Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – May 28, 2021
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods and the Roseau River. A joint detail was worked with the U.S. Coast Guard. A complaint was taken about a possible wolf depredation, and a state trapper was set up to trap in the area north of Badger.
CO Marc Johnson (Warroad) primarily worked angling activity on Lake of the Woods and ATVing enforcement. He also monitored public accesses. In addition, time was spent investigating dredging activity and a partially sunken boat at a local marina.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette) worked angling activity on Upper Red Lake, Lake of the Woods, and the Rainy River. Time was spent investigating a minnow-trapping complaint, assisting volunteers with a local ATV safety class, and participating in a kids fishing event with fifth- and sixth-grade students from Kelliher.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) responded to a complaint about an individual taking game fish with a cast net below the dam in Thief River Falls and fielded numerous calls about a cougar sighting near Alvarado.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working OHV and AIS enforcement along with boating and angling activity on special-regulation lakes this past week. Time was spent handling reports of nuisance bears, litter, and investigating information about an overlimit of walleyes.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) dealt with various animal-related issues. Gray advises people to not pick up baby animals or birds because they are often not abandoned.
CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji) and K9 partner Storm attended training at Camp Ripley. The pair also assisted Beltrami County in searching multiple locations for possible evidence in an ongoing investigation.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week working sportfishing and commercial minnow-harvesting activity. Swedberg and CO Landmark continue to investigate ongoing leeching activity in the Becker County area. Trappers are reminded to make sure all of their traps are tagged and all other regulations are followed. Other time was spent assisting local agencies with calls for service, including an ATV pursuit near White Earth and a rollover crash near Detroit Lakes.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the past week working sportfishing, spring turkey hunting, and ATVing enforcement. Time also was spent checking leech-trapping activity and responding to miscellaneous wildlife-related calls.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports turkey activity seemed to have increased with toms still displaying and out in the open. Richards wants to remind folks to leave baby wildlife alone. It is illegal to pick them up. Numerous calls were taken about nuisance beavers and activation of goose-depredation shooting permits.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers, boaters, and personal watercraft operators. Additional time was focused on checking ATV operators and handling calls about orphaned wildlife. Baumbarger assisted a boater on Perkins Lake whose boat ran aground on a mud flat while the boater was trying to enter the Pomme de Terre River.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) responded to several fishing complaints during the past week, including keeping bass out of season, bass in the protected slot, and sunfish overlimits. Please read the fishing regulations booklet before you go on a new lake.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports multiple cases worked resulted in several citations being issued for panfish overlimits. One group had just caught their limit but also had the previous day’s limit at their cabin. Another angler failed to count while on a hot bite and was over the limit by several fish.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Michael Cross (Lake George) primarily focused on angling and ATVing enforcement. Cross worked with the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office on OHV enforcement. He also assisted the sheriff’s office with traffic violations.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) checked angling activity. She also removed and released a snapping turtle that had fallen into an egress window well. Enforcement was taken for no license in possession and expired registration.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time in the boat and on an ATV this week. Due to lack of rain in the area, the waters are low and the trails are dusty. Numerous bear-related complaints were received, and property owners are reminded to remove all attractants such as bird feeders and garbage to prevent damage. An investigation is ongoing into the illegal killing of a bear cub in western Cass County.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls) reports spending time this week monitoring ATVing activity and angling activity in the area. Simonson also spent time this past week monitoring minnow traps and issuing nuisance-beaver permits.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports angling and aquatic invasive species enforcement were the main focuses of the week. Follow-up was done on public waters cases and a TIP call related to targeting a fish species during a closed season.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time following up on an angler harassment case from the previous week. The suspect admitted to purposely running over another angler’s fishing line with his boat during the altercation. Appropriate enforcement action was taken. Zavodnik also followed up on multiple ATV trespass calls, some of which included tearing up wetlands on a landowner’s property.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and boaters this past week. He also checked ATV riders and took multiple calls about problems with the Electronic Licensing System.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked ATV operators, boaters, and anglers this week. Manning also provided security assistance on a prescribed fire in the Swamp River WMA that will improve habitat for numerous bird and animal species, including moose. COs Manning and Hill also assisted Cook County sheriff’s deputies with a domestic assault incident.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling and boating activity. Time was also spent assisting with an ongoing wetlands violation.