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MN DNR Weekly Report for April 17, 2017

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (Int’l Falls) reports working fishing enforcement on the Rainy River and reminds people that the walleye season has closed.  The officer responded to several grass fires in the area and a house fire.  Enforcement action was taken for ATVs, over limits of walleye, illegal length fish, illegal transport of fish, fail to control fire, no burning permit, and illegal OHM operation.

CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) reports time was spent training at Camp Ripley, monitoring for burning and wildfire activity, along with checking on the many fishing opportunities still continuing in the area.  ATV use has increased and registration issues are still common.  Remember to verify current registration prior to going out to enjoy the spring season.  

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area forest roads and checking public access sites, little angling activity observed, seasonal equipment transition is on-going.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked spring beaver trapping activity and took care of some accidental caught muskrats. Time was spent working complaints of ATV’s operating on state snowmobile trails. In service training and awards was attended.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports ATV use continues to be very high and most active patrol has been focused on areas just outside of the city.  The first open water anglers of the year were checked, and although the report wasn’t good, they were just happy to be in the boat. Violations included operating an ATV with more than one passenger and operating an ATV with a juvenile passenger with no helmet.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) attended training at Camp Ripley and kept watch for the spawning walleyes in the creeks.  Spawning activity has been fast and furious the past couple nights.  The ice is essentially gone on all the lakes.  

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) attended an awards ceremony and training at Camp Ripley during the week.  Backroads that were impassable during the first part of the week are now mostly clear of snow.  Many of those roads have trees down across them from the winter.  North Shore rivers and inland lakes were checked.

CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) attended annual Enforcement Safety Training and Awards at Camp Ripley. She also patrolled area WMAs and State Parks in addition to checking anglers on Lake Superior tributaries.  Closed sanctuaries on tributaries were also patrolled.  The officer responded to an ATV complaint in the Silver Bay area and reminds riders to check online and at trailheads before heading out as most trails in the northeast are currently closed to allow things to dry properly.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy week of ATV, angling, and fish run enforcement, as well as attending training.  Hopefully the last snowmobile enforcement action for the year was taken stemming from a water skipping complaint on a local pond.  Enforcement action for the week included fishing without a license, unregistered ATVs, operating on a closed trail, no ATV safety certificates, fail to display snowmobile registration, and fail to transfer snowmobile ownership.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area rivers for angling activity this week and monitored spring trapping activity.  Time was also spent at Camp Ripley for safety training.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking anglers along the North Shore streams. The officer attended training at Camp Ripley, checked border lakes, and followed up on complaints.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked stream trout fishing and spring beaver trapping activity during the week. Anglers were having good success and the warm temperatures were enjoyed by all. A shoreline complaint was followed up on and an illegal dumping case is being investigated.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked angling and ATV activity this past week.  She handled follow-up from a fire call.  Burning restrictions remain in effect for the area until further notice. 

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked spring pan fishing and ATV activity with the bluegill and crappie bites heating up.  Enforcement action was taken for taking an over-limit of bluegills, expired registration on a watercraft, no angling license in possession, operating an unregistered ATV, operating on the side of a county road with a Type 1 ATV, angling in a closed area, and angling for a species while the season is closed.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) reports working angling, spring fish run, ATV, and AIS enforcement.  CO Van Asch attended division training held at Camp Ripley.  A nuisance bear complaint was fielded and handled.  Pan fishing activity has been moderate on most area lakes.  Enforcement action was taken for over limit of sunfish, operating an unregistered ATV, failure to transfer ownership, and operate an ATV on public highway.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) spent much of the week working shore and river anglers along the north shore.  Complaints of parties angling for walleyes were investigated and a TIP complaint regarding parties keeping walleyes was handled.  ATV complaints related to operating in wetlands and trespassing are on the rise.  Questions regarding boating equipment and requirements for Lake Superior were handled. 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) continued to work fishing enforcement along the north shore of Superior, including smelt activity.  Officer Duncan also attended training at Camp Ripley. 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) conducted patrols in the Fond du Lac state forest which is under continued spring road and trail closures.  CO Humphrey assisted the Carlton County Sheriff’s office, and numerous others, in the search for a missing child in the Wright area.  The child was located without incident after several hours.  CO Humphrey handled calls/complaints on injured deer, turkey hunting, Tribal netting, and wetland work.   CO Humphrey assisted other officers with fish run and smelting activity on Lake Superior.  CO Humphrey also attended Division in service at Camp Ripley during the week.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended training at Camp Ripley and also assisted with K9 training in the metro area. Assistance was given to the local Sheriff’s Department in searching for a lost six-year old. The juvenile wondered off in the woods and was later found by a volunteer searcher. Assistance was given with checking shore anglers in the metro area. Enforcement action was taken for angling license violations.

Brookston – vacant.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended Division-wide training and worked the North Shore fish run. The smelting has been slow in the Duluth-Two Harbors area. The Kamloop and Steelhead bite has remained decent in the tributaries around Duluth.   Boat anglers are still in pursuit of Coho Salmon and Lake Trout. Area lakes north of Duluth are becoming ice free and the crappies are starting to bite.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore and river anglers.  Division training was attended at Camp Ripley and a call taken regarding the illegal harvest and sale of birch saplings.  Streams were monitored for smelt run and spawning fish.  Enforcement action taken for angling violations.

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

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