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Officer responds to naked jet skiers call - CO Reports: August 13, 2018

MnDNR Conservation Officer Tim Collette (Brainerd) also responded to a call of naked jet skiers circling pontoons full of people. The officer contacted the jet skiers and the boat operating dangerously with them. Multiple charges are pending.

Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO (Conservation Officer) Tim Collette (Brainerd) checked anglers and boaters on area lakes, issued nuisance beaver permits and handled a road kill bear. He also responded to a call of naked jet skiers circling pontoons full of people. The officer contacted the jet skiers and the boat operating dangerously with them. Multiple charges are pending.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) worked boating and watercraft safety during the week. Numerous boaters were out trying to cool off during hot weather. An increase in bow riding above the stern and riding on the gunwales was detected. Enforcement action was taken. One boater was advised to replace their Type IV PFD as it had become tattered, worn and unserviceable.

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked recreational vehicle activity in the Foot Hills State Forest. Most common violations were expired ATV registration and OHM registration. Sullivan also investigated boaters harassing loons and illegal-length fish possession. He attended National Night Out in Pequot Lakes.

CO Chelsey Best (Crosslake) investigated an illegal-use-of-state-forest-property complaint. Aquatic plant management investigations continue. Enforcement action was taken during the week for no licenses, stern/transom/bow riding and illegal-length pike.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) investigated TIP calls and completed follow up on public waters violations. McGowan also spent time patrolling for ATV and angling activity. Enforcement action was taken for a variety of violations.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports assisting at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley for big game week. He also patrolled the SRA for fishing and boating activity and time was spent preparing for upcoming firearms safety classes. Fitzgerald also helped at a boat and water safety class at Big Sandy Lake where kids learned safe operation of motorboats and laws regarding that operation. Several law-related questions were fielded during the week as well.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked boating activity, which was busy, likely due to the heat. Trailers were also checked as some landings are choked with vegetation. Verkuilen also investigated a suspicious structure in a waterway and assisted a stuck boater at a landing.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) assisted with training at the Academy at Camp Ripley. She received complaints of working below the ordinary high-water mark in public waters. She also answered questions regarding ATV rules and fielded nuisance animal complaints.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) checked anglers on area lakes and Mille Lacs Lake. An unfortunate incident occurred when an angler was backing his trailer into the Mississippi River. The man’s foot slipped off the brake pedal while he was half in the vehicle, sending him falling as the vehicle moved backward. He rolled out of the way while his pickup backed into the river and became submerged. A diver was called and the vehicle was removed.

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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 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) attended an armorer’s meeting at Camp Ripley and prepared for upcoming in-service training. Silgjord attended the Sauk Centre Night to Unite where he spoke with community members regarding the duties of a conservation officer. A TIP complaint regarding an overlimit of crappies was also investigated on an area lake.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) work administrative tasks during the week. He also worked on assigned training tasks and handled calls and questions about the upcoming der seasons.

CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports checking anglers, returning calls about nuisance beavers, and following up on complaints involving illegal removal of aquatic vegetation. Class talks for area firearms safety hunter education classes were also scheduled.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Trent Seamans (Big Lake) spent the week patrolling for sport fishing and ATV enforcement. Additional time was spent conducting a falconry inspection and preparing for an upcoming firearms safety class. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and fishing violations.

CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) participated in National Night Out at the Braham and Cambridge locations with other local law enforcement and fire agencies. Site inspections were conducted on wetland and public waters violations, anglers and boaters were checked, and complaints were taken on nuisance animals. Enforcement action was taken for public waters violations, no PFDs aboard watercraft, failure to remove chemical treatment signage, and lake service provider operating with expired license.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) focused enforcement activity on angling and boat and water safety. Krauel also spent time patrolling for ATV activity. CO Krauel also spent time at the CO Academy.

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If you are 18 or older and would like to become an instructor for Snowmobile Safety, ATV Safety, Firearms Safety, Trail Ambassador or one of the Advanced Hunter programs, contact your local conservation officer or regional safety training officer. Instructor clinics are scheduled throughout the state and are listed on the DNR website.

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District 4 - Walker area

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) primarily checked anglers and boaters. Aquatic plant destruction, sewage dumping, nuisance beaver, wolf depredation, slow-no-wake boating violation, and a dead mammal found in a gill net on Cass Lake complaints were received and investigated. The net and animal in the net were never located. Time was spent working on a background investigation for a CO applicant. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, towing a water skier without an observer, navigation light violations, insufficient number of life jackets on a boat, and aquatic plant management violations.

Aviation Section

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) continued with aerial spraying of hybrid cattails on state wildlife management areas. Good progress was made and plots were completed near Princeton, St. Paul, and south of Wabasha. Then it was on to the Hutchinson area. Conditions were favorable with light winds and little rain.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying for the Cass County Sheriff’s Office to search for a missing person. Jensen also checked anglers from the seaplane in Stearns County with minimal violations encountered. Various training assistance was given to new aviation administrative staff.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) spent time helping out at the Academy. He also conducted follow up on cases and finished several cases with completed restorations. A site visit was also conducted in Northeast Aitkin County.

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Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement