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CO Jenni Hanson assisted the Ironwood Public Safety and Gogebic County Sheriff’s Office in the search for a motorcyclist who fled from an Ironwood Public Safety officer. An anonymous tip was called in advising who the operator was, so the officers followed up at his residence for enforcement action.
CO Phil Helminen responded to a report of an injured baby owl in Dickinson County. CO Helminen arrived and captured an adult saw-whet owl that was unable to fly. CO Helminen contacted a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Division employee, and it was determined the owl was not injured, but was suffering from malnutrition. The owl was transferred to a rehabilitation facility in Houghton County.
CO Jeremy Sergey answered multiple questions on the WLUC tv show, “Ask the DNR.” With spring right around the corner, the questions were relating to fishing, ORV riding, open burning, turkey hunting, and ice shacks/litter left out on local lakes.
COs Jeremy Sergey, Jackson Kelly, and Sergeant (Sgt.) Mark Leadman removed two frozen-in ice shacks on Teal Lake in Negaunee. The shacks were well frozen into the ice along with several items inside including a table, chair, tip-up, and other garbage. One member of the public arrived with several ice removal tools and assisted in chiseling the shacks free from the ice. CO Kelly also followed up with a shack left on Lake Independence and issued a litter ticket to the owner.
COs Jeremy Sergey and Jackson Kelly conducted training with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) on Lake Superior. The joint training focused on the safe towing of disabled vessels.
CO Jeremy Sergey conducted training with the USCG on Lake Superior when a motorized boat was trolling past the USCG and DNR vessel with a registration that had expired in 2020. CO Sergey stopped the boat and asked the operator if he had a current registration. The owner said he did, it was in his truck. CO Sergey told the operator he would have to provide the current registration. The owner then stated he lied, and he actually did not have the boat registered but swore he planned to stop at the Secretary of State that day after fishing despite it expiring three years ago. A citation was issued for operating a vessel with expired registration.
CO Cody Smith was patrolling Keweenaw Bay on a warm spring day when he observed a vessel reel in and retrieve a line. CO Smith approached the vessel to see one of the occupants grab another rod and begin reeling it in too. A quick count of lines totaled nine lines in the water when CO Smith observed the first rod being reeled in. CO Smith asked the two anglers if there was someone in the cabin he could not see. One of the occupants stated that it was just the two of them. CO Smith asked what the reason for the extra lines was. The angler stated they gave up and decided to throw everything they had at the fish. They stated they normally do not put out over-lines but today they did. Enforcement action was taken, and a citation was issued for running greater than three lines per angler.
CO Jackson Kelly assisted the Michigan State Police (MSP) with a parking complaint in an area known for drug abuse related crimes. Drugs were found and seized in one of the vehicles. That vehicle was towed and impounded by the MSP.
CO John Kamps and PCO Steve Sajtar assisted the Mid-County Sportsmen’s Club with a hunter safety class in Menominee County. The COs handed out hunting digests to the students, gave a presentation on conservation ethics, then answered various fish and game related questions. The COs assisted the future hunters with shooting firearms and archery equipment. The COs were also able to demonstrate safe firearm handling for the students. For many of the students, this was their first exposure to firearms and archery equipment.
COs Justin Vinson and Cole VanOosten received a call from Luce County Central Dispatch close to midnight of a stranded motorist with four kids in the northern most part of Luce County. The COs responded to the area and went in on snowmobile and an ORV. They located the woman in a minivan who had made it over six miles off the last plowed road before getting stranded and running out of gas earlier in the day. At that time, a good Samaritan located the group and assisted in getting them gas and freed from where they were stuck in the deep snow. Even after getting stuck in the snow, the nonlocal woman decided to continue on to try to make it to the Lake Superior shoreline to see the northern lights, she only made it a short distance before again becoming stuck. When the COs located the group, they built a fire to help warm them up while waiting for an off-road towing company to arrive. At close to 4:00 a.m. the group was extracted from the snow by the towing company and returned to the nearest passable road.
COs Justin Vinson, Todd Sumbera, and Sgt. Calvin Smith patrolled the Carp River working complaints of individuals taking over the allowed two gallons of smelt. Several anglers were contacted, with most following the regulations. However, one angler was found to be four gallons over. A citation was issued for exceeding the daily limit for smelt.
CO Mike Olesen received a complaint of an individual whose house had caught on fire in December of 2022. The subject was now burning the rest of the house, which included vinyl siding and other hazardous materials. A report will be submitted to the prosecutor for review.
COs Mike Evink, Chris Lynch, Brandon Maki, and Andrea Dani stood as an honor guard at retired Lieutenant (Lt.) Bruce Andrews funeral in Escanaba. Lt. Andrews served in the United States Army from 1953 to1955 and completed a 33-year career with the DNR in Houghton, Hancock, Newberry, Munising, Sault Ste. Marie, and finished his career as District Supervisor in Pontiac Lake. Lt. Andrews was an involved and influential member of all the communities he served and resided in and will be deeply missed.
Sgt. Mark Zitnik along with COs Brandon Maki and Andrea Dani attended the Shingleton Sportsman’s Coalition meeting at the Cusino Research Center. Wildlife Division presented on the 2022 hunting and trapping seasons, as well as the current winter and upcoming spring surveys and habitat projects. Also discussed were wildlife surveys and abundance, habitat accomplishments, and various other issues.
