District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time checking bear hunting activity, not a lot of bears taken, mainly due to warm weather. Fishing, boating, and invasive species enforcement encompassed rest of work schedule. Invasive species enforcement detail was worked at U.S. Customs Port of Entry over the weekend with CO Bozovsky and COC Bermel. Enforcement action taken for work week included failure to pull drain plug, transport water and aquatic vegetation, no angling license in possession, insufficient PFD's, illegal transport of fish, and over limit of fish.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports checking on the wild rice crop and most areas are poor however a few survived the wind and heavy rain of mid-summer. Bear baiting was monitored as well as the bear hunting season opener. The bear harvest has been good. Some of the local guides have said it is the best in 10 years. An investigation into a possible illegal bear hunting case was dealt with, assisted by area officers. Assistance was also provided for a forest fire north of Cook and an ongoing investigation with local and federal officials.
CO Dan Starr (Tower) worked some bear issues, early season goose, ricing, and fishing activities. It has turned out to be a very poor year for rice. A fire was investigated with enforcement action taken for burning during a fire ban. Fishing was found to be slow, however, a few people were catching some walleye. AIS worked continued with compliance found to be good.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) reports continuing field training with COC Bermel. Officers had a busy week which involved working bear and early goose opener on the Labor Day Weekend. Officers also worked invasive species enforcement at the International Falls border crossing resulting in a large number of citations and warnings being issued for various invasive species law violations as well as many seizures of illegal fish coming across the border from Canada. Officers received a TIP complaint of a goose shot and left to waste prior to goose opener. Officers located the goose, evidence of where it was shot from, and eventually gained an admission from the shooter. Enforcement action was taken and a shotgun was seized. Officers worked a bear case that CO Bozovsky had been investigating for the last couple months resulting in multiple violations and a rifle seized. Other enforcement action was for ATV and boating violations.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) check bear baiting and hunting throughout the week, one bear guide reports very few baits being hit with another reporting lots of baits being hit. A few bears have been taken. Very few early season goose hunters were out. The wild rice crop is poor this year.
Ray - vacant.
I. Falls # 2 - vacant.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked bear baiting and fishing activity. CO Velsvaag received several calls about the wolf hunt and a nuisance pine marten. CO Velsvaag also followed up on a tip complaint in the vacant Babbitt station.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) came across a young man from Ohio fishing without a fishing license. The man told the CO that he didn't need one because he was on his way from Ohio to a place in Michigan that didn't require them so he didn't think needed one in Minnesota either. The CO informed the Ohio man that this was the first time he had ever heard an excuse like this and the Ohio man said he found that hard to believe. Bear hunters were checked and boaters were checked for compliance with the aquatic invasive species laws. Bear complaints continue to roll in.
CO Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) worked in cooperation with CO Duncan during the opening weekend of bear season to follow up on several bear baiting/hunting issues which had been monitored for some time. Numerous hunters were contacted in the woods by the CO's at which time the issues were addressed. Response to a complaint of ATV's doing damage in a forest campground resulted citations for two individuals. Another investigation of ATV's illegally operating in a state forest campground is ongoing. AIS, angling and boating work was also performed over the busy holiday weekend. Enforcement action was taken for big game, angling, boating, AIS and ATV violations.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and bear hunters, enforced burning regulations, handled an injured owl call, patrolled for illegal ATV activity, assisted the sheriff's office, assisted a landowner with shoreline permit procedures, and enforced AIS laws. Enforcement action taken for failure to remove boat plugs.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked bear hunters, worked ATV complaints, worked invasive species and assisted Itasca County deputies. Enforcement contacts were made for transporting a loaded firearm, illegal ATV operation, and illegal bear baiting.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs, state parks and campgrounds. He also worked the early goose season and bear hunters during the week.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked the Early Goose and Bear season over the past weekend with many successful hunters spoken with. Bear activity was up with limited food sources available in the woods. Enforcement action was taken for unregistered bear baits, taking geese without a state Waterfowl stamp, having an unplugged gun, operating an unregistered ATV, operating an ATV without a safety certification, under 18 no helmet and allowing a juvenile to illegally operate an ATV. Other violations included angling within 300 feet of a dam, angling without a license and operating a watercraft without lights after sunset.
CO Brent Speldrich (NE ATV REC) patrolled trails and state forests during the week. He patrolled illegal trails that were being used by bear hunters who were illegally using them to access their baits. Bear hunters are reminded that while using State Forest lands, they need to recognize which land they are on and what the classification is. These hunters were left with coupons that serve as a reminder of their illegal use. Officer Speldrich also spent time working the McGregor area lakes for plug removal compliance, assisting the fire department with a structure fire, assisting the State Patrol with highway issues and patrolling lakes. He also checked the state park and state recreation camping spots.
Hill City - vacant.
District 8 - Duluth area
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, boating, OHV, invasive species, early goose and bear hunting enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey conducted patrols in the Fond Du Lac State Forest and Moose Lake State Park. CO Humphrey worked an AIS detail in the Duluth area with CO Hanzal where several violations were encountered. A livestock depredation in the Kettle River area was investigated and determined to be coyotes. Goose hunters in the area reported mixed success with some limits reported. Bear hunters also reported mixed success with several bears being harvested in the area. Anglers checked reported good success on panfish and northern pike. A Boat & Water detail was worked on area lakes with good compliance from boaters and anglers. Violations included OHV operation, bear baiting and failing to validate license, failing to drain livewell and aquatic vegetation transport.
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked bear hunters and checked bait stations in the area. Most hunters are reporting few hits on baits. Officer Schmidt taught the rules and ethics portion for a firearms safety class. Equipment maintenance was completed.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports lots of contacts were made with sportsmen over the long Labor Day weekend. Numerous goose hunters were checked during the beginning of the early season. A few nice bears were harvested during the opening weekend but baiting activity is slow probably due to the heat and dry conditions. An invasive species detail was also worked over the weekend. Violation encountered were fail to drain livewell, fail to remove bilge plug, no registration of an ATV, allow illegal use of ATV by a juvenile, operate ATV on roadway, juvenile passenger without helmet, fail to mark bear bait station, no life jacket in watercraft.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week working bear hunting enforcement. Many bear baits were checked and a TIP of bear baiting early was worked. A couple days were spent working boating and fishing enforcement on area lakes. The continued warm weather brought many people out to the lakes. Several hours were worked focusing on evasive species enforcement over the busy Labor Day weekend. An ATV complaint resulted in enforcement action taken for operating on closed trails.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) did a K9 demo at the State Fair along with the rest of the DNR's K-9 units. Assistance was given to a neighboring officer in investigating a large number of people creating a dam on an area lake without a permit. A cease and desist order was issued and the investigation continues. Lots of contacts were made with off-highway vehicles in the area. Enforcement action was taken for unlawful juvenile operation, operating ATV on a county road, operate OHM on a county road, no eye protection on an OHM, registration violations, and juvenile without helmets. Time was also spent checking boaters at accesses for compliance with invasive species regulations. Most were found to be in compliance. Enforcement action was taken for transporting a watercraft on a public highway with the plug still in. Early goose season activity was worked and very little activity was found in the area. Other enforcement contacts were made for towing water tuber without observation/mirror, watercraft registration violations, and burning without a permit.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott worked with the local county attorney and SWCD on a report and citation issued for violation of the Wetland Conservation Act for person failing to comply with a restoration order. Officer Scott worked the holiday weekend checking boaters and anglers on area lakes and rivers. Huge population of Spiny Waterfleas is ongoing on Lake Superior in the Duluth area and boaters and anglers were reminded to be very diligent in cleaning off their down riggers and fishing gear. Enforcement action was taken for fail to remove drain plugs, transport aquatic vegetation, operating ATV without helmet, permit, and fail to display current registration.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior and the St. Louis River. He attended the Duluth Power Squadrons boating safety meeting and gathering with the duty crew from USCG station Duluth. The event was held bayside at the squadron's water front grounds. The USCG crew gave tours of the 45 motor lifeboat. Worked an AIS assignment at area infested lakes. Assisted DPD in the lakeside community.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked Lake Superior anglers and boaters during the week. A charter boat investigation was completed, and bear hunters checked. Wild rice gatherers are finding a very limited crop this year due to mid-season water level changes. Enforcement action taken for ATV, boating, invasive, and traffic violations.