Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 9, 2021
While out on Lake Superior patrol, wardens Lynna Martin and Amie Egstad, both of Bayfield, observed a vessel that appeared to be within the Gull Island Refuge near Michigan Island in the Apostle Islands. Upon contact, the vessel occupants were found to have caught and released 17 fish while spending a large majority of their time trolling 1,200 feet into the refuge. The owner stated he was not using the vessel’s electronics and based distance off landmarks.
Wardens Martin and Egstad contacted a vessel just north of the Outer Island refuge line when the anglers were reeling in their lines. The occupants did not have paper copies of their licenses, did not have any signaling devices, no fire extinguisher, the 10-year-old on board who was not wearing a life jacket, they were filleting fish onboard that then no longer met minimum length limits, and they were littering fish carcasses into Lake Superior. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Martin and Egstad contacted a vessel off Outer Island upon which two anglers were fishing seven lines. As the wardens approached, a fish was caught and released. One individual said they had been fishing with four lines for two people all day, but hadn’t caught a fish in a while and had put out more lines.
Wardens Martin and Egstad observed three ATVs at the Port Wing Marina and made contact with the riders at an intersection. Two of the ATVs were operated by children under 14, neither of whom had safety certificates. Two ATVs were not registered. The parents of the children were on a separate ATV not designed as a two-up machine. The wardens escorted the group back to their cabin and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Phil Brown, of Iron River, responded to a call of a wildland fire adjacent to the Brule River State Forest. He arrived to a fire spreading through leaf litter. Brown contacted the landowner, who said the fire started from a wood boiler However, Brown found the man had been burning cardboard in a pile and that fire escaped to the woods.
Warden Brown followed up on a complaint of possible turkey baiting and located a site with corn remnants and a trail cam. Brown found the owner of the camera had a turkey tag starting in a few days for this area. Brown contacted the individual, who said he had placed the bait at several locations to aid him in locating a big tom for a turkey hunting contest.
Warden Brown patrolled the Iron River area for ATV activity. One rider failed to stop at two stop signs. Once contact was made with the rider, there were indications of impairment. After field sobriety tests, the rider was placed under arrest for ATV OWI.
Warden Amie Egstad teamed with GLIFWC warden Christina Dzwonkowski, of Bad River, for boating and fishing patrol on Lake Namakagon in southern Bayfield County. Numerous people were contacted while fishing from boat and shore. Two separate contacts led to findings of no fishing license and no wearable life jackets on board a boat.
Warden Egstad teamed with Ashland County Sheriff’s Department recreation deputy Bruce Joanis for Lake Superior patrol, contacting people happy to be out on Chequamegon Bay and around the Apostle Islands, with some of them catching fish.
On Memorial Day, warden Egstad contacted four ATV riders at a stop sign in the Chequamegon National Forest. The riders had several violations, including headlights not on as required, riding two people on a one-person ATV, and expired registration/fail to transfer registration.
Wardens Matt Meade, of Boulder Junction, and Logan Woods contacted an angler with several walleyes within the protected slot (20 to 24 inches) while attempting to leave the area. The wardens contacted the angler after he was hid a large walleye in the woods while fishing from the shoreline.
Wardens Meade and Woods contacted an angler on a Vilas County lake who was over his possession of walleyes. Three walleyes were undersized for the lake he was fishing, and he was transporting live fish back to his home by not draining water from his livewell. This is the second time this angler has been caught doing this by local wardens.
Wardens Meade and Woods contacted a Vilas County trapper who failed to pull traps from a stream after the season. As a result, a great blue heron was caught in one of the traps and had to be taken to a rehabilitator.
Wardens Tim Otto, of Rhinelander, and Mason Weber contacted an angler for a fishing check on opening day. The angler displayed signs of intoxication and was arrested for OWI boating.
Recreation warden Adam Stennett, of Spooner, and Lt. Bob Kneeland, of Chetek, came upon a trio of ATV riders illegally operating on a highway. They were also in possession of 25 trout. One angler did not have a stamp, another was over his daily bag limit of five trout, and one of the riders had not completed ATV safety, as required.