CO Ryan Cox was on patrol in Antrim County when he heard from Antrim County Central Dispatch of a grass fire that started to get out of control. CO Cox responded to the scene and luckily local fire departments had put the fire out. An interview was conducted with the suspect who did not have a burn permit and was burning on an extreme fire danger day. A report will be sent to the Antrim County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
CO Ryan Cox responded to a grass fire that was started in the Village of Antrim. The grass fire spread quickly, and nearby schools and residences were evacuated. DNR Forest Resources Division (FRD) fire officers responded to the scene to assist as well and with quick work, the fire was put out quickly. Further investigation is ongoing.
CO Ryan Cox was on patrol in Antrim County when he received a report of a brush fire over the radio near his location. CO Cox responded to the scene and asked the owner of the property to put the brush pile fire out. Luckily, the fire did not spread, and a ticket was issued for building a fire during extreme fire conditions.
CO Nathan Beelman was on patrol when he observed a vehicle turn onto the roadway without a license plate. CO Beelman initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle. The driver stated that he had recently purchased the vehicle from a friend and had not put the vehicle in his name yet. CO Beelman ran the driver through dispatch and was notified that the driver had a valid felony warrant for his arrest out of Emmet County for felony forgery of a vehicle identification number plate and a few other charges. The driver was arrested on the warrant and transported to the Emmet County Jail. The vehicle was turned over to a family member and the driver was also ticketed for operating an unregistered vehicle.
Multiple COs played in the annual Copper Cup Hockey Tournament for charity, representing the Michigan Conservation Officers Association (MCOA). The tournament raised money for the Michigan Special Olympics. The MCOA hockey team was able to take home the B Division Championship.
CO Duane Budreau received a complaint from the Emmet County Sheriff's Department of an individual burning building materials. CO Budreau responded to the scene and discovered a pile of charred debris. There were several items on the pile that were plastic, vinyl, metal and even sheetrock. CO Budreau ticketed the subject for unlawful disposal of solid waste.
CO Duane Budreau was checking anglers along the Bear River in Petoskey for licenses and hook restriction compliance when he encountered a subject fishing without a license. When asked to see his fishing license the subject first responded with, “I don’t have it on me,” a common indicator of not having a license at all. After further questioning it was determined that he did not have a license. CO Budreau returned to his patrol truck and completed the ticket for fishing without a license. When CO Budreau returned to the subject there was another man with him. As CO Budreau was issuing and explaining the ticket to the subject, the other man, later identified as his father, cursed at CO Budreau, and told him of all the anglers on the river, he had to pick on his son. The two individuals gathered their gear and left the river. Other anglers on the river applauded CO Budreau for his actions and ability to remain professional in the face of the obvious display of misdirected anger.
COs Duane Budreau and Adam LeClerc were patrolling in northern Emmet County when they observed smoke coming from a garage next to a residence. The COs were on scene just as the fire was starting to take the garage. An elderly couple was attempting to remove a vehicle from the building as the COs came down the drive. After surveying the scene and receiving information from the homeowners that there were fuel containers and a 20-pound propane tank inside the now fully engulfed garage, CO LeClerc loaded the homeowners into their vehicle and drove them to safety out of the driveway. Unfortunately, by the time the volunteer fire department showed up the entire garage had burned to the ground. The homeowners were concerned about the house catching fire in the meantime. The house itself was cinderblock construction with a metal roof. The biggest concern was the 500-gallon propane tank located between the house and garage. The tank did not explode; however, the pressure release shot a flame several feet up in the air. A row of mature pine trees caught fire causing the flames to grow about 75 feet high. When a bush up against the front of the house caught fire, CO LeClerc put it out with the handheld fire extinguisher from the patrol vehicle. The garage and its contents were a total loss, but the house was unharmed. Most importantly, there were no injuries sustained.
District 3 COs put on a Hunter Safety Field Day in Gaylord. At the end of the day, more that 45 new hunters received their hunter safety certificate to be able to pursue game in Michigan.
COs Sidney LaLonde and Dan Liestenfeltz stopped a vehicle in Montmorency County, suspected of operating while intoxicated (OWI). The driver of the vehicle was put through sobriety tests in which they failed. The subject then blew 0.0 on the preliminary breath test (PBT). Emergency medical services was called to check the driver for low blood sugar. After further evaluation, it was discovered the driver had several health issues but declined to be transported to the hospital. The driver was transported to his nearby residence by the COs.
CO Sidney LaLonde assisted CO Jack Gorno in locating an injured eagle in Cheboygan County. The COs were able to locate the eagle, but unfortunately were unable to save it. The eagle was sent to the laboratory for testing.
CO Sidney LaLonde responded to three separate dead elk in Montmorency and Otsego Counties. CO LaLonde investigated each dead elk but did not find any illegal activity at the scene. The elk were all just carcasses indicating they have been dead for several months. The DNR reminds people that come across dead elk this spring to contact the RAP hotline so that a CO can investigate.
CO Sidney LaLonde responded to a wildfire in Lewiston. The fire was spotted on state land by the DNR’s fire air patrol. The plane was able to guide CO LaLonde into the fire to figure out the best access for DNR dozers and fire officers. CO LaLonde and Montmorency County Sheriff’s deputies prepared the area for evacuations as the fire grew closer to residences. DNR fire, an MSP helicopter, along with local fire departments were able to extinguish the fire before it reached any residences. The investigation as to what caused the fire is ongoing.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was patrolling in Montmorency County when he observed a vehicle disregard a stop sign and fail to use a turn signal. CO Liestenfeltz initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle and after contacting the driver, it was determined that they did not have a driver’s license. The vehicle also was not registered and did not have insurance. Neither of the other adults in the vehicle had a valid driver’s license either. CO Liestenfeltz issued the operator a ticket for failing to display a valid driver’s license. The operator of the vehicle called a friend to come trailer the truck away from the scene.
