Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – May 14, 2021
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Marc Johnson (Warroad) primarily worked ATV enforcement and angling activity. He also patrolled forests, parks, and public accesses. An investigation was completed regarding a wolf depredation. In addition, an investigation was completed regarding a nuisance bear that was shot and unreported, resulting in enforcement action being taken.
CO Aaron Larson (Baudette) worked primarily angling enforcement on the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods. Multiple violations were found relating to sturgeon angling. Enforcement action was taken for taking fish with illegal methods, no angling license in possession, illegal-length sturgeon, and failure to affix a tag to sturgeon.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette) completed a trapping investigation resulting in enforcement action for illegal placement of a body-gripping trap. He also patrolled the Pine and Beltrami Island state forests and spent time monitoring activity surrounding the sturgeon spawn at the Rapid River. Sura would like to remind spectators and anglers to not touch, disturb, or handle the sturgeon during this fascinating display. People handling or taking sturgeon by unlawful methods, including taking by hand or snagging, may be charged.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) assisted a trapper with releasing an incidentally caught bald eagle from a leg-hold trap. He also investigated area wildfires and monitored area turkey hunting and fishing activity.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports monitoring spring beaver trapping, ATVing activity, and checking anglers on special-regulation lakes this past week. Anglers reported a slow bite for crappies and bluegills. Time was spent handling calls about incidental catches of otters and muskrats, investigating TIP calls of spearing after dark, reports about nuisance bears, and conducting follow-up investigations regarding suspected arson cases. Regas and CO Vollbrecht responded to a TIP call about anglers targeting and catching walleyes. Regas located the anglers and watched them catch several walleyes and place them in the livewell of their boat. Upon contacting the anglers, officers found them in possession of five walleyes.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports speaking to Red Lake Falls elementary students about boat and water safety. Time also was spent assisting another officer with a wildfire arson case.
CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji) attended training at Camp Ripley and followed up on a wolf-depredation complaint. Time was also spent fielding complaints about permanent stands on state land, illegal bear-baiting/dumping activity, and illegal spearing activity.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports TIP calls were taken and investigated regarding dumping, fishing for species during a closed season, and OHM operations in county highway rights of way. Vinton had contact with anglers suspected to be using drugs and driving a vehicle with fictitious plates. The violations were turned over to county deputies.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the past week checking anglers and patrolling for fire violations in the Pelican Rapids station. A calf depredation was investigated, and it was determined that coyotes were the likely suspects.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, boaters, ATV riders and burning activity. An investigation into trespass and criminal damage to a wildlife management area was conducted.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked area fishing, boating, AIS, and turkey-hunting activity. Several wildlife management areas were monitored for litter and illegal deer stands.
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) focused this past week’s enforcement efforts on angling, recreational vehicle, and fire enforcement. She assisted the State Patrol and Morris Police Department with a vehicle crash. Minnow permits were issued and a juvenile was warned for taking fish during the closed season.
CO Brian Holt (Osakis) checked angling and bowfishing activity throughout the past week. Time also was spent monitoring recreational vehicles and turkey hunters. Complaints concerning trespassing and wildlife were taken. Holt assisted the Forestry Division with wildfire arson investigations.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) spent the majority of the past week on the water working angling and boating enforcement. Several boaters were found without sufficient PFDs onboard, and a few with expired registrations.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) spent this past week enforcing recreational vehicle and fishing regulations. Baum observed violations for no license in possession, operating an ATV without headlights, and prohibited operations of a hydro jet. He also collected deer stands that were left on state land.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time checking ATV riders and anglers in her station. TIP calls were taken about people targeting walleyes out of season and anglers fishing with multiple lines.
