Minnesota DNR Conservation Officer Weekly Report

Here are this week's reports filed by conservation officers across Northeastern Minnesota. District 5 - Eveleth area CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time checking ice fishing activity on Rainy Lake. Snowmobiles are out in full for...

Here are this week's reports filed by conservation officers across Northeastern Minnesota.

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent time checking ice fishing activity on Rainy Lake. Snowmobiles are out in full force with the recent dumping of new snow. Enforcement action was taken for no current registration, operating on highway, and no snowmobile safety certificate. CO Kittelson also handled several nuisance animal complaints.

CO Lloyd Steen (Ray/Kabetogama) patrolled area lakes and trails checking snowmobilers and fishermen. Slow activity mainly due to inclement weather and people digging out from the snowstorms.

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports the heavy snow missed the Cook area and only about 8 to 10 inches of new snow fell. The Cook Timberwolves Snowmobile Club placed the trail stakes on Lake Vermilion (Cook end) on Saturday. Up to 12 inches of ice has been reported. An injured deer, an injured eagle, and a healthy porcupine were dealt with Christmas day. A fisher was released from an untagged snare. Although very upset, it ran away and appeared to have suffered no injuries. A local landowner was good enough to call and ask for assistance and was instrumental in the critter's successful release. Equipment maintenance was completed and snow was removed from an enforcement facility by Officer Schultz.


CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) checked anglers on area lakes. On one of these lakes two anglers were observed from a distance using five lines. When CO Frericks got closer to the anglers he watched one of them cut the line he had in his hands. CO Frericks then mentioned that he watched the angler who cut the line pull a fish out of the hole a few minutes earlier. A citation was issued. Area snowmobilers were checked also. CO Frericks observed one snowmobiler who was having trouble starting his sled that hasn't been currently registered since 2002. The older gentleman was out of breath and appeared tired. CO Frericks quickly got the sled running and then escorted the snowmobiler back to his cabin. When it came time to issue a citation the snowmobiler begged, "Oh come on, can't you be a good guy and look the other way?" CO Frericks did his job and issued a citation.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked on office computer updates and office paper work. Snow mobile was taken out of storage and worked on to prepare for the sledding season.

I. Falls # 2 - vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) checked some local lakes in the Two Harbors station as well as in the vacant Silver Bay station for ice angling activity. Equipment maintenance was taken care of as well as some computer updates for the state email system. A big winter storm with snow and rain has done damage to the local ice conditions causing slush and rough going on the lakes.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked anglers, ice houses, and minnow traps before the snow flew. New snow will mean good conditions for snowmobiling and cross country skiing once groomers have a chance to get out. Skiers are reminded to purchase cross-country ski passes before hitting any of the state trail systems.

Babbitt - vacant.

Silver Bay - vacant.


District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) worked snowmobile enforcement, trapping enforcement, checked anglers and assisted the county with a warrant arrest. The recent snow has caused the area lakes to have about 1-2 inches of slush on them. The walleye bite was good over the week and a few nice northern pike have been speared. Enforcement action was taken for possess illegal length walleye, snowmobile registration violations and ATV violations.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, snowmobiles, state parks and trappers. He also taught a snowmobile safety class during the week.

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked ice anglers, trappers, hunters, and investigated a TIP call. Enforcement action taken for angling without license in possession.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice fishing activity with moderate success had by area sportsmen. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession and no shelter license on an angling house left unattended overnight. Ice conditions seemed to be good in most spots before we received the large snowfall. Caution should still be taken when venturing out on area lakes. Snowmobile activity skyrocketed in the area.

Bigfork - vacant.

District 8 - Cloquet area

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports lots of snow blanketed the area during the holiday weekend. Snowmobile riders were venturing out for their first run of the season however many had forgotten to look for current or proper display of registration. Area anglers are reporting slow action and large amounts of slush on their traditional early season lakes. Pet owners are reminded to keep their pets adequately controlled as reports of dogs chasing deer have been increasing since the heavy snowfall.


CO Jeff Humphrey (Cloquet) investigated complaints from Firearms Deer season. He checked ice anglers on area lakes. Ice conditions improved with an average of 8-10" observed. Some anglers were driving cars and trucks on the ice. Snowmobile activity picked up with recent snowfall. CO Humphrey spoke to and assisted with a Snowmobile Safety class in Cromwell.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with the field test at a snowmobile safety class in Cloquet. Area trails were also patrolled. Enforcement action was taken for expired registration. Complaints of homeowners putting ropes across the ditch were received and turned over to the local road authority.

Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Marine Unit) worked on squad repairs and preventative maintenance items. Watercraft were moved prior to the holiday weekend and winter storm. Contacts made with outstate Officers on potential watercraft training opportunities in the future. Items with the USCG finalized for Marine Unit operations.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) checked some anglers working hard in the slush to catch some fish, and a few snowmobilers. Assisted a snowmobiler who got his sled stuck in the slush. Most trails were not groomed as of Saturday night, and lots of water and slush in low spots on trails. Lakes are slush covered. Enforcement action taken for angling and snowmobiling violations.

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked shore anglers along Lake Superior and a few ice anglers on area lakes. Nice weather found many anglers trying their luck with little success. Equipment maintenance and snowmobile enforcement issues were handled. Enforcement action taken for angling and snowmobile violations.

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