CO Paul Fox received a complaint while off-duty regarding a subject burning a large pile of brush during extreme fire danger conditions. CO Fox responded to the scene and contacted the subject. CO Fox explained the burning regulations and hazards of burning in such conditions. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Jon Sheppard investigated a fire in Alpena County with the Alpena Township Fire Chief. The suspect had been burning household refuse in his backyard. CO Sheppard advised the suspect that a report would be submitted to the Alpena County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Jon Sheppard responded to a house fire that had been set intentionally. CO Sheppard remained on scene until it was determined that the surrounding homes were either evacuated or did not need to be evacuated. The fire is still under investigation.
CO Alex Bourgeois was packing up his truck when he observed a large vessel enter the state harbor launch in Alpena at a high rate of speed. The harbor and the Thunder Bay River are a no wake zone. CO Bourgeois waited for the vessel at the docks and was able to contact the operator. CO Bourgeois advised that there is a no wake zone in the Thunder Bay River and harbor, and that they were causing a huge wake to go through the harbor. A ticket was issued to the operator for exceeding a speed greater than no wake.
CO Alex Bourgeois received a text from a local angler that there was a lot of people at the 9th Street Dam and that many were snagging fish while he was checking evening walleye anglers along Lake Huron’s shore. CO Bourgeois quickly headed over to the dam and was able to observe a man aggressively attempt to snag fish. After a period of watching the angler, CO Bourgeois contacted the man. CO Bourgeois advised the angler that he was attempting to snag. A ticket was issued to the angler for attempt to snag fish.
COs Logan Turner and Charlie Jones responded to a wildfire on state land in Grand Traverse County. Once on scene, a smoldering campfire was found with multiple cans of butane that had exploded into the surrounding area. The investigation is ongoing.
COs Logan Turner and William Kinney, worked with the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office and the prosecutor to deal with a problem campsite on state lands. Multiple people had set up residency on the state land for a prolonged period. Substantial amounts of garbage had started to accumulate at the campsite. After being issued numerous citations by the COs and Sheriff’s deputies over a period of months, further enforcement action was needed. COs Turner and Kinney worked with the prosecutor’s office and with the assistance of Sheriff’s deputies, issued the campers a criminal trespass notice and told the group to vacate the location or be arrested. This enforcement action was unfortunately needed to help the neighboring residence who have had to deal with the group for so long. This issue is becoming a growing problem in the Grand Traverse County area and COs Turner and Kinney were thankful for all the assistance the other agencies provided with this case.
CO Amanda Weaver was on patrol and received a complaint through Benzie County Central Dispatch of someone leaving numerous peanut butter jars on public property. CO Weaver responded to the area and located several old jars scattered throughout the area. She investigated the litter and possible feeding violation and was able to locate the person responsible. The subject took full responsibility and ensured CO Weaver the items would be cleaned up. When asked about the purpose of the jars, the individual informed CO Weaver that he was attempting to bait Big Foot and had documented evidence of a Yeti in the area.
Acting Sgt. Joshua Wright was heading south from picking up his river boat when he was dispatched out for a wildfire west of Mesick. Sgt. Wright dropped his patrol boat with a local at their residence and was advised by the FRD fire officer in command to get ahead of the fire and to start evacuating residents out of their homes. The firefighters and the pilots worked diligently to get the fire under control. The fire was extinguished, and no one was injured during the incident.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, while sitting at the entrance of a boat access/state campground, observed a vehicle approaching and could see a passenger in the backseat standing up and yelling, the driver was not wearing a seatbelt either. CO Killingbeck conducted a traffic stop and immediately observed open intoxicants. The rear passenger who had been yelling, got out of the vehicle, so CO Killingbeck ordered the subject back into the vehicle. The subject would not comply and refused to identify himself. CO Killingbeck attempted to detain the subject as the subject began resisting. The altercation went to the ground where CO Killingbeck was eventually able to get the subject under control and handcuffed. While attempting to detain the subject, the driver got out of the vehicle and began yelling at CO Killingbeck to stop fighting with his brother. CO Killingbeck ordered the subject back into the vehicle and after several times being ordered, the subject finally complied. Another back seat passenger had gotten out of the vehicle while CO Killingbeck was on the ground attempting to control the first subject and walked behind CO Killingbeck’s truck. Once back-up arrived, CO Killingbeck discovered that the open intoxicants had been removed from the vehicle and hidden in the leaves behind CO Killingbeck’s vehicle by the passenger. Sobriety evaluations were conducted on the driver which resulted in the driver being twice the legal limit to drive. The driver and back seat passenger were both lodged in the Lake County Jail. The other two passengers were cited for open intoxicants and litter.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol, observed an ORV trespassing on a utility right-of-way. As the ORV passed, CO Killingbeck was able to observe the passenger drinking from a beer bottle. Contact with the ORV was made, and the open intoxicants were located. CO Killingbeck ran sobriety evaluations on the driver who refused a PBT test. CO Killingbeck issued citations to the driver and passenger for open intoxicants, operating an ORV in a closed area, and refusing a PBT.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol, observed an ORV operating on US 10 at a high rate of speed. CO Killingbeck stopped the ORV and the subjects told CO Killingbeck that they were from Indiana and had no idea on what rules of operation are for ORVs in Michigan. The subjects admitted that they have never even tried to educate themselves on what general ORV regulations are. CO Killingbeck educated the subjects on ORV regulations and a citation was issued for operating the ORV on US 10.
