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MN DNR Weekly Report for Jan. 8, 2018

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports cold weather has kept most people indoors.  However this weekend brought above 0⁰F temps with a few more people getting out ice fishing and snowmobiling.  Work effort emphasis was placed on those two recreational activities, with enforcement action taken for no angling license in possession.  Assistance was given to International Falls PD in regards to an assault case and a vehicle/property damage accident.  Work on a background investigation continues.

CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) reports fishing activity in the area is picking up as ice conditions continue to improve. Reports of success have been mixed but overall people are happy to be able to get out fishing once again. Snowmobile activity is also picking up with trails in pretty good condition for the amount of snow available for grooming efforts. Enforcement activities included registration issues on ATVs and snowmobiles, lack of shelter license and identification, leaving fish houses and trailers at public accesses, and various fishing related violations.  

CO Colleen Adam (Ray) reports fishing activity has been steady.  Most shelters are harvesting fish and having a good time despite the fluctuating temperatures.  Trails are groomed with a good base started but in need of a healthy snowfall. 

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling activities on station lakes.  Angling success has been poor with little observed caught. License violations were dealt with.  Snowmobile trails are in poor shape with exposed areas of dirt, grass, and rock due to little snow cover; little snowmobile activity observed.

CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers this past week.  Fishing has picked up and ice conditions have greatly improved.  A few snowmobilers are out with good conditions on the lakes.  CO Velsvaag also took calls on trespassing and pike spearing regulations.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, snowmobiles, state park ski trails, and state park enforcement.  Temperatures finally moderated during the latter part of the week and people took advantage by hitting the outdoors, though fishing success was low.  Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license in possession, unregistered snowmobile, fail to display snowmobile registration, no ski pass, no state park permit, and no balsam buyer’s license.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) testified at an Implied Consent hearing related to a DWI case from last fall. Anglers on area lakes were checked but judging by the number of anglers seen and their catch, activity appears to be slow and no great numbers were seen on any one lake. Snowmobile traffic has been very light. Trails are being groomed by local clubs but more snow is needed.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) found little angling activity due to cold weather. A Great Grey owl was picked up. Time was spent completing a background check on a CO applicant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports he and Officer Manning patrolled areas of the BWCA by dogsled; traffic was high with mostly day trips. Angling and snowmobile activity stepped up at the very end of the week as temperatures finally made it above zero.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) reports snowmobiles are becoming more common on the lakes and rivers as the ice becomes more reliable due to the deep freeze last week.  Remember to get the registration renewed before taking the snow machine out.  Ice fishermen are asked to please take all their garbage and equipment home with them at the end of the day when they are done on the ice.     

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that with the very cold temps, we may go from questionable ice to needing an extension on the ice augers in short order.  With the lack of snow on the ice, some lakes now have 20 plus inches of crystal clear ice on them.  A few snowmobilers and anglers were checked, but the temps have kept the outdoors fairly quiet.  A few snowshoers and skiers took advantage of the bright moonlight also.  Snowmobile registration issues were dealt with during the week.  Snowmobilers are reminded that their registrations pay for snowmobile trails and that unregistered snowmobiles will not be overlooked. 

CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) worked a BWCA detail in the Ely area.  The officer also followed up on issues from the previous weekend’s trout opener and this fall’s bear season.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) finished a pre-employment background investigation on a potential new hire.  Numerous cases from deer season were followed up on with enforcement action taken for several over-limits of deer and untagged deer, unlawful use of bonus tags, and deer registration violations.  Fish houses were monitored for the proper markings and license tags and a few anglers were checked braving the frigid weather.  Ice conditions are excellent in most areas but snowmobile trails still need more snow, although sled numbers are increasing. Additional enforcement action was taken for expired snowmobile registration and possession of marijuana.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) continued work on a pre-employment background investigation. Time was also spent checking anglers and snowmobile activity.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers and snowmobile activity. The trails are starting to improve with the recent snowfall. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile violations.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and snowmobile activity. Ice conditions continued to improve with most area lakes now having over 12 inches of ice. Subzero temperatures slowed down many anglers and snowmobilers alike. Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations and failure to transfer ownership of a snowmobile.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers this week.  CO Patten also gave the law presentation at a snowmobile safety class and investigated a bear case.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored snowmobile activity, and followed up on a deer hunting case. The warmer temps brought more anglers out with good success. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession and fail to display valid registration on ATV.

CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids #1) checked angling and snowmobiling activity this past week. Snowmobile trails near Grand Rapids were okay. Trails got better the farther out but most were not recently groomed due to lack of snow. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids #2) worked ice angling activity with ice conditions improving drastically over the past week.  Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and failing to display snowmobile registration.  A law talk was also given to a youth snowmobile safety class.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) worked primarily angling and snowmobile enforcement. Snowmobile trails were packed but more snow is still needed.  Anglers are reporting spotty success on area lakes.  Enforcement action was taken for the use of game fish as bait, no angling license in possession, failing to display valid snowmobile registration, and possession of small amounts of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Pengilly – vacant.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) checked area lakes for fishing activity, checked anglers, and spent time at an area ski trail head checking ski passes.  Officer Duncan worked trapping locations and incidental take of protected critters were reported.  Officer Duncan also checked area snowmobile trails for activity and issued road kill deer permits.   

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) spent much of the week working area lakes and rivers.   Ice conditions in the area are in great shape, but snowmobile trails could use some help.  Nuisance animal complaints and a trespassing complaint were handled.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked ice angling activity on area lakes and followed up on a trapping complaint.  Anglers were reporting mixed results on pan fish, pike, and walleyes.  CO Humphrey assisted and spoke with students at a snowmobile safety class in Cromwell.  Area snowmobile trails are in need of snow.  Violations for angling license, equipment, drugs, and failing to tend traps were encountered.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent time working on confiscated fur to make sure that it was properly taken care of and that it would also go to educational facilities through the MN Trappers Association. Assistance was given to a local PD on a traffic stop that ended up in a DWI arrest. Time was also spent working the local snowmobile trails in the area. Not much traffic to report and only a few trails in the area are in good shape. A permit was issued for a car killed deer.

Brookston – vacant.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked the area lakes north of Duluth during the week for anglers.  Crappie fishermen were found to have some success and Kamloops anglers were bundled up and fishing the North Shore.  Maintenance items worked on and snowmobiles waiting for snow to make the area trails rideable.  Questions on upcoming safety classes also fielded.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ice anglers and shore casters along Lake Superior. Anglers have had some success with coho salmon when the weather allows them to cast. Trucks are starting to show up on inland lakes, but caution is urged as ice thickness varies. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile violations.

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

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