Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 8, 2022
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods during the busy holiday weekend. High water levels are impeding lake access in many places.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette) continued work on an ongoing investigation, as well as ongoing work on wetland violations. Sura worked with other area officers during the holiday weekend, patrolling Lake of the Woods and focusing efforts on boat and water safety.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports focusing enforcement efforts on angling and boating activity throughout the past week and the Independence Day holiday weekend. Time was spent handling a number of incidents involving the removal of aquatic vegetation without a permit and unpermitted lakeshore alterations and working with the local government units and lakeshore owners in getting the work compliant with state regulations and local ordinances.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports following up on aquatic plant management and public waters-related cases this week. Time also was spent checking watercraft operators, anglers, and ATV operators. Work was started on a deer hunting-related investigation. Various boating and angling violations were encountered.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports working with local government units on ongoing wetland and potential public waters violations. Vinton had contact with the local county attorney about an ongoing case. Vinton and RTO Greg Oldakowski assisted local law enforcement with a burglary and stolen boat call in which two suspects took a small boat in an attempt to flee from the scene. Vinton and Oldakowski, along with a local deputy, recovered the boat ditched on shore and returned it to the owner.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the week working sportfishing, boat and water safety, and ATVing enforcement. Time also was spent working with district officers in support of Operation Dry Water during the Independence Day holiday.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on angling and boating activity. ATV patrol was conducted with checks performed. Warren, along with White Earth police, responded to an ATV crash. Assistance was provided at Itasca State Park. An injured eagle was shuttled to a rehabilitation center. AIS compliance was monitored.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week following up with wetland and shoreline violations. The CO teamed up with neighboring officers to conduct alcohol enforcement patrols during Operation Dry Water on several busy lakes in Becker and Otter Tail counties. Several individuals were found to be operating watercraft while over the legal limit of 0.08 and thus were not able to watch the Fourth of July fireworks. All boaters should have a designated driver to operate the watercraft and keep everyone safe. Landmark would also like to remind boaters that the back deck of a wake boat is not a legal place to sit while the watercraft is underway.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Andrew Goodman (Fergus Falls) spent the week and holiday weekend patrolling by boat and monitoring watercraft activity on various waterways. A few late-night boats were checked without proper navigation lights and were found to be well over capacity limits in an attempt to boat-pool with designated drivers. While their efforts were appreciated, the operators were educated on the importance of following all boating rules to keep their passengers safe.
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) handled miscellaneous wildlife-related calls and responded to an aquatic vegetation violation complaint. Weed roller compliance checks were conducted on area lakes.
CO Ryan Brown (Elbow Lake) received a call regarding several abandoned cygnets (baby swans) on the side of a road. A short time later, the caller called back after a thorough look on the road, only to discover it was dried up paint spots on the side of the road.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV riders. Osborne responded to a call from the Christina Lake public access where two people were found to be living in a handicap-accessible porta potty. The couple also were found to be in possession of a stolen ATV and in possession of meth.
CO Emily Douvier (Morris) reports high numbers of recreational boaters and anglers were seen in the Alexandria and Osakis areas, with enforcement action taken for fishing without a license, various PWC and PFD violations, gunwale riding, liquor consumption by people under 21, and no navigational lights after sunset. A boating under the influence arrest was made in the Alexandria area.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Michael Cross (Lake George) responded to multiple nuisance-bear calls. Please secure all food sources that bears could possibly eat.
CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing county lakes for boating activity. He also spent time investigating TIP calls on Leech Lake.
CO Nick Baum (Park Rapids) patrolled the area for angling, boating, and recreational vehicle activity. He spent a majority of time enforcing boat and water safety with Operation Dry Water this weekend.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports fishing and boating safety enforcement on Rainy Lake and the Rainy River was the main emphasis of the work activity for the week. The water levels on Rainy Lake and Rainy River are slowly receding but remain high.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls) spent the past week working Rainy Lake and area rivers. Nuisance-animal complaints were handled throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for various boat safety equipment violations, failing to validate a sturgeon tag, and possessing illegal-length walleyes.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports boat wakes continue to be a threat to some areas and structures as the water recedes. An investigation into illegal garbage dumping at a campground facility was completed, with the responsible parties contacted.
CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily angling and ATVing enforcement. Larson spent time on various lakes throughout the weekend. Larson also spent time fielding calls about overflowing public water accesses, bear problems, and injured animals.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time patrolling area lakes and ATV routes during the busy holiday weekend. Zavodnik also assisted the State Patrol with a driving complaint involving a suspect car nearly crashing into multiple vehicles during an event. Zavodnik was able to get the vehicle operator safely stopped after the suspect nearly rear-ended the vehicle in front of the suspect vehicle. The suspect was found to be heavily intoxicated and was taken into custody.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports he fielded several nuisance-bear complaints in the Ely area and BWCAW. Angling and fishing activities were high, as expected, for the Fourth of July weekend.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) led a work detail patrolling BWCAW lakes with other officers. She checked anglers, boaters, and ATV operators during the holiday weekend. Manning also took calls about illegal camping on Lake Superior’s shores, questions about road conditions, and cars stuck on snowmobile trails. Travelers are advised to get a paper map or download one from the DNR before venturing onto “roads” that mapping apps might send them down. Also, if it doesn’t appear well-traveled, there is probably a very good reason for that.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports seeing numerous state-record mosquitoes on the wing, probably leading to a quieter-than-usual week leading up to the Fourth of July holiday. BWCAW-goers reported an onslaught of bugs but were positive about the successful smallmouth bass and walleye bite. Recreational boaters were worked and a few PWC issues were ironed out, mostly dealing with juveniles. One boat captain was cited for operating a pontoon with three riders under the age of 10 not wearing PFDs. One of the kids was a baby. Hill was told that it was much safer to be strapped to the chest of the adult, even though the adult was not wearing a PFD, either.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) spent the week checking anglers on area lakes. Two people were found in possession of a walleye overlimits on Island Lake. The pair was also found with an extra line in the water. Enforcement action was taken for both violations.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a busy Fourth of July weekend with many anglers and recreational boaters on area lakes. Sutherland took enforcement action for boats that were overloaded, didn’t have enough life jackets on board, ATVs with expired registration, youth under 18 with no helmets, and for angling without a license in possession.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) focused efforts primarily on boating and fishing activity. Hochstein followed up on several boating and ATV complaints.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) handled a call regarding a homeowner who shot an adult sow bear. The CO assisted DNR Wildlife with trapping three cubs and delivering them to Wild and Free in Garrison. Schmidt also attended a lake association meeting and worked boating and fishing activity during the holiday weekend.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time working boating and fishing enforcement on area lakes. Time also was spent educating boaters on invasive species regulations at area accesses.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked a boat and water safety detail on Lake Minnetonka. Repeated violations were found for children under 10 not wearing PFDs. Juvenile PWC violations were also common as parents sent their kids out to ride without much supervision.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Andrew Dirks (CCSRA) spent time checking anglers and ATV riders, and monitoring activity throughout the recreation area. A day was spent at the DNR CO Academy as well as working aquatic invasive species enforcement.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked sportfishing and boating safety this week. Guida also worked with other COs on an AIS detail. Newborn whitetail fawns are now being seen crossing public highways. Some have been struck and killed by automobile traffic. Please drive carefully.
CO Calie Kunst (Crosslake) spent time checking numerous boaters and ATV riders throughout the holiday weekend. Violations addressed were operating an ATV on a closed trail, no helmets on juvenile riders, PWC operation after hours, and taking fish without a license.
CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) participated in an AIS event in Malmo, as well as an Operation Dry Water shift. Best took enforcement action for numerous violations, no PFDs, PWC operation after hours, no helmets, and careless operation. Nuisance-wildlife calls were handled.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked lake activity where warmer water and the holiday weekend resulted in more recreational boats. ATV traffic also increased with operators dealing with muddy conditions. There seems to be an increase in road-killed animals in the area, possibly due to deer leaving vegetation to escape insects. Some of them needed to be dispatched.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) patrolled area lakes throughout the Independence Day holiday and also handled quite a few ATV-related complaints. Water-skiers, tubers, PWCers, and ATV riders were out in full force. Several wild animal-related complaints were taken, including bears in campgrounds, abandoned fawns, and wolf depredation of cattle. One local rancher had a calf killed by wolves.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this week on ATV patrol around the county. Many of the area lakes were worked for boating enforcement and angling activities.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the holiday weekend checking anglers and boaters. Enforcement action was taken for no license, no registration, illegal PWC operation, and boating violations. Bertram encountered a homemade motorboat made out of barrels and a picnic table with a small outboard on the back. The four on board were found to have no PFDs, no angling licenses, and no registration. Bertram followed them back to shore, where enforcement action was taken.
CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) patrolled area lakes and rivers. Time was spent on the Mississippi River investigating wetland violations and other non-permitted activity. Westby worked over the Fourth of July weekend and located several boaters with not enough life jackets aboard.
CO Tou Vang (Pierz) monitored ATVing activity, conducted AIS checks, checked anglers, and worked boat and water safety.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and working boat and water safety. He also worked ATV complaints in a neighboring vacant station. Enforcement action was taken for life jacket issues and no fishing licenses. A DUI arrest was made.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Buffalo) spent the week checking anglers and monitoring boating activity. Time was spent working a special detail on Lake Minnetonka along with other COs.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) focused patrols on angling and boating activity. Additional time was spent patrolling state lands and handling wildlife-related calls.
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 took enforcement action for angling with extra lines, no PFD, failure to display valid watercraft registration, unregistered watercraft, no fishing license, no fishing license in possession, illegally parking in a closed area, and no vehicle permit.
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) spent time the past week at Camp Ripley, assisting with the training of DNR Forestry officers. Assistance was given to officers and deputies participating in Operation Dry Water on Lake Minnetonka.
CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) patrolled metro lakes and rivers for angling and boating activity. Lerchen also provided a ride-along to an interested individual.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Tony Salzer (Ham Lake) patrolled Anoka County for boating and angling activity. Several violations were observed, and enforcement action was taken. Salzer also responded to a TIP call on Pool 2 of the Mississippi River where enforcement action was taken for possessing fish in a closed area and no angling licenses.
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time patrolling local lakes and rivers during the busy boating week. Thomas also assisted local agencies with a variety of boating mishaps, including a submerged vehicle at a local boat ramp and an unoccupied boat drifting down a river. Time also was spent assisting a local police department with a kids fishing event aimed at getting kids involved in the outdoors. Many smiles were seen, and many kids caught their first fish.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) worked area anglers and boating traffic. A lot of boaters were found on the St. Croix River. He also assisted with multiple calls and aiding other agencies, including with a boating accident in Stillwater.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) responded to a call about an injured loon, which was found not to be injured. Arntzen also dealt with several nuisance-animal complaints and investigated several public waters issues.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Luke Gutzwiller (Redwood Falls) spent time working angling activity during the Fourth of July weekend. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license, extra lines, watercraft registration issues, no PFD, failure to have a state park pass, and illegal possession of marijuana.
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, ATVing, personal watercraft, AIS, and state park enforcement. New personal watercraft owners are reminded to review the operation laws before going out.
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) primarily worked angling, ATVing, AIS, and boat and water enforcement this past week. Enforcement action was taken for fire extinguisher, PFD, personal watercraft operation, and watercraft registration violations.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Shane Vernier (Willmar) spent time working angling and boating activity during the Fourth of July weekend. He addressed multiple AIS and ATV violations throughout the week.
CO Cassie Block (Willmar) spent time this week checking anglers on area lakes. She also spent time patrolling lakes in the BWCAW with fellow officers.
CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent the majority of the week checking anglers and boating safety along with working AIS enforcement. Some of the violations observed were no angling license, no license in possession, failure to have valid watercraft registration, riding on the bow or gunwales, not enough life jackets, operating a PWC after hours, and no navigational lights.
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent time the week investigating the illegal removal of cattails from a public water. Additional time was spent on boat and water safety for the Fourth of July weekend.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls with questions regarding angling licenses and laws as well as commercial bait harvest. He spent time working angling, boating, AIS, and off-highway vehicle enforcement.
CO Mike Gruhlke (Jackson) reports that he worked angling, AIS, boat and water safety, and ATVing enforcement. He also worked a complaint of PWCs being operated too close to docks at a greater than slow/no-wake speed.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Jeremy Henke (Albert Lea) worked angling, boating, and ATVing enforcement this week. Time also was spent patrolling public lands for violations.
CO Jamie VanThuyne (Mankato) focused on boating and fishing activity. VanThuyne also followed up on complaints about off-highway motorcycles being operated on public roads.
CO Corey Wiebusch (Mankato) spent most of the week on area lakes and rivers. Several contacts were made regarding watercraft registration issues.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) spent the week working a BWCAW detail. Time also was spent working Mississippi River activity during the busy holiday weekend.
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) focused on boat and water safety and angling enforcement during the holiday weekend. The most common violations encountered were angling with extra lines, angling without a license, and insufficient PFDs on board boats.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) checked anglers and boaters on the Mississippi River during the holiday weekend. A PWCer was stopped and it was discovered the owner had been using the expired dealer registration since it was purchased new in 2019.