Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 4, 2021
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods and the Roseau River. Angling success has been fair on both the lake and river. Illegal-length walleyes encountered on Lake of the Woods.
CO Aaron Larson (Baudette) worked primarily angling enforcement on Lake of the Woods. Time was also spent at Zippel Bay State Park enforcing park rules.
CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) reports fishing on Lake Bronson continues to be slow. Brown presented to a third-grade class in Thief River Falls about Minnesota mammals with CO Woinarowicz.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) investigated a wildfire and monitored area angling activity. Enforcement action for the week included burning without the required permit, no helmet on juveniles on ATVs, unregistered ATV, no ATV safety training and an open alcohol container on an ATV on a public roadway.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports time spent working an Upper Red Lake AIS detail, handling a report of a bear that was struck by a car, and a follow-up investigation on TIP information of a possible overlimit of walleyes and crappies.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck) reports slow fishing on Upper Red. ATV activity increased in the area. Enforcement action was taken for numerous children riding/operating ATVs without helmets.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) responded to a call of four young squirrels that had their tails tangled together outside a youth house in Bemidji. He was able to trap the animals under a box, leaving their tails outside so a piece of cloth could be pulled away from the tails. The animals were all safely returned to the tree where an upset mother was waiting for them. An individual was stopped in a motor vehicle after being observed weaving in the traffic lanes. It was determined the individual was looking down to type directions into a cell phone to find a fishing spot. The individual was subsequently arrested for an outstanding warrant in the county for unpaid fines.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports area lakes and accesses were patrolled over the long holiday weekend with the assistance of District Lt. Phillip Seefeldt and RTO Greg Oldakowski. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, no licenses in possession, no throwable PFD and a juvenile operating an OHM in the ditch.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) took a TIP report of a lake sturgeon that had been found at Dunton Locks. The sturgeon appeared to have been killed by a bowfishing arrow. If anyone knows anything about the sturgeon, they are asked to call the TIP line. Reports can be made anonymously.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sport fishing, AIS and ATV enforcement.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) reports calls from the public included a report of an injured loon, a nuisance-beaver complaint, and bowfishing complaints. Enforcement action taken for an individual who was found taking geese out of season.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Hanna Wood (Wheaton) spent the past week focused on angling and recreational vehicle enforcement. Violations encountered: angling without a license, no license in possession, and a child under 10 years old without a life jacket on a watercraft.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) assisted the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office boat and water patrol with two incidents where two pontoons had come away from their dock and were floating free on area lakes. Owners in both cases were found and secured their pontoons.
CO Emily Leeb (Morris) reports working fishing, recreational vehicle, and boat and water safety activity throughout the week. Leeb also issued a car-killed bear permit.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV riders. Fishing and AIS complaints were handled, including people keeping fish in the slot, overlimits and not draining water from minnow buckets leaving the lake.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts focused on checking anglers and boaters and monitoring AIS law compliance. Time spent on injured- and orphaned-animal complaints.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports enforcement action taken for various angling and boating violations, but most people were very compliant. Panfish success seems to be the most consistent as walleyes are not cooperating.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports it was a busy holiday weekend and many people were out on the trails and lakes. Reports of a gill net, littered fish carcasses, and an AIS complaint were investigated.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) received a call of multiple people operating ATVs in the lake and responded to a call of an ATV crash involving a hit-and-run incident.
CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports issuing a bear permit, investigating a public waters complaint, following up on TIP complaints and assisting the public with miscellaneous/nuisance animal calls.
CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) took enforcement action for prohibited operation of an OHM and ATV, allowing illegal operation of an ATV, angling without a license, operating an ATV with a passenger under 18 years old without a helmet, and failure to display ATV registration.
CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked angling, watercraft enforcement, OHV enforcement, and responded to numerous wildlife-related calls. Cross reminds ATV riders to pack out their garbage when using the ATV trails.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports the Memorial Day Weekend was busy on Rainy Lake. People are reminded that fish with special size-limit regulations differing from statewide regulations must remain measurable while transporting them on the water. Enforcement action for the weekend included no fishing license in possession and illegal fish transportation.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls) continued to check anglers fishing the Rainy River and Rainy Lake. Enforcement action taken this past week was for no license in possession, insufficient number of PFDs and expired boat registration.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports angling activity remains strong, with success observed in select areas. A focus was on invasive species compliance, with several contacts made for various violations including failing to remove drain plugs from live wells and bilge drains.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports checking area lakes for boating and angling activities. Forest roads were monitored for ATV activity. Beaver problems continue. Injured and dead animals on roadways were dealt with.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) transferred into the Hibbing station and spent time getting reacquainted with the area and meeting with many new people. In addition, time was also spent working ATV enforcement and responding to nuisance-bear complaints.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) fielded a complaint involving a permanent encampment that had been built on state land.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) reports cooler weather appeared to hamper recreational boating activity. Broughten also fielded calls regarding nuisance animals and fishing regulations.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports the holiday weekend was extremely busy with ATV and angling activity across the Ely area. Several anglers reported a decent smallmouth bite. Violations included angling without a license, failure to display current ATV registration, and operating an ATV without a safety certificate.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) took several calls on nuisance animals and issues with fishing license purchases.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time checking anglers and watercraft in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area during a work detail.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) mourned the loss of her academy member, co-worker, and friend, CO Sarah Grell. Manning and other DNR and LEMA Honor Guard members devoted time to providing her family, co-workers and community with a ceremony befitting her dedication to them and the environment she worked to protect.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a couple of BWCAW patrols over the last week with COs Zavodnik and Broughten. Enforcement action included numerous groups in possession of cans and glass in the BWCAW, possession of marijuana, fishing without a license, fishing with an extra line, transporting fish without skin patches, unregistered watercraft, and youth ATV passengers without helmets.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports one person was observed operating their ATV in the lane of traffic on a paved county road. They were also seen crossing over the center line multiple times. A traffic stop was conducted and the operator was arrested for DUI. Their alcohol concentration was over twice the legal limit.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and boating activity over the busy holiday weekend. Fishing success was up among most anglers checked, and watercraft use was high as boaters enjoyed the nice weather. Boaters are reminded to check all safety equipment before heading out on the water and make sure to have a life jacket for every person, as required by law.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) spent most of the week in Grand Rapids planning and preparing for CO Sarah Grell’s funeral as part of the Division’s Honor Guard team.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent some time working fishing on area lakes and shore areas. Duncan also worked on a public water issue involving an area lake.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) encountered violations for various items, including OHV operation/licensing, angling license, boating equipment and registration, and unattended lines.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) finished K9 school and started working with a new K9 partner in the field.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked Lake Superior and inland lakes in the Duluth and Two Harbors areas.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) received a call from a person who said he accidentally shot a large sturgeon in the Two Harbors area. Attempts to reach the caller at the number provided have so far been unsuccessful.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) worked sportfishing on area lakes and rivers. Sullivan also observed numerous young new anglers who were excited about fishing for the first time.
CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) was privileged to serve on the Honor Guard at the funeral for CO Sarah Grell. The words spoken at her funeral were a great testament to who Sarah was when it came to her family, work, and faith.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports working the state recreation area for fishing activity during the week and weekend. Most anglers reported a fair bite, but were mostly enjoying being on the lake with the nice weather. Time was spent patrolling the SRA for illegal vehicle and ATV activity.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) monitored angling activity through the week. ATVing activity was worked in the Chengwatana State Forest with neighboring officers. Griffith would like to remind parents that minors need to be wearing helmets.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling for fishing, boating, and ATVing activity. Enforcement action was taken for litter, illegal-length northern pike, no angling license in possession, failure to have proper lifesaving devices, failure to have a throwable PFD in a boat, failure to display boat registration, youth on ATVs without helmets, failure to display valid ATV registration, operating a Class 2 ATV in a ditch, and operating an ATV without lights.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on a dumping complaint and gate-damage incident at the Mille Lacs WMA. Turkey season ended with no issues and not that many hunters found. With the assistance of the Princeton Police Department and a Mille Lacs County deputy, Starr rescued 11 wood duck chicks from a dry sewer drain in the middle of town. The lucky ducks were taken to a local wildlife rehab facility.