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Conservation Officer (CO) Brian Lasanen taught a boater safety class at the EB Holman Middle School. There were 65 students who attended the class. CO Lasanen was assisted by the Houghton County Sheriff’s Department marine section.
CO Phil Helminen attended the Upper Peninsula Police Officer Memorial that was held at the Kingsford High School. CO Helminen participated in the procession and read off names of fallen officers at the ceremony.
COs Phil Helminen, Steven Sajtar, Jared Ferguson, Probationary Conservation Officer (PCO) Pete Shambaugh, and Sgt. Brian Bacon partnered with other Department of Natural Resources (DNR) employees to provide a presentation to 4th grade students from Kingsford Elementary School that explained the differing, yet supporting, roles that the Law Enforcement, Wildlife, Fisheries, and Forest Resource Divisions play within the DNR. The COs presented to the students on ORV and marine safety as well.
CO Phil Helminen was patrolling when he observed a large amount of smoke coming from behind a residence during extremely dry conditions and no burning was permitted. CO Helminen observed a large brush pile being burned and no one around the fire. CO Helminen went to the residence and was met by the owner. He stated he was burning brush and had gone inside to eat lunch. CO Helminen asked him about checking for burn permits and he stated he only looked at the signs at DNR offices. After showing him how to use the burn permit system and putting out the large fire with a bulldozer, the landowner was cited for burning without a burn permit.
In Dickinson County, COs Jared Ferguson, Phil Helminen, Peter Shambaugh, and Steve Sajtar were joined by Sgt. Brian Bacon at Kingsford Elementary’s Annual Field Day. The COs were able to interact with the youth in the community, teaching them about recreation safety. The COs were able to show the kids various equipment used for patrol such as boats, jet skis, side-by-sides, and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). Students from Kingsford Elementary were given the opportunity to ask the COs questions about being a conservation officer and learned about safe recreation in Michigan.
While patrolling Menominee County, CO Steve Sajtar responded to a “be on the lookout” radio call for a suspect that was observed dumping, what appeared to be, a dead body on the side the highway. The witness, who watched the victim get dumped from the vehicle, was able to provide Menominee County Central Dispatch with a vehicle description and plate number. The suspect and victim were identified as two individuals involved in a domestic dispute at the Island Resort and Casino earlier that day. Menominee County Central Dispatch was able to ping the cellphone of the suspect. While CO Sajtar searched the area of the suspect’s cellphone ping, an officer from another agency was able to locate and take the suspect into custody for homicide.
CO Steve Sajtar was following up on an ORV issue when he responded to a nearby complaint of a reckless driver in Cedarville Township. A motorist had called in a vehicle that was driving recklessly, leaving the roadway, and crossing the centerline multiple times. While CO Sajtar was enroute, the suspect vehicle pulled into the Cedarville Township Hall, voluntarily. When Sajtar arrived, it became immediately apparent that the suspect was intoxicated. Based on the standardized field sobriety test (SFSTs) results and CO Sajtar’s observations, the suspect was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI).
CO Steve Sajtar assisted with a single vehicle crash that resulted from a high-speed vehicle pursuit. The vehicle pursuit was initiated by a Menominee County Sheriff’s deputy after the suspect sped off from the deputy on a traffic stop. While CO Sajtar was enroute to assist, the deputy advised that the suspect vehicle had crashed. The deputy advised that he had the suspect in custody, but the vehicle was on fire. CO Sajtar responded to the scene of the accident to assist with the car fire.
COs Cody Smith, Anna Viau, Steve Sajtar, Andrea Albert, John Kamps, Andrea Dani, and Corporal (Cpl.) Brett DeLonge attended the Michigan DNR’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program in Big Bay where they instructed multiple courses. These courses included, hunter education, boater safety, fly fishing, rifle, handgun, shotgun, introduction to waterfowl hunting, and even classes on how to fillet a fish. This program allows women from all over to come together to learn outdoor skills they have an interest in. The classes allow the women to become confident with the subject matter and learn skills and techniques to apply on their own after the weekend.
CO Cody Smith was on a joint marine patrol with Baraga County deputies when they approached a vessel with several subjects fishing. While conducting a routine inspection, the anglers were asked to provide their fishing licenses. The driver of the vessel stated they did not have a license and upon running the individual’s name, it was discovered he had an outstanding felony warrant out of the adjacent Houghton County Court. After confirming the warrant, the individual was brought upon the sheriff department’s vessel and taken into custody for transport to jail.
COs Jeremy Sergey and Jackson Kelly were patrolling Little Shag Lake when they stopped a vessel displaying an expired registration. During the check, the vessel had broken down and the operator was unable to start it. It was also discovered there were not enough personal flotation devices (PFDs) on board for each person. The COs towed the vessel to the operator’s property and a citation was issued for the lack of PFDs and the operator was given the opportunity to update the vessel’s registration before taking it out again.
CO John Kamps was first on scene of an unresponsive juvenile at a residence. When CO Kamps arrived, the subject’s mother was performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the victim did not have a pulse. The automated external defibrillator (AED) was connected, and CPR was continued until a pulse was regained. Emergency medical services (EMS) arrived and attempted to load the victim, but the pulse was lost. Another round of CPR got the pulse back strong enough to transport the victim by ambulance to the hospital and shortly after a medi-flight to a children’s hospital.
COs Steve Butzin and Rob Freeborn assisted the Northern Michigan University Public Safety Institute police academy in teaching police recruits how to conduct traffic stops. Recruits were taught general motor vehicle, criminal law, and natural resource law as it relates to conducting traffic stops.
CO Brandon Maki was patrolling near Grand Marais when he observed two ORVs approaching him. CO Maki observed the lead ORV operator was not wearing a helmet, so he initiated a stop. The operator stated he was probably being stopped because he wasn’t wearing a helmet. CO Maki confirmed his hunch and issued a ticket for failing to wear a helmet before clearing the scene.
