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MN DNR Weekly Report for Jan. 2, 2018

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) reports the cold weather has slowed activity in the area, although the hardy have not been deterred. He monitored areas of snowmobile complaints and checked ice fishing and associated activity. Officer Slatinski also fielded questions in regards to driving vehicles on the frozen lake surfaces. Violations included shelter licenses and identification along with safety equipment use on an ATV.

CO Colleen Adam (Ray) attended a meeting out of the area, issued road kill deer possession tags, and checked ice fishing and snowmobile activity.  Extreme cold temperatures impacted the region during the holiday season but many braved the elements for fishing, success was varied.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports little outdoor activity as temps were in excess of 20 below zero over the week. Snowmobile trails are poor due to no snow cover.  No trail riding observed. Angling activity monitored.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) mainly worked anglers and recreational vehicles, though they were scarce due to week-long double digit below zero temperatures.  The officer also worked a birch stick TIP call, took care of a call of an injured deer in the middle of the driving lane on a four-lane highway, and testified in court on a trapping case.  Enforcement action was taken on an ATV violation.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a Snowmobile Safety Class in Hoyt Lakes and spent some time monitoring area trails. While there was some snowmobile traffic on the trails, it was limited due to extreme cold and poor trail conditions. With the colder temps, ice fishermen were checked on numerous lakes throughout the Virginia area. Ice thickness has been averaging 12-15 inches.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked anglers on area lakes and most reported very slow fishing.  Vehicles are driving on the lakes but caution is advised; report of vehicle busting through ice at public access on Bass Lake, south of Biwabik.  Snowmobile trails have been groomed but not much riding action due to extreme cold temps.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports a severely cold start to the BWCA trout opener. Very few anglers ventured out into the wilderness over the weekend with wind chill values colder than -40. Those who did go out had excellent luck on large rainbow trout. Violations included angling without a license in possession, fail to display current snowmobile registration, and possession of a small amount of marijuana.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that not many anglers braved the frigid conditions for the BWCA trout opener.  CO Fagerman worked with CO Duncan and the U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer.  Snowmobile registration and BWCA violations were encountered.

CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) worked a chilly BWCAW trout opener with CO Wahlstrom and CO Schottenbauer. The officers found hearty anglers who were having reasonable success.  The officers also patrolled area lakes and snowmobile trails and found good compliance among the groups they checked.  Trails had good snow cover, but conditions were a bit rough yet.  CO Manning also took calls about road kill deer and snowmobile operation by non-resident youth.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily angling enforcement and also assisted Ely PD with an assault call.  One individual was angling after revocation while using extra lines.  Other enforcement action included unattended lines, extra lines, and expired ATV registration.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling and snowmobile activity this week.  CO Schottenbauer worked the BWCAW trout opener during brutal cold conditions to find a few hearty souls out fishing.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked the trout opener in the BWCAW with area officers. The temps were very cold and few trout were in the bag. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile violations.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) worked ongoing case investigations.  He checked anglers on frozen lakes.  CO Patten also assisted State Patrol troopers.

CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked area lakes this past week and weekend for fishing activity.  She also worked snowmobile enforcement.  She handled a call involving a sick swan north of Deer River.  Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice angling activity over the past week.  With the colder temperatures some anglers still made it out to the lakes.  Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, not having a license on a shelter left on the ice unattended over-night, and not having a license in possession.  One angler was arrested when it was discovered that they had an outstanding warrant for their arrest.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) worked angling and snowmobile enforcement.  The cold weather seems to have slowed anglers’ success on area lakes.  CO Van Asch assisted at a snowmobile safety class held by the Haypoint Jackpine Snowmobile Club in Hill City.  Area snowmobile trails are still in need of additional snow.  Enforcement action was taken for illegal length walleye, no angling license in possession, unregistered snowmobile, and failing to display current snowmobile registration.

Pengilly – vacant.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) spent much of the week checking anglers on area lakes and rivers.  Snowmobile trails are packed but more snow is necessary to improve riding conditions.  Follow up on open cases was completed and nuisance animal calls were handled.  

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) checked winter fishing on area lakes and worked trapping enforcement. Officer Duncan also prepared for a court appearance involving a past trapping investigation. The very cold weekend was worked in the Grand Marais area checking trout anglers within the BWCA.

Brookston – vacant.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ice anglers and snowmobilers. Ice conditions are improving with bitter cold temperatures, but snowmobile trails need more snow to be enjoyable. Many car killed deer permits were issued during the cold streak. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile and angling violations.

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

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