Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 23, 2021
Lower St. Croix Team/May
Warden J.J. Redemann received a call of bow fishermen shooting suckers below the Eau Galle dam and tossing the fish up on the rocks. The next day, Redemann was able to track down the individuals who were very cooperative. They were warned, educated, and told to go back to the riverbank and clean up the rotting fish.
Warden Paul Sickman, of St. Croix County, followed up on a complaint of ongoing ATV issues on a dead-end roadway not connected to other ATV road routes. Kids were observed on an ATV with no helmets, two passengers at times, no rear plate and no ATV safety. Sickman contacted the parents and enforcement action was taken due to the unsafe operation.
Warden Sickman was on patrol when he came upon a large group of people fishing, drinking, and littering. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without licenses and numerous warnings were issued for littering and for vehicle violations.
Wisconsin River Team/May
Warden Bryan Lockman, of Stevens Point, took enforcement action with individuals responsible for dumping garbage along town roads outside of Wisconsin Rapids.
Warden Lockman contacted an ATV being operated in the village of Plover on public roads that are not ATV routes. The individual drove from Nekoosa to Plover because he thought all the roads in Portage County were open for ATVs. A citation was issued.
Warden Lockman participated in the Portage County Deer Advisory Council meeting where seasons and authorization amounts were finalized. Lockman also participated in the Greater Prairie Chicken Advisory Committee as the law enforcement liaison for a new strategic plan being developed.
Wardens Kyle Ziembo, of Stevens Point, and Lockman handled multiple calls in Portage County regarding injured and baby wildlife.
Warden Tyler Flood, of Wausau, is working with local officials regarding no-wake buoys being properly placed on Lake Wausau to promote boating safety.
Warden Paul Leezer, of Wausau, made several UTV stops for illegal operation on roadways. Other violations encountered during these stops included operating without headlights illuminated, seat belt violations, operating without required ATV safety certification, and having juvenile passengers without helmets.
Warden Leezer served as DNR law enforcement liaison for a May County Deer Advisory Council meeting in Marathon County.
Warden Josh Litvinoff, of Schofield, investigated a complaint of an individual shooting a turkey from a vehicle and from the side of Hwy. 49. The reporting person said he was about to shoot the turkey himself when the driver of another vehicle stopped on the side of the highway and shot it right in front of the reporting individual. Litvinoff contacted the suspect, who took responsibility for shooting the turkey from his vehicle.
While in contact with two anglers, warden Litvinoff noticed a turkey decoy in the back of the truck and asked if they had been turkey hunting earlier in the day. The two individuals were both found to have a loaded shotgun in the truck.
Sauk County Team/May
Warden Madison Bryan, of Devil’s Lake State Park, assisted warden Nick Engelhardt, of Wisconsin Dells, with a report of a captive snapping turtle. It was determined a family had been keeping a snapping turtle as a pet for the last two-and-a-half years. The family had found the turtle in the wild. It was taken to a rehabilitation facility.
Warden Engelhardt responded to a call of a vehicle broken into at Devil’s Lake State Park. Two purses containing approximately $1,200 and four credit cards were reported stolen. The Baraboo Police Department is assisting with the investigation.
Warden Mike Burns, of Lafayette County, and Lt. Joe Frost were in the Belmont area when a UTV rider drove past their location exceeding the speed limit. The wardens attempted to stop the operator, but he fled at high speed. He was located at a residence a short time later. The operator was arrested for operating a UTV while intoxicated and felony eluding an officer.
Warden Burns made two vehicle OWI arrests over Memorial Day weekend. On that Friday, he found a lone person passed out in his vehicle at Yellowstone Lake State Park. He contacted the suspended driver, who agreed not to drive. Twenty minutes later the vehicle left the area and the driver was arrested for OWI (third offense). On Monday of that weekend, Burns observed a vehicle being driven erratically and saw a beer can littered from the vehicle. That driver was arrested for OWI (first offense).
Rock River Team/May
Warden Brad Burton, of Beaver Dam, was patrolling Beaver Dam Lake near the dam where he saw an individual catch several catfish. He also saw the angler keep two fish that had been foul-hooked. Burton contacted the individual and found that the angler had 18 catfish more than his daily bag limit.
Warden Burton was on patrol when he came upon a young individual operating an ATV on Blackhawk Trail in Fox Lake, but without wearing a helmet. The boy was 13 and had parental permission to operate on the road without a helmet. Enforcement action was taken with the parent.
Warden Burton, while patrolling Beaver Dam Lake, contacted two individuals operating PWCs, but without wearing life jackets. Neither operator had taken a required boating safety course.
Wardens Alex Brooks, of Jefferson, and Burton patrolled the Glacial Drumlin State Trail on bicycle and contacted roughly 80 people. The wardens issued around 25 courtesy notices to users who did not have the required trail passes.
Warden Ryan Mannes, of Horicon, responded to a complaint of a UTV being operating on the roadways in Beaver Dam. Mannes located the individual and took enforcement action for operating the UTV illegally on the roadway.
Warden Mannes responded to a complaint of individuals netting fish below the Hustisford dam. Mannes found the individuals and confirmed the illegal netting activity. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Mannes was on routine patrol at Beaver Dan Lake when he came in contact with several individuals at the launch. He found the group was in possession of 18 catfish (the limit is 10 per person). During a discussion, group members said they had fished earlier that same day and admitted to double-tripping on catfish. The group said they took home about 15 more catfish earlier, with a total of 33 catfish kept. Mannes later confirmed they had caught and kept 38 catfish in total that day.
Warden Mannes responded to a report of an angler keeping a potential short walleye at the dam in Beaver Dam. Mannes located the angler and found that he did not have a short walleye. However, Mannes did discover two other individuals in the area were over their bag limit of catfish. They were found to be in possession of 40 catfish, with the daily bag limit being 10 per person. Mannes also found that two people in their group were fishing without licenses.