CO Brandon Maki was dispatched to a remote camp to assist with an elderly male who was unconscious and unresponsive. CO Maki arrived at the camp and assisted deputies and medical personnel with life saving measures. Unfortunately, the life saving measures taken were unsuccessful.
Cpl. Brett DeLonge and CO Andrea Dani taught a boating safety course at the BOW event on Big Bay. Students learned the rules of the water and were given the opportunity to practice boat operation, docking, trailering, and driving with a trailer.
CO Cole VanOosten was patrolling Chippewa County when he encountered a large group of anglers on the Saint Mary’s River fishing from shore. Upon checking several licenses, he observed an angler a short distance away set her pole down and walk away. CO VanOosten continued checking anglers until he came across the fishing pole the angler had set down on shore with the line still in the water. CO VanOosten walked to the angler and asked her if the pole was hers which she stated it was not. When confronted with the fact that he had observed her fishing, she finally stated that she had been fishing but stated she didn’t know you needed a fishing license to fish. Based on her observed evasive behavior, CO VanOosten was confident that the angler knew better and issued a ticket for failure to display a fishing license. A warning was issued for unattended lines.
CO Cole VanOosten was on late night marine patrol in Chippewa County when he encountered a vessel returning from a day of fishing well after dark. The boat did not have any navigation lights illuminated. Additionally, the occupants of the vessel were unable to provide any PFDs for the three individuals on board. A ticket was issued for failure to provide PFDs.
CO Cole VanOosten was on late night marine patrol in Mackinac County when he encountered a group of anglers returning to shore from an evening of fishing. Upon contact, the anglers provided a cooler of walleyes for inspection. Upon measuring the walleye, it was determined that one of the fish was less than 15 inches. Two of the anglers agreed that the fish was indeed under 15 inches and that they should have measured it better. The owner of the boat disagreed and began taking extreme measures to manipulate and stretch the fish into being 15 inches to no avail. Additionally, the owner of the boat did not have any PFDs aboard the vessel and had failed to display navigation lights at nearly 11:15 PM. A ticket was issued to the owner of the vessel for failure to provide PFDs and a lesson on the proper way to measure fish was given.
CO Cole VanOosten responded to a complaint of a nuisance sow bear and cub that was being fed in Chippewa County. It was reported this couple has been feeding and habituating bears for several seasons. Upon contact with the subjects, they denied any feeding of the animal. CO VanOosten located a large hay feeder in the yard of the residence with residual feed from feeding deer the previous winter. CO VanOosten observed bear scat on the ground and believed the bear was being fed in this location. CO VanOosten advised the couple it would be in the best interest of the bear to remove any potential food sources around. Upon leaving the residence, CO VanOosten observed the bear approaching him and the homeowner. The homeowner called the bear by name. The bear displayed aggressive behavior, charging at the CO and homeowner numerous times. The bear showed very little fear of humans and walked within a few feet of the homeowner. The bear eventually left the location and was reunited with its cub a short distance away. CO VanOosten educated the couple on the dangers of feeding bears, especially when a cub is involved, advising them by feeding the bear and having it lose its fear of humans they are creating a very dangerous situation where the bear may have to be put down. The food sources were cleaned up the following day and no additional complaints have been received.
CO Mike Olesen was on patrol in Chippewa County when he observed a motorcycle operating carelessly by riding a wheelie down the state highway. CO Olesen conducted a traffic stop of the motorcycle and ticketed the individual for the offense.
Sgt. Calvin Smith responded to a residence near Sault Ste. Marie where a homeowner had fallen nearly 15 feet to the ground after doing some repair work to his roof. The man was knocked unconscious from the fall but was breathing. Sgt. Smith assisted the Michigan State Police (MSP) Motor Carrier Division and the Sault Ste. Marie Fire Department with transporting the homeowner, who had regained consciousness, to the waiting ambulance.
CO Adam LeClerc assisted with a kid’s fishing derby at Young State Park. Approximately 60 kids attended the derby with prizes awarded for biggest fish, smallest fish, and most fish caught. The weather held off long enough for all participants to enjoy the event.
CO Adam LeClerc attended the Petoskey Department of Public Safety open house event in downtown Petoskey. CO LeClerc answered questions from the public regarding hunting and fishing regulations and marine laws.
CO Adam LeClerc responded to a deer that was hit by a vehicle and a fawn in distress. The complainant stated a doe was killed by a vehicle and that a fawn was in the area bleating for a doe. Upon arrival, it was determined that the deceased deer was not the mother of the fawn as she was not lactating. The complainant was advised that to call the RAP hotline if the fawn was not picked up by the mother in two days. No other complaints came in about the fawn.
At the recent BOW Workshop held at Big Bay, CO Andrea Albert instructed handgun use, which is one of the many outdoor themed classes offered at the event. Participants learned the fundamentals of handgun use, firearm safety, and target shooting. Many women were first time shooters who started out apprehensive about using a handgun and ended the course with confidence and the ability to shoot several different types of handguns exceptionally well.
CO Andrea Albert observed from a distance, several individuals shore fishing at a local lake for about 20 minutes. CO Albert observed one family and based on her experience she believed the adults may try to use the excuse they are only helping their two young children fish and therefore did not need a fishing license. After watching the adult male standing in the water, cast and retrieve a lure for 20 minutes and where he handed the pole off to his child only one time, CO Albert contacted all the anglers. As expected, the subject was quick to explain he was only helping his children fish and did not have a license. CO Albert observed they had two youth size fishing poles for his children and two adult size fishing poles. A ticket was issued for fishing without a license. A group of young adults also shore fishing at the lake had purchased their respective fishing licenses.
CO Andrea Albert checked local lakes focusing on anglers taking bass prior to the opener. For the third weekend in a row, on the same lake, CO Albert found an angler keeping bass during the closed season. A ticket was issued for the violation and the bass was returned to the water.
CO Andrea Albert observed a kayaker while patrolling Lake Michigan along the shoreline. The kayaker was fishing, and he did purchase a fishing license, but he did not have any type of PFD on the watercraft. CO Albert explained the water temperatures were in the low 50s and hypothermia would set in quickly if he was to fall into the water. A ticket was issued for the violation and CO Albert made sure he made it safety back to shore.
CO Tim Rosochacki assisted District 5 in response to the Wilderness Trail Fire in Grayling. CO Rosochacki assisted in closing I 75 due to heavy smoke cutting visibility.
CO Tim Rosochacki responded to a subject on the Sturgeon River experiencing a medical emergency. The caller reported she was in a tube with her young children and had suddenly lost her vision and had become lightheaded. She was found clinging to a branch, holding the tube in place. CO Rosochacki located the subject with an officer from the Tuscarora Police Department. He was able to use a throw bag to get a line to the subject and have her children hold onto the line to get them to shore. The children were picked up by their father and the female was transported by EMS.
CO Matt Theunick received a complaint of people fishing on the Black River at Klieber Dam. When CO Theunick arrived, there were four people fishing during the sturgeon spawning closure. Contact was made and the people were educated about the closure. Multiple tickets and warnings were given to the anglers.
CO Matt Theunick was patrolling in the Pigeon River Country State Forest and came across a lost pedal biker. He and his wife took a wrong turn ending up about 20 miles from their vehicle after a long ride during the day. CO Theunick gave a ride to one of the bikers back to their car.
CO Jack Gorno stopped an ORV on a county road near the city of Cheboygan. The subject admitted to going “at least 65 mph” while failing to operate on the extreme right portion of the roadway. The subject stated that he was tired from riding all day and wanted to get home quicker. CO Gorno ticketed the subject for operating at a greater than reasonable speed.
COs Alex Bourgeois, Jeff Panich, and Jon Sheppard were conducting routine checks on anglers in the Thunder Bay on Lake Huron. They observed a small boat with one person fishing on it. While approaching the boat, the COs observed what appeared to be a fishing pole in the man’s hands as he was keeping it low to the water while he reeled in the line. The COs contacted the angler and observed three fishing poles that were attached to dipsy divers in the water. CO Bourgeois boarded the boat and observed a rod on the floor of the boat that had water on the line and spoon. CO Bourgeois asked the angler if he had just pulled the line in. The angler admitted that he had just pulled in the line, and that he was fishing with too many lines. A ticket was issued for fishing with too many lines.
CO Alex Bourgeois was patrolling the city of Alpena for marine and fishing activity when he observed a small boat travelling up the Thunder Bay River at a high rate of speed. Later, during the patrol, CO Bourgeois observed the same boat coming back downstream at a high rate of speed. CO Bourgeois turned on his emergency lights and sirens to get the attention of the boater. CO Bourgeois was able to get the boater to stop and pull off onto the side of the river. CO Bourgeois advised the boater that the Thunder Bay River has a slow no wake law. During the stop, CO Bourgeois observed that the boat did not have a registration on it. CO Bourgeois asked the operator where his registration was, and the boater stated that he did not want to put it on because of how nice the boat was. A ticket was issued to the operator for exceeding a no wake speed in the Thunder Bay River and failing to display his boat registration.
CO Jon Sklba was passed by a vehicle traveling 92 mph in Presque Isle County. The vehicle was stopped, and the driver contacted. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Sidney LaLonde responded to a forest fire in Montmorency County. The fire was spotted by a DNR plane on patrol. The fire was started by a subject failing to prevent the spread of a wildfire when they left their cabin to go into town for only 30 minutes. The fire was able to be put out after burning an acre. The landowner was issued a ticket for allowing a fire to escape.
CO Sidney LaLonde was able to meet with a subject in Montmorency County regarding a trapping compliant. The subject failed to check his live traps within 24 hours and did not have any name/address on the trap. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Sidney LaLonde contacted several people from the public with questions regarding fawns. Many had concerns over fawns being in their yard “unattended” with the doe nowhere in sight. CO LaLonde explained how a doe will hide a fawn for the first few days of its life as the doe finds food. The citizens were each made aware to leave the fawns alone and bring any domestic animals in to make sure they do not scare away the doe. Each scenario, the doe had moved the fawn after dark to a more secluded area.
CO Paul Fox attended an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) blitz at the Onaway State Park boat launch. Staff from the Tip of the Mitt Watershed set up a boat washing station and educational booth pertaining to AIS impacts, prevention, and regulations. Several boaters were contacted with nearly 100% of the boaters utilized the washing station.
CO Paul Fox was travelling on US 23 north of Rogers City when a vehicle passed him at a high rate of speed. Additionally, the speeding vehicle passed on a curve and nearly ran an oncoming vehicle off the roadway. CO Fox conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle. The driver admitted to making a poor decision and stated he would not have passed if he knew it was a “DNR truck.” A ticket was issued for the moving violation.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz was conducting traffic control off I 75 during the Wilderness Trail Fire in Crawford County. While he was directing traffic, a subject stopped in the middle of the roadway holding up a long line of traffic. The subject then waved CO Liestenfeltz over to his window to ask for directions. As soon as they began talking, CO Liestenfeltz immediately noticed obvious signs of intoxication. The subject was ordered to pull the vehicle over to the shoulder of the road and SFSTs were performed. The tests were not passed, and the subject blew almost three times the legal limit on the preliminary breath test (PBT). CO Liestenfeltz placed the subject into custody and lodged them at the Crawford County Jail.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz responded to an ORV crash in Montmorency County. Upon arriving, CO Liestenfeltz contacted the injured rider and others while medical personnel were in route. It was determined that the operator was traveling along the trail and lost control of their dirt bike on a large sand area, causing them to fall to the ground. The operator suffered three broken ribs.
COs Logan Turner and William Kinney attended a kid’s fishing event at Discovery Pier with approximately 100 in attendance. The students were taught how to tie knots, fish identification, and the importance of preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species.
CO Zackary Walters assisted the Leelanau County Sheriff’s Office with the marine portion of the M22 challenge where upwards of 900 participants raced kayaks and paddleboards two and a half miles in Little Glen Lake.
