Minnesota Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – July 29, 2022
District 1 – Baudette area
CO Ben Huener (Roseau) patrolled Lake of the Woods and the Roseau River. Campers were contacted in Beltrami Island State Forest and warned for camping in one location for more than 14 days.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette) worked ATVing activity in the area and checked anglers at various access sites on the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls) instructed a youth ATV safety class in Warren, checked local anglers, and prepared for instructing at the CO Academy.
CO Tony Elwell (Thief River Falls) spent the week monitoring angling, boating, and ATVing activity. Nuisance-beaver calls were handled, and a possible wolf depredation was investigated.
District 2 – Bemidji area
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the week enforcing boating and AIS laws. He also investigated a complaint about an individual who was in the process of burning down a trailer house on his property. The landowner admitted to setting the trailer house on fire and was cited for the actions.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on ATV and off-road vehicle activity. Angling and boating activity was worked. Warren also spoke at and assisted with the Fosston ATV safety class field day.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the week patrolling ATV complaint areas, following up on reports of possible aquatic plant violations, and continuing to work on ongoing shoreline and wetland cases. Calls from the public included reports about dogs chasing deer.
District 3 – Fergus Falls area
CO Tricia Plautz (Henning) responded to a call about a lake with potential ongoing aquatic vegetation violations. Plautz worked with local government units along with a DNR aquatic plant management specialist regarding the sites in question. Plautz also assisted area Amish individuals with obtaining the proper husband/wife fishing licenses.
CO Ryan Brown (Elbow Lake) reports working angling and boating enforcement as well as checking recreational vehicles. Several aquatic vegetation complaints were received and handled.
CO Shane Osborne (Evansville) checked anglers, boaters and ATV riders. Boating law questions were received and answered. A call about a pigeon with a leg band flying the coop and hanging out at a residence was handled.
CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) focused on investigating complaints about illegal lake weed removal, late PWC operation, and injured-animal calls. Any emergent lake weeds that people want removed need to be permitted first. This includes cattails and bulrush, among a few others. Spraying chemicals to kill them is almost always illegal. A citation was issued to an out-of-state angler for not purchasing a license before fishing. He admitted to having a conversation only a few moments before Lawler arrived about not having purchased one, but thought most likely he would not be checked by the DNR. It was a losing gamble.
CO Emily Douvier (Morris) fielded questions about nuisance animals and whether an individual may keep an eagle feather from a deceased bird. You may not.
CO Daniel Baumbarger (Glenwood) reports enforcement efforts for the week were concentrated on checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. Additional time was spent investigating complaints about fish overlimits, illegal wetland work, and a carp-dumping complaint.
District 4 – Walker area
CO Patrick McGowan (Walker) spent time at Camp Ripley training the new cadets at the CO Academy. Time also was spent patrolling area lakes for boating and fishing activity and investigating multiple wildland fires.
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) spoke at a firearms safety class. She also investigated multiple aquatic plant concerns. Enforcement action was taken for no permit for a mechanical aquatic plant control device.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers and recreational vehicle riders. Some time was spent working on Bear Committee-related items. Calls about an injured eagle and ATVs being operated on a highway were received. Enforcement action was taken for angling, boating, and ATVing violations.
District 5 – Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports most of his time was spent instructing recreational vehicle enforcement and emergency vehicle operations at the 2022 CO Academy. Animal-related complaints were also part of the workload throughout the week.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports activity in the area continues to be steady. Slatinski came upon several anglers eager to open their livewells and show their catches. Invasive species compliance continues to be monitored, with bilge drain plugs installed while transporting watercraft still being observed. State campground complaints were addressed, and an investigation into a wetland complaint was initiated.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports wolves, bears, and beavers continue to cause problems. Area forest roads were checked. ATVing activity was monitored.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) spent the week at Camp Ripley providing training for cadet officers currently going through the CO Academy. Training included emergency vehicle operation, ATV operation, and high-risk traffic stops.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time investigating a complaint involving an abandoned vehicle on state land.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing, boating, and ATVing activity. Broughten investigated a complaint about work in public waters. He also fielded calls regarding bear-baiting regulations and youth ATV regulations.
District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) monitored OHM activity and boat and water safety and checked anglers this week. He responded to numerous wildlife-related complaints.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled area forest roads and ATV trails. Road crews are making progress, but still waiting for some supplies. Unmaintained roads will have rough spots for the foreseeable future. Manning again assisted with training for the current CO Academy and took questions about nuisance porcupines, feral cats killing songbirds, and abandoned snowmobiles. She finished the week with a presentation at Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center on utilizing dog teams for winter conservation officer work in the BWCAW.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked ATV-related complaints and angling and boating enforcement. A TIP call was investigated. Recently, the No. 1 violation has been fishing without a license, with numerous citations for the offense being issued.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports that some of the busier bear-hunting areas are hard to access due to poor road conditions. Have a backup plan for hunting and camping.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV and angling activity during the week. Some area ATV trails are still closed due to washouts, so please check for trail closures before heading out on a ride. Bear-related complaints are decreasing as berry crops ripen, giving bears a good food supply.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) checked anglers and monitored ATV and OHM activities. Questions about the upcoming bear-hunting season were answered, as were questions related to special-regulation waters.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) patrolled state parks and checked anglers, boaters, and ATV riders. Numerous game- and fish-related questions were answered. He also responded to wildlife-related complaints.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHVing activity, and taught at the CO Academy this week. CO Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also attended training.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ATVers in the area, with the trails in good shape despite all the rain this summer. Sutherland is still taking many bear-related complaints in the area as bears are rummaging through garbage and taking down bird feeders.
District 8 – Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) patrolled for ATVing activity and checked anglers. Some success was seen on area lakes, with a few fish in possession. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work fishing and boating enforcement on area lakes. Water recreation has been busy during the warm weather. Many reminders of PFD requirements on paddle boards were given to operators near their docks and the shoreline. A few ATV-trespass complaints have been investigated.
CO Bret Grundmeier (Hinckley) had a large number of burning complaints throughout the week. Some of the complaints resulted in citations and fines for trying to get away with burning of garbage, tires, plastic, insulation, old trailers, and other prohibited items.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this week checking anglers and boaters. ATV patrol was conducted. Contacts were made for aquatic invasive species and water appropriation issues.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. A wolf-depredation complaint was handled and was found to be a coyote kill. ATV-related complaints were handled, and planning work was done for the upcoming Tall Ships festival.
District 9 – Brainerd area
CO Calie Kunst (Crosslake) spent time checking anglers, boaters, and ATV riders throughout the week. Multiple violations were addressed, including juveniles without helmets on ATVs, operating ATVs without headlights, and failure to have life jackets on watercraft. Kunst also received calls in regard to aquatic plant management violations and ATVers causing damage to properties.
CO Andrew Dirks (CCSRA) spent time checking anglers, ATV riders, and recreational watercraft throughout the week. Enforcement action included violations for no state park pass at the recreation area and youth passengers without helmets on ATVs.
District 10 – Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked lake activity and boaters leaving lakes. Aquatic vegetation is most lush this time of year, and large quantities can attach to trailers.
CO Victoria Griffith (Isle) spent time working angling and ATVing activity in the area. Griffith worked a detail with local officers, focusing on aquatic invasive species.
CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) reports spending time patrolling ATV trails and lakes. Enforcement action was taken for not having life jackets, no angling licenses, PWC being operated too close to docks, expired ATV and OHM registration, and juveniles on Class 2 ATVs without seatbelts.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) focused on fishing and ATVing activities. Numerous animal-related complaints came in, which included beavers, bears, woodchucks, cranes, and a possible cougar. ATV registration violations were found, along with youth without helmets.
CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) worked sportfishing, boating, aquatic invasive species, and ATV/OHM enforcement this week. Time also was spent working an aquatic invasive species check station on Lake Mille Lacs.
District 11 – St. Cloud area
CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) worked area lakes for angling and boating activities, with few fish seen in livewells. Time was spent talking with the Royalton MAP students at the Royalton Sportsman’s Club. Westby also took a couple of complaints about bears causing damage. The best way to prevent bear problems is to bring all garage, bird seed, or any other food inside your garage.
CO Tou Vang (Pierz) worked boating and fishing, monitored ATVing activity, and talked to youths at a firearms safety class in Hillman. An aquatic plant management case was investigated and led to a cease and desist order for operating an aqua thruster/hydro jet without a permit.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked in a neighboring station, assisting with a TIP call. Enforcement action was taken for an extra fishing line. He also worked on WMA trespass issues this week.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the week checking anglers and boaters. Calls about litter, ATV trespass, injured animals, and possible public water violations were handled.
District 12 – Princeton area
CO Blong Lor (Center City) spent the week checking anglers. Time also was spent following up on public water- and wetland-related complaints.
CO Clint Fitzgerald (Buffalo) spent the week checking anglers and monitoring ATVing activity. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, operating an ATV on a state highway, and various boat safety equipment violations.
CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) patrolled the area for ATV use and boating. Hanna fielded questions about dead critters and complaints about shooting animals out of season.
CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) focused patrols on anglers and boaters. Additional time was spent addressing numerous camping issues in the Sand Dunes State Forest. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, fishing with extra lines, operating a watercraft with insufficient PFDs, and failing to pay for a campsite.
District 13 – West Metro area
CO Alexander Birdsall (Waconia) reports spending time at Camp Ripley, assisting with the training for the 2022 CO Academy. Numerous calls have been fielded about safe operation of Class 2 (side-by-side) ATVs in regards to small children. Please keep in mind these vehicles are designed as an off-road recreational vehicle and are not built to highway-safety specifications, especially for children.
CO Arnaud Kpachavi (Mound) focused on boat and water safety and angling activity during the week. In addition to patrolling area lakes and rivers, he assisted with instruction at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for taking geese out of season and taking geese by illegal method.
District 14 – East Metro area
CO Garrett Thomas (Eagan) spent time patrolling the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers for shore and boat anglers. Time also was spent investigating a complaint about an individual shooting geese out of season. The individual was interviewed and cited.
CO Scott Arntzen (Forest Lake) spent the week doing fishing, boating, and AIS enforcement. He handled several nuisance-animal calls and patrolled local WMAs for off-road vehicle use. Violations for the week included failure to remove a drain plug, fishing without a license, and falsely applying for a license.
CO Chris Tetrault (Maplewood) took several law-related calls regarding angling and hunting. A couple of TIP calls were fielded that did not result in any violations.
District 15 – Marshall area
CO Matt Loftness (Marshall) spent the week working fishing, boating, ATVing, state park, and AIS enforcement. Wildlife-related calls also were handled, including the rescue of seven ducklings that fell into a drain at the gas station in Tracy. Anybody who is interested in the special youth deer hunts this fall is reminded that Aug. 19 is the application deadline.
CO Derek Daniels (Lake Benton) primarily worked invasive species, ATVing, and angling enforcement this past week. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display ATV registration. Algal blooms are prevalent on area lakes as the fish bite remains slow.
CO Jim Robinson (Slayton) spent the week patrolling lakes, rivers, and streams. Angling activity seems low, likely due to current heat and humidity. Pheasant chicks ranging from bumblebee to half-grown size are being seen.
District 16 – New Ulm area
CO Brett Wiltrout (Hutchinson) spent time this week patrolling the Minnesota River for boat and water safety and sportfishing. Additional time was spent on a TIP call about an overlimit of fish.
CO Thor Nelson (New Ulm) assisted local law enforcement with a missing person search and worked a catfish tournament. Nelson also assisted callers with fishing license and boating registration questions.
CO Dustin Miller (Windom) taught the law and ethics portion of firearms safety to a class in St. James this past week. Pheasant chicks continue to be seen in good numbers.
CO Eric Schettler (Fairmont) checked anglers from shore and watercraft. Area lakes are very warm – up to 84 degrees with a large amount of algae. Watercraft owners are reminded to clean off equipment that is used in public waters.
District 17 – Mankato area
CO Brent Ihnen (Waseca) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, and ATV operators. Additional time was spent patrolling for AIS violations.
CO Chris Howe (St. Peter) checked angling, boating, and ATVing activity this week. Howe also gave a law presentation to an ATV safety class in Nicollet and gave assistance to local agencies. Area road ditches reopen to recreational ATV use starting Aug. 1.
CO Meng Moua (Spring Valley) focused on ATVing, boating, and fishing activities. Moua would like to remind everyone that conditions of the streams and rivers in the area vary from week to week and all water users should wear a life jacket when out on the river.
District 18 – Rochester area
CO Annette Kyllo (Rochester) spent time this week checking anglers. Follow-up was done regarding an individual without an angling license who claimed to be a juvenile at the advice of her father in an attempt to avoid negative consequences. When Kyllo checked into the matter further, it was found the individual had given a false birthday and was an adult. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Tyler Ramaker (La Crescent) checked anglers and boaters on the Mississippi River throughout the week. One angler was checked who said he purchased a fishing license earlier this year and he would try to look it up on his phone. As he was doing that, Ramaker did some checking of his own on the electronic licensing system and found the angler was attempting to purchase a license on the spot. When the angler finally showed Ramaker his newly-purchased fishing license, Ramaker pointed out the time stamp on the license. The angler then admitted he had been fishing without a license. Assistance was given to the Houston County Sheriff’s Office with storm damage response in the Houston area.
CO Tom Hemker (Winona) reports spending most of the week on the river. An angler who was fishing without a license told Hemker he was glad to see him and he would just purchase his license from him. Hemker explained that officers do not sell fishing licenses.