Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – September 4, 2020


Spooner Team / July

Wardens Pete Carlson, of Frederic, and Jesse Ashton, of Luck, along with Polk County recreation deputy Smith, saw two individuals closely operating their personal watercraft above no-wake in circles around two people floating in the water on a Polk County lake. Both personal watercraft operators were also operating very close to each other. Enforcement action was taken. 

Warden Carlson approached a man fishing from a dock on Bone Lake for a license check when another man on the dock appeared to tell the fisherman something. This prompted the fisherman to put down his fishing pole. The fisherman admitted he did not have a fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Carlson, of Frederic, and Polk County recreation deputy Smith contacted an individual operating a personal watercraft above no-wake speed and within 100 feet of another boat while also splashing the entire front area of a pontoon boat. The watercraft operator admitted he was just splashing family members on the pontoon. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Carlson stopped two utility terrain vehicle (UTV) operators and found both UTVs had passengers under the age of 10 who were not wearing helmets. Enforcement action was taken. 

Warden Jesse Ashton, of Luck, was responding to litter complaints below the St. Croix Falls dam when he saw a group leave approximately a dozen beer cans along the bank of the St. Croix River. Enforcement action was taken for littering. Several warnings were also issued. The group agreed to go back to the river and pick up all the cans they littered.

Warden Ashton continued to deal with numerous personal watercrafts and wake boat complaints on Bone Lake and Balsam Lake. Numerous citations and warnings were issued over the Fourth of July weekend and throughout July for PWC and other boating-related violations.

Warden Jon Hagen, of Spooner, responded to a car-hit deer that was in the water on the Yellow River Flowage in Spooner. Hagen and Spooner Police Department officer Peterson used a paddle boat to retrieve the deer in attempt to save it. Unfortunately, the deer expired just after the officers removed it from the water.

Wardens Hagen and Josh Loining were patrolling on Bear Lake when they contacted a person operating a pontoon boat who was displaying expired registration on the boat. Upon conducting a DNR registration check it was discovered the pontoon had not been registered for a decade. The boat was owned by the operator who was a lake resident the entire time. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Hagen and Loining patrolled for boating and fireworks activity on Beaver Dam Lake on Fourth of July. They arrested one boater for operating a motorboat while intoxicated. They issued multiple warnings throughout the evening for other boating-related violations. 

Warden Hagen was patrolling Long Lake when he contacted two people fishing from a pontoon boat. Neither person had a valid fishing license, nor did the pontoon have valid registration. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license; warnings were given for other violations.

Warden Hagen and a Wisconsin state trooper (Fox) conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle on the Beaver Brook Wildlife Area. The operator’s driver’s license was suspended, his vehicle had improper license plates displayed and he had no insurance for his vehicle. Enforcement action was taken for the suspended license; warnings were issued for other violations. 

Wardens Joshua Loining and Bob Kneeland contacted a person operating a motorboat after sunset on Chetek Lake in Chetek without having the port light activated on the boat. The wardens also arrested the boat operator for operating a motorboat while under the influence of an intoxicant. 

Wardens Loining and Hagen contacted a person operating a jet ski at a speed greater than no-wake within 100 feet of a pontoon boat on Beaver Dam Lake in Cumberland. The wardens arrested the jet ski operator for operating while under the influence of an intoxicant. 

Warden Loining took enforcement action against an operator who was illegally running the ATV on Hwy. 48 just east of Hwy. SS in Rice Lake. It is illegal to operate a UTV/ATV on a state highway that is not a road route. 

Warden Dustin Gabrielson, of Webster, responded to a call of an elderly man stranded in rapids on the St. Croix River near Grantsburg. Gabrielson responded with a Burnett County Sheriff’s Department deputy. They used a shallow water motorboat to navigate to the stranded man. Gabrielson ended up pulling the man’s boat by hand through the rapids where the boat was high-sided and stranded. He then got the man to an area where he could use his motor to get back to the landing. At the landing, the man was evaluated by awaiting EMS personnel.

