CONSERVATION OFFICER WEEKLY REPORT FOR JUNE 9, 2014
District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports lots of water in the big lakes with Lake Kabetogama and Ash River at its highest in 15 years. There are reports of people losing docks and a lot of debris floating around. People are urged to use extra caution and be observant while travelling on the water. Fishing, boat and water safety, and ATV enforcement rounded out the week with enforcement action taken for no angling licenses in possession, and operating ATV with passenger under 18 YOA without a helmet. A wolf depredation complaint was also investigated.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling, public accesses, camping, boating, and ATV activities over the week. Heavy rain and thick bugs kept outdoor activities to a minimum. Forest road repair is on-going after the rain event.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports quite a few muskie anglers were trying their luck on Lake Vermilion over the opening weekend. Pan fishing anglers were catching a few crappies and sunfish. Water levels remain very high. The biting bugs are out in full force.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, AT’s, invasive species and various complaints. The officer taught species identification and wildlife complaints classes to new officers at the Conservation Officer Academy. When checking an angler on a fishing pier, the angler said that he had 4 northern pike (1 over the limit). His $1.50 stringer only held 50 percent of what he claimed he had caught as it broke releasing all but 2. The guy fishing next to him had no fishing license. Enforcement action for the week consisted of no fishing license, angling with extra lines and no ATV registration.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent a very busy weekend on Virginia and Tower area lakes. With nice weather high numbers of boaters were seen out on both days. Enforcement action was taken for operating unregistered watercraft. Upon learning he was going to be cited, one boater who received a citation for failure to display a current registration decal swore at CO Frericks with enough variety to make the saltiest Navy Chief or Marine Gunnery Sergeant blush. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a person who received a citation for possession of drug paraphernalia called the CO “a good guy” and stated the CO was just doing his job. Complaints of boats with loud exhaust were taken from lake shore owners on Lake Vermilion. The loud boat in question was located and enforcement action was taken.
International Falls # 2 - vacant.
Ray - vacant.
Tower - vacant.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports fishing success has increased with many anglers reporting a very good walleye bite on several area lakes. Unfortunately so has the volume of biting insects with the higher than average water levels. Violations included operating an unregistered OHM, fail to display ATV registration, and angle without a license in possession.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked OHM and fishermen throughout the week. There has been a lot of rain lately so the mosquitos, gnats, and ‘no see ums’ are out in force. Don’t forget to bring your bug dope.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked anglers and did boat safety checks during the week. The CO took a complaint on a nuisance bear. Remote areas and designated trout lakes were also checked.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) participated in an ATV work detail in the Hill City Area during the Quadna Mud Nationals. The officer also met with the County Attorney regarding ongoing investigations and assisted Cook County Sheriff’s Office on a reported burglary in progress.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) spent some time patrolling lakes in the Silver Bay and Babbitt stations. A nuisance bear got progressively braver and more aggressive in the South Kawishiwi Campground and had to be put down. Enforcement action included walleye over limit, no angling license in possession, expired watercraft registration, no navigation lights after sunset, and no type IV PFD. A resort was dealt with for many watercraft registration violations on their rental boats. There were areas and times where the mosquitoes couldn’t get much thicker.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked fishing, boating, and invasive species enforcement efforts during the week. Murray also investigated a road damage complaint on state forest lands and followed up on a report of a nuisance wolf chasing cars in the Silver Bay station.
Silver Bay - vacant.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, enforced invasive species regulations, and worked ORV enforcement laws. Investigated complaints related to wolves, litter, angling over limits, and problem beavers. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV on a public roadway and failure to remove drain plugs while transporting watercraft.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, AIS, and assisted with an ATV event in Hill City. Violations included expired registration, fail to display registration, operate ATV on roadway, fail to drain water related equipment, and no license in possession. He also took wildlife complaints and investigated a fire.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time working invasive species enforcement this past week. She also helped teach training at Camp Ripley to the new Conservation Officers Candidates. She worked ORV, OHM, and ATV activity over the weekend at the Quadna Mud Nationals. Enforcement action was taken for equipment, alcohol, and juvenile operation violations.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked pan fishing activity with the bite becoming very good in the area. Enforcement was taken for an overlimit of bluegills, angling without a license and for operating an unregistered watercraft. CO Sutherland also worked an ATV detail with multiple officers.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, state parks and campgrounds. He also worked a special ATV detail during the week.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working fishing and ATV activity. Time was spent working the Quadna Mud Nationals in Hill City over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for DWI on ATV, operating ATV in wetland and failure to stop at stop signs.
CO John Velsvaag (NE Region 2 ATV officer) assisted with enforcement in the Hill City area for the Mud Nationals event.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked aquatic invasive species, boating, angling, water quality activities. Compliance was good. CO Arhart also finished some wild fire activities, attended an OHV meeting at Third River Town Hall and he tracked Wetland Conservation Act restoration orders. Suspect leech trappers were also tracked. The Squaw Lake Take-A-Kid Fishing event was attended, with about 20 youth participating. Many nice walleye were caught and a nice fish fry resulted.
District 8 - Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked public accesses along area lakes and rivers for AIS violations. ATV complaints continue and patrol efforts have been focused on problem areas. The officer assisted St. Louis County Rescue and US Coast Guard with search and rescue efforts involving a plane crash on Lake Superior.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports the fishing has been very good on most inland lakes in the area. The majority of the week was spent checking anglers and ATV users. Time was also spent educating and enforcing laws related to slowing the spread of invasive species. Improper display, angling without license and angling with extra lines were a few of the violations encountered during the week.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work fishing, boating, and water recreation enforcement on area lakes. Time was also spent working invasive species enforcement. Several calls from the public were answered and returned.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling/boating, Invasive species, and OHV enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey assisted on a work detail in the Ely and Tower area. CO Humphrey conducted aquatic invasive education and compliance checks. CO Humphrey also followed up on prior big game investigation. Boating, ATV, and unlawful burning violations were encountered during the week.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) and K9 Schody conducted a K9 demo for elementary students at the Cromwell Elementary School. As always, K9 training continues. A K9 detection trial was held in the metro area where two of the DNR’s newest K9s became certified in wildlife detection through the United States Police Canine Association. A restoration order was served on a wetland violation in the Scanlon area and ATV trespassing complaints were taken and are under investigation. A wolf depredation complaint was investigated in the Wrenshall area where it was determined that a sheep was killed and eaten by a gray wolf. A special detail was worked in the northern St. Louis County area where boater and anglers were checked on lakes in and near the BWCA. A complaint of someone stating they are going to kill a bobcat is under investigation.
WREO Mike Scott investigated a TIP complaint where a person had purchased chemicals to put into the lake at their cabin to kill the aquatic vegetation. After locating the cabin owner information was passed on to them reference the issues with the application of chemicals into the lake they live on. Also located at that residence was a new weedroller installed in public waters by them for aquatic vegetation control as well. The weedroller device was not permitted and enforcement action was taken for the issues at hand. Anglers and boaters were checked in the area and fishing is still very good on some lakes. Assistance was given to the Duluth Police Department, St. Louis County Rescue Squad and Duluth Fire Department in attempting to locate a body in an area river.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) investigated a public waters complaint on Fish Lake. Assisted the USCG and the St. Louis S.O. with an aircraft accident on Lake Superior and a possible drowning in the Lester River. Fellow District 8 officers spent nearly 10 hours on Lake Superior assisting the USCG on the aircraft accident. Assisted the St. Louis S.O. with an underage drinking party in Normanna Twp. Fielded several calls on abandoned deer fawn around the Duluth area.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers at accesses and on Superior where lake trout are starting to show up more frequently in the box. Local ATV issues were handled. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent the week working AIS, fishing, boating, and ATV enforcement. A stolen ATV was also recovered. Assistance was provided on a plane crash into Lake Superior.