T.J. DeBates, Area Supervisor
T.J. came back to the metro area after a brief stint as area supervisor in Waterville, Minnesota. A native of Stewartville, Mn., T.J. has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska (he was on the football team) and a masters degree from South Dakota State University. Mr. Debates started his career as a fisheries specialist in the West Metro Fisheries office, then moved to the FiN program in East Metro Fisheries before being promoted to the Area Supervisor position in Waterville.
Jim Levitt, Assistant Area Supervisor
Jim Levitt recently moved from the lead worker position for the Fishing in the Neighborhood Program to be the assistant supervior for the East Metro Fisheries office. Jim has been an avid fisherman and outdoor enthusiast all his life and enjoys spending time fishing local lakes, hiking, camping and photographing nature. A native of Michigan, Jim has a bachelors degree from Lake Superior State University and a masters degree from the U of M.
Donn Schrader, Hatchery Supervisor
Donn started with the DNR as a creel clerk. He has worked as a field technician in the metro area and as a hatchery technician in Lanesboro, MN before being appointed hatchery supervisor at the St. Paul Hatchery. Donn's duties include overseeing the hatching and distribution of walleye fry, the hatching and rearing of muskellunge and hybrid muskie, as well as the rearing of channel catfish. In addition to his hatchery duties, Donn is responsible for the preparation and operation of the state fair fish exhibit, one of the most popular exhibits at the annual event. Donn has a fisheries degree from the University of Minnesota.
Leah Weyandt, Fisheries Specialist
Leah is a native of Watertown, Minnesota and a graduate of St. Cloud State University. Leah also has a M.S. from Nova Southeastern University in Marine Biology. Leah came to the east metro staff from the Fishing in the Neighborhood program at the West Metro Fisheries office. She is the primary field specialist in our office, and conducts most of the lake survey and assessments in our area. Leah will likely be responsible for monitoring winter oxygen levels in east metro lakes this winter, also.
Joel Stiras, Fisheries Specialist
Joel grew up in Brooklyn Park and obtained a degree from Bemidji State University. While in college, Joel worked as an intern at the fisheries office in Walker, MN. After graduation, Joel gained fisheries management experience in Florida, Indiana and North Carolina before returning to Minnesota as a member of the Central Region Aquatic Plant Management staff. Joel currently is responsible for monitoring the fish populations of the area's major rivers and assisting in operation of the cool water hatchery.
Tim Ohman, Fisheries Specialist Tim is in the Fishing in the Neighborhood program in the East Metro Fisheries area. A marine veteran, Tim grew up in Wyoming, MN, and has been fascinated by fish and fishing his whole life. A 2002 graduate of Texas A & M University, Tim began his DNR career as a temporary employee in the Bemidji office assisting in the large lake program on Cass Lake and Upper Red Lake. Prior to transferring to the East Metro FiN staff, Tim worked in the Central Region Aquatic Plant Management program.