CO Amanda Weaver was on marine patrol on Lower Herring Lake when she observed two individuals fishing on the shoreline. She contacted the subjects who had rowed to their location from a cabin on the lake. When asked for fishing licenses, both people insisted they had purchased them but did not have them in their possession. They also did not have any PFDs in the boat. CO Weaver conducted a check through the DNR dispatch center and found that one of the individuals had not purchased a fishing license in several years. A citation was issued for the license violation and a verbal warning was given for the PFD issue.
CO William Kinney responded to a 136-acre wildfire in Manton over the holiday weekend. With assistance from CO Charlie Jones, the homeowner was interviewed. It was discovered the homeowner was burning some logs in his campfire ring next to his house. The homeowner had gotten tired and went inside to lay down. He was awoken by several individuals passing by who noticed the fire and smoke in the yard. They attempted to help control the spread of the fire but were unsuccessful. The case is currently under the prosecutor’s review for failing to take precautions from allowing a fire to escape.
CO Ryan Andrews represented the Michigan DNR Law Enforcement Division (LED) at the Webber Township Outdoor Expo in Lake County. CO Andrews set up a display to interact with the public and provide information about outdoor recreation and natural resources enforcement. The display included numerous fur pelts, representing both common and rare wildlife found in Michigan, as well as equipment that is used by conservation officers to conduct patrols. CO Andrews met with over 75 individuals from the community with various backgrounds and levels of outdoor experience.
CO Josiah Killingbeck observed an ORV operating on a Consumers Energy right-of-way (ROW), where it is illegal for all motor vehicles to operate. CO Killingbeck initiated a stop on the ORV. The subject admitted that he knew the rules and knew it was illegal to be operating on the Consumers ROW. When asked why he was trespassing if he knew the rules, the subject said that he was trying to impress the female in the passenger seat and give her a “thrill ride.” CO Killingbeck issued a citation for the violation.
CO Josiah Killingbeck received a Report All Poaching complaint of people catching sturgeon on the Manistee River at the Tippy Dam State Recreation Area. With the assistance of CO Scott MacNeill, hours of surveillance were done, and interviews were conducted with a confession being obtained for the targeting of sturgeon. A report is being sent to the Manistee County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Josiah Killingbeck responded to an ORV accident where a subject lost control of his ORV and struck several trees, resulting in severe injuries. One of the riders in the group had EMS experience and placed a C-Collar on the victim. The victim’s wife, who was also riding in the group, is an emergency room nurse and was treating the victim when CO Killingbeck arrived on scene. CO Killingbeck administered first aid to the victim and requested Aero Med Helicopter Services due to the severity of the subject’s injuries. Care was turned over to EMS, who asked CO Killingbeck to assist with first aid in the ambulance while enroute to meet the helicopter. Once the victim was turned over to Aero Med, CO Killingbeck returned to the scene and assisted the Lake County Sheriff’s Office with investigating the accident.
COs Josiah Killingbeck, Ryan Andrews, Cpl. Mike Hearn, Sgt. Cary Foster, and Lieutenant (Lt.) Joe Molnar participated in a Legislative ORV Ride that was organized by the Lake County Sheriff's Office. The ride brought awareness to the money the ORV user groups bring into local communities. It also gave local legislators an opportunity to see first-hand the premier ORV trails in Lake County and speak with local community members.
CO Scott MacNeill conducted a stationary patrol at the mouth of Lake Michigan on the Manistee River before sunrise for complaints of vessels operating too fast through the channel. After watching several vessels moving responsibly through the channel, CO MacNeill observed one that was moving much faster and throwing a wake which was large enough that vessels at the dock were being rocked. The vessel also throttled onto plane while still in the harbor before leaving for Lake Michigan. At this time, CO MacNeill jumped onto the Safe Boat and patrolled Lake Michigan to contact the suspect vessel. Through the fog, CO MacNeill was able to find the suspect vessel several miles out on the shelf where the boat operator was the sole occupant on board. After contacting the suspect, CO MacNeill observed nine fishing lines in use, six lines over his legal limit. The vessel’s captain admitted to the operation in the channel and knew he was running too many lines. CO MacNeill issued the individual a citation for the over-limit of lines and the wake violation.
CO Josh Reed received a complaint of an abandoned vehicle at the entrance to the Tubbs Lake Island campground in the Martiny State Game Area. The vehicle had been parked in the same location since May 31st, had not moved, and all the windows were rolled down. CO Reed responded and had MECEOLA dispatch run the plate. A phone number for the registered owner was located and dispatch was able to contact the owner who stated that the vehicle was being re-possessed and that was the agreed upon pick up location. The location just happened to be on the state game area. CO Reed tagged the vehicle and attempted contact with the bank re-possessing the vehicle with no success. CO Reed checked on the vehicle for a second time and the vehicle was still there. An inventory and photos were taken prior to the vehicle being impounded.
CO Josh Reed was traveling back to Mecosta County from Lansing on US 127. CO Reed observed traffic in front of him swerving off in the shoulder and ditch on both the left- and right-hand lanes. CO Reed turned on his emergency lights and noticed a large water tank partially blocking both lanes of travel. Two semis and a road commission truck slowed down traffic while CO Reed was able to pull the water tank off to the shoulder of the highway. Luckily, no one struck the tank prior to it being pulled out of the road.
CO Josh Reed participated in a hunter’s safety field day at Legends Ranch in Newaygo County. CO Reed instructed the law portion of the class with over 40 students attending. The class was held in the Legends Ranch Museum and was the first class the ranch held. The venue was excellent for the students and the instructors did a great job teaching.
CO Kevin Bunce received a RAP complaint of a subject illegally taking a turkey. CO Bunce contacted the subject who was from out-of-state and on an extended vacation in the area. When questioned, the subject stated he had shot the tom turkey over the weekend but hadn’t purchased a turkey license due to not knowing the requirements for turkey hunting in the state of Michigan. The subject was informed both residents and non-residents in Michigan are required to possess a license to hunt wild turkey, which are the same requirements that his state has for hunting turkey. The tom’s tail fan and beard were turned over to CO Bunce and a report has been submitted to the Osceola County Prosecutor’s Office for potential charges.
