MN DNR Weekly Report for Aug. 10, 2015

District 5 - Eveleth area CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reported that musky anglers from all over the country came to Vermilion to fish the Professional Musky Tournament Trail event. Fishing was good all week for musky and some very large fish were caught.

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reported that musky anglers from all over the country came to Vermilion to fish the Professional Musky Tournament Trail event. Fishing was good all week for musky and some very large fish were caught. The walleye bite is still spotty; however, the small mouth bite is good. The officer investigated a public water access violation, along with careless boating on Lake Vermilion. WREO Mike Scott and the officer worked Trout Lake portage putting up signs and educating the public on invasive species. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license, extra lines, not enough PFD’s, child not wearing a PFD, registration, operating ATV on roadway, and operating ATV without safety training.

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports a busy weekend with fishing, boating and invasive species enforcement on Rainy Lake and Rainy River. Enforcement action was taken for transporting filleted walleye while on water, failure to validate sturgeon tag, failure to attach sturgeon tag, unmeasurable sturgeon, and no angling license in possession. Assistance was also given to stranded boaters on Rainy Lake when their motor quit working.    

CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) worked angling and boating enforcement throughout the Rainy River, Rainy Lake, and Kabetogama Lake areas. Anglers were finally able to target desired areas of Rainy Lake, with the cooperation of the weather, and have been doing well.  CO’s Kittelson and Van Asch towed a group of stranded boaters back to safety after their boat motor quit. CO Van Asch also assisted in a commercial inspection in a neighboring station. Enforcement action was taken for failure to remove drain plug, no angling license in possession, transportation of a fish without a skin patch, and an unmeasurable fish.    

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports that fishing remains poor with little angling activity noted over the past week. Area forest roads were checked and public access sites monitored. 


CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling, boating, and ATV activity. The officer worked a complaint of a Hibbing resident shooting a bear (with two separate shots) within a residential area, claiming the bear was coming towards him two separate times (to include the bear returning after it was already shot or shot at). Witness accounts say otherwise.

Charges are pending. Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license, angling without a license in possession, angle with extra lines, operating an ATV on public highway and numerous boating and PWC violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a Firearms Safety Class and assisted St Louis County deputies with the recovery of a stolen ATV. Boaters and a few anglers were checked on Lake Vermilion. As CO’s Bozovsky and Frericks were pulling up to an area where there were two boats of anglers and the CO’s noticed that one group immediately started to reel up and prepare to leave. The CO’s decided to check that boat first. One juvenile angler in the boat sheepishly said he didn’t have an angling license and said he was 15. CO Frericks informed him he didn’t need an angling license until he turned 16. The juvenile was also unaware of the slot limit on Lake Vermilion. Luckily, there were no slot fish in the live well. CO Frericks advised the young angler to be more knowledgeable about the angling laws before heading out next time.    

Cook - vacant.

Ray - vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports fishing pressure was very high over the week and reports have finally started to turn positive with more fish being reported than past weeks. ATV enforcement was also a focus and overall compliance was good. Violations included operating an ATV with no safety certificate, no fishing license in possession, and operating an unregistered motorboat.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked fishermen in the BWCAW and found fishing to be slow. Time was also spent following up on old cases and figuring out the new computer system. Please remember that canoes in Minnesota require a registration before being used on the water.


