Sunday, January 29th, 2023
Sunday, January 29th, 2023

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Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 25, 2021

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) monitored ATV activity west of Warroad where multiple complaints have been received regarding ATVers operating in a careless manner. Anglers were checked on Lake of the Woods. 

CO Aaron Larson (Baudette) worked primarily fishing and AIS enforcement. Larson also spent time working around Upper Red Lake and Lake Vermilion. 

CO Corey Sura (Baudette) patrolled Lake of the Woods and the Northwest Angle. High winds on Thursday and Friday kept many anglers off the water.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) checked area anglers and boaters. One nonresident individual was stopped just short of shooting a snapping turtle with a pellet gun. The turtle had been “stealing” his bait and hooks while the person fished. 

CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) continued to monitor angling and boating activity. He was called to locate two individuals who were stranded after attempting to jog from the Fourtown area to Waskish through the Beltrami Island State Forest on a multi-day journey that started in Ponemah a day earlier. They were dehydrated and cramping when they decided to call for help. After a two-hour ATV journey through boggy terrain, Elwell found the individuals and brought them safely back to the highway. 

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) assisted CO Gray with creel survey flights for the Cass Lake creel survey. 

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports receiving pubic water-related complaints this week. AIS enforcement was worked at area public water access sites. 

CO Tim Gray (Bagley) addressed several nuisance-animal complaints, most due to hungry bears.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports patrolling area lakes and public water accesses for boating safety and AIS violations. Vinton participated in Perham’s Turtle Fest parade and answered questions from folks at the Perham Volunteer Fire Department pancake breakfast. Calls regarding where a person’s lake property ends and the lake begins were fielded.  

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week patrolling area lakes, checking anglers and boaters. Swedberg arrested one boater for boating while intoxicated. The boater was operating a boat with too many passengers and passengers riding on the gunwales. Swedberg also assisted the county with an ATV crash, a search warrant, and several other calls for service. 

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) reports that new boat and PWC owners were contacted and Landmark would like to remind everyone it’s their responsibility to make sure the watercraft is registered and they are following the rules and regulations. 

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) focused enforcement activities on boating, AIS, fishing, and ATV operation this week. Several nuisance-animal calls were handled. She also took a call from a concerned citizen regarding a raptor building a nest on a power pole. Complaints of floating bogs and movement of such bogs were handled. 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports several anglers were cited for no fishing license and another for using too many lines. Several PWCs were stopped for operating too late in the evening, and a few after-dark anglers were reminded to turn on their anchor lights, even though they might attract a few bugs. A report was taken about a lakeshore property owner cutting and clearing out live hard-stem bulrush in front of their shoreline. After investigating, Lawler determined it was a lake service provider who was hired who did the removal, not fully understanding what they’d done. A citation was issued. 

District 4 – Walker area

CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports focusing enforcement efforts on angling, watercraft and ATV enforcement. He also reports spending time investigating a wolf-depredation complaint and handling several miscellaneous nuisance wild animal-related calls from the public.

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) worked area lakes along with Lake Winnibigoshish and Upper Red Lake. Cross also responded to an injured bear cub, multiple animal-related complaints, and investigated a TIP call received. Enforcement action consisted of angling and boating violations. 

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked boaters, ATVing activity, and anglers. Mathy looked into a wolf-depredation call, a deceased raptor that was found, nuisance-bear reports, and a camping party blocking a remote access to a lake. 

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports fishing and boating pressure continues to increase on Rainy Lake as the summer moves forward. A report about a mat of floating cattails that are blocking the main channel of the Rat Root River near Rat Root Lake was investigated. Animal-related complaints and wetland issues were also investigated.

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) fielded calls about newborn animals and birds left on their own. The act of picking up these creatures, thinking you are going to save them, is actually more of a hindrance than help.  

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked ATV enforcement, boating enforcement, and monitored public accesses. Numerous nuisance-bear complaints were received. An investigation was completed regarding illegal off-highway motorcycling activity that resulted in enforcement action. Time was spent assisting on a wildfire investigation near Scenic State Park. 