CO Ben Shively was patrolling Oceana County and responded to a call of an unconscious male at a residence he had just passed. The subject had started mowing at a residence around noon and the homeowner returned at four to find the subject face down in the yard and the mower still running. CO Shively was first on scene and found that the subject had passed out due to heat stroke, fallen, and hit his head on the zero-turn mower. With the assistance of a sheriff’s deputy, they were able to apply cold packs to the subject’s armpits and back of his neck in an attempt to cool the subject down. The subject was monitored until EMS arrived and the subject was loaded into the ambulance where his body temperature was found to be 104 degrees. He was transported to the hospital for treatment.
CO Ben Shively responded to a complaint from a charter boat captain on the Muskegon River in Newaygo County that subjects were keeping undersized fish. CO Shively responded to the access site along the Muskegon River and located the three subjects who were wading in the river. CO Shively watched the subjects for 40 minutes catching fish until they returned to the access site where he contacted them. All anglers were checked for licenses and one angler was found to be in possession of one undersized brown trout and another angler was found to be in possession of five undersized brown trout. Both subjects were cited for possession of the undersized fish.
COs Ben Shively and Micah Hintze attended the hunter safety field day at Grace Youth Camp in Oceana County. The COs instructed on transportation of firearms in vehicles, live fire of long guns, and live fire of archery equipment. 40 students successfully completed the field day.
CO Angela Greenway investigated an illegal dock with boats mooring at a public road ending on Round Lake. CO Greenway was able to contact all vessel owners and explain the law. All parties agreed to remove the dock and vessels to follow the law.
CO Angela Greenway responded to a feeding complaint at an apartment complex in Big Rapids. CO Greenway was able to locate the elderly female who was responsible for placing the feed. The elderly woman advised CO Greenway that her one big enjoyment is feeding and watching the birds and explained that she does not have a way to hang the feeders high enough to get them away from the deer, so she just throws the seed on the ground. CO Greenway felt compelled to assist so she could continue to enjoy the birds and get in compliance with the law. CO Greenway returned to her residence and retrieved a drill and hooks and a couple of older bird feeders. CO Greenway returned to the apartment complex and hung the feeders in a way she could refill them, and they were not accessible to the deer. She is now in compliance with the law and still can continue enjoying the birds from her apartment.
While patrolling for ORV activity near Log Lake in Kalkaska County, CO Jacob Hamilton observed an ORV travelling down the road toward his location. The operator did not have a helmet on and was not displaying an ORV license. CO Hamilton pulled in behind the ORV which had stopped at the road’s end. CO Hamilton noticed the operator reach down by his left foot as if to hide something. Upon contacting the operator, CO Hamilton observed a red Yeti mug with ice and a brown colored liquid in it. CO Hamilton asked the operator what was in the mug. The operator stated it was just coke. After further questioning, the subject admitted he had also put alcohol in the mug. CO Hamilton used his PBT to conduct a passive test on the container of liquid. The result was positive for alcohol. CO Hamilton issued the operator a citation for open intoxicants on an ORV and for operating an ORV with no helmet.
CO Jacob Hamilton was patrolling Bear Lake, in Kalkaska County when he contacted two anglers on a boat. CO Hamilton asked to see their fishing licenses. One of the anglers stated, she did not have a fishing license and the other angler began looking for his license on his phone. CO Hamilton used his radio to confirm that neither angler had purchased a 2023 fishing license. Citations were issued for fishing without a license.
CO Kyle Bader addressed a group of young anglers and their parents at a fishing derby put on by the Skidway Lake Optimist Club in Ogemaw County. CO Bader took the opportunity to educate the participants on the negative impacts AIS are having on our lakes and the importance of cleaning gear and boats between lakes.
While heading to the office to pick up a boat, CO Tyler Sabuda responded to a call of an accidental gunshot wound. CO Sabuda was minutes away from the location of the call. CO Sabuda assessed the situation and held pressure on the wound until medical personnel arrived and took over.
COs Josh Russell and Ryan Weakman were on marine patrol in Clare County when they learned there was an active fishing tournament on Budd Lake. The COs contacted dozens of anglers who were participating in the event. Several of the anglers had short bass in their live wells. Citations were issued for possessing undersized bass.
While on ORV patrol in Bay County, CO Paul Lyden noticed a side-by-side operating down the roadway. As the side-by side-turned onto CO Lyden’s road, he noticed the operator was very young and the side-by-side had an expired registration. CO Lyden made a stop and found out the operator was only 13 years old and was not wearing a seat belt. CO Lyden followed the side-by-side home and discussed the safety issues with the operator’s parents. A citation was issued for failure to license an ORV and multiple warnings were given.
While patrolling Van Buren County, CO Matt Page was first on scene to a medical call involving a male subject who had collapsed unconscious and was agonal breathing. CO Page arrived on scene approximately two minutes after the initial call. The subject showed signs of a possible drug overdose. CO Page administered two doses of NARCAN to the individual who shortly after, began breathing normally again and regained consciousness. The individual was transported to the hospital where he recovered before refusing any additional medical help and left the hospital.
While patrolling Van Buren County, CO Matt Page responded to the scene of a fatal accident involving a young child. The vehicle was rear ended while attempting to make a turn. After several units began first aid measures and scene processing, CO Page was able to shut down traffic until the crash scene reconstructionist was able to complete the investigation. The ongoing case is being handled by the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department.
CO Anna Cullen responded to a head-on dirt bike accident on the Cedar Creek Trail system in Muskegon County. CO Cullen was first on scene and was able to locate the victims of the incident using the pin provided by the 911 call and provide initial medical evaluations. CO Cullen, with the assistance of the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Department, transported the most injured victim to emergency personnel. The rider was then transported via helicopter to Grand Rapids for further medical treatment. CO Cullen followed up with both victims of the incident and confirmed they are both recovering well.
