Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – January 29, 2021
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working trapping and angling activity on special-regulation lakes. Time was spent monitoring area snowmobile trail activity, handling various wildlife-related calls, and working a snowmobile detail with CO Tom Hutchins. Regas responded to a call from a local logger who reported a bear had been killed during a logging operation. The bear had made a den in the base of a hollow tree to hibernate for the winter. The logger was surprised when the deceased bear was found during the felling operation. Regas found the bear meat was salvageable and donated it to a local family.
CO Marc Johnson (Warroad) spent time working angling activity on Lake of the Woods. Violations encountered included fishing with extra lines, unattended lines, possession of fillets/immeasurable carcasses on a special-regulations lake, no permanent shelter license, and no angling license in possession.
CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) worked mainly anglers this past week around Thief River Falls. Brown wants to remind everyone to get a day or yearly pass when using the state parks.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) worked on an ongoing wetlands cases as well as cases from this past deer season. Elwell also continued to monitor ice angling, trapping, and snowmobiling activity in the area. Coyote-related complaints were handled.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports light snow in the area has improved snowmobiling conditions in area ditches and on area trails. Ice conditions have improved, slowly, with no really low temperatures to build ice. Areas where roads have been plowed have the most ice, with nearly 15 inches on most roads. Vinton is investigating abandoned property on state property.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked angling, snowmobiling, and fishing shelter enforcement. Shelter identification violations continue to be frequent.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling and fish house activity. Snowmobile patrol was conducted on area lakes and trails. She also monitored wildlife management areas and waterfowl production areas.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the past week checking anglers, coyote hunters, and trapping activity in the Pelican Rapids station. Aeration inspections were conducted.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) monitored ice angling, recreational vehicle activity, and coyote hunting during the week. Time also was spent handling miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints and issues with littering. Holt assisted local law enforcement with an incident and followed up on a trespassing complaint.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) assisted CO Richards with a couple of snowmobile safety classes, certifying almost 30 students during the weekend. Plautz is working with community education on getting another snowmobile safety class set up in the area. A road-killed fisher was picked up and donated to the Minnesota Trappers Association.
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports ice-fishing activity remains steady. Litter is being observed where wheelhouses had been set up. Excessive items sitting outside these houses for an extended stay should be kept in a vehicle or a tote.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports monitoring heavy fishing traffic. Several anglers were cited for using extra lines, possessing drugs, and expired ATV registrations. One fish shelter had two boys angling inside with six fishing lines down. Their father had left them an hour or two earlier with plans of returning and forgot to reel up his lines. Enforcement action was taken after speaking with the father.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) continued to monitor fishing activity on area waterways. Follow up was completed on deer-hunting investigations.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) worked fishing and snowmobile enforcement, and spent time on cases from the deer season. A snowmobile crash was investigated in Otter Tail County.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time checking anglers on various lakes in her station, as well as snowmobile riders. Violations found throughout the week included failure to display valid registration on a snowmobile, expired registration on a snowmobile, and failure to have an angling license in personal possession.
CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked ice fishing, trapping, snowmobiling, followed up on a big-game case, and assisted the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office. Enforcement action was taken for use of an invalid antlerless bonus tag, extra line on a designated trout lake, no license in possession, and fishing without a license.
CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. Ice angler numbers have increased and the ice conditions have improved. The CO checked snowmobile riders who were riding in ditches and on area lakes. Posner checked trappers and found no 300-pound breakaway device on snares and snares in road rights of way in the Farmland Zone. Campers staying past the maximum time allowed in a state park also were investigated.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) continues to report the main emphasis of the workload is ice fishing and snowmobiling activities. Enforcement action for the past week included illegal snowmobile exhaust and registration issues. Snowmobile riders should remove the aftermarket exhaust “cans,” as these could and will lead to closure of trails. In addition, enforcement action will be taken.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) monitored snowmobiling activity and checked anglers on area waterways. Attempts were made to contact the owner of a vehicle apparently abandoned on public forest lands.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) checked a number of anglers and individuals spearing during the past week. Zavodnik continues to monitor snowmobile trails.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) addressed equipment maintenance issues and spent some time patrolling for snowmobiling activity. Several trappers have contacted Frericks to turn in accidentally taken fishers and pine martens.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports the enforcement focus continued to be on trout fishing both inside and outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Violations included possession of a snowmobile inside the BWCAW, possession of aluminum cans inside the BWCAW, and angling without a license in possession.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) reports angling activity remains high on trout lakes that are easily accessible. Time was spent meeting with DNR Fisheries to discuss upcoming plans for lakes in the area.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily trout-angling enforcement and snowmobiling enforcement this past week, as well as following up on cases from the deer season. Enforcement action was taken for taking an overlimit of deer, taking a doe without a permit, unlawful use of a bonus tag, failure to display snowmobile registration, and fishing with extra lines. CO Bermel and CO Williams encountered a group in the BWCAW with a gas-powered auger and a 24-pack of beer cans. The COs also rode their snowmobile into the wilderness, and one individual provided a fake ID with a false date of birth. Appropriate citations were handed out.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) patrolled state parks and snowmobile trails. He also worked anglers, small-game hunters, and ATV riders. Numerous questions related to game and fish were answered. He also responded to wildlife-related complaints.
CO Vincent Brown (Northome) checked ice anglers and conducted snowmobiling enforcement. CO Brown also helped an individual capture a sick bald eagle for transport to a wildlife rehabilitation center.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored snowmobiling activity, and worked trapping complaints. Enforcement action was taken for license issues, possessing illegal-length northern pike, angling with extra lines, expired registration on an ATV, expired registration on a snowmobile, and failure to display registration on an OHV.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) spent time checking area fishing activity. She also performed equipment maintenance and continues to work on trapping complaints.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) focused enforcement efforts on snowmobiling, angling, and darkhouse spearing activities. Van Asch also assisted neighboring law enforcement agencies with calls for service.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent some time working area snowmobile trails. Winter fishing on area lakes has been busy. Vehicles are getting around pretty good on the ice. Snowmobiler trespass complaints were investigated.
CO Jake Willis (Brookston) saw heavy angling activity but little angler success in the area. Snowmobile trails are still in desperate need of more snow. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display registration and no license in possession.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked anglers and snowmobiling enforcement in the Duluth and Two Harbors areas. Anglers had some success during the past weekend with crappies and northern pike on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for registration violations, and a snowmobiler trespass complaint was followed up on in the Meadowlands area. Reports continue to be heard about great grey owls still being seen with some frequency in the area.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) took enforcement action this past week for license, fishing shelter, and vehicle registration issues.
CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) was accompanied by COC Nicholas Baum and worked ice-fishing and recreational vehicle activity. Sullivan and Baum want to remind anglers to read about special regulations before heading onto lakes.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) worked angling and snowmobiling enforcement in Crow Wing County. McGowan also assisted other local law enforcement agencies.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angler activity, which remains limited by questionable ice and slushy areas. Marginal snowfall has also limited snowmobiling activity, although speed enforcement was done on lakes.
CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) monitored snowmobiling, ATVing, and angling activity on Lake Mille Lacs. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, fishing with extra lines, and no shelter tag. Griffith would like to remind anglers to clean up their area and pick up garbage before leaving the ice.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling Lake Mille Lacs and other area lakes for fishing activity. She also followed up on a public-access and land-boundary complaint.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked fishing, snowmobiling, and trapping activities. A dispute over plowed-road areas on a lake was addressed and continues to be monitored. A reminder to wheelhouse anglers: Clean up the area around your wheelhouse before you leave.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) patrolled area lakes and snowmobile trails. Colder weather improved lake ice and did away with the slushy conditions on most lakes. Anglers started to drive cars and pickups on some lakes.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) focused efforts on fishing enforcement. He also completed vehicle maintenance and administrative tasks. ATV- and snowmobile-registration issues were worked.
CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports checking small-game and coyote hunters. Ice conditions seem to be improving but are still variable.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent most of the past week checking anglers. Enforcement action was taken for no license, no registration, extra lines, possession of marijuana, and trespassing. Coyote hunter-related complaints were worked.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked snowmobiling, ATVing, and angling enforcement. Deer-season investigations were worked. Enforcement action was taken for angling with no license.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the past week checking anglers and spending time patrolling for snowmobiling activity. Krauel also worked on equipment maintenance.
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the past week working ice anglers and snowmobile riders. Time also was spent answering phone calls from the public.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for anglers, ATV operators, and snowmobile riders. Additional time was spent handling wildlife-related complaints. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, fishing with extra lines, failing to have an ice shelter license, operating an ATV with expired registration, operating a snowmobile with expired registration, and operating a snowmobile without a safety certificate.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) took complaints about trespassing. Time was also spent patrolling state wildlife management areas and public water accesses.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked ice anglers and snowmobile riders. A burning complaint was investigated, and animal-related calls were handled.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) assisted with the investigation of a possible trapping violation. Time also was spent handling nuisance-animal complaints.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled for snowmobiling and angling activity in the district. He patrolled Fort Snelling State Park for cross-country ski pass compliance and trail usage. He took enforcement action for no vehicle permit, dog off-leash, and illegally parking.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked anglers and snowmobilers on metro-area lakes and trails. He helped Hennepin County with an abandoned fish house. He also took calls from Minneapolis on nuisance-animal complaints and patrolled state parks.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on snowmobiling activity during the past week. He also addressed dogs illegally off-leash in scientific and natural areas and on state trails after numerous complaints were received.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) monitored fishing activity in the area. He also worked on a big-game-related investigation. Many calls were handled regarding both wildlife and regulations.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the past week checking ice anglers and doing recreational vehicle enforcement. Arntzen handled several calls regarding accessing lakes from the road right of way and answered questions about nuisance animals. He also spent time doing equipment maintenance and closing out open cases.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling activity. Salzer also continued to investigate deer-hunting violations from this past season.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) is working an ongoing investigation involving the importation and sale of golden shiners. The minnows were purchased out of state and were sold at a local bait store. The minnows were seized and enforcement action is pending. Tetrault assisted other officers in following up with people who live in his area.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the past week working ice-fishing, snowmobiling, ATVing, and coyote-hunting enforcement. ATVs continue to be the main mode of transportation for ice anglers, with multiple lakes still having areas of open water.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) spent time during the past week checking anglers, snowmobile riders, and a few coyote hunters. Fresh snowfall had some snowmobilers out trying the trails.
CO Stephen Westby (Madison) continued working ice anglers in the area of Lac qui Parle and Big Stone lakes. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession, extra lines, and no ATV registration.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time this past week working snowmobiling, trapping, and coyote-hunting activity.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Cassie Block (Willmar) spent time checking anglers this past week, as well as ATV and snowmobile riders. Time also was spent fielding questions on area lakes from anglers. Block spent time completing aeration inspections and worked with fellow officers on a variety of activities.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent time this past week working on a trespass investigation and ice shelter-licensing compliance.
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) assisted Kandiyohi County officials with a vehicle that went through the ice. Thankfully, there were no injuries. Vernier also took several calls from the public regarding trapping and coyote hunting.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) reports ice conditions are improving in the area but vary greatly from lake to lake. Caution must be used when venturing onto area lakes.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) worked angling and snowmobiling enforcement this past week. Angling pressure in the area continues to be heavy. Henke reminds anglers to pick up trash on the ice.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked anglers on area lakes and rivers this past week. Time was spent patrolling snowmobile trails after the recent snowfall. Wiebusch is also investigating a trespassing complaint involving a coyote hunter.
CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) worked angling, trapping, and recreational vehicle enforcement. Moua also spent time handling nuisance-animal calls and assisting local agencies.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing and snowmobiling enforcement this past week. Assistance was also provided to the county attorney’s office regarding several investigations from the fall and this winter.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the past week patrolling for angling and snowmobiling activity. Multiple snowmobiling trespass complaints were received.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) checked anglers and monitored limited snowmobile activity around Olmsted County. Additionally, time was spent preparing seized evidence for forfeiture.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports ice fishing continues to be busy with high numbers of anglers. He spent time working state forest areas where ATV riders have been operating in closed areas.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) spent time checking anglers and snowmobile riders. Enforcement action was taken for using extra lines. A report of an injured bird of prey was taken in Winona. The Merlin falcon was captured, and a volunteer transported it to the Raptor Center.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) assisted at a snowmobile accident where a snowmobile rider lost control and stuck a tree.