Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 11, 2021
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) responded to a call about a bear shot out of season in Kittson County, checked anglers on Lake of the Woods/Roseau River, and handled a complaint about ATV riders operating loudly and speeding near people’s homes on the ATV trail west of Warroad.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette) assisted Beltrami County and the Minnesota State Patrol at the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident. Enforcement action was taken on an individual who had taken his Jeep onto a designated ATV trail in order to get around stopped traffic at the scene of the motor vehicle accident. The individual stated he had grown impatient while sitting in traffic.
CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) continued to investigate wolf-depredation complaints around the area.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) came upon an angler with a large treble hook from a lure lodged in his hand. It turns out the illegal-length northern pike in the angler’s bucket served up its own justice. A painful experience and a trip to the emergency room with a written warning were punishment enough for this angler.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working boating and angling activity on special-regulation lakes throughout this past week. Time also was spent working an Upper Red Lake AIS enforcement detail and investigating a report of a dead wolf. The wolf apparently had been struck and killed by a vehicle.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) monitored boating and angling activity on area lakes. He responded to a call about two individuals assaulting a person at a state park and then driving away in a stolen van. The two individuals were later taken into custody by the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office.
CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV riders. Assistance was given to the county with a fatal car crash/hit-and-run incident. Nuisance-bear complaints were handled.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) focused enforcement activities on boating, AIS, and ATVing activities. Above-normal temperatures for the area brought out lots of boats and PWCers but slowed the fishing. Callers were reminded that swimming is allowed at public water accesses, but those using the access should pick up after themselves, be mindful of no-parking areas, and not interfere with folks attempting to launch their boats.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the past week working sportfishing, AIS, and ATV enforcement. He also attended training at Camp Ripley, assisted other area officers on an ATV detail, and spent time speaking to community stakeholders.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports checking boaters and anglers with summer recreation in full swing. Richards assisted with a youth ATV safety class in Henning during the weekend.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked numerous complaints, including illegal bowfishing, orphaned fawns, loon nest disturbance, an overlimit of fish, and unusual fishing techniques. Local Amish families are getting some assistance from Plautz obtaining the proper paperwork for the husband/wife combination license.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports several citations were issued throughout the week for various angling and boating violations. Late PWC operation continues to be a problem on area lakes, with most people in violation unaware of the hour-before-sunset rule.
CO Emily Leeb (Morris) reports enforcement action was taken for fishing without a fishing license in possession, towing a tuber without a spotter or mirror, no PFD on board a kayak and paddleboard, and no fire extinguisher on board a watercraft. Leeb also assisted the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office with a minor motorcycle accident.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) received a call about a camper staying in a state forest for longer than 14 days, various animal-related complaint calls, and a sportfishing violation call.
CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) patrolled area lakes for angling and boating enforcement. McGowan also assisted DNR Forestry with wildfire investigations. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, an overlimit of walleyes, and numerous boating violations.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports assistance was provided after a drive-by shooting incident. The suspect later was apprehended. Calls about injured deer, nuisance bears, an overlimit of fish, and unmarked gill nets were received and investigated.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports the hot weather resulted in lots of people heading to Rainy Lake to escape the heat – or at least get a reprieve from it. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession and boating issues. A wolf-depredation complaint was investigated.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls) spent time this past week working Rainy Lake and the Rainy River checking anglers and working AIS enforcement at area landings. Simonson also responded to burning complaints in the International Falls area.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports that with abnormally dry conditions, outdoor recreationists are reminded about high fire dangers and responsibilities involved with any type of outdoor fires. The dry conditions also are contributing to slow green-up for black bear food sources, leading to an uptick in complaints.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked ATV enforcement, angling activity, and boat and water safety. Time also was spent following up on an ongoing trespass issue, investigating nuisance-bear complaints, and assisting local partnering agencies.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) responded to several water emergencies in the Tower station earlier last week. Zavodnik wants to remind watercraft operators about the importance of being cognizant of other boaters and people when on the water.