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MN DNR Weekly Report for June 30, 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

                                    06-30-2014

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District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports lake levels on Namakan and Kabetogama lakes have stabilized and receding slightly; however,  Rainy Lake still continues to rise slightly. People are reminded of the 300 yard “no wake” ordinance in place on Rainy Lake.  A work detail with CO Anthony Bermel and CO Sean Williams was conducted at US Customs, Port of Entry, in Int’l Falls where enforcement action was taken for several illegal fish transportation issues. Fishing enforcement continues on Rainy Lake, Lake Kabetogama, and Ash River.

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports fishing remains slow in the area. The weather and biting bugs continues to keep most people from enjoying the outdoors. Area forest roads were checked for ATV activity.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters and state park enforcement;  one angler checked did not have a license or an ID. When asked why they didn’t have a license, the person said they were 16, however when they provided their date of birth, the math indicated the person was 18 (in either case a license is required). The truth came out and the angler was cited. To top things off, no PFDs were on board for the angler and the other two occupants as well. Enforcement action for the week was taken on no angling license, angle with extra lines, dispose of bait in state waters, insufficient PFDs and no navigation lights.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) investigated a complaint of two wolves attacking two dogs outside their home, one dog sustained injury. Nuisance beavers continue to be addressed with permits issued to remove them. A caller called stating they found a pup coyote in the woods, brought it home and gave it a bath then called the CO asking what to do with it. Please leave the young wild animals in the woods.

International Falls # 2 - vacant.

Ray - vacant.

Tower - vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports the Ely area has had a break from wet weather, but most lakes and rivers still remain very high. Many anglers checked reported good luck on small to medium walleyes and northerns. Officer Williams worked at the Canadian border with local officers and found a high compliance rate from most travelers. Violations included: Possession of fish illegally taken in Canada, and fail to have a legal lifesaving device on board a watercraft.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked a couple different fishing TIPS and found the people who were supposed to be taking more than their limits of fish were having trouble catching fish. One local Ely party was catching a few walleyes and had one bag of walleye fillets with the patch of skin on for transportation as per the law, but they also had bags of what they called the trimmings that they said were for their cats. The problem was, the bags of trimmings were larger than the fillet bags. The party was dumbfounded that they couldn’t clean their walleyes in the field without leaving the fillets whole so they could be counted. The law was explained to the veteran fisher people who couldn’t believe the law could be so restrictive for them, and it was determined that if they truly wanted to feed the fillet trimmings to their cats, that they better take them home to do the filleting. 

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports another weekend, another washout. Some of the avid anglers are telling the CO that they haven’t had much time to fish because they’ve been mowing their grass between downfalls. One fellow said his grass is growing so fast he can almost hear it growing. The mosquitos are continuing to enjoy such weather. The anglers checked in the last week report very slow action. A nuisance bear call was handled and enforcement action was taken for boating violations.

CO Mary Manning handled an ATV trespass complaint near Grand Marais. She worked a backcountry detail in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area with other officers. Officer Manning also completed annual training, helped out with training for new officers at Camp Ripley and took calls about over-eager beavers and lake access issues.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports a busy week of angling and boating enforcement in and out of the BWCA. Operation Dry Water was worked with other officers as well as a detail at the International Falls border crossing. At that detail officers seized nearly 40 fish, most from small over limits. Several folks who purchased conservation licenses allowing a half limit were in possession of full limits. Information about an illegal campsite on Lake Vermilion was shared with a USFS LEO who took enforcement action. Enforcement action for the week included over limits of fish, transporting fish without a skin patch, illegal length walleye, angle without a license, no navigational lights after sunset, no PFD, no license in possession.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking anglers on area lakes, boaters and monitored ATV activity. The Officer returned phone calls and responded to nuisance animal complaints.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked boating and invasive species enforcement efforts over the weekend. Fishing success seemed good on most area lakes but anglers had to fish in between the thundershowers much of the week. Enforcement action was taken for various license violations but overall  law compliance was very good.

