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MN DNR Weekly Report for Aug. 7, 2017

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (Int’l Falls) reports fishing and boating enforcement continues to take up most of the work load.  Numerous reports of a large floating bog on Rainy Lake were taken, the Koochiching County Sheriff’s Dept., US Coast Guard, and DNR Fisheries Staff were also involved    Animal complaints and court took up remainder of week.

CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) fielded questions in regards to the upcoming bear and deer hunting seasons and associated activity and handled miscellaneous concerns in regards to wildlife in residential areas. Officer Slatinski attended a local National Night Out event in International Falls and followed up on an incident where an individual decided to flee on an ATV after being directed to stop. Officer Slatinski also monitored fishing activity on the Rainy River where the catch rate has increased for both walleye and sturgeon anglers.

CO Colleen Adam (Ray) patrolled campgrounds, area forests, lakes and rivers and attended a meeting in St. Paul.  Contacts were made for no license in possession, no personal floatation devices, and boat plug violations.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports area lakes and public access sites were monitored. Fishing reports remain poor. Forest roads were checked and monitored.

CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers and followed up on calls about boats without legal lighting on Lake Vermilion.  CO Velsvaag finished up on some training requirements and checked for compliance with AIS regulations.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked boaters, anglers, state park, ATV’s, boating complaints, and taught firearms safety to about 70 kids at MDHA Youth Day.  The officer received a TIP call and was able to make an over limit of fish case with fines and restitution of about $1,300. Other enforcement action was taken on unregistered watercraft, insufficient PFD’s, riding the bow or gunwales, no fire extinguisher, no state park permit, and unregistered ATV.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a Firearms Safety Class at the Laurentian Environmental Learning Center in Britt. Area ATV activity remains high with several citations being issued to parents for allowing illegal operation of ATVs by juveniles. Some fish are being caught but most traffic on area lakes seem to be recreational. Enforcement action was taken for burning at a public access site.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) spent the week patrolling the northern part of his station inside the BWCA with a group of officers from across the state. Most time was spent on the international border and a good amount of contacts were made. Fishing success was good overall and most anglers were having no trouble locating walleyes. Violations included angling without a license and angling with no license in possession.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked fishing enforcement and assisted the St. Louis County SO and other agencies with a suspect fleeing into the forest.  The man was found and arrested.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports a busy week with lots of anglers and boaters.  The officer also patrolled remote designated trout lakes by ATV and checked for signs of early bear baiting.  Enforcement action was taken for boating and fishing violations.

CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) patrolled inland lakes and Lake Superior checking anglers and boaters. The officer also checked several Off Highway Motorcycles; resident operators are reminded that they must have registration on “dirt bikes” unless they are used EXCLUSIVELY for organized track events.  The officer also encountered ATVs operating on the state highway and had to remind the drivers that county ordinances do not allow for operation on these types of roadways. CO Manning also investigated a litter complaint on the Superior Hiking Trail; a large group of young men from the Twin Cities area left trash strewn around a campsite-including their half full trash bag and defecated at two tent pads; hopefully information left behind will lead the officer to this group.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) attended National Night Out in Babbitt, handled a jet-ski complaint, and worked a variety of enforcement activities throughout the week.  One group was encountered on Bear Island Lake with neither boat displaying valid registration, neither boat with the proper PFDs on board, two individuals without fishing licenses, and one using an extra line.  CO Bermel had previously cited a couple members of the group for similar violations. Enforcement action for the week included fishing without a license, extra line, insufficient PFDs, boat registration violations, OHM registration violations, and ATV operation violations.  An individual was arrested for a felony assault warrant.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity on Superior and inland lakes.  ATVs were checked on trails and back roads as well.  Wildlife complaints taken and looked into throughout the week.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers on Lake Superior. The salmon and trout bite were good. Time was also spent checking ATV’s and answering wildlife calls. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, angling without a license, and no PFD on watercraft.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV and angling activity during the week. Fishing slowed down this week but recreational activity was high on the North Shore. Officer Murray assisted the Lake County Sheriff’s office with search efforts for a missing couple from Duluth reportedly sighted in the area.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, prepared ongoing cases for charging, and handled calls on nuisance animals.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, boating activity, patrolled campgrounds, checked for exotic species, and answered various wildlife calls. Violations included ATV registration, youth w/o helmet on ATV, ATV equipment, boat registration, no angling license in possession, and PWA law violations.  He also found two people with a gross over-limit of pan fish and northern pike.   He also assisted the county with a boat accident.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) spent the week checking area anglers, monitoring boating activity, and patrolling for illegal ATV activity.  CO Van Asch assisted Itasca County Sheriff’s Office with a boating accident.  The parties involved were checked by first responders and cleared of any injuries.  Enforcement action was taken for illegal length northern pike, no angling license in possession, insufficient number of PFDs on board, and juvenile ATV passengers without a helmet on.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) spent much of the week working area lakes and rivers.  Time was spent on Lake Superior and most anglers were enjoying a healthy bite.  Nuisance animal complaints were handled and questions regarding early goose season were answered.  Officer Schmidt assisted Duluth PD with their Hooked on Fishing Program.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked OHV, angling, and boating enforcement over the week. CO Humphrey investigated and followed up on a property dispute, livestock depredation, nuisance beaver, watercraft inspection, and jet-ski complaints.  Various OHV, angling and watercraft equipment violations were observed. 

CO Nicholas Prachar (Brookston) spent time working ATV and AIS activity around the area. High compliance rates were observed.  CO Prachar responded to calls of Public Water Access concerns as well as bear and wildlife sightings.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) gave a talk to the local Kiwanis group about the DNR K9 unit. Advice was given on a nuisance bear and a call of an injured bear that was hit by a car was responded to. The bear had very severe injuries and had to be euthanized. Complaints of littering were worked at a local DNR parking lot. Boating and fishing activity was also worked at area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for littering, illegal parking, and lighting violations.  A call from Jay Cooke State Park resulted in enforcement action being taken after a guest was caught on camera taking a bundle of firewood without paying at the main office.  After receiving a call of an abandoned canoe on the river, assistance was provided removing it and getting it back to the owner which was a local church group. They capsized a few weeks earlier on an outing and were unable to retrieve it from the river. 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked Lake Superior and fishing has improved in recent weeks with some salmon being caught.  Time was spent handling nuisance animal complaints and bear complaints involving damage to an outbuilding.  CO Olson fielded questions regarding upcoming bear season and baiting.  The officer also assisted St Louis County involving a domestic assault and search for missing people.

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

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