July 2006

NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife
Monthly Highlights
Bureau of Law Enforcement

Northern Region Highlights

CO Kuechler, assisted by Deputy Toth and Lieutenant Cole, apprehended a total of sixteen individuals during the report period for crabbing violations. Eight individuals were charged with undersized crabs, two for possession of crabs with eggs and six for crabbing in condemned waters.

Northern Region Conservation Officers investigated seven complaints of feeding of black bears. Verbal warnings were given in each case.

CO Paul apprehended an individual in possession of five undersized small mouth bass on the South Branch of the Raritan in Somerset County.

CO Nestel is assisting the Marine Enforcement Unit in the investigation of a fish market selling undersized Black Fish in Parsippany in Morris County.

CO Panico responded to an after hours complaint of illegal deer hunting in Bedminster Township, Somerset County. During the course of the investigation, an individual was located on the property in possession of a shotgun loaded with 00 buckshot. In addition, a loaded and uncased .22 hornet rifle was found in the subject’s vehicle. The individual insisted that he was hunting woodchuck and complaints were signed for illegal missiles and the weapon/vehicle violations.

Acting on a complaint from the Wildlife Permits Section, CO Hutchinson apprehended two individuals allowing direct human contact with primates at the Meadowlands State Fair in East Rutherford in Bergen County. The individuals were allowing patrons to pose for a photograph with various primates. Complaints are to be signed for the possession of the potentially dangerous animals.

Northern Region Officers conducted boat patrols on Round Valley and Spruce Run Reservoirs and Greenwood Lake.

COs Paul and Hutchinson and Lieutenant Fletcher attended Enhanced Defensive Tactics Training conducted at Colliers Mils by the Operational Skills Group.

CO Williamson apprehended two individuals operating motorcycles on the Wildcat Ridge WMA in Morris County. The appropriate complaints were signed.

CO Panico contacted six individuals fishing at Columbia Lake WMA during a recent evening patrol. In possession of several cases of beer and half gallon bottles of liquor, all six were charged with possession of alcohol on a WMA. In addition, complaints were signed for procuring a resident fishing license wrongfully and possession of trout without a trout stamp.

CO Nestel is investigating a complaint of a farmer adjacent to Whittingham WMA mowing and fencing approximately two acres of the WMA for horses.

CO Paul and Deputy King apprehended three individuals using cast nets in the trout stocked section of the Raritan River. The fishermen also failed to possess fishing licenses. The appropriate complaints were signed.

Lieutenant Cole and Captain Cussen attended a Night Out Against Crime event sponsored by the New Jersey State Police in Allamuchy in Warren County.

Central Region Highlights

While Patrolling the Swimming River Reservoir, CO Szulecki observed two individuals fishing from a small boat. When Officer Szulecki instructed them to come ashore the fishermen ignored his instructions, reeled in their lines and motored away in the opposite direction. Officer Szulecki then commandeered a canoe (with the owners permission) and went out after the two culprits. Officer Szulecki was able to apprehend the two as they were off loading their fishing equipment at a local residence. Summonses for fishing without a license, no Pfd’s, interference and trespassing were issued.

CO Mutone who was inspecting fishermen on the Great Bay Wildlife Management Area encountered a group of individuals who were just returning to their vehicle after a day of fishing. At first one subject stated that he hadn’t caught anything all day but upon inspection of his cooler the officer located a diamond back terrapin hidden inside. Since the season was closed and he admitted to catching it by illegal means the appropriate summonses were issued.

The summer season is still upon us and the Wildlife Management Areas are providing many recreational opportunities for the public to enjoy. Unfortunately there are still those who refuse to abide by the rules. During one particular Saturday evening, Officers McManus and Szalaj conducted a patrol of the Region’s wildlife management areas. At approximately 10:00 PM while in the Greenwood Forest Wildlife Management Area, they encountered a large group of individuals operating Off Road Vehicles and ATV’s off of the established roadways. Unfortunately some of the subjects were able to avoid apprehension, but when the officers were ready to leave they located a cell phone that had been dropped by one of the persons that had fled. The phone was flashing the message “the cops are here”. Apparently the entire group was in communication with each other and was able to warn the others to leave the area. Later that evening when the officers patrolled the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area, they located another large group of individuals at a known party site. The officers were surprised to see that two individuals who were apprehended earlier that evening at the Greenwood Forest Wildlife Management Area were among the group. Apparently when the word spread that officers were at the Greenwood Forest WMA they decided to move their activities to Colliers Mills. Officers had been watching this spot because of the numerous complaints received from the sporting public of the excessive damage caused by individuals cutting down trees and littering. It’s also interesting to note that the owner of the lost cell phone was located amongst those individuals present. He wasn’t too happy that his cell phone was returned. In all a total of forty-one summonses were issued that evening including one for the illegal possession of six short bass and forty for various wildlife management violations.

Southern Region Highlights

In Waterford Township Municipal Court a man agreed to pay over $800 in fines for possession of two deer racks that were unregistered. CO’s Kille and Vazquez discovered the racks when they were investigating an Atco taxidermist for taking in illegal wildlife. The convicted man had a prior violation for untagged deer.

CO Vazquez attended a week long training course in defensive tactics. He is now a certified instructor in grappling and groundfighting.

During one of the hotter days this past month the Winslow Township Police were notified that an elderly man had left for a canoe trip on the Great Egg Harbor River and had not been heard from for an entire weekend. The police put together a large search team that even included a helicopter. CO Kille and Deputy Fee found the man on the bank of the river in Winslow WMA. He was ok but tired. The 67-year-old man was attempting to reach Ocean City in a 20-foot aluminum canoe.

CO Vazquez apprehended a local man for dumping a pickup truck load of household trash on Winslow WMA. The suspect is facing the new enhanced dumping on a WMA fine that carries a maximum penalty of $1500.

ATV patrols in Winslow WMA led to the arrest of three individuals for outstanding warrants. An additional three people were arrested for possession of controlled dangerous substances. One Sunday afternoon CO Vazquez encountered 10 ATV’s on Winslow WMA. The riders attempted to elude him. With the help of the Winslow Township Police Department he apprehended 5 of the riders. The investigation continues into the others. Charges against the riders who fled are pending.

The unlawful possession of nongame and exotic species has kept district 5 officers very busy this past month. In Lindenwold, Camden County CO Vazquez responded to a complaint of a woman in possession of six ferrets and one Cockatoo. None of the animals had permits. In Salem City, Salem County CO Stites apprehended a man in possession of a thirteen foot Burmese Python and an alligator without a permit.

Bobcats are the new popular animals to unlawfully possess. Conservation Officers Stites, Vazquez and Kille made cases involving their possession in Salem, Camden and Gloucester Counties respectively. This has led to open investigations for other individuals within the state that are in possession of bobcats.

At 10:00pm one night CO Kille received a call at his house that Logan Township Police were requesting assistance. The local police had a report of a man who shot someone with a handgun along the Delaware River area. They requested CO Kille’s assistance because of his familiarity with the area. CO Kille found two men one in possession of a 9mm Bereta handgun. The other man turned out to be the original 911 caller. He made a fictitious call saying someone was shot so that the other man would get in trouble for possession of the gun. Logan Township Police arrested both men. The man who was apprehended with the gun also stole money from the complainant and was charged additionally with that theft.

CO Kille is investigating a dumping of waste cooking oil into Big Timber Creek along with Gloucester County officials. A local restaurant is suspected and charges are pending.

CO’s Batten and Kille attended boat safety training.

On behalf of the New Jersey Conservation Officer Association, CO Risher donated 12 fishing poles and a rod holder to Camp Roosevelt Boys Scout Camp.

Conservation Officers Honachefsky, Risher and Stites responded to a complaint in Commercial Township, Cumberland County about an individual who was apparently trying to commit suicide and was unlawfully in possession of 81 turtles. During an interview with CO Honachefsky the individual said that he collected the turtles from local roadways and was trying to save them. The suspect said that he likes animals better than people and that's why he didn’t release the turtles. The appropriate summonses have been issued.

District Six Conservation Officers have been busy with a large influx of individuals in the Menantico Wildlife Management Area in Millville, Cumberland County. A large parcel of property adjacent to the WMA known as the Holly Farm, which is owned by Atlantic Electric and unoccupied, has received a great deal of attention and is listed on several websites as a great place to ride off-road-vehicles and party. The overflow from this area is starting to adversely affect our WMA and CO Honachefsky is working with representatives from Atlantic Electric to restrict the access to the property. Numerous summonses have been issued and off-road-vehicles have been towed.

Marine Enforcement Highlights

On 7/29/06, Lt. Chicketano & CO Dravis conducted a boat patrol in the Atlantic Ocean from Manasquan north to the Shrewsbury Rocks off of Monmouth Beach, N.J. During the 5 hour patrol, the officers checked 12 vessels fishing for fluke. Two (2) of the vessels were completely legal and two (2) received verbal warnings for parts of fluke. The remaining 8 vessels were all in violation of possessing fresh and numerous fluke parts being used for bait. A total of 8 summonses were issued for possessing mutilated fluke at sea along with an interference summons for dumping parts of fluke upon the officers' approach.

On August 19, 2006, Marine & Central Conservation Officers, together with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, joined forces and saturated Raritan & Sandy Hook Bays and the Atlantic Ocean with enforcement presence. All popular ramps were assigned officers to inspect vessels returning from fishing. Additionally, two New Jersey patrol boats patrolled offshore waters, while an additional two patrol boats manned by New York State Conservation Officers sailed throughout Staten Island and offshore waters. This operation was conducted between 10 AM and 5 PM with the following summonses and warnings being issued:

New Jersey Violations/Warnings:

16 summonses issued for summer flounder less than 16 1/2" in length involving a total of 56 fish.

5 summonses issued for over the limit on bluefish involving a total 59 bluefish.

5 summonses issued for over the limit on scup involving a total of 48 fish.

2 summonses issued for tautog less than 14" in length involving a total of 2 fish.

1 summons issued for Striped Bass less than 28" in length involving a total of 2 fish.

5 summonses issued for hard crabs less than 4 1/2" in length involving a total of 24 crabs.

6 written warnings for the harvest of hard crabs recreationally from the Newark Bay Complex.

Conservation Officer Dravis together with DCO Manfredi issued the largest quantity case with an individual landing 36 summer flounder less than 16 1/2" in length.

New York Violations:
4 summonses for Striped Bass violations including sub-legal fish, over the limit fish, and recreational harvesting Striped Bass for the purpose of commercial sale.

7 summonses for sublegal summer flounder, tautog, and Black Sea Bass.

A total of approximately 350 recreational fishermen were contacted by officers throughout the day.

Training Highlights

Firearms training for the summer quarter was completed during this period. The emphasis was on low light threat management.

Ten Conservation Officers and 4 Park Police officers completed an intensive one-week defensive tactics program at Colliers Mills. Training was conducted by the Operational Skills Group and included knife defense and counter grappling strategies.

Lt. Brown conducted a 4-day basic precision rifle course.

Wildlife control representatives requalified with their precision rifles during this period

   |    REGULATIONS    |  
  LINKS   |    MEMBERS AREA   |    EVENTS   |    KIDS   |    SHOP

Last Update April 17, 2007