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MN DNR Weekly Report for June 2, 2014

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outdoors Duluth, 55802
Duluth News Tribune
(218) 723-5295 customer support
Duluth Minnesota 424 W. First St. 55802

             CONSERVATION OFFICER WEEKLY REPORT

                                    06-02-2014

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 District 5 - Eveleth area

 CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time on ATV enforcement and held the riding component portion of an ATV Youth Safety Class. Remainder of week was spent at Camp Ripley training the new Conservation Officer Candidates and other officer’s emergency vehicle operations.

 CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports patrolling area lakes and rivers for angling and boating activity and area public accesses reminding boaters to remove drain plugs, weeds and water from their equipment. Large amounts of rain later in the week kept most folks indoors. The young of the year critters are starting to show up. Please leave them alone and let nature takes it intended course.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, invasive species, state park enforcement, and OHVs. A trapping, abandoned property and littering case was closed with enforcement action forthcoming. Other enforcement action was taken on angling license, invasive species, no state park permit, and trapping violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) continues to handle numerous beaver complaints from frustrated landowners. Permits to remove the beaver were issued. A person walking along the Mesabi Bike Trail in Virginia contacted CO Frericks and advised him about a deer head that was discarded along the side of the trail. When the CO located the deer head it was covered in maggots but a site tag was found. The owner of the site tag said he wanted to let nature take its course on the deer head so he could later do a European mount with the skull. After a little bit of digging CO Frericks learned the deer had never been registered and had been shot by another person. Citations were issued for failure to register a big game animal and unlawful party hunting. Complaints of loud boat traffic on Lake Vermilion continue to come in from frustrated lakeshore owners.  

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked fishing and boating activities throughout the week. Fishing for the most part was slow on area lakes; some walleye were seen while working Lake Vermilion. High waters and nuisance beavers are causing flooding in areas so permits have been issues for their removal. Time was also spent working AIS boat checks at accesses, compliance was very good.

I. Falls # 2 - vacant.

Ray - vacant.

Tower - vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports the Memorial Day holiday was spent working with area officers on a special aquatic invasive species work detail on Fall Lake. Compliance and existing knowledge of the regulations was excellent. Officer Williams also assisted a Conservation Officer Pilot with stocking of walleyes on Stuart Lake by float plane. Violations included angling without a license in possession, fail to have legal lifesaving device aboard a watercraft, and fail to drain water related equipment.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked fishermen in the BWCA and encountered some ATV violations. ATV operators are reminded that children under 18 that are on an ATV need to wear a helmet for safety reasons, but also to avoid a costly citation.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked anglers during the week. When on group was asked where they were going, they told the CO they were going to shore to get some snow to put in their cooler. Sure enough, there was snow under some cedars on the south shore of the lake. Cheaper than buying ice. CO Murray and CO Fagerman were eating dinner one night at a picnic table when along came a trouble maker bear. He was snapping his teeth and circling around hoping the COs would run off and he would then finish their dinner, but too bad for him the CO’s stood their ground and he wouldn’t get a picnic basket on this night. It was a very enjoyable moment which will be remembered for a long time.  

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled area forest roads and trails on ATV. CO Manning assisted CO Wahlstrom with a complaint of coyote pups living under a cabin; the mother apparently decided the area was a bit busy and relocated the animals herself. The officer also assisted US Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection Officers in locating a party who illegally entered the country at a remote location.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports assistance was given on a Memorial Day work detail which focused on AIS and checking anglers coming out of the BWCA. One non-resident angler who was checked fishing without a license said they just arrived, and since he had never been checked in 40 years they decided to stop and fish on the way to town where they were going to purchase licenses. Violations encountered throughout the week included walleye over limit, angling without a license, expired watercraft registration, AIS violations, and no fishing license in possession.  Nuisance bear reports have also been coming in.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers, paddlers on remote lakes and ATV riders. The Officer assisted the county with an arrest of an unwanted person. Wahlstrom responded to calls and spoke with the County Attorney about a big game case. 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked fishing and invasive species enforcement activity during the week. Boaters and anglers are reminded to drain all water related equipment prior to leaving the lake access. Murray also followed up on a trapping complaint and monitored ATV activity.