Green Bay Team/May
Warden Nicholas Hefter, of northern Door County, was called to assist at a Peninsula State Park trail for a boy who got separated from his mother. With the help of DNR park staff, who hiked the trail to look for his mother, Hefter was able to reunite the child with his mother without incident.
While on patrol Memorial Day at the Bomier boat landing, wardens Amanda Kretschmer, of Green Bay, and Matt Weseli contacted a person for expired registration before he launched his boat. The person was informed he could not operate his boat until the registration was renewed. The person stated he understood and departed with boat in tow. A few hours later the wardens observed the same person operating the same boat on the Fox River near the Wrightstown launch. Upon contact, the man stated he had not renewed his registration and did not listen to the wardens’ warning. He was also found to be short multiple life jackets, as required.
Wardens Kretschmer and Weseli responded to multiple calls of people fishing in the De Pere/Fox River closed refuge by boat and from shore. The wardens issued nine citations and more than 30 warnings for fishing in the refuge. Below the De Pere dam there is a fish refuge from March 1 to May 31 from the dam downstream to the WPS power lines from the east shore and extending parallel to the power lines in a southwesterly direction to the northeast corner of the Nicolet Paper Co.
Marine Enforcement Team/May
Warden Jeff Lautenslager, of Peshtigo, contacted an angler who was in possession of nine walleyes. The fisherman stated he was on a guided trip on southern Green Bay and the guide allowed him to keep over his daily limit of fish. The guide also allowed the angler to possess the walleye, putting him over his possession limit, too. During an interview, the guide offered a different story. Action was taken on the guide for allowing the client to harvest the extra fish.
Warden Lautenslager contacted two anglers found to be in possession of 40 walleyes, which is 200% over the possession limit. The walleyes were being kept at a cottage an hour from the landing.
Warden Laugenslager contacted an underaged adult and arrested the individual for boating OWI after he operated at high speed through the no-wake zone. The individual said he knew he should not operate his motor vehicle and called someone to drive him home but didn’t think it was a big deal to drive the boat while intoxicated.
Warden Adam Strehlow, of Milwaukee, investigated a complaint of an individual placing rat poison in his backyard for squirrels. It was found that the individual was cited by previous Milwaukee game wardens four years ago. The investigation confirmed the individual was again placing rat poison.
Lake Winnebago Team/May
Warden Michael Disher, of Chilton, was on patrol in town and observed a boat being towed. While turning corners, water spilled out the transom livewell overflow port. A traffic stop revealed a livewell full of Lake Winnebago water and crappies still swimming. The owner had bought the boat several weeks prior and had no paperwork to show transfer of title and registration.
Warden Disher was on patrol at High Cliff State Park and traffic-stopped a vehicle parked earlier in a day-use lot. The vehicle had no park admission sticker, as required, and an open can of Budweiser was visible in a cup holder between the front seats. Disher detected the odor of marijuana and discovered the passenger was hiding the open can of beer under his seat. A baggie of marijuana was recovered from the console.
Warden Disher was on patrol at High Cliff State Park and observed four men having a campfire near the marina. One of the men was observed handling drug paraphernalia on a picnic table. The man was contacted and found to have a marijuana pipe and baggie of marijuana. A canine from the Calumet County Sheriff’s Department detected illegal drugs inside the vehicle. A search revealed more marijuana and paraphernalia.
Warden Zack Seitz, of Shiocton, received a complaint of two individuals dumping a TV in the ditch off a highway. Seitz located the individuals responsible.
Wardens Kaitlin Kernosky, of New London, and Seitz checked an individual who was using live panfish for bait in the Wolf River. The individual had transported live fish from one water body to another to use as bait. It is illegal to transport live fish.
Lower Chippewa Team/May
Warden Adam Hanna, of Clark County, and supervisor Barry Fetting contacted an angler on the opener who was fishing without a license during revocation. The man had driven his vehicle to the river without a valid driver’s license, and was in possession of THC and drug paraphernalia. Also, he’d consumed alcohol in excess of his .02% BAC in violation of his probation parameters.
