Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 10, 2022

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) answered numerous calls concerning allegedly abandoned deer fawns. People are reminded that wild animals should stay in the wild. He also responded to nuisance-bear complaints and assisted in a wildfire investigation. 

CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) monitored angling and conducted ATV patrols in the Beltrami Island State Forest. Nuisance-animal calls were taken. Watercraft and ATV violations were dealt with this week.

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports focusing enforcement efforts on angling and boating activity. Time was spent working an Upper Red Lake enforcement detail and handling nuisance-animal complaints – bears causing damage and bears having tried entering occupied residences. Regas also investigated multiple wolf-depredation complaints.

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports working on class presentation materials for the current CO Academy. Time also was spent checking anglers and watercraft operators. Various public water access sites were monitored for AIS compliance.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports taking TIP calls about anglers possibly over their limits or making multiple trips. Several anglers were contacted with fish, but no violations were discovered. A TIP regarding a person possessing a deer fawn was followed up on and it was discovered that the individual had picked up two fawns, which they feared would be hit by cars. By the time Vinton contacted the person, one of the fawns had died. A citation was issued for possession of the deer and the person cited was to get the other fawn to a local wildlife rehabber, which they did. 

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week checking anglers and boaters in the Detroit Lakes area. Swedberg also assisted Becker County with a shooting incident in eastern Becker County. The investigation remains ongoing, and if anyone has any information, please reach out to the Becker County Sheriff’s Office.

CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked commercial leech trappers, aquatic invasive species, anglers, wildlife-related complaints, and game farms. Violations of transporting lake water, trapping leeches without a license, and unmarked traps were addressed.

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) checked anglers and continued follow-up with new and ongoing wetland and shoreline cases. Calls from the public included reports of deceased deer, and a possession permit was issued for an otter that was struck by a car.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Andrew Goodman (Fergus Falls) reports focusing on boat and water safety and angling enforcement throughout the week. Wild weather on Monday seemed to slow the fish bite for a few days. 

CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) focused enforcement efforts on boating, fishing, and invasive species through the week and the weekend. Plautz attended the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office open house, speaking to several individuals about boating, ATV, and snowmobile safety classes. Plautz assisted the Todd County Sheriff’s Office in the city of Eagle Bend after a tornado swept through the city, leaving several power lines down and trees across roadways. 

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, boaters, ATV riders, and AIS. A tornado event in Douglas County was responded to with search and rescue and scene security provided. A complaint of fish overlimits was investigated in Otter Tail County.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports several anglers were cited this week for not having a valid angling license; one was even cited for fishing while privileges were suspended. A focused effort was made on the water for BWI enforcement in conjunction with Douglas County Sheriff’s Office water patrol deputies. 

District 4 – Walker area

CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time on fishing and boating activity, including a work detail on Upper Red Lake. Enforcement action was taken for numerous violations. Assistance was provided to the Wadena Police Department and Wadena County Sheriff’s Office with a large commercial fire. 

CO Michael Cross (Lake George) returned to duty from military activation. Cross conducted training, equipment preparation/maintenance, and patrolled on local lakes. Cross also rescued a beached loon stranded on a beach. With a little assistance, the loon was helped back to the water where it was able to navigate safely again.

CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) patrolled the area for ATV, angling, and boating activity. Baum wants to remind boaters to double-check and ensure their boats have all required equipment before venturing out on the water.  

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls) reports spending time checking muskie anglers on the Bigfork River this past weekend, monitoring ATVing activity, and assisting with flood-related issues on Rainy Lake. 

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports that although area lakes are still at flood stage, it appears some are beginning to stabilize. Boat wake complaints are still being heard, with some causing damage to sandbagging efforts. Along with a neighboring officer, Slatinski responded to the location of a fire where the property owner had not obtained a burning permit ahead of time and the fire took a run.  

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes for angling activities. Area forest roads and public access sites were checked. ATVing activity was monitored. Border lakes remain flooded. Complaints about boat wakes continue from high water on area lakes.

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked angling/boating and ATV/OHM activity. Time also was spent working at an AIS check station and investigating a fire. 

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time patrolling area lakes during the week. Zavodnik also spent time assisting in the International Falls area, loading up sandbags. 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports fishing activity continued to be steady in spite of strong winds most of the week. Violations included transporting watercraft without removing the plug, failure to display current registration, and angling without a license in possession.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers this past week. He also took multiple bear reports and answered several questions about watercraft-registration requirements from other states and the northern pike regulations in the northeast pike zone.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) took a report about a wetlands violation and met with local authorities to help resolve the issue. Manning also worked with other officers and DNR personnel to inspect watercraft and educate boaters on aquatic invasive species. Would-be campers were contacted before illegally camping at an area overlook and directed to a slightly more remote but also easily accessible and legal location.  

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports angling and boating activity is beginning to pick up. Citations were issued after a group of four anglers were found in canoes without PFDs. This was during a day of high winds and cold waters. During the contact, one of the parties provided a damp angling license and explained that he fell into the water the previous day. Even though they put themselves in a dangerous situation, they still complained about the tickets. 

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Vinny Brown (Northome) responded to complaints about nuisance animals and answered questions from concerned people regarding the welfare of baby animals. It is best for baby animals to be left where they are found.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended training, checked anglers, and worked boat and water enforcement. Fairbanks also assisted during severe-weather events. 

CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) checked angling and recreational vehicles. Time also was spent on miscellaneous wildlife-related complaints. 

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) focused enforcement efforts on boating, angling, ATVing, and AIS activities. Follow-up work was conducted on pending investigations. 

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) worked anglers and boating activity during the week. He assisted with an aquatic invasive species detail and followed up on ATV complaints. Nuisance-animal complaints were also handled. Please, just leave fawns alone.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work fishing and boating enforcement on area lakes. Time was spent working with a property owner who needed permits to work within a waterway. Duncan also worked with CO Keith Olson on his last day of service with the DNR Enforcement Division before retiring. Duncan will miss Olson tremendously as a work partner.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked off-highway vehicle, invasive species, angling, and boating enforcement throughout the week. Humphrey responded to calls and complaints about nuisance beavers, wetland filling, ATV operation, and DNR safety training courses.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters for AIS compliance. Anglers were checked along Lake Superior and the St. Louis River. Watercraft equipment maintenance was handled. Plans were made for an upcoming firearms safety class.

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Calie Kunst (Crosslake) spent time checking angling and boating activity throughout the week. Violations found included fishing without a license, possessing illegal-length northern pike, and failure to renew boat registration.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sportfishing this week. Angling licenses were checked. A CO Academy presentation was given to the new conservation officer candidates with Lt. Eric Benjamin. 

CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) reports checking anglers and boaters in the area. Enforcement was taken for no angling license, no navigational lights, and underage drinking. 

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) worked angling activity on Lake Mille Lacs. ATVing activity was monitored. Wetland violations and other complaints were followed up on. 

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended a LEMA meeting. ATV riders and anglers were checked throughout the week. Speldrich participated in an AIS check station. 

CO Dan Starr (Onamia investigated a dead fawn that was found near a home. Rural dog and cat owners are reminded that they need to keep their pets at home, as even tame animals will kill things when left to run loose. 

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) took a lot of calls from people reporting abandoned wild animal babies along with lot of reports about black bears being nuisances around houses and outbuildings. Bear-damage complaints included bird feeders getting destroyed, garbage cans being dragged around, dog food being eaten, and grills and smokers getting tipped over and licked clean. Reports of wolves killing calves and harassing livestock were also investigated.

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) worked angling and boating enforcement. Several nuisance-bear complaints were handled, and most were solved by taking bird feeders down and leaving garbage inside for a week. Additional time was spent assisting with the 2022 CO Academy at Camp Ripley. 

CO Tou Vang (Pierz) checked anglers and conducted boat and water safety checks, AIS checks at public water accesses, and monitored ATVing activity in the station. 

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity and AIS enforcement this past week. He gave advice to people wanting to play Mother Nature by handling infant fawns and removing them for the location they found them. Leave them be.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, boaters, and ATVing activity. Several injured-animal calls were handled. Time was spent on shoreline violations. 

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking anglers and boaters. Complaints about nuisance bears and beavers are steadily increasing. More wetland violations were investigated.