Warden Gabrielson took enforcement action against a man seen throwing handfuls of a granule substance from a pontoon boat into the lake. Upon investigation, it was found the man was placing an aquatic herbicide into the water to kill weeds. The action was taken for using an aquatic herbicide without a DNR permit. 

Warden Chris Spaight, of Grantsburg, responded to a complaint of illegal cutting of trees in the Governor Knowles State Forest St. Croix family campground. Spaight located the suspects and discovered several violations, including illegal cutting of trees on state-owned property. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Spaight and Burnett County recreation deputy Chafer were patrolling on an area lake when they observed a personal watercraft being operated on plane through a no-wake section of the lake, travel on plane within approximately 25 feet of the officers’ patrol boat and also travel on plane within 200 feet from shore. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Spaight and Burnett County recreation deputy Chafer were checking fishing licenses along the St. Croix River when they had a brief and successful foot chase after a man was found fishing without having a valid license. The fisherman took off on foot after he realized he was about to be arrested on an outstanding warrant.

While working on Chetek Lake in Chetek on Fourth of July, wardens Bob Kneeland, Peter Wetzel and Lt. Warden Mike Melgaard responded to a boat crash with injuries. A woman and child were illegally sitting on the bow of a pontoon boat when a wave rocked the pontoon, pushing the woman and child off the pontoon boat. The child was wearing a life jacket, but the woman was not. The woman was struck by the pontoon’s equipment. A nearby boater came to their immediate rescue to get them to shore. The woman was flown from the scene by a medical helicopter to a hospital for treatment of her injuries. Enforcement action was taken against the operator for allowing the illegal bow riding.

Woodruff Team / July

Wardens Timothy Ebert, of Minocqua, and Justin Bender contacted the operator of an overloaded boat on an area lake. The boat was occupied by 15 people, but the capacity limit for the vessel was seven. Many of the passengers, including the operator, were under the age of 21 and had been consuming alcohol. There were no life jackets on the boat. The wardens, along with officers from local agencies, took enforcement action for underaged consumption of alcohol, operating a boat while under age 21 with an alcohol in the blood stream, failure to provide personal floatation devices and allowing passengers to ride on the gunwales. 

Wardens Matt Meade, of Mercer, and Dan Michels, of Park Falls, contacted an angler fishing a lake in Iron County based on a complaint from a concerned citizen. Upon contact, Meade and Michels found the operator of the boat in possession of 21 largemouth bass, most of them being under the legal length limit. The angler also had an undersized walleye in possession. Upon further inspection, the angler had an additional 21 largemouth bass in his cabin, most of which were also undersized. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Rich Thole, of Boulder Junction, contacted an aquatic weed removal company at a boat landing on an area chain of lakes. The boat was found to be illegally transporting aquatic vegetation on their boat and failing to remove the vegetation from the previous day’s work on one of the lakes. Enforcement action was taken for illegally transporting aquatic vegetation.

Warden Thole contacted a group of campers who failed to pay camping fees in the Big Lake campground. The campers had set up on a site that another party had reserved and then left for the day, creating an issue for the group that held a valid reservation for the site. Thole was able to make contact with the illegal campers and return the site to those with the valid reservation. Enforcement actions were taken.

Wardens Thole and Meade contacted a fishing guide with a client as they fished for walleyes on a Vilas County lake. The local fishing guide admitted he had caught and kept an illegal sized walleye that was in his livewell. The wardens successfully released the walleye alive back into the water. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Thole and Meade followed up on an illegal trolling complaint on a Vilas County lake. A boat of four walleye fishermen were trolling with six lines. Only one trolled line per person and a maximum of three trolled lines per boat are allowed in Vilas County. Enforcement action was taken for trolling with too many lines.

Antigo Team / July

Wardens Curt Butler, of Merrill, and Pat Novesky, of Tomahawk, investigated a graffiti incident at Council Grounds State Park. Graffiti was found at the park, as well as the greater Merrill community. 


Peshtigo Team  /  July

Warden Jacob Cross, of Shawano, patrolled Shawano Lake for the Fourth of July fireworks. Wardens Cross and Clark Delzer stopped a boat that was operating without valid registration. Upon making contact with the operator, it was found that the operator was operating under the influence and was arrested for first offense OWI.

Warden Cross, of Shawano, contacted a fisherman fishing on Lower Red Lake in Gresham. Upon making contact with the fisherman it was found that he didn’t have a valid fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Clark Delzer was flagged down by a citizen at a sports bar along the Shawano Lake Outlet Channel and was informed that a very intoxicated man just left on a jet ski after nearly colliding with another boat. Delzer located the jet ski operating on full plane within a no-wake area. After stopping the jet ski, the operator was found covered in mud after falling off. The operator was arrested for OWI.

Warden Delzer observed a vehicle parked in a parking area on Navarino state land. Delzer observed a man sleeping in the vehicle. Upon contact, it was found the man had a suspended driver’s license, a warrant and was illegally camping on state land.

Warden Delzer contacted a turkey hunter who was found to have shot a turkey without having a license to legally do so. The hunter bought a license afterward but registered the turkey with a tag from the wrong zone. The hunter’s girlfriend also shot a turkey in the wrong zone at the same time.

Warden Paul Hartrick, of Oconto Falls, responded to a major manure runoff incident near Pulaski. Hartrick took pictures and samples of the water. DNR staff worked with the farm operators to clean the spill.

Warden Hartrick checked Leigh Lake for anglers and boaters. When Hartrick arrived at the landing he met an individual coming into shore who immediately stated: “I am over my limit.” Hartrick found the individual was in possession of fish over the limit and two of the fish were not of a legal size to possess. Enforcement action was taken.

While on routine patrol, Warden Tim Werner, of Crivitz, observed an ATV being operated illegally on a town road. Werner conducted a traffic stop and further investigation revealed the individual was intoxicated. During the contact, the operator also attempted to hide an illegal substance. The operator was out on bail through Brown County for prior drug charges. The operator was arrested on felony bail jumping charges, possession of drugs and paraphernalia, obstructing a conservation warden, as well as operating an ATV under the influence of an intoxicant. 

Wardens Tim Werner, of Crivitz, and Dale Romback, of Wausaukee, responded to two separate reports of stranded tubers on the Peshtigo River near Crivitz. On the second call, Wardens Werner and Romback were able to use a DNR patrol boat to safely remove the tubers, who were stuck in high water and trees. 

Wautoma / July

Wardens Jonathan Kaiser, of Waupaca, and Zachary Seitz, of Shiocton, worked with the Waupaca County recreation patrol to monitor White Lake and the Chain O’ Lakes for fishing and boating enforcement during the busy Fourth of July holiday. Many contacts were made with enforcement action taken for individuals fishing without licenses and boat safety, registration and equipment violations.

Warden Kaiser worked with concerned citizens, Raptor Education Group, Inc., and the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department to capture and to relay an injured juvenile bald eagle for rehabilitation. Kaiser transported the injured eagle to REGI and received training from REGI staff members on safely handling raptors.

Warden Kaiser worked with the Iola Police Department to follow up on a complaint of an individual shooting at a goose with a BB gun. Enforcement action and educational steps were taken.

Warden Jonathan Kaiser, of Waupaca, worked with multiple other wardens and the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department for a patrol on the Wolf River with multiple anglers and boats contacted. Enforcement action was taken for boating OWI, no-wake, PFD, registration display, probation violation and navigation light violations.

Warden Kaitlin Kernosky, of New London, and warden supervisor Ted Dremel, of Wautoma, assisted the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department and New London Fire Department with searching for a missing tuber on the Little Wolf River. The tuber was located uninjured, passed out and intoxicated behind a private residence about one-quarter mile from the tuber’s final destination.

Warden Kaitlin Kernosky and warden supervisor Ted Dremel patrolled Big Green Lake for the Fourth of July fireworks. The wardens contacted a boater who failed to properly display navigational lights as required and the boat’s operator was found to be operating a motorboat while intoxicated. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Ben Mott, of Wautoma, and Jonathan Kaiser followed up on a complaint of a lot of boating traffic on Long Lake. Wardens contacted boaters and took enforcement action against one operator for not enough wearable PFDs for all the passengers in the boat.

Warden Mott followed up on a baiting complaint. Mott contacted the individual who was found dumping a large bag of corn. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Mott assisted the Waushara County Sheriff’s Department with a missing boy. Mott searched the sand and gravel roads and was the second to come upon the boy and his dog walking away from home. Mott was able to use one of his leashes to control the dog and after talking with the other officer, the boy was taken back to his house and the Waushara County Sheriff’s Department took over the case.

Warden Mark Schraufnagel, of Clintonville, investigated a small wildland fire. 

Lake Winnebago Team / July

Warden Michael Disher, of Chilton, investigated a local angler who was revoked of his fishing privileges for fishing without a license on Winnebago system waters and failing to pay his fine. At the end of July, Disher again observed and checked the angler, who was fishing for the third time in a five-week period, this time off Stockbridge Harbor. Violations included fishing after revocation (third offense) and fishing without a license (fourth offense). Enforcement action is pending in the Calumet County Circuit Court.

Warden Jason Higgins, of Oshkosh, received a call of a stranded boat on Lake Winnebago while he was working at High Cliff State Park. The boater said he and three children were between High Cliff and Waverly Beach. With severe thunderstorms approaching, Higgins responded and located the stranded boat. The boat was towed back to the High Cliff Marina and upon return the winds picked up to approximately 60 mph gusts with heavy rain.

Warden Cara Kamke, of Appleton, contacted two separate personal watercraft operators. Both operators were attempting to use the wake from the machines to splash the occupants of a nearby boat. This dangerous operation was in violation of the 100-foot no-wake rule. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Kamke was working at Jefferson Park in Menasha and contacted a fisherman who had caught and kept four walleyes in his livewell. The fisherman was aware of the new three-walleye bag limit and enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Zachary Seitz, of Shiocton, and Cara Kamke investigated a complaint of an individual who shot a sandhill crane. It was found that the individual was hunting for a pheasant, which was not in season at the time, when he came across a sandhill crane. He ended up shooting the sandhill crane. Enforcement action was taken.

Lt. Chris Shea responded by patrol boat to rescue a swimmer on an inflatable raft who was being swept out into Lake Winnebago as a thunderstorm approached. A group of swimmers had traveled out from the High Cliff State Park’s beach and one of the three was unable to make it back to shore as the storm quickly approached. Shea was able to get the swimmer on the patrol boat and transport him back to shore as the storm struck the area.


Lower Chippewa Team / July

Wardens Kevin Christorf, of Cornell, and Tyler Krekelberg worked boating enforcement on Lake Holcombe over the Fourth of July weekend. The wardens arrested two operators for operating a motor boat while intoxicated. The wardens also assisted the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department in arresting a separate operator for operating while intoxicated.

Wardens Christorf and Krekelberg participated in a taxidermy audit. Throughout the investigation it was found that the taxidermist was doing taxidermy work without a license, possessed an illegal rattlesnake and harvested approximately 10 illegal turkeys. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Christorf, Krekelberg and Jeremy Peery and Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department officers responded to a disturbance at Lake Wissota State Park. Parties were separated at the park for being disorderly. One of the individuals was arrested and referred criminally for bond violations. Two citations were issued for disorderly conduct.

Black River Falls Team / July

Wardens Michael Weber, of Mauston, and Collin Sherod conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle inside Buckhorn State Park after observing young juveniles illegally riding on the tailgate of a pick-up truck. During the stop, the wardens observed that the driver displayed signs of impairment and field sobriety tests were conducted. The wardens arrested the driver for operating a motor vehicle under the influence (third offense).

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