Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - June 25, 2019

District 4 - Walker area

CO Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) reports continued checks of anglers and ATV riders. She investigated a goose taken out of season and assisted Wildlife in catching three bear cubs that were brought to a wildlife rehab facility after the sow was killed by a car.

CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The anglers are out and the walleye bite has slowed. The sunfish, bass and northern pike have been active and the most cooperative for anglers. Some of the violations he observed were no fishing license. Boating enforcement also received some time this past week; specifically, personal watercraft within 150 feet of shore and expired registration. He also worked on aquatic invasive species prevention on Fishtrap Lake and the Crow Wing river. Water in livewells and aquatic vegetation on trailers were found.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) reports a busy summer week in the area. Several anglers, boaters, and ATV riders were checked in the area. Separate complaints of cattails removal and illegal-length walleyes were investigated that led to enforcement action taken on both incidents. Mathy attended emergency vehicle operations training at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, angling without a license, and boating and ATV violations.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) reports heavy ORV use in the Foot Hills State Forest continued this past week, even with reports of very dry and dusty trails. Violation rates were also high as operators are illegally operating in the road right-of-way, failing to display valid registration, and not purchasing trail passes. Youth operation with no helmets was also observed. Sullivan also was involved with an aquatic invasive species enforcement detail. Violations observed during the detail were failure to remove drain plugs and transporting aquatic macrophytes. An abandoned SUV was also located stuck in a mud hole.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating and invasive species activity. A law presentation was given at an MDHA Forkhorn camp. Lakeshore properties were also monitored for lakebed and aquatic vegetation removal.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd East) worked sport fishing and boat and water safety enforcement this past week. Guida detected violations relating to personal floatation devices, required sound-producing devices, and watercraft registration. A call was received and investigated regarding a loon and her chicks nearly being run over by a watercraft on an area lake.

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity this past week of patrolling area lakes and the Mississippi River for boating, fishing, and AIS activity. A complaint of somebody illegally shooting and killing a great blue heron while it stood in the caller’s driveway was investigated. Numerous enforcement contacts were made for violations including tampering with a beaver dam without a permit and miscellaneous boating equipment and fishing license issues.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports assisting with defensive tactics training at Camp Ripley with the new CO cadets. He followed up on illegal vehicle complaints in the SRA and many outdoor law-related questions were answered. Fitzgerald patrolled the Mississippi River with a neighboring officer and checked quite a few anglers. Most had reported catching some fish. Area mine lakes were checked for fishing and boating activity and time was spent checking for illegal dispersed camping in the SRA. Time was also spent working AIS enforcement during the weekend. Assistance was given to the Minnesota State Patrol on several calls for service. Enforcement action was taken for various fishing and boating related violations.

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) assisted with Academy training at Camp Ripley. Ladd also assisted in instructing a boating safety class on Pokegama Lake to a large group of youth eager to get out on the water.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) worked lake activity and saw in influx of nonresidents as summer vacations ramp up. Several bear reports were taken from different areas of the station, indicating natural food may be scarce. Verkuilen also checked invasive species as several plugs were seen in boats and lake weeds have grown lush enough to grab trailers.

CO Ben Karon (Isle) spent time following up and closing previous cases. Enforcement action was taken for burning prohibited material and leaving a fire unattended. Remember to remain with your fire or fully extinguish it. Time was spent on ATV patrol and checking anglers and boaters.

CO Ashley Whiteoak (Malmo) worked fishing, boating, invasive species, and ATV enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for fishing without a license, expired boat registration, failing to transfer watercraft ownership, boating without legal life jackets, failure to remove a drain plug while transporting watercraft, transporting watercraft with aquatic plants attached, and operating an ATV without lights. Whiteoak also followed up on a nuisance bear that was shot without notifying a conservation officer afterward. The subject also trespassed to dump the bear onto another person’s property.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) worked AIS enforcement throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for failing to remove a drain plug. Speldrich followed up on an ongoing investigation and answered ATV and boating questions. She also issued a cease and desist order for a wetland violation.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Annette Kyllo (Pierz) reports spending a busy week checking boaters and anglers. Most anglers seem to be having moderate success. Kyllo also contacted an individual who is kayaking down the Mississippi River, starting in Itasca State Park three weeks ago. The individual was happy to talk about his trip, but had to get going much too soon as he planned on paddling 15 more miles to his next campsite before sundown.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling and boating activity this past week. He received calls of injured and road-killed animals. He also handled administrative and maintenance tasks.

CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports investigating a fish overlimit complaint, checking ATV operators, and checking boaters/anglers on area lakes. Equipment maintenance and repairs were also completed.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) reports handling a number of odd calls last week. Examples include a reported cougar sighting that was actually a fisher, a person in possession of a fawn deer, and an angler who became upset watching a pelican eat fish near his dock. He decided to shoot the pelican. Bears and beavers continue to cause problems in the area.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Nathan Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking anglers and boaters over the past week. AIS prevention work was also completed. The most common violation this past week was not having enough life jackets for the number of people on board. Benkofske wants to remind everyone to be safe while on the water.

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and for AIS compliance. Time was also spent at Division training. Krauel also assisted at the CO Academy.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week working with LGUs on WCA and PW violations. New and ongoing cases were worked on in RMS and documents updated. AIS training materials and information was passed on to several sheriff’s offices in Region 1. Wildlife and fishing questions were fielded. Time was spent doing site checks on complaints. AIS law compliance was worked and inspectors spoken to around the Detroit Lakes area.

WREO Mike Scott (NE) spent the week working in the BWCA checking campers, canoers, anglers and those visiting the BWCA. People from around the country were talked to and all were in great spirts enjoying the wilderness. Fishing was slow but most folks were catching some fish.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked on AIS enforcement in his assigned area. An AIS saturation detail was worked in Garrison. Haberman also worked on oversized docks on Gull Lake.

WREO Leah Weyandt (Central) spent a day at Camp Ripley for emergency vehicle training. A restoration order was issued for a public water and wetland violation in Stearns County. A cease and desist order was issued for fill in a public water in Scott County.


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Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Enforcement Div.