MN DNR Weekly Report for July 7, 2014
CONSERVATION OFFICER WEEKLY REPORT
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports fishing starting to pick up on Rainy Lake, despite high water levels. People are reminded of no wake zone on portions of Rainy Lake, along with using caution as lots of debris is still floating around. Several animal complaints were handled throughout week, please leave young animals alone.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling and boating activities over the week. Public access sites were checked and forest roads monitored. Fishing reports over all very poor.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports checking area lakes for fishing and boating activity and patrolling area forest roads for ATV operation. Fishing remains quite slow. Calls for service and areas of concern were responded to in a vacant station. The 4th of July holidays was worked and quite a few folks were enjoying the area lakes until the rain started in the evening.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, ATVs, invasive species, state park enforcement, issued an aquatic plant Cease and Desist Order, and the exceptionally busy July 4th weekend. The officer worked angling activity and the Lake Vermilion Flotilla with CO Bermel, with a high violation rate being encountered. A couple was observed doing well on rainbow trout and removing the entrails and throwing them in the lake. When checked at their vehicle, the statement of having a limit and not knowing what the limit was didn’t hold true as they had five too many. Enforcement action for the week was taken on angling without a license, a fish transport violation, over limit, fail to remove drain plug, littering, fireworks in a state park, and numerous boating and ATV violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) visited a wetland violation on Lake Vermilion with DNR hydrologists and St. Louis County Planning and Zoning. Other public waters issues were addressed as well. Anglers and boaters were checked on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession and insufficient PFD’s.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked fishing and boating activities throughout the 4th of July weekend. ATV activity was also worked with violations of operating on county and state roads found. A special work detail with other Officers was conducted on Lake Superior.
International Falls # 2 - vacant.
Ray - vacant.
Tower - vacant.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports he investigated a trap theft in the Ely area in which several traps were recovered. Officer Williams also assisted a neighboring officer with locating a loon which was injured by a lure; unfortunately they were unable to capture it. Violations included: fail to display valid registration, and operating a motorboat after sunset without navigational lights.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked a TIP about fishermen from another state catching and transporting more than their limits of walleye. Time was spent following them around to document their activity. ATVs, Jet Skis, and all other types of machinery were common over the 4th weekend. Officers reminded boaters about invasive species precautions and compliance and awareness seem to have gotten better than in the past months.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports another weekend, another washout. The mosquitoes are still doing well and people’s fun meters aren’t where they should be for July days. Most people have reported some pretty good walleye fishing on inland lakes. Enforcement action was taken for no throw able Type IV PFDs, insufficient number of PFD’s on board watercraft, no trout stamp and rounding things out the typical, “I forgot my fishing license back at the cabin.”
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked an Aquatic Invasives detail and patrolled area inland lakes during the busy holiday weekend with CO Wahlstrom. When asked how things were going, one angler replied, “Not so good, we don’t have licenses…we are just doing some ‘catch and release’ …” While they had thought to get leeches before hitting the lake, they did not think to get licenses. They also had too few life jackets aboard the boat they were operating. Education and paperwork were provided. Officer thought they spotted a fire on another pontoon boat, but found only a pair of boater grilling steak and lobster kabobs to celebrate holiday.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy 4th of July weekend. The Lake Vermilion Flotilla was worked on Saturday with CO Bozovsky. A large share of the boats checked on Vermilion that day had violations. Enforcement action for the week included no fishing license, transport fillets without skin patch, illegal length walleye, extra line, watercraft registration violations, no PFDs, no navigational lights after sunset, litter, AIS violations, and PWC violations.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked an AIS detail and checked area lakes with Officer Manning during the holiday weekend. The Officers observed a pontoon full of people with two people fishing from it. When the Officers approached the watercraft and asked how they were doing, they replied, “Well, not so good, we do not have fishing licenses.” They were also short a few PFDs. The Officers responded to a watercraft that appeared to be on fire, but it turned out to be a nice elderly couple enjoying steak kabobs on the grill.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling, boating, and ATV enforcement activity over the busy holiday weekend. Most anglers checked were having good numbers of fish in their boats. Enforcement action was taken for license, no PFD, and over limit of fish violations. Murray also handled a road killed moose in the Silver Bay station.
Silver Bay - vacant.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, ATV activity, and patrolled campgrounds and recreation areas. Violations included ATV on roadway, fail to display current ATV registration, no PFDs, and no angling license in possession.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity, worked boat and Water enforcement and performed a K-9 demo at an area resort. The area walleye bite slowed this week. Enforcement action was taken for angling license violations, OHV registration violations and possessing illegal length walleye.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time checking anglers and boaters this past week and over the holiday weekend. Enforcement action was taken for boating and fishing violations. She assisted the county with a call where four individuals were transported off an island because they were too intoxicated to operate a watercraft.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a windy week of angling and boating enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, operating a watercraft in a no wake zone, operating an ATV without registration, and for operating an ATV down a county road.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs, state parks and campgrounds. He also responded to boating and trespass complaints during the week.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working boating and ATV activity. E Enforcement action was taken for passenger under 18 on ATV without helmet and BWI.
CO John Velsvaag (NE Region 2 ATV Officer) worked a couple of ATV work details and assisted the USFS. CO Velsvaag took calls on trap theft questions on designated trout lakes. He also received multiple complaints of illegal PWC use and boats without lights well after sunset.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked angling, boating, and ATVing activities. CO Arhart also issued a Wetland Conservation Act restoration order for a St. Louis County wetland impact. A TIP call concerning suspect human impacts on a beaver dam and sunfish over limits was investigated. Dead deer calls were received. Enforcement action was taken for transporting boats with plugs in and for illegal ATV youth operation. Some lakes are still producing walleyes while others are sporadic at best. Water levels are still high with many reports of damaged boats, lifts and docks being received.
District 8 - Duluth area
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott spent the week instructing new Conservation Officers at Camp Ripley about Aquatic Invasive Species laws, rules and policies as well as Water appropriation. A new wetland violation was handled with the assistance of CO Randy Hanzal where a person installing a geothermal system but was impacting area wetlands during the installation. Geothermal heating and cooling is becoming more popular but still needs to follow wetland conservation act rules and laws.
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) followed up on animal complaints and wolf depredation complaints. Time was spent on Lake Superior working anglers and watercraft. Few fish were seen but weather and lake conditions were great for the weekend. The officer assisted the US Coast Guard and St Louis County with the Duluth fireworks display in Duluth Harbor.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) experienced a very busy 4th of July weekend throughout the station. The majority of time spent this past week was working boating safety. Most people had the proper safety equipment and their boat were in working order; however, there were still a few contacts made were these essential items were missing. A report of a loon entangled in fishing line could not be located. A cease and desist was issued to a contractor that was placing fill in a wetland and contacts were also made with ATV users.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked ATV, off-highway motorcycle and boating activity over the holiday weekend. Enforcement action taken for no safety certificate, equipment violations, and registration violations. K9 training continues. Extra patrol was done in the local state parks. Assistance was given at a boating accident where a person riding on a tube broke their arm.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) worked a busy fourth of July in the Duluth Harbor. The nice weather had many boaters enjoying the day. Despite the number of boats few violations encountered. Most had their safety equipment in order. He assisted the St. Louis Co. S.O. with a vehicle roll over, OHV/ATV work north of Duluth and investigated a public waters complaint on park point.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked boaters and anglers on Lake Superior and inland lakes. Several issues were found with navigation lights and PFD compliance, both of which are especially important on busy summer nights on the water. Assistance was given to local agencies with pursuits, theft calls, and traffic issues. ATV violations continue to be found in the usual areas. Enforcement action was taken for boating, angling, traffic, and ATV violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) worked a litter investigation, ATV, OHM, ORV, fishing, and angling during the week. He worked the Duluth Fire Works in the harbor and some night enforcement on Island Lake. He also patrolled on Lake Superior and Island Lake. He took a few phone calls and calls from dispatch. Enforcement action was taken for angling, boating and ATV violations.