Department of Natural Resources
Conservation Officer (CO) Josh Boudreaux worked a complaint of numerous subjects from a camp taking an over-limit of bluegill on a lake in Marquette County. CO Boudreaux patrolled the lake in a kayak, observing fishermen around the lake. After observing all suspected parties involved, CO Boudreaux contacted the first boat. The two anglers were very surprised to see a conservation officer on the lake and had multiple violations, including no fishing licenses, an unregistered boat, and no Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs). They returned to their camp to retrieve identification and PFDs with CO Boudreaux. Once at the camp, the subjects were questioned about the number of fish in their possession. The fishermen directed CO Boudreaux to a large cooler that contained 35 bags of fish fillets totaling over 300 bluegills. CO Boudreaux and the pair of anglers went back onto the lake and rounded up the rest of the fishing party. Each group contacted had additional violations including no fishing licenses and unregistered boats. More bluegill were located in each vessel as they continued catching the large bluegill off their spawning beds. When all parties were rounded up and all fish were counted, a total of 372 bluegill were in their possession. Additional bluegill had already been consumed. Only three of the eight anglers had fishing licenses, two of the boats were unregistered, three subjects did not have PFDs and the group was well over the limit of bluegill for licensed anglers. The fish were seized, and tickets were issued for taking an over-limit of bluegill. The fish were photographed and donated to various families in the county. The group stated they would not soon forget this fishing trip as it was a huge wake-up call for all of them.
CO Boudreaux was patrolling a stretch of County Road 550 with no cell service when he noticed a vehicle pulled onto the shoulder of the road with the hazard lights on. CO Boudreaux stopped and found the couple had tried to change a flat tire when the scissor jack sunk into the soft shoulder of the road. CO Boudreaux used a floor jack and assisted them with changing the tire and getting them back on the road. The two were very thankful for the assistance.
CO Josh Boudreaux was following up on a complaint at Van Riper State Park when a citizen notified him of a fire burning in the woods near US 41, just west of the park. CO Boudreaux responded to the scene, located the fire, and extinguished it before it spread any further. Champion Volunteer Fire Department responded to the location and further drenched the area to prevent any reignition. The fire appeared to have been started by a tree that had fallen onto the powerlines.
CO Cody Smith was on patrol when a call came across the radio that an individual had fallen off a cliff and into the Sturgeon River at Canyon Falls. CO Smith responded to the scene with a Baraga County deputy, local fire, Emergency Medical Services (EMS), and Search and Rescue. The individual was helped from the river by some hikers and was complaining of pain in their leg. Once adequate personnel were on scene, CO Smith assisted with carrying the victim in a stokes basket to an ambulance approximately one-third of a mile up the trail. The subject was transported to the local hospital for further care.
CO Hermanson patrolled to Isle Royale National Park with a DNR wildlife biologist and technician to work on a project in conjunction with the National Park Service. Assistance was provided as the group hiked to a Peregrine falcon nesting site on Passage Island, and then rappelled down a cliff face to retrieve and band chicks before returning them to the nest. A similar effort was made on the opposite end of the island. Three chicks were successfully banded.
CO Brian Lasanen reported that an illegal deer case from the 2018 firearm season was completed in Ontonagon County. In April, a jury found the suspect guilty of shooting a deer without a license. This past Monday the suspect was sentenced to five days jail, $6,000 reimbursement, and license revocation for the remainder of this year and the next three years.
COs Zach Painter and Jenni Hanson assisted the Ontonagon County Sheriff’s Department with a search for a fleeing felon. The day prior, the suspect had stolen two vehicles, accosted two seasonal DNR employees, attempted to steal their vehicle, and broke into a cabin in northern Ontonagon County. The deputy conducting the investigation saw the suspect run into the woods, so the officers set up a perimeter. After a six-hour search, the suspect was seen walking the main road, but fled into the woods yet again. All officers pursued on foot to apprehend the suspect. CO Hanson was the first to observe the suspect and provided his direction of travel. CO Painter was then able to apprehend him and place him in custody. Other agencies assisting were Michigan State Police (MSP), MSP K9, U.S. Forest Service, and Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.
COs Jeremy Sergey and Cody Smith responded to a capsized sailboat with four people in the water in Menominee County where the sailboat had struck a sandbar. The individuals were able to make it to shore.
