Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

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Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 18, 2021

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Aaron Larson (Baudette) worked angling, ATVing, and AIS enforcement. Time was spent checking anglers on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake. Larson also addressed several beaver-related complaints and a complaint about a bear in Zippel Bay State Park.

CO Corey Sura (Baudette) reports working AIS enforcement on Upper Red Lake. He noted good compliance rates. Sura also checked anglers at various public accesses on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake. Enforcement action was taken for violations including transporting fillets without skin patches and transporting fillets reduced to more than two pieces per fish.

CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) reports wolf depredations continue to be a trend throughout the area. 

CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) monitored boating, angling, and ATVing activity in the area. Violations encountered included angling without a license, expired watercraft registration, watercraft safety equipment violations, and various ATV-related violations.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Hannah Mishler (Bemidji) provided assistance with aerial surveys of area lakes. A nuisance-bear complaint was handled.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) testified at a trial, responded to a possible road-killed wolf, worked state park enforcement, and followed up on a complaint about posting public land.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sportfishing, AIS, and ATV enforcement. A leech-trapping complaint was investigated. Time was also spent speaking with members of the Ida Lake Association.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) worked ATV, boating, and fishing enforcement this week. High heat kept activity to a minimum.  

CO Brian Holt (Osakis) monitored AIS compliance and boating safety during the week. Time also was spent checking anglers and attending training at Camp Ripley. 

CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) displayed a TIP Wall of Shame for the Fergus Falls Summer Fest celebration during the weekend.  

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers and boaters and monitoring AIS law compliance. 

CO Emily Leeb (Morris) checked anglers and monitored boating activity throughout the week. ATV violations were handled, and assistance was given to local law enforcement with calls for service.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV riders. Fishing complaints were handled, including people keeping fish within the protected slot, overlimits, and not draining water from minnow buckets when leaving a lake. 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) continued to see high activity on the water with anglers, recreational boating activity, and PWC operation. Unlawful PWC operation continues to be a problem in the area, with numerous PWCs found being operated during closed hours and also complaints regarding PWCers chasing/harassing wildlife. 

District 4 – Walker area

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) worked area lakes for boating and angling activity. Assistance was given to local law enforcement agencies with calls for service. 

CO Calie Kunst (Remer) worked boating safety and sportfishing during the week. Multiple contacts were made with boaters on the water. Kunst also took a call about a nuisance bear and a personal watercraft complaint. 

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) investigated multiple shoreline, public waters, and AIS violations. She also responded to a call about an injured deer. 

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time during the week on the water and ATV trails. The lack of rain in the area has caused water levels to drop on area lakes and rivers and is limiting access for certain types of watercraft on some of these waters. 

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) attended training at Camp Ripley. He also spoke at a community outreach event and checked local anglers and boaters on area lakes.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers and boaters. Fishing success was low, possibly due to the continued abnormally high temperatures. 

CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports checking anglers and enforcing watercraft and ATV regulations. He reports conducting a game farm inspection and assisting the public with animal-related calls and concerns. 

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls) reports a busy week checking anglers and recreational boating activity on Rainy Lake. Time was spent working ATV complaints in the area, along with answering questions regarding the special regulations for walleyes on Rainy Lake.  

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports time was spent monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic at water accesses for aquatic invasive species compliance. The most common violation was transporting watercraft without removing drain plugs. Slatinski also fielded a variety of wildlife-related calls. He reminds people to leave young-of-the-year animals alone, because this gives them the best chance for survival. 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports angling and boating activities were monitored during the week. Wolves, bears, and beavers continue to cause problems. 

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked ATV enforcement, boating activity, and checked public accesses. In addition, time was spent attending training at Camp Ripley and speaking with kids at “Safety Town,” which is a local event geared toward teaching children how to be safe in many aspects of daily life. Calls received included trespassing and wetland-filling complaints, nuisance bears, possessing a captive-bred red fox, and assisting local law enforcement agencies.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) encountered an individual carrying a 3-year-old passenger on a moped. During Zavodnik’s observations, the passenger had no helmet on and was riding in the operator’s lap. Both lanes of traffic were slowing down for them. Enforcement action was taken. 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily AIS, boating, and fishing enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a loaded firearm and two uncased firearms in a motor vehicle, no PFDs, unregistered watercraft, transporting a watercraft with the drain plug in place, and no trailer lights on boat trailers.

