Wisconsin Outdoor News Cuffs & Collars – September 9, 2022


Wisconsin River Team/July

Warden Josh Litvinoff, of Schofield, patrolled Lake Wausau for the annual paddle pub crawl kayaking event. There were more than 2,000 people on the lake kayaking, canoeing, and boating for the event. Litvinoff issued several citations for no PFDs, along with an arrest for operating a boat while intoxicated.

Warden Nicholas Hefter, of Stevens Point, responded to a complaint of a turkey poult that was taken off a roadway in Marathon County from a wild hen and its other poults. Hefter seized the poult from the suspect, who said he wanted a poult since all the poults he bought this spring were killed. Enforcement action was taken. The poult was taken to a rehabilitator.

Wardens Kyle Ziembo, of Wausau, and Hefter patrolled the Wisconsin River and Lake Dubay on the Fourth of July weekend and arrested two boaters for operating while intoxicated.

Wardens Jake Holsclaw and Ziembo observed a beer bottle floating in the water and individuals in a nearby boat drinking that beverage. Upon contact, one of the passengers was found to have littered the bottle.

Wardens Bryan Lockman, of Stevens Point, and Korey Trowbridge, assisted at Rib Mountain State Park to provide parking assistance before and during the Concert in the Clouds event.

Warden Lockman contacted a shore angler along the Wisconsin River near Nekoosa who was fishing with too many lines and without a license.


Sheboygan, Fond du Lac Team/July

Wardens Madeleine Johansen and Josh Wiedenhoeft, of Sheboygan, took enforcement action against a person fishing on Crooked Lake in the Kettle Moraine State Forest-Northern Unit after the wardens confirmed the person was under revocation. This was the person’s second offense during revocation.

Warden Wiedenhoeft stopped a vehicle for a taillight violation within the Kettle Moraine State Forest-Northern Unit. Upon stopping the vehicle, Wiedenhoeft determined the driver of the vehicle was 13 years old and did not possess a valid driver’s license. The passenger of the vehicle had been drinking and had a court-ordered 0.02 BAC driving restriction from five previous OWIs. The passenger of the vehicle said he had been drinking so he had the juvenile drive through the campground and to a private residence down the road to buy firewood. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Anthony Arndt and Meng Yang, of Sheboygan, contacted two people illegally camping by the playground at Kohler-Andrae State Park. The wardens took a man being into custody on an outstanding warrant. Enforcement action was taken against the second person for camping in an unauthorized area, with no valid park sticker, being in the park after hours, and possession of illegal drug paraphernalia.

Wardens Arndt and Yang contacted a Sheboygan adult in possession of an undersized largemouth bass. The adult explained a juvenile relative had caught the 10-inch bass, but the juvenile relative standing nearby immediately corrected the statement after hearing it. The bass was released, and enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Arndt and Yang took enforcement action against a man fishing without any fishing approvals on the north pier in the city of Sheboygan. The man also had a suspended driver’s license.

Racine, Kenosha Team/July

Wardens Brandon Smith, of Twin Lakes, and Taylor Meinholz, of Union Grove, contacted three individuals, two of whom were found to be operating unregistered ATVs without having the required ATV safety certificate and on the closed ATV trails at Richard Bong State Recreation Area. Two were also found to be in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and the group did not have a state park admission sticker. Enforcement action was taken. 

Warden Smith contacted a vehicle operator with passengers riding illegally within the Richard Bong State Recreation Area. The driver had a suspended driver’s license and group of six people were found to be riding illegally on the vehicle, had open intoxicants in the vehicle, and three were drinking underage. The group was later contacted for noise, underage drinking and possession of marijuana. Upon the group’s departure, some group members failed to comply with a previous eviction, had illegally cut vegetation at the campsite and littered two garbage bags. Enforcement action was taken on multiple occasions/instances.

Warden Alex Basting, of Sturtevant, investigated a hunting accident in Franksville involving a juvenile shooting a .22 caliber rifle at small animals. One bullet traveled to a neighboring property and struck a man in his yard, causing non-life-threatening injuries. The local police agency has handled the completion of the matter. 