COs Angela Greenway and Josh Reed talked to a Hunter Safety Class at the Haymarsh Hunt Club and discussed ethical hunting practices.
CO Ben Shively was dispatched to assist Grant Township Fire with a subject who was burning leaves in Oceana County during a burning ban. CO Shively contacted the subject and upon getting his name, ran him through central dispatch and found he had an outstanding DNR warrant for littering in a lake. The subject was placed under arrest, lodged at the Oceana County Jail, and issued a warning for burning during a ban.
CO Jeff Ginn and PCO Brandon Benedict followed-up on a RAP complaint regarding a fence placed in Muskegon River that prevents anglers from getting around an obstruction in the river. CO Ginn and PCO Benedict arrived at the residence and talked to the landowner about fence placement and the landowner agreed to bring the fence back enough so that anglers can go around the obstruction.
CO Jeff Ginn and PCO Brandon Benedict responded to the scene of a large fire. The intoxicated suspect advised he was having a fire, when the fire spread into a large group of downed trees. A citation was issued for failure to prevent the spread of fire. A warning was given for starting a fire in extreme fire conditions.
COs Josh Reed and Cheyanna Rizor were conducting fish checks along the Rodgers Heights Dam. The COs contacted a subject fishing with two juveniles and noticed a walleye in a five-gallon bucket next to the male subject actively fishing. Questions were asked about the walleye and the closed season issue. The male advised he thought the season was open for walleye. The walleye was revived and released back into the river. The male subject was cited for possession of walleye during the closed season.
COs Charlie Jones and Jacob Hamilton were dispatched to a report of someone burning a structure in Orange Township of Kalkaska County. Upon arrival at the scene, flames were observed coming from the top of the stone structure. There were multiple fire departments on scene working to suppress the fire. CO Hamilton spoke to the landowner, who stated that the structure had partially burned before he purchased the property a few years back, but he was trying to clean the rest of it up. The man stated that he used a lighter with a gallon of gas and started a fire in the basement of the structure to burn the remaining contents. A citation was issued for unlawful disposal of solid waste.
CO Jacob Hamilton was patrolling Kalkaska County when he responded to a report of someone burning building materials in Springfield Township. CO Hamilton, along with the Springfield Township Fire Department, arrived on scene and spoke with the landowner. He admitted to tearing apart an old mobile home trailer and burning parts of it. A citation was issued for open burning of solid waste.
CO Charlie Jones was patrolling Kalkaska County when he was dispatched to a fire in Crawford County. He arrived on scene along with COs Matt Zultak and Jacob Hamilton. The COs located the origin of the fire. COs Jones and Zultak interviewed two suspects at a nearby residence. It was determined the homeowners were in the process of renovating and had been burning building materials when the fire escaped. CO Zultak took statements from the suspects and witnesses. A report will be submitted to the Crawford County Prosecutor’s Office for allowing a fire to escape, unlawful disposal of solid waste, and burning while prohibited.
CO Matt Zultak and Sgt. Brian Olsen were on patrol when CO Zultak received a complaint that a subject had just shot a Canada goose. The COs patrolled to the venue and contacted the subject. Initially, the subject denied any involvement, but eventually confessed to possessing a dead goose. Upon further questioning by CO Zultak, the man admitted to harvesting the goose with a rifle. The goose and rifle were located, and a report will be submitted to the Roscommon County Prosecutor’s Office.
COs Breanna Reed and Jeremy Cantrell checked a shore angler during a marine patrol on Lake Missaukee in Missaukee County. The subject presented his 2022 fishing license and claimed he did not realize it was expired. A law enforcement information network query indicated the subject also had a felony warrant for his arrest. CO Breanna Reed issued a citation for fishing without a license and the subject was arrested on the felony warrant. He was lodged in the Missaukee County Jail.
COs from Roscommon, Missaukee, and Crawford Counties participated in a Hunter Safety Day at the Houghton Lake Sportsman’s Club. The entire class passed and received their hunter safety certificates.
COs James Garrett, Matthew Zultak, and Sgt. Brian Olsen attended the Whitetails Unlimited Banquet in Houghton Lake. The COs were there to answer the public’s questions regarding rules and regulations along with questions on the hiring process to become a conservation officer.
COs Tyler Sabuda, Brad Bellville, Jesse Grzechowski, and Sgt. Bobbi Lively conducted a group patrol in Iosco County targeting anglers fishing closed trout streams. The group wrote three tickets for fishing on closed streams and fishing without a license.
CO Tyler Sabuda received a call while off-duty about an angler believed to be using a net to harvest perch in Iosco County. CO Sabuda responded to the location, but the angler had already left. CO Sabuda had a picture of the vehicle, angler, and license plate sent to him by the complainant. A brief time later, CO Sabuda observed the vehicle driving the opposite direction as him. The suspect saw CO Sabuda turn around behind him and pulled over to the shoulder of the road. CO Sabuda contacted the suspect, who admitted to using a net for taking perch. The CO gained consent and retrieved a bucket full of yellow perch from the bed of the truck. The angler was in possession of 93 perch. The angler was cited with possessing an over-limit of perch and was warned for using a net to take the perch.