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) hit the water and monitored ATV routes throughout the week. Hill spent time in the BWCAW and found multiple people in possession of empty beer cans and a glass vodka bottle. Pay attention to the video you watch before you enter the BWCAW. All of the laws are gone over. If you forget, just look at the back of your permit. Everything is on there. Permits were issued for possessing moose skulls and antlers and a permit was issued for nuisance beavers.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling activity and answered calls of nuisance-beaver and -bear activity. Beavers have been busy trying to save what water they have left during this dry period and sometimes that activity is in conflict with property owners’ plans. Likewise, bears are now out searching for food after the long winter and are drawn to backyard bird feeders and other food sources.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) saw angling activity continue to be high. Time was spent patrolling for boat and water safety items throughout the district. Follow-up was conducted on multiple ongoing cases regarding trap tampering and unlawful hunting.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) worked area lakes and rivers for angling activity. ATV-related complaints were handled, and boating/PWC complaints have been on the rise with the warm weather. Nuisance-animal issues are in full swing with the young of the year out and about.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked fishing, boating, and OHVing enforcement throughout the week. Wildlife and nuisance-animal calls/complaints continued this week. A wolf depredation of livestock and a litter complaint were investigated.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) gave out information on nuisance-bear complaints in the area.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent most of the week focusing on AIS and boating safety enforcement on Lake Superior and area lakes north of Duluth. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations and boating safety equipment violations.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) continued working angling activity on area lakes. Several anglers were in possession of illegal-length fish, and enforcement action was taken. Sullivan fielded a call about a bear cub that was caught in a live trap. The bear cub was successfully released.
CO Amber Ladd (Aitkin) reports high angling activity on area lakes, with some anglers having success. Anglers were observed keeping bass out of season, and several out-of-state anglers were educated on AIS laws.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) spent time patrolling area lakes for angling and boating activity. Enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of walleyes, extra lines, and numerous boating violations.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking anglers throughout the week and weekend. The state recreation area was checked for vehicle permits, and a litter complaint was addressed in the park.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angler activity and found a lack of licenses, boating safety equipment, and fish-measuring ability. A lot of maintenance was getting done on lake lots, prompting question and concerns regarding nuisance animals, insect hatches, and dock movement.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling for fishing, boating, and ATVing activity. Enforcement action was taken for fishing with extra lines, no angling license in possession, failure to have a fire extinguisher in the boat, failure to have a throwable PFD in the boat, youth operating an ATV without a helmet, expired ATV registration, failure to display valid ATV registration, failure to report the bill of sale for an ATV, and operating an ATV without lights.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended TEP panel site visits for two potential Wetland Conservation Act violations. She also checked boaters for invasive species and handled nuisance-animal complaints. Speldrich followed up on ongoing cases and assisted the Moose Lake Police Department with a disturbance call.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reports charges were filed from a WMA violation earlier this spring. Starr was walking in the woods after dark to greet some anglers who had just came to shore, only to have a large rock thrown in his direction. The anglers were surprised to see a CO instead of the bear that had been hanging around.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) had the first influx of calls about black bears being seen roaming around and looking for food. Every year, around May 1, people forget that a lot of bears are roaming around the Hinckley area, in search of food, and homeowners need to remove bird feeders and lock away garbage, dog food, and anything else a bear may be interested in. A few callers who reported finding bear cubs had to be reminded to leave the cubs alone unless they wanted to deal with an angry sow.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this week checking anglers and boaters. Time was spent on ATV patrol, wetland violation investigations, and miscellaneous animal-related calls. Issues in the Snake River Campground were addressed, and patrols were conducted within the campground.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Tou Vang (Pierz) monitored ATVing activity, talked at a youth ATV safety training class, and worked boating safety and fishing on area lakes. Vang responded to a report of a fawn that was rescued from a muddy road ditch. The fawn was retrieved from the private residence and released back into the wild in the area it was taken from.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked fishing, boating, bowfishing, and AIS education and preventive work this week. Concerns about bowfishing continue to make up most of the calls he is receiving. VanderWeyst advised one group that a capacity plate on a boat is the most people and weight for the boat. They were intending to launch with five people on a steel platform mounted on the boat. They had no life jackets. The very next bowfishing group to the access, which was previously on an AIS-infested lake that night, attempted to launch without cleaning their boat. They were encouraged to call it a night.