Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – August 13, 2021
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on the Roseau River and Lake of the Woods, with spotty fishing results.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette) took several calls regarding nuisance bears and checked anglers fishing Lake of the Woods and the Rainy River. Enforcement action was taken for possession of illegal-length walleyes and failure to remove the drain plug prior to transporting watercraft. The boat had come from a body of water in Wisconsin that is designated infested with several aquatic invasive species.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) investigated a complaint about three campers in a dispersed camping area of the Beltrami Island State Forest for multiple months. They had taken on the area as their own and had multiple state forest violations, including cutting live trees, litter, and violating the dispersed camping length of stay. Enforcement action was taken for exceeding the maximum number of days allowed to disperse camp.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls East) conducted ATV enforcement, dealt with a nuisance bear, and received training at Camp Ripley.
CO Nicholas Prachar (Blackduck) reports that ATVing activity is ramping up around the area. Before riding, make sure to have a helmet for anyone under 18 years old.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji) patrolled area lakes for boating and angling activity and spoke to a lake association about boating regulations and issues on the lake. ATV trails were patrolled.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports patrolling area trails for ATV and off-highway motorcycle activity, conducting AIS inspections at public water accesses, and checking anglers. Low water is limiting some access to area lakes. Reports about sick skunks and raccoons were received and the callers were provided advice on how to handle them.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) worked AIS, boating, and ATVing enforcement this week. A lot of area residents have started removing watercraft and lifts from lakes because they are worried the drought will lower lake levels even further and make removal even more difficult. Swedberg also assisted Becker County and the State Patrol with multiple calls during a busy WE Fest weekend.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sportfishing, ATVing, and boat and water safety enforcement. Chihak attended the National Night Out event in Ada and responded to miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling and boating activity, performed AIS compliance checks, and patrolled for ATVs and off-road vehicles. WMAs were also monitored. Warren attended a youth fishing tournament and gave a talk on safety and regulations.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent time patrolling complaint areas for OHM and ATV violations, as well as following up on reports of vegetation and wetlands violations.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Troy Richards (Fergus Falls) reports doing some follow-up regarding previous fishing complaints. Time also was spent discussing youth safety classes and enforcing recreational vehicle laws.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) followed up on ATV and personal watercraft complaints and checked anglers throughout the week.
CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) spent time monitoring angling activity and responding to calls regarding AIS and big-game complaints. A stop of an ATV on a non-motorized trail led to numerous violations and a warrant arrest.
CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports working fishing and recreational vehicle enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for operating unregistered ATVs and OHMs, no ATV safety certificate, and no nonresident trail stickers.
CO Dan Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were focused on checking anglers and boaters and monitoring AIS law compliance.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports focusing efforts on learning area geography including state and county hunting lands. He continues to receive complaints about ATVers operating within the boundaries of wildlife management areas.
CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) patrolled the area for recreational vehicle and fishing activity. Baum also assisted Hubbard County officials with ATV patrol on county and state lands.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked anglers, boaters, AIS, and ATVing activity. Nuisance-bear complaints were received. Bear Committee-related items were also worked on.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) spent time working anglers and ATV riders throughout the week. Kunst also attended a lake association meeting in Cass County and responded to a deer vs. vehicle crash.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports animal-related complaints were handled. People are reminded again that the bears are hungry, so three things to do to reduce the interaction: remove all food sources; make your presence known when outdoors, and haze the bear within your own safety comfort level.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls) reports spending time on Rainy Lake and the Rainy River this past week. Nuisance-bear complaints were handled throughout the week as well.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling and boating activities. Fishing remains poor. Area forest roads were checked.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) attended the annual National Night Out event that took place at the Wuori Town Hall. Multiple law enforcement agencies, EMS, and fire departments were present at the event. Complaints regarding state campground and public landing use were fielded, and he also assisted other agencies with various calls. Zavodnik attended the funeral service held for fallen Officer Ryan Bialke of the Red Lake Nation Police Department.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports angling activity was lower than in past weeks, but success was overall good and most reported a fair walleye and northern bite. Fire activity had slowed, although several fires were still burning inside the closure area of the BWCAW.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) checked anglers on remote trout lakes and ATV riders in the area. He responded to nuisance-bear complaints where some were getting into cars.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled campgrounds, dispersed campsites, and boat accesses with U.S. Forest Service enforcement officers. They took a report of an illegal campfire at a campground. Upon investigating, the officers found a family using hand-held electric bug zappers that sounded remarkably like a crackling campfire. Manning also investigated a report of illegal alterations to a lakebed and river flowage.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling and boating activity this week. Time was spent with the Silver Bay firearms safety instructors with two field days. Schottenbauer also assisted CO Matt Miller and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in locating a lost child at Tettegouche State Park.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports attending the funeral service for Red Lake Officer Ryan Bialke. Hill also attended training at Camp Ripley. Boats were checked on Lake Superior No violations were detected this week. Thanks to all who made this possible!
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked on a trespass case with CO Andy Schmidt involving trail camera footage from last deer season. A case was made for trespassing, hunting with no blaze orange, and illegal party hunting. A deer mount as well as a firearm were seized as evidence, and the hunter faces a three-year revocation of big-game privileges.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, enforced off-highway vehicle activities, investigated aquatic plant violations, and answered wildlife-related calls. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing licenses in possession and various dirt bike violations.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, handled nuisance-animal complaints, investigated a wolf depredation, and monitored OHV activity.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling, water recreation activities, and ATV riders in the area. Anglers have found the bite a bit tough. Sutherland took enforcement action for a nonresident angling without a license, multiple no licenses in possession, and not having enough life jackets on board a watercraft.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) responded to several wildlife- and natural resources-related calls. Questions were answered in reference to the upcoming bear-hunting season.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) worked angling and boating activity during the week. Time also was spent working on wolf issues and ATV trespassing complaints. Schmidt also assisted the Duluth Police Department with a stolen golf cart that was left along a trail in East Duluth.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked Lake Superior and inland lakes north of Duluth. Lake Superior had a small craft warning and there were dangerous rip currents during the weekend that resulted in several swimmers along Park Point having to be rescued by U.S. Coast Guard crews and local responders.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reports assistance was given regarding a missing juvenile at a state park and at a vehicle crash with injuries.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) attended a kids fishing derby at the Crosslake U.S. Army Corps of Engineers campground. Sullivan also patrolled area lakes and rivers.
CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) started investigations this week for early bear baits, trespassing, and altering the course of public waters. Illegal burning and nuisance-animal calls were handled.
CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) reports checking anglers and ATV riders throughout Aitkin County. Investigations of possible wolf depredation on livestock also began.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked a local county fair shift as a representative of the Toward Zero Death Safe Driving Coalition. Seatbelt use and rules regarding ATVs being operated on public roadways and rights of way were the topics of discussion.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked lake activity and invasive species as low water is causing ample vegetation growth, making it hard to get trailers clean. He also participated in an investigation with another state agency and assisted with annual Enforcement Division training.
CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) spent time monitoring angling activity on Lake Mille Lacs and ATVing activity. Assistance was given to local agencies on various calls. A litter complaint was followed up on. Griffith also assisted an officer in making an arrest for DWI on an ATV.
CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time patrolling for fishing, boating, and ATVing activity. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV with an open bottle, operating an ATV with a youth passenger without a helmet, and operating an ATV with a youth passenger without a seatbelt.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent most of the week assisting farmers who were struggling with black bears destroying field corn. Multiple corn producers reported bears tearing up large areas of fields and gorging on newly formed cobs. Reports of several bears in a single field were common.
CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) reports that two possible wolf depredations were investigated. Calls were fielded regarding harbors, safety training classes, and sick deer.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this week checking anglers and boaters. Karon and Pine County Sheriff’s Deputy Vork also worked to find underwater obstructions in the Snake River.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) started at his new station this week and met with local agencies in the area.