CO Cody Smith received a tip from a deputy that there were multiple snapping turtle carcasses observed hanging behind a local residence in Baraga County. CO Smith was able to contact the residents. Two snapping turtle carcasses were retrieved from the scene, one of which was undersized with an 11-inch carapace. The resident had explained he caught them both while fishing on the same day. CO Smith explained to the angler that the season was closed until July 15 and that the daily bag limit was one snapping turtle per day with a possession limit of two total. A ticket was issued for taking snapping turtles out of season.
CO Josh Boudreaux and John Kamps were patrolling Ely Township after receiving complaints of a group of Off-Road Vehicles (ORVs) tearing up the snowmobile trails. COs heard some loud engines revving in the distance and, after estimating their location, began heading in that direction. The COs located a group of side-by-sides who stated a group of trucks had just passed through minutes before and had been mudbogging in the nearby water. A few miles up the road, the COs caught up to the vehicles, which were stopped in the road, and observed the driver of the rearmost vehicle take a long drink from a silver can before looking up into his rearview mirror and quickly attempting to hide his beverage. The COs contacted the operators of the two vehicles, who both had open containers of alcohol and were exhibiting signs of intoxication. Both subjects were arrested for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) and were lodged in the Marquette County Jail.
CO Zach Painter was on patrol in Gogebic County assisting the Gogebic County Sheriff's Department with an abandoned vehicle in a ditch. CO Painter was assisting with traffic control while the vehicle was being pulled from the ditch. A vehicle approached and CO Painter made contact to inform the driver that they would be able to get through shortly. While talking with the driver, CO Painter smelled the odor of intoxicants coming from the vehicle and noticed several signs of impairment. CO Painter conducted Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) on the driver of the vehicle. The driver was placed under arrest for OWI and lodged in the Gogebic County Jail.
CO Brian Lasanen responded to a distress call of a person in the water off McLain State Park. The swimmer was on a floatie and got blown off-shore by the prevailing off-shore wind. The swimmer fell into the water and was able to make it to a near-by kayaker and hang on to the kayak. CO Lasanen launched his patrol boat and arrived on scene about 20 minutes after the call came in. As CO Lasanen was arriving on the scene, the swimmer was being helped into another boat. Once the patient was on the boat, she was transported to CO Lasanen’s patrol boat and brought to shore. CO Lasanen covered the patient with a blanket and jacket to warm the patient up. The patient was suffering from hypothermia and was happy to be heading back to shore. Once on shore, the patient was delivered to waiting paramedics.
CO Andrea Dani attended an Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) “blitz” with Alger Conservation District employees. The blitz took place at the AuTrain Lake boat launch and the Munising Municipal Marina. It included a free boat pressure-wash from Michigan State University interns. The warm weather brought out many boaters who were interested in learning more about invasive species and what they can do to prevent them from spreading.
While on routine marine patrol, COs Robert Freeborn and Steven Butzin were checking some anglers fishing a narrow channel. As the COs cleared their check, they observed a boat take off from a nearby residence and start doing doughnuts in the channel. As the COs approached closer, they observed the boat had an expired registration. Once the COs contacted the operator, it was determined that he did not have PFDs on board as well. A citation was issued for no PFDs.
CO Robert Freeborn assisted MSP in responding to an elderly subject who fell out of his boat at the launch and was cold and disoriented. Arriving at the same time as EMS, he was helped into the ambulance where he was checked out by EMS staff.
COs Chris Lynch and Steven Butzin were on ptraol when they observed a vehicle in oncoming traffic coming towards them operating left of center with the driver not wearing a seatbelt. A traffic stop was conducted and contact with the two occupants in the vehicle was made. The odor of intoxicants came from the cab of the vehicle and the driver and passenger were displaying behavior consistent with someone under the influence of narcotics. CO Cynch conducted SFSTs on the driver while CO Butzin and MSP troopers conducted a consent search of the vehicle. Open intoxicants and several narcotics were in the vehicle. Upon running both occupants of the vehicle through dispatch, it was learned the driver had a suspended driver's license. The driver failed the sobriety tests and was placed under arrest for felony OWI, driving on a suspended license/subsequent offense, and open intoxicants. The female passenger gave several false names and was under the influence of narcotics. MSP took the female passenger into custody for further investigation. The vehicle was towed from the scene, a search warrant was obtained for a blood draw on the driver, and the driver was lodged in the Delta County Jail.
