MN DNR Weekly Report for April 14, 2014
District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time checking boating and fishing activity on the Rainy River. The busiest day being Friday with approximately 375+ boats; the catching success decreased as the week and weekend progressed. Enforcement action was taken for no current angling license, illegal length fish, fish transportation issues, no Type IV PFD, and expired boat registration.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports the week was spent working on equipment, storing equipment, and transporting equipment. Additional time was spent on office items and administrative reports. Outdoor activities were monitored with little noted.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports warmer weather again continued to melt a lot of the snow. As the snow melts, large amounts of trash are showing up along the area roads. A few migrating birds were observed passing through the area. Deer are frequenting the roadsides and continue to get hit by vehicles.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) was the special guest speaker to the Palo Retired senior citizen at the Loon Lake CC, where Fredin detailed his job requirements and heard a few tall tales from the attendees. Fredin along with other Officers pulled a fish house off Lake Vermilion, the owner was contacted and issues a summons. Vermilion water skipping activities were checked.
I. Falls # 2 - vacant.
Ray - vacant.
Tower - vacant.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) assisted area officers in removing an ice house long past the ice house removal deadline from Lake Vermilion. Although there is still as much as 30 inches of ice on much of the lake’s open areas and weak spots have increased. Violations included angling without a license, possession of an overlimit of crappies, and operating an unregistered ATV.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked a couple BWCAW fishing complaints and found some people that weren’t good at counting crappies. ATVs are showing back up on the lakes and there seems to be some confusion about them having a license plate and numbers and registration on them. The plate needs to have the ID numbers, valid registration sticker, AND be visible. If it is hidden, “lost”, or “just fell off” and in the tool box, you will most assuredly be given extra attention when the officers see you.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) found lots of walleye anglers during the week as border walleye season comes to a close. A fair amount of snowmobilers were also out getting their last rides of the season in. Fishing slowed down from the previous week, but a few nice pike were seen. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing licenses in possession, no fishing license, extra lines and unattended set lines. One fellow was using his snowmobile to go into the BWCA to check his illegal unattended set lines. He didn’t even have a fishing license.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) assisted with inspection of a commercial fur buyer. The officer also checked Lake Superior tributaries for break-up. Officer Manning took a call on a pair of deer stuck on Lake Superior’s ice; the deer had apparently walked or swam off by the time the officer arrived.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) attended a meeting with the Superior National Forest LEO, district rangers and area game wardens to discuss nuisance animals and cooperative law enforcement efforts on national forest lands. The Officer conducted a fur buyer inspection with area officers and met with the county attorney to discuss big game cases.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) followed up on litter complaints and enforcement action was taken for illegally dumping garbage on a roadway. Several injured deer calls were handled and a meeting was attended with the US Forest Service on nuisance animal issues. Drivers on the North Shore please use caution as deer are active around roadways this time of year attempting to find the spring’s first areas of green grass and creating a hazard to drivers.
Silver Bay - vacant.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers during the past week. He also handled wildlife calls.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity, attended K-9 training and assisted the county with a domestic call. Enforcement action was taken for operate ATV on roadway and angling license issues.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked anglers this past week. Ice is pulling away from the shore on many lakes and is becoming thin in some areas that have current flowing, including Tioga Bay on Pokegama Lake. Please use caution this time of year when accessing the ice. She also traveled up to the Rainy River over the weekend to see how the walleye fishermen were fairing. Enforcement action was taken for boating violations.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked late ice angling activity with the pan fish hopping out of the holes. The bite was very good and many limits were seen over the past week. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license. ATV activity has also spiked in the recent days with the warmer weather. Action was taken for operating an ATV on a county road. An ATV was also reported through the ice on Pokegama Lake. The ATV was promptly recovered the next day out of 25 feet of water and the operator was able to get to safety. The individual had driven over the exact location the day before, but due to the rain overnight it had greatly reduced the holding power of the ice. Please be careful on area lakes.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, spring beaver trappers and state parks. He also worked closed roads and trails during the week.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working ATV and fishing. Wichmann also took calls on injured deer.