Warden Taylor Meinholz contacted campers at a campsite for noise after 11 p.m. at the Richard Bong State Recreation Area, where he noticed several beer cans around the site. No one on the site was old enough to consume alcohol.

Wardens from the Racine and Kenosha teams hosted a COPS for Kids program for a week in the area. The group sponsors a kids’ camp hosted in Kenosha County. Children who have lost a parent in line the duty come from all over the country to learn how to deal with the loss of their parent. Wardens spend time helping the young campers to reconnect with the outdoors, doing activities such as fishing, clay shooting, boating and archery. 

Waukesha and Walworth Team/July

Warden Steve Sanidas investigated a littering complaint involving a large amount of construction materials illegally dumped at a nature preserve owned by The Nature Conservancy. Sanidas found the responsible home improvement company and contacted the owners. The owners determined the materials had been illegally dumped by an employee of the company. The site was cleaned up the following day and enforcement action was taken. About a week later, Sanidas came in contact with one of the company owners who was fishing from shore without a license. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens Chad Ziegler and Blaine Ziarek responded to a boating accident at Lake Geneva near Big Foot Beach State Park. A single victim was struck in the thigh by the boat’s prop while trying to board the boat from the water. The victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

While patrolling Lake Beulah in Walworth County, wardens Sanidas and Ziarek intervened to assist a stand-up paddle boarder who was in jeopardy of being struck by an inattentive pontoon boat operator. The wardens activated emergency lights, sounded alerts and used verbal commands in an attempt to gain the attention of the operator. Wardens contacted the operator and immediately recognized the person was intoxicated. Enforcement action was taken.

Wardens assisted local law enforcement at Lake Beulah in their search for a person involved in a domestic battery case. The person was located and taken into custody by the local law enforcement agency.

Wardens Dan Hodge, Sam Eagan, Steve Swiertz, Sam Haferkorn, Alex Brooks, and Drew Starch conducted a joint boat enforcement operation with local law enforcement for the annual Okauchee Lake tie-up event. More than one dozen citations were issued and three OWI arrests were made.


Madison Team/July

Warden Matt Koshollek, of Dane County, worked with the Dane County Sheriff Department on the Fourth of July weekend to work boating enforcement on Lake Kegonsa. Three intoxicated boaters were arrested.

Wardens Ryan Caputo and Matt Koshollek, both of Dane County, received a call of a disturbance at a campsite at Lake Kegonsa State Park. They responded and a citation was issued for disorderly conduct. The occupants of the site were evicted.

The Dane County Sheriff’s Department requested wardens assist with a search for a missing boater on Lake Monona. The victim was located later that day.

Warden Paul Nadolski, of Portage, responded to dogs running at-large on DNR property. The dog owners were eventually located and were warned for the infraction.

Wardens Pete McCormick, of Poynette, and Nate Kroeplin, of Madison, worked boating enforcement on Lake Wisconsin during Operation Dry Water. Several contacts were made and one person was arrested for operating a boat while intoxicated.

Sauk County Team/July

Wardens Mason Weber and Derek Hansen, of Devil’s Lake State Park, stopped at a campsite where loud music was heard. During the contact, seven individuals were found to be underage drinking and alcohol containers were scattered around the site. Marijuana and paraphernalia were also found on the site.

Wardens Mason Weber and Derek Hansen responded to a disturbance on the north shore beach area at Devil’s Lake State Park for a report of fireworks being discharged in the men’s restroom of a shelter. It was found that an individual lit a percussion shell in the bathroom, which generated the calls.

Wardens Weber and Hansen received a report of a lost 3-year-old girl on the north shore beach area of Devil’s Lake State Park. They were able to locate the girl’s parents on the beach and reunite them. 

Wardens Keith Meverden, of Sauk City, and Tim Aspenson were conducting nighttime boat patrol on Lake Wisconsin when they stopped a boater for operating without navigation lights. Numerous safety violations were observed on the vessel. The operator showed signs of intoxication, refused to perform field sobriety tests and fled the stop, resulting in an approximately 4.5-mile boat pursuit. The person drove his boat onto a boat lift, attempted to flee on foot, and then resisted arrest by the officers. The wardens took enforcement actions and referred to the county authorities for the two criminal charges for possession of THC and resisting arrest.

