CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports weather has finally cooperated and anglers were out taking advantage of it on Rainy Lake. Most people were reporting getting at least a few fish to put in the live wells or on the stringers. Again, people are reminded to leave young animals alone. Enforcement action for the week included fishing with extra lines, no angling license in possession, and boat safety equipment violations. Kittelson also responded to a medical assist where a person fell off a ladder and sustained upper leg and back injuries. The individual was transported to the hospital by ambulance.
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls #2) spent time following up on a trapping case with CO Slatinski. Zavodnik also worked with the Parks and Trails Division regarding topics with the multi-use Blue Ox Trail. He and Slatinski also responded to a deer/vehicle collision that involved a newly-born, orphaned fawn. The two COs determined that it mostly likely wouldn’t even have survived the night if left on its own. The two COs were able to contact a rehabilitation center that evening and it was transported that night. A few days later, a follow up was done and the deer was found to be doing well.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) monitored boating safety, angling activity, invasive species compliance, and ATV use. He worked with CO Zavodnik to close out a trapping investigation from this spring. Slatinski fielded several calls regarding injured and abandoned animals along with animals causing damage to property. Slatinski was involved with discussions surrounding safety concerns and conditions of local trails impacted by beaver activity. Annual safety training and administrative tasks rounded out the week.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) checked area lakes, monitored area forest roads, and checked public access sites. Numerous beaver-related issues were dealt with. Boating activity was monitored and equipment work was completed.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent time working ATV enforcement in complaint areas. There were also complaints of illegal dumping and wetland violations, which are under investigation.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) taught species identification at the Conservation Officer Academy. He also worked anglers, ATV riders, and a complaint of a shoreline alteration in the Aurora station, which turned out to be a large area of shoreline excavation and aquatic plant removal. Resource Protection Notifications were issued. Enforcement action was taken on multiple angling-without-a-license offenses, no angling license in possession and a number of ATV violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) noticed a significant increase in angling activity over the past week, mostly thanks to more agreeable weather. With the increased activity, more anglers and boaters neglected some of the basic requirements, primarily angling licenses, PFDs, and watercraft registrations. Enforcement action was taken in all cases. Several area schools have let out for the summer and many juveniles were stopped on ATVs for a wide variety of violations. Their parents were advised that ATVs are not the babysitter.
Aurora – vacant.District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) patrolled in and out of the BWCA throughout the week, working primarily angling, boating, and ATV enforcement. One individual was contacted angling from a houseboat a day before he had set his 72-hour angling license to become effective. Enforcement action taken for the week included angling with an extra line, angling without a license, illegal-length northern pike, using game fish for bait, no trout stamp, insufficient PFDs, failure to comply with burning permit restrictions, and ATV violations.
CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports angling success varied compared to earlier in the season. Walleye success was low, and most anglers checked reported very little or no success. Trout anglers had a great deal of success early in the week with the action tapering off. Violations included angling without a license in possession, angling on a designated trout lake with no stamp, and failure to display current watercraft registration.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked boating and invasive species enforcement activity this past week. Summer weather finally arrived and water-related recreation was high. Murray handled nuisance-bear complaints and investigated a complaint of illegal fishing activity. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and OHM registration violations.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) cleaned up again after the same “parents behaving badly” as last week – this time in a local WMA. She took reports of bears behaving badly (read: “behaving like bears”) and of a young wolf visiting an area campground. Manning assisted COs Fagerman and Wahlstrom and local volunteers with a firearms safety field day. Anyone interested in becoming a DNR safety training volunteer can contact a local CO for information on the process.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked angling activity this past week. Time was spent checking boaters on the water and at accesses. More flies than fish were caught this past week.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports going from the land of ice and snow to black flies in about 60 seconds. Boat rides over the 55-degree water are about as cool as the below-average fishing has been. Fagerman assisted with a firearms safety field day and took a complaint about snowmobilers during the week. He also took a call from a person in Illinois who wants to come to northern Minnesota to fish for rusty crayfish. A wildland arson case was also followed up on.District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters and patrolled area ATV trails. He handled calls about possible fishing overlimits, nuisance wildlife, angling in closed areas, illegal minnow trapping, burning without a permit, and ATV trespass. Enforcement action was taken for illegal-length fish and failure to obtain a burning permit.
CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked fishing and ATV enforcement. He answered wildlife-related calls and patrolled campgrounds.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, attended training, investigated a wildland fire and monitored OHV activity. The area angler success was good this past week. Enforcement action was taken for license issues, possession of illegal-length fish and taking bait from infested waters.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) spent time checking anglers this past week. She followed up on some fishing complaints. She also worked a detail on Lake of the Woods. Enforcement action was taken for angling and boating violations.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activity in the area with some local lakes slowly starting to pick up with some panfish action. Enforcement action was taken on multiple individuals for having their drain plugs in their watercraft while on the roadway. Most of these violations seen have been from out-of-state anglers unaware of the law. It serves as a good reminder to look at each state’s regulations before you travel there to recreate.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, ATV, boating, and AIS enforcement throughout the surrounding areas. Van Asch assisted with a wildfire investigation in Two Harbors. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession, transporting boats with the plug in, and illegal-length northern pike.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) focused efforts on patrolling the area’s fishing and boating activity. Warmer weather and a good fish bite brought lots of folks out to enjoy the lakes. Violations included not having enough PFDs on board, expired registration, fishing in a closed area, and on overlimit of crappies.
NE ATV officer – vacant.District 8 - Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) saw heavy boating and angling activity this past week. Anglers were seeing some success with multiple species. A presentation about law changes and boating safety was given to a lake association group. Enforcement action was taken for an overlimit of fish, illegal-length walleye, insufficient PFDs and illegal OHM operation.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) spent many hours on area lakes conducting fishing and boating enforcement. Many fish were measured and counted during the week. Violations encountered included an overlimit and oversized fish. OHM and ATV enforcement was also worked, which included violations of road right-of-way operation and registration issues. Duncan also assisted local police departments and sheriff’s offices with calls for service.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked boating, angling, AIS, and OHV enforcement throughout the week. Nuisance- and injured-animal complaints continue to be received. Most of these complaints are beaver and bear issues. Preparation for a firearms safety class was completed. Violations for various boating, angling, OHV, and AIS issues were encountered.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked ATV and boating activity in the area. Enforcement action was taken for registration and equipment violations. Time was spent working aquatic invasive species enforcement in the area, where enforcement action was taken for transporting watercraft with drain plugs still in. Nuisance-bear calls were handled by educating homeowners to just make sure they put away their garbage and bird feeders.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked ATV enforcement in the Duluth and Two Harbors areas. Olson worked on equipment items for upcoming details. Reminder to leave spotted fawns and other newborn wildlife alone and secure in place; several calls regarding this topic were fielded during the week.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters. ATV complaints were received, and training attended in Eveleth. Enforcement action was taken for OHM, ATV, and angling violations.
Lake Superior Unit – vacant.