Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – August 7, 2020

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Marc Johnson (Warroad) worked AIS and angling activity on Lake of the Woods and at public accesses. In addition, time was spent working ATV enforcement throughout the station. 

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) answered questions on hunting by falconry and the upcoming bear season. 

CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) worked ATVing, boating and angling activity. A few miscellaneous wildlife-related calls were handled, and a stray paddleboat was recovered from the Red Lake River above the 8th Street public access. The paddleboat looked as though it hadn’t been used in some time, and most likely came free from its mooring or from the shore. The watercraft, which is under 10 feet long, has never been registered in Minnesota so the owner is unknown.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working boating and angling activity on special-regulation lakes throughout this past week. Time also was spent working with Beltrami County Environmental Services on some ongoing wetland cases.  

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working on open wetland violation cases this past week. Time also was spent assisting with a firearms safety class in Crookston. Watercraft operators and anglers were contacted throughout the week.

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) took complaints related to leeching, nuisance animals, public accessing of water from a township road, and too many people fishing on the lake.

CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) spent time teaching boating operations and laws at the CO Academy. He also spent time working area lakes, checking anglers. 

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports patrolling for ATVing activity, contacting aquatic plant management permit holders and reminding them of their responsibility to collect and remove vegetation dislodged by weed rollers and other devices, and investigating a potential wolf-killed calf. A family from out of state was educated with regard to license requirements and limits for children under 16 years of age. 

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the past week working sportfishing, ATVing, and boating safety enforcement. Time also was spent investigating a wolf-depredation complaint and responding to a variety of miscellaneous wildlife-related calls. 

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) reports a complaint about a nuisance bear doing crop damage was received. 

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) reports a TIP about an injured mallard was received on a local lake, and an investigation led to a citation being issued to an individual for taking ducks out of season.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Brian Holt (Osakis) worked boating, fishing, and recreational vehicle activity throughout the week. Time also was spent following up on aquatic plant management violations.  

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV riders. Hydraulic jet cases were completed with citations issued. Calls about weed rollers, spraying cattails, and zebra mussels were received and handled.

CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) assisted the State Patrol and BCA and took several calls regarding geese causing damage, beavers and beaver dams causing damage, and a sick-looking deer. Wood is working on an ongoing TIP complaint and issued several minnow permits.  

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) focused enforcement this past week on anglers who were mostly targeting panfish with the warm water. Several evenings were worked on the water as well, with citations issued for angling with extra lines, no navigation lights, and allowing late personal watercraft operation by a juvenile. 

District 4 – Walker area

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked multiple ATV riders and anglers. She also responded to a call about an injured eagle, received nuisance-bear reports, and investigation multiple aquatic plant violations. 

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) worked ATV and sportfishing enforcement. Violations found included angling without an angling license, failure to display valid registration, and operating an ATV without headlights. One ATV rider was stopped for operating a Class 1 ATV on a county road without headlights on. The rider was driving with a cancelled driver’s license and operating an unregistered ATV.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports bear-related complaints continue to come in, although they are fewer as people continue to identify and remove food sources. As the days begin to get shorter, the talk is starting to change to bear baiting, and additional ATVing activity has been observed. 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring boating activities during the week. Wild rice beds were checked, and ATVing activity was monitored. Fishing success continues to be poor. 

CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time following up on a litter complaint. The suspect was quick to admit to the offense, and nearly half a truck bed full of beer bottles and cans were brought back to their rightful owner.  

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked anglers, boaters, ATVers, OHMers, and state park enforcement. A 9-year-old was seen operating a PWC and doing adult-type stunts. He topped it off when he decided to closely circle Bozovsky’s patrol boat at a high speed. PWCs may not be operated by people under age 13, and they must have a safety certificate. A person was cited for no angling license. The spouse of the person cited said he had not seen a CO in 30 years of owning an island on Lake Vermilion, which apparently played a role in the decision to take the chance to fish without one. 

