Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 22, 2022

District 1 – Baudette area

CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked anglers on Lake of the Woods. Fishing has been hit or miss with the mayfly hatch in full swing, along with high water. Enforcement action was taken for anglers using extra lines, possessing illegal-length walleyes, possessing filleted and unmeasurable walleyes on the lake, and possession of marijuana.

CO Corey Sura (Baudette) patrolled the Rainy River and Upper Red Lake for boating and angling activity. Enforcement action was taken for a person fishing with extra lines and allowing juveniles to operate watercraft without life jackets/required equipment.

CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) patrolled the Beltrami Island State Forest, prepared for instructing at the CO Academy, and responded to a call about a road-killed bear. 

CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck) reports focusing enforcement efforts on angling and boating activity throughout the week. Time was spent handling various wildlife-related calls involving sick and injured wildlife, complaints about reckless off-highway motorcycle riders operating in the road right of way, and an aquatic plant management permit violation. 

District 2 – Bemidji area

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports patrolling area lakes for fishing and boating activity. A TIP call about possible overlimits and double-tripping was taken. A rural Perham resident reported a bear had strolled down his driveway and through his yard. Vinton located a boat and trailer parked on a wildlife management area. Attempts were made to contact the possible owner. If it isn’t removed, Vinton will have it towed. 

CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week working fishing and boating activity. He also assisted at the DNR CO Academy this week during scenario day. 

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) worked angling and boating activity. Time was spent on leeching activity. Patrol was conducted for ATV and off-road vehicle activity. AIS regulation compliance was worked. 

CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week working on ongoing cases and responding to nuisance-wildlife complaints. One complaint about a dead goose was investigated, and it was determined it was a watercraft that ran it over. Landmark would like to encourage people to report those who are chasing and harassing wildlife with watercraft, because it is a crime.

District 3 – Fergus Falls area

CO Andrew Goodman (Fergus Falls) reports working ATVing complaints on the Central Lakes Trail and planning an ATV safety course. Additional time was spent on equipment maintenance and working area lakes for boating and angling activity.

 CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) followed up on aquatic vegetation complaints and weed roller permits, and worked fishing and boating enforcement. Plautz also worked with local government units on possible wetland violations this week. 

CO Ryan Brown (Elbow Lake) presented at the Grant County Fair for boating and ATVing safety. Even with the humidity and heat, a lot of kids stopped by and learned about the importance of safety.

CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, boaters, and ATV riders. Numerous boating contacts were made throughout the week. Most violations encountered involved registration issues, including operating watercraft without registration, failure to transfer title, and no life jackets on paddleboards.

District 4 – Walker area

CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) reports working busy Cass and Crow Wing county lakes. Enforcement action was taken for numerous boating and fishing violations. He also completed trainings and spoke at the Walker Rotary Club meeting. 

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers and boaters. A nuisance-bear complaint was received. Mathy also responded to a call about a person with a knife. A fishing tip was received that resulted in several parties receiving enforcement action for possessing illegal-size fish and fishing in a closed area. Enforcement action also was taken for an overlimit of bass and several other angling and recreational vehicle violations.

CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) assisted Cass County, took reports about nuisance bears, and attended an event with the Wall of Shame. Enforcement action was taken for camping in a state wildlife management area. 

CO Adam Seifermann (Staples) reports seeing a decrease in angling and ATVing activity for the week. He investigated several wetland/waters complaints and injured-wildlife calls.

District 5 – Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports that with the water on Rainy Lake receding approximately 40 inches since the crest and warmer weather, people were out in full swing. A youth ATV safety class was held in Littlefork\Big Falls. 

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls) reports working Rainy Lake and the Rainy River this past week. Nuisance-beaver complaints were received and addressed throughout the week. 

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) spent time monitoring inbound and outbound traffic for AIS compliance, boating and safety enforcement, and angling activity. Investigations into wetland and shoreline violations were conducted, and wildlife-related complaints were taken and investigated. One complaint involved a wolf spending time in a residential area – at one point on the deck of a house. Contact with the Voyageurs Wolf Project team provided insight. Wolves in the area are visiting areas where people are dumping fish offal, garbage locations, as well as more traditional wolf food sources. This reaffirms that many “conflicts” with wild animals are a result of human behaviors.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling and boating activities. Beaver problems continue. 

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked angling and ATVing activity. Time was spent assisting with and speaking at the Hibbing Police Department’s Youth Police Academy. Calls were fielded and investigated, including a complaint about a wetlands violation and numerous nuisance animal-related questions and complaints.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) assisted local law enforcement in attempting to locate an individual wanted for a DOC warrant related to homicide charges.

