MN DNR Weekly Report for June 16, 2014
CONSERVATION OFFICER WEEKLY REPORT
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) investigated wolf depredation complaint west of International Falls near Pelland. He assisted in flood relief efforts along Rainy Lake and Lake Kabetogama, lots of water, with levels to rise higher.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports rain most of the week with little outdoor activities taking place. Administrative tasks were worked on along with equipment research and upkeep.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports continued heavy rain and swarms of biting bugs have kept area outdoor recreation down to a minimum. Area public accesses were checked for compliance with boaters removing weeds and water from their equipment to help slow the spread of invasive species. Complaints of high water, possibly due to beaver dams, were received.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, invasive species, ATVs, the state park and Lake Vermilion. The officer gave presentations on gun safety and life jacket safety to pre-school kids at Hibbing’s Safety Town. The officer also dealt with an albino gray squirrel that was illegally taken in Hibbing, in which the police department had initially investigated. Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license, angling without a license in possession and PFD, boat registration and ATV violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) continues to issue nuisance beaver permits to landowners so they can remove the industrious pest. The CO spoke at a Firearms Safety Class at the Laurentian Environmental Learning Center, and met with board members of the Vermilion Sportsmen’s Club to assist in writing an article in the newsletter about complaints of loud boat noise. Reports for citations issued were prepared and turned into court and a report of a person selling minnows was investigated. The ad on Craigslist was brought to the attention of CO Frericks who met with the ambitious 15 year old who posted it. CO Frericks explained to the 15 year old that it would be a good idea if he were to take the ad down since he didn’t have any of the required licenses. The juvenile’s mother was more than happy the CO stopped by.
International Falls # 2 - vacant.
Ray - vacant.
Tower - vacant.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports the mosquitos are worse than anything he’s remembered seeing in his lifetime. If you breathe through your mouth you can get enough to eat so you don’t have to stop for lunch. No repellent seems to work very long with these beasts. The bright sun doesn’t even seem to deter them. Keep moving and think of the frigid winter we just had. The CO worked a remote BWCA detail and enforcement activity included fishing and boating violations.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) continued to work invasive species enforcement efforts and worked with local trappers on nuisance beaver issues. Calls were received of abandoned fawn deer that were found that were not abandoned at all. It is normal for does to leave their fawns alone for several hours at a time and it is best to leave them alone when found.
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports there has been a recent increase in nuisance animal reports in the Ely area. Officer Williams has been advising that people remove food sources like bird feeders and trash cans from their yards and that they be especially attentive while driving at dusk and dawn. Enforcement actions including angling without a license in possession and failure to display registration were observed.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked with other Conservation Officers, enforcement, and rescue crews during the BWCAW Basswood Lake rescue of the Boy Scouts that had been stranded after their canoes swamped in rough seas. CO’s Stage and Bermel were the first boat on scene and worked with the USFS Beaver pilot and a Lake County Deputy to retrieve two cold and soaked young Boy Scouts and their dad, as the State Patrol helicopter crew arrived to rescue the two other adults from the same party. The conditions were so rough that a large wave washed over the gunwale and sunk the Officer’s 16 foot boat at the shoreline as the victims were being loaded aboard. The rescue was interrupted for a time as the two officers had to “un-sink” the boat before completing the transport of the wet and waiting Boy Scouts to the island where the USFS Beaver was waiting to fly the group to the Ely hospital.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) assisted US Fish and Wildlife on a case in Silver Bay. The officer took a call of a fawn sleeping on a family’s porch. The caller left the animal undisturbed, kept her own children away and the fawn’s mother returned later that night and retrieved it. Officer Manning attended a dinner for volunteer safety instructors, assisted with the Hunter Education Field Day and followed up on reports of illegal ATV operation and wanton waste of fish.