CO John Velsvaag (Region 2 ATV Officer) checked anglers and ATVers this past week. Snowmobiling conditions have deteriorated and several gates have been closed on GIA snowmobile trails. CO Velsvaag also attended a meeting regarding multiple use trail development.
Water Resource Enforcement officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) checked anglers, ATVs, and a few snowmobilers on area lakes. Panfish and perch angling success improved. Some 12 inch blue gill were observed in creel buckets. Lake ice travel diminished from full-sized trucks to ATVs over the week. CO Arhart also worked aquatic invasive species and angling efforts at the Rainy River, tracked wetland restoration cases, and assisted the Dixon Lake Association with duck nest box maintenance. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, for transporting walleye without skin patch, for transporting watercraft with plugs in, for transporting water from infested streams, and for expired boat registration. The first migrant wood ducks were seen in open reaches of Third River. Fresh American goldeneye eggs were observed in nest boxes.
District 8 - Duluth area
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of last week working fishing enforcement on Lake Superior and its tributaries. During the week people were ice fishing Lake Superior and the next day fishing the same location in open water. One day was spent working in St. Paul. Officer Duncan assisted the DNR Wildlife division with a couple deer calls and some other misc. wildlife complaints. Snowmobile and ATV enforcement was also worked.
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent time working ATV complaints on roadways and snowmobile trails. Shore anglers were checked on Lake Superior. Ice anglers were checked on local lakes and ice conditions were okay but water and slush were a factor.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling and ATV enforcement throughout the week. ATV activity has increased with warm weather conditions. Ice angling activity was sparse on area lakes. Some open water was observed on the St. Louis River near Cloquet, however, lots of ice and debris is mixed with the high moving water. CO Humphrey followed up on a wolf livestock depredation case from the previous week. Several calls were received about deer feeding and sick and/or starving deer. Boats were prepped for the upcoming open water season.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) continued K9 training with partner Schody. Assistance was given with inspecting a commercial fur buying operation in the state. A meeting was attended at Camp Ripley to get ready for the upcoming in-service training for all of the officers in the state. A K9 demo and talk was given to Safari Club International at their annual banquet in Hinckley. A report of a dead eagle was received and checked into. With the snow melting, ATVs and off-highway motorcycles are starting to show up in the area. Enforcement action was taken for operating on a public highway, equipment and registration violations.
WREO Mike Scott attended meetings to prepare for the new academy training at Camp Ripley. Training was worked on for trapping enforcement for the new officers as well as upcoming in service training for current officers. Officer Scott worked on runoff from local gravel pit into trout stream was concluded with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to fix the issue and worked with DNR fisheries on AIS issues in the Duluth area.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Marine Unit) reports the North Shore rivers are just starting to open up. Plenty of pack ice on the Duluth end of Lake Superior. Some shore anglers are picking the spots of open water. He assisted the St. Louis Sheriff’s Office with blocking local roads due to flooding concerns. He monitored local trails for ATV/ORV use during the spring wet season. Officer Olson checked inland streams for stream trout opener. The snow cover in the woods is still knee deep and a few anglers attempted to snow shoe into local trout streams.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent the week checking anglers along Lake Superior. Many are showing up to fish, and sometimes having to change plans depending on where the ice has drifted to. Officer Ter Meer has not seen anyone fishing the rivers yet, but plenty of people looking and ready. The Duluth entry gates to the south pier are now open, so depending on where the ice had drifted some are trying there. He has heard from many ready to get out onto Lake Superior in their boats once accesses open up. Online department training was also completed.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Unit) checked a few ice anglers on the sheltered harbors where some ice remains. A meeting was attended with DNR Fisheries regarding upcoming commercial activities. A case from last fall was prepped for court. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.