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MN DNR Weekly Report for July 14, 2014

From July 14, 2014
District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports checking fishing activity on the Rainy River, Lake Kabetogama, and Ash River. A young Merlin hawk was transferred to the Raptor Center in St. Paul. ATV enforcement and an Invasive Species Road check rounded out the week’s work activities. Enforcement action was taken included operate ATV on road right of way, no ATV Safety Certificate, and transport unidentifiable fish.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports angling and boating activities were monitored.  Public access sites were checked along with driving forest roads. Fishing remains poor with little activity noted during the week.

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports attending a work detail in a vacant station. Area lakes were patrolled for fishing and boating activity. Calls relating to the blueberry crop, about when they will be ready to pick, and how many there will be were received.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, invasive species enforcement, state park enforcement, and a hunting complaint on Lake Vermilion. The officer also worked an invasive species enforcement check point in Tower with other District Officers. Enforcement action for the week was taken on a number of boating, PWC, ATV and invasive species violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) worked a road check point for aquatic invasive species in Tower with other COs. Enforcement action was taken for transporting aquatic plants and failure to remove drain plugs. CO Frericks checked high numbers of anglers and boaters over a busy weekend. Numerous citations were issued for operating unregistered watercraft and failure to display watercraft registration decals. On one particular lake, some parents who didn’t take into account the weather allowed their two 8 year olds and 12 year old children to take an unregistered canoe onto a lake in windy conditions. The increasing winds easily blew the inexperienced paddlers to the opposite shoreline where CO Frericks met them. The kids were brought back to their parents who were advised to be a little more selective as to when they allow their kids to go out onto the lake.  As the wind picked up more people were seen on ATVs. Violations such as operating unregistered ATVs and no ATV safety certificate were common.   

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) received a report of a small fishing boat wash up on rocks on the Pike River with fishing equipment inside the boat. Boat registration was expired and incorrect markings made locating the owner difficult, but he was later located and stated the boat floated away from his shoreline from high water. He was advised to correct the registration and in the future to notify law enforcement under these circumstances because it was unknown if someone was in the river requiring a recovery. A District AIS detail was worked in the Tower station. Calls were returned concerning a bear coming into camping area and a wolf coming close to a residence.

International Falls # 2 - vacant.

Ray - vacant.

Tower - vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports fishing continues to be spotty, with most anglers reporting small walleyes and an abundance of northern pike. Officer Williams assisted in an investigation with Lake County and the US Forest Service after receiving a report from a solo kayaker that half of his equipment was stolen from his campsite in the BWCA. Violations included operating an atv on a roadway without a driver’s license, angling without a license in possession, and theft.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked in Duluth and Grand Marais checking boats and fishermen on Lake Superior. The cool and rainy weather seemed to have kept activity down throughout the week and fishing was reportedly slow for those that were fishing. Non-residents with unregistered canoes and kayaks were encountered and those folks from other states should research the laws in the states or provinces that they visit since they might be different than their home state’s requirements.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that the sand flies, gnats, black flies, and mosquitoes are now all competing for airspace as the masses of blackflies showed up a little later than normal. The bugs aren’t bad at all once you get out onto the water bodies. The surface temp of Lake Superior is in the upper 30s to lower 40s depending on where you’re at. Because of the cold water temps, salmon fishing has gotten off to a slow start, but the lake trout are cooperating with those that know what they are doing as far as fishing deep. Enforcement action was taken for unregistered kayaks, PFD violations, and no fishing license in possession. The problem bears are on the move as calls are becoming more frequent about people leaving stuff out for them to eat then complaining when the bears show up to eat what they left out.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports working a special Lake Superior detail over the weekend in Grand Marais. Time was also spent on angling, boating, and ATV enforcement, attending a review of the recent Basswood Lake rescue, and handling animal complaints. Enforcement action for the week included unregistered kayaks, no fishing license in possession, and ATV violations.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers on area lakes, worked AIS and monitored ATV activity. Some nice walleyes were seen in the bag. The Officer taught firearm maintenance to the academy at Camp Ripley.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) checked fishermen and worked AIS enforcement efforts over the weekend. Fishing remained good on inland lakes again, if you could handle the swarm of bugs. Murray also tended to nuisance wolf complaints in the Silver Bay station and assisted with a big game investigation relating to registration violations.