CO Anna Cullen was checking anglers near Muskegon Lake when she observed a group of people shore fishing. After watching the individuals for approximately five minutes, she made contact. Immediately, the first person she contacted advised that he was not catching anything, and he was just “testing his pole.” CO Cullen asked for the subject’s identification and followed him to his vehicle. CO Cullen asked the subject if there were any other individuals or weapons in the vehicle. As she was speaking with a passenger of the vehicle, she observed a bucket in the back seat of the vehicle. In the bucket, there was a fish tail sticking out of it. CO Cullen instructed the subject to remove the bucket. He explained that the fish were given to him; he did not catch them. In the bucket were four largemouth bass and one bluegill. Three of the bass were below the 14-inch minimum size limit. The subject was found to have three misdemeanor warrants out of Muskegon County and did not possess a valid fishing license. CO Cullen issued a citation for possessing fish without a license and she lodged the individual on the warrants.
CO Carter Woodwyk was checking anglers at the Miner Lake boat launch in Allegan County. The CO was talking to an angler who was loading up his vessel and another subject standing on the dock. When the angler loaded up his vessel, he said to the CO, “Alright officer, have a good day.” The angler pulled up out of the water a short distance and got out to tie down his vessel. The CO walked up and asked how their fishing was and requested to see their fish and fishing licenses. The angler opened his live wells on the vessel revealing a total of 11 largemouth bass caught by two anglers and only two of the largemouth bass were of the legal length of 14 inches or over. The nine short largemouth bass were released back into the lake. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Brandon Benedict responded to a captive fawn complaint in Shiawassee County. The subject was walking her dog and the fawn began to follow them. The subject then picked up the fawn and brought it back to her residence. CO Benedict took the fawn and educated the subject on having captive fawns and rehabilitating them without a permit. CO Benedict brought the fawn to a licensed rehabilitation facility.
CO Lisa Taube responded to an ongoing neighbor dispute about feeding in Livingston County. The complainant was angry that the suspect is feeding the sandhill cranes. He reported that she was feeding deer but admitted that deer just frequent the area. The complainant and suspect were educated on the regulations pertaining to feeding sandhill cranes versus allowing access to the deer.
CO Lisa Taube responded to an angler harassment complaint on Lake Chemung in Livingston County. The complainant was not a victim of the behavior but had witnessed it. Contact was made with the suspect, and he was educated on angler harassment and the potential consequences in the future.
COs Les Bleil and Keven Luther witnessed a male subject fishing with four lines at Elizabeth Park. The subject was warned to reel in the one extra line. As the COs made their way back to their patrol vehicle, the man was observed still fishing with four lines. CO Bleil issued a citation for fishing with more than three lines.
While on marine patrol on Belleville Lake, CO Dave Schaumburger observed a personal watercraft (PWC) driving at a high rate of speed. Using radar, the CO clocked the PWC at 70 mph, which is much higher than Belleville Lake’s speed limit of 30 mph. The driver was issued a citation for his high speed.
While on marine patrol on the Detroit River, COs Dave Schaumburger and Dan Walzak came across a vessel that was not displaying a Michigan registration decal or MC numbers. The operator said his boat was documented and he also registered his boat, but he did not know where the sticker was. Information received from dispatch confirmed that the operator did not have a vessel registered to him. A citation was issued for failing to register a vessel.
CO David Schaumburger was on marine patrol when he smelled the odor of marijuana. There was a boat approximately 20 feet in front of him that he thought was smoking, so he used his binoculars to verify. In the next few minutes, he viewed the passengers passing a blunt between themselves all the while looking back at the CO. When the vessel was stopped, the passenger who was last smoking the blunt told the CO he was the only person smoking. The CO let him know he watched him pass it to his son in the passenger seat a mere 10 feet away from the CO. One of the unhappy subjects began talking to the CO telling him, “I cannot believe they got stopped for marijuana and don’t you have better things to do.” CO David Schaumburger issued two citations for marijuana use in public.
While driving to Belle Isle, CO David Schaumburger was stopped on I-94 for construction traffic when his patrol vehicle was hit from behind. Luckily for the CO, there was no damage or injuries to himself. The driver was issued a ticket for failing to stop in an assured clear distance. When the driver was handed the ticket, he was not sure why this circumstance warranted a ticket.
CO Joshua Salas and Sgt. Jason Becker were on marine patrol on Lake Orion when they observed an individual attempting to power load his boat at the launch. The COs contacted the individual and addressed the violation with him. During the contact, the COs noticed his registration was also expired on his boat. The violations were addressed, and a citation was issued to the individual.
CO Luke Robare worked a complaint of dirt bikes riding through a farmer’s field and destroying crops. COs Luke Robare and Justin Muehlhauser patrolled the area and located a dirt bike in the area. CO Robare attempted to stop the dirt bike that was trespassing on Consumers Energy property connected to the farm field. When CO Robare activated his lights and siren, the suspect on the dirt bike fled. CO Robare located an individual in the area who knew who was driving the dirt bike. COs Robare and Muehlhauser searched the area and located the suspect hiding at a friend's house. CO Robare identified the suspect and found that the individual was a minor. CO Robare impounded the dirt bike and issued citations to the minor and turned him over to his parents.
CO Luke Robare patrolled Consumers Energy powerlines in Burton. CO Robare stopped two ORVs trespassing on the property and issued them citations.
CO Justin Muehlhauser was checking anglers on Lake Ponemah and spotted a small vessel with two occupants fishing. As the CO was checking another vessel, the boat began to leave the area. The CO contacted the vessel, checked fishing licenses, and inspected their catch. The CO quickly noticed that there were two undersized largemouth bass in their bucket. One angler asked, “How big do they have to be?” The CO explained that it was his responsibility to know. The angler stated that he did not know the rules and agreed that he should. The fish were seized, and the angler was cited for taking/possessing undersized bass.
CO Cody Bourgeois worked marine patrol on several lakes in Oakland County. The CO wrote several tickets for no boaters’ safety certificates to several individuals riding jet skis. Furthermore, the CO wrote several tickets for unregistered watercraft.
CO Cody Bourgeois was patrolling through Oakland County. The CO was driving in a 35-mph zone when a vehicle passed him extremely fast. The CO ended up pacing the vehicle at 63 mph in a 35-mph zone. The CO conducted a traffic stop and cited the driver for speed.
CO Joshua Salas was on marine patrol when he observed a watercraft with no registration. The CO stopped the vessel and questioned the owner about the boat. The owner had owned the boat for a year and stated he was just too lazy to attach the stickers. A citation was issued for failure to register his vessel.
CO Joseph Deppen was checking for AIS activity along Lake St. Clair when he noticed an angler fishing with four rods. Three rods were cast out and the angler would take the fourth rod and walk to the far side of the pier and catch live gobies and place them in his cooler. CO Deppen watched the angler bait the hook with a live goby, cast it out and almost immediately caught a smallmouth bass. The angler took the bass off the hook and placed it in a black plastic bag at his feet; the bag looked heavy. He later went and placed the bag at the base of a trash can and went back to fishing with four lines. CO Deppen observed him catch another smallmouth bass, put it in the plastic bag and decided to make contact. As CO Deppen approached the angler, he reeled in and was holding a huge smallmouth bass. As he looked over and saw CO Deppen, he released the bass back into Lake St. Clair. CO Deppen asked about the fishing and the angler said that was his first fish of the day. CO Deppen checked his fishing license and identification. A check of his lines showed that all lines were baited with live gobies. CO Deppen asked about the black bag near the trash can and the angler said he does not know whose bag that is. CO Deppen said, “I know it is your bag and it has at least two smallmouth bass in it.” The angler confessed and said it was his bag and he has bass in it. A check revealed there were four smallmouth bass in the bag and three were undersized. The angler said, “Google says its 14-inch length and it is open season, so we’re good right?” CO Deppen asked the man, “If it was open season, why did you throw that smallmouth bass back when I pulled up and you saw me?” The angler just shrugged his shoulders. A check of the subject’s cooler revealed crawfish, rock bass, live gobies, and a small snapping turtle. The angler was cited for take/possess smallmouth bass during the closed season, fishing with more than three lines, and take/possess live AIS. The angler was given verbal warnings for three counts of take/possess undersized smallmouth bass, take possess snapping turtle closed season, take/possess undersized snapping turtle, and littering.
CO Sydney Griffor patrolled for late night shore anglers in the St. Clair area. CO Griffor observed an individual walk back to his vehicle and place a fish in a red cooler in the trunk of the car. CO Griffor observed the angler fishing once again. She asked if he had any luck fishing and he stated he did not. After asking to see his fishing license, the angler stated he did not have one and was unable find his driver’s license. The angler found his identification in the vehicle. CO Griffor asked what was inside the red cooler in the trunk. The angler opened the cooler, which had four walleyes inside it. The angler was issued a citation for taking/possessing fish without a license and the fish were seized.
COs Sydney Griffor and Danielle Zubek patrolled for late night shore anglers. Several shore anglers were contacted. One angler stated he only needed one more walleye to reach his daily limit. COs Griffor and Zubek hid their patrol trucks and continued to observe the shore anglers. The COs observed the angler who was one walleye short of his limit, catch and keep five more walleyes. The angler was checked again by the COs and was in possession of 10 walleyes, making him four walleyes over the limit. The angler was issued a citation for taking an over-limit of walleye, and the additional four walleyes were seized.
COs Sydney Griffor and Bobby Watson participated in the Kimball Township fishing derby at Sutherland Park during free fishing weekend. The COs interacted with the children, helped them fish and passed out DNR goodies. The COs also answered several questions from the children and their families.
CO Bob Watson made a traffic stop on a vehicle travelling along a gravel road. The vehicle had disregarded a stop sign and was unable to produce valid insurance or registration. A citation was issued.
CO Jaime Salisbury was working on a trespassing complaint when he noticed a suspicious vehicle in a parking lot. CO Salisbury checked the license plate in LEIN and noticed that the license plate did not belong on the vehicle on which it was placed. CO Salisbury waited for the vehicle to leave and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. Through his investigation, it was discovered that the driver of the vehicle was highly intoxicated from alcohol. CO Salisbury arrested the individual for operating while intoxicated. A criminal history report revealed the man had three prior OWI arrests already, one of which was just a week prior to CO Salisbury contacting him. The man was released when he posted a $100,000 bond.
While patrolling along the St Clair River, Sgt. Seth Rhodea stopped at the Marine City DNR boat launch to check anglers returning from fishing. The first boat checked by Sgt. Rhodea had two anglers who said they had their limit that morning. A check of their catch revealed one walleye that was an inch short, and a check of the anglers’ fishing licenses revealed that only one angler had a license. A citation was issued.
CO Brandon Hartleben was clearing marine patrol on the Halfmoon Chain of Lakes and decongesting launch traffic when he observed two vehicles parked on the beach area next to the boat launch. Both vehicles were issued citations for parking in a non-designated area.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll and PCO Elliot Worel responded to a drowning at Milan Beach. Local firefighters, Dundee City Police, and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department were already on scene when the COs arrived. The COs were able to assist the search efforts by providing some of their issued equipment to the search team and keeping the site secure. The victim was recovered from the water shortly after 8 PM by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the 23-year-old victim was pronounced dead.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll and PCO Elliot Worel were conducting marine activity checks at Hoffman Access, located across from Bolles Harbor, when they noted two men fishing near the lighthouse pier. After further investigation, it was found that one of the men did not have a fishing license and they were in possession of more than their daily limit of channel catfish. The COs cited one of the men for fishing with no license and the other for possessing five fish over his daily limit.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll and PCO Elliot Worel responded to a dispatch request for any unit in the area of Swan Creek to respond to a 911 medical emergency. The COs were first at the residence along with a Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy. Inside, they found a man who was having unexplained seizures and blackouts, due to a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in military service. His episodes caused him to become confused and aggravated with the paramedics. The man’s condition did not improve after paramedics assessed him and he was taking an aggressive posture when it was determined that he needed to be transported to the hospital for treatment. The COs were able to calm the man down and re-assure him that they were there to help him. This helped ease his mind and calmed him enough to be transported without any issues to the hospital for treatment.