CO Tou Vang (Pierz) monitored ATVing activity and worked AIS, fishing, and boating safety. Enforcement action was taken for various ATV and boating violations.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked boaters, anglers, wetland issues, and ATVing activity. One angler was found with a large overlimit of sunfish on Clear Lake.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking anglers and attending training. A public waters complaint was investigated. A call about a dumped deer carcass was found not to be a poached deer, but a goat.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers, working on wetland complaints, and searching for a missing person.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) patrolled for anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. Additional time was spent patrolling state lands. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, driving off-road in the Sand Dunes State Forest, and illegally removing aquatic vegetation.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Vang Lee (ELCOP) worked fishing and boating activities on metro-area lakes and rivers. He assisted local law enforcement in searching for a missing person in Anoka County.
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and following up on nuisance-animal and wetland-related complaints.
CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) is currently on fire duty in the Superior National Forest.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) reports that camping issues were addressed in the Minnesota Valley State Park – both in the campground and along the river.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers, watercraft users, and doing AIS enforcement. He also handled calls about accessing water bodies from the road right of way and responded to questions about nuisance animals.
CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the week monitoring anglers in the area. He also investigated a dumped watercraft at an area public water access as well as garbage dumped at area WMAs. Enforcement action for the week included license violations.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) spent time on the water and found that water levels are very low. Many people were getting stuck.
CO Ryan Hanna (White Bear Lake) assisted another officer with boat and angling patrol on the river. The officers made many angling checks and enforced rules on angling with extra lines.
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time checking shore anglers at local lakes. Many nuisance-animal calls were also handled. Time was also spent teaching firearms safety and checking conditions of dove-hunting spots for the upcoming season.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) primarily worked angling, public accesses, and AIS enforcement this past week. A fish-kill complaint was investigated. Violations encountered during the course of the week included failure to remove a boat plug and leaving property on a wildlife management area.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time this past week working the DNR booth at Farmfest with K9 Earl. Time also was spent at National Night Out in Montevideo displaying the TIP booth and preforming a K9 demo. K9 Earl also enjoyed meeting the public at a law enforcement/EMS community event held in Wilmar. K9 calls were fielded to assist with evidence recovery in a waterfowl investigation and to assist Nobles and Jackson counties with a subject who fled law enforcement.
CO Andrew Dirks (Worthington) spent time checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators throughout the week. Activity on area wildlife management areas is picking up as hunters are preparing for the upcoming hunting seasons.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) spoke with local media during the past week in regards to upcoming waterfowl seasons and changes related to them. Assistance was given to local law enforcement in an effort to locate a felon who fled on foot.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) conducted annual August roadside surveys for the Section of Wildlife. Watercraft and AIS inspections continue on water and at accesses.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked AIS, angling, and boat and water enforcement. He also returned calls regarding beavers doing damage.
CO Cassie Block (Willmar) spent time this week checking anglers on area lakes, and enforcing AIS laws. Block also followed up on a TIP call and a trespassing complaint.
CO Zachary Larson (Hutchinson) worked with a neighboring officer following up on a TIP regarding violations on local public lands. The Minnesota River was patrolled, and water levels are extremely low at this time.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports checking local lakes and public lands. Lake levels are down. Be careful when navigating on the water.
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) worked primarily angling, ATVing, and boating enforcement this week. Henke also spent time monitoring public lands and accesses.
CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) reports littering continues to be mentioned in conversations with other DNR divisions. Moua wants to remind everyone to clean up after themselves and take their trash with them, whether camping in state forests or while fishing.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked angling, boating, AIS, and ATVing activity this week. Howe also assisted the State Patrol with traffic control at a vehicle fire.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing, ATVing, and boating enforcement in the southeast. Fishing on Lake Pepin has been good with numerous limits and, unfortunately, overlimits found. Enforcement action this week involved mainly overlimits where close to 100 fish were seized.
CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) reports that during a shore-angler check on the Zumbro River, an individual was found to be in violation of a domestic abuse/no-contact order while fishing with the protected person. The angler was placed under arrest and also was found to be in possession of methamphetamine.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) patrolled for anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. Assistance was given to local agencies when strong storms resulted in mud slides and trees down across roads.
CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) assisted with fire duty in the Ely area.
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) reports time was spent following up on various ongoing investigations and instructing at Camp Ripley for annual in-service training.