nearly two hours past the required time. Zavodnik also responded to a single-vehicle car crash in the Cook area late Saturday evening. Zavodnik, the State Patrol, and other local agencies assisted with extrication in the multiple-fatality crash. 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) reports that a citation was issued for littering after he identified the people who dumped a large number of fish carcasses in two locations near Chisholm. A complaint about PWC operators who were on their phones, lying on their backs, and nearly hit a pontoon was wrapped up with enforcement action. Bozovsky found one of the suspects committing a different PWC speed violation and spoke to him about the earlier careless operating act. He then dealt with the second responsible party the following day. The other individual had been stopped by Bozovsky in May for a speed violation. In another matter, he found an individual who was so intoxicated that an ambulance was summoned to transport the person. Assistance was provided to the Hibbing Police Department with a fight call. 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) focused on angling enforcement between medical and rescue calls over the weekend. A large group inside the BWCAW was separated from their canoes after they tried to navigate up a mostly dry river and required assistance. 

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled area campgrounds, lakes, and boat accesses, checking anglers and boaters. Manning also worked a couple of TIP calls and following up on a trespass complaint. 

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports checking anglers in the BWCAW, on Lake Superior, and on various other lakes throughout the county. Multiple boat plug violations were handled, with a few out-of-state anglers coached on the importance of respecting the waters of the state they are visiting. 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers and boaters and patrolled campgrounds, ATV riders, and AIS. Game and fish questions were answered. He also responded to wildlife-related complaints. 

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) handled a nuisance-wolf complaint in Brookston in which the U.S. Department of Agriculture assisted. 

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) handled numerous water complaints and site visits related to construction and work in public waters. Bear- and coyote-related complaints topped the call lists for the week, with wolves following close behind. 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) instructed at the CO Academy for watercraft operation and enforcement. Nuisance-bear complaints were handled, and questions were answered about upcoming bear season. 

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled station lakes for boating activity with a focus also on aquatic vegetation and shoreline development. Guida addressed an individual operating an air-cooled outboard motor around in numerous circles directly in front of his lakeshore property with intent to cut emergent and submerged aquatic vegetation. Enforcement action was taken on the violations, which also included operating a watercraft with no PFD and failing to display current watercraft registration. Guida also observed a personal watercraft being operated 30 minutes after the deadline, which is one hour before sunset. The watercraft stop resulted in an 18-year-old operator being arrested for boating while under the influence.

CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) monitored recreational boating activity, checked anglers, and patrolled for ATV violations. Calls were taken for people cutting aquatic vegetation in several lakes, a pontoon pushing a floating bog across the lake, and someone keeping turtles in their bathtub with the intent of selling the shells when they died.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked lake activity, including complaints about late PWCs and destructive wakes. Verkuilen also assisted with the response to a local robbery and answered questions regarding the change in Lake Mille Lacs fishing regulations in August. 

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) continued to work on wetland-filling cases and farm-ditching projects. Assistance was given to local law enforcement on a disturbance situation.  

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent the past week helping farmers with livestock losses from wolf depredation. Wolf depredation investigations showed that multiple different ranchers had lost calves due to wolf attacks. The high wolf activity kept federal trappers busy trying to limit livestock losses by removing the wolves. 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports assisting local agencies with searching for a suicidal male in the woods, a medical situation, and a crash with injuries. He was also in the right place at the right time and assisted anglers in bringing a pontoon that was floating down the Mississippi River, unoccupied, back to the appropriate boat lift after high winds caused it to break free.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) received a call about a person burning a mattress in a front yard. Bertram arrived and knew the person by name. This was the second citation Bertram has issued for burning mattresses at this residence. 

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) issued a wetland resources protection order this past week on a possible wetlands fill violation. 

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) focused patrol efforts on anglers and boaters. An individual was cited for camping on an aquatic management area island along the Mississippi River. The same individual was warned and told to move one week earlier, but he decided not to listen.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked boating and fishing on metro-area lakes and rivers. He assisted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with interpretation regarding a big-game violation and patrolled state parks and trails. 

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled district lakes for angling and AIS activities. He responded to calls for service that included questions about ATV regulations, TIP calls, and at Fort Snelling State Park. He took enforcement action for no vehicle permit and littering. 

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) handled a wetland-related call that will result in further follow-up. An injured-loon call was also responded to. 

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the past week monitoring angling activity in the area. He also did targeted AIS patrol in the area.  

CO Ryan Hanna (White Bear Lake) assisted another officer with investigating an aquatic plant violation. Hanna also received a couple of complaints about the deer-feeding ban. 

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time this past week working angling activity on the Minnesota River and ATV recreational activity. Numerous ATV violations were encountered. Assistance was given to Redwood County Sheriff’s Office with an ATV accident. 

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the past week checking anglers and conducting aquatic invasive species enforcement. ATVers operating in the driving lane of roads continue to be encountered. 

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) focused his time this week on boat and water safety, sportfishing, and ATVing enforcement. Investigations into ATV complaints and litter continue. Additional time was spent on open burning investigations and off-highway motorcycle enforcement. 

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) worked Franklin Catfish Days during the past weekend. Numerous anglers fought the heat and rain. Numerous ATV violations were encountered and addressed during the past week. A common violation was youth not wearing helmets. Assistance was given to the Redwood County Sheriff’s Office with to a fatal ATV accident.

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked AIS, angling, boat and water safety, and ATVing enforcement. He noted the Des Moines River being utilized again this past weekend by kayaks, float tubes, inner tubes, and other water-related toys. He patrolled through Kilen Woods State Park and worked ATV enforcement in that area as well.

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on boating and angling activity. VanThuyne also checked watercraft for AIS compliance and responded to complaints.

CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports working big game, boat safety, and checking anglers. Lusignan is investigating a big-game case. 

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) worked angling, ATVing, and AIS enforcement this week. Henke answered numerous questions regarding regulations and the upcoming hunting seasons. 

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, boaters, AIS activity, and ATV operators during the week. Davis also patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, and waterfowl production areas. Multiple violations were encountered

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and recreational vehicle riders during the past week. Lots of anglers were out. 

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports working anglers in the area. Hot days made trout angling slow and difficult. Phone calls are starting to come in about the upcoming deer seasons. 

CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) investigated several fishing violations. Assistance was given to other law enforcement agencies. During a routine check of a trout angler, it was discovered the angler had been driving while impaired. 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports good fishing and heavy recreational boating on the Mississippi River. He followed up on a waters violation and a trespass complaint. Rattlesnakes continue to visit unwanted locations around the area.

CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) presented the 2019 Snowmobile Safety Instructor of the Year Award to its deserving recipient this past week.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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