Warden Jake Bolks, of Eau Claire, contacted an individual who camped overnight on a state natural area in Chippewa County. The individual camped within 10 yards of a sign that explained camping was not allowed. The individual was cited approximately a week prior in Door County for the same violation.
Warden Bolks was on patrol when he recognized the vehicle of a revoked fisherman at a known fishing location on the Chippewa River. Bolks found the man and a friend had caught multiple illegal walleyes during the night. They tried to hide the fish in a shallow creek but the fish were found by Bolks.
Wardens Kevin Christorf, of Clark County, and Mike Livingston contacted a group of fisherman along the Yellow River in Chippewa Falls. One person said he’d caught his limit of three walleyes and was now attempting to catch crappies, but the man had actually caught and kept five walleyes approximately 12 to 13 inches.
Wardens Christorf and Livingston contacted a group of juveniles fishing along the Yellow River. The juveniles were suspected of illegally snagging sturgeon. During the contact the group was found to be in possession of an illegal sized walleye. The wardens spoke with the group and mother of one of the kids about the issues of snagging sturgeon and keeping illegal fish. Education was used with the young angler. The walleye was released.
Wardens Rick Peters, of Chippewa County, and Christorf received a complaint that a goose had been shot on private land along the shore of Popple Lake in Chippewa County. The wardens located the suspect, who said he shot the goose with a .22 rifle in attempt to keep the goose and its goslings off his lawn. The carcass was dumped another person’s land without permission.
Black River Falls Team/May
Wardens Molly Detjens and Derek Hansen were patrolling state land for turkey hunters when they observed three individuals having an argument near a truck. One was walking out of the woods holding a tom. When the wardens pulled up, one person said he had just observed the person holding the turkey shoot it from of a truck. The wardens found that the person holding the tom had shot the turkey from the truck.
While working fishing enforcement along the Lemonweir River downstream of the Lake Tomah dam, warden Matt Modjeski, of Sparta, took enforcement action against a fisherman who admitted to keeping five undersized largemouths and one short pike.
Warden Matt Modjeski assisted a Minnesota warden with a report of a turkey hunter harvesting two turkeys with one shot. The juvenile’s relative posted on social media information that initiated the investigation by the Minnesota officer. Modjeski contacted the involved subjects and determined that the turkeys were harvested near Lake City, Minn. Information was forwarded to the Minnesota officer for follow-up.
Warden Modjeski investigated a call involving social media posts that showed several violations of Wisconsin hunting laws. Modjeski took enforcement action for illegally feeding deer, failure to register deer, and providing incorrect information to the DNR.
Warden Patrick Seybert, of Necedah, contacted multiple individuals who kept undersized northern pike and largemouth bass from Lake Tomah.
Warden Michael Weber, of Mauston, and Lt. Robin Barnhardt followed up on a litter investigation where a significant amount of household trash had been illegally dumped and then burned on Juneau County land. The wardens located the person and cited him for littering and illegal burning.
Mississippi River Team/May
Wardens Meghan Jensen, of Trempealeau, and Sam Eagan investigated a call of garbage being dumped at a state wildlife area parking lot. The wardens identified a person, who told the wardens he left the garbage.
While assisting Jackson County deputies look for a person believed to be needing help, wardens Jensen and Matt Groppi contacted a man who was in his vehicle on state land. The wardens learned this was not the person they were looking for. However, after leaving the area, the wardens determined that person did not have a driver’s license. They then saw the individual drive past them. Enforcement action was taken for no driver’s license and no insurance.
Wardens Shawna Stringham and Trevor Tracey, of Stoddard, saw two young girls operating an ATV on a roadway. They talked to the girls, who had no helmets and had not completed a safety class. The girls had their parents’ permission to drive three miles into town to go to a store. Enforcement action was taken on the parents.
Warden Cody Adams, of Prairie du Chien, responded to a call of a bald eagle with a wing stuck in the crotch of a tree on a Mississippi River island. The eagle was about 40 feet from the ground. Adams, using a ladder and push pole, freed the eagle that then flew off.
Warden Adams contacted a man driving a four-person UTV in Gays Mills that was carrying nine people. Other violations included illegally operating on a highway, no valid registration, and there were three children not wearing helmets.