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the past week monitoring fishing, boating, and ATVing activity. Broughten field calls regarding nuisance animals, ATV trespass, and boat registration. Broughten also assisted with a grass fire and assisted the State Patrol with a report of a car fire.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports extremely hot weather and dry conditions made for some dangerous fire conditions in the Ely area. The Crab/Cummings Lakes area inside the BWCAW were under a closure during the weekend while an active fire was fought from the air.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and boaters this past week. He attended training and took several calls about northern pike regulations.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) checked anglers on remote lakes and monitored the transportation of AIS. He also responded to several nuisance-animal calls and checked ATV riders and state parks.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) helped with annual firearms qualifications at Camp Ripley. Manning also passes on a bit of advice from a local tow driver: Just because it worked in the TV commercial doesn’t mean you should try it yourself. This week’s example involved a car that had to be pulled out of the beach rock with a tracked groomer.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling and watercraft activity this past week. Schottenbauer also assisted with training other officers at Camp Ripley in addition to responding to nuisance-bear complaints and a car-hit moose.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports certifying eight students during an ATV field day held at the Cook County High School. A big thanks to the volunteers who make it all possible.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked boating and fishing activity this week. Warm weather has increased fire danger once again in the area and campers are urged to watch for any burning restrictions and to make sure campfires are completely extinguished.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) conducted angling and boating enforcement and attended yearly firearms training at Camp Ripley. Two anglers were found in possession of illegal-length walleyes, and a complaint about illegal birch-pole cutting was taken.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) patrolled state parks and worked anglers, forestry, small game, and ATV riders. Numerous game and fish questions were answered. He also responded to wildlife-related complaints.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, boating, ATVing, and AIS activities throughout the area. Assistance was also given to local law enforcement agencies for various calls for service.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) reports the number of folks taking part in outdoor summer activities greatly increased in the area, as did the violation rate. Remember that if you are looking to try your hand at fishing from a boat to double check that you have all of the proper safety equipment, make sure your boat registration is up to date, and ensure that you have a current angling license.
District 8 – Duluth area
Lake Superior Marine Unit
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Amber Ladd (Aitkin) spent time working angling and boating activity on Aitkin- and McGregor-area lakes and rivers. Ladd also worked ATVing activity, locating one group where the youth were operating without helmets and were underage without ATV safety training. Ladd followed up on several wetland and aquatic plant violations and answered several phone calls about trespass-related issues.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled station lakes this week. Guida worked an extra patrol on Mille Lacs Lake, monitoring special regulations. Guida assisted with a car-wounded deer and also a loon that was tangled in fishing line. Case preparation was done for an upcoming court trial.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking the state recreation area for anglers during the week. Time was spent checking the SRA for illegal vehicle activity and for state park permits.
CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) enforced boating and fishing laws throughout the week. He gave a tow to two PWC operators after their machine broke down, leaving them stranded on a lake.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) monitored angling activity on Lake Mille Lacs throughout the week. Griffith also monitored ATVing activity on the Soo Line and Red Top trails.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling for fishing, boating, and ATV riding activity. She also assisted with a DNR event at the Aitkin elementary school.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) rescued a bear cub after the sow was hit by a car on Interstate 35. The cub will be rehabilitated at the Garrison Animal Hospital. Speldrich also received a complaint about a bald eagle held captive in a dog kennel. The eagle turned out to be a Polish chicken and had a black body with a white plumed head that the owners had named “Que Ball.”
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked night ban regulations on Lake Mille Lacs, along with the walleye catch-and-release season. Muskie season opener found some nice fish boated.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) dealt with an increase in reports of wolves harassing livestock, as well as quite a few nuisance-bear complaints. A few landowners found out firsthand that mother bears, when visiting garbage cans and bird feeders, don’t always scare away easily when they have cubs with them.
CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) primarily worked sportfishing and ATV/OHM enforcement this week. Hot weather brought many people to area lakes.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Tou Vang (Pierz) monitored ATVing activity, worked boating safety and AIS, and checked anglers. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display OHM registration, failure to display ATV registration and numbers, operating an ATV without required safety training, failure to display valid boat registration, failure to transfer boat title, failure to renew boat registration, no PFD onboard watercraft, operating a PWC within 150 feet of shore, no angling license in possession, and an overlimit of crappies.
