CO Paul apprehended an individual in possession of three trout
over the daily limit on the Passaic River in Bernards Township
CO Williamson conducted a Black Bear Feeding Enforcement Sweep
at Kemah Lake in Sussex County. COs Nestel and Sutton and Deputies
Hosty and Kahn assisted with the effort during which 105 households
CO Panico and Lt. Cole took part in the Warren County Law Enforcement
Day at the Phillipsburg Mall. The officers informed the public
of the roll of Conservation Officers in Natural Resource Management.
CO Hutchinson issued written warnings for improper storage of
trash to two stores in a national donut chain in West Milford
in Passaic County. One of the stores was subsequently issued a
summons for failure to properly store trash after failing to address
the problem over a ten-day period.
CO Applegate apprehended six individuals for fishing license violations
on a recent boat patrol of Spruce Run Reservoir. Deputy Pitts
assisted with the operation.
Northern Region Conservation Officers investigated eight complaints
alleging violations of the black bear feeding statute during the
After interviewing a resident of Readington Township in Hunterdon
County, CO Paul was not convinced that the man no longer possessed
two baby raccoons. Subsequent follow up investigation several
weeks later turned up the two animals in a large wooden cage outside
the residence. Complaints were signed for two counts of possession
and one count of interference.
CO Hutchinson apprehended two individuals in possession of six
trout each over the daily limit at the Clinton Reservoir in West
Milford Passaic County. Additionally, three other individuals
were apprehended in possession of one trout each over the daily
limit on the Ramapo and Wanaque Rivers.
CO Panico signed complaints for possession of parts of untagged
wild turkey and interference following the completion of an investigation
in Harmony Township in Warren County.
CO Applegate signed four complaints and two written warnings for
possession of undersized striped bass on a recent patrol of the
Delaware River in Hunterdon County.
Lieutenant Fletcher provided boat transportation for DEP Commissioner
Lisa Jackson on a fact-finding tour of the lower Passaic River
in the area of Newark. The purpose of the trip was to promote
dredging and cleanup of the river in that location.
CO Paul investigated a turkey-hunting incident reported by the
Greenbrook Police Department in Somerset County. The investigation
resulted in the apprehension of an individual for hunting without
a turkey permit.
Northern Region Conservation Officers contacted fourteen resident
summer camps in Sussex, Morris, Passaic, Bergen and Hunterdon
Counties during the report period with information and advice
to minimize problems resulting from black bear visits.
Central Region Highlights
CO McManus had a very busy weekend in June. Saturday began with
an active warrant for an unlicensed fisherman on the Delaware
River in Trenton. He then inspected a group of five individuals
at Dam Site 5 on the Assunpink WMA. Two summonses were issued
for fishing without licenses, one for littering and one for two
undersize largemouth bass. Another inspection of a fisherman at
the Peddie Lake in Hightstown turned up another summons for possession
of an undersize largemouth bass. Working the Assunpink WMA that
night he came across three horseback riders at 9:15pm who had
been lost since 5:30pm. He assisted them back to their trailers.
A check of the Colliers Mills WMA later that night finished off
his Saturday, with an after hours summons and a motor vehicle
violation. Sunday afternoon he issued four summonses for fishing
without a license on the Delaware River in Trenton. While checking
fishermen at the boat ramp at Assunpink Lake, he heard a vehicle
traveling at a high rate of speed down the newly graded road toward
the ramp. The truck continued on past the ramp on the dirt road
and CO McManus interrupted his inspection to follow the vehicle.
It took him over a mile to catch up with the truck. He charged
the driver with careless driving and failure to wear a seatbelt.
The 20 year old driver commented after receiving his summonses
that he liked the new graded road because he could “really
fly down it now”. That evening he checked several small
groups of fishermen along the dam on Assunpink Lake. The first
group of two fishermen were fishing without licenses. The second
group of two, one didn’t have a license. The third group
of four individuals had undersize bass and crappie in their possession.
CO McManus had not been able to observe one of the men fishing.
Upon inspection, the man stated that he had tried to get a license,
but that the computer would not allow him to purchase one because
he was on the revocation list. It was nice to know the system
is working. The appropriate summonses were issued to all the other
Officers McManus and Martiak were called to the scene of a motor
vehicle accident that occurred on the Colliers Mills Wildlife
Management Area. Apparently a group of three individuals were
out four-wheeling in their 2006 Tacoma pickup truck and while
intentionally trying to put it into a spin, lost control of the
vehicle. The vehicle rolled over causing severe damage to the
vehicle and breaking the leg of the rear seat passenger. The driver
of the vehicle never called the police or medics and abandoned
the vehicle hoping to come back the following day and remove it
before the authorities found out. A friend, who witnessed the
accident, transported the victim to the hospital. Officer Martiak
made contact with the owner of the vehicle, who originally stated
that he let an unknown stranger drive his vehicle. He stated that
the unknown person crashed the truck and then drove away without
saying anything. After some creative detective work, Officer Martiak
was able to obtain a cell phone video clip of the accident and
a taped statement from the driver implicating him in the accident.
The following charges were filed: driving while suspended; failure
to report an accident; leaving the scene of an accident; and driving
off the established roadway.
Officer Martiak responded to an incident in Middletown Twp. which
involved a five year old male who was attacked by a Coyote and
sustained severe lacerations to the back of his head and neck.
Wildlife Control Officers with the help of Officer Martiak set
traps and later answered questions from the Press.
Officers Martiak, Tonnesen, Szulaj, McManus, Szulecki, O’Rourke,
Mutone, Capt. Herrighty and Lt. Sich patrolled the Greenwood Forest
and Forked River Wildlife Management Area on Sunday of the Memorial
Day weekend. Officers inspected numerous patrons and issued 42
wildlife management and motor vehicle summonses. A total of eight
all-terrain vehicles were towed from the management area and impounded
for various infractions. Officer Tonnesen also worked alone in
the Greenwood Forest Wildlife Management Area on Memorial Day
and encountered sixty individuals and issued 10 WMA summonses.
CO Szulecki encountered two individuals fishing without licenses
at the Manasquan Reservoir. When questioned, one individual became
nervous and had a hard time remembering his date of birth. He
finally gave the officer the information requested, but when the
officer returned to his patrol vehicle to issue the summonses,
a check with Trenton Dispatch revealed that some of the identifiers
from the license check didn’t match the subject. With this
information in hand, the officer re-interviewed the subject, who
finally admitted to giving the officer false information. It turns
out, that the subject gave the officer his brother’s information
to avoid receiving a summons. In addition to the fishing without
a license, he was also cited for interference.
CO Szulecki received information from an informant regarding a
fisherman at the Shark River Inlet who was keeping illegal fluke
during the closed season hidden under his chair. Officer Szulecki
contacted the subject and asked if he had caught any fish. The
fisherman became very defensive and repeatedly told the officer
that he had no fish. When CO Szulecki moved the subject’s
chair, he located the illegal fluke buried in the sand. The same
type of scenario occurred in Perth Amboy when CO Szulecki found
a short striped bass hidden under the chair of another fisherman
who claimed that he hadn’t caught any fish. Both individuals
were issued the appropriate summonses.
While at the Prospertown Wildlife Management Area, CO Szulecki
stopped to help a fisherman who had inadvertently caught a water
snake on his fishing line. After removing the snake, the subject
was very thankful but appeared a little nervous. Sensing the subject’s
apprehension the officer decided to check the subjects fishing
bucket. Inside were two illegal large mouth bass. A summons for
the possession of bass during the closed season was issued.
CO Mutone had received numerous complaints about an individual
who had been keeping undersized large mouth bass during the closed
season, even after being warned by other fishermen that it was
illegal. While on patrol at Lake Riviera located in Brick Township,
she spotted the subject’s vehicle parked on a secluded trail
that separates the lake. When Officer Mutone made contact with
the subject, he was in possession of nine sub-legal sized large
mouth bass during the closed season. The officer was also able
to apprehend his friend, who was in possession of one large mouth
bass during the closed season. CO Mutone marked the subjects summons
“court mandatory”. When the case was heard in municipal
court, the judge assessed a penalty of five hundred dollars.
Southern Region Highlights
Conservation Officer Stites attended the annual fishing derby
at Parvin State Park in Salem County. The event hosted over 100
A report of an alligator sighting at Hopkins Pond, a county park,
in Haddonfield Township, Camden County caused a big interest.
Conservation Officers Scott Risher and Todd Vazquez responded
along with biologists from the permit section and wildlife control.
Several weeks of surveillance of the lake and patrols on foot
and in the water did not reveal any proof that the alligator exists.
The lake was initially shut down but has since reopened.