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked angling, boating, and aquatic invasive species enforcement. A work detail was worked on Upper Red Lake with CO Seifermann. Several enforcement contacts were made, including a 23-walleye overlimit, but most anglers checked were doing well with law compliance.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports checking anglers and conducting AIS enforcement. Two wetland complaints were investigated.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the past week checking anglers. Krauel also worked a busy ATVing weekend. Krauel would like to remind ATV riders to stay on trails and out of wetlands while riding ATVs.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) focused patrols on anglers and boaters. Additional time was spent handling miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints and following up on shoreline violations. Seamans patrolled the Sand Dunes State Forest for turkey hunters and followed up on some off-road vehicle complaints.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked angling, boating, and AIS activities on metro-area lakes and rivers. He returned calls for service including TIP calls, fishing regulations questions, and nuisance wild animals. He took enforcement action for no angling license in possession, fishing while having fishing privileges suspended, littering, failure to remove the drain plug on a watercraft, and no required state park vehicle permit.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on angling and boating activity during the week. He received multiple reports about fish being dumped in various locations by bowfishers. Enforcement action was taken for operating a PWC after hours.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) checked anglers during a week of fair weather. Boat accesses were active and found full most days. Fogarty has left a few reminders for boaters to read the signs and park where allowed.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the past week checking watercraft users and anglers. He also handled calls about nuisance animals and trespassing issues. Arntzen also spent time patrolling area WMAs and William O’Brien State Park and conducting equipment maintenance.
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) primarily spent time patrolling local rivers and lakes for anglers. Time also was spent dealing with nuisance-wildlife and trespass calls. A call was also taken regarding a large number of dead rough fish and muskrats dumped by bowfishers in the parking lot of the Chub Lake WMA. Anyone with information about this is encouraged to call TIP.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) spent the week working angling, invasive species, and boat and water enforcement. Unusually warm weather brought out many more recreational boaters this past weekend. Enforcement action was taken for taking northern pike by bowfishing and for an under-length northern pike.
CO Stephen Westby (Madison) spent a day at the Bonanza Education Center with fourth- and fifth-graders and spoke about boat safety and how to properly wear a life jacket.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) taught the laws and ethics portion of a firearms safety class in Morgan. K9 Earl conducted a demo and met the kids.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time working angling and boating activity. He spoke with several second-grade classes at Prairie Woods Elementary during their animal unit. He also followed up on multiple bass-out-of-season complaints.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) worked angling enforcement and AIS enforcement. There were still a few anglers found who did not get their angling licenses for the year. Surprisingly, they claimed they were planning on going to get it but figured they would check if the fish were biting first. Klehr followed up on a report of turtle traps in a lake and checked to make sure they were legal. A report of a vehicle parked in a WMA was also handled. It is suspected the driver illegally drove into the WMA and got the vehicle stuck.
CO Zachary Larson (Hutchinson) reports that nuisance-beaver calls are becoming more common throughout the station.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) is following up on a report of several deceased protected birds.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) assisted the county with a horse that was walking down the centerline of U.S. Highway 71.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports working boat and water safety and checking anglers on local lakes. Lusignan is investigating an illegal-dumping case.
CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) focused on fishing, ATVing, and boating activities. Boaters are reminded that any canoes or kayaks over 10 feet must be registered.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) took several trespassing calls this past week. Time was spent on the Minnesota River, checking boaters and anglers.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week following up on various complaints. A turkey-hunting investigation also was completed. Time was spent patrolling for boating and angling activity on the Mississippi River.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) spent the week checking anglers. Fitzgerald arrested an angler for assaulting a peace officer and obstruction. Time also was spent assisting the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office with the execution of search warrant. Additional enforcement action was taken for keeping bass during the catch-and-release season, no life jacket, possession of marijuana, and panfish overlimits.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working boating and fishing enforcement on the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin. Some mushroom and turkey hunters were also checked this week. Assistance was provided with the airboat in a search of a missing boater on the backwaters. Enforcement action this week included license, registration, and safety equipment issues.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and turkey hunters during the week. Hunter numbers seemed down, but some hunters checked had success. Heyn also visited with and presented a 40-year award to a firearms safety instructor.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) responded to several calls about rattlesnakes and fawns. If fawns are encountered in the wild or in urban areas, leave them where you find them. The doe is nearby and will come back for the fawn after dark.