MN DNR Weekly Report for July 21, 2014
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling and boating activities over the week. Fishing success is some of the poorest he has seen in recent years. Outdoor user numbers continue to decline with very little activity noted over the week.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports a few muskie and bass anglers were observed having some luck catching and releasing fish. Walleye anglers were not doing as well. Very warm weather late last week had the area swimming beaches quite full. Berry picking is in full swing and pickers are reporting a good crop this year.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, ATVs, the state park, a dog chasing deer complaint and trespassing complaints. Various trespass issues kept the officer busy for the week with 16 violations of operating a motor vehicle on a state trail (due to a state highway bridge project that shortcut detours are being taken), “plain old” trespass, and OHV trespass. Simply obeying signs would have saved the officer and the violators a lot of hassle. One of the individuals also provided the officer her sister’s driver’s license as her license was revoked, which added to her three other violations. Enforcement action for the week included angling without a license, allow dog to chase deer, trespass, state trail trespass, OHV trespass, driving after revocation, no insurance, display another’s license, and a number of boating and ATV violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time patrolling area lakes checking anglers and boaters. Walleye have been cooperating with anglers on Lake Vermilion with many nice sized fish being seen and reports of a couple 30+ inch walleye being taken. CO Frericks spoke at a take a kid fishing event hosted by Lake Vermilion guides. Importance on wearing lifejackets was stressed. A boater whom was warned last year to put current registration on their pontoon was seen operating the same watercraft again this year without putting the current registration on. A citation was issued for failure to display current registration.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked boating and fishing activity throughout the week. Some nice crappies are being caught along with walleyes. Violations of no angling license and expired boat registration were found. Officer Fredin received complaints of a beaver dam flooding a road and a complaint of a bear getting into a dumpster. A road killed wolf was picked up.
International Falls # 2 - vacant.
Ray - vacant.
Tower - vacant.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports that he and other local officers focused on canoe patrols within the BWCAW. The focus was specifically boating safety and angling enforcement. Violations included failing to have a legal lifesaving device on board a watercraft, and fail to remove a drain plug on a watercraft.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked fishing and boating enforcement in the BWCAW and Lake Superior. The areas worked were quiet after the July 4th week when a lot of people take their vacations. Fishing was slow, but the mosquitos were a lot more tolerable considering how bad they were a few weeks ago. Remember to have your fishing license in possession.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that the bugs are now finally subsiding with the nicer weather and less rain. Now is the time to get out and make up for the cooler, wet summer we’ve been having. Designated trout lakes have remained relatively empty during the summer, but those who’ve made the effort have had the lakes all to themselves. The small walleye lakes have been producing some nice fish. The CO attended a graduation ceremony for 10 new conservation officers at Camp Ripley.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) participated in a work detail in the BWCA. Several groups checked were surprised to be contacted by Conservation Officers and to hear that we, too, had crossed “that really long portage” to get to their location. The officer patrolled inland lakes and worked Lake Superior with CO Wahlstrom and Lt. Sherack. Bear complaints are becoming more numerous and folks should be sure to clean up and remove all garbage and bird feeders-even during the day. Officer Manning also checked anglers and boaters returning to the US from Canadian fishing trips. A few anglers were educated on personal responsibility related to licenses and possession limits and several boat owners learned about transport laws related to invasive species and boats.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports several boats didn’t have their navigational lights on after sunset, including some teenagers pulling a tuber 30 minutes after sunset. Enforcement action was taken on the operator’s mother. Several boats were also contacted during the week without the required number of wearable life vests. CO Bermel worked a couple ATV and dirt bike complaint areas in Ely and encountered violations such as no MN driver’s license, operation on illegal roadways, unregistered OHM, no safety certificates, and failure to stop at stop sign. Additional enforcement action included fishing without a license and possessing un-measurable fish on a special regulation lake.
CO Dave Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) spent the week getting to know his new station. Lake Superior was worked with neighboring officers for angling and AIS activity. Nice weather over the weekend was offset continued cold water temperatures on the big lake, which caused occasional heavy fog on the lake and along the shoreline.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking anglers and boaters on inland lakes and lake Superior. Wahlstrom worked with the new Silver Bay Officer during the Salmon classic and worked an AIS detail. The officer worked a federal boat and water detail on Lake Superior with Officer Manning and Lt. Sherack.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV and fishing activity during the week. Several calls of an Emu running around the county were reported by area residents as many were surprised to see a large prehistoric looking bird running around. The bird was reportedly captured and returned to the owner. Murray also assisted Two Harbors PD with a burglary where a man broke into a local fitness center and caused damage to the property.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled for illegal ATV activity, and met with the Koochiching County Attorney.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, ATV activity, and patrolled campgrounds and recreation areas. Violations included ATV on roadway, failure to display current ATV registration, nuisance beaver complaints, and he investigated a public waters violation.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity and attended K-9 training. Enforcement action was taken for litter, no lights on trailer and angling license violations.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked and boating activity this past week. She took a complaint of a possible animal attack on a horse but nothing was concluded. Fortunately for the horse, the injuries were very minor. She is still investigating a burning garbage complaint from the McCavity Lake area.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activity with some local lakes still producing fish. Enforcement action was taken for operating an unregistered watercraft and for a group of individuals who had a slot walleye that they insisted was only 17 inches, but the fish measured almost 18 inches on a lake with a 17-26 inch protected slot. CO Sutherland also attended an ATV safety class where a law talk was given to youth from around the state.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs, state parks and campgrounds. He also worked on equipment related issues during the week.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled for ATV activity, and worked AIS regulations. Enforcement action was taken for operating ATV without safety certificate, no fire extinguisher and for not having fishing license in possession.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked invasive species, angling, boating, ATVing, wetland and training activities. CO Arhart also issued a Wetland Conservation Act restoration order for a St. Louis County wetland impact and completed a frog/toad survey for Water-Ecological Resources. Angler success was spotty. Enforcement action was taken for angling license violations. The wild rice crop looks poor in most beds and water levels continue to be high on many area lakes.
District 8 - Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on wolf depredation and general complaints. Area lakes and rivers were worked for angling activity and watercraft equipment. ATV complaint areas and trails were also worked. The officer assisted with an aquatic invasive species information booth at Lake Superior Days and equipment maintenance was handled.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) spent two days working an invasive species education booth at a popular tourist destination in Duluth. Hundreds of educational contacts were had explaining the rules in place designed to slow the spread of them and explaining the impact these critters have on MN resources. A person was refused launching of a watercraft when he did not allow inspectors to check his boat. Time was also spent following up with an old unfinished case that involved illegal cutting of tree tops. After meeting with the local prosecutor citations were issued to the parties involved.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) while with a COC, worked fishing and watercraft enforcement on area lakes along with time spent on Lake Superior. Time was spent investigating an illegal burn along with some follow-up contact with the subject. Time was also spent doing ATV, PWC, and AIS enforcement. They also worked area lakes checking for watercraft navigational light compliance after dark. Many license checks were completed on shoreline anglers.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling/boating, invasive species, and OHV enforcement. CO Humphrey patrolled in the Fond du Lac state forest for unlawful OHV activity. CO Humphrey continued aquatic invasive education and compliance checks. CO Humphrey received livestock depredation and nuisance wolf complaints. Questions about upcoming bear and deer seasons were received. Boating and OHV violations were encountered. A warrant arrest was made after an ATV traffic stop.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a meeting on the K9 program and conducted K9 training in the metro area. A class on off-highway vehicle laws was put on in Carlton for local law enforcement officers. Invasive species laws were worked in the area with fairly good compliance found. Enforcement action was taken for transporting watercraft with plug in and transporting aquatic macrophytes. OHV activity was worked in the Moose Lake area with enforcement action taken for numerous violations including registration, equipment, no safety cert, and failing to stop for stop sign violations. Assistance was given to Cloquet PD in locating a suicidal person that left into a wooded area. He was found unharmed and taken in to get help. A K9 assist was given to FDL PD in searching for evidence after a high speed chase and flee on foot case. Other activity included fishing license violations.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers on Superior who were enjoying the fine summer weather. Cold water temps have still delayed a steady bite, but decent numbers of lake trout and king salmon are starting to show up on the lower shore. An ATV law familiarization talk was given to a local sheriff’s office. Surveillance of problem ATV areas revealed violations of allowing illegal juvenile operation, no ATV safety training, and operating an ATV in unfrozen public waters. One violator, upon seeing the officer and his recording device, exclaimed, “Aww, even on camera.” Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, recreational vehicle users, and on AIS compliance. He also attended a meeting, worked on a report, and took a nuisance bear complaint. Enforcement action was taken for AIS, and fishing violations