Wardens Alex Brooks and Kyle Johnson, of Janesville, were patrolling on Rock Lake in Lake Mills when they made contact with a boat operator who did not have any registration. It was found that one of the anglers on board also did not have a fishing license.
Warden Brooks was called to Sandhill Station State Campground for a reservation conflict. During the contact, it was found that the camper had not made a reservation, nor paid for the campsite. After being given some time to correct the issue, the camper never paid for the site, and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Brooks was patrolling for fishing enforcement near the Jefferson dam. Upon contact with a group, it was found that one person did not have a fishing license for the current year and was fishing with two rods.
Warden Brooks responded with other public safety agencies to a report of a boater in distress near Princes Point Wildlife Area. Upon contact with the boat occupant, who was found to be OK, numerous boating violations were discovered.
Warden Kyle Johnson took enforcement action against a fisherman at Clear Lake found to have caught and kept an undersized largemouth bass.
Warden Johnson contacted a fisherman below the Indianford dam who was catfishing late at night. Upon contact, it was discovered the person did not have a valid fishing license. Enforcement action was taken.
Warden Johnson observed a fisherman keep a catfish that was foul-hooked near the dorsal fin. Upon contact, the fisherman admitted to catching the catfish near the dorsal fin and enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Johnson and Mannes contacted the operator of a PWC with expired registration on Lake Koshkonong. Upon contact the operator failed to provide documentation that the craft was registered. Several other violations were observed.
Wardens Johnson and Mannes were patrolling on Lake Koshkonong when they observed a child sitting on the pontoon deck outside of the railing as the pontoon was being operated at high speed. The wardens stopped the motorboat and enforcement action was taken.
Warden Austin Schumacher, of Janesville, observed three UTVs being operated illegally on a roadway. After a traffic stop was made, it was found the operators were several miles from home and attempting to drive to the trails in Green County.
Wardens Schumacher and Johnson assisted the Rock County Sheriff’s Department deputies with a search for an individual who had an active warrant and who had crashed his vehicle into a ditch and fled law enforcement. The individual was suspected of being impaired at the time and fled law enforcement officers.
Warden Nick Webster, of Fitchburg, participated in a multi-county state bike trail pass outreach in Green, Iowa, Dane, Jefferson, and Dodge counties that resulted in more than 600 contacts. This included educating about riders without the required pass how to get one with a specific grace period and avoid a violation fine.
Milwaukee, Ozaukee and Washington Counties/June
Warden Tony Young, of Ozaukee County, was on boat patrol on the Milwaukee River in Mequon for their Fun Before the Fourth event that included a water ski and fireworks show. Young observed two teenagers jump off a private pier and attempt to swim across the river to Village Park. The faster swimmer made it to the dock at the park. The second swimmer became fatigued and began screaming for help. Young sped up to him, grabbed him by his arm and took him back to his dock. The swimmer was safely reunited with his family.
Warden Steve Swiertz, of Washington County, investigated a rock theft complaint at Pike Lake State Park. Swiertz found the person took the rocks from the hedgerows at Pike Lake State Park and used them to decorate his yard.
Warden Sam Haferkorn, of Milwaukee County, observed a UTV being operated southbound on I-43 in Milwaukee and he conducted a traffic stop. The operator traveled from the north side of Milwaukee to the south side on city streets and the freeway to get new speakers. The operator failed to see any issues with operating on the freeway and city streets. Enforcement action was taken, and the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department towed the UTV.
Recreation warden Jason Roberts, of Waukesha, is among the Milwaukee-area wardens working with the Milwaukee Police Department and the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department on an approach regarding issues involving all-terrain vehicles and off-highway and public safety.
Racine and Kenosha Counties
Wardens Brandon Smith, of Twin Lakes, and Kevin Patterson followed up on a complaint of two off-highway motorcycles (OHMs) being operating in unauthorized areas at Richard Bong State Recreation Area. The riders were located the following day and the wardens found the two operators also had ridden on the closed ATV trails and illegally on a roadway.
Wardens Smith and Patterson followed up on multiple waterway complaints and violations on Bohners Lake and Powers Lake. The wardens found several lake residents using water fans to illegally remove muck from the lake bed near their shorelines. In one case, a resident placed a large fabric mat on the bed of the lake to cover the natural muck bottom. The wardens worked with the residents to have the illegal items removed. It is unlawful to dredge material or place structures on the bed of a lake.
Wardens Smith and Patterson investigated a complaint at Richard Bong State Recreation Area regarding campers who left litter, pet waste, and toilet and sanitary waste on their campsite. Enforcement action was taken.
Wardens Alex Basting and Brennan Kearney were on patrol at Richard Bong State Recreation Area when they contacted site users regarding a loud conversation about drug use. The wardens’ investigation found marijuana usage and underage drinking to be occurring.
Wardens Taylor Meinholz, Mike Hirschboeck, Kevin Patterson, and Alex Basting responded to a boat accident on Lake Mary in Twin Lakes. The wardens found one individual had been operating a boat at a high speed, became distracted, and struck another boat sitting in a boat lift that was attached to a pier. Multiple people sustained injuries.
Warden Zach Feest, of Racine, patrolled for shore fishing for yellow perch on Lake Michigan, resulting in citations ranging from fishing without a license to overbagging. The warden found individuals keeping their limit of fish in the morning, then returning in the afternoon for more fish.
Wardens Taylor Meinholz and Brennan Kearney were on patrol at Richard Bong State Recreation Area when a loud sound led them to a campsite where an individual was attempting to light a marijuana pipe. Enforcement actions were taken for underaged drinking, and possession of a large amount of marijuana and paraphernalia.