Michigan Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – April 23, 2021
CO Byron Parks was traveling on M 38 when he approached a bridge. There was a vehicle parked on the side of the bridge. CO Parks knew that this part of the Firesteel River was closed to fishing. As CO Parks walked down towards the river, he could see two subjects holding fishing poles. The two subjects began walking further downstream, right past a “No Trespassing” sign. CO Parks continued to follow, eventually stopping, and just watching as both subjects started fishing. Moments later the two subjects started yelling, “Get out of here” and clapping their hands. CO Parks knew the subjects could not see him, so he did not know who they were talking to. Then he heard the subjects yell,” Get out of here bear!” After about a minute the subjects stopped yelling and continued fishing. CO Parks then made contact, the subjects said there was a bear in the tree right where they were fishing, but they scared it off. CO Parks then advised them of the multiple violations. CO Parks cited one subject for fishing on a closed stream and gave verbal warnings for the recreational trespass.
CO Shannon Kritz responded to multiple grass fires in Menominee County over the weekend. One fire began while a subject was sighting in his rifle and he noticed the grass behind his target begin to smoke.
CO Boudreaux took part in the St. Baldrick’s fundraiser for childhood cancer research alongside MSP troopers from the Negaunee Post. The participants raised hundreds of dollars and held up their end of the bargain by getting their heads shaved.
CO Andrea Dani was approached by an angler with a large steelhead. The angler was concerned about several large masses found in and around the gills of the fish. CO Dani sent photographs of the fish to DNR Fisheries Division, who identified the masses as thyroid hyperplasia, or goiters, which is associated with numerous factors, including iodine deficiency, genetic susceptibility, environmental factors, and exposure to goitrogenic substances. Fish Biologist Cory Kovacs noted this did not make the fish harmful to eat, but that anglers should be aware of other potential risks in eating any fish whether there are visible abnormalities or not.
CO Andrea Dani was on patrol on a windy day when she observed a constructed ice shack in the lane of traffic on Sand Point Road. A few anglers pushed the shack out of the road. CO Dani contacted the owner and arranged its removal.
CO Todd Sumbera was checking ice anglers on the St. Mary’s River over the weekend and contacted an individual with an unlicensed off-road vehicle pulling a jet sled with blood in it. The angler stated that he caught one pike and took it back to camp when he had left for lunch. A warning was issued for the ORV license. The next day CO Sumbera contacted the same individual operating his ORV back to his vehicle when his belongings fell out of his jet sled. Upon arrival the angler quickly covered his jet sled with plywood. CO Sumbera asked if he had any luck fishing. The angler stated, “I saw a lot of fish.” Further investigating revealed that the angler had speared five pike. CO Sumbera issued a citation for an overlimit of pike and seized three pike, all over 30 inches in length.
CO Mike Olesen followed up on a complaint of a loon and goose carcasses dumped along the side of a road in Chippewa County. CO Olesen patrolled the area, contacting the complainant and then locating the carcasses. Upon examining the dumped bird remains, it was determined that four of the five carcasses were of domestic chickens and the final carcass was that of a domestic duck. CO Olesen cleared the scene and is checking the area for a potential suspect for littering.
CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol in Mackinac County when he observed an angler with several tip-ups out. As CO VanOosten approached, he observed five tip-ups around where the individual was fishing. When asked to see his fishing license the fisherman stated. “Fishing license? I don’t need a fishing license.” The fisherman stated that the state had no power over him, and he could do whatever he wants. The individual admitted to having five tip-ups out as well as jigging a pole in another hole. The fisherman stated that he was part of a “non-treaty” tribe from Canada that did not sign the 1836 Treaty. CO VanOosten informed him that he was in the 1836 treaty area and had to follow state law unless a member of one of the recognized tribes of the 1836 treaty. A license check determined that the individual did have a Michigan fishing license. When asked why he did not provide his fishing license the individual laughed and stated he always does that just to be difficult. A citation was issued for fishing more than three lines, no name/address on tip-up, and failing to provide fishing license on demand of a conservation officer.
