Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – June 17, 2022
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Corey Sura (Baudette) checked anglers fishing on Upper Red Lake and Lake of the Woods. Enforcement action was taken for overlimits of walleyes, fishing with extra lines, and fishing without a current license. Sura also worked an AIS detail in the Baudette area.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) instructed at the CO Academy and monitored area fishing and ATVing activity.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) spent time patrolling for ATVing, angling, and boating activity this week. Training was received, nuisance-bear complaints were taken, and a firearms safety class was attended.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports working angling activity on special-regulation lakes this past week. Time was spent working Upper Red Lake angling and AIS details, investigating TIP information, and handling reports of and issuing permits for nuisance beavers. Regas also assisted the sheriff’s office with rescuing two horseback riders and their horses that had become stranded in a boggy area due to high water and muddy conditions.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports giving ATV presentations for new DNR Wildlife personnel and students from Washington Elementary in Crookston. Time also was spent instructing at the DNR CO Academy. Anglers and watercraft operators were contacted throughout the week.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports handling TIP calls about anglers taking overlimits of bass and panfish. Observations were made of several groups, but no violations were uncovered. Calls about problem bears are being directed to local DNR Wildlife offices and people are asked to check out the DNR “Be Bear Wise” page on the DNR website. Calls about OHM and ATVs in the road rights of way were taken. Calls about public water access from a township road were addressed with township supervisors, and complaints about parking at a public water access were handled.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week patrolling for ATVing, boating, and AIS activities. Swedberg also spent time assisting Becker County officers with a search warrant and search and recovery of a drowning victim. During the weekend, he assisted with an AIS detail in Beltrami County. Overall compliance with AIS laws was good.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling and boating activity. Follow-up on open cases continued. AIS compliance checks were performed. Training was attended in Bemidji. Warren also taught law and ethics at a firearms safety class in Fosston.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week following up on wetland and shoreline violations with area soil and water conservation district staff.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Andrew Goodman (Fergus Falls) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV riders during the week. Calls concerning wildlife, permits, and angling were handled.
CO Ryan Brown (Elbow Lake) arrived in the station and familiarized himself with the area. He checked anglers and monitored ATVing activity. A nuisance-bear call also was fielded.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, boaters, ATV operators, and OHM operators. A goose-shooting complaint was received and investigated. AIS questions were received and answered.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) worked sportfishing activity this week. Injured- and orphaned-animal calls continue to come in. People are encouraged to leave animals in the wild.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were focused on checking anglers and boaters and monitoring AIS law compliance. Additional time was spent attending training and testifying at a court trial in Douglas County.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Michael Cross (Lake George) attended multiple trainings, checked area lakes, and patrolled for ATV traffic. Additionally, questions from the public were fielded and answered. Cross reminds people there are burning regulations in place and if a fire is larger than 3 feet by 3 feet, a burning permit is required. A burning permit may be obtained online or through the local fire warden.
CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) spent this week patrolling the area for angling, boating, and recreational vehicle activity. Baum investigated a TIP call on Leech Lake with another officer. He also took enforcement action on several violations related to angling and recreational vehicle operation.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) investigated a fishing and litter complaint. She also attended two ATV safety courses.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent time assisting with CO Academy instruction, testifying in court, and attending a community event in Wadena.
CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports assisting other DNR divisions and the Morrison County Soil and Water Conservation District with site visits for aquatic plant management and Wetland Conservation Act violations.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports continuing to assist the Koochiching County Sheriff’s Office with flood-relief efforts on Rainy Lake. A youth firearms safety class in Littlefork was held at which 18 area youth received their certification. People are reminded that the no-wake zone was continued and extended out to 500 feet from shoreline on Rainy Lake.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports fishing reports have become less enthusiastic, and the biting insect population has exploded. Head nets have become the new fashion statement. Water levels are beginning to recede, which is going to expose new hazards on waterways that people have been fortunate to miss. Rock markers have not been installed on all the traditionally marked locations due to water levels. Boat wakes continue to be a common complaint.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling, boating, and ATVing activities. Commercial bait-trapping activities were checked. Public access sites and area forest roads were visited.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked ATVing and angling activity. Nuisance-bear reports continue to be fielded, and people are reminded to remove/hide food sources to deter bears from coming onto their property.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time working in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Zavodnik took enforcement action in regards to a number of watercraft and angling violations encountered throughout the week.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports he patrolled areas within the BWCAW during the week. He found some campsites half submerged and portages that resembled narrow rivers due to continued spring flooding in the Lac La Croix area.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers this past week. Velsvaag also attended training in Bemidji and took several calls about bears.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled area lakes and accesses. Manning also attended training, handled equipment maintenance, and took a call regarding concerns about the commercial netting of fish. She also took a report about a bear refusing to leave a meal at a bird feeder, which is normal bear behavior this early in the season.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) attended training in Bemidji. Twenty youths were certified in ATV safety in Babbitt. Time was spent patrolling in the BWCAW. The fish were biting pretty well, as were the bugs.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports anglers and boaters were dodging an onslaught mosquitoes and black flies throughout the week. A citation was issued after Hill found an unattended campfire. With high fire danger once again, it is important people are more careful with their fires. Hill also attended a Cook County Coalition of Lake Associations meeting at the Cook County Community Center in Grand Marais.
CO Don Murray (Two harbors) worked boating and ATVing activity during the week. Several ATV trails are still closed in the area from water washouts and trail repairs. Murray responded with Lake County deputies to an overdue-canoeist call in the BWCAW. The person was located safely on an area portage on their way back to a parking area.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) checked anglers, enforced aquatic invasive species laws, and responded to various animal-related calls. Brown responded to a brush fire that started as a result of a smoldering stump. The fire was contained with the help of people in the area who noticed the fire from their boat. Local and U.S. Forest Service firefighters responded and put out any remaining embers inside the perimeter.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHVing activity, and responded to nuisance-animal complaints.
CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) focused on boating safety and angling activity during the past week. Time also was spent monitoring AIS compliance in the area and working a detail in the BWCAW.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) continued to focus primarily on fishing, boating, and ATVing activity. Violations addressed included angling without a license, ATVs on state highways, and youth passengers not wearing helmets.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) patrolled for ATVing and angling activity in the station and followed up with ongoing TIP calls. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display registration and operating an ATV without headlights illuminated.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) focused on angling and boating activity during the week. ATV-related complaints continue, and time was spent working trailheads and problem areas. He investigated a complaint about a person who picked up a fawn and was keeping it at his residence. The fawn was recovered and delivered to a rehab facility.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked boaters and anglers on Lake Superior. ATV use is high, with many violations for speeding and riding in the traffic lanes of highways.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) reports checking anglers, boaters, and ATV riders throughout the week. Benkofske also attended and spoke at the Big Sandy Lake Association annual meeting.
CO Andrew Dirks (CCSRA) spent time checking anglers and ATV riders, and monitoring activity throughout the recreation area. The Off Road Triathlon during the weekend had a good turnout despite a rainy start to the day.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) monitored ATV activity throughout the week. Lake Mille Lacs was also worked, with many anglers enjoying Take a Kid Fishing weekend. Complaints about nuisance animals and litter were investigated.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) handled public waters and nuisance-beaver complaints. She also responded to a call about an otter that appeared to be sick.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked fishing and boating safety on Mille Lacs, with compliance found to be good. Nuisance-animal calls were taken care of, and a family of baby raccoons was taken to a rehab facility.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) worked the Mississippi River and area lakes for boating and angling activity. Westby also spent time working ATVers near Spider Lake. Several trails are closed due to logging activity.
CO Tou Vang (Pierz) checked fishing licenses and conducted boat and water safety checks on the water. He also monitored public water accesses for aquatic invasive species and monitored ATVing activity.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity in the area. He investigated cases concerning no fishing licenses, littering, and speeding on an ATV.
CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers and boaters on area lakes. Several calls were fielded regarding sick animals, baby animals, and injured animals. Shoreline issues were investigated.
CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) checked anglers and conducted boating enforcement. Time was spent following up on zebra mussel violations.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) assisted other officers with a work detail in Chisago County. COs made contact with many anglers. One angler had two northern pike in possession but did not know the rules. The pike were in compliance with the regulations but the angler was advised that ignorance is not an alibi.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) fielded several wildlife-related calls during the week, including one from a local police department involving a fawn. The fawn was located in the back of a vehicle and the driver stated he was going to bring it to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Seamans contacted the center a couple of days later and discovered the fawn was never delivered. However, the suspect’s vehicle was discovered by the same police department several days later with the fawn in it. Seamans responded to the area, seized the fawn, and took enforcement action against the suspect. The fawn was successfully delivered to the rehabilitation center.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Buffalo) spent the week checking anglers. Additionally, time was spent attending training. Enforcement action was taken for failure to drain water-related equipment, no PFD, fishing without a license, and providing a fictitious name to a law enforcement officer.
District 13 – West Metro Area
CO Brent Grewe (Minnetonka) spent the week checking anglers and boaters. Grewe also followed up with several nuisance-animal calls.
CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake) assisted the Shakopee Fire Department with a river rescue. Three males were pulled from the water and their watercraft was recovered. Fogarty also assisted in Goodhue County during Volksfest, providing extra patrol for ATV violations.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) spent most of the past week working TIP call complaints in the metro area. Training was also conducted with the newly appointed recreational services deputy with the Carver County Sheriff’s Office.
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) spent time checking anglers and boaters. Lerchen also took a call about a bear in a metro neighborhood.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week checking anglers and boaters and doing invasive species enforcement. He also handled many animal-related calls regarding raccoons, coyotes, bears, and fawns. Arntzen also continued work on a big-game case and spent time investigating wetland complaints.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) checked anglers and boaters in the area who were out enjoying the weather. Follow-up was conducted on several wetland investigations regarding the legality of work completed in wetlands.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) worked ORV, OHM, ATV, invasive species, and angling enforcement this past week. A reminder to review the boating regulations before taking to the water.
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time working angling activity and following up with ongoing investigations. Time also was spent with K9 Earl, training in the metro area and conducting a meet and greet with students.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) completed deer farm inspection training along with a deer farm inspection with other officers.
CO Cassie Block (Willmar) spent time this week checking anglers on area lakes. Block also spent time enforcing boat and water safety laws.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the majority of the week checking anglers and boating safety, along with working AIS enforcement. Some of the violations encountered included no angling license, no license in possession, no throwable PFD, illegal slot fish, failure to display valid watercraft registration, and failure to remove a plug from a boat.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent time this week on boat and water safety and sportfishing. Additional time was focused on ATV and AIS enforcement. The end of the week included fielding a call about a possible rattlesnake under a deck near the Minnesota River. The snake was determined to be a fox snake, which acts similar to a rattlesnake but is harmless.
CO Zachary Larson (Hutchinson) focused patrol efforts this past week on AIS, boat and water enforcement, and fishing activity throughout the area. Larson also worked with a neighboring officer on an ATV detail at the Appleton ATV Park.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) joined other area law enforcement officers for a “Casting with Cops” kids fishing event. He also received calls pertaining to nuisance animals, litter concerns, and requests for fishing and boating law clarification.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) fielded numerous TIP calls during the past week related to angling activity and trespassing.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) worked angling enforcement, aquatic invasive species enforcement, boat and water safety, and ATVing enforcement. He worked with a Jackson County deputy on a report of a sick or injured swan on the shoulder of Highway 60 at Heron Lake. The deputy reported the swan got to the water and swam out into the lake.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on boating and fishing activity. VanThuyne also assisted at a kids fishing event and followed up on public waters violations.
CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) focused on angling and ATVing activities. Many kids were out fishing during the Take a Kid Fishing weekend, with most of the kids catching some fish. Ticks were also out in large numbers.
CO Chad Davis (Owatonna) assisted a Minnesota State Trooper and sheriff’s deputies with arresting a person with felony warrants.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week patrolling for area angling activity and following up on many nuisance-animal complaints.
CO Kevin Prodzinski (Wabasha) reports working fishing, ATVing, and boating enforcement this week. He also assisted with a special needs fishing day in Lanesboro. Finally, he handled calls and complaints regarding nuisance wildlife and hunting and fishing-related questions.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) responded to complaints of rattlesnakes in residential areas.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) spent time this week on ATVing enforcement, assisting with a fishing event in Lanesboro, and doing a boat and water safety talk at a kids fishing tournament. Several TIP calls were also responded to, and the law and ethics portion of a firearms safety class was taught.
CO Joel Heyn (Plainview) worked mainly recreational vehicles during the week. Heyn worked with several other COs and agencies on an ATV detail. Heyn also assisted sheriff’s office personnel in locating canoers who were missing on the Zumbro River.