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MN DNR Weekly Report for Feb. 13, 2017

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (Int’l Falls) reports lots of people out on area snowmobile trails as recent snowfall has improved the trail conditions greatly.  Ice fishing report on Rainy Lake, Kabetogama Lake, and Namakan Lake are slow however lots of people were out enjoying the warmer weather.  Enforcement action taken were mainly snowmobiling violations.

CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) reports snowmobile activity has once again increased with the improved snow conditions and area trails are in very good condition. Litter on area lake surfaces and elsewhere continues to be a common complaint heard.  A frequent violation being encountered is failing to transfer ownership of snowmobiles. After a period of time, tracking down the registered owner to obtain the required paperwork for transfer of ownership to the new owner can turn into a real hassle for both parties.

CO Colleen Adam (Ray) reports the ice road is in on Kabetogama however the fishing success is limited.  The fresh snow in the area brought many snowmobile enthusiasts to the area to enjoy the lakes and trails.  Conditions could not have been any better; thank you to the local clubs for trying to keep up the trails.  Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, expired ATV registration, and many fail to display proper registration on snowmobiles.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports area snowmobile trails were monitored, local lakes and public access sites were checked, and state forest roads were patrolled.

CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked snowmobilers and anglers this past week.  Snowmobiling conditions were great and fishing was slow overall.  CO Velsvaag also followed up on several calls and had questions about trout and spearing regulations.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) logged many miles on the snowmobile this week and spent a good portion of time checking anglers.  The bite seems to have slowed.  Numerous contacts were made and enforcement action was taken on extra lines, no license in possession, speeding, and no registration.  The trails started out good, but the large number of sleds out have made them a little rough after the weekend.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked anglers and snowmobiles during the week, dealt with a report of a car injured wolf and attended a meeting in St. Paul.  A fishing tournament and a vintage snowmobile run were worked with over 200 sleds participating in the latter event. Enforcement action for the week was taken on angling after revocation, no angling license in possession, and snowmobile violations mainly consisting of registration and speed.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) patrolled area lakes checking anglers. Pleasant temps brought out plenty of anglers. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession. With the nice temps, just as many snowmobilers hit the area snowmobile trails. Despite heavy use, the trails remain in great condition. Violations of fail to display current registration decals were encountered.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked fishing activity throughout the week and most report slow fishing.  Snowmobile trails were patrolled and violations of operate ATV on Grant in Aid trail and expired registration were found. Law presentation was given to youths in Hoyt Lakes obtaining their snowmobile safety certificates.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports a combination of good trail conditions and warm weather made for an extremely busy snowmobiling weekend.  Snowmobile registration compliance was very high considering the huge volume of sleds on the trails, speed on the other hand continues to be a problem. Violations included excessive snowmobile speed, angling with extra lines, and angling with no license in possession.

CO Marty Stage (Ely 2) reports the weekend was a busy one for snowmobiles and there was also a lot of illegal snowmobile traffic on the roads as evidenced by the tracks.  Some were running great distances down the main roads and even the state highway. 

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports great winter conditions for both anglers and snowmobilers alike.  He patrolled by snowmobile checking remote designated trout lakes and checking snowmobile activity.  Angling success has been mixed depending on skill level and lake.

CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) patrolled area lakes checking anglers and fishing shacks.  The officer also patrolled the Ramstad State and GIA snowmobile trails. One angler learned the hard way that reading the regulation book every year is a good thing-he could have saved himself a fine and a ticket had he read about and gotten the “Non-Trail Registration” for his sled rather than hoping that a CO would not notice the 2011 registration he never renewed.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked snowmobile enforcement as well as checking ice anglers.  There was an extremely high volume of snowmobile traffic with the ample snow conditions.  Speed was a problem with several in the 80s – statewide speed limit is 50. Fishing success is very slow.  Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile speed, expired registration, fail to transfer ownership, and expired ATV registration.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area lakes for angling activity and spent time on area trails as well.  CO Schottenbauer did a lot of explaining to lost snowmobilers and the concept of county roads are not trails, even in Lake County.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking snowmobiles on area trails. The trails are in excellent condition. Anglers were checked on lakes in Lake and Cook Counties. Some nice pan fish were seen in the bag.  Enforcement action was taken for careless operation, snowmobiling, and hunting violations.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled area snowmobile trails and checked anglers.  He helped with a snowmobile safety class in Northome and assisted with a snowmobile accident near Hill City.  Enforcement action was taken for fail to display snowmobile registration.

CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked snowmobile activity, fishing enforcement, and he answered miscellaneous wildlife calls.  He checked area trout lakes and patrolled area snowmobile trails.  Snowmobile trails were excellent again this week.  No violations were encountered. 

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked the MNUSA snowmobile event, and assisted the sheriff’s office in locating a suicidal male juvenile runaway. Enforcement action was taken for registration issues and speeding on a snowmobile.

CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked area lakes for fishing activity this past week and weekend. She also worked snowmobile enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice angling and snowmobile activity with the most sleds seen all year.  With the MNUSA snowmobile ride being located in Grand Rapids, hundreds of sled enthusiasts hit the trail to celebrate Minnesota’s great trail riding opportunities.  Enforcement action was taken for having modified mufflers on a snowmobile, excessive speed, and expired registration.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, snowmobiles, trappers, and grant-in-aid trails.  He also handled littering and trespass complaints during the week.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) worked snowmobile and angling activity throughout the Hill City and Grand Rapids areas.  CO Van Asch assisted neighboring officers with the 2017 MN USA Snowmobile Ride held in Grand Rapids.  The ride participants took advantage of the nice weather and trails over the weekend.  Enforcement action was taken for operating snowmobile in excess of posted speed limits, operating unregistered snowmobiles, and failure to display current ATV registration.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Caleb Silgjord (Brookston) spent time monitoring snowmobile trails.  Officer Silgjord attended a DNR volunteer instructor forum where questions regarding area classes were covered.  

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) spent the majority of the week working on a trapping investigation.  Several calls were answered and returned from the public that will require follow up.  Other activity included working winter fishing along the North Shore. 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked area lakes for angling activity and patrolled area snowmobile trails.  Several enforcement contacts were made for various snowmobile operation, equipment, and registration violations. Patrols in Jay Cooke and Moose Lake State Parks resulted in contacts for no vehicle and cross country ski permits.  Dogs off leash were also observed.  Area anglers were reporting mixed results on pan fish and pike.  CO Humphrey worked with FDL and State biologists on a recovered deceased collared wolf. 

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with K9 training in the metro area. A talk was given to a snowmobile safety class in Floodwood on the rules and regulations for snowmobiling. There was a fair amount of snowmobile activity in the area over this past week. The trails are in fair to good condition but melting quickly with the warmer weather. Enforcement action was taken for speed, safety certificate, and registration violations. Extra patrols were conducted in area state parks with enforcement action taken for no ski pass and having dogs off leash.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked area lakes and snowmobile trails in the Duluth area; the warmer weather had many anglers and snowmobilers taking advantage over the weekend. Officer Olson attended the annual un-hooked fishing contest on Island Lake, fielding questions and checking angling licenses. The brisk winds had some shore anglers along the North Shore seeking inland opportunities.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) processed evidence from cleared cases and answered questions relating to regulations on Lake Superior.  Work detail schedules were worked on for spring fish run. Officer Miller completed enforcement actions for commercial violations.

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

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