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) fielded calls regarding trespass and a waters violation. Broughten also assisted with a wildfire.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) responded to a home in the Ely area after receiving a report about a nuisance bear. He found, after speaking to the homeowner, that the bear had entered a kitchen window while the residents were in the home. They were able to get out of the house safely and call for help. After the bear had exited the house, it showed no fear of them or vehicles. The homeowner was found to have no bear attractants on his property and no explanation for the bear’s boldness. Please avoid feeding bears, because they are well adapted at finding wild foods. Bears can travel great distances, and the less fear a bear has of humans the greater the chances of a negative encounter.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) assisted Honor Guard members from around the state with the line-of-duty-death funeral service for Grand Rapids paramedic Troy Boettcher and Deerwood Police Officer Charlie Banks. 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) spent time working station lakes and the vacant Tower station. Bermel responded to a report of a young bull moose that plunged over the edge into a granite quarry and died. A possession permit was issued. 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) checked anglers and worked on commercial minnow retailer inspections this week. 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked boating and angling activity with numerous anglers on area waters. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, operating a watercraft without a valid registration, and operating an unregistered ATV. 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked boat and water enforcement, and investigated a fire. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also certified in Police Dog 1 through the U.S. Police Canine Association this week. 

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) continued to check anglers and monitor boating and PWCing activity. Time was spent patrolling ATV trails and talking with folks who were out enjoying the trails. 

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to spend time on area lakes. Duncan also assisted with a vehicle moose kill and made arrangements for the moose to be salvaged. 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) continued working angling, boating, OHVing, and AIS enforcement during the week. Humphrey also conducted permit compliance checks on weed roller use. Low lake-water levels have had lakeshore owners out removing aquatic vegetation. Several were contacted and educated about aquatic plant management and permit requirements. 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended K9 trials in St. Cloud and helped with certifying new police dogs. A talk was given to a firearms safety class in Barnum. Extra patrols were done on area lakes, with enforcement action taken for angling without a license, no life jackets, and registration violations. 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked boating and AIS enforcement on area lakes north of Duluth and in the Two Harbors area. His focus was on PWC enforcement on Island Lake. Olson also assisted the Lake County Sheriff’s Office with a trespasser in Silver Creek Township. 

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Amber Ladd (Aitkin) worked ATV and angling enforcement and found a lot of activity in the area. Ladd also handled several shoreline and wetland issues in the county.

CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) worked reports of anglers keeping overlimits of fish. Area lakes continue to see high use from recreational boating activity.   

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled area lakes for activity and received calls about car-injured bears and a fawn stuck in the mud.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports checking the state recreation area for illegal vehicle and ATV activity. Fitzgerald also answered many outdoor law-related questions and issued a car-killed deer permit. 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked lake activity where summer vacationers and water recreation increased substantially. Complaints about no boat lights and late PWC operation where addressed. ATV traffic was also monitored. Unprotected juvenile passengers were an issue. 

CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) worked angling activity on Lake Mille Lacs. ATVing activity also was worked on the Soo Line Trail and the Solana Loop/Red Top. Dust on the ATV trails has remained high due to a lack of rain. 

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling for fishing, boating, and ATVing activity. She also assisted the State Patrol with a crash, presented a regulations and safety talk for a firearms safety class, and followed up on a wolf-depredation call.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) patrolled area lakes on kayak. She responded to bear-hunting questions and tips of possible illegal bear baiting. Speldrich assisted the sheriff’s office with a driving complaint and patrolled her station for invasive species violations. 

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) took care of two water-access complaints. A bear complaint also was taken, along with lottery application questions. 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports checking anglers and conducting AIS enforcement. Time was spent investigating a public waters and wetland violation. Enforcement action for the week included failure to display current watercraft registration and operating a PWC without the rule sticker displayed.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reported that low water was helpful in locating a boat that had sank more than 20 years ago. The owner was contacted, and it was requested he remove the boat from the lake.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers. Krauel also patrolled for ATVing activity and boat and water safety. Enforcement action was taken for illegal walleyes, no navigation lights, insufficient PFDs, and angling with an extra line.

CO Nate Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking anglers and enforcing ATV rules. Enforcement action was taken for a lack of life jackets, minor consumption of alcohol, no boat lights, and possessing walleyes during the closed season on Lake Mille Lacs. Benkofske also arrested an individual for DWI on an ATV near the city of Isanti.

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. Additional time was spent fielding animal-related calls and patrolling state lands. 