Silver Bay - vacant.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled area ATV trails, enforced invasive species laws, and assisted with an investigation on a wildfire. Enforcement action was taken for transporting watercraft without removing plugs.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, AIS, and patrolled for ATV activity. Violations included expired registration, fail to display registration, operate ATV on roadway, fail to drain water related equipment, and no license in possession. He also took wildlife complaints and investigated a fire. 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) taught EVOC at the academy, checked anglers, monitored OHV activity and worked AIS. CO Fairbanks and his K-9 partner Si assisted the county with a search for a suspect that fled into a swamp. K-9 Si was used to track the suspect through the waist deep water. The suspect was later found in a residence, where he was taken into custody. Enforcement action was taken for failure to remove drain plug, angling license violations and possess illegal length walleye.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) worked at area public accesses this past week educating boaters and anglers on invasive species regulations. Many people are aware of the law that they can’t transport their boat with the plug in. There were a few people that had questions as to how They can legally transport their bait. One individual had suggested we carry PH testers so we can test the bait water and prove where it came from, the lake or the bait shop.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked anglers the past week with numerous sportsmen on the water especially since bass season is now open. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, angling without a license in possession, failing to have enough lifesaving devices on board a watercraft, failure to pull the plugs of a watercraft while transporting on a public highway, operating an ATV on a public highway and for angling in a closed area.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, ATVs, watercraft, state parks and campgrounds. He also investigated a waters complaint and trespass violation during the week.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working fishing activity. Wichmann also assisted with academy training at Camp Ripley.

CO John Velsvaag (Region 2 ATV officer) followed up on illegal motorized use on the Mesabi Bike Trail. Enforcement action was taken on ATVs and OHMs. CO Velsvaag also helped out training at Ripley and took a trespass complaint. CO Velsvaag took several calls on pike regulations and border waters walleye regulations.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked aquatic invasive species, angling, boating and wildfire investigation efforts. He also assisted with ATV instruction. Anglers continue to catch pan fish. Surface water temps reached 70’F on many area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for transport boats with plugs in.  CO Arhart also issued a Wetland Conservation Act restoration order and tracked other wetland, public waters and aquatic plant management restoration orders.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling/boating, invasive species, ATV, and fire enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey investigated illegal burning causing a grass fire which resulted in damage to a structure. CO Humphrey also investigated a fawn deer taken unlawfully by a motorist. Charges are pending. Aquatic invasive compliance checks were done. CO Humphrey followed up on a trapping complaint which was unfounded.  Boating, ATV, and burning violations were encountered during the past week.

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent the week at Camp Ripley assisting with training at the academy. ATV laws and operation classes and emergency vehicle operator’s course were taught. Officer Schmidt worked aquatic invasive species in the Duluth area. Time was also spent on Lake Vermilion working anglers and watercraft. 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work fishing enforcement on area lakes and North Shore tributaries. Time was also spent talking with fishermen about invasive species regulations. Officer Duncan returned several calls from the public and followed up on a couple TIP calls. Guidance was given on a couple nuisance animal complaints. An enforcement contact involved illegal netting of rainbow trout from a North Shore tributary. 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) received several nuisance animal complaints in the area. Most of the complaints consisted of bears destroying bird feeders. People are reminded to put their feeders and garbage away if they do not want bears in their yards. The deer are dropping their fawns right now and people are reminded to leave them alone if they see them. It is not unusual for the mothers to leave them alone for extended periods of time. One case was worked where some people picked up a fawn and took it home and did not call anyone.  Charges are pending. Permits were issued for car kill bear and bobcat. Time was spent working invasive species enforcement in the area. Most were compliant with the regulations.  After healing from an injury, K9 training has resumed with K9 Schody.

WREO Mike Scott (NE) followed up on WCA violations in Grand Marais working with the local LGU and county attorney office on the case. Anglers were checked on area lakes and rivers. Fishing is starting to pick up and folks are catching more fish. Enforcement action was taken for no registration, failure to display current registration, no fishing license and no license in possession. The 19th annual ALS Walleye fishing contest to raise money for Lou Gehrig’s disease was attended with 162 boats that were entered in the contest. Even though the weather was not great, all participants had a great time with lots of fish caught. A TIP call was fielded and is under investigation.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) investigated a TIP complaint with Officer Duncan. He attended a court hearing with Lt. Speldrich. He checked anglers on the North Shore streams. Inland stream trout anglers were also checked. ATV complaint followed up on.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) worked angling, boating, ATV, and AIS enforcement throughout the week. He also instructed EVOC to the academy. He handled a loon stuck on a road by capturing and releasing it in an area lake. He handled some nuisance bear calls.  Enforcement action was taken for angling, boating, and ATV violations.

 
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Kris Vereecken
(218) 723-5322
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