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week monitoring angling and boating activity in the station. Time was also spent monitoring for AIS violations. A lake association meeting was attended and information regarding various DNR topics was addressed. Silgjord also attended the Freeport Family Fishing Contest and spoke with volunteers and attendees. All of the youth who had brought up their catch for weigh-in appeared to being having a great time. Silgjord would like to thank all of the volunteers for the hard work they put in to the event.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) reports receiving complaints about PWCers out after hours and a TIP about a bowfisher shooting a large northern pike and other bowfishers dumping their creel in the ditch and bragging about shooting snapping turtles.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking anglers and boaters. Most calls this week concerned nuisance beavers and bears. A complaint also was received about taking snapping turtles during the closed season.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Nate Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking anglers on various lakes. Enforcement action was taken for illegal fish, transporting boats with drain plugs, and no navigation lights on boats.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) focused patrols on anglers and boaters. Additional time was spent patrolling state lands and working on a possible Wetland Conservation Act violation. Two Class 1 ATVs were stopped for operating on a county road. One of the operators decided to give a false name to Seamans because his driver’s license was suspended. The lie was discovered and the individual left with several citations, including giving a false name to a peace officer.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) returned to work after an extended leave of absence from the area. With the heat wave that has spread across the state, extra boating enforcement work was conducted.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on angling and boating activity during the week. Warm weather over the weekend brought many people onto the water.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled district-area lakes and rivers for angling and boating activities. He encountered violations included no angling license, no angling license in possession, angling with extra lines, lack of required PFDs on watercraft, off-leash dogs in a state park, and bicycles on restricted trails.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and boating activity. He fielded several questions throughout the week regarding wetlands and vegetation.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring boaters and anglers on the Mississippi River. He also investigated an illegal structure on an area SNA.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week patrolling area lakes and doing AIS enforcement. He also fielded calls about bowfishing and attended training at Camp Ripley.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Stephen Westby (Madison) worked with area DNR Fisheries personnel on local fish hatcheries, working live traps and fish counts.
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) worked angling, invasive species, boat and water safety, and ATV enforcement this past week. A fishing tournament on Lake Benton produced great success for many participants who brought in limits of walleyes.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, ATVing, and AIS enforcement. ATV operators are reminded that anybody under 18 is required to wear a helmet when operating or riding as a passenger.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent time this week patrolling local rivers and waterways for sportfishing, boat and water safety, and AIS. Investigations continue on TIP calls about overlimits.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls about juvenile and injured wildlife. He mainly worked angling, boating, invasive species, and ATV enforcement activities.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) fielded calls related to public access point issues/littering and TIP calls. Boaters are reminded to comply with PFD regulations.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted inspections of anglers, boaters, and their equipment. He attended continuing education training out of station. Public waters and shoreline alterations were checked for compliance.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) spent much of this week enforcing rules related to fishing, boating, and ATV operation. Time was also spent monitoring AIS compliance and patrolling public lands.
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on recreational vehicle and fishing activity. VanThuyne also checked watercraft for AIS compliance and assisted local agencies.
CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) focused on fishing and boating activities. Time was also spent answering numerous calls about fawns and ducklings. Moua wants to remind everyone to leave wildlife alone.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV operators during the past week. He also monitored AIS activity and patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, public water access sites, and waterfowl production areas.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) spent time investigating multiple fishing violations. Boaters and anglers also were checked.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) checked boating activity on area lakes and the Mississippi River. Cliff jumpers were cited for trespassing on the shores of Lake Byllesby.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) spent the week checking anglers and monitoring ATVing activity around Olmsted County. Fitzgerald also assisted the Rochester Police Department with an arrest.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing, boating, and some ATVing enforcement this week. Some overlimit and extra-lines investigations were completed.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) assisted with division firearms training and followed up on an ongoing complaint. Time was spent patrolling for area boating and angling activity.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) spent time on boat and water safety inspections, checking anglers, and ATV enforcement. Several ATV riders were cited for operating in a wildlife management area and for driving through a trout stream. Miscellaneous animal-related complaints also were handled, including a sick raccoon and an individual concerned about a fawn.