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishing and boating activities on metro-area lakes and rivers. He also worked AIS enforcement and completed equipment maintenance. 

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) worked angling, boating, and AIS in the west metro. He patrolled Fort Snelling State Park and encountered violations such as no vehicle permit and consuming alcohol. 

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and following up on complaints. Violations this week included license issues.

CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) spent time checking anglers and recreational boaters. Assistance was provided to another agency. Enforcement action was taken for no life jacket, angling without a license, and taking a sunfish overlimit.

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) spent most of the past week conducting angling checks and boating enforcement. Assistance was given to the county involving vehicle crashes.

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time monitoring lake and river anglers in the area. Thomas also investigated multiple wetland/public waters complaints and fielded many calls related to nuisance wildlife.

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring anglers in the area. He checked many shore anglers but saw few fish on stringers. He also patrolled area WMAs for ongoing illegal ATV violations. 

CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) received various wildlife-related calls about deer and other animals. One of the calls was in regards to a person in possession of a crow. The party was not permitted to have the crow and was attempting to rehab it for a later release. The crow was seized and brought to a proper animal rehabilitation center. 

CO Ryan Hanna (White Bear Lake) patrolled area lakes for angling. Hanna checked anglers with walleyes and largemouth bass. 

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Stephen Westby (Madison) worked on wetland violations in the area with local hydrologists. Westby received several calls regarding people locating young wildlife, and he wants to remind everyone to leave them where you find them. Westby also worked ATVing and boating safety in the area.

CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) reports checking anglers, boaters, and ATV riders throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for license violations and failure to display watercraft registration as required. 

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time this past week working angling activity. Enforcement action was taken for a walleye overlimit. K9 trials were attended in St. Cloud. 

CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) primarily worked angling, invasive species, ATV, and boat and water enforcement this past week. Enforcement action was taken for failure to remove a boat plug, no fire extinguisher, and failure to properly display registration on a watercraft.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week working anglers and boating enforcement. Angling and boating activity remains high. A small fish kill was reported in the area.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Cassie Block (Willmar) spent time this week on area lakes checking anglers and working ATVing enforcement. Block would like to remind all ATV operators to have children wear a helmet when they are out riding, no matter how short the trip. Block also spent time speaking to youth at a firearms safety class. 

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the majority of the week checking anglers and working boating safety, AIS, and ATVing enforcement. Other time was spent at the Eden Valley Area Library assisting with its Education Nation program, where time was spent talking with kids about water safety and different types of fish in Minnesota lakes and rivers.

CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent time this week working public accesses for AIS and other violations. Assistance was provided to a neighboring CO with a TIP investigation of a possible fish overlimit. 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls regarding fishing violations and animal-welfare questions. He also gave a youth firearms safety training presentation.  

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) received TIP calls related to potential angling violations this past week. Locally, drought conditions continue to affect water levels on lakes and rivers, resulting in several boaters finding shallow areas resulting in damage to watercrafts. 

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked ATV, angling, boat and water, and aquatic invasive species enforcement. Gruhlke handled calls relating to baby raccoons being kept and “abandoned” fawns. Please leave wild animals alone. 

CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted inspections of watercraft and anglers. With water levels low, some watercraft, due to their size, are not able to be launched, and some on lifts were moved from lakes. 

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports checking boaters and anglers on local lakes. Time also was spent helping and teaching kids how to fish at an event called “Fishing with Cops.”

CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) focused on fishing and boating activities. Anglers are reminded to check the trout stream regulations for the area they are fishing before heading out, because different sections of streams can have different regulations. 

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV operators during the week. He also monitored AIS activity and patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, public water access sites, and waterfowl production areas. 

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

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Clint Fitzgerald (Rochester) spent the week checking anglers and monitoring ATVing activity. Enforcement action was taken for driving with a canceled licensed and having no life jacket on a watercraft.

CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week following up on various public waters violations. Time also was spent assisting the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office with its kids fishing contest. There were 43 kids in attendance. 

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports getting calls about rattlesnakes, bears, and raccoons. Boyum is also investigating angling easement violations.

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports an individual was contacted and enforcement action was taken after he unlawfully took/possessed a lake sturgeon below Lock and Dam 4 on the Mississippi River.

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