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing, boating, and ATVing activity. Boating activity still appears lower than past years. Broughten also fielded calls regarding bear regulations and recreational vehicle registration. 

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time working in the BWCAW, checking anglers. Many anglers were happy with the abundance of smallmouth bass hitting. Enforcement action was taken for angling, watercraft, and OHM violations.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) handled CO Academy paperwork and office tasks. Manning took a call about a forest road that was flagged and closed, preventing access to a couple of lakes and campgrounds. Road crews continue to make repairs, but some roads are still impassable and visitors should check with local DNR Forestry or National Forest staff to confirm the status of backroads before traveling into the northwoods. Manning also took calls about an injured doe, a couple of nuisance bears in the BWCAW, nuisance beavers, and moose sightings.  

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) noticed more ATV traffic with a few stops made for a variety of violations. One operator was stopped and cited after Hill contacted the person operating a class 1 ATV approximately 55 miles an hour in the lane of traffic on a state highway, without registration displayed, without ATV safety, but more seriously, the person was driving with a revoked driver’s license.

District 7 – Grand Rapids area

CO Vinny Brown (Northome) focused enforcement efforts primarily on OHV and fishing activities. An individual was seen operating an ATV at a high rate of speed on a county highway. Brown turned around to conduct a traffic stop of the ATVer, but was unable to immediately find them. After a short search, Brown located the ATV after the driver rolled the ATV off the gravel road he’d turned onto, nearly hitting some trees. There were no injuries and the individual was able to ride his ATV away from the scene. Enforcement action was taken for speeding on the ATV and for operating the ATV on a public roadway. 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity, and responded to injured/nuisance-animal complaints. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and insufficient PFDs.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ATVing and angling activities the past week. Sutherland also took numerous bear-related complaints about the animals getting into bird feeders, garbage, and even one bear that was pawing a screen door. 

CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) worked ATV trails and angling activity during the past week. Time also was spent checking special-regulation lakes and following up on wildlife-related complaints. 

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) reports recreational boating and water sports seem to be the activity of choice with the warm summer weather. 

District 8 – Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) saw heavy activity on area lakes with the warm weather. Watercraft operators are still frequently found without enough life jackets on board for every person. Willis is still finding registration violations regularly as well. 

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth) checked anglers and boaters on area lakes. He responded to a wolf-depredation complaint and fielded ATV-related complaints. He also assisted area DNR Wildlife staff with goose-banding efforts.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) worked area lakes for fishing and recreational enforcement. The majority of paddleboard operators were reminded to carry a PFD while enjoying their time on the water. Several calls involving nuisance animals were handled, and ATV-related complaints were investigated.  

CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) had a high volume of calls from people reporting nuisance animals and abandoned animals. Complaints included property being damaged by bears and beavers along with reports of abandoned fawns and injured birds. 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior and the St. Louis River. A wolf-depredation complaint was received, and ATV/OHM complaints were worked. 

District 9 – Brainerd area

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) patrolled for all-terrain vehicle and boating activity this past week. He received a report and investigated a very large litter-dumping complaint at a local WMA parking lot. Numerous bags of rubbish and filth were left behind. Information was located, and the wrongdoers were interviewed and admitted their wrongdoing. In an effort to reduce their civil penalties, the violators assisted in the cleanup measures, which including bagging up their garbage in the 80-degree heat and stink while fending off the biting deer flies and mosquitoes. The reporting parties appreciated the follow-up.

CO Calie Kunst (Crosslake) spent time checking anglers and boating activity throughout the week. Violations addressed included angling without a license, expired registration on watercraft and failure to display valid registration.

CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) reports aquatic plant management complaints were investigated, and numerous wildlife-related calls were handled.

District 10 – Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked anglers during the walleye-fishing reopener on Lake Mille Lacs. Vacationing bass and muskie anglers also were out in abundance. Nuisance-bear calls have been more frequent than usual for this time of year.  

CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) worked angling and boating safety on Lake Mille Lacs. ATV and OHM activity was worked on Soo Line and Red Top areas. Complaints about PWCers chasing wildlife on Mille Lacs were addressed. Griffith also responded to an unattended fire containing prohibited material, and an ATV accident on the Soo Line. 

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on nuisance-animal calls and a wolf-depredation case. Extreme heat caused people to stay indoors. 

CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) responded to an ATV injury crash in Mille Lacs County. Calls were fielded about nuisance bears, ATV questions and issues, wildlife harassment, and an injured loon. 

