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CO Reports: Cattail cutting consequences considerable - cessation, citation

Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - August 30, 2022

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District 9 - Brainerd area

CO (Conservation Officer) Jim Guida (Brainerd East) A call from a concern citizen who observed individuals cutting a large number of cattails from a property adjacent to public water was fielded. Upon a site inspection, the contractor wasn’t listed on the permit, was observed using an illegal method of cutting, and was exceeding what was originally allowed. A cease-and-desist order was issued along with an accompanying citation.

Guida also patrolled area trails and forests for bear-hunting-related activity. Baiting has begun and complaints of nuisance bears have lessened. The season starts Sept. 1. Guida fielded a call regarding a bag of dumped, partially cleaned, bluegills on the end of a driveway. The caller was disgusted by the waste.

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CO Calie Cook (Crosslake) continued patrolling ATV traffic and anglers throughout the week. The majority of her time was spent monitoring bear-baiting activity and taking calls in regards to the bear-hunting season. Aquatic plant management complaints were also received and followed up on.

CO Chelsey Best (Pequot Lakes) attended field training officer training at Camp Ripley this week. Time was also spent on ATV patrol in the foothills. Enforcement action was taken for no helmets on juveniles, registration issues and operating an ATV on a state highway.

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CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) talked with lakeshore owners about aquatic vegetation being removed illegally. He checked bear baits leading up to the bear-hunting season. Angling and wild rice harvest were monitored.

District 2 - Bemidji area

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CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) monitored angling activity on area lakes. He patrolled area ATV trails and checked bear-bait stations. Time was spent at Camp Ripley for scenario day.

CO Chris Vinton (Perham) reports continuing background investigations for potential CO Prep candidates, taking calls of injured animals and referring them to the proper division, and presenting the law portion of an ATV safety education class. Beaver and bear problems were addressed and the area was patrolled for ATV and OHM violations.

CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) spent time on bear-baiting activity. Anglers and boaters were checked for regulation compliance. Patrol was conducted for ATV and off-road vehicle activity. Warren answered questions and spoke about aquatic invasive species at a pheasant hunting kids’ day near Bejou. Wild rice harvest areas were monitored for activity and checks performed.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

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CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ATV and bear-baiting activities in the area. He noticed that bear baits in the area were being regularly visited by bears even though there is plentiful mast in the woods. Enforcement action was taken for unregistered ATVs and not transferring titles.

CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) followed up on open cases. Time was also spent handling complaints involving wildlife and littering. Holt took calls from people with questions on upcoming hunting seasons.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) continued to monitor bear-baiting activity. Time was also spent at Camp Ripley attending training to become a field training officer. Several bear baits that were placed illegally were investigated.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked lake activity and monitored pre-season hunting activity. Assistance was provided at the Enforcement Division’s confiscation auction and a hunter education class was held.

CO Nate Benkofske (McGregor) checked boating, ATV riding, and bear-baiting activity. Wild ricing activity was still slow. Training to become a field training officer was completed. Benkofske also spent time talking with the public at Jacobson Landing Days.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) continued to monitor nuisance-bear activity and authorize nuisance-bear permit validations. ATV activity was monitored along with bear-baiting activities. An ATV rider was observed riding at a high speed late at night right up divided Highway 169. The ATV rider was going over 60 miles per hour, passing cars, had a passenger, and was driving very carelessly. Upon stopping the ATV rider, Starr found a 15-year-old operator to be intoxicated and have a felony warrant. DUI charges are pending and the 14-year-old passenger was safely sent home.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Stephen Westby (Little Falls) worked area lakes and rivers for boating and angling activities with more people out on the Mississippi River. Time was spent checking bear baits in the area and taking several phone calls about bear baiting. Time was also spent preparing for the upcoming fall season and waterfowl hunting. Westby assisted with the CO Academy at Camp Ripley.

CO Tou Vang (Pierz) worked with Wildlife staff to issue nuisance-bear permits to farmers and hunters in the area. He assisted with instructions at the DNR CO Academy, and investigated a burning complaint where enforcement action was taken for burning without a permit and burning of prohibited materials. Time was also spent at the State Fair answering various questions from the public.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked on a TIP call this week and addressed nuisance-animal issues. A bear has been seen several times in the area. Assistance with training was provided at Camp Ripley.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week attending Division training. He also spent time patrolling for ATV activity and checking anglers.

CO Ryan Hanna (Milaca) received a TIP complaint of someone angling with extra lines and possibly catching an overlimit of sunfish. With the help of State Patrol Dispatch and the concerned citizen, Hanna was able to identify the violations of angling with four lines in open water and 53 sunfish over the limit.

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FISHING REPORTS | TRAILS REPORTS | BOATING REPORTS | ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS | HUNTING REPORTS | WILDLIFE REPORTS | INVASIVE SPECIES REPORTS

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