Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – January 15, 2021
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working trapping activity and angling activity on special-regulation lakes this past week. Time also was spent patrolling area snowmobile trails, handling reports about incidental catches of pine martens and fishers, and investigating TIP calls.
CO Eric Benjamin (Warroad) primarily worked angling and off-highway vehicle activity on Lake of the Woods. Violations encountered this past week included angling with extra/unattended lines, possessing fillets on a special-management water, failure to maintain carcasses for inspection, possessing a small amount of marijuana, operating a vehicle other than a snowmobile on a grant-in-aid snowmobile trail, and no state park pass.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette) spent time patrolling the area for trapping, snowmobiling, and angling activity. Sura also assisted with patrol on Lake Winnibigoshish.
CO Aaron Larson (Baudette) worked angling, ATVing, and snowmobiling enforcement. Larson found violations including the possession of fish fillets on a special-regulations lake, an overlimit of sauger/walleyes, angling with extra lines, and operating an ATV on a snowmobile trail.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) started field training with COC Chelsey Bechel. They spent time on area lakes, checking anglers and a limited number of snowmobile riders. Time was spent working Upper Red Lake and Lake of the Woods. Numerous angling violations were encountered. Anglers are reminded to place reflective material on their shelters if they are being left out overnight. Time was spent following up on overlimit complaints and a wolf-depredation investigation.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports warm weather has not made conditions favorable for making ice, and slush is becoming an issue on many lakes. Discussions were had with anglers about upcoming panfish rules and pike regulations.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the past week working fishing, small-game hunting, and snowmobiling enforcement. Time was also spent conducting aeration inspections.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the past week checking anglers in the Pelican Rapids station. Spear fishers saw an uptick in success this past week.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the past week focused on checking anglers and ATV and snowmobile operators. Additional time was spent following up on litter and overlimit complaints.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the past week focused on angling and recreational vehicle enforcement. Several vehicles and recreational vehicles have gone through the ice in the area, and she would like to urge anglers to pay attention to the ice conditions, especially during this stretch of warmer weather. Reminder to use caution or stay away from areas like culverts, springs, and ice heaves. Minnow permits and car-killed deer possession tags were issued.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked a busy week of ice fishing around the Alexandria area. Several anglers were cited this past week for using too many lines and possessing illegal substances.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) spent the past week checking ice anglers and snowmobile riders. Plautz also responded to TIP calls about possible overlimits of fish, litter, and injured animals. A trapping violation is under investigation.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) monitored angling activity, recreational vehicles, and coyote hunting during the week. Time was also spent following up on complaints involving trespassing and the Wetlands Conservation Act.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers and ATV and snowmobile riders. Questions were received and answered about access to lakes within road rights of ways. An investigation into fish house license violations was handled.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked ice angling and trapping. Cross also checked multiple traps and trappers in the field.
CO Jordan Anderson(Wadena) primarily spent time on fishing and trapping activity. Lakes continue to be busy with a mixed bag of success. With all of the activity, a lot of garbage has been seen left on area lakes. Clean up after yourselves!
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) checked multiple anglers and snowmobilers during the week. Kunst also responded to a semi truck rollover in her station.
CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. He worked on snowmobiling enforcement issues. Complaints about deer-carcass dumping on state land and litter on area lakes were received. He also spent time inspecting aerators on area lakes.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked ice-angling activity. Some lakes do have some spots of ice that will not support a truck. Caution is always advised.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports snowmobiling and ice fishing have been the main focuses of enforcement activities. Late fur registration issues were also handled, along with animal-related complaints.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports that although overall snowmobiling activity is down for this time of year, angling activity is up. A snowmobile trespass complaint was received and addressed. Multiple noise complaints regarding snowmobiles were received, which can be attributed to illegal exhaust equipment and driving behavior.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports angling activity on area lakes continues to increase. Snowmobile activity remains minimal due to lack of snow. Public access sites were checked, and area forest roads were monitored.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) completed a lengthy case involving a radio-collared wolf being shot during the 2019 deer-hunting season. Zavodnik also worked angling and snowmobiling enforcement.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked anglers, darkhouse spearing, snowmobile riders, and state park enforcement. Deer-license violation follow-up was done for a few new cases from the 2020 deer season.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports snowmobile trail conditions continued to get worse after another week of moderate use and no additional snowfall. Trout-fishing activity inside the BWCAW continued to be high and success was overall good on several lakes checked.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent the past week checking trout anglers in the BWCAW. Anglers who ventured through the slush were rewarded with some nice lake trout in the bag. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobiling violations.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked a BWCAW detail with CO Wahlstrom and U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer Belmore, checking anglers and campers on backcountry lakes. She also took a report about a dog killing a grouse.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports enforcement action included fishing without a license, unmarked fish houses and houses without shelter tags when required, unattended lines, snowmobile speed, failure to transfer snowmobile ownership, expired ATV registration, and operating without required safety training.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) took to his skis and patrolled many backcountry lakes throughout the station. Caution is still needed on the ice as Hill located multiple springs in the middle of lakes with otherwise solid ice. If attention is not paid to your surroundings or if you are traveling in the dark, these holes could prove hazardous.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vincent Brown (Northome) checked ice anglers on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, unattended fishing lines, fishing with extra lines, and possession of fully dressed fish on special-regulation waters. Illegally taken fish were seized. Brown also freed a dog from a foothold trap and issued a deer-possession permit.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked anglers, small-game hunters, and ATV and snowmobile operators. Numerous game and fish questions were answered. He also responded to wildlife-related complaints. Violations included overlimits of walleyes and no license in possession.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, investigated TIP complaints, worked tapping activity, and assisted other law enforcement agencies. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also assisted in locating a suspect who fled into the woods.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, snowmobiling, and trapping enforcement activities throughout the area. Van Asch also assisted neighboring officers with a work detail focused on angling enforcement.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) continued to monitor trapping activity in the area. Trappers are focusing on bobcat and beaver trapping.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) handled a property/trespass dispute and fielded other complaint calls. Enforcement action was taken for failing to register fishers within the required timeframe after the trapping season concluded.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) worked snowmobiling activity much of the past week. Area lakes were worked for ice anglers. Slush issues continue, and ice conditions are varied throughout the station.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked ice angling, snowmobiling, and trail enforcement throughout the past week. Humphrey also followed up on two big-game cases from the deer season.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ice anglers on the Duluth Harbor and a few boats out trolling from the McQuade Safe Harbor and in the Two Harbors area. A few coho salmon and lake trout are being found by trollers and jiggers.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, snowmobiling, and ATVing activity. Deer-feeding ban complaints were also worked.
CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) was accompanied by COC Nicholas Baum and worked ice angling and snowmobiling activity. Sullivan and Baum observed several violations, including failure to register ATV/snowmobile, failure to display registration, no license in possession, and a small amount of marijuana.
CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) worked trapping, fishing, and snowmobiling/ATVing activity this past week. Enforcement action was taken for license and registration issues. A few different trapping cases remain under investigation.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled station lakes for angling activity. All recreational vehicle operators are reminded to verify current registration prior to using in a public area including roadway, road ditch, and frozen public water. Extra-line violations continue to be addressed, and a case of littering on public property was started in which an individual located garbage along a public snowmobile trail. The garbage contained some specific identifying information.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked lake activity. Ice conditions are still marginal and ATVs are the preferred travel method. Local deer herds are having an easy winter except for when they step into traffic.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling for fishing activity. She also responded to two fires in which prohibited materials were being burned.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent time on snowmobile patrolling area trails and lakes. Slush on the ice continued to be a problem for ice anglers, and most lake ice was still too thin to support cars and pickup trucks. The CO snowmobiled toward what looked like three anglers one warm afternoon. But what looked like anglers turned out to be snowmen dressed in hats and jackets and holding fishing poles. Not too far away, fishing from a portable shelter, a group of youngsters was found having an awfully good time after having watched the conservation officer attempt to check their fishing snowmen.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time checking anglers on various lakes. Patrol from snowmobile was done on trails and lakes. Recently, many complaints have been received regarding snowmobile riders operating dangerously on Cross and Pokegama lakes. Extra enforcement will be done for these issues, as well as operating while intoxicated.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Tou Vang (Pierz) checked ice anglers on area lakes. He also monitored ATVing and snowmobiling activity. A reminder that the ice is never safe and there have been reports from the community about ATVs and vehicles going through the ice. Some ice on area lakes is 8 to 11 inches thick, while some areas still have open water. Please exercise caution.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked with neighboring officers on deer and trapping cases. He also worked with neighboring agencies assisting with complaints about erratic driving on the ice and an ATV that went through the ice.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports working anglers. Time also was spent on equipment maintenance and issuing deer-possession permits.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Rick Reller (Buffalo) checked snowmobile riders and ice-fishing activity this past week. Ice conditions have improved, but several lakes have their traditional bad areas. Several calls about injured animals were taken. Dumping trash in WMAs and WPAs still has been a problem.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked anglers, trappers, and hunters. Londgren also patrolled snowmobile trails and state wildlife management areas.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked ice anglers and snowmobilers. Violations were found for no angling license and no ATV registration. A hunting complaint was investigated.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) continued to work angling activity on area lakes, along with snowmobile and ATV enforcement. Maass also handled several trapping-related investigations.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) checked anglers on local lakes. Ice conditions have become more unpredictable due to warm weather. A few vehicles have gone through the ice.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishing and small-game hunting in the metro area. He also monitored snowmobiling activity. Violations encountered were fishing without a license and fishing without a license in possession.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked angling, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing activity in the district. He took enforcement action for angling with extra lines, no vehicle permit, and unleashed dogs in a state park.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on angling and recreational vehicle activity during the past week. During the weekend during a single check, Kpachavi encountered a group of anglers with 13 violations.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity. Several complaints were received about anglers on Cenaiko Lake fishing for trout out of season. Anglers are reminded the trout angling season for lakes outside the BWCAW does not open until Jan. 16. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) reports checking anglers and doing snowmobile and ATV enforcement. He handled nuisance-animal complaints, issued car-killed deer possession permits, and investigated a trespassing complaint.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Stephen Westby (Madison) continued working ice anglers on Lac qui Parle Lake and other area lakes. Westby also spoke with Bonanza education staff this past week and planned future events for the summer.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time this past week working angling activity in the area. K9 Earl was deployed to assist with evidence recovery involving a deer, which was suspected of being shot from the roadway.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the past week working ice fishing, ATVing, and snowmobiling enforcement. Ice fishing activity continues to be busy. Ice shelters are being pulled out by ATVs. There’s very little vehicle traffic.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time working snowmobiling and ice-angling activity. He also followed up on violations from the deer season and a trapping violation and spoke with a landowner regarding a trespass complaint.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls reporting litter/carcass-disposal violations and questions about fishing licenses. He worked angling, small-game hunting, ATVing, and snowmobiling enforcement activities.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) conducted aeration inspections of local lakes during the past week. Miller observed a high violation rate related to extra lines and angling license violations.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked ice anglers and their shelters. Public accesses were patrolled. Public waters violations investigations were completed.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked small-game hunters, trappers, anglers, and snowmobile and ATV operators during the week. Davis also patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, public water access sites, and waterfowl production areas.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked ice anglers this past week on area lakes. Some snowmobiling activity was seen. Coyote hunters were also checked, and trespassing complaints were addressed.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) spent time checking coyote hunters and small-game hunters. Trout anglers have also been out in good numbers.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) assisted CO Fitzgerald with a deer-hunting investigation. The responsible individual shot a deer during the firearms season and then had a family member buy a license to put on it. During the investigation, it was found that the individual also was putting out small amounts of bait each night to draw deer to the area of his stand.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) checked anglers along the river and on area reservoirs. Multiple extra-line violations were encountered, committed by both nonresidents and residents. Only two lines may be used in Minnesota waters, which includes the Minnesota side of the Mississippi River. Anglers are reminded that automatic hook-setting devices are not allowed in Minnesota waters.