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MN DNR Weekly Report for Aug. 18, 2014

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District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports finished up ATV Instructor Training with US Border Patrol. Rest of week was spent in court with a fishing case from last fall and Ontario moose case. Bear baiting calls were handled as were other animal complaints (wolf, deer, and bear). Fishing activity on Rainy Lake continues to be busy with cooperative weather.

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CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling and boating activities over the week. Fishing remains very poor with little observed being caught. Forest roads were checked and public access sites monitored. Computer work is ongoing.

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports checking on fishing and boating activity throughout the week. The weather was nice and a few bass and pan fish were biting. Calls related to the upcoming hunting seasons were returned.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, invasive species enforcement and ATVs. He also responded to ATV and PWC complaints and worked Lake Vermilion. The officer assisted the State Patrol with traffic control on a semi blocking two lanes of traffic and the Hibbing PD with two juveniles huffing substances in a city park. The officer arrested an individual with a gross misdemeanor arrest warrant, while working out of the boat. A frightened weasel was seen imitating a flying squirrel and took a jump off the edge of a 20 foot bridge. Enforcement action was taken on angling license and invasive species violations, ATV and state trail violations, and numerous boating and personal watercraft violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a Chamber of Commerce meeting in Virginia about new laws, the upcoming deer season and common violations and appeared in court to testify concerning a boating violation. With nice weather, area lakes were busy over the last weekend. Violations such as operating unregistered watercraft and insufficient PFDs were encountered. Loud boat complaints continue to come in from numerous lake shore owners on Lake Vermilion. CO Frericks met with several owners of loud boats and tested their exhaust systems after they had them worked on to make them quieter. CO Frericks urges owners of loud boats to contact him and arrange to have their boats tested with the decibel meter to find out if their boat exceeds the limits.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked a Lake Superior detail out of Two Harbors/ Silver Bay area with violations of no Minnesota angling license or trout stamp found. Fredin worked a boat and water detail in the vacant Ray station on Kabetogama and Namakan Lakes with WREO Arhart. Bear baiting activity was checked into.

International Falls # 2 - vacant.

Ray - vacant.

Tower - vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked a Lake Superior detail with Officer Guida and checked bear baits during the week. The CO took complaints on hunters and guides coming in and baiting where bait had already been set by another hunter. He checked remote inland designated trout lakes by ATV. He also took reports of active wolves killing a couple of dogs, killing some chickens and attacking a calf during the week all in the same vicinity west of Grand Marais. Enforcement action was taken for dumping fish guts into the lake and for cleaning a fish with size restrictions on the lake.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily angling, boating, ATV, and AIS enforcement, along with working early bear baiting activity. A shift was worked on Lake Superior out of Duluth with other officers resulting in several violations including angling without a trout stamp and extra line. Four people from Pennsylvania were contacted fishing on Birch Lake, one using an extra line. The offender said they had not received a regulations booklet. He received a citation as encouragement to know the laws in whatever state he is fishing. In another instance a shore angler was checked on a remote lake without a license in possession. A short time later she was seen leaving the area without her fishing partner. Upon checking her on ELS she had not purchased a license for several years, but within minutes the fresh purchase showed up on her file. The officer awaited her arrival and issued a citation for fishing without a license. Other enforcement action included ATV registration and transfer violations, OHM violations, no PFDs, and a public access parking violation.

