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MN DNR Weekly Report for May 5, 2014

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Duluth News Tribune
(218) 723-5295 customer support
MN DNR Weekly Report for May 5, 2014
Duluth Minnesota 424 W. First St. 55802

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) attended annual in- service training at Camp Ripley. Remainder of time was spent monitoring sturgeon fishing activity on the Rainy River.

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CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring outdoor activities, lakes remain ice covered, public access sites were monitored. Very little outdoor activities noted over the week. Work planning is on-going. Equipment prep continues.

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports the area large lakes are still covered in ice. Even the shallow bays of Lake Vermilion are ice covered. It will take rain, wind, and warm temperatures in the next few days to even make the public accesses open for the fishing opener. Training was attended at Camp Ripley and area rivers and streams were monitored for spring fish run activity.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) taught wildlife identification to the Conservation Academy and attended officer in-service training at Camp Ripley. The officer also worked anglers in Morrison County, stream trout anglers in the Hibbing area, beaver trapping activity and ATVs. Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license and a number of ATV violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) gave a presentation on furbearers to a local Boy Scout den meeting with pelts donated by the Minnesota Trappers Association through the Tanned Fur Project. The scouts enjoyed the chance to see and feel the pelts up close but were apprehensive about getting close to the skunk pelt. Ice out activity is closely being monitored. Many smaller lakes had the ice come off over the weekend but larger lakes will take a little longer. Local lake shore owners on the larger lakes are optimistic about their chances of seeing open water on opening day. Fish run activity is very slow with cooler temps.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) took care of a bear cub that was hit and killed on the road. Fredin responded to two bald eagles locked together at the cemetery in Hoyt Lakes. Fredin noticed the talons of their legs were locked together and before he could reach down to separate they broke free, flying away. A ditching complaint was looked into with more investigation to follow. Lakes with river current are ice free except for some bays; others lakes the ice is dark and breaking up, looking promising for the opener.

I. Falls # 2 - vacant.

Ray - vacant.

Tower - vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports that the race is on and it’s unclear which if any of the larger lakes in the Ely area will be free of ice for the upcoming walleye opener. Although warmer weather is in the forecast, lakes like Shagawa and Burntside are still almost completely covered with ice. Violations included insufficient floatation devices in a watercraft and operation of an unregistered watercraft.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) watched the spawning areas for illegal activity. The ice is showing signs of going in places, but it will be hard pressed to open up before opener.  Remember to get the registrations on the boats and have the life jackets readily accessible.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that on May 4th he was still checking snowmobilers.  Folks claim they could find plenty of snow for riding, but with the upcoming warmer weather, this could be the last weekend.  Devil Track Lake was checked and it looked more like mid-March than the first week of May. Much of the ice hasn’t even begun to pull away from shore. The CO checked North Shore rivers and found the water too fast and the fishing too slow for some. The unplowed Forest Service roads are still impassable due to snow.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) spent most of the week at Camp Ripley instructing at the division’s statewide firearms and tactics training. While returning from Ripley, the officer assisted CO Wahlstrom with an ATV stop on the state highway; several young riders were educated regarding legal locations for operation. CO Manning also checked anglers along the shore, river tributaries and state parks.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) attended training at Camp Ripley. A big game violation was reported to another officer. Spring fish run was monitored.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week at Camp Ripley instructing at officer in-service training. The rivers along the North Shore are flowing fast and very murky. ATV complaints were handled and equipment maintenance was completed.  

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked spring beaver trapping and ATV activity during the week. Several calls of injured deer were received and spring fish run activities were monitored. Some area lakes are starting to become ice free while others are still mostly ice covered.

Silver Bay - vacant.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) attended training at Camp Ripley, processed accidentally caught otter, monitored area fish run activity, prepared boats for open water, and helped with a trapper education field day.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) attended training and assisted with training at Camp Ripley, checked anglers, and patrolled for ATV activity. He answered questions about ATV/watercraft laws for an owner of an Argo, and also answered wildlife questions.   

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended K-9 detection training this week.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) attended annual training this last week. She conducted a site visit at a possible wetlands violation location. She worked ATV activity locally. Enforcement action was taken for illegal ATV operation.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ATV activity over the past week with many outdoor enthusiasts getting out and about.  CO Sutherland also attended yearly in-service training over the past week.  Much of the area ice has deteriorated and ice out should be by opener on most lakes.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, trappers and ATVs.  He also attended several days of training during the week.

CO John Velsvaag (Region 2 ATV Officer) followed up ATV complaints, and checked fish run activity.  CO Velsvaag also took a litter complaint and several calls on the extended beaver season. 

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked north shore and river anglers. Few fish are being caught and river temperatures are still low. Beaver traps and trappers were checked and most trappers are reporting a difficult spring with fluctuating water and ice. ATV complaints continue and problem areas were worked. The officer taught at a firearms safety class in Hermantown. Several calls regarding ATV injury crashes occurred over the weekend and the officer assisted St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office and Rescue Squad.   

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported some of the smaller lakes in the area most likely will be ice free by this coming opener. Call your local sporting goods stores for up to date info about a specific lake. Lots of time was spent doing ATV patrol this past week. Many first of the year contacts were made. There were several ATV injuries the officer responded to and assisted with getting these people to medical help. Be careful! Several calls about a deer with a bucket stuck on his head were received. So far the deer has eluded help. Annual in-service training was attended at Camp Ripley.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent much of the week checking anglers along the North Shore rivers. Water levels are high and most anglers were reporting little success. Smelt anglers were also checked but yet to see any smelt captured. Handled ATV complaints and injured animal complaints.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a fur committee meeting in Brainerd and taught a trapping enforcement class at the annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. Assistance was given in helping to training two of our newest K9s in detection training in the metro area. A talk was given to an ATV safety class in Barnum and some ATV enforcement activity was worked in the Moose Lake area. Enforcement action was taken for operating on a state trail and noise violations. Calls on injured wildlife were handled over the phone.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (Northeast Region) checked steelhead anglers on the North Shore. Slow bite still reported with fish seen on a stringer. Cold water and ice still hampered the fishing on the North Shore. Officer Scott attended a two day conference on “State of the Waters” in Brainerd. Topics discussed were related to Aquatic Invasive Species issues, concerns and how to best deal with current AIS issues. Many lake associations from around the state were in attendance for this training learning what more they can do to combat these AIS issues. Spring beaver trappers were checked where open water was found but with the high fast moving water, several trappers stated it was hard going this year.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent time checking North Shore anglers on the rivers in the Duluth and Two Harbors area. He handled a call on a litter complaint. The Officer assisted the sheriff’s office with a call in Canosia Twp., fielded questions on the smelt regulations and dealt with ATV violations in Rice Lake Twp.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore and river anglers during a busy weekend. Water temps remain cold, and few fish were seen despite many anglers giving it a try. A few smelters were checked late at night with no silver fish seen for their efforts. One river angler approached the officer to present his angling license with his marijuana pipe sticking very visibly out of the pocket of his fly vest. Most boat accesses are now open on the big lake. A local law enforcement student rode with the officer for a day, and state park activity was checked. Enforcement action was taken for angling, controlled substance, and public access violations.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) attended spring in-service at Camp Ripley. The rest of the week was spent checking anglers along Lake Superior. Some time was also spent on ATV, litter, and OHM enforcement. Some trying for smelt, but not seeing any yet. Starting to see some fish in the rivers. Enforcement action was taken for traffic violation.

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Kris Vereecken
(218) 723-5322
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