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MN DNR Weekly Report for Jan. 3, 2017

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) reports the ice on area waterways has more people venturing out. Ensure you check conditions specific to the areas you plan to access as ice quality and thickness varies greatly from one area and water body to another. Slush pockets have begun to show up as well. Sport fishing and recreational vehicles were the main focus of the week with enforcement action taken for snowmobile registration, driving conduct, and fishing license violations.

CO Colleen Adam (Ray) reports the holiday weekend weather was perfect for riding snowmobile or ATV pulling a shelter setup and getting out on the lakes looking for the favorite fishing hole.  Trail conditions are improving but still only in fair conditions when swamps are part of the system.  Clubs are working feverishly to set tracks and push the frost in.  Enforcement action was taken for registration and license issues.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports checking anglers and snowmobile activity.  Public access sites were monitored as were area forest roads - equipment work is on-going. Snowmobile trails are in poor shape.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked anglers, ATV’s, and snowmobiles.  An ATV driver will be charged for gross misdemeanor driving after cancellation-inimical to public safety, after being stopped for other violations.  Other enforcement action was taken on no angling license in possession, angle with extra lines, more than 200’ from tip ups, fail to display snowmobile registration, operate snowmobile on a public highway, and littering.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) patrolled area lakes checking anglers and dark house fishermen. Ice on Virginia area lakes averages nearly a foot. Only a few snowmobilers have been checked and those were on lakes driven by anglers. Local trails are seeing use but are rough and in need of snow. Complaints of litter were investigated and followed up on. Reports for a gross misdemeanor deer case were prepared.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) observed more fish houses being placed on area lakes, angler’s state fishing is slow.  Some snowmobiling activity is occurring but conditions are not ideal. 

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports ice conditions continue to vary greatly on the lakes and rivers in Ely. Some lakes have showed as much as twelve to thirteen inches but in other areas as little as six. Trail conditions continue to improve and a few have been groomed. Violations included operating an unregistered ATV, unmarked fish house, and angling without a license in possession.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked with Officer Duncan over the BWCA trout opener.  Many miles were put on by foot and the activity level seems to be going down every year for this opener.  Not many people were checked and the fishing was slow.  Hard packed trails made for easy going.  The officers checked a remote cabin for a concerned cabin owner, checked snowmobile activity and Officer Fagerman assisted with a personal injury accident on the North Shore by Split Rock.

CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) checked ice anglers and snowmobile riders.  Snow depths vary greatly across the area resulting in some hidden dangers on the trails and ditches.  The officer also followed up on deer season cases involving illegal stands on public lands.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports increasing snowmobile activity with the new snow.  Time was spent working in the BWCA.  Follow-up casework continues on deer violations.  Enforcement action was taken for can beverage containers in the BWCA.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity in the BWCAW this week.  Time was spent on other lakes as well.  Snowmobile activity has picked up, and the trails are getting better.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked the trout opener in the BWCAW. The weather was warm and some nice trout were seen in the bag. The officer spent time working snowmobile trail enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for an over limit, snowmobile, and fishing violations.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, trappers, and snowmobilers.  Officer Patten also processed incidentally caught furbearers and patrolled area lakes. 

CO Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice fishing activity with pan fish and walleye anglers having better success with thickening ice conditions.  Enforcement action was taken for no angling license and not having a shelter license on a fish house unattended over-night.  With increasing snow depths, snowmobile activity has also increased.  Enforcement action was taken for operating on a public highway, failing to register, not having youth safety education, and allowing illegal operation by a minor.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, snowmobiles, state trails and trappers.  He also worked on equipment issues during the week.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) focused on angling and snowmobile enforcement over the holiday weekend.  Ice conditions continue to improve day by day.  Those heading onto the lake should continue to use caution.  Anglers are reporting success both with the walleye and pan fish bites throughout the area.  Enforcement action was taken for over limits of crappies, angling with extra lines, unlawful tackle, no angling license in possession, fail to display valid ATV registration, and drug paraphernalia.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Brookston) spent time during the week monitoring angling activity and following up on cases.  The New Year’s holiday was worked with many anglers out trying their luck.  It seemed the fish made a New Year’s resolution to not be caught as fish were few and far between.  Incidental fur calls were also handled and received.  Violations for the week included over limit of pike, angling without a license, no license in possession, fail to display snowmobile registration, fail to renew ATV registration and fail to transfer ATV registration

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports lots of fishing activity on area lakes. Some success noted and very good compliance with the law found. Complaints of illegal trapping and angling with extra lines were worked and the complaints are still under investigation. Car deer collisions are still occurring in the area with a lot of the deer hanging out near highways. Drivers are asked to exercise extra caution while driving, especially during the low light hours.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ice anglers and snowmobiles. A reminder to riders who like to modify their sleds; any muffler change that makes the exhaust noise louder than stock level is illegal.  Landowners adjoining and permitting trails commonly complain about the noise levels from modified sleds and we need to protect the trails we have. Trail conditions should improve with another snowfall or two. Enforcement action taken for snowmobile and ATV violations

Lake Superior Unit - vacant.

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