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) fielded multiple ATV trespass and damage complaints this week. ATV operators are reminded to stay on trails and respect private and public property. Broughten continues to receive many nuisance-bear complaints. Most nuisance bear problems are solved when the property owners remove food sources and clean up garbage. 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) focused on boat and water enforcement during the week. Violations included taking trout with no trout stamp in possession and angling with no license in possession.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and canoers this past week. Several people asked questions about boat and PWC regulations because of suspected illegal operation.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) spent the past week patrolling state and national forests, checking ATV operators, anglers, and boaters. Manning also assisted with watercraft scenarios at the DNR Academy at Camp Ripley. State park use continues to be high, and many visitors had to be reminded to purchase their park permits, despite numerous signs reminding them as they drive in. 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) followed up on a fireworks and camping complaint at Bear Head State Park, resulting in enforcement action. An investigation into several untagged minnow traps resulted in a citation. 

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports speaking to multiple business and property owners about bears getting into trash. A very easy solution is to put up an electric fence. Those who have put up electric fences swear by its effectiveness. 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked boating and invasive species enforcement this past week. A public waters complaint was investigated, and nuisance-wildlife calls were handled.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

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

CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) took a call about muskies being gutted and left in the Grand Rapids area. Most likely, they were illegally taken. Information leading to who may have done this is welcomed and can be reported via the TIP line.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) continued to primarily work fishing and ATVing activity. Violations included operating an ATV on a state highway, angling with extra lines, and an illegal-length fish. 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, investigated a trespass complaint, worked boat and water enforcement, and assisted with an ongoing investigation. Enforcement action was taken for license issues, no throwable, insufficient PFDs, and possessing an illegal-length walleye.

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) assisted with training CO candidates at the academy at Camp Ripley this past week. Boating and angling activities were worked. A wolf-depredation complaint was investigated near Meadowlands.

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) responded to complaints about ATV trespass, nuisance animals, and boating issues related to lights. Lake association issues involving lake levels and outlets also were handled.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked Lake Superior angling and boating safety enforcement during the week. Olson also responded to calls from an AIS inspector in the Silver Bay Marina regarding a boat of concern. He also worked commercial enforcement for commercial netters and charter boats along the North Shore.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) instructed at the CO Academy for watercraft operation week. Anglers were checked on Lake Superior, and commercial complaints were investigated. Miller reports ATV complaints continue to be taken.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) monitored angling and boating activity this week. Guida also fielded a trespass complaint. 

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) responded to a report about boaters on Round Lake near Tamarack chasing and harassing wildlife, including a family of ducks and a family of loons. She reminds boaters to steer clear of wildlife while boating. Also, that behavior is illegal. 

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked recreational activity in the Foothills State Forest. He found consistent ATV and OHM registration violations. Sullivan also made contact with a person who was operating an ATV while under the influence of alcohol and was also in possession of a firearm. 

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, and ATVing activity. Advice was given on a bear complaint, and a wolf-depredation call was handled.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked lake activity, including PWC-operation complaints. He also assisted with a search warrant, addressed a road-killed bear issue, and checked anglers during the Lake Mille Lacs re-opener. 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) investigated two wolf depredations. ATV and OHM activity was worked with other COs during the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for failing to display registration, expired registration, under 18 without helmets, and operating ATVs without headlights on.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) monitored the re-opening of the walleye catch-and-release season on Lake Mille Lacs. There was less-than-expected fishing pressure. A resource protection order was served on a possible wetland fill violation. 

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent time instructing at the current CO Academy and dealing with Wetland Conservation Act violations. There also were quite a few complaints about wake boats causing damage to shorelines. Some lakeshore owners sent Grundmeier videos of waves created by wake boats damaging shorelines and docked equipment. Wake-boating activity on smaller lakes in the Hinckley area only recently became more popular, and wake damage complaints have steadily increased during the past few summers.

CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) spent time following up on various complaints regarding PWC operation and overnight camping in an aquatic management area. 

CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent the past week checking boaters and anglers on area lakes and rivers. Remember to clean vegetation off of boats and trailers. 

