DNR Weekly Report for April 6, 2020
District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports most of the past week’s work activity revolved around fishing and boat and water safety enforcement on the Rainy River. People are reminded of the “Stay at Home” order. Please go outside, but do so within your community.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) tended to equipment maintenance and seasonal changes. Angling locations were monitored. Slatinski assisted a local agency with a call about an individual with little clothing on who was suffering from exposure to the overnight temperature of 16 degrees. He also handled miscellaneous animal-related complaints. It soon will be that time of year when baby wild animals will be entering the world. People are reminded to leave baby animals alone. The best chance for survival is with their mother, so don’t broadcast their location but instead save a memory and leave the area.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports continued monitoring of public access sites and checking area lakes. Area forest roads were checked. Equipment work was completed and administrative tasks were completed. Migratory birds continue to arrive in the area as large numbers of geese and swans were noted.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) fielded calls regarding nuisance animals and trespass issues over the week. Late Saturday evening, Zavodnik observed a truck parked on the shoulder of the road with its hazards lights on. While proceeding with a motorist assist, it was clear that the operator was extremely intoxicated and unaware that he was nearly 200 miles away from his residence. The operator was charged with 3rd degree DUI, 4th degree driving under the influence, and open bottle. Enforcement action was also taken on a variety of recreational vehicle violations.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers and ATV riders, conducted a decorative materials investigation, assisted the Hibbing Police Department with an intoxicated pedestrian lying in an alley, dealt with a complaint of a goose caught in a beaver trap and issued a beaver permit. Enforcement action was taken for no state park permit, a minnow trap violation, and ATV violations.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing and ATV activity. Fishing success remained limited. Ice has begun to pull away from shore and is starting to deteriorate. Broughten also assisted with a car vs. deer crash.
Virginia – vacant.
International Falls #2 – vacant.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports angling activity was very high during the past week, although several days with rain, snow, and cold weather made fishing difficult. Many roads and trails are starting to become open and see some traffic. Ice conditions worsened after the recent rain and any anglers setting out should be extra cautious.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked people fishing bluegills and crappies this past week. Fishing was slow and some areas are seeing a decline in ice conditions. Velsvaag took several calls on beaver-trapping regulations and questions on the upcoming fishing opener.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) checked trout anglers trying their luck during the last couple days of the season. The weather was nice and some nice fish were seen on the ice. He patrolled closed state park campgrounds. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile violations.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked anglers and rechecked lakes where ice fishing houses had been. She also checked anglers along the shore of Lake Superior. State parks are still fairly busy and compliance with park-permit-purchase requirements continues to be low. Potential visitors are reminded that driving five-plus hours one way to hike or fish really is not a local recreational trip. Please enjoy places closer to home.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) primarily worked angling activity throughout the week. A large amount of time was spent in the BWCAW monitoring crappie anglers. The bite has slowed, but activity is at extremely high levels, including an increase in traffic people from the Twin Cities. Time was also spent patrolling state parks and for recreational vehicle activity.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked shore angling activity along Lake Superior and monitored very busy state parks. He encountered visitors from all over Minnesota and surrounding states. Time was also spent checking snowmobilers who tried to get on very poor trails with little success.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports monitoring Lake Superior and various tributaries for spring trout and salmon anglers throughout the past week. Tributaries near state parks and a few other easily accessible waters have been infiltrated with anglers, with a few reporting tying into some fish. Hill monitored state park buildings and campground areas. A reminder that lands, buildings, and campgrounds owned by the DNR and U.S. Forest Service have many new restrictions on access and use. Be sure to study these restrictions before finding yourself in violation. Some late-season ski passes were checked, along with a few ski pass violations. Station equipment maintenance was completed with the open-water season just around the corner.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked Lake Superior stream-fishing activity and late-season ice angling. Some anglers were having good success while others thought the bite was slow. Recreational activity was high in the area, and ranged from angling to maple syrup collecting. Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers and worked small-game, ATV and snowmobile activity. Numerous game and fish-related questions were answered. Hansen also took care of miscellaneous wildlife-related calls.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked birch pole-harvesting complaints and patrolled for OHV activity. The shorelines on area lakes are opening up. Lots of migrating waterfowl are in the area. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and trespass.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked late-season ice anglers. Ice conditions are rapidly deteriorating. As ice angling season comes to an end, fire season begins. A couple grass fires were worked where it was believed an older car accidentally started them.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working sport fishing, ATV, and trapping enforcement. Ice conditions on area lakes have been deteriorating quickly. Please use caution before venturing out onto the ice. Assistance was also given to local law enforcement agencies.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) reports ice conditions quickly deteriorated throughout the past week, putting an end to ice fishing on most area lakes. Anglers are starting to fish the open rivers to try their hand at catching some catfish or suckers. Trapping activity was also monitored as the spring beaver-trapping activity picked up.
NE ATV officer – vacant.
District 8 - Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) continued following up on ongoing cases and conducted routine patrol. There were still a few anglers out on lakes that had ice remaining, but that will be impossible very soon. Activity in remote areas seems a bit higher than usual for this time of year.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) spent much of the past week checking anglers along the shore. Nice weather got boats out on the big lake and anglers were lined up along many access points. ATV-related complaints have begun to come in regularly and nuisance-animal complaints are starting as well. Time was spent working in Jay Cooke State Park as people venture out onto the trails.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) worked fishing enforcement along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Many boat anglers were checked as they returned from fishing. Shore-angler numbers continue to increase. River fishing for steelhead was also worked. Duncan also worked trespass-related issues.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling and OHV enforcement. Humphrey patrolled the Fond du Lac State Forest during spring road and trail closures. He also patrolled area state parks and wildlife management areas.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) continues to assist with training new canines to be working dogs. Reports of people feeding deer and other nuisance-animal complaints were received and dealt with.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked a busy North Shore in the Duluth and Two Harbors waters. The rivers are still high and cold with a few trout seen. The McQuade safe harbor was busy with boaters over the weekend, until the northeast winds increased and the sea conditions got rough. Enforcement action was taken for trespassing on a road closure and a complaint of shore anglers along Stony Point. He also responded to a vehicle rollover in Duluth Township. Luckily, there were no injuries.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore anglers and boaters. Snowmobile trails are about done for the season, but accesses are opening along Lake Superior and the St. Louis River. ATVs are out, but need to be mindful of state forest closures. Enforcement action was taken for angling related violations.
Lake Superior Unit – vacant.