Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – March 26, 2021
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked pike anglers on Lake of the Woods. Several arsons were investigated in Marshall and Kittson counties. Charges are pending for a grassland arson in Kittson County.
CO Marc Johnson (Warroad) spent time working angling activity on Lake of the Woods, patrolling state parks and forests, and assisting with a fire detail with DNR Forestry due to extreme fire conditions. After a weekend of warm weather and high winds, the ice on Lake of the Woods is no longer safe for travel because much of the shoreline and accesses are now open water. Multiple reports came in about ATVs and people on foot breaking through the ice. Fortunately, no major injuries were sustained.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette) worked angling activity on the Rainy River. Anglers showed up in strong numbers, as did the fish.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) investigated multiple wildfires with charges pending for arson. He also investigated a complaint about feral swine and took enforcement action for untagged snares and failure to tend snares as required.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports checking anglers and monitoring for ATVing activity in seasonally closed areas for spring thaw. Regas reports ice conditions continue to deteriorate on area lakes.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) checked anglers on area lakes. The ice conditions continue to deteriorate, but anglers are having success catching panfish.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports ice conditions have deteriorated. Please use caution and plan on rescuing yourself if you fall through. Life jackets, ice picks, and a plan to crawl out should be considerations. Vinton discussed possession limits with a couple of out-of-state anglers and took enforcement action for unpermitted fires. Vinton also assisted the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office with a call in rural Otter Tail County where it was reported that someone was threating to burn another person’s house down and the house was on fire. The sheriff’s office apprehended one person at the scene.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week monitoring ice angling and ATVing activity in the Pelican Rapids station. Ice conditions are deteriorating rapidly. Landmark and CO Vinton investigated a potential overlimit of sunfish, and a possession permit for a road-killed fisher was issued.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers and ATV operators. Additional time was spent preparing for upcoming firearms safety classes and patrolling area public lands for activity/violations.
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports safe ice fishing is no longer an option in the area. Ice and open-water anglers were checked during the weekend and past week. Bowfishing enthusiasts are reminded that river locations are not open until the general spearing/bowfishing opener. Light geese and other various species of waterfowl were observed in good numbers.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the majority of the week focused on angling, snow goose hunting, and recreational vehicle enforcement. CO Wood has received questions regarding the “bubbles” that seem to be around the eyes of some of the walleyes being caught. According to the Ortonville Fisheries supervisor, the bubbles are likely the result of gas bubble disease. The fish that have these most likely wintered in Mud Lake, which has high oxygen levels.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) finalized an investigation in which a fish house was left on the lake after the deadline without any identification on it.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) reports a dead bald eagle and illegal deer stands in WPAs were turned over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officer.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) checked the last few ice anglers this week as conditions by the end were unfishable. With assistance from DNR Forestry, several illegal/abandoned treestands were seized from the Forada WMA. They had been left out from past deer seasons. A call about an accidentally trapped otter was taken from a spring beaver trapper.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time on a variety of activities during the past week. A controlled substance DUI arrest was made. State forest roads and trails are closed in the area until further notice and burning restrictions are in place, so refer to the DNR website for updated information.
CO Mike Cross (Lake George) worked primarily on training, equipment maintenance, and checking late-season anglers. Cross also assisted the sheriff’s office and State Patrol with traffic control during a large structure fire.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) responded to calls about an injured owl, people feeding deer, and a fish house left out past the deadline. She also investigated a big-game violation and shoreline violations.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports fishing on the Rainy River has started with approximately 100-plus boats each day during the weekend. Animal-related complaints were handled, and he assisted neighboring officers with a trapping case.
CO Curt Simonson (International Falls) reports spending time this week checking anglers on the Rainy River and finishing up a trapping investigation.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time responding to multiple complaints about garbage left on lakes after ice shelter removal. Collapsed pop-up hubs, cigarette butts, various garbage, plywood floors, and tarps were observed still lying on the ice during the warm weekend. Zavodnik also assisted with a fire investigation and with local law enforcement on a recreational vehicle complaint.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the past week monitoring fishing and ATVing activity. Broughten fielded calls related to trespass, ATVs on snowmobile trails, and spring beaver trapping. Broughten also assisted local law enforcement with a single ATV rollover with serious injuries.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) saw most of the area’s snow melt away, leaving trails and portages bare. Lake conditions are slightly better, but angling has been slow and very wet. One homeowner was contacted regarding a burn pile that had flared back up and had a small amount of illegal material.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked an investigation resulting in unattended-lines violations and a deer-hunting investigation from last fall resulting in a citation for taking a doe without a permit. Anglers were checked coming out of the BWCAW.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area trout lakes and tributaries. Time also was spent watching mud-covered snowmobile operators trying to ride one last time.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) checked ice anglers and conducted ATV enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for angling license violations and allowing a child to ride on an ATV without a helmet.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored trapping activity, and attended training at Camp Ripley this week. Area ice conditions are beginning to deteriorate around the shorelines.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ATV activity with the warm weather. Enforcement action was taken for driving on a state non-motorized trail and expired registration. Ice anglers are still walking out on area lakes where then can reach the ice from shorelines. With the wind and warm weather, it is advised to be extremely careful when venturing on area lakes because the ice is deteriorating quickly.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) spent time monitoring decorative forest material harvesting, spring beaver trapping, ATVing, and fishing activities. The warm weather has brought ice fishing to an end on most local lakes. Several questions were answered about the upcoming turkey-hunting season.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) worked snowmobile trails and closed forest roads for illegal ATV operation. Time was spent working the North Shore for shore and river anglers. Anglers were checked returning from Lake Superior at McQuade Harbor and success was mixed but most were having some kind of luck. Nuisance-animal complaints were handled.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) issued a permit for a fox that was hit and killed on the highway. Staples also assisted with a work detail in the district and continues K9 training with a new partner.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers on Lake Superior in Duluth waters. A reminder that it’s imperative while boating on Lake Superior to be diligent that your safety equipment is current, aboard, and in working order. Olson coordinated with U.S. Coast Guard boarding crews on complaints in regards to navigational light use in the early morning hours.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. Seasonal equipment details were handled, along with questions regarding trespass violations and river access. Enforcement action was taken for boating violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled area lakes for angling activity. Due to recent warm weather, ice in the area has been deteriorating rapidly. A complaint about ATVs being operated on a grant-in-aid trail during closure was investigated. Numerous ATVers were contacted operating on the closed ATV trail. Someone who didn’t agree with the closure had removed the “trail closed” sign at the trailhead, but it was located in the woods. ATV trails are set to open Saturday, May 1.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking area lakes and mine pits for fishing activity throughout the week and weekend. He assisted park staff with people illegally biking and walking on closed trails and causing damage. He patrolled for illegal vehicle and ATV traffic in the park and also checked for vehicle permits.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked ice anglers as ice starts to pull away from shore. Open water has brought out some beaver trappers, most of whom are working nuisance areas.
CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) monitored angling and ATVing activity in the Isle area and neighboring stations. Griffith also worked with a neighboring officer following up on a wetland case. Enforcement action was taken for various ATVing violations.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) responded to grass fires in the area. Enforcement action was taken for failing to obtain a burning permit. Speldrich also worked ATVing activity in the General Andrews State Forest and surrounding area.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked spring fish run, ATVing activity, and a bowfishing complaint. Owners of ATVs are reminded that they are responsible for youth operators riding legally. Starr is currently assisting a neighboring officer with the removal of a fish house from a lake.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) found a changeover of outdoor activities after several days of warm weather. Ice started to get dark and pull away from shore, bringing an end to ice fishing on most lakes. Warm, windy weather created a high fire danger in the Hinckley area.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) attended department training during the week. Time also was spent checking for ice anglers. Ice conditions have deteriorated greatly, and open water is prevalent on most lakes in the area.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, ATVing activity, and some animal-related complaints. Assistance was given to county units with a truck stuck in the middle of a wetland.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports checking anglers and monitoring shoreline work. A reminder to anglers to check the fishing regulations booklet to verify if new special regulations are on the area lakes they fish. Time was spent investigating a public waters violation, a wetland complaint, and a TIP complaint. A deer-possession permit was issued.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports that a beaver trapper turned in an incidentally taken otter. The otter was given to an area school for educational purposes.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the past week working ice anglers. Time also was spent at Camp Ripley for training.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) took complaints about trespassing and nuisance animals, and answered many calls about regulations. Wetland and public waters cases were followed up on.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) spent the week patrolling for anglers. Several complaints were filed against anglers targeting bass and pike out of season. Enforcement action was taken for targeting bass out of season, providing a false date of birth to a peace officer, and fishing without a license.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled Fort Snelling State Park for vehicle permits, unleashed pets, and illegal deer feeding. He also spent time in training and completing all required courses.
CO Tim Maass (Osseo) continued to work angling activity on area lakes and rivers. Maass investigated several big-game violations from the past deer season.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) checked ice anglers. Fogarty observed most shoreline ice had melted back 12 feet or more from shore. Some deeper lakes were still holding ice and anglers were taking advantage of it.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week following up on complaints, monitoring ice conditions, and completing required training. Grewe also followed up with a deer overlimit case and some feeding violations.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) took calls about a muskrat that injured a dog in Coon Rapids and trout fishing in Farmington. He also assisted with fishing regulations translations, and took enforcement action for fishing without an angling license.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) primarily spent time patrolling the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers for both boat and shore anglers. Time also was spent patrolling the Vermillion River for people fishing for trout out of season.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent time working on an ongoing big-game case. He also responded to TIP calls and fielded questions about nuisance animals and predator hunting. He also spent time patrolling area WMAs and doing equipment maintenance.
CO Ryan Hanna (White Bear Lake) responded to an area residence to help a deer free itself from a child’s swing set. The deer was separated from the swing and ran off without injury.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) spent the week checking snow goose hunters and ATV riders, and monitored spring angling activity. Complaints were received about individuals attempting to take ducks while snow goose hunting. Investigations are ongoing.
CO Stephen Westby (Madison) would like to remind everyone to stay off local ice. Warm weather and high winds have opened up large areas of open water. Westby worked anglers and ATV riders, and conducted follow-up investigations.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking light goose hunters and working ATV enforcement. A 30-year firearms safety instructor award was given to an instructor from Fulda.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working ATVing, fishing, and light goose-hunting enforcement. Time also was spent working on commercial licensing. Spring fishing activity on rivers has started to increase.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Cassie Block (Willmar) spent time this week checking area lakes for angling activity. While activity on lakes has slowed, there has been an increase in ATVing activity. Block also spent time assisting local law enforcement and talking to a firearms safety class about laws and ethics.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) worked ATV enforcement. Come April 1, ATVs are not allowed in ditches until Aug. 1 to protect nesting birds.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent time this week working trapping cases, sportfishing, and ATVing enforcement. A TIP complaint was investigated for illegally netting fish.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) reports that he worked angling, waterfowling, and ATVing enforcement. Additional time was spent assisting the State Patrol and county with calls and following up on a complaint of late shooting.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers and ATV operators. Additional time was spent monitoring public accesses for litter and other violations.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) spent time working ATV, AIS and snow goose activity this week. Henke also presented to a firearms safety class in Austin. It was good to see kids taking in-person classes again!
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, coyote hunters, and ORV and ATV operators during the week.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing), while checking a group of anglers, reports an individual was found to not have the proper angling license. It was then discovered that the individual also had multiple warrants for his arrest. With the help of a Goodhue County deputy, the individual was placed under arrest and transported to the local access where he was transferred to an awaiting squad car.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) spent the week monitoring ATVing activity and checking anglers on the Mississippi River. Enforcement activity for the week included youth helmet violations and various safety equipment violations.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) focused on ATV, boat and water safety, and angling enforcement. One group of anglers checked on the Mississippi River had three illegal-length walleyes in the livewell. The anglers stated they thought the fish were legal because they had fished Lake Vermillion previously. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) spent time checking walleye and perch anglers on the Mississippi River. Several perch overlimits have been found, with one angler being in possession of 27. Another violation frequently encountered is anglers fishing in the closed area below area dams. Public waters and burning complaints were also investigated.