 District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week assisting with CO Academy watercraft training. A complaint about a walleye overlimit was investigated on an area lake. A sunfish overlimit resulted in enforcement action on an area lake as well. A public-nuisance complaint regarding electric fencing across a river was handled.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the past week checking anglers and boaters. Lakes with hot fish bites were worked, which led to overlimit cases being made. Wetland violations also were investigated.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) took a variety of nuisance-animal calls, including zebra mussels, skunks, raccoons, bears, and a report of an escaped elk. He worked with neighboring officers on a boating detail and prepared for the upcoming fishing week at the CO Academy.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) patrolled local lakes and rivers, checking boaters and anglers. A grandpa and his grandson were happy to see an officer and get a ride/tow to shore after their PWC flipped upside down and became bogged down with water. 

CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) followed up on a TIP call about a person in possession of wild waterfowl, with enforcement action taken. A wetland-fill complaint was followed up on, as was some shoreline work. Several lakeshore homeowners had questions about weed control along their shoreline. Reller referred them to DNR aquatic plant management personnel. 

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking anglers and boaters on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for lack of life jackets, expired watercraft registration, and lack of navigation lights after dark. 

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for anglers and boaters. Additional time was spent enforcing AIS laws and patrolling state lands. Seamans also assisted local law enforcement with the recovery of a drowning victim.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) working fishing and boating activities. He assisted with evaluating during scenarios day at the CO Academy. He also took calls for service including several TIP calls. He responded to a vehicle stuck on a trail at Fort Snelling State Park, which resulted in the driver being arrested for DWI. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office assisted.

CO Tim Maass (Osseo) worked angling and boating activity on area lakes and rivers. Time also was spent answering several nuisance-animal questions. Maass also investigated an illegal deer-feeding complaint.

CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) focused on boat and water safety during the week. Some boat owners attempted to be creative in their parking abilities, causing a parking violation at a lake access.  

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) working fishing activity. He spoke to several boaters about AIS laws and rules. 

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time checking anglers on area rivers and lakes. Time also was spent investigating a trespass complaint and numerous wetland and public waters-related complaints. 

CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) and CO Hanna spent time on the St. Croix River during the weekend. During an angling check, a person was unable to identify himself, as he forgot his name and date of birth. After further investigation, he provided a name to the officers, but without a date of birth. He later was identified as someone else. It was found he did not have an angling license and didn’t want to get in trouble. He was cited for angling without a license and for providing a false name to a peace officer. 

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) focused on boating, AIS, ATVing, and angling enforcement this past week. Wildlife-related complaints were fielded, and follow-up was completed on an investigation. Algal blooms and warm water have slowed both angling and recreational traffic on area lakes. 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) worked fishing, boating, ATVing, invasive species, and PWC enforcement. ATVing activity increased during the weekend with the lifting of the Ag Zone ditch restrictions. Blue-green algae is starting to appear on some area lakes and sloughs. The algae can be toxic. 

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time this past week working angling and ATVing recreational activity. K9 assistance was provided to another CO who investigated a case where enforcement action was taken for discharging a firearm within 500 feet of an occupied building, transporting a loaded firearm, and taking a wild animal with a firearm from a motor vehicle. 

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) reports that complaints continue to be fielded in regards to youth not wearing helmets on ATVs. All operators and parents are reminded that youth under the age of 18 are required to wear a DOT-approved helmet. If a seatbelt is present, that must also be worn.

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) worked boating and ATVing activity. Vernier completed follow up on a big-game violation. He also took several calls about a nuisance bear.

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) answered questions about crop depredation due to geese. He also worked boating, angling, invasive species, ATVing, and state park enforcement activities. 

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) patrolled this past week for fishing, boating, and ATVing activity. Additional time was spent monitoring AIS compliance at area public water accesses.

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.

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) completed an investigation in which two anglers said they were going to their house to retrieve fishing licenses but then ran away on foot. Both suspects eventually were identified and charged. Several rattlesnake-related complaints were taken.

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports the river is as busy as it gets. Many people were out fishing and recreational boating, along with various other activities, including scouting for waterfowl. Hemker also took care of an incident involving a female topless dancer on an island. He spent time checking ATVs and OHMs on local trails. One unregistered motorcycle operator attempted to leave the area after he saw Hemker, but the rider was found.

CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) reports boating violations included a watercraft without navigational lights after sunset and a parent allowing a 5-year-old child to ride in a boat without a life jacket.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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