CO Sean Williams (Ely) focused on fishing and ATVing activity in the Ely area. Several nuisance-bear complaints were received, all involving poor garbage and food storage by humans.  

CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and boaters this past week. He found multiple locations with litter from people camping in nontraditional spots.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked fishing and boating activity during the week. Several reports of seemingly orphaned fawns were taken this week. The best advice regarding fawns is to leave them alone where they are found. It is normal for fawns to be left alone for several hours by their mothers.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) took a report about a couple who decided that free state park entry was not good enough and decided to skip out without paying for their campsite.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Vinny Brown (Northome) conducted boating, fishing, and ATVing enforcement. Brown also assisted DNR Forestry with complaints about illegal birch-pole cutting and camping. Assistance was given to local counties with a stranded boater and with finding a missing person. Brown participated in a DNR Fisheries boat survey with CO pilot Tim Gray. Enforcement action was taken for transporting aquatic macrophytes and operating a PWC too close to swimmers.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activity during the week with enforcement action taken for expired watercraft registration and angling without a license. A wildfire investigation was conducted in the area.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) focused enforcement efforts on boating, angling, ATVing, and AIS activities. Van Asch also spoke at the Balsam Trailblazers ATV Club’s youth safety class. A special thank you to all the volunteer instructors who assisted with the class. 

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) primarily worked fishing, boating, and ATVing activity. ATV riders reported dusty conditions due to very little rainfall in recent weeks. 

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time at area accesses, talking with boaters about AIS issues and completing inspections. Area ATV-complaint areas were monitored and patrolled. 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, boating, OHV, and AIS enforcement during the week. Humphrey was dispatched to a call about a lost person in a neighboring officer’s area. Humphrey also followed up on investigations including a wolf depredation, environmental damage concern, and a trespass issue. 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked on waters and wetland violations in the area. With the hot weather, boating activity was busy. A complaint was received of a large amount of litter dumped on state forest land. After spending time sifting through the garbage, a piece of mail was found with a name and address. The investigation is still ongoing with a suspect being contacted shortly.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked the weekend focusing on boating safety and AIS enforcement on Lake Superior and inland lakes.  

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers, boaters, and paddleboarders on Lake Superior. ATV-related complaints were received, and common violation areas checked. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and watercraft violations.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking the state recreation area for illegal vehicle and ATV activity throughout the week and weekend. Lots of kayakers were out enjoying the mine pits, and many bikers were out using the trails during the week and weekend.  

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled station lakes and trails for activity. Numerous boaters were observed utilizing the lakes to cool off from the warm weather. Guida reviewed a large big-game case file from 2019 and testified in court in St. Paul.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) worked on a garbage complaint at the Father Hennepin State Park. ATVing activity was monitored through the week and remained high through the weekend. Many riders enjoyed the free registration weekend. Griffith would like to remind riders to use headlights and stay on the designated trail. 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended firearms training at Camp Ripley. She also took calls about PWC violations including operating too close to docks at speeds greater than slow/no-wake. Speldrich responded to a call about a nuisance fox attempting to attack domestic cats. She also received a complaint of someone shooting small game out of season and federally protected birds. It was determined that the sheriff’s office had already responded and handled the call.

CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked sportfishing, boating, and ATVing enforcement this week. Calls were fielded regarding issues at a state park and campfires. Fire danger is high, and burning conditions can quickly change. Enforcement action was also taken for anglers fishing without licenses. 

CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this week taking many nuisance bear-related calls. CO Karon and CO Krauel were able to locate an injured bald eagle that had made its way into a lake. They were able to safely rescue the injured eagle and bring it to a rehabilitator. 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) assisted with an Honor Guard detail during the week. Assistance was provided to Todd County and the State Patrol on a crash. 

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) attended an equipment meeting dealing with setting up squad trucks. Work focus this week was on ATVing, angling, and boating enforcement. An ATV safety class presentation was given to Albany-area students.

CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports checking anglers and investigating a shoreline violation. Several small fish kills were reported on area lakes. If you notice a large number of fish dead on an area lake, please report it to the Minnesota duty officer. 

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking anglers and boaters. Enforcement action was taken for license violations, no registration, and insufficient boating safety equipment. Possession permits were issued for a vehicle-killed deer and bears. 

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Nate Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking anglers and boaters on area lakes. Injured-animal calls were looked into and handled. Wetland and public waters violations were investigated.

CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week working anglers, boaters, and aquatic invasive species enforcement. He also attended Enforcement Division training at Camp Ripley and helped conduct a commercial minnow inspection.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the warm week working boat and water safety and patrolling for anglers. Krauel also spent time patrolling local WMAs and state forests for garbage-dumping incidents. 

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and boaters and doing some equipment maintenance. Grewe also followed up with a wetland complaint. 

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked boating and fishing enforcement with CO Le on the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. He also worked AIS at lakes public access and checked shore anglers. 

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) spent most of the past week conducting boating enforcement. Numerous vehicles were ticketed for parking in the emergency vehicle spot at the Lake Waconia public access.  

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on boating activity during the week. In addition to patrolling area lakes, he assisted with multiple disturbances on boats and a warrant arrest on the water. Enforcement action was taken for boating operation and registration violations.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time checking anglers on the rivers and lakes. Time also was spent assisting with field days for multiple ATV safety classes. During one class, while Thomas was presenting graduation certificates to the newly certified kids, a random individual (not part of the class) set a terrible example for the students by driving by the class while violating multiple ATV laws. Thomas finished the awards presentation and promptly cited the individual, who had parked nearby. Violations included having a young child onboard with no helmet, recreational vehicle trespass, no registration, and a suspended driver’s license. 

CO Ryan Hanna (White Bear Lake) conducted some outreach this week with the Karen community in regards to learning the rules and regulations of natural resources laws. Hanna is constantly trying to educate people on how to sustainably use the state’s resources.

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) worked angling, invasive species, ATV, OHM, and boat and water enforcement this past week. Another week of warm weather had many recreational boaters on the lakes.

CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) worked recreational watercraft, angling, and ATVing activity throughout the week. Boating activity was heavy during the weekend with the annual Windsurfing Regatta held on Lake Okabena. 

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent a day at Camp Ripley for training, then spent a day in Kandiyohi County, assisting with the search for a drowning victim. Other time was spent following up on a public waters violation in Wright County and checking anglers and boating safety in Meeker County.

CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent time this week patrolling area lakes and rivers for sportfishing and boat and water safety. Additional time was spent assisting another law enforcement agency in the search for a missing swimmer.  

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls reporting possible work in public water and/or wetland violations. He also received several calls about someone having thrown live turtles into a campfire at Minnecon Park/public water access in New Ulm. Anyone with info leading to the arrest of the suspect(s) responsible for killing the turtles should call Nelson at TIP.

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) focused enforcement efforts on boating, fishing, and ATVing activity. A PWC violation that was encountered resulted in a BWI arrest. 

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted safety and AIS compliance inspections on watercraft and water-related equipment. Excessive heat has made water temperatures soar, creating algal blooms and vegetation issues. One lake showed signs of blue-green algae. 

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on boating and fishing activity. VanThuyne also checked watercraft for AIS compliance. 

CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports working boat and water safety and checking anglers on local lakes. Multiple boat safety violations were addressed. 

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) responded to a complaint about individuals illegally spearing bullfrogs. Ramaker was the first officer on scene for an individual who jumped off the Cass Street Bridge over the Mississippi River. The individual sustained serious injuries but survived. A thank you to the recreational boaters who assisted in pulling the victim out of the water. Their quick action likely saved the victim’s life. 

CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) spent time investigating a report about ducks being taken out of season.  

CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) focused on boat and water safety this past week. A couple of bowfishers were contacted after they dumped the dead fish they shot. 

CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) reports that area lakes have been busy with recreational boaters and anglers. A jet ski operator was found on Lake Zumbro to be out after hours and consuming alcohol underage. 

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