COs Chris Lynch and Breanna Reed were on patrol when a medical call was received of an unresponsive woman that had overdosed on prescription medications. The COs were first on scene and administered first aid to the unresponsive woman. The COs utilized their department issued Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to help monitor the woman. A deputy arrived on scene shortly after and a dosage of Narcan was issued to the woman. The woman instantly woke up and was alert. The ambulance then arrived on scene and took the woman to the hospital.
CO Cole VanOosten was on ORV patrol near Bass Lake when a call was received about a domestic in progress with reports of shots being fired within the residence. The intoxicated individual suspect stated that if police were called, he would start shooting people. CO VanOosten responded with Luce County Sherriff’s deputies and MSP to the residence. At the time of contact, the suspect was no longer at the residence. Officers responded to the suspect’s residence in Hulbert, but it appeared the suspect had moved from his last known address. The investigation is ongoing.
CO Jessie Curtis received a complaint of a bald eagle that was stuck to a porcupine in northern Alpena County. CO Curtis responded to the scene and discovered the bald eagle had tried to eat a porcupine. The bald eagle had porcupine quills in its face and wings; CO Curtis was able to remove most of the porcupine quills from the Bald eagle’s face. CO Jon Sheppard transported the bald eagle to a local raptor rehabilitator for further treatment.
CO Dan Liestenfeltz assisted the Montmorency County Sheriff’s Department with a juvenile subject that had violated his parole. The probation officer was able to detect the juvenile’s location by tracking his ankle monitor device. The monitor showed the juvenile in the middle of West Twin Lake. CO Liestenfeltz launched his patrol boat onto the lake and was able to locate the juvenile on a pontoon boat. The juvenile was taken into custody without incident.
CO Paul Fox was patrolling Tomahawk Lake in Presque Isle County late at night when he observed a vehicle pass him at a high rate of speed. CO Fox followed the vehicle for a short distance before initiating a traffic stop. It appeared that the driver was impaired by alcohol and other drugs. The subject failed the sobriety evaluations. The subject was arrested for OWI and lodged at the Presque Isle County Jail.
Sergeant (Sgt.) Dan Bigger, Corporal (Cpl.) Steve Martin, and COs Rich Stowe and Amanda Lake worked alongside the US Coast Guard, MSP, Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department, and Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Department to assist in coverage during the National Cherry Festival Air Show. All departments provided marine support to safeguard a secure area and provide emergency response should an incident occur during the event. Interagency cooperation allowed for the weekend to pass without incident.
CO Amanda Lake assisted the US Coast Guard and Leelanau County Sheriff’s Department to determine whether there was a drowning victim in Lake Michigan after a kite board was seen floating offshore. While the Coast Guard and Leelanau County Marine Division conducted search patterns on the water, CO Lake interviewed numerous subjects on the ground and was able to determine that the kite board was lost two days prior near Point Betsie. The subject who lost the item was safe and the search was subsequently called off.
CO Josiah Killingbeck responded to a report of an ORV crash in Lake County and arrived on scene to find the operator with serious injuries. CO Killingbeck provided first aid and called for a helicopter to transport the victim to a downstate trauma center for treatment. CO Killingbeck turned the patient over to EMS when they arrived and assisted setting up a landing zone for the helicopter.
CO Josiah Killingbeck, while on patrol, was assisting a US Forest Service officer on a traffic stop when he observed three dirt bikes coming towards his location. One dirt bike was operating on the wrong side of the road and another began doing wheelies and driving carelessly towards the officers. CO Killingbeck contacted the subjects, who said that they did not realize CO Killingbeck was a law enforcement officer and they were just “having fun.” CO Killingbeck asked the subjects if they could save the “fun” for the designated ORV trails. The subject doing wheelies said he did not see why he couldn’t do wheelies on this road because there were not “that many houses around.” The subject was educated on ORV regulations and a citation for careless driving was issued.
CO Steven Converse was on ORV patrol in Lake County when he observed two ORVs being operated on a Consumers Energy powerline. CO Converse observed that both ORVs were occupied by two people and with no one having helmets or eye protection on. The subjects apparently also observed the patrol vehicle, turned around and took off at a high rate of speed. Upon contacting the subjects, CO Converse noticed that two of the subjects were crying. When asked what was wrong, the subjects explained that while trying to get away, they had gotten sand in their eyes. In addition to not wearing helmets or eye protection, neither ORV had been licensed, they were trespassing on utility property, and riding double. The drivers received tickets for utility trespass and riding double, and the passengers received tickets for not wearing helmets. No medical attention was needed, but the subjects stated that they now understand the importance of wearing helmets and eye protection.