Conservation officer Kille received a tip that someone had shot
a goose along Oldmans Creek in Logan Township, Gloucester County.
When he arrived on scene there were many people fishing. After
conducting some interviews CO Kille obtained a confession from
one man and the appropriate summonses were issued.
As a result of Scott Risher receiving the Conservation Officer
of the Year Award, several newspaper articles have been written
about him. This has brought about a renewed interest in the media
regarding freshwater shellfish enforcement. As an additional accolade,
Congressman Frank LoBiondo wrote Scott an official letter congratulating
him on his award and thanking him for a job well done.
Conservation Officer Massey responded to a trespassing complaint
at the FAA Technical Center which is part of the Atlantic City
International Airport in Egg Harbor Township, Atlantic County.
The complaint involved four individuals that entered a gated facility
protected by homeland security in order to fish in an impoundment.
The security guards on the property made the initial apprehension
but failed to gather all the necessary information to charge the
four fishermen. Conservation Officer Massey conducted several
interviews and got confessions from the individuals entering the
facility for the purpose of fishing. The appropriate summonses
will be issued.
Captain Eisenhuth met with Atlantic City Electric about shared
ATV problems in Cumberland County. A large contiguous tract of
land is shared by the power company, NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife,
and the Nature Conservancy. As a result of the meeting, state
law enforcement officers have the authority to enforce laws on
behalf of the owner on the property, and locked gates and tree
stumps are being deployed to restrict access. An operation covering
the entire area is planned for the near future.
An investigation over several years regarding illegal possession
and sale of alligators by a boardwalk business at the shore has
resulted in charges being filed recently by CO Ely. Following
attempts to analyze the business’ hard drive by the US Fish
and Wildlife Service, CO Ely completed the investigation and contacted
Florida Fish and Wildlife’s permit section. Alligators sold
at the NJ business came from a farm in Florida. Florida will investigate
the transactions on their end for potential violations.
Marine Enforcement Highlights
CO Jones was patrolling the Pews Creek Inlet in Port Monmouth,
N.J. He began watching an individual who was fishing and observed
this individual catch and hide what appeared to be a sublegal
striped bass in the jetty rocks. When approached, the individual
denied having caught any fish. When advised that CO Jones personally
observed him catch a fish and hide it, the individual feigned
cooperation, only to then attempt dumping the fish when he went
to retrieve it at CO Jones’ request. CO Jones prevented
the individual from destroying the evidence and subsequently issued
the individual a summons for two sublegal striped bass.
CO Jones apprehended two brothers who hid a total of 8 sublegal
striped bass in a backpack while fishing at Morgan Creek, Sayreville
Boro. Both individuals denied possessing any fish until advised
that they had been observed hiding them. Each was issued one summons
for possessing four sublegal striped bass. All of these fish were
between 15” and 19”.
CO Jones was again patrolling Pews Creek Inlet, Port Monmouth,
when he observed an individual hide what appeared to be a sublegal
striped bass between two garbage bags. The individual then loaded
the top bag with clam meats. When approached, the individual denied
having caught any fish and then subsequently, at CO Jones’
insistence, opened the top “decoy” bag revealing only
clam meats. After taking the bags from the individual, the short
bass was found between the two bags. CO Jones issued this individual
a summons for possession of a sublegal striped bass.
On 5/24/07, the MRO received a complaint from the Atlantic Highlands
Municipal Marina that several subjects in a boat had returned
with fluke during the closed season and were showing them off.
CO Jones and Martiak responded and apprehended the individuals
with 4 fluke all of which were over 17” in length. The captain
of the vessel was issued a summons for possessing 4 fluke during
the closed season.
On June 16, 2007, while on routine vehicle patrol, CO Dravis began
watching vessels fishing off of the coast of Long Branch through
his 60X spotting scope. One vessel in particular, the “Seven
Seize”, was filleting fluke as they were caught and then
using the parts for bait. At this time, CO Dravis contacted Lt.
Chicketano and together they proceeded to the area aboard the
Marine Region’s Sea Ox from the Manasquan Inlet. Arriving
on scene an hour and a half later, a brief search found the violator’s
vessel in approximately the same area as when it was observed.
CO Dravis boarded the vessel and found no fillets or strips aboard
until each individual aboard was told to retrieve their lines.
At this time, each rod was found to be baited with fluke parts
in violation of regulation. A summons was issued to the captain
of the vessel for possession of marine fish parts.