Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – August 26, 2022


Spooner Team/July

Warden Jon Hagen, of Spooner, responded to complaints of illegal ATV/UTV operation on Hwy. E near Big McKenzie Lake. Hagen issued one citation for illegal roadway operation and multiple warnings for other ATV violations.

Wardens Hagen and Dave Sanda, of Superior, patrolled Nancy Lake for boating and fishing enforcement. They contacted numerous recreational users and took enforcement action for failing to provide the proper number of life jackets and for fishing without a valid fishing license.

Wardens Hagen and Evan Fox observed an UTV operator on the Wild Rivers Trail not displaying headlights, as required. The wardens stopped the vehicle and found three passengers under 18 years of age not wearing helmets, as required, while riding on the UTV. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Hagen and Fox patrolled Long Lake for boating and fishing activity. They made numerous contacts and took enforcement action for fishing without a license, as well as issuing numerous warnings for other violations throughout the day.

Wardens Dustin Gabrielson, of Webster, and Heath Hampton stopped an off-highway motorcycle being operating on a roadway near Yellow Lake. A citation for the illegal operation of an off-highway motorcycle in Burnett County was issued.

Wardens Gabrielson and Hampton, while performing ATV and UTV enforcement patrol, issued several citations for ATV/UTV operators exceeding the speed limits on roadways, and for failing to have juvenile passengers under the age of 18 wear a helmet, as required.

Warden Gabrielson responded to a report of a motor vehicle crash on state property within the Gov. Knowles State Forest. The operator was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, THC, and drug paraphernalia. The operator also was cited for operating left of center and for failure to notify police of the crash.

Warden Gabrielson was checking anglers on Clam Lake near Siren when he came upon a man fishing without a license. Gabrielson discovered the man had a body-only warrant for his arrest out of St. Croix County. The man was arrested and transported to the Burnett County jail.

Wardens Jesse Ashton, of Luck, and Robert Miller were patrolling Bone Lake during the Fourth of July weekend. They located three individuals fishing off a dock on Bone Lake. None of the individuals had fishing licenses.

Wardens Ashton and Gabrielson, while patrolling during the “Operation Think Smart Before You Start” ATV/UTV enforcement campaign in Burnett County, observed multiple ATV/UTV-related violations. The wardens issued multiple citations and warnings for operating on the highway where prohibited, and for operating without a trail pass, as required.

Woodruff Team/July

Warden Tim Otto, of Rhinelander, encountered a person fishing on an area lake in an unregistered boat and without having any PFDs aboard. This was the second time Otto had contacted this person regarding these violations this summer. Otto again took enforcement action and convinced the person to head to the local DNR office to update his registration paperwork once they were off the water.

Warden Otto and community service officer Matt Kozloski were on patrol when they observed a young passenger on a UTV throw a plastic bottle into a road ditch. Upon stopping the vehicle, the officers found that none of the juveniles were wearing helmets or seatbelts, as required, and that the UTV was not registered. Otto worked with the juveniles and their families on a solution – the kids agreed to clean up litter on that stretch of roadway, picking up five garbage bags over a two-mile stretch of road.

Wardens Tim Ebert, of Minocqua, and Matt Meade, of Boulder Junction, investigated a serious UTV accident in Iron County, resulting in one male subject being medical flighted to a regional hospital for advanced care. While those involved initially claimed that the injured male had been operating the machine, the wardens were able to use evidence at the scene, on the machine, and the victims’ injuries and statements to determine that two other subjects, neither of which had ATV/UTV safety education as required, had been operating the machine that day and at the time of the crash.

Park Falls Team/July

Warden Dylan Belisle, of Ladysmith, joined a Rusk County Sheriff’s Department deputy to stop a truck loaded with cut birch poles seen leaving the county forest. The driver eventually admitted to harvesting 142 birch poles in the county forest without a permit. Enforcement action was taken, and the birch poles were seized.

Warden Kurt Haas, of Medford, investigated a complaint of tires buried under gravel to create a road on private property. Working with the DNR solid waste staff, Haas’s investigation led to the removal and disposal of the tires at the landowner’s expense.

Warden Aaron Koshatka, of Hayward, was patrolling the Chippewa Flowage with a Sawyer County recreational deputy when the officers saw a boat with one occupant trolling with two lines near an island. While the officers approached the boat, the occupant reeled up one of the poles, but later told the officers that he was using two lines to troll for walleyes. Enforcement action was taken.


Green Bay Team/July

Wardens were called by Peninsula State Park campers to assist a dog left at a campsite by itself and found bleeding from fly bites. The campers who called for help had taken in the dog. The wardens found the owners, who also were camping at the park. The dog owners stated they left the dog at the campsite for six hours knowing the flies were bad. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens investigated a complaint of a person beating a goose with a shovel along the East River in Green Bay. An investigation confirmed the fatal beating had occurred by an individual, who then tossed the bird into the river. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens took enforcement action against a man found sleeping in a vehicle at Peninsula State Park. The wardens found illegal drugs and paraphernalia in the vehicle.

Marine Enforcement Team/July 

Warden Adam Strehlow, of Milwaukee, assisted local and federal agencies with boat patrol security and safety efforts for nine large events on Lake Michigan.

Warden Travis Sindles, of Kenosha, responded to a call of a camper at the Bong State Recreation Area who stated he didn’t feel good and had taken mushrooms. Other campers missing from the site who also had consumed mushrooms were located and enforcement action was taken.

Wardens on the specialized boat operations team conducted security zones with other local agencies and the U.S. Coast Guard on Lake Michigan to ensure safety at the Milwaukee Air and Water Show, and the Red Bull event.

Wardens Jordan Resop, of Sturgeon Bay,  and Travis Sindles caught backhoe operators actively driving equipment in the water in violation of law while placing riprap that wasn’t in compliance with state law. Enforcement action was taken.

Peshtigo Team/July

Warden Tim Werner, of Crivitz, responded to a forest fire on the Peshtigo River State Forest at the request of DNR fire control and a local fire department. While trying to fight the forest fire, firefighters located an unauthorized campsite with a female inside a tent who refused to leave. Warden Werner contacted the female who was uncooperative. The female was removed from the tent and placed under arrest by local authorities for interfering with firefighting. They transported her to the Marinette County jail.

Lake Winnebago Team/July

Warden Logan Woods, of High Cliff State Park, took enforcement actions against a driver during a traffic stop when the following violations were found: no driver’s license, no insurance, litter, possession of fireworks in a state park and operating while intoxicated.

Warden Woods took enforcement action against a driver for speeding and operating while intoxicated in High Cliff State Park. 

Warden Michael Disher, of Chilton, investigated a complaint of a local angler who was fishing during a period of revocation on Lake Winnebago. The investigation revealed the angler was revoked of his fishing privileges by the state of Ohio for exceeding the daily bag limit of walleyes while fishing on Lake Erie. The angler was notified his home state of Wisconsin was a member of the Wildlife Violators Compact, which recognizes revocations by all member states. Despite the revocation status, the angler purchased a Wisconsin fishing license and sturgeon spearing tag. Enforcement actions were taken for fishing during revocation and purchasing fishing approvals during a period of revocation. 

Wardens Michael Disher and Mary Bisch, of Appleton, assisted with boating enforcement duties on the Wolf River for the July Fourth celebrations. Enforcement actions were taken against operators for expired registration decals, improper boat numbers, underage operation, and safety violations. One boater was arrested for boat OWI. 

Wardens Disher, Bisch, and Logan Woods, of Sherwood, contacted a vehicle driver in a parking lot at High Cliff State Park for being in the park during closed hours, and for not having a park admission decal displayed. The driver and three underage adult occupants were found to be in possession of alcohol, illegal drugs, and a loaded handgun that was concealed in a backpack. Enforcement actions were taken.

Warden Ted Doellman, of High Cliff State Park, contacted campers at a campsite after detecting the odor of marijuana in the air. During the contact, Doellman found a significant amount of marijuana and THC wax. 

Wardens Woods and Chris Shea responded to a 911 call from a campsite at High Cliff Sate Park for multiple injuries. A significant thunderstorm had just hit the park area, and the storm was still very active with high winds and heavy rain. Upon arriving on scene, the wardens encountered multiple campers significantly injured from a fallen tree branch landing on the canopy they were under. The wardens provided first aid until the ambulances arrived and transported the injured to a local trauma center.


Lower Chippewa Team/July

Warden Adam Hannah, of Clark County, took enforcement actions against five persons found to be taking freshwater mussels, crayfish and aquatic snails from the Popple River in Clark County. Hannah determined the five were in possession of 657 live mussels, of which there is currently no open season on inland waters.

Wardens Kevin Christorf, of Clark County, and Clayton Peters, of Chippewa County, contacted an operator after observing his boating operation on Lake Holcombe. The operator was found to be intoxicated and was taken to the Chippewa County jail.

Warden Jake Bolks, of Eau Claire County, followed up on a complaint of an individual suspected of cutting freon lines. Bolks contacted the individual cited in the complaint and found compressors pulled out of water coolers, air-conditioning units and other freon-containing appliances. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Ryan Lowry, of Eau Claire County, assisted volunteers with the kids’ fishing contest at the Fall Creek Pond. He also served as the master of ceremonies, explaining contest rules and delivering a pep talk to each age group. About 62 kids enjoyed the day and testing their fishing skills.

Wardens Clayton Peters and Richard Maki, of Chippewa County, attended the annual Chippewa Falls National Night Out event at the Northern Wisconsin Fair Grounds. The wardens teamed with the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department Recreational Patrol Division and displayed patrol boats, ATVs, UTVs, and patrol vehicles, and enjoyed conversations with area kids. 

During an Operation Dry Water boating enforcement group check, wardens Clayton Peters and Kevin Christorf contacted a couple fishing from a pedal boat. The wardens determined one of the two provided a false name, had consumed alcohol as an underage person, lacked a fishing license and a life jacket – and was on a felony bond for charges of assaulting law enforcement. Enforcement action was taken. 

Lower St. Croix Team/July

Warden Madison Bryan, of St. Croix County, was assisted by the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department with a report of a missing kayaker on the Willow River near Willow River State Park. A 13-year-old was separated from the group. About one hour after the person was reported missing, the teen was found at home near Star Prairie.

Warden Bryan assisted the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department with a search for a missing 14-year-old person. It was reported the teen had an extensive medical history and had been missing for about three hours. Bryan and a Wisconsin State Patrol trooper located the teen behind a neighbor’s home.

Wardens Joe McMahon, of Pierce County, and Bryan contacted a boater near Prescott on the Mississippi River. The boat owner and one occupant admitted to fishing, but neither had fishing licenses. The boat owner also did not have the required personal flotation devices for the boat or valid registration. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden McMahon was contacted by Kinnickinnic State Park staff regarding illegal tent camping on the beach area, where camping is not authorized. McMahon contacted the camper, who stated he did not know the rules or regulations of camping at the state park. The boat was also unregistered. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden J.J. Redemann, of Dunn County, investigated a complaint of illegal-sized bass being kept on the Red Cedar River. Redemann contacted the angler as he started cooking the illegal fish on the shoreline. The angler possessed twice the daily bag limit of smallmouth bass and all 10 bass were under the legal size of 14 inches. Enforcement actions were taken.

Warden Redemann teamed with the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department to patrol Tainter Lake during the Fourth of July weekend. The officers saw a boat traveling at a high rate of speed and in close proximity to a group of swimming children. After Redemann and the sheriff’s deputy stopped the boat, the operator was found to be intoxicated and unaware of the children swimming nearby. The operator was arrested for operating while intoxicated and was issued additional citations.

Warden Redemann observed a UTV operator traveling on a county road near Knapp with five children passengers not wearing helmets. Three of the children were seated in an aftermarket bench seat, which was bolted into the cargo box. Redemann assisted the operator in getting the children back home safely and enforcement action was taken for the UTV safety violations.

Wardens Redemann and Jake Bolks, of Eau Claire County, patrolled the Chippewa River and saw multiple ATVs and UTVs being operated on the riverbed. One of the ATVs was stuck and the operator said he drove into the river to clean the machine. State law prohibits operating in the riverbed. Local wetland staff express particular concern as the Chippewa River is home to protected mussel populations. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Redemann investigated an individual who was placing poison to kill predators and minerals to attract deer. Redemann located a dead raccoon near a bowl the individual had filled with poison and cola. State law prohibits poisoning wildlife and secondary poisoning of eagles/other animals is a concern. A citation for poisoning wildlife and a warning for baiting deer was issued.

Warden Redemann responded to a complaint of a trout stream being blocked by a landowner’s fence. Redemann found a hog wire fence hanging down to the water from a metal beam going over a popular trout stream. The fence obstructed the navigable waterway and prevented reasonable access for the public. State law prohibits the obstruction of navigable waterways in this manner. 

Wardens Redeman and Chuck Wincek investigated a call of illegal structures placed on state land. A Dunn County resident placed swarm box traps next to pollinator habitat in the Dunnville State Wildlife Area to trap honeybees. The bee swarms from these traps were being taken to private property so they didn’t have to buy swarms for honey production. This practice is not allowed on state lands; the boxes are being removed.

Black River Falls Team/July

Wardens Michael Weber, of Mauston, and Brennan Kearney, of Friendship, investigated a complaint of multiple tires being illegally dumped on an abandoned property near New Lisbon. The wardens identified the person responsible for the illegal dumping and took enforcement action. The responsible person also agreed to clean the site.

Warden Patrick Seybert, of Necedah, contacted occupants of a campsite on the Black River State Forest for a loud radio. During the contact, marijuana and drug paraphernalia were found. Enforcement action was taken.

Mississippi River Team/July

Wardens Bob Jumbeck, of Alma, and Jane Voskuilen responded to a report of a car-killed feral hog along Hwy. 35. Upon investigation, wardens located a landowner who confirmed one of his pigs got out. The breed, Mangalitsa, is an old-world breed that has long curly hair and resembled the look of a feral hog.

Warden Jumbeck, while working evening patrol at Merrick State Park, contacted a loud campsite. During the contact, one camper was found with controlled substance and drug paraphernalia. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Dale Hochhausen, of Onalaska, and Matt Groppi, of La Crosse, were on patrol on the Mississippi River during the Riverfest fireworks show. The wardens observed a boat being operating without navigation lights one hour after sunset. Upon contact, the driver complained that the boat was sinking. There was no evidence of a leak. The operator was arrested for OWI.

Warden Hochhausen contacted an angler walking back to his vehicle after fishing at one of the spillways on the Mississippi River. The individual was carrying a wire fish basket that contained bluegills. The angler stated he had a limit of 15 bluegills. Upon counting the bluegills, the person had 20 fish. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Matt Groppi, and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officer, were on patrol on Pool 8 of the Mississippi River when they were called to a large brawl at Crater Island. Upon arrival, one of the groups involved departed the area, but a boating-related complaint was called in on the same group. The group, involving two operators and two watercrafts, was eventually located. Both operators were found to be intoxicated and were cited by the federal officer for OWI, which includes a mandatory appearance in federal court. The watercrafts were towed into the landing on the Minnesota side of the river and individuals became disorderly at the landing. The additional enforcement actions were handled by Minnesota law enforcement agencies.

Wardens Meghan Jensen, of Trempealeau, and Trevor Tracey, of Stoddard, were on patrol when they received a report of a houseboat hung up on a wing dam on the Mississippi River. The wardens responded. The houseboat was able to break free from the wing dam and make it to a nearby island. The wardens worked with other first responders to help get the occupants off the houseboat safely and back to shore.

Wardens Jensen and Tyler Strelow were working on the Mississippi River when they contacted two individuals along a shoreline. Upon contact, it was found that only one of the individuals had a fishing license, and was fishing, and that he was using four poles with baited hooks. Enforcement action taken for using too many hooks or baits.

Warden Cody Adams, of Prairie du Chien, and a Crawford County Sheriff’s Department deputy investigated a complaint where a house patio door was struck with a .22 long rifle bullet. It was determined a person was shooting at a woodchuck and struck a house. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Trevor Tracey and Shawna Stringham, of Vernon County, were working from their patrol boat on Pool 9 of the Mississippi River when they contacted a person waiting on the beach. The person said his boat had been swamped, and said it was difficult to trailer the boat. The wardens’ investigation found the operator was under the influence of intoxicants.

Wardens Nate Akerman and Jane Voskuilen attended the Durand youth fishing family day and community picnic. More than 400 kids were registered in the fishing event.

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