Patrolling Mason County, CO Kyle Publiski encountered a side-by-side ORV with a registration violation. CO Publiski stopped the ORV as it was pulling into a residence. The operator of the ORV grabbed a beer bottle and attempted to hide it. CO Publiski walked over to the bottle, picked it up and walked back to the operator and asked him why he was trying to hide an empty beer bottle. The subject’s head dropped, and he replied, “I grabbed the wrong one.” CO Publiski then grabbed the open half-full beer bottle out of the cup holder of the ORV. The subject was cited for the possession of an open intoxicant in an ORV.
CO Tim Barboza heard an officer call out a traffic stop. Moments later, CO Barboza heard the officer call out that the suspect he had pulled over had taken off on foot. CO Barboza responded to the pursuit of the fleeing felon and was able to assist the officer in searching and arresting the fleeing felon.
COs Angela Greenway, Jeff Ginn and Sgt. Mike Bomay attended an AIS educational day at Bills Lake in Newaygo County. The volunteer group was educating the public on the importance of washing boats after leaving the lake.
CO Jeff Ginn assisted the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department, EMS, and Fire that needed assistance to locate an ORV operator that had hit a log and struck her head. The remote location required CO Ginn to transport EMS and Fire to locate the victim and assisted in transporting her out of the woods safely.
COs Charlie Jones and Mark Papineau assisted the Roscommon County Sheriff’s Department Dive Team in search of a missing woman on North Higgins Lake in Roscommon County. The COs patrolled the north part of the lake using side scan sonar to locate the possible victim. They also focused on the wooded area north of Higgins Lake utilizing ORVs. COs Jones and Papineau patrolled the area without success; however, the subject was later located by a local resident and turned over to the Roscommon County Sheriff’s Department for treatment and follow up.
COs Ben McAteeer and Matt Zultak were on patrol in Crawford County when they noticed the distinct odor of marijuana while driving in their patrol vehicle. There was only one other vehicle on the road in front of them. CO McAteer utilzed his radar to determine the other vehicle was travelling 10 mph over the speed limit and conducted a traffic stop. Upon contacting the driver, the smell of marijuana was present in the vehicle. Further investigation revealed marijuana and other narcotics. Field sobriety tests were performed, and the operator was found to be operating under the influence of drugs. The individual was arrested and lodged in the Crawford County Jail.
CO Matt Zultak conducted a traffic stop on an ORV operating in the roadway within the village of Roscommon. Upon contact, CO Zultak observed multiple signs of intoxication with the operator. Further investigation determined the subject had a blood alcohol content over 0.17. The ORV was impounded, and the operator was arrested for OWI and lodged in the Roscommon County Jail.
CO John Byars received a Report All Poaching (RAP) complaint about a person keeping a spotted fawn in captivity. The CO contacted the suspect who confessed and showed the CO the fawn. The fawn was taken and released in a near-by woods. The CO issued a verbal warning for the possession of the fawn and explained the law and the reason for it.
CO Adam Schiller helped this past week at the Gratiot Area Youth Police Academy. During the academy, the students learned some of the facets it takes to become a law enforcement officer with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The students partook in activities such as handcuffing, mock trials in the court room, room searching, and physical training. The CO also assisted the students in the DNR Hunter Education interactive shooting trailer. This teaches the youth how to operate a firearm in a safe manner and gives them the opportunity to simulate firing a firearm without firing live ammunition.
CO Josh Jackson was patrolling state land when he noticed fresh vehicle tracks veering off the designated trail. The CO found the subjects, who were camping in a state game area. The CO advised the campers that it is unlawful to camp in state game areas between May 15 through September 10. He also advised the visitors that all vehicles must stay on the designated paths. Two drivers were issued citations for operating vehicles in a restricted area. The campers cleaned up and left the area.
In Montcalm County, MSP was dispatched to a domestic dispute in progress in a small town. Dispatch notified the troopers that the female half was using a shovel to gain entry into the residence. The woman had broken several windows and the caller had locked himself in a room in the residence. CO Jackson heard the complaint and was first on scene and noticed the shovel next to a broken window in the house. The CO announced his presence and made entry into the residence. CO Jackson secured the scene and separated the two until MSP arrived and took over the investigation.
