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MN DNR Weekly Report for Aug. 11, 2014

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time on angling enforcement on Rainy Lake,  assisted with FTO training with COC Landmark, and focused on angling and watercraft checks.  Officer Kittelson attended ATV Instructor training with United States Border Patrol in the International Falls area.  Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations, over-limit of walleyes, and transporting unmeasurable fish while on the water.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling and boating activities over the week with more swimming activities than angling – angling remains very poor with little observed being caught. The dog days of summer are upon us.  Forest roads were monitored as were public access sites. Phone calls were returned and computer work tended to.

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports checking fishing and boating activity throughout the week.  Walleye fishing is quite slow; however bass and panfish continue to bite.  Various calls for service were handled.


CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling, boating, ATV and OHM activity, ATV complaints, state park enforcement, and worked the DNR information booth at the North St. Louis County Fair.  The officer also fielded a call of a woodchuck in the yard, claiming it was as big as the dog.  Dog owning anglers in a boat were checked, but had their fishing licenses at the cabin.  While at the dock, after going to the cabin, the officer was told that the dog was ok, but it once bit a National Park Service Park Ranger in the boat.  One would think that the owners would have mentioned this information while alongside the boat in the first place.  Maybe the dog preferred a CO uniform as he came away unscathed.   Enforcement action was taken on operate a motor vehicle on a state trail and a number of boating, PWC, ATV and OHM violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a Firearms Safety Class and returned calls to a concerned landowner about an injured wolf. Following up on several complaints of loud boats on Lake Vermilion, CO Frericks met with the owners of the boats the complaints were centered around. The boats were tested using a decibel meter and the owners learned that their boats exceeded the decibel limits. The owners of the boats were advised to take corrective action or citations could be issued in the future.   

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) responded to a call within the BWCA of a youth missing from a kayak. A father and son were camping and the father sent a text to his wife of the kayak up on rocks by the water and wrote can't find their son.  He then put his phone away so, the wife concerned contacted Law Enforcement where a search effort was conducted.  Father and son were later contacted when he explained his poor attempt at humor and should have told his wife it was a joke.  Officer Fredin responded to a call of young males on a pontoon drinking beer, loud swearing, and throwing beer cans into the lake.  The group was located at a cabin and nine citations were issued for under age consumption.  Time was spent assisting NWFZTA at the Embarrass fairgrounds by giving a law presentation and manning the TIP booth.  More cougar sightings were reported south of Whiteface Reservoir.

International Falls # 2 - vacant.

Ray - vacant.

Tower - vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) attended the Minnesota Forest Zone Trappers Association convention in Embarrass over the weekend. At the convention, Officers Williams and Fredin spoke to trapper’s education students about ethics and their role in conservation. Angling and recreational boating activity remains high with another stretch of warm weather. Violations included angling without a license, and operating an unregistered boat.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) attended Firearms Instructor training at Camp Ripley.  The officer also assisted Lake County with a call about an armed suicidal male who had made threats against law enforcement officers.  

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) patrolled in the BWCA.  All species of fish were biting well.  Lake levels have dropped by about two feet in the last month to more normal late summer levels.  Enforcement action for the week included operating an ATV on a road with a cancelled driver’s license, fail to stop at an intersection, transport fillets without a skin patch, and no license in possession.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) spent the week assisting with a western fire.  CO Schottenbauer also answered some phone calls from the public that could be addressed via phone.  CO Schottenbauer also reviewed paperwork from the Field Training process.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers, responded to nuisance animal complaints, and monitored ATV trails in Silver Bay. The officer worked a task force detail on Lake Superior with Officer Lee. Enforcement action was taken for boating, angling and OHM violations.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and boating activity during the week. A few calm days allowed more access to Lake Superior than the previous weeks. Anglers were catching a few lake trout but very few salmon were seen caught. Officer Murray also responded to a report of a road killed wolf on Hwy 61 and answered questions regarding bear season regulations.

Silver Bay - vacant.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, worked boating enforcement, ATV activity, and patrolled campgrounds and recreation areas.  He also assisted the sheriff's office and handled various wildlife calls.  Violations included fail to display watercraft registration, operate unregistered watercraft, ATV equipment, and no license in possession.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity, attended the National Night Out events in the area and assisted the county with K-9 requests. The area panfish bite was good this week. Enforcement action was taken for angling license violations and arrest for outstanding warrants.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked anglers this past week.  She also performed commercial activity annual inspections and checks.  Officer Sindelir and a neighboring officer had a booth at a local Waterfowl Expo, where they answered various questions concerning upcoming hunting seasons. 

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ATV and angling activity over the past week with anglers catching some fish on area lakes.  CO Sutherland worked the TIP Wall of Shame at National Night Out where local law enforcement get out into the community to meet the families of area residents.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATV’s, state parks and campgrounds.  He also responded to litter, TIP, and wildlife complaints during the week.  In addition, Officer Lefebvre worked the Ducks Unlimited Waterfowl Expo in Grand Rapids.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) worked fishing and boating enforcement throughout the week along with AIS enforcement.  ATV enforcement was also worked and some illegal dumping of garbage was investigated.

CO John Velsvaag (Region 2 ATV officer) checked ATVers in the Nemadji State Forest, as well as complaint areas near Chisholm.  CO Velsvaag received several calls about upcoming bear baiting and illegal ATV operation on county roads.

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) worked aquatic invasive species, angling, boating, ATVing, and wetland activities.  Wetland impact sites were investigated and restoration orders were tracked.  Public waters issues were tracked and bear baits monitored.  CO Arhart also attended the annual Dixon Lake Association meeting and answered questions.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent much of the week attending ATV Instructor Training with the US Border Patrol in International Falls.  Time was spent working anglers and watercraft.  Public accesses were worked and enforcement action taken for mooring/camping on public access.   Officer Schmidt also assisted with a firearm safety class.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) worked area anglers on shore, on area lakes, and followed up on ATV issues.   Officer Duncan spoke to a local youth outreach program on hunting and safety and spent time investigating a blocked flowage complaint in Chester Creek.  A number of questions were answered relating to the upcoming deer and bear seasons.  Time was taken to pay condolences at Officer Patrick’s Funeral in Mendota Heights. Time was spent assisting in a firearms safety field day.    

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) reports working boating, angling, OHV, and AIS enforcement throughout the week.  CO Humphrey attended the funeral service for Officer Scott Patrick in Mendota Heights.  CO Humphrey spent a day working Lake Superior and the St. Louis River in the Duluth area and also met with Big Lake Association members to talk boating safety, answer questions, and address concerns.  Angling, boating, OHV, and AIS violations were encountered

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spoke to a Firearms Safety Class in Barnum and worked a special detail on Lake Superior where enforcement action was taken for angling with an extra line.  Some permits were issued to remove problem beaver in the area and a funeral was attended in the metro area.  K9 training continues with K9 Schody.

Officer Mike Scott (WREO) investigated a new wetland violation as well as County Planning and Zoning issue and potential public waters violation on an area lake.  Officer Scott worked with another individual who had a deed restriction on their property until compliance was met. Time was spent at the North St. Louis County Fair with MN Sea Grant folks providing education for AIS issues and concerns. Area lakes and accesses were monitored for AIS compliance activity. Enforcement action was taken for transporting watercraft with drain plug installed.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Marine Unit) conducted cooperative boardings with the crew members of the USCG.  Bayfront Blues Fest and nice weather had many boaters out enjoying Lake Superior. Paddle sport enthusiasts are reminded to carry a flashlight or white light when out after sunset. Several boats also had to be reminded on the use of navigational lights.

Officer Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) worked AIS, angling, boating, litter, and ATV enforcement throughout the week.  He completed remaining required safety training on-line.  He worked on reports and getting cleared evidence processed.