CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls #2) spent time working snowmobile and angling enforcement with CO Slatinski and Park Ranger Gelo. Although snowmobile activity was slow during the evening hours, fishing activity was moderate. A couple violations encountered while working Voyageurs National Park included angling with extra lines, no license in possession, as well as fishing without a license. The individual angling without a license stated that he had won a free overnight fishing trip on the lake. He was found to be using two extra lines, as well. So, it didn’t turn out to be such a cheap trip after all. Zavodnik also worked Lake of the Woods with CO Mishler over the weekend. Anglers seemed to be catching a fair amount of small sauger mixed in with walleyes, but quality was hard to come by. Other anglers checked further out seemed to be having better success, catching some bigger saugers and walleyes. Instances such as dressed and unmeasurable fish on a special regulation lake, overlimit of fish, extra lines, and no license in possession were a few violations encountered during the day.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) Time was spent monitoring angling activity, snowmobile and trail use, trapping activity, and taking care of equipment maintenance. The fresh snow had left the area with some of the best snowmobiling conditions seen in a long time for the area. As is typical with a good snowfall, pockets of slush are showing up once again. Angling activity has been hit and miss with violations of no angling license, using extra lines, and shelter license violations observed. Complaints of snowmobilers cutting corners on the trails have been heard recently. Remember most trails have two-way traffic. Safety and etiquette dictate the need to stay on your own side of the trail to avoid collisions and allow others to enjoy their ride.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area snowmobile trails, checking local lakes and monitoring public access sites. Fishing remains poor. Approximately a foot of new snow fell over the week. Those in the backcountry should travel prepared.
CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring snowmobile and angling activity. Angling success was limited this week. Snowmobile trails are in good condition and are seeing a lot of traffic.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent the week checking anglers and working snowmobile enforcement. Time was also spent finishing up big-game cases.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked anglers, snowmobiles and ATV riders. A fishing tournament and a vintage snowmobile ride were worked in the station with CO Frericks. An illegal-length northern pike was weighed in and kept in possession in the fishing tournament and was dealt with. As is typical with a vintage snowmobile ride, a number of speed and registration violations were addressed, but on the newer sleds. Bozovsky has dealt with many snowmobiles blowing through stop signs over the years, even when he’s nearby. One was encountered doing this very thing at an unacceptable speed and within 10 feet of parked sleds, the officer’s squad, people standing nearby and the officer standing in uniform 10 feet away. The unhappy driver was cited. Enforcement action was taken on illegal-length fish, no fishing license in possession, snowmobile registration and speed, failing to stop at a stop sign, and ATV violations of driving after revocation and the wrong way on a road.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) worked with CO Bozovsky on an antique sled run from Kinney to Chisholm. With comfortable weather, there was a large turnout and many antique sleds were seen. Of the riders who participated in the run riding more modern sleds, enforcement action was taken for operating unregistered snowmobiles and speed. After recent snowfall in the Virginia area, Frericks was patrolling areas in the Virginia station with snow-covered fields and ag land. In one location, Frericks knew the owner of the fields and found someone on a snowmobile had trespassed on the fields. To some, this can seem harmless and fun. To the more informed, this kind of activity will cause serious damage to the crop beneath the snow. Frericks encourages anyone who observes ag land trespass to contact their local CO and report the violation.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) received multiple calls of a vehicle stuck and abandoned on a state snowmobile trail. The responsible parties were located and charged for the offense. With all the recent snow, trails are in excellent condition.District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and snowmobilers this past week and attended training at Camp Ripley. He also worked at a work detail up the Gunflint Trail. Snowmobile trail conditions are great but few people were out with the cold weather.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked anglers and snowmobilers during the week. Activity increased along with the temperatures.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) attended a meeting of DNR Honor Guard members at Camp Ripley. Manning checked snowmobile operators and sleds on grant-in-aid trails and forest roads; compliance was good and warmer weather and good trail conditions were appreciated by sled operators. She also took care of maintenance issues and checked cross-country ski passes and anglers.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked with the county attorney on cases coming up for trial. Time was spent working the busy snowmobile trails and lakes for angling activity. Trail and snow conditions are excellent. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile speed and registration violations.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling and snowmobiling activity this past week. He also attended training at Camp Ripley.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers on area lakes in Cook and Lake counties. Snowmobile trails were worked and a lot of people are enjoying the deep snow. Compliance with snowmobile registration has been exceptional this year.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked snowmobile and angling activity during the week. Area trails are in great shape with recent snowfalls and many riders were encountered out enjoying the North Shore. Ice anglers have taken to recently formed ice on Lake Superior hoping to hook a salmon or lake trout. Anglers must use extreme caution and pay attention to changing ice conditions while venturing out.District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled area snowmobile trails and checked area lakes. Time was also spent working with area volunteer safety class instructors and monitoring ongoing snowmobile trespass complaints.
CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked snowmobile and fishing enforcement. He also answered angling questions. Snowmobile trails were still good, with many people out riding. Recent snow should improve the trails even more.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended training, patrolled the area snowmobile trails, checked anglers and assisted the State Patrol with vehicles off the roadway. The area snowmobile trails are in great shape. Enforcement action was taken for registration issues and angling with extra lines.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked angling activity this past week. She also worked snowmobiling enforcement. Trail conditions were very nice with the recent snowfall during the week.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling and snowmobile activity with trails in great condition. Angling activities are starting to become harder with the deep snow accumulations and slush on area lakes is becoming a concern.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, snowmobile, and shelter enforcement. The area trails remain in great condition with the additional snow accumulation. Anglers’ mobility on area lakes has been more confined due to significant slush and snowdrift build up on the lakes. Enforcement action was taken for various angling and snowmobile violations.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) focused much of his time patrolling the local snowmobile trails. Snow conditions are excellent and area snowmobile clubs are doing a very good job keeping the trails groomed. Enforcement action was taken for various snowmobile and fishing violations.
NE ATV officer – vacant.District 8 - Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) worked snowmobiling activity throughout the week. Activity slowed during the cold snap, but trail conditions are very good. Use caution on lakes as there is still significant slush underneath the snow in many places
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) worked winter fishing around the Duluth area. Many people have been enjoying ice fishing on Lake Superior. Snowmobile activity has been high with the trails in excellent condition. Duncan also assisted local law enforcement with a stolen vehicle stop that resulted in an arrest.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) attended a Division Honor Guard meeting/training at Camp Ripley during the week. Humphrey followed up on a snowmobile trespass complaint and a report of a bobcat killing chickens. A special work detail was conducted with CO Staples in the Lake Vermilion area focusing on snowmobile enforcement. Patrols in local area state parks were also conducted. Snowmobile operation and registration violations were observed.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with extra snowmobile patrols in the Ely and Tower areas over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for registration violations but overall compliance was found to be very good.Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked snowmobile enforcement and ice anglers north of Duluth and along the North Shore and Lake Superior. Training at Camp Ripley was also attended during the week. Slush on area lakes is becoming troublesome.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked many ice anglers who took to rare accessible ice near Duluth. Many new anglers came to the area and were reminded to keep an eye to the winds and ice conditions, and always bring with float clothing, a chisel, and ice picks to self-rescue. Some success was had for lake trout, coho salmon, herring, and a rare chinook salmon or two. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile violations.
Lake Superior Unit – vacant.