Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – February 18, 2022

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods and monitored snowmobiling activity on trails around Roseau County. Enforcement contacts for the week included possession of marijuana, possession of an overlimit of sauger, angling with extra lines, and failure to transfer ownership and renew snowmobile registration. 

CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) continued to monitor angling and snowmobiling activity in the area. Big-game cases from the 2021 season were investigated. 

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) assisted the DNR Forestry Division with a timber theft complaint, checked area anglers, and monitored snowmobiling activity. Enforcement action taken for no snowmobile safety training, no snowmobile registration, unregistered ATVs, and failure to display current shelter ID and licenses.

CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) checked anglers and monitored snowmobiling activity and handled nuisance-animal complaints.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports monitoring snowmobile trail activity and handling reports about snowmobilers trespassing. Time also was spent working on a background investigation and handling calls about nuisance predators killing domestic waterfowl and chickens.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working on a trespass-related case this week. Anglers, ATV operators, and snowmobile operators were checked. 

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week working area snowmobile trails. Weather conditions did not make it easy on riders, as windy and low temperatures made riding difficult. Other time was spent working on reports from previous cases and assisting area agencies with traffic-related incidents due to poor road conditions. 

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked ongoing cases and handled calls regarding ice-fishing shelters and coyote hunting.

CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sportfishing, coyote hunting, and snowmobiling enforcement. Time also was spent giving a law and ethics presentation to a snowmobile safety class in Hawley.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Andrew Goodman (Elbow Lake) patrolled area snowmobile trails and checked anglers throughout the week. Additional time was spent speaking at a snowmobile safety class in Wheaton and assisting the State Patrol with traffic control at a multi-vehicle crash.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, fish houses, and ATVs. Division training was attended at Camp Ripley. Questions were received about fish house removal and litter on area lakes. 

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) focused enforcement efforts this week on the continued ice-fishing pressure on area lakes as well as snowmobiling activity throughout Douglas County. Several anglers were issued citations for angling with extra lines, angling without a license, and leaving lines in shacks unattended. One shack containing two anglers had an illegal-length northern pike on the ice outside the door. When the CO contacted the occupants, one was found to have illegal substances/paraphernalia in his possession. Enforcement action was taken against both anglers for the violations.

CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports working fishing and snowmobiling activity. Douvier also spoke to local students about conservation and law enforcement and continues working on a background investigation for the Enforcement Division.

CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking fishermen and snowmobile operators. Additional time was spent on injured-animal complaints and checking fish houses for proper licenses and identification.  

District 4 – Walker area

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing counties for snowmobiling and angling activity. CO McGowan also spent time following up on cases from this past fall.  

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) responded to a semi in a ditch and a missing juvenile. She also spoke at a snowmobile safety class. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license. 

CO Jordan Anderson(Wadena) worked area lakes and trails on snowmobile. Enforcement action was taken for no shelter license, unmarked fish houses, a fish house stored at a public access, and using too many lines. 

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports snowmobiling and ice-fishing activities continue to be the main focuses in the area. However, participation has been low with the frigid weather.

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) Despite arctic temperatures in the area, snowmobiling activity remains consistent. Increased slush is causing problems for anglers, with one group reporting 6 inches of slush around their house from the previous day when they initially drilled holes. Wild animal complaints were fielded. 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports numerous snowmobile violations were dealt with. Deer appear to be struggling with close to 2 feet of snow on the ground and a lot of winter left. Wolf activity is plentiful. 

CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily angling and snowmobiling enforcement. Larson also investigated cases relating to the illegal operation of snowmobiles. 

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing and snowmobiling activity. Fishermen reported limited success. Snowmobile trails are in good shape, and snowmobile traffic was high this week. Speed and failing to keep to the right of the trail continue to be the primary complaints by snowmobilers. CO Broughten also fielded calls regarding nuisance animals and litter left on lakes.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and snowmobilers this past week. Fish house owners are reminded that identification in addition to displaying the shelter tag is required on permanent shelters. 

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time working on snowmobile trails and remote trout lakes. Fishing has been slow. 