CO Sean Williams (Ely) focused most of the week on remote lakes within the Superior National Forest. Excellent weather meant higher than average canoeing and camping activity in the midweek. Violations included angling with no license in possession, and storing a watercraft at a public landing.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) attended LOCKUP instructor training at Camp Ripley. The training will be used to enhance the safety of DNR Enforcement officers through the teaching of arrest and control techniques during future in-service trainings. The officer also patrolled Lake Superior and its boat accesses with CO Posner.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) attended an advanced firearms instructor training at Camp Ripley. The Officer checked bear bait stations, ATVs and anglers.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked are anglers on inland lakes, and Lake Superior. CO Schottenbauer started working on bear bait stations as well. Time was spent on area ATV trails monitoring activity.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled for illegal ATV activity, worked on a littering case, and spoke at the Island Lake Association meeting. Enforcement action was taken for allowing a juvenile to illegally operate an ATV.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, ATV activity, OHM activity, and patrolled for early bear baiting. Violations included ATV on roadway, OHM on roadway, fail to display registration, operate unregistered, and DUI. He also did follow-up on a fire in Koochiching County and handled various wildlife calls.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) started field training with instruction with a COC, checked anglers, worked bear baiting activity, monitored OHV activity and participated in a K-9 demonstration at the Itasca County Fair. The area wild rice crop looks to be on the down side this year. Enforcement action was taken for minor consume while operating a motor vehicle, no motorcycle endorsement, improper display of registration and no tail lights.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked lakes for boating and fishing complaints. She also checked the local rice crop, which isn’t ready yet on most lakes. She attended a firearms safety training class where 24 students were certified. She also took a complaint of pollution in the Prairie River which turned out to be oily substance of organic nature caused by decaying plants and insect casings in the water. Enforcement action was taken for several angling and boating violations.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activity in the area with most fishing bites slowing down with the warm water temperatures. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, operating an ATV on a county road and a complaint where ATV’s were making new trails on state land. CO Sutherland also handled nuisance bear calls, but all complaints have stopped since the bear baiting season has started.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs, state parks and campgrounds. He also responded to various complaints during the week.

CO John Velsvaag (Region 2 ATV Officer) reports checking several complaint areas including parts of the Mesabi Bike Trail and some state forest lands with illegal ORV use. CO Velsvaag also completed several training sessions and attended a trails meeting.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked aquatic invasive species, sport fishing, ricing, bear baiting, and equipment maintenance. Arhart also attended a Water Resource Enforcement Officer meeting at Camp Ripley, followed wetland and public waters cases, and worked boat enforcement details on Big Winnie and on Namakan lakes. Ricing outlooks are poor in the area. Some walleye and perch fishing success were observed. Enforcement action was taken for angling license and for boat equipment violations. A 27 inch walleye was observed caught and released on Winnie.

District 8 - Duluth area

WREO Mike Scott worked with division personal in interviewing new candidates for the CO Prep Program. A meeting with all Water Resource Enforcement Officers (WREO) was attended. Officer Scott attended the Carlton County Fair in Barnum where a booth was staffed with the Minnesota Sea Grant folks to educate and discuss AIS issues with fair goers.

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) completed ATV instructor training with the US Border Patrol. Time was also spent answering questions regarding upcoming deer season. ATV complaint areas were worked.

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) spent time on the water enforcing safe boating regulations. Several boater were contacted and cited for either no or insufficient life jackets. A few recreational boaters were also cited for failing to comply with laws designed to slow the spread of invasive species. Seems some occasional watercraft users either haven’t been getting the word or just not taking these rules seriously. Reports of wolves chasing and in some cases killing calves were reported. A person called to complain about a bear that had been tearing down her bird feeders. This person was instructed to remove the feeder or expect the bear to return.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) reports working boating, angling, OHV, and AIS enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey worked boating enforcement on local area lakes and a detail on Lake Superior with the Marine Unit. Several calls, complaints, and questions were received about upcoming hunting seasons and ATV operation. Angling license, trout stamp, boating equipment, and OHV violations were encountered.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked mostly invasive species and boating enforcement over the past week. With nicer weather, there was lots of activity. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, angling without license in possession, insufficient PFDs, operating without required lights, angling with an extra line, and other equipment violations. There was good compliance with the invasive species laws. Other enforcement action was taken for operating ATVs and OHMs on the highway. Time was spent at the Carlton County Fair answering questions from several residents. Several hours of annual computer training was finished.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. Lake trout have been the staple around the Duluth end. Salmon are starting to show up in the Silver Bay area. He assisted Hermantown Police Dept. with burglary in progress calls in separate areas of the city. Assistance was also given to the St. Louis Co. Sheriff’s Office with an auto crash and locating a reported intoxicated driver. Heavy rain pushed all boaters off the water on Sunday afternoon.

Officer Matt Miller (Marine Unit) spent the week with a COC. The officers checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior with several violations found relating to extra lines and trout stamps. Fishing success is increasing around Two Harbors and Silver Bay with more salmon being caught. Officers also worked the Silver Bay area ATV trails. Activity and violation rates were both low. ATV riders are reminded to complete ATV Safety training before riding an ATV if they were born after 7/1/87. Enforcement action taken for angling and ATV violations.

Officer Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) worked AIS, angling, boat and water, hunting, and ATV enforcement during the week. He also started training a COC. Enforcement action was taken for AIS violations.

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