CO Cole VanOosten was on patrol when a call of an individual with a possible heart attack was called out near his location. CO VanOosten was first on scene and provided first aid until emergency medical services was able to arrive.
CO Chad Baldwin observed an ice shanty set up on Lake Charlevoix in an area typically only frequented by walleye anglers during the walleye closure. CO Baldwin witnessed the anglers checking tip-ups multiple times throughout the evening and decided to wait until the anglers returned to shore before making contact. Once the anglers returned, CO Baldwin found them in possession of a walleye. A ticket was issued for walleye during closed season.
CO Tim Rosochacki received a complaint from a subject who was walking his property and discovered a juvenile eagle unable to fly and not acting right. CO Rosochacki responded and was able to collect the eagle and take it to the Association to Rescue Critters Wildlife Rehabilitator. The eagle appeared in decent health, but the rehabilitator suspected the eagle was suffering from lead poisoning.
CO Sidney Collins was on patrol in Montmorency County when a lost dog was found at an ORV parking area. CO Collins responded to the parking area and found the dog to be laying in a pile of food. It appears the dog had escaped its owner earlier in the day, found the food, ate too much, and laid down. CO Collins was able to locate the owner and return the dog.
CO Patrick McManus was first on scene to a house fire in Leelanau County, and was told by neighbors that there may be people trapped inside. After assessing the structure, itself and learning the fire was currently contained to one side of the house, CO McManus gained entry through the front door and called out for anyone inside. Shortly before CO McManus began searching the house, another neighbor arrived on scene and stated that the family was currently on vacation out of the state, and not in the home. At that time, local fire departments arrived on scene, made entry into the house to confirm it was empty, and extinguished the fire.
COs Richard Stowe and Troy Ludwig investigated a possible over-limit of bobcats. The COs gained a confession, seized two bobcat pelts, and issued a citation for taking/possessing an over-limit of bobcats.
CO Amanda McCurdy was on patrol and received a complaint through Leelanau County Central Dispatch of a large brush fire. CO McCurdy conducted interviews of the neighbors to determine how the fire started and who was responsible. Eventually she contacted a nearby property owner who said he started the fire to boil sap and it accidentally escaped his control. A citation was issued to the individual for allowing a fire to escape.
CO Brad Bellville received a third-party call that a person hiking in the Rifle River Recreation Area with some friends had broken her ankle. After arriving in the park, CO Bellville located the injured female and started working on a plan to extract her from the woods. Utilizing a canvas stretcher, CO Bellville, a park ranger, and two family friends carried the injured woman cross country to the nearest parking lot where she was turned over to EMS personnel.
CO Kyle Bader was dispatched to a trespassing complaint in Ogemaw County. The complainant stated two men were on his property climbing in his trees; one had a crossbow, and one had a rifle. CO Bader arrived at the complainant’s address to find him standing in his yard with a drink in one hand and an aluminum baseball bat in the other, staring up at the trees. The man was certain two young men were in the tree with weapons, and they might try to hurt him. After convincing the man to put the bat down and stand back, CO Bader checked all eight of the large oak and white pine trees in the man’s yard and assured him there were no trespassers. The man grew irate with CO Bader and threw his drink down as the CO left. In less than five minutes, he called 911 again reporting men in his trees. CO Bader and Ogemaw County Deputy Viviano responded back to the man’s yard, where he again had his baseball bat. They convinced the man to put down the bat but could not convince him there was no one in the trees. The man grabbed a chain saw and said he was going to cut down the tree. The officers divided his attention and removed the saw from the area. The man made physical threats to whomever was in the trees, and to both officers. CO Bader and Deputy Viviano decided the man needed to be evaluated by medical staff. He was detained and turned over to Ogemaw County EMS Authority.
COs Seth Rhodea and Kyle Bucholtz were patrolling in western Huron County when a call was received that a fishing shanty was on fire at the Mud Creek boat launch. CO Bucholtz observed the owner information visible on the shanty and was familiar with the owner. The COs located the shanty owner a short time later. The owner of the shanty admitted to setting the shanty on fire because he did not want it any longer. The owner was directed to clean up the remains and a report is being submitted to the prosecutor’s office for review.
CO Zach Bauer was on patrol when he located three anglers fishing in a restricted area near the Niles Dam. As CO Bauer was observing them, one angler grabbed a net and began attempting to net steelhead jumping up the spillway. CO Bauer contacted the anglers. Only one had a valid fishing license. Citation issued for the violation.
While patrolling Type 1 streams in Van Buren County, COs Tyler Cole and Jeff Robinette checked an area and observed a subject standing alongside a closed section of stream with a fishing pole in his hand. Upon contact with the subject, it was found that there was no hook or line attached to his pole. While talking with the subject, a second subject was spotted in a culvert underneath the road. This subject did have a fishing pole with hook and line attached and attempted to conceal his pole among the rocks. After advising him that he was already seen with the pole, he retrieved it and was issued a citation for possessing fishing gear along a closed stream. Both subjects admitted to knowing the stream was closed.
CO Jeff Robinette obtained an arrest warrant from the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office about an illegally taken deer from the 2020 deer season. The subject had shot an 11-point deer prior to purchasing a license and had posted pictures of the deer on social media. Charges include taking a deer without a license and failing to immediately validate and attach a kill-tag. The case is currently in court pending a plea from the defendant.
CO Justin Ulberg received a complaint of an individual fishing a closed trout stream in Kent County. CO Ulberg got into a position to view the angler fishing. While observing the angler, CO Ulberg noted that the angler appeared to be young and did not appear to be trying to snag any of the steelhead. CO Ulberg eventually contacted the angler, who was surprised to learn that the stream was closed to fishing. CO Ulberg educated the 16-year-old on why the stream was closed and suggested local streams and rivers that were open.
CO Anna Cullen was dispatched to an ice rescue in Muskegon State Park in Muskegon County. CO Cullen responded to learn that a family was hiking in the area, when all members fell through the ice. CO Cullen responded with fire and EMS to assist in getting the family to safety.
CO Jackie Miskovich was patrolling the Muskegon State Game Area (SGA) when she noticed an individual target shooting in a closed area. CO Miskovich observed the individual shooting and patching his target and then made contact. The individual was standing approximately 20 feet from a “No Target Shooting” sign. CO Miskovich informed the individual that he was not to shoot where he was as it is a safety hazard and that is why the signs are there. A citation was issued to the individual for target shooting in a closed area.
CO Casey Varriale was on patrol at 6th Street Dam in Kent County where he witnessed several individuals snagging steelhead near the fish ladder. CO Varriale noticed a suspect catch four steelhead. The suspect gave two of the steelhead to another individual and kept two for himself. Although the fish he kept were all hooked in the mouth, the suspect possessed more than the daily limit allowed. CO Varriale contacted the suspect and the suspect stated he did not know the fish he gave away were counted in his daily possession limit. The suspect was issued a verbal warning and agreed to clean up the shoreline in lieu of receiving a citation.
COs Sam Schluckbier and Rich Cardenas conducted a covert fishing patrol in response to recent complaints of snagging on the Kalamazoo River. Posing as an angler, CO Cardenas was able to locate and observe two subjects consistently snagging fish while CO Schluckbier watched from the opposite riverbank. Once the subjects began to pack up, CO Schluckbier contacted them and found them in possession of 26 fish. While interviewing the subjects, CO Schluckbier obtained confessions to keeping foul hooked fish. One of the steelhead illegally caught had a treble hook still lodged in its belly. The illegal fish were confiscated, and citations were issued to both individuals for the violations. One of the individuals cited has 14 prior hunting and fishing violations.
COs Ed Rice and Chris Reynolds conducted several interviews related to suspicious 2020 deer license purchases. The COs were obtained confessions during interviews and evidence was seized. Reports will be submitted to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office seeking multiple charges for loan and borrow license.