On the Saginaw River in Bay County, COs Adam Beuthin and Chad Foerster were on a group patrol when they observed a vessel operating with MC numbers that were unreadable. Upon making contact, CO Beuthin noticed there was fishing gear in the vessel. The CO asked if the operator of the vessel had been fishing and if he was successful. The subject told him yes and he had caught some fish. When the CO asked to see the fish, the subject told the CO they were in the cooler and he could look at them. The CO counted nine walleyes. The fisherman was issued a citation for possessing an over-limit of walleye.
CO Adam Beuthin was on patrol on the Saginaw Bay when he observed a vessel with two small children, and they were not wearing PFDs. When the operator of the vessel realized the marked patrol vessel, he quickly scrambled to put PFDs, which were not the proper size, on the children. When the CO boarded the vessel and after finding out the smaller child was only four years old, the operator was issued a ticket for failing to provide a PFD for a child less than six years of age and not wearing the PFD. The CO explained how imperative it is to not only have a child under the age of six wearing a PFD but making sure it is the correct size when on the water and recreating on all bodies of water.
COs Mike Haas and Dan Robinson were checking fishing activity on a western Isabella County inland lake when a gentleman standing along shore noticed the officers and ran into the woods. The COs followed the man into the woods and witnessed him warn another man of the officers’ presence. The other man hastily reeled in his fishing pole and then threw the pole into the woods. The gentlemen then noticed the COs had seen them and apologized for their actions. The angler had not purchased a fishing license since 2013 and was cited for fishing without a fishing license.
While on patrol in eastern Isabella County, COs Mike Haas and Dan Robinson received a complaint from Isabella Central Dispatch. A gentleman had called and complained that unknown individuals were operating their ORVs through his property and destroying his farm fields. The COs were able to respond quickly and located a residence near the complaint area with ORVs being operated in the yard. The COs concealed their patrol truck and watched the group of ORVs. After a few short minutes, the COs were able to verify that those were the ORVs they were looking for. A gentleman and a young child on a four-wheeler were witnessed leaving their property and then driving to a nearby farm field. The COs watched the four-wheeler operate all through the farm field and get stuck numerous times in the wet mud. Eventually the individuals exited the field where the COs were waiting. The property owner did not want to seek restitution for the damages of his plants and property; however, the COs issued a citation for ORV trespassing and warned the operator for numerous ORV violations.
CO Dan Robinson was called to a possible missing kayaker on the Chippewa River. CO Robinson responded to the area and launched his kayak in an area that was not accessible to other boats. After negotiating several impassible log jams, CO Robinson arrived at the caller’s house and met other first responders there. The caller reported that an empty kayak and PFD floated by his residence. Based on the location of the log jams and tracks left in the mud, it was determined that the person would have capsized in a short area between the last log jam and the caller’s residence. No missing persons were reported, and no vehicles were located at bridge crossings. It is suspected that the possible missing person was able to get out after capsizing and left the scene. The area was searched thoroughly before calling it off.
CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling Allegan County when he overheard the Allegan County Sheriff’s Department attempting to locate a carjacking suspect who fled the scene of a car crash. The suspect was described by witnesses to be in possession of an assault rifle. The CO arrived in the area of the most recently located vehicle that was stolen and crashed by the suspect and assisted the deputies with clearing the vehicle and the immediate area. While waiting for the county tactical team to arrive and start searching the area, a report of another stolen vehicle was called in. Seconds later the suspect raced pass the CO and all the deputies. The deputies pursued the suspect, who crashed the vehicle moments later, and placed him into custody.
CO Carter Woodwyk was patrolling a small lake in Allegan County when he observed a vessel being towed by another vessel. The CO observed the occupants on the vessel being towed fishing, and the vessel doing the towing to have an expired registration. The CO stopped the vessels and checked for fishing licenses and safety gear. One of the anglers did not have a fishing license and both vessels had insufficient PFDs on board. Tickets were issued for the violations.
A complaint was received of two subjects keeping undersized fish in Allegan County. CO Sam Schluckbier responded to the location to investigate. He located two individuals actively fishing and drinking in an alcohol-free park. Upon contact, he found two largemouth bass in a five-gallon bucket. One of the bass was 11 inches and under the legal size to keep. Neither individual had purchased a fishing license and claimed they were keeping the bass for pictures only. After further discussion, the male subject confessed to possessing the bass illegally. Tickets were issued for the fishing violations and the alcohol was dumped out.
COs Matt Page and Travis Dragomer were checking shore anglers in Berrien County when they observed an individual that appeared to be setting out gear to fish. The COs continued to check other locations before eventually returning to the area. Upon arrival, the individual was fishing and using cut bait in a bag consistent with bags of fish that had been littered in the stream in the past. The individual denied littering and insisted it was not his doing. When asked for a fishing license, the man stated that he did not buy one this year. The COs asked him why he continued to fish after they drove by earlier knowing he didn’t have a license and he stated that he wasn’t sure. Additionally, the individual came back with a warrant out of Saginaw County. A citation was issued for fishing without a license and the subject was lodged on the warrant.
CO Tyler Cole assisted South Haven Police Department with a deer that had broken through a store front in downtown South Haven on a busy Friday night. CO Cole helped corral the deer from the downtown area, where the deer eventually jumped into the river and swam to the other side.
CO Ivan Perez conducted a park patrol at Grand Haven State Park. He provided minor first aid to a young girl who had a small puncture wound to the bottom of her foot. While administering care to the young lady, a young boy about eight years old came up to him and expressed that he could not find his parents. CO Perez calmed the young man down and called for assistance from the park rangers on duty. After a few questions, CO Perez learned the phone number for the young man’s father. CO Perez attempted to call his father, but it went to voicemail. CO Perez left a message stating that his son was safe and to return his call. Other park personnel came out and assisted with keeping the young man calm while they continued the search. Approximately 20 minutes later, CO Perez received a call from the young man’s father who said that the boy’s mother was on her way to retrieve him. When his mother arrived, CO Perez learned that, when the family had arrived at the beach, dad went fishing at the pier while mom and the boy’s siblings hit the beach. They each thought their son had accompanied each other and had no idea he was missing.
While on patrol in Ionia County, CO Jeremy Beavers checked Long Lake for marine and angler activity. While checking shore anglers near the launch, CO Beavers spotted a subject on a jet ski pulling a child on a tube. CO Beavers noticed the operator did not have a spotter observing the child being towed. CO Beavers watched the jet ski for several minutes and saw it go to a dock near the launch. CO Beavers went to the location and contacted the operator. CO Beavers educated the operator on the safety risks of towing without an observer and issued the operator a citation for the infraction.
CO Anna Cullen was participating in marine and fish checks on White Lake. Contact was made with an individual who advised he had caught his limit of pan fish. He advised all 25 of his fish were inside his live well. After executing a marine safety check, CO Cullen counted the fish that were inside the live well and determined the individual was over his limit. After a brief explanation and discussion of the situation, CO Cullen issued a citation for the over-limit of pan fish.
CO Anna Cullen and Sgt. Jeff Rabbers were patrolling the Waterfront Park in North Muskegon when they noticed three anglers fishing off a dock. The three subjects were all observed holding fishing poles and actively fishing in Muskegon Lake. While the officers were walking towards them, one individual put his fishing pole down and was avoiding contact with Sgt. Rabbers and CO Cullen. Contact was made with the three subjects and the officers asked to see their fishing licenses. The one individual who put the pole down denied he was fishing. All three subjects did not provide a fishing license or a valid form of identification. CO Cullen recorded their information and determined that only one of the individuals had a valid fishing license. The subject who denied his participation in fishing was found to have an active warrant. This individual was taken into custody and a citation was written to the remaining individual for fishing without a license.
CO Casey Varriale was on patrol on Camp Lake in Kent County when he contacted an angler and his two young sons fishing. CO Varriale noted there were no PFDs on board. The owner of the boat stated he was testing the boat to see if it would float. The owner also stated he forgot his PFD at home and made a bad decision by not having them available for himself and his two young sons. A brief investigation determined the angler also did not have a fishing license. A citation was issued for the violations.
COs Andrew Monnich and Chris Reynolds were on patrol working an area known for ORV activity when they observed an ORV operating on the roadway. The COs contacted the operator and warned the operator for not having an ORV license. Later that evening, during another ORV stop, the COs observed the same individual from the earlier stop, still operating without a license. He was stopped, again, and this time was issued a citation for no ORV registration.
CO Jeff Goss investigated a complaint on Duck Lake in Calhoun County. Several people watched as two teenage boys intentionally drove their boat into a flock of geese multiple times. Charges are being sought through the Calhoun County Prosecutor’s Office.
CO Nick Wellman responded to a possible drowning on the North Chain of Lakes in Branch County. A kayaker had fallen out of a kayak, was screaming for help, and then disappeared under the water. A person standing on shore attempted to save him but was unsuccessful. CO Wellman responded with a patrol boat and assisted the Branch County Dive Team with searching the area. CO Wellman coordinated with a bass tournament that was going on during the incident in getting someone on land to start helping them car pool to their trucks and trailers and exit the lake at a different launch as the channel they needed to go through was shut down for the search. After several hours of searching, the victim was located and unfortunately had drowned in the channel.
CO Nick Wellman assisted Quincy Police Department with a call involving a female that had driven an ORV through a private yard, then came running to the door of the home asking for help and claiming someone was chasing her. CO Wellman contacted the female who stated someone was trying to capture her because she’s related to a presidential candidate and her child is worth a lot of money. CO Wellman and the Quincy officer determined she was under the influence of methamphetamine. She was taken to the hospital for an evaluation and then lodged in the Branch County jail on numerous violations.
CO Jim Nason responded to a call about a juvenile hawk that was found in an individual’s back yard. CO Nason was able to identify the bird as a Sharp-Shinned hawk. CO Nason located a nest with at least six other hawks in and around the tree. CO Nason examined the bird and no apparent injuries were detected. CO Nason was then able to climb a ladder up to a tree limb and place the hawk back into the tree it came from.
COs Nick Ingersoll and Brandon Vacek were patrolling the DTE Energy Hot Ponds on Plum Creek when they contacted an angler who was fishing. While contacting the angler, the COs observed a channel catfish that appeared to be undersized. The COs asked the angler if he had measured the channel catfish, and he stated he did not, but knew it was probably undersized because he knew the size limit was somewhere around 12 to 14 inches. The COs advised the angler that the size limit for channel catfish was 12 inches and measured the channel catfish which measured out to be 11 inches. The COs asked to see the anglers fishing license, and the angler stated he did not have it on him. He insisted though that he had bought one. The COs ran the angler through the Retail Sales System (RSS) and checked his criminal history, it was determined the angler did not have a 2019 Fishing License, but also had two warrants out of the 1st District Court of Monroe for Child Support and Operating While Intoxicated. The angler was issued a citation for fishing without a license and given a warning on the undersized channel catfish which was thrown back into the creek. The warrants were confirmed and were valid. The angler was lodged at the Monroe County jail for the warrants.
COs Nick Ingersoll and Brandon Vacek received a call stating that a female had fallen overboard her vessel near Calf Island and Gibraltar in the Detroit River. The female had jumped off her boat to go swimming and never surfaced according to reports. COs were requested to assist with the search of the missing female and were able to respond. The COs, US Coast Guard, and several other surrounding agencies assisted with attempting to locate the missing female. All agencies suspended their search around 10:30 pm due to the changing weather conditions and low visibility. The search was resumed the following day with no luck on locating the missing swimmer.
CO David Schaumburger attended court for an individual who shot an 8-point deer out of his back window in a subdivision in Livonia without a license. A plea deal was reached, and the subject was ordered to pay $2,000 in reimbursement and the court ordered the firearm used during the crime to be condemned.
CO Justin Muehlhauser opened an investigation regarding several geese that suspiciously died in a pond at an apartment complex. The pond was recently treated with chemicals and was posted as required. Upon initial investigation, it seems that the water treatment follows the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy standards. Management of the apartment complex has pointed out a subject who has reportedly been seen harassing the geese and has taken issue with them in the area. The subject has been heard saying “these geese need to be shown what people are capable of.” The local police department has interviewed the subject but there is no evidence that he is responsible for the dead geese. One goose has been submitted to the wildlife lab for a toxicology screening and to determine the possible cause of death.
COs Danielle Zubek, Tom Peterson, and Sgt. Jason Becker responded to a call to assist park officers at Pontiac Lake Recreation Area. The park officer had a subject in custody with felony warrants. The COs assisted park staff by planning with the originating agency to lodge the subject. Sgt. Becker and the park officer transported the subject to the Oakland County jail.
COs Ben Lasher and Tom Peterson patrolled the St. Clair Flats for slow/no wake violations this weekend. Three no wake tickets were issued while a fourth ticket went to a subject for an unregistered vessel.
CO Ben Lasher received information about a subject who had kept a sturgeon out of season in the Algonac area. CO Lasher responded, set up surveillance in the area and after a couple hours of watching a subject, observed the same subject taking a sturgeon to the truck of a vehicle. CO Lasher advised the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department and they stopped the subject before they could leave. The subject admitted to catching the fish but believed the season was open. The sturgeon was also over the 50-inch maximum size limit. Warrants are being sought for the possession out of season and excess of size limit. The subjects also had three warrants between the two of them, the issuing agencies confirmed but advise and release both subjects.
COs Kris Kiel and Jamie Salisbury patrolled Lapeer County checking vessels and shore anglers along the Holloway Reservoir. The COs contacted multiple anglers targeting walleye. Four citations were written for possession of undersized walleye.
COs Kris Kiel, Brad Silorey, Joseph Deppen, and Jaime Salisbury worked a slow/no wake targeted patrol in the St. Clair Flats. Multiple vessels were stopped for operating within 200 to 600 feet of the docks and citations were written. One vessel was 61-foot in length, throwing a huge wake and another 46-foot vessel was also found to be an unregistered/documented vessel.
CO Robert Watson conducted marine patrols along the Black River and St. Clair River. Many contacts were made, warnings were issued for failing to display current and valid registration and exceeding slow no wake speeds in the Black River.
COs Robert Watson and Jaime Salisbury conducted a joint slow/no wake patrol with CO Joseph Deppen. Many contacts were made. Multiple warnings were issued for exceeding slow-no wake speed and failing to display current registration. A total of ten citations were issued for violations including failing to provide a PFD, exceeding slow/no wake speeds, and failing to provide a current registration. Multiple warnings were also given for fire extinguishers, slow no/wake violations, bow riding, and registration.
CO Pat Hartsig was checking salmon anglers on Lake Huron when he spotted a boat with multiple lines in the water. While approaching the boat, an angler quickly reeled in a down rigger line. During the contact, it was found the group still had too many lines in the water. A ticket was issued for fishing with too many lines.
COs Joseph Deppen and Brad Silorey were assisting with parking issues at a local launch and were checking vessels coming in from Lake St. Clair. CO Deppen noticed one angler pull his boat out and started pulling it toward a tie down area. CO Deppen asked, “How’s the fishing.” The angler responded, “I got my limit.” CO Deppen asked to see the angler’s fish and the angler said, “go ahead, jump aboard.” As CO Deppen was checking in the live well, the angler said, “There might be a small one in there, but he was thirteen inches when I measured him.” One walleye stood out as the small one and CO Deppen measured the fish at just above twelve inches. The angler said, “well, it’s okay, we can just let that one go.” COs Deppen and Silorey revived the walleye and the angler was cited for possession of undersized walleye.
CO Jaime Salisbury attended the Detroit Area Kids Fishing Derby. During this event, CO Salisbury was able to help teach young anglers how to catch panfish in the pond. Many contacts were made, and the public was very pleased to see a conservation officer helping kids learn to fish.
CO Joseph Deppen was heading down I-94 when a motorcycle passed him at a high rate of speed. The top speed of the cycle was 106-mph. A traffic stop was conducted due to the disregard for the speed limit. The operator was educated on local speed limits and he was issued a citation for speeding 106-mph in a 70-mph zone.
COs Keven Luther and Joseph Deppen conducted a slow-no wake patrol along Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River system. Multiple citations were written for slow-no wake violations and expired registration. Multiple warnings were also given regarding slow-no wake laws.
COs Jaime Salisbury, Joseph Deppen, and Acting Sgt. Chris Knights patrolled Lake St. Clair around Gull Island for Jobbie Nooner. The patrol included the Wardens television crew. During the patrol the officers worked to maintain a safe environment for all in attendance. After a severe thunderstorm came through the COs were able to help many boaters in distress whose watercrafts washed ashore or had crashed into other watercrafts. Many contacts were made during the day and multiple warnings were given for expired registrations and over occupied PWCs. Several citations were issued for failing to wear PFDs while riding their PWCs, as well as expired registrations.