District 11 – St. Cloud area

CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) assisted Morrison County officers with a fatal car crash along Highway 27 and a fatal ATV crash involving two juveniles. Westby would like to ask parents and guardians to speak with their kids about the importance of wearing helmets while ATVing and setting a good example by making sure the adult is also wearing one at all times. Time also was spent working with area partners on an aquatic invasive species checkpoint.  

CO Tou Vang (Pierz) reports enforcement action was taken for using a weed roller without permit, careless operation of an ATV, failure to display ATV registration, failure to display watercraft registration, and youth operating personal watercraft without a boating safety permit.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling, ATVing, and boating activity. The turkey hatch is concerning with only two chicks with a hen observed. A volunteer length-of-service award was given to an Eden Valley snowmobile instructor who has 30 years of volunteer work. It’s the second 30-year award he has received, with the first given to him four years ago for his work as a firearms safety instructor.

CO Chad Thesing (Albany) worked anglers, boaters, and ATVing activity. Nuisance-animal calls were handled, including sick-looking fox and deer in the St. Cloud area. 

CO Leah Kampa (Annandale) reports checking anglers and conducting boating and ATV enforcement. Time was spent on a shoreline complaint where cattails were being cut. 

District 12 – Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers. He also followed up on a shooting-deer-out-of-season case. Krauel also took several calls about nuisance animals, including numerous complaints about bears getting into bird feeders and a dead turtle in an area lake. 

CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) received a complaint about an ATV being driven through the Rum River. Hanna followed up with the complainant and with the drivers of the ATVs. While on routine patrol, he observed a small prohibited fire. Hanna talked with the male and addressed the situation. 

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) spent time working off-road vehicle complaints and addressing camping issues in the Sand Dunes State Forest. Seamans also continued work on an ongoing wetlands case. 

District 13 – West Metro area

CO Mike Lerchen (Bloomington) spent time patrolling metro lakes and rivers. Some metro lakes are seeing low water levels, with the minimal rain experienced this summer making some areas dangerous for boat travel. 

CO James Fogarty (Prior Lake), followed up on a report of a wetland violation. Fogarty found the landowner was attempting to drain a wetland.  

District 14 – East Metro area

CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) concluded a year-long investigation regarding an individual caught shooting at deer with a crossbow out of a vehicle at night. The person’s crossbow was seized, and he was successfully convicted of taking big game out of season, which is a gross misdemeanor. 

CO Joe Kulhanek (Hastings) spent the weekend working with the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office at the Rivertown Days event in Hastings. 

District 15 – Marshall area

CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) worked boat and water safety, invasive species, ATV, and angling enforcement this past week. Enforcement action was taken for PFD and watercraft registration violations. 

CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) reports recreational boating and personal watercraft activity continue to be the main enforcement focus on area lakes. Time was also spent working ATV and state park enforcement. 

District 16 – New Ulm area

CO Cassie Block (Willmar) spent time this week checking anglers on area lakes. She also focused efforts on boat and water safety and wants to remind boaters to have enough PFDs on board. 

CO Nicholas Klehr (Litchfield) spent a morning talking with kids at the Eden Valley Library for their Summer Learning Program. The topic discussed was water preservation and how to keep Minnesota waters clean. 

CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) received calls concerning aquatic invasive species violations and questions about hunting and fishing tackle regulations.

CO Dustin Miller (Windom) taught the law and ethics portion to a firearms safety class in Mountain Lake this past week. Assistance was given with teaching at the CO Academy. Flocks of pheasant chicks are beginning to be seen in good numbers locally. 

District 17 – Mankato area

CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked angling, boating, and ATVing activity this week. Water levels have begun to drop again on rivers in the area, bringing out continued angling activity and increasing canoe/kayak activity. 

CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) focused on ATVing and fishing activities. The southeast continues to see rainfall, which has kept water levels on rivers and streams in good condition for fishing and kayaking. 

District 18 – Rochester area

CO Brittany Hauser (Red Wing) reports time was spent closing out a deer-hunting case with charges pending.  

CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) reports two boaters were stopped without navigation lights after dark. The boaters intended to drive without lights approximately 6 miles downstream to their campsite. Ramaker and a Wisconsin conservation warden helped the boaters come up with a legal and much safer solution to get back to camp. 

CO Tom Hemker (Winona) checked ATVs on roads and trails and worked with the Winona County Sheriff’s Office on ATV enforcement. 

CO Derek Schneider (Zumbrota) reports an ongoing complaint was worked regarding dogs running on hunting property.

CO Mitch Boyum (Rushford) spent time this past week assisting at the CO Academy, teaching multiple classes.

Categories: Cuffs & Collars

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