Area MnDNR Conservation Officer Weekly Reports - July 16, 2019

District 4 - Walker area

Conservation Officer (CO) Jacqueline Hughes (Longville) reports checking many anglers. Fishing has been slow for walleyes in the area. She spoke at a firearms safety class and took calls of nuisance bears and watercraft complaints. Hughes also responded to a call regarding a dead loon.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Karl Hadrits (Crosby) reports activity this past week of working a canoe patrol detail in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, where he checked activity related to boating, fishing, and wilderness use. Enforcement action was taken on four individuals found illegally in possession of 42 walleyes and trying to catch more on a remote lake in the BWCA.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports working the SRA Park during the week and weekend. Please remember a state park permit is now required to enter the park with a vehicle. He spent time checking anglers and boaters out enjoying the nice weather. AIS activity was monitored throughout the week and weekend. ATV activity was also checked in several areas and many outdoor law-related questions were answered throughout the week and weekend. Fitzgerald assisted with scenario day at the new Conservation Officer Academy at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action for the past week included various state park rule violations.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Crow Wing County lakes for angling and boating enforcement. McGowan also assisted at Camp Ripley with Conservation Officer Academy training. Enforcement action was taken for numerous boating violations and angling with extra lines.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) attended the funeral for Red Lake Conservation Officer Barron with the Enforcement Honor Guard. A BWCAW detail was also worked with CO Hadrits.

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) followed up on holiday weekend activity and an illegal-camping complaint. Boating and fishing activity was monitored, and ATV violations were addressed.

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) attended a site visit on a Wetland Conservation Act violation with the Pine County Soil and Water Conservation District. She also attended the funeral for Red Lake Nation Conservation Officer Barron, who passed away in the line of duty. She answered questions regarding orphaned fawns and OHM registration and operation.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) investigated an injured calf that had been bitten by a large predator and had to be put down. There is no solid evidence of what broke the 3-week-old calf’s back, but teeth marks would suggest a bear. Starr met with new owners of a resort and answered questions regarding natural resource concerns. Flash flood warnings and severe storms resulted in campers leaving the state park.

CO Luke Croatt (Wealthwood) patrolled area lakes and ATV trails. Time was spent answering questions at the Aitkin County Fair and assisting with downed power lines and trees across roads after the Sunday evening storm.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Annette Kyllo (Pierz) spent time on ATV and angling enforcement. A call of illegal aquatic herbicide application was investigated. Kyllo also assisted park staff with a raccoon that had decided the back porch of an area museum was a good place to take up residence.

CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) spent time during the past week working boating, ATV and fishing activity in the station. Silgjord also had the honor of assisting with a vehicle procession for fallen Red Lake Conservation Officer Shannon Barron. A jet ski-related complaint was fielded and followed up on and an overlimit of crappies on an area lake was found while checking anglers. Assistance was provided with use-of-force scenarios at the ongoing Academy and a wetlands violation investigation was concluded with enforcement action being taken. Juvenile ATV violations continue to be an issue in the station with many youths found riding without the required DOT-approved helmet, among other violations.

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling and boating activity. He also monitored boats for AIS education opportunities for boaters. VanderWeyst fielded calls about nuisance animals, which were referred to the Section of Wildlife.

CO Frank Rezac (St. Cloud) reports checking ATVs, anglers, and boaters. Wildlife-related calls were also resolved. Enforcement contacts during the past week were made for watercraft registration and equipment violations.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent time this past week checking anglers, boaters, and weed rollers. Enforcement action was taken for no boat registration, no PFD, and aquatic plant violations. Calls about nuisance and injured animals were also handled.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and working boat and water safety. Several anglers were finding success even with the warm weather. Krauel also performed equipment maintenance on station watercraft. Enforcement action was taken for several boating safety violations, no angling license, illegal-length northern pike, operating an ATV on the road, unregistered ATVs, unregistered watercraft, and possession of marijuana.

CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked anglers and boaters and assisted with training at Camp Ripley. A litter complaint was investigated.

Aviation Section

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) reports flying two sketch mapping flights, wolf telemetry flights and attending to maintenance on the aircraft.

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) worked on final preparations for the start of spraying invasive hybrid cattails. Software testing, calibrating the spray unit, and a test flight were completed. He also taught refresher training with a pilot in a helicopter. Administrative tasks were also completed.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports assisting the National Park Service and DNR Fisheries with a remote survey in Voyageurs National Park. Jensen also flew a night angling creel flight over Leech Lake. He also flew a rotary training flight.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent time at the Academy evaluating use-of-force scenarios. Time was spent working AIS compliance and checking anglers. PW and APM calls are increasing in number and WCA cases continue to be worked. Several nuisance animal-related calls were taken. He monitored boat and water activity.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked on WCA cases in his assigned area, issuing RPNs and restoration orders. AIS enforcement was worked and ATV complaints were addressed.

WREO Leah Weyandt (Central) spent the week investigating several new wetland and public water violations. Enforcement action was taken for failure to comply with a public water and wetland restoration order. Enforcement action was also taken for a contractor doing unpermitted work in a wetland without filling out a contractor responsibility form with Wright County.

--- --- ---

Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement