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MN DNR Weekly Report for June 11, 2018

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports fishing, boating, and invasive species enforcement have been the main emphasis over the work week. Animal complaints and ATV enforcement have been a close second. Enforcement action for the week involved illegal-length fish and ATV violations.

CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports angling, ATVs, and waters projects were the main activities monitored this past week. ATV use is becoming more popular with operators reminded to review the regulations from time to time. Slatinski accompanied area hydrologists for site review and compliance on several waters-related projects. Complaints of fish overlimits were received and investigated.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring public access sites, working beaver-related complaints, checking anglers and boaters, and dealing with wolves killing cattle.

CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers this past week. He also worked boating and took several complaints on jet skis. Velsvaag also took a TIP complaint and received several calls on the slot limit and possession limit for northern pike.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent much of the week out on the water. The bite is going strong on Lake Vermilion and Hopkins was hard-pressed to check a boat that didn't have fish.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters and ATV riders, and worked Kabetogama and Namakan lakes near International Falls. He assisted U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement with the recovery of national wildlife refuge boundary signs that were illegally posting private land in the Hibbing area. A driver passed Bozovsky and proceeded to travel 90 mph down the highway (in a 55-mph zone). He was stopped and claimed he didn’t think there was a speed limit on the paved county road. His excuse was quite a stretch and he was cited. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, no license in possession, boating violations and speed.

International Falls #2 – vacant.

District 6 – Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) handled several nuisance bear complaints in the Ely area. All of the complaint sites inspected were found to have either bird seed or other wild animal feed in the area. Violations included angling without a license in possession and failure to display current watercraft registration.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais #1) did a canoe patrol into the BWCA, checked remote designated trout lakes, and followed up on an arson case. Boating safety checks were also done.

CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais #2) handled complaints of nuisance beavers and a problem bear in a BWCA campsite. She followed up on ongoing big-game, WMA and boating issues, and also attended a meeting of the division’s Use of Force team at Camp Ripley. Anglers and boaters on inland lakes were also checked.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) conducted an extended BWCA patrol with CO Huener early in the week and patrolled lakes and forest roads later in the week. Conditions in the BWCA were tough for fishing with high winds and rain, but several contacts were made for cans and glass in the BWCA and drug violations. Additional enforcement action included several instances of fishing without licenses, unregistered watercraft, illegal slot-length northern pike, and a traffic violation.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity. Time was also spent on beaver complaints. Schottenbauer attended a meeting at Camp Ripley for upcoming training this summer and fall.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV and angling activity during the week. Fishing improved on Lake Superior with some nice lake trout being caught. Murray also investigated an illegal burning complaint and a nonpayment issue in a state forest campground.

Ely #2 – vacant.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) worked summer angling activity as well as recreational boating. He spent time patrolling ATV trails and investigated complaints about a variety of reported violations. The warm weather has brought the bugs out.

CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked ATV activity, fishing, small-game enforcement, boating, AIS, and state forest campgrounds. Violations included transporting aquatic macrophytes, an ATV on a roadway, watercraft registration, ATV registration, allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, and no license in possession. He also dealt with various wildlife complaints and assisted the county with calls. 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked an ATV detail in Hill City, attended a use of force meeting, and continued preparations for upcoming K9 trials. Enforcement action was taken for license issues, no skin patch, transport aquatic macrophytes, allowing illegal operation of OHV by a minor and operation of OHM on a roadway.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked anglers over the past week from around the country. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, not having enough lifejackets aboard a watercraft and not having a throwable. Enforcement action was also taken over the past week for littering, operating a dirt bike on a roadway, operating an ATV carelessly, operating an ATV in a public water, allowing the illegal operation of an ATV by a minor and operating an ATV in a wetland. An ATV law and safety talk was also given to a local group of youth.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, boating, AIS, and ATV activity. The 2018 High Lifter Mud Nationals ATV event was worked in Hill City. Van Asch was also called to respond to a moose that was trapped in a baseball field. The moose was removed from the baseball field and was uninjured when it ran off. Enforcement action was taken for transporting fish without skin patches, transporting aquatic vegetation, and several ATV violations.

Hill City – vacant.

NE ATV officer – vacant.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) assisted neighboring officers with the Quadna Mud Nationals. There was a high turnout and some violations but overall it was a successful and safe event. Angling has remained steady in the area and ATV activity has increased. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, no license in possession, fleeing police in a motor vehicle (ATV), careless ATV operation, and driving after revocation.

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) worked area lakes and rivers for anglers and boating activity. ATV complaint areas were worked and time was spent investigating trespass complaints related to ATV operation. Nuisance animal complaints were common and equipment maintenance was completed.  

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) spent time at Camp Ripley training during the week. One day was spent assisting local agencies with a search for a felon. Fishing and ATV enforcement continues and calls for service from the public were responded to.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, boating, OHV, and AIS enforcement throughout the week. Patrols were conducted in Moose Lake State Park, Sawyer WMA, and the Fond du Lac State Forest. Humphrey completed investigations on litter and minnow traps, which resulted in enforcement action. Assistance was given to local law enforcement in a perimeter search for fleeing suspects. A livestock depredation complaint was received and determined to have been caused by coyotes. Equipment transfer and maintenance were handled in Grand Rapids and Duluth.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent time working complaints in area state parks where enforcement action was taken for picking a Lady Slipper, which is the state flower. Time was spent training with K9 Schody to prepare for annual testing. Complaints of beavers damaging property were handled. Angling activity has slowed in the area and complaints of recreational vehicles were followed up on.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked Lake Superior and the Duluth Harbor. Northeast winds and rough seas kept many small craft in the harbor chasing walleyes. Fish Lake was also worked with enforcement actions for license-related violations. The fish bite on both waters was slower than previous weeks. Invasive species enforcement was also a focus of this week; overall compliance was good.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked on training items for the Conservation Officer Academy. AIS compliance was checked and ATV complaint areas worked. Equipment maintenance was handled and a complaint was taken of two bear cubs in a tree next to a house. Enforcement action was taken for AIS and ATV violations.

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

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