CO Larn R. Strawn received a RAP complaint of a subject who posted a comment about shooting a woodpecker with a BB gun on a community Facebook page. CO Strawn located the address and identity of the individual. CO Strawn discovered the person made the comments because he was frustrated that a woodpecker was nesting in a tree in his yard. The woodpecker had drilled a large hole in the tree and the person wanted to discourage the woodpecker from finishing the nest and possibly killing the tree. CO Strawn advised the person of alternate methods of scaring away the woodpecker. The individual said they had not shot at the bird. CO Strawn found no evidence of shots fired from a BB gun.
CO Jason McCullough swore to a warrant for a subject who had dumped tires in several locations around Calhoun County. The subject was cleaning up a property that was the site of a former go-kart track that had 1,200 tires on it. The subject had rented a U-Haul truck to dispose of the tires in multiple locations. A break came in the case when McCullough got the U-Haul on a trail camera that had been deployed for a separate investigation. CO McCullough worked with multiple local agencies who had received complaints of tire dumping during the same period. CO McCullough is currently working with a local group to arrange pick up of the remaining tires.
COs Kris Kiel and Brad Silorey checked a good number of shore anglers on Harsens Island. While CO Kiel was checking one angler’s license and fish, he observed the next angler down the line dump his bucket and start to count his fish. CO Kiel recounted the subject’s fish and found that he was four yellow perch over his limit. After issuing the citation, the subject told CO Kiel that he had just gotten caught, with one over the limit, three days prior.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll was patrolling back roads checking for activity when he observed the remnants of a bathroom remodel. While looking through the debris, a name and address were located on one of the boxes. CO Ingersoll contacted the suspect who advised that she paid her boyfriend’s brother to remodel her bathroom and he disposed of the debris. After talking with the boyfriend’s brother and listening to his lies, CO Ingersoll advised him to meet him at the location where the debris was and to clean it up. CO Ingersoll never provided the individual with the exact location, and when CO Ingersoll arrived at the debris site, the debris was cleaned up. The suspect advised that he lied and did dump the debris and knew where it was located. Citation issued for littering and the debris was cleaned out of the ditch.
CO Brandon Vacek conducted a patrol of the DTE “hot ponds” in Monroe County. The CO checked a group of anglers who did not know the number of panfish in their possession at the time. After dumping the five-gallon bucket to count the fish, a very small largemouth bass was mixed in with numerous panfish. The anglers admitted to having no knowledge of what type of fish it was, the legal-size limit, or the possession season. The angler was issued a citation for possession of an undersized largemouth bass and given a verbal warning for possession out of season.
During a patrol at Belle Isle, CO Ariel Young observed two individuals walking across the old zoo on the island which is closed to the public. CO Young had her partner, CO Dave Schaumburger, meet her near the area to attempt to find the individuals. Once inside the zoo, the COs quickly located the pair and made contact. One of the individuals admitted to knowing the zoo was posted and that they were not supposed to be in there. Both individuals were cited for entering the posted property.
While on patrol at Belle Isle, COs Danielle Zubek and Keven Luther spotted several people in the old zoo property. The COs searched the area and found two individuals and a dog. The individuals were escorted out of the zoo property. Citations were issued to both individuals.
GREAT LAKES ENFORCEMENT
Cpl. Brett DeLonge conducted an AIS inspection at PetSmart in Marquette after learning of the possible zebra mussel contamination in aquarium moss balls. Cpl. DeLonge met with store manager and after inspecting several containers of Marimo Moss Ball Plants found multiple containers with zebra mussels. The manager was notified, and the containers were seized.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen checked pet stores around the Muskegon area to determine if anyone had any of the Marimo Moss Balls containing zebra mussels. Cpl. VanGelderen discovered that the word was spreading quickly, and everyone had their moss balls quarantined already. The companies were either waiting for further word from their corporate office or they had directions on how to destroy the balls and euthanize the mussels if found. No mussels were discovered at the time of the inspections.