Warden Bob Jumbeck, of Alma, responded to a turkey hunting incident where an individual suffered a self-inflicted gunshot while shooting at a turkey. The individual suffered damage to a foot and is recovering.
Warden Jumbeck followed up on a call of illegal driving in Merrick State Park. An individual hit a vehicle while traveling down the wrong way on a one-way road.
Warden Trevor Tracey contacted four men fishing near Lock and Dam 8. The fishermen were just finishing up a day of fishing on the Clement’s Fishing Float and had a stringer of fish in hand as they were returning to their vehicle in the parking lot. The group was in possession of three illegal sized walleyes.
Wardens Dale Hochhausen, of Onalaska, and Groppi stopped a UTV operator for displaying expired registration decals. The operator had been drinking vodka throughout the morning and early afternoon. The operator was arrested for OWI and transported to the Crawford County jail.
Warden Groppi, of La Crosse, assisted the Mississippi River Team and Minnesota DNR with an investigation into the illegal harvest and overbag/over possession of shovelnose sturgeon. The investigation resulted in the Minnesota DNR’s seizure of the main suspect’s boat, cell phones, and 30 shovelnose sturgeon.
Lower St. Croix Team/May
Wardens Kyle Kosin and Erik Anderson, both of Pierce County, responded to a call from a local family. Their German shepherd had chased a black bear into a large cottonwood tree in the front yard. The family was unsure of what to do and was fearful the bear would come down and harass their livestock. Wardens arrived and located the bear. The bear was not aggressive and eventually decided to take a nap in the tree. The wardens instructed the family to remove any potential food sources and keep their pets inside, and the bear would eventually leave the area on its own.
Wardens Kosin and Anderson patrolled trout streams seeing high levels of activity due the trout season opener and nice weather. The wardens took enforcement action for fishing without inland trout stamps, and made many contacts with happy anglers who reported good fishing.
Wardens Kosin and Anderson patrolled the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers. While fishing activity was high, the number of fish being caught was low. They conducted boat enforcement for no-wake zones and also took enforcement action for two fishermen who did not have PFDs with them on their boat. The wardens provided the men with PFDs for their return to the boat launch.
Wardens Joe McMahon and Paul Sickman, both of St. Croix County, patrolled the St. Croix River during the Memorial Day weekend. They issued citations for no-wake violations, fishing without a license and issued multiple warnings for no Type-IV throwable PFD, and no paper copy of fishing licenses on a boundary water.
Wardens McMahon and Anderson patrolled Willow River State Park and identified drug paraphernalia in plain view in a vehicle while checking for park stickers. They later contacted the individual in a nearby parking lot who was found to be in possession of various drug paraphernalia and marijuana.
Warden McMahon contacted a group that was driving on hiking trails with their van at Willow River State Park. McMahon questioned the individuals after they stated Google Maps told them to drive on the trail.
Warden J.J. Redemann, of Dunn County, was on patrol at Willow River State Park when he received a call of a family with three small children, including an infant, who were yelling for help and stranded across the river below the dam. They left their campsite earlier without phones or GPS and went on a five-mile hike. They went off trail to take a shortcut down a steep hillside when it started to get dark. Travel back up the steep cliff wasn’t possible without a rope or climbing gear. After Redemann unsuccessfully attempted to get to the family through the woods, he contacted the park manager, who responded with keys to get through the gates across the top of the dam. Redemann waded to the family and escorted them up to the open gate at the top of the dam where they were able to get back to their campsite.
Warden Redemann received a call of someone who dumped a large trailer of litter/brush in a parking lot in the Dunnville State Wildlife Area. Redemann saw the described vehicle with an empty trailer leaving the area and made a traffic stop. The individual said he dumped the trailer full of debris in the parking lot so campers could use it for firewood. The pile of debris mainly consisted of pine needles and boughs. Camping and campfires are illegal on the property.
Wardens Collin Sherod and Joe McMahon, both of St. Croix County, received a call from the Christian Community Home of a hen mallard that had her ducklings inside their garden with no access to water or food. Sherod and McMahon capture the hen mallard and her 10 ducklings without issue and moved them to a better location.