Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - May 21, 2018
District 9 - Brainerd area CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for angling and boating activity throughout the week. CO McGowan also spent time investigating wild fires and responding to TIP calls. Enforcement action was taken for boating a...
District 9 - Brainerd area
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for angling and boating activity throughout the week. CO McGowan also spent time investigating wild fires and responding to TIP calls. Enforcement action was taken for boating and burning violations.
CO Tim Collette (Brainerd) completed a site visit with DNR Waters at an illegal sand blanket violation, took calls of PWC chasing loons off the nest, fishing in a posted no-fishing spawning area, and mediated a continuing dispute between lakeshore property owners and bow fishermen that wake the property owners up in the middle of the night by shining their bright lights into houses and cabins and making noise with generators and loud music. One property owner decided to fight back and started shooting the bow fishermen with paint balls. Both sides received warnings and/or tickets.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) worked sport fishing and nuisance animal complaints this week. Officer Guida received complaints from Aquatic Invasive Species Watercraft Inspectors of people not stopping for required inspections of watercraft. A couple of accidental otter were trapped in an attempt to remove nuisance beavers.
CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity of giving presentations to students at a local elementary school on natural resource conservation/CO duties and fur bearing animals, patrolling fishing and ATV trail activity, assisting DNR Forestry with a wildfire investigation, completing a case involving illegal dumping on state forest land, and handling nuisance and injured wildlife calls.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports working fishermen throughout the week and weekend. Some nice trout were seen along with some pan fish. CO Fitzgerald also patrolled the Soo Line and Red Top area over the weekend and many ATVer’s were seen out enjoying the trails. The officer also took a fishing related call on Mille Lacs Lake and many outdoor law related questions were answered. A call regarding a burning restriction violation and a call of a vehicle left at the Savanna Portage Park were investigated. The Officer also assisted with the Aitkin Elementary 4th grade fishing day where students were taught boat and water safety and fishing laws and a law and ethics presentation was given at an ATV safety class at the Long Lake Conservation Center. Vehicle and foot patrol was done in CCSRA and many bikers were out enjoying the warm and sunny weather. Enforcement action for the week included various ATV related violations.
CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, watercraft, AIS, turkey hunting, and ATV activity. Northern pike anglers are learning the need for a good measuring device. A few animal calls were handled and the officer attended events honoring fallen officers at the Minnesota Law Enforcement Memorial in St. Paul.
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Reminder: Anyone born after July 1, 1987, who operates an ATV on public lands and waters in Minnesota must successfully complete the ATV Safety Training online course. People under age 16 must complete the ATV online course and riding component before riding on public lands. Please direct questions to 1-800-366-8917 or 1-888-MINNDNR.
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District 4 - Walker area
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers and aquatic invasive species. A group of anglers were found to have several illegal length walleye because of an observant person who called in a tip. Assistance was provided at a rescue/recovery when kayakers were flipped out of their kayak on a day with strong winds. Other calls of fish over-limits and unregistered boats were investigated. Enforcement action was taken for ATV, AIS, and angling violations.
CO Chelsey Best (Remer) investigated a double tripping TIP in the Remer station. CO Best attended court for a case from last winter on Leech Lake. Enforcement action was taken this week for snorkels on ATVs, illegal operation on a highway, no safety certificate, and violations of the new northern pike laws.
CO Colleen Adam (Park Rapids) responded to injured and nuisance wildlife calls, investigated aquatic vegetation removal, prohibited materials burning barrel fire, and report of over-limit walleyes. CO Adam checked area fishing activity and assisted the county with a search.
District 10 - Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked angler activity as the sun and wind rapidly warmed water temperatures. A lot of boats and docks were moving around and checked for invasive species. He also monitored fish run and spoke at an ATV safety class.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended the Law Enforcement Memorial Service in St. Paul with the LEMA Honor Guard. She handled multiple nuisance animal complaints including bear, turkey, and beaver. She also answered questions regarding firearms safety, ATV registration and angling. CO Speldrich assisted the Pine County Sheriff’s Office with a water safety talk.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) worked on open week fishing activities and found smallmouth bass to be very aggressive on angler’s lures. Some turkey hunting checks were made, along with boating inspections. PFD violations were found and enforcement action taken. Youth operating ATVs illegally on county road violations were handled.
District 11 - St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the week monitoring angling and ATV activity in the station. AIS issues were handled and a ride-along opportunity was provided to an area high school student for his career day project. The fish bite has progressed with the warmer temps and pan fish are starting to make their way to the shallows on some area lakes.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) assisted neighboring officers with fishing complaints. The officer also assisted with field day firearms safety class. Fishing and turkey hunting continues to be the focus of the officer’s time.
CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports following up on TIP calls and investigating littering complaints. Boaters and fishermen were checked on area lakes and rivers with overall good compliance to regulations observed.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent most of the week checking fishermen. Enforcement action was taken for various angling, boating, and ATV violations. A litter investigation was completed with a citation issued. Bear complaints still remain strong in the area.
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Reminder: Anyone born after December 31, 1979 cannot purchase a license to hunt in Minnesota without first taking a DNR Safety Training Course and receiving a certificate. In addition, many states have even more stringent mandatory Hunter Education requirements. Check before you go!
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District 12 - Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the first week in his new station checking anglers and joined other officers for a patrol of area ATV trails. CO Krauel also handled wetland calls and calls about nuisance bears. Enforcement action for the week included angling without a license, no life preserver, no OHM safety, and no ATV registration.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters. Several animal complaints were received. A dumping complaint was investigated.
NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on aerial spray equipment for the cattail spraying this summer. He also worked on administrative tasks and computer issues.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) flew three days of wetland photos for Forest Assessment and attended to maintenance on aircraft.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying photo flights for various waters cases. Pilot Jensen also presented a static display for Pillager High School forestry management classes.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week teaching Use of Force and Defensive Tactics at the academy. Time was spent checking fishermen and boaters as well as AIS compliance. An AIS training was attended in Wadena for AIS Inspector Level 1 training. AIS training was also given to about 30 deputies for Douglas County in Alexandria. An AIS checkpoint was worked in the Baudette area.
WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked AIS enforcement throughout the week. AIS check station planning was conducted and ATV enforcement was conducted. WREO Haberman was a guest speaker on AIS at the Minnesota Sea Plane Associations annual meeting.
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Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement