Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - July 23, 2018

District 9 - Brainerd area CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) investigated a report of emergent aquatic vegetation being harvested and not removed from the water. The responsible party was located and enforcement action was taken. Sullivan also cont...

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) investigated a report of emergent aquatic vegetation being harvested and not removed from the water. The responsible party was located and enforcement action was taken. Illegal use of hydraulic jets also continues to be addressed.


District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) investigated a report of emergent aquatic vegetation being harvested and not removed from the water. The responsible party was located and enforcement action was taken. Sullivan also contacted a person who was burning garbage illegally and issued a citation for the violation. Illegal use of hydraulic jets also continues to be addressed.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) worked with Camp Ripley training staff in preparation for upcoming in-service training. Guida also attended field training officer training. An injured fawn was transported to the Garrison Animal Hospital and a call about an injured loon was received.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) assisted with training at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. McGowan also spent time wrapping up cases from this summer and received TIP calls.


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Aquatic plant regulations:

Use of hydraulic jets:

A permit is required to use an automated aquatic plant control device in Minnesota lakes:

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CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports patrolling the recreation area for illegal ATV activity and park violations. Fitzgerald assisted park staff with a call in the campground and many outdoor law-related questions were fielded throughout the week and weekend. He assisted with trapping week and the Conservation Officer Academy and also attended annual in-service training for use of force instructors at Camp Ripley. A call of a cow possibly killed by a bear was investigated and time was spent patrolling for AIS and ATV violations. Boat and water and fishing activity were monitored throughout the week and weekend and a field training officer meeting was attended in preparation for the new conservation officers getting into the field training portion of their training.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity this week of looking into bridges placed over a river in a manner that illegally obstructs navigation and investigating a situation where a lake service provider sold a used boat lift contaminated with zebra mussels to an unknowing customer and sent them down the road illegally with the lift to be put into another lake. He also dealt with injured and nuisance wildlife, patrolled the CCSRA and Crow Wing State Forest, and monitored boating, fishing, and ATV activity. Hadrits looked into a report of a strange-looking, unidentified wild animal that was shot after exhibiting threatening behavior toward a dog and person. Unfortunately, the critter was disposed of so it can’t be positively identified. However, a photo was taken of the animal and has wildlife experts, veterinarians, and Minnesota Zoo personnel guessing and in disagreement as to what exactly it is. Other enforcement contacts were made for no vehicle permits, disorderly conduct in a state recreational area campground, and illegal ATV operation.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) followed up on aquatic vegetation cases. He also worked angling, ATV, watercraft and invasive species activity.


CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) worked a complaint regarding the obstruction of navigable water, patrolled Leech Lake, and responded to ATV complaints in the Outing/Emily area. Enforcement action was taken for multiple instances of transom/gunwale riding and licenses not in possession.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) reports vacationers and water recreation may be at their yearly peak. Aquatic vegetation is also getting thick and trailers where checked for stowaways. Cooler weather also made for increased ATV activity although trails are still trying to dry out.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) focused on ATV enforcement in the state forests in her area. The Nemadji State Forest has closures by which some riders are not abiding. Please check the DNR website for trail and road closures before your trip. When a trail or road is marked closed, that means do not drive around barricades and go on your merry way. The trails and roads are closed because they are not safe. Enforcement action was taken for equipment violations. She followed up on a wolf depredation situation where two large male wolves were trapped. Speldrich also attended training at Camp Ripley.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked problematic areas for ATV damage and found enforcement efforts to be paying off. Walleye fishing has still been good, with large fish being caught. An abandoned canoe situation was handled. The owner forgot the canoe on Mille Lacs Lake but was later found arrested for DUI near Mankato.


District 4 - Walker area

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) taught at the Academy during trapping week and also attended training for field training officers. A complaint about an oil slick on Leech Lake turned out to be naturally occurring decaying wetland material due in part to high water. A separate complaint about trash burning was investigated and enforcement action was taken. Anglers and recreational vehicles were checked.


CO Duke Broughten (Longville) spent the week monitoring angling, boating, and ATV activity. Anglers continue to report limited success. Broughten fielded many ATV and dirt bike complaints. He also investigated public waters violations.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent a majority of the week training at Camp Ripley. In-service training was attended and assistance was provided with use-of-force scenarios at the Academy. A field training officer program was also attended.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) focused on work planning and arranged for upcoming vehicle repairs. Fishing, boating and turtle questions were answered this past week.

CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports patrolling lakes and rivers in Wright and Stearns counties. He also responded to various calls about wildlife and spoke at firearms safety classes in Annandale and Kimball. Enforcement contacts were made for watercraft equipment and registration violations.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports a group fished in the morning and came out again in the afternoon to catch more sunfish. After an investigation, the group was found to be over the limit with what they had in the boat and what they took in the morning. A citation was issued and the fish were seized. Bertram also spent time instructing at the Academy.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and helping at the Academy. Krauel also spent time transferring equipment.


CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters. A wetland complaint was investigated. Musatov assisted with training at Camp Ripley and followed up on a dumping complaint.

Aviation Section

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) continued with helicopter maintenance for cattail spraying. He also worked on the aerial fish-stocking tank and attended the quarterly pilot meeting. Safety items, special projects, and aircraft issues were covered. He then began spraying hybrid cattails on state wildlife management areas in the northwest between Bemidji and Thief River Falls.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew wolf telemetry and forest assessment sketch mapping. Heineman also arranged for aircraft maintenance and attended a pilot meeting in Brainerd.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of updating equipment and preparing training items for a quarterly pilot meeting. Jensen spoke to a seaplane group at Madden’s Resort about AIS.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked on WCA and public waters cases in his assigned area. Several cases were closed out through restoration and one was submitted for prosecution. Haberman also assisted with Academy training at Camp Ripley.

WREO Leah Weyandt (Central) spent the week following up on open wetland and public waters violations. Two restoration orders were served for violations in wetlands. Two citations were issued for failing to comply with a wetland restoration order.


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Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement

From MN DNR graphic, Use of hydraulic jets -

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