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent most of the holiday weekend dealing with ATV complaints and ATV accidents. One of the biggest problems found was parents allowing their underage kids to operate carelessly, on roads and without helmets. Time also was spent on lakes that were buy with anglers. One angler, who realized Grundmeier was on the lake checking people, attempted to quickly purchase an online license prior to getting checked. The individual was not quick enough.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this week working ATV patrol and checking anglers during the busy holiday weekend. Time also was spent assisting Pine County with a search and rescue where the people were found and brought back safely.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week assisting with an Honor Guard detail for CO Sarah Grell. A call regarding a live deer fawn found in a local lake was handled. The fawn was transferred to a wildlife rehabilitation center.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) assisted at an ATV safety riding day in Albany. Time was spent working boaters, anglers, and AIS enforcement.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports checking anglers and conducting ATV and AIS enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, fishing without a license in possession, no throwable device onboard a watercraft, and transporting zebra mussels.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers. Krauel also spent time patrolling for ATVs and working boat and water safety.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for anglers, boaters, and turkey hunters. Additional time was spent following up on littering investigations and public waters violations. Enforcement action was taken for parking in a closed area at a public access, dumping litter in a WMA, and altering the shoreline of a public water without a permit.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) spent time checking anglers and recreational boaters. Lerchen also assisted with wildlife-related calls. Enforcement action was taken for invasive species violations and angling without a license.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled for ATV, AIS, and boating activities. He also worked angling enforcement in the district, and patrolled Fort Snelling State Park.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) patrolled lakes and checked anglers. Fogarty answered questions about camping on the water and took nuisance-animal calls. Deer fawns were reported abandoned and callers were advised to leave the fawns because the mother placed them where they were found.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on angling and boating activity during the week. Enforcement action included AIS violations, boat operation and registration violations, and angling license violations.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time checking anglers on local lakes and rivers. Many wildlife-related calls were handled, with many issues related to individuals illegally possessing fawns and waterfowl. A falconry inspection also was conducted, and assistance was given to the local sheriff’s office in responding to a drowning on a local lake.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the past week checking anglers and doing watercraft enforcement. He investigated several wetland complaints and handled nuisance-animal calls.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent a busy holiday weekend checking boaters on the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers. He also did some targeted ATV enforcement in the area.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Stephen Westby (Madison) worked area lakes for boat and water safety and angling activity. Westby would like to remind people that everyone riding in a boat needs to have a life jacket that fits them properly.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) responded to a K9 call for assistance with Earl in Stearns County to assist with evidence recovery. He also worked boating and angling activity on area lakes.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working anglers. Another ATV accident occurred in Pipestone County.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Cassie Block (Willmar) spent time this week checking anglers on area lakes and working ATV activity. Block focused efforts on AIS and educating boaters to clean, drain, and dry all water-related equipment before leaving the access.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) worked AIS enforcement along with angling and boating enforcement. There were still a few anglers found who did not get their angling licenses.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent time this week patrolling local rivers and lakes. TIP calls and investigations were fielded about litter and waterfowl shot out of season.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked anglers and boaters. AIS-compliance inspections and education continue at accesses.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports working boat and water safety and ATV enforcement in the area. Lusignan encountered and addressed multiple boating and ATVing violations.
CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) focused on fishing and boating activities. A few turkey hunters were seen trying to fill their turkey tags as the spring turkey season came to a close.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked boaters and anglers this week, including enforcement of AIS laws.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) spent the week checking anglers on reservoirs. Time also was spent monitoring ATVing activity near the Whitewater WMA.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) stood Honor Watch and attended funeral services for CO Sarah Grell.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) checked boaters and anglers on area lakes. A TIP call was investigated regarding overlimits of trout being taken.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) checked anglers and ATV operators during the Memorial Day weekend. Assistance was given to the Houston County Sheriff’s Office in the search for a missing mushroom hunter.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports working the Upper Red lake-area during the Memorial Day weekend, with an enforcement emphasis on fishing, boating, and AIS. One older angler advised Hemker he did not buy a license because he was old. It appeared the compliance with AIS laws has improved.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports receiving several calls about fawns and other baby critters. Folks are reminded to leave them alone.