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MN DNR Weekly Report for July 17, 2017

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) reports time was spent monitoring public access use along with fishing and ATV activity. Areas of litter complaints were also checked. Shore fishing has seen an increase with many individuals finding success. One angler was excited to have to release two walleyes caught on the same day from a fishing pier because they were within the protected length limit. Significant time was spent on complaints of burning prohibited materials. Not only is it illegal but it is also unhealthy for both persons and the environment. At one location a partially burned plastic bag of dirty diapers was located with the responsible party not around. This complaint will continue to be monitored. 

CO Colleen Adam (Ray) responded to calls from the public regarding fish limits and fish slot restrictions. Officer Adam assisted other divisions with investigations in the Voyager National Park. Fishing has been good.  Enforcement contacts were made for watercraft registration and operation issues.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling and boating activities.  Fishing reports remain poor. Forest roads were monitored. Public access site issues continue to be dealt with.

CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers this past week.  Fishing has been slow.  CO Velsvaag received multiple nuisance animal complaints and questions about work in protected waters.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) received another complaint of a refusal of a boat inspection for Aquatic Invasive species.  There were a couple of injured animal calls, including an eagle and a wolf.  The officer is also looking into illegal activity on public land. 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) mainly worked boaters, anglers, ATV’s, invasive species, state park enforcement, and handled complaints of PWC speed, and large amounts of litter.  The officer stopped a vehicle that was reportedly part of a possible child abduction, which turned out to be unfounded.  A person dumping garbage resulted in nearly a $1,000 civil citation for litter. Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license, no angling license in possession, no state park permit, driving after revocation, and a number of boating, PWC, and ATV violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent a majority of time on area lakes checking anglers and boaters. While there are some fish still being caught, the bite has slowed down on most lakes. Most traffic on lakes was recreational. Enforcement action was taken for insufficient PFDs. Boaters are reminded that PFDs are required on all watercraft, kayaks and paddleboards included.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked anglers throughout the week and most reported slow fishing.  Assistance was given to the local PD on a missing elderly woman with dementia; she was found safe. 

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports rain continued to fall over the week and lake levels remained high for mid-July.   Nuisance beaver complaints were handled all over the Ely area as driveways and roadways began to flood because of their activity.  Violations included illegal length northern, no PFD on a watercraft, and possess unmeasurable fish on a special regulation lake.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) checked fishermen in the area.  Fishing has picked up and it has stopped raining for two days in a row, so lots of people were out on the lakes enjoying the sunshine. There were quite a few people with “throwable” square seat cushions in place of wearable PFDs.  These have not been legal PFDs for decades.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports a very slow week with not many people out in the woods and waters.  He did check a few anglers that were competing with the bug hatch and not winning with the fish.  Anglers were able to keep busy though with applying bug spray, bailing rainwater out of their boats, and drying out wet gear.  The officer did find another nice lake map that blew out of someone’s boat, but this one didn’t contain secret fishing spots. 

CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) noted a lack of concern by boaters for their own personal safety.  In two instances groups of young boaters embarked without any life jackets in their boats.  Minnesota is having a record year for boating fatalities and small boats have been involved in many of these.  Angling licenses were also a problem for some.  One young man who didn’t have his with him asked if the officer could “just look it up,” will  be receiving his citation in the mail after the officer returned to the office and found that he had failed to actually buy a license for the fishing trip he was on.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) focused on AIS, watercraft, and angling enforcement.  Time was also spent on a couple ongoing investigations.  Enforcement action included angle without a license, transport watercraft with the drain plug in place, fail to display watercraft registration, PFDs, and litter violations. 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and ATV activity over the weekend. Fishing seemed to improve this week with most anglers checked having fish. Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations and a nuisance wildlife complaint was taken.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled for illegal ATV activity, checked anglers and boaters, enforced AIS laws for water related equipment transportation, attended training, worked ongoing cases, and handled a trespass call.

CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked ATV activity, boating, AIS, and sport fishing. He patrolled state park areas, state forests, answered questions and took complaints on various wildlife issues, and checked public water accesses.  Violations included ATV’s on roadway, ATV equipment, and expired tabs. 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked boat and water, attended a district meeting, and investigated a boating complaint.  Muskie anglers had good success this week. Enforcement action was taken for no navigation lights after sunset, insufficient PFD's, and fail to display watercraft registration.

CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked boating and angling activity this past week.  She assisted other officers with an over limit case.  Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.

CO Tom Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked fishing, boating and ATV enforcement. Enforcement was taken for illegal length walleyes, no PFDs on boats, and PWC violations. Time was spent responding to injured nuisance wildlife issues.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) focused on angling, boating, ATV, PWC, and AIS enforcement. The walleye bite has begun to improve this past week.  CO Van Asch completed work on open investigations, followed up on PWC complaints, and fielded several nuisance animal calls. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, no angling license in possession, and ATV youth passengers under 18 without seatbelts. 

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Nick Prachar (Brookston) reports an increase in ATV activity with the increase of temperature.  CO Prachar patrolled for ATV activity near local celebrations and in high traffic areas.  Enforcement action was taken for multiple violations including alcohol related arrests.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) spent the majority of the week working fishing and boating enforcement. Time was also spent working on a waters complaints and calls were answered throughout the week with general questions.  Officer Duncan also spent time with office work and paperwork for an intern student that completed the required hours of the internship.  ATV enforcement was also worked in past complaint areas. 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked OHV, boating, and AIS enforcement over the week.  Anglers reported fair to good catches on various species.  Calls/complaints on vandalism, injured/orphaned hawk, trespass, and boating regulations were received.  CO Humphrey also attended a division armorers meeting at Camp Ripley.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent extra time patrolling area state parks where enforcement action was taken for being in the park after hours and no vehicle permit.  Animal complaints were received and advice was given with complaints that involved bears and beavers.  ATV patrols were done in the area and enforcement actions were taken for equipment, safety certificate issues, and operating in public water.   K9 assistance was given to a local PD after a person fled from a vehicle accident. Ultimately the driver that fled was found and arrested for fleeing the scene of an accident and miscellaneous drug charges.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked Lake Superior in the Duluth to Two Harbors area, the fishing has slowed over the course of the week with some lake trout being caught. Area lakes north of Duluth were also worked for boating safety equipment and angling, the warmer weather had many enjoying the water.  CO Olson handled calls on bears getting into garbage - just a reminder to keep things tidy prior to your garbage service pick-up.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. Wild rice growth was checked on area lakes and ATV violations were addressed regarding trespass and juveniles not wearing helmets. Enforcement actions were taken for ATV violations.

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

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