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) followed up on complaints in state park and reports of bobcats visiting homes. She checked cross-country ski passes, patrolled area grant-in-aid snowmobile trails, and checked ice anglers. 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked snowmobiling, fishing, and ski trail enforcement throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobiling violations and unattended fishing lines.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports getting to the end of his background investigation on an applicant for the upcoming CO academy. Hill also attended training at Camp Ripley. Hill also assisted a few anglers with getting their snowmobiles out of the slush on a small trout lake. 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and snowmobiling activity this week. Litter left by some sloppy anglers is showing up on area lake ice at a higher rate than in the past. Anglers are encouraged to pick up trash they come upon and report those who they see littering on our waterways.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Vinny Brown (Northome) monitored snowmobiling activity and checked anglers on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for possession of an illegal-length northern pike on Island Lake and fishing with an extra line on Lake Winnibigoshish.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) patrolled state parks and checked anglers, snowmobiling activity, and small-game hunters. Numerous game and fish questions were answered. He also responded to wildlife-related complaints and assisted other agencies.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked snowmobiling and angling activity. Enforcement action was taken for spearing without a license and failing to register a snowmobile. Multiple roadkill deer tags were issued.

CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) reports time was spent investigating a TIP complaint and following up on a trapping case. Complaints were received regarding deer feeding and an abandoned ATV on the ice.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) focused enforcement efforts on snowmobiling, angling, and darkhouse spearing activities. Enforcement action was taken for various angling violations.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) assisted with a kids fishing event that was hosted by the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Department on Hill Lake. 

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work snowmobiling enforcement on area trails. Winter fishing enforcement was also worked, but few anglers were checked during the week. Officer Duncan talked to a steelhead fishing class that is put on by members of the Lake Superior Steelhead Association. 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked snowmobile trail enforcement and checked area lakes for angling activity. A number of anglers were observed removing fish houses during the weekend. CO also Humphrey took calls about an incidental trapped wolf, nonresident snowmobile use, collector snowmobile permits, and people stranded in a state forest after a vehicle breakdown.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit)) checked anglers in the Duluth-Superior Harbor during the week. He found those fishing off the airport experienced a good bite in the evening. He attended a meeting with various agencies regarding the upcoming boating season and events on Lake Superior and the Duluth Harbor. 

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and snowmobilers throughout the week. Wind moved some of the fishable ice on Lake Superior, making access harder again for anglers. 

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Eric Sullivan (Brainerd) checked ice anglers on area lakes and patrolled snowmobile trails. Anglers reported that fishing was slow, but some nice walleyes and northerns were harvested.  

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled area trails for snowmobiling activity. Numerous areas of off-trail travel were located. Snowmobilers are reminded to watch trail signage. Landowners work with clubs to allow access. Please stay on designated trails to avoid trespassing charges. 

CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) spent time patrolling state parks. Snowmobile trails and lakes were checked, with some fresh snow in the area. 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked angler activity. Fish houses are getting moved around and some removed as the season winds down. Verkuilen also checked small-game hunters, handled an incidental trapping catch, and answered canine-predation concerns. 

CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) checked anglers on Lake Mille Lacs and worked area snowmobile trails. Several angling and snowmobiling violations were encountered. Griffith checked a group of three anglers on Mille Lacs. It was discovered that one angler had his fishing privileges revoked. When confronted, the angler stated that he did not know about the revocation. The angler then changed his story to say that he was not fishing at all, and that his friends had extra lines.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) checked anglers on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for failing to display shelter licenses. She checked snowmobilers and received complaints about snowmobiler trespass onto hayfields and in residential yards.  

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) reports assistance was given to local law enforcement on a possible theft of auto parts and an intoxicated person walking into traffic. Starr also investigated an accidental wolf catch by a legal trapper.

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) spent extra time patrolling area lakes due to a large increase in ice-fishing activity. The increased lake activity also resulted in more garbage being left behind. While the CO made his rounds on one Hinckley-area lake, a group of anglers were caught flinging their cigarette butts out the window of their portable shelter. Closer inspection found about a pack’s worth of cigarette butts on the ice outside of the shelter. The responsible individuals were cited for littering and were instructed to clean up the area.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) continued to work area lakes and snowmobile trails. CO Westby also assisted Little Falls police on a call for service and stood by on perimeter. 