Dodgeville Team/July

Warden Mike Burns, of Iowa County, was patrolling Blue Mound State Park when he observed a UTV operator traveling on the roadway in excess of the posted speed limit, without headlights and displaying no registration, as required by state law. The operator was arrested for operating a UTV while intoxicated. 

Warden Burns contacted a rowdy group of adolescents at the Yellowstone Lake campground late at night. It was found that 10 members of the group were consuming alcohol while under the age of 21. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Burns observed a truck traveling 30 mph in Governor Dodge State Park with eight juvenile passengers seated in the truck bed. Several juvenile passengers were seated on the bed rails. Burns stopped the vehicle and cited the driver for allowing juveniles to ride in the bed of the truck. 

Warden Alan Erickson, of Iowa County, contacted a group of campers at Governor Dodge State Park as follow-up to a noise complaint from the previous evening. As a result, seven of the 12 individuals at the campsite were found to have been consuming alcohol while under the age of 21.

Wardens Erickson and Hans Walleser, of Grant County, assisted local law enforcement by maintaining a 500-foot safety zone at Blackhawk Lake during a fireworks show celebrating the park’s 50-year anniversary. Many contacts were made for minor boating violations while ensuring an overall safe event on land and water. 

Rock River Team/July

Dodge/Jefferson/Rock Counties

Warden Kyle Johnson, of Janesville, was on boat patrol on Lake Koshkonong when he observed a motorboat being operated on plane with a passenger sitting on the gunwale of the boat. The operator was found lacking enough wearable PFDs for everyone on board. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Johnson, along with a Rock County Sheriff’s Department deputy, responded to a boat launch for a report of an individual injured while water skiing. The officers were first on the scene and assisted with stabilizing the patient until the local emergency medical team arrived. The individual was transferred to a hospital for treatment.

Warden Johnson was on boat patrol on the Rock River when he observed an unattended fishing pole in a boat, which was tied up to a pier. The fishing pole was bending and appeared to have a fish on the line. Johnson reeled in the line and found a large catfish was on the end of the line. After releasing the catfish, Johnson located the person responsible for the fishing pole. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Johnson contacted a shore angler below the Indianford dam for a fishing license check. The person was found to have been fishing with a total of three fishing poles that had a combined total of 12 hooks. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Burton, of Beaver Dam, and a Dodge County recreational deputy were on patrol when they observed a UTV operator drive into the boat launch parking lot with two passengers riding illegally in the bed of the UTV. Upon contact, the officers determined there was a minor without a helmet and the passengers in the cab were not wearing seatbelts. Enforcement action taken. 

Warden Alex Brooks, of Jefferson, confirmed a complaint about snapping turtles being sold outside of the open season. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Brooks was working fishing enforcement near Watertown when he contacted a group fishing on the Rock River. He took action against one member of the group who did not have a valid fishing license.

Warden Austin Schumacher, of Janesville, conducted a stop of a boat operator in Beloit on the Rock River with expired registration. Schumacher also found that the operator did not have a throwable flotation device.  Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Schumacher contacted an individual fishing on the banks of the Rock River in Beloit. While attempting contact, the angler began packing his things up rapidly into his car. When contact was finally made, the angler gave Schumacher an Illinois fishing license and claimed that he did not know he was in Wisconsin. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Ryan Mannes, of Horicon, and a Dodge County Sheriff’s Department officer were on boat patrol on Lake Sinissippi when they stopped a pontoon boat operator for pulling a tube without an observer or mirror. The officers also found the boat was displaying the wrong registration numbers, and the driver did not have the required boat safety certificate. Enforcement action was taken.

Warden Mannes and a Dodge County Sheriff Department deputy took action against the operator of a PWC when the officers determined the craft was operating on plane about 80 feet from the patrol boat.

Warden Mannes, while on patrol in Ashippun, observed a UTV being operated on the roadway with a minor in the UTV not wearing a helmet. The driver was stopped and enforcement action was taken.

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