Silver Bay - vacant.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled for ATV activity, and worked AIS regulations. Enforcement action taken for transporting watercraft without removing plugs and DUI.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, ATV activity, and patrolled campgrounds and recreation areas. Violations included ATV on roadway, fail to display current ATV registration, minnow dealer not displaying identification on their vehicle, target shooting at a public access, and he investigated a public waters violation.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, handled injured bird calls, dealt with a road kill moose and attended training at Camp Ripley. The area walleye bite picked up this week. Enforcement action was taken for angling license violation and failure to have required equipment on watercraft.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time checking anglers this past week. She also worked some recreational vehicle activity in the area. She spent the weekend in the BWCA on a work detail.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activity this past week with the larger walleyes beginning to bite on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license in possession and failing to have valid registration on a watercraft. CO Sutherland also attended training at Camp Ripley and gave a firearm safety law talk to a group of area youth.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs, state parks and campgrounds. He also handled fishing complaints during the week.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working ATV and fishing activity. Enforcement action was taken for boat registration and failure to have fishing license in possession. Wichmann also assisted with the academy training at Camp Ripley.

CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV officer) worked ATV enforcement activities for the week. He attended a meeting and assisted with a work detail. CO Velsvaag also checked anglers and minnow trapping activity.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked angler, boating and aquatic invasive species (AIS) activities. CO Arhart also issued a protected waters restoration order for a St. Louis County violation. He coordinated an AIS check station near Tower in District 5. Nuisance deer complaints were received and advice given.  Enforcement action was taken for Transport boats with plugs in, for transporting aquatic plants, for no angling license in possession and for possessing slot walleyes. Wild rice is still trying to grow and in the floating stage on many areas where the high water receded.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) participated in a roadside invasive check station. Compliance of invasive species rules and regulations was very good; however, there were a few reminders given out. A very large black bear that was struck by a vehicle was recovered and given to the Fond du Lac Tribe for distribution to its members. Several injured animal calls were fielded. ATV and OHM user were checked throughout the station. Anglers were checked on several local lakes with fishing reportedly pretty good yet.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted in teaching trapping enforcement to the new officers at Camp Ripley. Time was spent patrolling Lake Superior, the St. Louis River and local lakes in the area. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, angling without a license in possession, and equipment violations. CO Staples participated in an AIS detail in the Duluth area where enforcement action was taken for leaving plugs in the boat and transporting aquatic macrophytes. Follow up on ATV and other recreational vehicle violations were conducted this past week where enforcement action was taken for numerous violations. K9 assistance was given to the Sheriff’s Dept. at a bank robbery that occurred in Barnum. K9 Schody was able to track where the suspect had fled and found a crucial piece of evidence from the crime. 

WREO Mike Scott spent a day staffing an information booth in Brooklyn Center talking with Minnesota military veterans about careers in the DNR and assisting them with resumes, information and best avenues to pursue to land a job with DNR. An AIS booth was staffed with the Minnesota Sea Grant folks for the Two Harbors Heritage Days discussing AIS issues, concerns. An AIS Check Station was conducted on Saturday with Officers in the Duluth area. Enforcement action was taken for not removing drain plug, transporting infested waters and transporting aquatic vegetation.

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked area lake and rivers. Anglers have been having some luck on inland lakes. Lake Superior and St Louis River were worked with few fish observed. Atv complaint areas were worked. Wolf depredation complaints on cattle and dogs were investigated. 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) worked an AIS checkpoint with fellow District 8 officers. Charter captain’s dock was checked during the week. Boat maintenance items worked on at the USCG station. Assisted the St. Louis Sheriff’s Office with traffic stops and a burglary alarm in the townships. Checked anglers and worked AIS at area boat landings.

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked big water anglers and worked a District AIS check station. A group launching small paper-and-bamboo balloons out over Lake Superior was asked what their plan was to retrieve the balloons. When they said they were not going to, they were reminded that litter is litter, whether it is dropped out of a moving vehicle or launched for fun over the lake. Assistance was given to local agencies with calls, and watercraft maintenance issues handled. Enforcement action was taken for angling, ATV, AIS, litter, and boating violations.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) testified on a court case during the week and attending a meeting at Camp Ripley. He worked ATV, fishing, angling, boating, commercial, and AIS enforcement during the week. Enforcement action was taken for AIS, angling, and boating violations.