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) focused patrol efforts on boating and angling activity. Additional time was spent patrolling state lands and working on equipment. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, operating a watercraft with expired registration, failing to have proper personal floatation devices onboard a watercraft, and riding a horse on state forest land without a horse pass.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and boaters. Krauel also patrolled for ATVing activity. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license, no life jacket, and expired watercraft license.

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Thephong Le (ELCOP) patrolled the metro area for boating and fishing, and Fort Snelling State Park for park usage. He also provided a ride-along to a college student and took calls about injured wild animals. 

CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent time this week checking anglers and following up on complaints. Grewe also attended the New Hope Safety Fair during the weekend.

CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on angling and boat and water safety. In addition to patrolling area lakes, he assisted Hennepin County Water Patrol with a water emergency on Lake Minnetonka. 

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time checking local anglers on a variety of lakes. Enforcement action was taken for many violations, including no license, extra lines, and litter. Time was spent on a trespass investigation that also involved violations of the CWD feeding ban. 

CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week patrolling area lakes while checking anglers and boaters, and doing AIS enforcement. He also handled several nuisance-animal complaints and investigated a wetland issue. 

CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for angling and boating activity. He also assisted the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office on several calls during the week. 

CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) checked anglers and monitored boating activity in the area. Invasive species inspections were conducted on a several pieces of water-related equipment. Several warnings were issued for people transporting watercraft with their drain plugs in. An angler also was arrested for outstanding warrants. 

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time following up on wildlife-related calls, angling, and ATVing activity. Gutzwiller and K9 Earl also assisted local law enforcement agencies with various calls. 

CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) primarily worked boat and water safety, angling, and invasive species enforcement this past week. 

CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week checking anglers. Class 2 ATV activity continues to increase. Baby deer-related calls have begun for the year. 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, ATVing, and AIS enforcement. Questions were answered at a fishing tournament on Lake Benton on Saturday. Assistance was given to other agencies.

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) focused patrol efforts on boat and water safety and fishing. Additional time was spent fielding wildlife-related calls pertaining to fawns believed to be abandoned. 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls pertaining to hunting and fishing law clarification and nuisance/injured animals. He worked fishing, boating, invasive species, and off-highway vehicle enforcement activities. 

CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) reports that he worked angling enforcement, AIS enforcement, boat and water safety, and ATV enforcement. The area has received significant rain. 

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) checked anglers and ATVing activity around the area this past week. Access areas were worked for AIS violations. A trespassing violation was taken as well.

CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on boating and fishing activity. VanThuyne also spoke at a youth ATV safety class and followed up on several complaints about carp being dumped and being left on the shores of waterways. 

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) worked angling and boating activity this week. Anglers are reminded to check their fishing regulations to see if the lake they are fishing has any special regulations in place. Questions continue to come in about avian influenza. The DNR website (mndnr.gov) has quite a bit of information about the DNR’s response to avian influenza. 

CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) focused on fishing and ATV activities. Moua also worked off-highway motorcycle complaint areas and followed up on trout stream use violations. Time was spent following up on various animal-related calls ranging from fawns, to geese, badgers, and snakes.

CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) worked angling, ATVing, and AIS enforcement this week. Litter at shore-angling locations as well as parking areas is starting to be a problem. 

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) reports dealing with multiple baby animal-related calls. Time was spent checking anglers and talking to boaters about AIS issues and laws. Reports of bear sightings are still coming in.

CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) checked an angler, with a limit of white bass, whose fishing privileges were revoked. The angler’s privileges were revoked in 2021 for unlawfully killing a buck with an air rifle on an archery tag in Wisconsin. Minnesota is a member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, which honors the license revocations of other member states. Ramaker also responded to a TIP call about illegal-length bass being taken. The group of anglers was found to have six largemouth bass under the size limit and were taking part in Wisconsin’s free fishing weekend. 

CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working several boat and water enforcement details this week, as well as answering calls and questions regarding nuisance wildlife, hunting, and fishing. The most interesting contact was with a person who was flying his pet Canada goose with his jet ski. Upon contact, it was determined the person had the required permits. 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports things that were seen for the first time included a person taking his game farm-acquired Canada goose for an exercise flight on his personal watercraft. 

CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) reports a complaint was worked with a Wisconsin warden regarding people shooting muskrats from a boat. Citations will be issued. 

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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