Silver Bay - vacant.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, enforced AIS regulations, patrolled for illegal ATV activity, and handled wolf and bear complaints. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, ATV activity, and patrolled campgrounds and recreation areas. Violations included youth without helmet, allow illegal operation of ATV, ATV on roadway, fail to display current watercraft registration, fail to tend minnow/leech traps, and fail to display placards on a minnow truck. Permits were issued for nuisance beaver. He attended fire training, and also investigated two wildfires. 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, attended K-9 trials in Baxter, and responded to K-9 requests from the county. CO Fairbanks and his K-9 partner Si assisted the county with a burglary in progress call, where the suspect ran from the residence. CO Fairbanks and K-9 Si tracked the suspect from the residence through the woods. The suspect was taken in to custody by an Officer on the perimeter. In another incident, Fairbanks and K-9 Si assisted with locating a fleeing felon. The suspect had climbed into the attic of a residence where he was hiding out. The suspect was given a warning to come out and give himself up or the K-9 would be sent in to the attic to find him. The suspect elected to come out on his own. Enforcement action was taken for angling license violations and arrest for outstanding warrants.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time checking anglers and boaters this past week. She also attended wildfire training in Duluth. She dealt with a dock complaint. Water levels are still high in the area, so be cautious on the lakes and rivers.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activity with fishing success moderate at best with the high winds. CO Sutherland also finished up with past OHVs in a wetland and damaging a state trail cases. Training was also attended in Duluth for annual wildfire arson investigator updates.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs, state parks and campgrounds. He also worked lakes during Operation Dry Water weekend.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) checked area anglers and ATV operators. Boat operators were reminded about various AIS related laws. Enforcement action was taken for allowing illegal operation of an ATV by juvenile, using game fish for bait and no fishing license.  

CO John Velsvaag (NE Regional ATV Officer) followed up on a couple of TIP complaints leading to several contacts for angling without licenses and extra lines. CO Velsvaag also patrolled complaint areas for illegal ATV operation. CO Velsvaag also cited a juvenile that has had several contacts from other officers for illegal OHM operation.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked boating, angling, aquatic invasive species and public water impact activities. CO Arhart also attended a wildfire arson training course and searched for a felony suspect. Wetland Conservation Act restoration orders were tracked for compliance. Area lake and stream water levels are finally receding. Angling success varied.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week working fishing and boating enforcement on area lakes. Officer Duncan continued to work recreational vehicle enforcement in past complaint areas. Many boaters were reminded about aquatic invasive species regulations during the week. A complaint of a possible wetland violation was investigated and follow-up with the local soil and water conservation district will happen next week. Officer Duncan also assisted the local sheriff’s department and a local PD and talked at a local firearm safety class.

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 also continued aquatic invasive education and compliance checks. CO Humphrey issued a wetland restoration order. A report of a wolf attacking a dog was received during the week. Online training was conducted. Boating and OHV violations were encountered.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) and K9 Schody re-certified at the United States Police Canine Association patrol dog trial in Baxter. Boating and angling activity has been slow in the area, mostly because of the weather. Rain and high winds have kept the number of people on the water to a minimum. Enforcement action was taken for angling with an extra line. Off-highway vehicle activity was worked with enforcement action taken for operating class 1 ATV on a highway, operating without lights on, and registration violations. A few nuisance animal complaints were received and forwarded to the local wildlife office. 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked  anglers in the Duluth area. Water and lake levels remain high and fielded bear questions. Bugs are bad in the woods, curbing most brook trout anglers on inland rivers. Calls of abandoned deer fawns also fielded. 

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on inland lakes and on Superior.  A special detail was worked in conjunction with the Operation Dry Water project targeting chemically impaired operation of watercraft. A few hours of nice weather between storms uncovered violations of PFD compliance and underage alcohol consumption and possession.  AIS work was done with high compliance rates found. Enforcement action was taken for boating, ATV, OHM and alcohol violations.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) attended training during the week and completed some required safety training. He worked on a litter case, OHV, ATV, AIS, commercial, boating and anglers were also worked. He worked BWI enforcement as part of a national effort for enhanced boating under the influence over the weekend called Operation Dry Water. The weather had an effect on recreational use. He took a few phone calls and questions during the week. Enforcement action was taken for AIS and boating violations. 

 
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Kris Vereecken
(218) 723-5322
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