Silver Bay - vacant.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled for AIS violations, and handled various animal calls. Enforcement action taken for untagged snares, illegally set body gripping trap, and failure to display valid watercraft registration
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked angling, boating, ATV, and AIS. Violations included ATV on roadway and failure to drain water related equipment. He also handled nuisance beaver complaints and took a complaint about water pollution.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity, taught at the academy and answered calls of injured deer. The recent rains have caused some flooding of area rivers and streams. Enforcement action was taken for angling license issues and watercraft registration issues.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activity over the past week with the panfish bite heating up. Enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of bluegills and angling without a license. CO Sutherland also took enforcement action for operating a jetski within 150 feet of a shoreline at a greater than no wake speed, operating a type 1 ATV on a public highway, operating without ATV safety certification and for not having a registered ATV.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working boating and fishing activity. Wichmann also assisted at Camp Ripley with academy training.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked aquatic invasive species, boating, ATV, and angling efforts. Enforcement action was taken for gross -sunfish over limits. CO Arhart also issued a Wetland Conservation Act restoration order for wetland impacts in St. Louis County. He also responded to local high water concerns and helped save a nest of sawhet owlets displaced by the recent storms.
District 8 - Duluth area
WREO Mike Scott checked anglers and boaters on area lakes and up the North Shore during with fishing very good in some places and not so much in others. Enforcement action was taken on possession of illegal length walleyes on the St. Louis River. One angler without a measuring device used their Leatherman to mark off a ruler but fell a half inch short of the required 15 inch minimum. On the other side, a call was received from a local car dealership where a technician was working on a customer’s vehicle, reached up under the dash to replace the vehicle’s cabin air filter, and was confronted by a snake that had taken residence in the cabin filter area. Even after talking to the technician and removing the snake for them it was unclear who was more surprised, the snake or the technician! The snake was an Eastern Fox snake harmless unless you are a mouse, but that was of no comfort to the technician. The snake was released and the technician is back to work but more cautious now when reaching under a car’s dash.
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent much of the week working area lakes and rivers. Anglers are having some luck and weather finally cooperated for a few days. Public accesses were worked for AIS and overall compliance was good. Injured and nuisance animal complaints were handled.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports a lot of anglers are still reporting excellent fishing throughout the area. Time was spent working a Waters and WCA violation involving an international company. Complaints about illegal bridge building and rouge trails created for ATV use is currently being investigated. Several shifts educating boaters about Invasive Species and enforcement of rules were completed. Some educational internet training was completed during the week. The officer also did some cooperative work with area fisheries crews.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week working fishing and boating enforcement on area lakes. Night boating enforcement was also worked a couple nights during the week. Other activity included working ATV complaint areas, invasive species enforcement and Division Training.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling/boating, invasive species, and OHV enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey patrolled in the Fond Du Lac State Forest for unlawful OHV activity. CO Humphrey continued aquatic invasive education and compliance checks. Injured and/or orphaned wildlife calls were received during the week. CO Humphrey completed an investigation into the unlawful taking and possession of a fawn deer; charges are pending. Boating and ATV violations were also encountered.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spoke with a dog owner about his dogs chasing deer in the Blackhoof area. ATV and OHM activity were worked in the area. Enforcement action was taken for allow unlawful juvenile operation of an ATV, registration violations and no eye protection on an OHM. Fishing and boating activity were checked in the area. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and angling without a license in possession. K9 training was conducted in the metro area in preparation for upcoming testing for K9 Schody. A talk about the DNR K9 program and a K9 demo was given to the new officers that are currently going through the academy at Camp Ripley.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) spent time on watercraft maintenance, checked anglers on the North Shore, assisted Duluth PD with a possible armed suicidal female, worked ATV enforcement in the Cloquet Valley State Forest and checked inland stream trout anglers.
CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior and worked AIS enforcement along the big lake. Several warnings were given to out-of-state boaters who were unaware of the regulations pertaining to AIS transport laws. A possession permit was issued for a car hit deer and equipment maintenance handled on watercraft. Assistance was given to a local agency with a report of an overturned boat on Lake Superior. Enforcement action taken for angling, AIS, and ATV violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent the week checking boaters, anglers, ATV activity, and worked AIS enforcement. Time was also spent on paperwork and getting reports into the county attorney’s office.