MN DNR Weekly Report for April 21, 2014
District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports checking the end of spring walleye fishing season on the Rainy River with little activity reported as wind and cold temperatures moved into the region. A law presentation was given at a young firearms safety class in Littlefork. Several animal complaints were handled throughout week.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports litter in road ditches has appeared as the snow has started to melt. Public access sites were monitored. Work planning continues. Administrative reporting and office work continue. Very little outdoor activities taking place.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports checking area forest roads and trails for ATV activity and damage due to the muddy conditions. For the second year in a row, people are concerned that ice will cover the area lakes for the fishing opener.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) attended annual training at Camp Ripley and patrolled for spring beaver trapping activity. Very little late season angling activity has been observed and ATV and OHM activity has picked up. Several calls of litter left behind on area lakes have come in from lake shore owners.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) spent time at Camp Ripley for annual in-service training.
I. Falls # 2 - vacant.
Ray - vacant.
Tower - vacant.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports there has been an increase in outdoor activity with the warmer weather later this week. ATV’s have started to surpass snowmobiles as the preferred method of travel on lakes and trails, although many lakes are beginning to get hazardous near landings because the melting snow and ice. Violations included littering, angling without a license, and failing to remove traps.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked fishermen and spent time training at Camp Ripley. Officer observed that many new birds are returning to the area after the long winter. The snow is finally starting to disappear and the deer are finding food in places where the snow has gone away.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) attended yearly in-service training in Camp Ripley during the week.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) helped volunteer instructors with hunter education class; folks interested in helping with classes are always welcome to contact the officer. Manning attended division training on trapping and first aid at Camp Ripley. She also helped instruct arrest and control techniques and firearms skills during annual spring in-service.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports working a strong crappie bite and investigating possible over limits. A litter investigation was worked with CO Williams. A fish house remaining out on Lake Vermilion well past the deadline was seized with further enforcement action to the owner. ATV activity and closed trails were also monitored. Enforcement action included over limit of crappies, litter, fail to display snowmobile registration, and no fishing license in possession.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week at Camp Ripley during the first week of in-service instructing Use of Force and firearms tactics and skills. The officer checked anglers along the North Shore and responded to a TIP complaint in the Silver Bay area.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV and fishing activity during the week along with a complaint of illegal dumping of fish remains. Several calls of injured deer were handled and annual division enforcement training was completed at Camp Ripley.
Silver Bay - vacant.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked for fishing activity and patrolled for ATV activity. He also answered wildlife calls and small game questions. Ice conditions are deteriorating fast, use caution.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended annual in-service training, monitored OHV activity, handled injured deer complaints and assisted the county with a search warrant. Enforcement action was taken for angling license issues and OHV registration issues.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) performed maintenance on division equipment this past week down at Camp Ripley. She also checked ATV activity on Blandin property southwest of Grand Rapids. Right now, Blandin has their property closed to traffic due to spring thaw. Anyone caught on Blandin property with a motor vehicle could be charged with trespass. Ice is thinning out around the edges of many lakes, travel carefully.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked some of the last ice angling activity with the ice conditions declining quickly. Enforcement action was for no angling license in possession, operating a watercraft without a throwable and for not having enough life jackets on board. ATV activity has also increased with the nice weather. Enforcement action was taken for operating on a county roadway.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, ATVs and spring trappers. He also received various complaints during the week.
CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley.
CO John Velsvaag (NE ATV Officer) worked ATV enforcement activities as the weather improved. He spent the majority of the week attending in-service training at Camp Ripley.
District 8 - Duluth area
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) attended annual in-service training held at Camp Ripley. CO Humphrey also armored division handguns for other Officers attending training. CO Humphrey followed up on a deer feeding complaint with MDHA. A call of dogs’ at large chasing deer was reported over the weekend.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent a good portion of the week at yearly in-service training at Camp Ripley where training was received on firearms, defensive tactics, scenarios, and trapping enforcement. Complaints of ATV’s operating on closed trails, trespassing and other violations were investigated over the weekend. Interviews and a search warrant were conducted on a bear case from last fall. K9 training continues with K9 Schody.
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) checked shore anglers along Lake Superior with a few salmon caught. Officer Schmidt attended in-service training at Camp Ripley for most of the week.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent most of the week participating in annual training at Camp Ripley. A few calls were taken on dogs chasing deer and litter complaints. Lake Superior tributaries are open and the steelhead are starting to make their way up river. Cold water temperatures have been keeping river fishing slow. Some violations encountered were using illegal methods of take and a couple license issues.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent time at in-service training at Camp Ripley. The warmer weather is slowly melting off the snow pack. The North Shore rivers are running pretty well. The majority of anglers are shore fishing though. Work was spent finalizing a class outline for upcoming training with the U.S. Border Patrol.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Unit) checked anglers and ATV riders. A few diehard snowmobilers were still seen on the North Shore State Trail, though grassy sections are starting to become more common. In-service training was attended at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) spent most of the week checking anglers along Lake Superior. Shore anglers fishing where pack ice has not drifted in, some trying the rivers, and others still ice fishing at McQuad. Seeing some fish, not much in rivers yet. Seeing no smelt activity. Also checked for crappie anglers on inland lakes, as well as beaver trappers. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.