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Area MnDNR Conservation Officer weekly reports - June 11, 2018

CO Tim Collette (Brainerd #1) - Too many walleyes over 20 inches is a common violation and anglers were caught this week trimming tails with scissors to make them appear under the 20-inch mark.

District 9 - Brainerd area

CO Tim Collette (Brainerd #1) worked an outdoor youth expo where youngsters got to try their hand at shooting, archery, fishing and lots of other fun activities. Time was spent checking night anglers; the big walleye bite continues. Too many walleyes over 20 inches is a common violation and anglers were caught this week trimming tails with scissors to make them appear under the 20-inch mark.

CO Jim Guida (Brainerd #2) worked this week with the Enforcement Aviation Wing in training at Camp Ripley. He trained in thermal camera use and image detection. Guida continued to field nuisance bear complaints and individuals were advised to remove the bear/bird feeders from their yards.

CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled for angling and boating activity. He also followed up on TIP complaints and wetland violations. Enforcement action was taken for boating violations and an overlimit of walleyes.

CO Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked angling, boating, AIS and ATV activity.

CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) worked on and around area lakes this past week. Sullivan observed invasive species violations and area lake service providers were cited for transporting zebra mussels. Sullivan also assisted with a watercraft that was on fire and a separate watercraft that became submerged after taking on water.

CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports handling a few phone calls about outdoor law-related questions. He also attended a use of force meeting for upcoming in-service in late summer and assisted at the Academy with some training for our new conservation officers.

CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) assisted with Academy instruction at Camp Ripley. She checked several anglers and ATV riders in the area and attended the Evergreen PAC ATV meeting in Cromwell to present the award to Gale Bradford for ATV Instructor of the Year for 2017. Congratulations, Gale, and thank you for all you do!

District 10 - Mille Lacs area

CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) responded to multiple ATV complaints. Enforcement action was taken for equipment violations and a passenger under age 18 riding without a helmet. An ATV enthusiast turned over a device that was in the ATV trail and popped her tire. The device was obviously made and set in the trail to do just that. The incident is under investigation. Speldrich also patrolled the area for AIS violations and found very good compliance. Nuisance beaver permits were issued.

CO Dan Starr (Onamia) issued a wetland resource protection notice and looked into another wetland concern. Beaver damage and geese complaints were taken. A work detail was attended in the Duluth area with fisherman having some luck trolling. Onamia Days activities were worked, with compliance on ATVs found to be good. Boating activities were worked with PFD and registration issues found.

District 4 - Walker area

CO Chelsey Best (Remer) dealt with ongoing water-level issues stemming from beaver activity. A harassment issue was handled on a lake near Bena. Best also took care of a call reporting an individual standing on the culvert for a county road and shooting beavers with a shotgun. Enforcement action was taken for license and registration issues.

CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) checked AIS, anglers, and boaters. Separate complaints of a nuisance wolf and nuisance bear were received. He also investigated a fish overlimit and a fishing with extra line TIP call. A presentation was given at the Laporte 'Take a Kid Fishing' event. It was a privilege to meet with the volunteer guides prior to the event. Enforcement action was taken for boating and angling violations.

District 11 - St. Cloud area

CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked angling and bowfishing activity. He also assisted county sheriff’s deputies with water-related calls and animals-in-the-roadway calls. VanderWeyst updated equipment needs and conducted vehicle maintenance.

CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent most of the week attending training. Fishermen and boaters were also checked. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and boating safety violations. Calls about nuisance animals were handled and a possible wetland violation is under investigation.

District 12 - Princeton area

CO Mike Krauel (Mora) spent the week checking anglers and completing paperwork from previous cases. He also assisted at the Academy and worked on equipment maintenance.

Aviation Section

NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) participated in the Fire All Risk Training exercise at Grand Rapids. Fire training students and multiple local and state agencies were involved in a practice response to an injured firefighter in the woods. Once located, state patrol MART team helicopter lifted the firefighter simulating injury to the field site, where the waiting EMS helicopter would transport them to be cared for. Maas also taught a class and worked with crews for two days of Tactical Flight Officer training at Camp Ripley. Students in the helicopter using the FLIR were worked through a search scenario for vehicles, watercraft, and then a lost individual in the woods.

CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports a week of Tactical Flight Officer training at Camp Ripley and also an APM flight in the Bemidji area. Various sites of concern were found and will be followed up on.

NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) ferried 105NR for aircraft exchange at Grand Rapids. Heineman flew a fire training flight for the Fire Academy at Grand Rapids Community College with helicopter 155NR and also checked on progress on maintenance on 605NR

at Duluth. Heineman also flew a wolf pup telemetry flight in northwest Minnesota.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the week working AIS activity. He also spent time at the Conservation Officer Academy, attending a use-of-force meeting and planning for in-service. Trout fishermen were checked in Becker, Hubbard and Wadena counties with CO Peterson. Kayaks were used to access the Straight, Fish Hook and Shell rivers. Complaints of AIS and public waters violations were followed up on.

WREO Mike Scott (NE) worked with officers in Hill City for the annual Quadna ATV rally. Officers monitored ATV activity outside the park on area trails. Work was done on several new WCA cases. Tactical Flight Officer training was attended at Camp Ripley for two days. Officers worked with a helicopter and conducted training on Camp Ripley and the local area for search and rescue as well as getting reacquainted with the FLIR.

WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked on WCA and public waters cases in his assigned area. Haberman also attended Tactical Flight Officer training at Camp Ripley. TIP calls were followed up on about invasive species.

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Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement