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Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - April 6, 2019

District 4 - Walker area

CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) attended waterfowl school and patrolled local lakes for angling activity. She investigated a report of dogs chasing deer and responded to a fire department call of animals falling through the ice.

CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on litter complaints. He continued investigating blocks of wood and garbage left on the ice by anglers after removing their fish houses. A few panfish anglers have been out trying their luck with mixed results. He worked with neighboring COs Tim Collette and Chelsey Best checking residences along a flooded portion of the Crow Wing River between Motley and Pillager. They rescued a couple trapped in their home by the flood water. ATVs tearing up ditches and in the closed Pillsbury Forest received some enforcement time. Violations for burning prohibited materials were also discovered.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked perch and sunfish anglers. The slush has gone away on area lakes, making access easier. However, it won’t be too long before the ice is poor in the area. Work continues on removing two fish houses left on the ice. Mathy responded to a call of a sick moose that turned out to be a healthy juvenile that was relatively tame. Some time was also spent working on Bear Committee items.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) checked angling activity on area lakes and attended youth firearms safety classes. Employee safety training was also completed.

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) spoke with students at Central Lakes College who are pursuing careers in natural resources. She fielded calls about dogs chasing deer, trespassing, and questions about ATV safety classes. She checked a few late-ice anglers but most lakes were difficult for travel, which kept most anglers away.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling and ATV activity. A deer input meeting was attended and annual training was completed. A mink was relocated to where it was less likely to continue eating chickens.

CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) monitored ATV activity, provided a ride-along opportunity for a college student, investigated a complaint of filling public waters, dealt with several burning complaints, and responded to assist riverfront residents flooded out after an ice dam formed on the Crow Wing River.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) assisted with training the latest Academy of COs with a waterfowl school. The new officers were taught how to identify waterfowl by wings while the birds are in flight. Patrol tactics for working waterfowl hunters were also taught to the new officers.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity this past week of checking fishing activity, attending training, and responding to issues of dogs chasing deer and several CWD wildlife feeding restriction violations.

CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) worked fishing and ATV enforcement this past week. Assistance was also provided with rescuing people from their flooded homes along the Crow Wing River. Enforcement action was taken for no ATV safety, expired registration, no helmets on minors and failure to transfer ownership of an ATV.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked ice anglers and followed up on some lingering fish house issues. Enough snow has melted in the ditches to allow ATV traffic, but rutting issues also have begun. Training was attended and questions fielded regarding the open-water season on Mille Lacs Lake.

CO Ben Karon (Isle) spent most of the past week at waterfowl training in southeastern Minnesota. Time was spent learning how to identify waterfowl in flight and by wing. There have been complaints of ATVs and OHMs operating on closed trails. People operating illegally were found for these violations. Be sure to check the DNR website for trail openings. Anglers were checked and found to have had varied success.

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) spent time working fishing and ATV enforcement. She spent most of the past week attending training for waterfowl enforcement. Whiteoak followed up on a wolf depredation complaint in which she investigated further to determine the cause of death of a newborn calf.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked panfishing activity and found some small bluegills and crappies in the buckets. Bobcat, deer and fisher roadkill permits were issued. Starr administered training to a peer group and presented the law and ethics talk at the Onamia firearms safety class. ATVs were found to be out in waves, depending on whether the weather was warm or cold.

District 11 - St. Cloud Area

CO Joyce Kuske (Little Falls) investigated a call of an unidentifiable green slime that was dumped in a road ditch and a report of household garbage dumped along a township road. The garbage was found to have been dumped by the same person that Kuske found had dumped garbage earlier in the month. Contact was made with a parent driving an ATV with a toddler passenger with no helmet on. The parent knew the child needed a helmet but didn’t put one on and asked if a bike helmet would be OK. The parent was educated that the helmet must be a DOT-certified helmet, not a bicycle helmet.

CO Annette Kyllo (Pierz) attended waterfowl training in southeastern Minnesota this past week. She also taught the law and ethics portion of a firearms safety class.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) assisted with waterfowl instruction for recent Academy graduates at Whitewater State Park. An injured-deer complaint was handled and area lakes were monitored for ice-fishing activity. Follow up on a big-game case was conducted and a ride-along opportunity was provided to a college student. Routine maintenance was also conducted on an issued watercraft.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling activity and found parts of an ice shelter left on the ice. He continues seasonal vehicle transitions and trailer inspections. VanderWeyst completed annual training and paperwork for equipment transfer.

CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports checking ice anglers and completing equipment maintenance. Area creeks were also checked for spring fish run activity. With warmer weather, lake ice conditions are deteriorating and making access difficult in some areas.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports ice fishing has all but stopped on area lakes due to the receding shorelines. Burning and ATV complaints were handled. Bertram also investigated a possible wetland violation.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) attended the local deer open house put on by DNR Wildlife, patrolled wildlife management areas, state parks and public accesses, and investigated a water-draining complaint. Calls were taken on carcass dumping, injured animals, and recreational vehicle complaints.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and ATV riders. Several animal complaints were handled. Follow up was done on an ongoing deer case.

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports training in advanced duck-hunting enforcement and identification techniques in southeast Minnesota. Time was also spent handling a trespass case as well as multiple animal-related calls. ATV trails were monitored and riders talked to and educated about laws.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking late-ice anglers. Several complaints and trespassing calls were handled. ATV trails and complaint areas were worked over the week.

Training Section

Planning is ongoing for training activities, including ordering equipment and supplies and reserving training areas at Camp Ripley.

Aviation Section

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on helicopter maintenance issues and took part in helicopter fire simulation training at the Hibbing tanker base. He also completed a night training flight in a helicopter with another pilot and completed a training flight in airplane as well.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew two wolf telemetry surveys and two training flights.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of working on renewing flight instructor rating, renewing Part 107 Remote Pilot rating, practicing instrument flight approaches and a night currency helicopter flight. Jensen also attended a district meeting and set up flights and maintenance for the week.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Mike Scott (NE) worked with the local government and SWCD in Carlton County on a WCA case extension for an ongoing case. He issued a restoration order extension. A deed restriction was recorded on the property of another WCA case when it was learned that the property was up for sale. Scott checked spring beaver trappers and anglers on area lakes. He assisted the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office with a physical domestic and took a report of ATVs operating in areas closed to ATVs in a state forest in Pine City.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) checked panfish anglers over the weekend. Some were having decent luck. Haberman issued citations to two ATV riders for expired registration. Calls were taken for public water questions.

WREO Leah Weyandt (Central) opened several new wetland and public water violation cases this past week. TEP meetings were attended in Morrison and Sherburne counties. Preparation was done for several law enforcement aquatic invasive species trainings coming up in April.

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Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.

I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Website Admin and Editor. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work these 30+ years. I was here when the website first went live on April 26, 1986. I consider myself very fortunate to have seen so many changes and to have made so many friends, both co-workers and customers.

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