CO Michael Cross (Lake George) primarily worked trapping, angling, and boating. Cross investigated multiple animal-related complaints, responded to a public-access complaint, and assisted Hubbard County with a motor vehicle accident.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports the sturgeon keep season on the Rainy River came to a close. This season was the busiest season of Kittelson’s career. Additional time was spent on invasive species enforcement, recreational vehicle enforcement, and training at Camp Ripley.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls) reports spending most of his time this past week working the Rainy River checking sturgeon anglers. Enforcement action taken was for operating an ATV on a state highway and for removing cattails without the proper permit.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time working on reports from the previous week. He also fielded multiple nuisance-bear complaints.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) assisted with a youth ATV safety class hosted by the Prospector Loop Alliance ATV Club. He also fielded calls about nuisance bears just outside of Ely. Residents are reminded to be vigilant and to remove things that may attract bears to their homes.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and ATV riders this past week. He also had several calls about bears and beavers causing damage. With lots of early campers, litter has continued to be a problem in the area.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) reports a chilly week, including several days with sleet or snow, which made for chilly water in Lake Superior tributaries and inland lakes. A group of kayakers was contacted coming off the water from a remote campsite shortly before a snow squall. The one life jacket the group brought was safely locked in a truck on land, and each paddler received a reminder to have one on their next outing. Manning also assisted Cook County and the U.S. Forest Service with a report of an unpermitted fire. The homeowner had also burned a couch previously, as its remains were in another burned pile near the fire being extinguished that day.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports more angling activity on Lake Superior tributaries. This was the second week in a row that Hill seized handguns stemming from permit-to-carry violations. Hill located two loaded handguns in a truck after he detected the odor of marijuana, and it was determined the owner of the handguns did not possess a permit to carry. Hill has also noticed an uptick in anglers fishing without licenses. A TIP call was received about an angler keeping an overlimit of undersized coaster brook trout on the Poplar River. Although the violation occurred the previous day, Hill found the same angler fishing in the same spot at the time of the call. In fact, he received the TIP call as he was pulling into the parking lot of the fishing hole. An interview was conducted, and Hill received an admission and photos of the violation.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) took calls involving beaver-trap theft, nuisance bears, and grass fires. Time was spent patrolling area rivers and lakes for fishing activity.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) spent time working AIS enforcement, boating activity, public access enforcement, and fishing and recreational vehicle enforcement. She also handled a complaint about a pelican stuck in fishing line.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked with neighboring officers to do commercial checks on forest decorative materials.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) worked along the North Shore for angling activity, smelting, and invasive species. ATV issues continue with trespass complaints being the biggest problem.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the past week along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Duncan also assisted local law enforcement with trespass complaints and some possible recreation vehicle registration issues.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked on watercraft-maintenance items during the past week and checked boat anglers and river anglers along the North Shore.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ATV trails and angler accesses. Trollers are busy on Lake Superior when the wind allows. Aquatic management areas were worked with several types of violations noted for follow-up.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) worked fishing, ATVing, and spring burning activities this past week. Enforcement action was taken for no helmets, ATV registration issues, operating on closed trails, burning during a ban, and no fishing license.
CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) worked ATV and OHM activity in the Foothills State Forest. He also worked sportfishing TIP calls, nuisance-bear complaints, and public water violations. Assistance was provided for an ATV crash with injuries.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking area lakes for anglers. He also checked designated trout lakes for illegal fishing on those closed lakes. Patrol was done for illegal ATV and vehicle activity in the park.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked increased angler activity. Turkey hunters and ATV riders were checked. Verkuilen also attended training and answered questions regarding trespassing.
CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) attended training at Camp Ripley. She also monitored angling, ATV, and AIS compliance in the Isle area. Griffith also spent time with her neighboring officers getting equipment ready for open-water fishing and the fishing opener.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on equipment items in preparation for the game-fish opening weekend. Calls came in about the bear season. Time also was spent regarding firearms safety training requirements and on meetings with volunteer instructors.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent quite a bit of time helping landowners with nuisance animals. Complaints included a fox killing chickens, wolves harassing livestock, and black bears destroying garbage cans, bird feeders, and screen doors. Visits were made to a few properties where homeowners had their spring burning activities get away from them. Fire danger was high throughout the week.
CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked sportfishing, turkey hunting, boating, and ATVing activity this past week. Violations were encountered for various boating, sportfishing, and fire-related issues.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this week checking anglers and boaters. Littering along the St. Croix River continues to be a growing issue. Thank you to those who have cleaned up after others. ATV patrol was done in the Chengwatana State Forest.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the past week patrolling area lakes for angling and bowfishing activity. Silgjord provided assistance to the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office with a residential burglary alarm. An illegal fire was addressed, and time was spent assisting with the Padua youth firearms safety class.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling and bowfishing activity this past week. He also worked on administrative tasks and vehicle maintenance. Bowfishers were reminded that AIS laws apply to them as well.
CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports anglers are having some luck crappie fishing as lake temperatures continue to rise. Enforcement action for the week consisted of angling without valid licenses, and watercraft and ATV violations. He also conducted several wetland- and aquatic plant-related investigations.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports checking anglers and turkey hunters. Area lakes were busy with anglers having success with panfish. Time was spent monitoring ATVing activity and conducting equipment maintenance. Enforcement action for the week was taken for targeting/possessing largemouth bass out of season, fishing without a license, and failure to have enough life jackets on board a watercraft.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and working ATV enforcement. Krauel also spent time patrolling for boat and water safety.
CO Nate Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking anglers, boaters, and ATV riders. One individual was found fishing without a license at the same spot where Benkofske cited him for fishing without a license a year ago. The man’s fishing privileges were revoked and the penalties were increased.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for anglers and boaters. Additional time was spent patrolling state lands. A bowfishing complaint area was worked, and numerous violations were detected. Enforcement action for the week included fishing without a license, shooting a rough fish with a bow/arrow and throwing it back into the water, targeting smallmouth bass out of season, and operating a watercraft without PFDs.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) checked anglers and enforced AIS laws at local boat landings. Fogarty checked four anglers on a local trout lake. None of the four anglers had angling licenses and one had a warrant for his arrest.
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishing activity along the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. Several nuisance-animal complaints were handled.
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) spent time checking shore anglers. Lerchen also issued possession permits and fielded various wildlife-related calls. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on angling activity during the week. In addition to checking anglers, he investigated reports of geese being shot out of season and assisted the Carver County Sheriff’s Office with an incident in Chanhassen.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) primarily spent time checking trout anglers along the Vermillion River and boaters on local lakes. Many calls were handled regarding bass fishing out of season and deer-feeding issues. Time also was spent on an ongoing investigation of hunting deer out of season.
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) continued to deal with wetland and public-water complaints and issues. Salzer fielded several nuisance-wildlife calls as well.
CO Ryan Hanna (White Bear Lake) investigated some possible wetland and public-waters violations. While on patrol, it was brought to Hanna’s attention that some lakeshore owners were dredging the lake bottom. The owners were talked to and were not aware that dredging is not allowed without a permit. The cases are still under investigation as to the extent of damage caused to the lake bottom.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the past week working fishing, boating, turkey hunting, and ATVing enforcement. Assistance was given with a youth firearms safety field day at the Redwood River Sportsmen’s Club.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) checked anglers, watercraft, and spring turkey hunters throughout the past week. Turkey hunters are reporting tough hunting as pressured birds are becoming wary.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent the week checking anglers and turkey hunters. Enforcement action included targeting game fish out of season.
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) worked angling, invasive species, and boat and water enforcement this past week. Enforcement action was taken for shooting from a motor vehicle and taking geese out of season.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Cassie Block (Willmar) spent time this past week checking anglers on area lakes and focusing efforts on recreational vehicle patrol. Block also fielded questions regarding both ATV and boating registration.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) investigated calls concerning hunter harassment, nuisance animals, and turkey hunting and fishing law questions.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) encountered numerous violations at public access points during the past week related to angling, firearms, and drug violations. Vandalism at one particular public access continues to be an issue, with numerous pieces of state property being spray-painted.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) worked angling, ATVing, and AIS activity this week. Anglers are reminded of the size restrictions for keeping northern pike in the southern zone once the season opens.
CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) worked turkey hunting, ATVing, and angling enforcement. Time was spent time working neighboring lakes and answering questions about trout stream regulations from anglers not familiar with the area.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working more fishing and boating enforcement on the Mississippi River and its tributaries. The water level is still dropping but the temperature is starting to rise.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) took enforcement action after checking a trout angler who had his fishing privileges revoked. Trout in his possession were seized.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) responded to a call from a turkey hunter who accidentally shot two turkeys. The individual called to self-report the incident and was dealt with accordingly. Kyllo also spent time checking anglers. An issue that Kyllo has encountered multiple times is individuals targeting northern pike and bass out of season. All the individuals with this issue admitted they had not looked at the regulations book.