CO Tou Vang (Pierz) talked to youth at a firearms safety training class in Harding, assisted local law enforcement, and continued to monitor fishing and snowmobiling activity.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) focused on complaints about trespassing and fish overlimits. The officer also did a snowmobile safety class presentation on laws and ethics.

CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports checking anglers, patrolling area snowmobile trails, and working on a pre-employment background investigation. Miscellaneous wildlife complaints were addressed. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) spent time working anglers on area lakes. Car-killed deer permits were issued, and planning for upcoming firearms and snowmobile classes were handled. 

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license, angling with an extra line, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) located a pile of whole panfish on Lake Francis near Isanti. CO Hanna also located a tip-up frozen on Little Elk Lake.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) checked anglers on local lakes. Fogarty found several ice-fishing shelters without proper identification numbers and shelter licenses. 

CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) reports working mostly ice-fishing activity. Activity has picked up on smaller lakes as local anglers attempt to get away from the crowds on bigger lakes. Enforcement action was taken for deer-hunting license violations and improperly marked fish houses.

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on angling and ATVing activity during the week. He worked multiple events on Lake Minnetonka during the weekend with area officers. 

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking ice-fishing shelters, anglers, and recreational vehicle operators. He fielded calls about accessing lakes from the road right of way and dealt with deer-feeding ban complaints. Arntzen also attended training at Camp Ripley and continued working on big-game cases.

CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) checked snowmobilers and anglers in the area. Enforcement action was taken on the St. Croix River for angler harassment. Please be aware that anglers can be legally within 10 feet of another angler. It pays to be courteous to others while fishing. 

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Daniels (Lake Benton) worked angling and snowmobiling enforcement this past week. Background investigations continue for a 2022 CO candidate. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, extra lines, and failure to register a snowmobile.

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week conducting investigations and checking ice anglers. Most area lakes have good numbers of anglers trying their luck.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time working ice angling and ATVing activity. He also followed up on a trespass complaint. CO Vernier took several calls with questions about coyote hunting.

CO Cassie Block (Willmar) spent time this week checking anglers on area lakes. CO Block also spent time working snowmobile trails and monitoring recreational vehicle activity. CO Block would like to remind anglers to help keep the lakes clean by removing any litter or refuse from the ice when they leave. 

CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent time this week patrolling for small-game hunting and ice-angling activity. Additional time was spent issuing possession permits and returning phone calls about snowmobile registration.  

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) continued to work ice-angling and snowmobiling activity. State forestry fire laws were enforced. 

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) took calls concerning injured deer and an eagle. CO Gruhlke also assisted with the Jackson snowmobile class, teaching law and assisting with the practical portion of the class. 

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) worked mainly angling activity this week. Henke reminds anglers to clean up garbage on the lake. 

CO Tyler Lusignan (Faribault) reports checking local lakes and public lands. A deer possession permit was issued. 

CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) checked anglers, predator hunters, and snowmobile and ATV operators during the week. Davis also worked on a DNR applicant’s background investigation. Davis patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks, public water access sites, and waterfowl production areas.

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) patrolled lakes during the past week, checking anglers, and ATVing and snowmobiling activity. Assistance was given to a snowmobiler who broke down. A dumping complaint is being investigated.

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked angling and ATVing activity this week. Howe also patrolled state parks and spoke about laws and ethics at two separate snowmobile safety classes. 

CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on fishing and trapping activity. VanThuyne also checked predator hunters and investigated WMA concerns.

District 18 – Rochester area

Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) checked ice anglers. A report of unlawful possession of protected birds was investigated. 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports good ice fishing in the area with people going out on the main channel of the river to fish for walleyes and sauger. Hemker also checked local taxidermists.

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly anglers and on equipment during the week. Many folks are out looking for antler sheds.  

CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) spent time checking anglers, responding to various sick- and injured-animal calls, and dealing with individuals intentionally and unintentionally feeding deer. As a reminder, placing any feed for deer or where deer can access it is currently illegal in southeastern Minnesota, as well as in various other parts of the state. 

CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week patrolling for area angling activity.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *