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
Northern Region Conservation Officers investigated seven complaints
of feeding of black bears. Verbal warnings were given in each
CO Paul apprehended an individual in possession of five undersized
small mouth bass on the South Branch of the Raritan in Somerset
CO Nestel is assisting the Marine Enforcement Unit in the investigation
of a fish market selling undersized Black Fish in Parsippany in
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
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
CO Williamson apprehended two individuals operating motorcycles
on the Wildcat Ridge WMA in Morris County. The appropriate complaints
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
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
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
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
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
A total of approximately 350 recreational fishermen were contacted
by officers throughout the day.
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