COs Brad Bellville and Tyler Sabuda responded to separate trapping complaints with multiple untagged traps and recreational trespass issues. The COs determined they were dealing with the same suspect. COs Bellville and Sabuda developed a suspect and conducted an interview. The individual confessed to multiple untagged traps and multiple recreational trespass cases. Charges for untagged traps and recreational trespass are being submitted to the Ogemaw County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Brad Bellville was on foot patrol working a closed section of the Rifle River in Ogemaw County when he observed two anglers fishing. He moved to a position where he could clearly see the anglers catch and release a large steelhead. CO Bellville contacted the anglers who admittedly knew they were fishing a closed stream. While CO Bellville was issuing citations for fishing a closed stream, he witnessed two other anglers fishing the same stretch of stream. They were also cited for fishing a closed stream.
CO Jesse Grzechowski observed a vehicle parked near the Black River Bridge while patrolling Alcona County. He observed fishing equipment in the vehicle which was parked near the closed section of the Black River. CO Grzechowski walked the river half a mile from the vehicle and located two anglers fishing. The anglers were not only fishing a closed trout stream but had trespassed to access the river. CO Grzechowski issued a citation for fishing a closed trout stream.
CO Josh Russell received a complaint regarding a subject setting trotlines on a closed trout stream. CO Mike Haas and PCO Jacob Robinson assisted CO Russell in locating the trotlines in the cover of darkness. Along with the trotlines, the COs located a man sleeping very heavily in a tent nearby. They decided to back out and contact the suspect in the daylight. CO Russell arrived back at the tent mid-morning and spoke to the suspect that had been sleeping. The suspect admitted to having two trotlines out and showed them to CO Russell. The suspect had also caught a sucker that was in a fish basket next to the tent. A citation was issued for the violations.
There have been several wildfires in Clare County due to the high winds and dry conditions. CO Joshua Russell assisted on many of these fires, evacuating homes, and helping with the investigation to find the origin of the fires. CO Russell also issued several citations to subjects who failed to prevent the spread of their fires onto their neighbor’s properties.
CO Josh Russell and PCO Joseph Closser were on patrol when a call for a ‘suicidal subject at the local dam’ came from central dispatch. The COs were a short distance away from the dam and were the first on scene. They located the subject sitting on the ground close to the dam. The COs were able to talk the individual away from the dam to secure his safety and listen to any issues. The subject was cooperative, and the sheriff’s department eventually provided the man with a ride home.
While on patrol on the Saginaw Bay, COs Paul Lyden and Jacob Daniel came across two anglers fishing with more than three lines per angler. As the COs were approaching the boat, one angler attempted to reel in one of the boards but realized it was too late. Both anglers were cited for fishing with more than three lines. Shortly after that, the COs spotted another boat with two anglers fishing more than three lines, again as the COs approached, one of the anglers began rapidly reeling in one of the lines but realized it was too late. Both anglers were cited for fishing with more than three lines.
While checking activity along the Pine River in Isabella County, PCO Jacob Robinson and CO Mike Haas witnessed a side-by-side being operated on a public roadway. The COs noted that there were juveniles riding in the bed area of the machine and there were additional unrestrained juveniles in the seating area. The COs stopped the machine and discovered all occupants were underage and escorted the group home. A citation was issued to the responsible adult for allowing unsupervised operation, not licensing the ORV, and other safety violations.
During a late evening patrol, COs Mike Haas, Josh Russell, and PCO Jacob Robinson encountered a group of individuals sitting around a campfire and operating vehicles in an area closed to motor vehicles in a section of state forest in Isabella County. Multiple citations were issued to address open intoxicants in motor vehicles, illegal drug use, unregistered and uninsured vehicles, and operating vehicles in a closed area.
A complaint was received concerning noncompliant shooting at the Flat River State Game Area Shooting Range. PCO Jacob Robinson and CO Mike Haas responded to the range and witnessed a large group of shooters disregarding the non-rapid fire and round restriction rules. The COs pointed out the large range signs listing the rules, spoke with the group, and explained all the rules, and issued numerous citations for the violations present.
COs Michael Lator and Marissa Hassevoort were conducting a marine patrol on Crystal Lake in Montcalm County when they observed an angler reach down into the bottom of the boat, pick up a fish, and throw it back into the water as the COs approached his boat. Further investigation revealed the angler had thrown back a bass upon seeing the COs. He admitted to not knowing the law and the possession limits and threw the bass back to avoid any possible illegal activity on his part. He did show the COs a picture on his phone that he had taken of the bass 10 minutes prior. The angler was educated on the law and charges for illegally possessing bass out of season are pending.
CO Cameron Wright was patrolling St. Joseph County for fishing activity when he located a group of anglers possibly targeting walleye in a closed season. CO Wright hid across the river in bushes and watched them with binoculars. About an hour into his observation, he watched one angler catch a nice sized smallmouth bass. The angler then excitedly started shouting and high-fived his fishing partner in celebration. He then put the bass into a bucket. About 15 minutes later, CO Wright went to the other side of the river and contacted the anglers regarding the bass. When CO Wright advised them that the possession season for bass was currently closed, they responded by saying that they put it in the bucket to ask someone if they could keep it. CO Wright seized the bass and issued a citation.
While patrolling northern Ionia County, CO Mark Reffitt observed two anglers fishing from the boat launch of an area lake. As he approached the dock in his patrol truck, a subject who was sitting near the parking lot yelled towards the anglers on the dock. One angler continued to fish, while the other quickly pulled his line from the water, taking apart the reel on his fishing pole as he hurried off the dock. CO Reffitt asked how the fishing was going, and the latter individual stated that he hadn’t been fishing but was instead just trying to fix his broken reel. The CO advised that he had just watched him fish and pointed out the fact that the worm he was using for bait was still dripping with water. Upon further questioning, the angler stated that he did not have a fishing license and received a citation for the violation.
CO Anna Cullen was patrolling a type four river system in Muskegon County when she observed three individuals fishing. After watching them for a few minutes, she contacted the anglers. They advised they were catching suckers and were throwing everything back. As CO Cullen was looking at the lines, she observed a stringer line near the rocks that looked to be moving. On the line, was a brook trout, which was illegal to possess on this specific stretch of river system during that time of the year. One of the anglers admitted to catching the fish. The fish was released, and a citation was issued for the violation.
CO Anna Cullen received a complaint regarding someone fishing a closed, type one stream in Muskegon County. CO Cullen was able to respond to the area immediately and observed a parked vehicle and the described angler in the area. Contact was made with the angler, who advised he did all the research and did not find a reason why he could not fish this stretch of the stream. CO Cullen educated the individual on the public, online trout maps that show the closed systems in Muskegon County. A citation was issued for the violation.
CO Anna Cullen was patrolling Muskegon County for fishing activity when she decided to return to an area, she had already checked approximately two hours earlier in the morning. During her initial visit, anglers were catching fish very quickly; it would be suspicious if the same fishermen were still in the area. CO Cullen observed a group she checked earlier returning to their vehicles with their buckets. The anglers were 13 fish over their limit. A citation was issued for the violation.
CO Justin Ulberg and PCO Wes Butler conducted a patrol at Rockford Dam. During the patrol, CO Ulberg observed an individual hook a steelhead by its dorsal fin. CO Ulberg continued to watch the angler to see what he did with the fish. The angler ended up keeping the fish. PCO Butler approached the subject before he left the dam to check him for his fishing license. PCO Butler asked the angler to show him where he hooked the fish. The subject hesitated and struggled to show where the fish was hooked. After some extensive questioning, the angler finally admitted to snagging the fish. PCO Butler informed the subject that it is illegal to possess a fish that had been foul hooked. The angler understood that he had committed a violation. PCO Butler confiscated the fish and issued the subject a citation for the possession of a foul hooked fish.
CO Justin Ulberg and PCO Wes Butler received a call, in reference to an individual attempting to snag fish out of Buck Creek. Upon arrival, PCO Butler noticed two individuals fishing the stream. PCO Butler watched both individuals with binoculars from behind a shed located about 80 yards away from the anglers. After a few minutes, one of the anglers ended up leaving, but the other stayed and continued to fish. After the angler left, PCO Butler snuck up to a spot that was much closer so he could get a better look at what the angler was fishing with. Upon getting closer, PCO Butler saw that the angler was fishing with two un-baited treble hooks. PCO Butler witnessed the angler cast the line into the water several times attempting to snag fish. After talking with the angler, PCO Butler found out that he also did not possess a 2023 fishing license. The angler denied that he was ever attempting to snag fish. PCO Butler informed him on the laws of fishing with an un-baited hook. PCO Butler issued him a citation for failing to exhibit a fishing license and fishing with illegal gear.
CO Jason McCollough responded to the Fort Custer Recreation Area to search for lost hikers. CO McCollough was eventually able to locate them although they appeared to be suffering from disorientation due to the use of narcotics.
Sgt. Jason J. Smith assisted the Fisheries Division with the stocking of 40,000 Coho salmon into the Grand River in the city of Lansing. Many residents from the area came out to watch and ask questions.
While patrolling Wayne County, CO Martin Lawrence conducted two traffic stops while patrolling towards the downtown Detroit area. Both drivers were cited for their violations (excessive speed) and released without incident.
While on marine patrol, COs Dave Schaumburger, Ariel Young and Martin Lawrence contacted a vessel near Wyandotte fishing for walleye. The anglers had 10 fish and each of the anglers stated they caught five fish each. Upon checking their licenses, one of the anglers could not find it. He told the COs he absolutely bought it, and he even bought a Canadian fishing license that same morning. CO Schaumburger used his resources to determine the angler had not purchased a fishing license for the current year. A citation was issued for fishing with no license and his five walleye were seized. The angler was upset because, “I clearly buy them every year.”
After clearing First Aid training, CO Ariel Young was travelling back to Wayne County when she was first on scene to a two-car accident. After verifying that all parties involved were okay and not needing medical attention, CO Young interviewed the drivers and found that one of the drivers was at fault for failing to yield when making a left turn. The driver was subsequently cited.
While following up on a complaint, CO Ariel Young was checking anglers at the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge fishing pier when she encountered a couple fishing. After talking with the individuals, it was determined that neither of them had valid fishing licenses. When CO Young looked up one of the individuals, it was found that they were wanted on a felony warrant. The warrant was confirmed, and the subject was subsequently placed under arrest and taken to jail for lodging.
CO Chris Knights was driving in the Auburn Hills area of Oakland County when a driver in front of him threw a bag of fast food out the window. Some of the food hit CO Knights’ patrol truck. CO Knights conducted a traffic stop, and a littering citation was issued.
CO Luke Robare stopped a group of ORVs riding on the side of the road without helmets on. CO Robare was surprised to find one of the operators to be a young child, with another young child as a passenger, and neither of them were wearing helmets. Their father was riding behind them. CO Robare stopped the group and issued the father citations for the violations.
CO Luke Robare patrolled Consumers power lines and stopped two juveniles on pit bikes. They were issued warnings and their parents were notified of the contact with the juveniles. Also, on the same patrol CO Robare stopped an individual riding a quad on the power lines. CO Robare followed the rider back to their house and issued the individual a citation.
CO Justin Muehlhauser encountered a subject fishing along the Flint River known to have an active warrant for attempting to take walleye during the closed 2022 season. The CO talked to the subject and advised him of the warrant. The subject was able to post bond in lieu of arrest.
COs Brad Silorey, Joe Deppen, and Kris Kiel worked marine patrol on Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River this weekend. Numerous vessels and anglers were checked. One vessel was stopped for a wake violation and the operator immediately stated, “Just give me a ticket,” He stated he had zero PFDs on board. The vessel was occupied by two adults and one 14-year-old. A citation was issued for failing to provide PFDs and a warning was given for failing to provide a fire extinguisher. The vessel operator who was issued the citation was laughing about the situation stating it was “The best Easter gift” he has ever received.
COs Joseph Deppen and David Schaumburger were checking anglers along the Detroit River at a local launch. CO Deppen was conducting surveillance of anglers entering the launch and noticed one angler enter the launch and notice CO Schaumburger on the docks checking vessels. The angler left the helm and went to his live well and started moving stuff around. As the angler got closer to the dock, he decided to turn his boat around and leave. CO Deppen left his position and instructed the angler to stop and pull over to the seawall. Once at the seawall CO Deppen boarded the vessel and had him drive over to the dock to meet CO Schaumburger. The COs asked the man about his fish, and he said, “I got my six walleye.” The COs looked in the live well and there were six walleye. The COs asked if he had anything else and the angler said no. COs Deppen and Schaumburger then found three more filleted walleye in a plastic bag, hidden in a compartment on the boat and when they checked the angler’s minnow bucket, found two more full walleye. In total, the angler was in possession of 11 walleye. Also, upon measuring his fish one walleye was found to be under 15 inches. After everything was out in the open, the angler said, okay, you got me. The angler was cited for over limit of walleye, possess undersized walleye, and no marine fire extinguisher. He was given a verbal warning for possession of mutilated fish.
CO Brad Silorey worked Operation Stonegarden this week. While on patrol, CO Silorey observed an angler fishing on the Clinton River in Mt. Clemens. CO Silorey contacted the angler and asked to see his fishing license and if he had caught any fish. The subject was highly intoxicated and stated he did not have a license. CO Silorey checked the subject for a fishing license through dispatch and for warrants. The subject had a criminal bench warrant for assault; however, the arresting agency was unable to pick up and advised to release the suspect. The subject was given a citation for fishing without a license.
COs Sydney Griffor and Bob Watson were on marine patrol on the St. Clair River and checked dozens of fishing vessels. A handful of marine and fishing warnings were given. While checking one vessel, the angler did not have a valid fishing license. The individual was issued a citation for failure to display a valid fishing license.
CO Bob Watson attended the District 9 meeting and while returning home, CO Watson became stuck on I 94 in traffic. CO Watson observed a car entering the expressway as it sped all the way to the end of the on-ramp, and then very aggressively cut CO Watson off. CO Watson then watched through the man’s rear window as he became agitated with the slow-moving traffic. The man then veered onto the right-hand shoulder and attempted to drive along the shoulder. CO Watson conducted a traffic stop. The man was issued a citation for driving along the shoulder of the highway and for operating a motor vehicle with no driver’s license.
CO Brandon Hartleben and PCO Les Bleil conducted fish checks on South Hydro when PCO Bleil witnessed a man catch a walleye that looked short. The man took a picture of the walleye and went to place it in his live-well. PCO Bleil contacted the man and informed him that walleye season is closed and that he will have to throw it back. Further investigation revealed that he had two more short walleye. PCO Bleil allowed the man to release the two that were alive. The deceased walleye was seized, and a citation was issued for Take/Possess Walleye during the Closed Season.
CO Mike Drexler was speaking to a few anglers at South Lake who mentioned a subject that was cutting wood on state land just down the road, as they were under the impression that was illegal. CO Drexler went to the area described by the anglers and found a subject walking off state land carrying wood to a trailer that was full of cut wood. The CO asked if the subject had a permit which he did not. When asked what the subject was doing with all the cut wood, the subject stated he bundles it and sells it to a local party store. The subject received a citation for cutting/removing wood from state land without a permit.
CO Brandon Vacek was checking a group of anglers fishing on the bank of the River Raisin in Downtown Monroe when he observed a PWC travelling toward him creating a large wake within a clearly marked slow no wake area. The operator was signaled to stop by the CO and was directed to a nearby dock for further contact. Upon further investigation, it was determined the PWC had an expired registration and the new owner had failed to transfer the registration after purchasing it several months ago. The subject was issued a citation for operating an un-registered watercraft. A verbal warning was issued for failure to transfer registration and violating the local watercraft control.
While conducting radar patrol on Belle Isle, CO Dave Schaumburger found a vehicle to be traveling at 52 mph in a 25-mph zone. After stopping the vehicle, the driver admitted he was going a little fast because he had to go pick up his daughter from school. A citation was issued for excessive speed.
While working Belle Isle, CO Dave Schaumburger stopped a vehicle traveling at 52 mph in a 25-mph zone. The driver of the vehicle stated that she was “Just trying to get away from the vehicle on that turn.” The turn she was referring to was almost a half a mile after the CO clocked her doing 52 mph. A citation was issued for excessive speed.
CO Dave Schaumburger stopped two minibike ORVs operating on Belle Isle. The operators were upset they were being stopped since there “are no signs on Belle Isle.” CO Schaumburger explained they cannot drive these ORVs on any street in the whole entire county. The operators did not like that. Besides the misdemeanor offense for operating on the roadway, both drivers had suspended driver’s licenses and a whole slew of warrants. The CO towed their minibikes and released them with citations for operating on the roadway.
Continuing work on a complaint of trespass into the old Belle Isle Zoo, COs Ariel Young and Dan Walzak contacted several more subjects and ultimately issued citations for Enter / Use / Occupy where posted against such use.
While patrolling Belle Isle, Sgt. Jason Becker observed a motorcyclist roll through two stop signs. When Sgt. Becker conducted a traffic stop, he noticed that the motorcycle license plate did not have a current tab. Upon further investigation, the driver did not have a driver's license on his person, no motorcycle endorsement, vehicle registration or proof of insurance. The operator was issued a citation for failure to stop at a stop sign and no proof of insurance and was given verbal warnings on the other violations.
CO Joseph Deppen was working on Belle Isle when he contacted an angler near the yacht club. CO Deppen recognized the angler as the same angler who he contacted last year who was in possession of an undersized sturgeon out of season. The angler failed to appear for his court date and there was an active warrant for his arrest. CO Deppen had the warrants confirmed, and the angler was arrested on multiple outstanding warrants and was taken to St. Clair County jail. The subject was arraigned the following day.
While on patrol on Belle Isle, CO Sydney Griffor was dispatched to the aquarium for a vehicle lock out with an eight-month-old child locked in the car. CO Griffor arrived on location and observed the vehicle was parked in the hot sun with all the windows rolled up. The parents of the child attempted to unlock the vehicle without success. The young child was asleep in the car seat, which made it difficult to determine if he was in any distress. Due to the hot weather conditions and the amount of time the child was in the car, they needed to get inside the vehicle to check the well-being of the child. CO Griffor used a window punch and broke the driver’s side window of the vehicle for a well-being check. The child was assessed and appeared to be in good condition and healthy. CO Griffor, the child, and the child’s mother sat inside CO Griffor’s patrol truck in the air conditioning, until the family left.
CO Danielle Zubek worked a Belle Isle shift. Multiple warnings were given for dogs off leash, dogs on beach, and standing in fire lane. CO Zubek also assisted the booth staff with incoming traffic and recreational passports. CO Zubek also issued a citation for a car parked in the fire lane.
Sgt Shane Webster was patrolling Belle Isle Park when he noted a vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed. Upon radar activation, it was found the motorist was travelling at twice the posted 25 mph speed limit. The operator was stopped and cited for the speed.
Great Lakes Enforcement Unit (GLEU)
Cpls. Justin Vanderlinde and Troy VanGelderen completed several pet shop inspections in response to unidentified crayfish that were found in feeder fish shipments nationwide. Information on suppliers has been obtained, and specimens have been seized for positive identification.
Cpl. Nick Atkin attended the Great Lakes Managing Fisheries and Exploring Islands webinar gaining situational awareness of his patrol area.
Cpls. Pat Hartsig and Nick Atkin conducted AIS inspections at local pet shops. During the inspections, no violations were noted.
Cpl. Troy VanGelderen assisted an Oceana County Deputy with a DOA heroin overdose. Heroin and unregistered guns were taken from the scene. The family who had come to the scene began fighting over other belongings. The parties were split up and sent on their way.
Cpl. Mike Hammill received a call of an injured bald eagle on US-2. Cpl. Hammill was able to contact a wildlife technician to recover the bald eagle that was deceased when he arrived.
Cpls. Mike Hammill and Brett DeLonge conducted a delinquent bait catcher and minnow dealer inspection.
Cpl. Mike Hammill was patrolling Little Bay de Noc when he received a text from a local bait shop owner advising that 15 anglers were fishing a piece of ice that had broken loose and was free-floating south into open water. The anglers were all able to get off the ice and recover all their fishing gear without incident.
Cpl. Mike Hammill contacted a group of anglers near the mouth of the Escanaba River. The 3 portables that were visible all had 3 tip ups outside of their shacks as Cpl. Hammill approached, with all the anglers in their shacks. None of the tip ups had names on them and one of the anglers failed to purchase a Michigan license. Enforcement action was taken.
Cpl. Mike Hammill was in a remote area near Garden when he came across several unattended lines. Cpl. Hammill observed the lines from a distance and eventually found the owners. Citations were issued.
Cpl. Brett DeLonge assisted personnel from MSP Negaunee, Marquette City Police Department, and Northern Michigan University Public Safety with conducting interviews for NMU’s Regional Police Academy starting in May.
Cpl. Brett DeLonge met with Negaunee City Police Department personnel to plan a law enforcement exploration event for elementary children at Little Friends Daycare in Negaunee.
GLEU officers have conducted follow-up with multiple commercial minnow catchers who were delinquent in reporting harvest for the 2022 season. Most of the data required has been collected with appropriate enforcement action for non-compliance.
GLEU officers have conducted follow-up investigations with multiple fish wholesalers who were delinquent in submitting February’s required reports. Appropriate enforcement action was taken during the follow up investigations.