CO Nicholas Ingersoll and PCO Elliot Worel contacted an ORV operator who was watching the sunset on a backroad of Monroe County. The COs spoke with the driver who was showing signs of intoxication. After the individual completed the field sobriety tests, it was determined that the driver was indeed intoxicated and had a few too many beers. The individual was administered a PBT which showed results of .089. The ORV operator was arrested for operating an ORV under the influence of alcohol and lodged at the Monroe County Jail after a blood draw was completed at the hospital.
While working a shift on Belle Isle, CO Jake Daniel noticed two anglers catching panfish at a quick rate. CO Daniel observed the anglers catch their limit and continue to catch and keep fish. CO Joe Deppen helped with the contact, and it was discovered one angler was over the limit by 82 panfish while also possessing an undersized largemouth bass. The other angler was over the limit by 29 panfish. The anglers were both cited for an over-limit of panfish with one of them being cited for the undersized bass as well.
CO Thomas Jaakkola worked a Belle Isle patrol and assisted the US Coast Guard in relocating a deer that they rescued from the river. Assistance was provided getting the deer out of the USCG boat and back onto the island.
While patrolling on Belle Isle, CO Luke Robare heard a group of motorcycles traveling at a high rate of speed based on the engine noise. While he was unable to locate them, he notified CO Dave Schaumburger to be ready with his radar when they exited the island. CO Dave Schaumburger was indeed ready and clocked the group of motorcycles traveling at 70 mph in a 25-mph zone. Not only were they speeding, but they were weaving in and out of traffic and using the shoulder to pass. Only one of the three motorcycles stopped and was issued a ticket for careless driving and speeding.
While patrolling on Belle Isle, CO Dave Schaumburger stopped multiple vehicles for speeding. The speeds that were cited were 55, 54, 54, 50, and 50 in a 25-mph zone.
CO David Schaumburger and Sgt. Damon Owens were on marine patrol when they came across a vessel violating the slow no wake local watercraft control north of Belle Isle. The COs stopped the vessel and conducted a marine safety check. The operator of the vessel did not have enough PFDs onboard and did not have a Type IV PFD for the vessel. He was cited for failing to provide PFDs.
CO Ariel Young was conducting a stationary radar patrol when she stopped a vehicle that was travelling at 41 mph in a 25-mph zone. After contacting the subject, who has been to the park multiple times, CO Young issued the subject a citation for speeding 15 mph over the speed limit instead of the whole 16 mph over they were travelling. The subject stated that they were done coming to Belle Isle because they had never been stopped previously for speeding. The subject was also given a warning for failing to provide a copy of insurance.
CO Joseph Deppen worked two Belle Isle shifts. Multiple citations were written for speed, driving with a suspended license, possession of alcohol, not wearing a seatbelt, and driving the wrong way down a one-way street.
While clearing Belle Isle, CO Joseph Deppen came across two persons drinking in the beach parking lot. One subject had a Michigan driver’s license, and the second subject could only produce an identification card from Mexico. The subject was detained, and CO Deppen contacted the United States Border Patrol (USBP). The male was in the United States illegally. He was issued citations for possession of alcohol, and he was turned over to USBP agents for processing.
CO Jaime Salisbury had a Belle Isle shift. While patrolling, the CO came across an angler who was in possession of two short bass. The angler stated it was her first-time fishing. When CO Salisbury checked her through LEIN, it was discovered that she had a warrant from a previous year for taking an over-limit of fish. CO Salisbury issued a citation for each short bass.
CO Mike Drexler worked a busy afternoon shift on Belle Isle. CO Drexler worked traffic enforcement after complaints of speeding on the island. CO Drexler issued two speeding tickets for operators that were traveling 49 mph in a 25-mph zone and 50 mph in a 25-mph zone.
Sgt. Shane Webster patrolled Belle Isle Park over the weekend. Multiple alcohol, parking, and traffic warnings were issued. One citation was issued to a subject for exceeding double the posted speed limit.
GREAT LAKES ENFORCEMENT UNIT (GLEU)
Corporal (Cpl.) Craig Milkowski, with the assistance of NOAA LEO Jared Kreeger, responded to a complaint that a possible shipwreck artifact was removed from Lake Huron north of Oscoda. Information stated the large wooden object was tied to a dolly at the foot of the stairs leading to the suspect’s residence. Upon arrival, contact was made with the homeowner who stated he had recovered a wooden object in front of his house last fall, and he assumed it came from one of the local shipwrecks. The item was left on shore in hopes it would dry out and be lighter to drag up to the house. During the contact, two adjoining homeowners came forward as well and stated they had recovered several possible shipwreck items and turned those over to officers as well. What started as one item turned into five recovered shipwreck artifacts which were transported to Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary.
Cpl. Nick Atkin conducted an AIS education and outreach patrol at the Landing Blitz at the AuGres DNR BAS. Many contacts were made with anglers and boaters, discussing the “Clean, Drain, Dry” initiative.
Cpl. Pat Hartsig handled a complaint in Taylor regarding a store selling “dinosaur fish,” which the complainant thought might be snakeheads. The fish turned out to be gray bichirs, which are not prohibited in the Michigan pet trade.
Cpl. Troy Van Gelderen and CO Micah Hintze patrolled between Whitehall and Manistee, checking state and tribal nets, and checking salmon fishermen. Several “overlimit of lines” tickets were issued to salmon fishermen during the patrol.