CO Mary Manning (Hovland) helped teach at the academy again this past week. The officer continued to receive reports of bears behaving badly. Some of these calls involved humans leaving garbage, food and birdseed in very accessible locations; some just involved yearling bears trying to find a food source. In one case, a bear was apparently not happy with the food selection inside a cabin, so it left a deposit in the bed of the cabin’s occupant.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked station lakes as well as a BWCA patrol. Enforcement action included a couple instances of fishing without a license, no license in possession, no PFDs, and storing boats on state forest land. One individual apprehended fishing without a license gave a laundry list of excuses to try and get out of the citation; it didn’t work. A loon entangled in fishing line was freed and swam away.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) handled several bear complaints. Much of his time was spent enforcing boating, angling, and ATV/OHM laws. CO Schottenbauer took care of a car hit moose as well.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and invasive species enforcement efforts during the week. Salmon and trout fishing success seems to be picking up on Lake Superior with some nice fish caught. Several nuisance bear calls were handled and questions were answered on Lake Superior boating regulations.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled area ATV trails, checked anglers and boaters, worked AIS enforcement, assisted with a one car rollover, and continued working ongoing cases. Enforcement action taken for operating a class 2 ATV on a public roadway.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers, boating activity, and answered various wildlife calls. He patrolled area lakes and campgrounds. He also did commercial enforcement. Violations included incomplete records, and traffic.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) assisted with a K-9 demo and instruction at the Conservation Officer Academy, checked anglers, handled injured animal complaints and responded to K-9 requests from the county and local police department. The recent storms made for a slow bite on area lakes over the weekend. Compliance was good last week.


CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) checked boating activity this past weekend. She also took a complaint of an injured/stranded loon on Loon Lake. The caller and she were able to get it back to the water safely. She took a boating complaint on Pokegama Lake.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ATV and sport fishing over the past week. CO Sutherland also worked National Night Out where local law enforcement  officers get out in the community to meet area families. The Wall of Shame was present on site for individuals to view. The Wall of Shame is comprised of poached trophy animals from around the state.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs, state parks and campgrounds. He also participated in National Night Out and attended a training session during the week.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent the week working fishing and ATV activity.

Wichmann issued a beaver trapping permit. Wichmann also attended a meeting at Camp Ripley.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked wolf depredation complaints at area farms with one confirmed complaint. Early bear baiting complaints are beginning to be reported and were investigated. Officer Schmidt worked ATV complaint areas and time was spent at the academy assisting with scenario training. Schmidt also assisted with an area firearm safety field day. 

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) spent time checking anglers, ATVers and enforcing invasive species regulations. Many watercraft owners are still transporting their boat with drain plugs in place. An angler, who had expired registration on his boat, tried to pretend he didn’t see the CO standing on a dock, waving and yelling at him to come to shore. The problem is the CO could actually hear the conversation he was having with a second person on the boat telling them to just pretend they didn’t see the CO. Eventually the boater had to come to shore, where contact was made. Officer Hanzal took appropriate enforcement action with the operator. 

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work fishing enforcement on area lakes. Time was also spent working ATV enforcement in complaint areas, such as ATV’s operating on county roads. Officer Duncan participated in two youth hunting and shooting events and gave three different presentations to youth groups during the week and attended a district meeting.

CO Officer Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, boating, AIS, OHV, big game and fire enforcement throughout the week. CO Humphrey also received calls and complaints regarding nuisance wildlife. CO Humphrey assisted DNR and FDL Forestry on a fire investigation in the Fond Du Lac State Forest, checked areas for early bear baiting activity, patrolled local wildlife management areas and in the FDL State Forest, checked several area wild rice stands and attended a district meeting during the week. Angling license issues, watercraft equipment and OHV operation violations were encountered.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spoke to the newly hired officers at the academy about the DNR K9 unit. A talk and K9 demo was also done for kids at a local church in Cloquet. A district meeting was attending with the Duluth district officers. Extra work was done working compliance of aquatic invasive species laws in the area. Enforcement action was taken for leaving the boat plug in while transporting. Other work in the area consisted of checking for early bear baits and working off-highway vehicle enforcement in the area. Contacts were made for careless driving, equipment, and registration violations. K9 assistance was given to local police departments in the Proctor area with finding and arresting a person that fled on foot into the woods who had outstanding felony warrants. Follow up and paperwork was worked on for two separate wolf depredation complaints in the area.

WREO Michael Scott (NE Region Water Resource Officer) conducted a site visit with local government and others in Carlton County where a person had put in a road through a wetland to access their property. The road was one-quarter mile long and was un-permitted. Officer Scott spent time working with the St, Louis County Attorney on a WCA case from 2007 where the person has a deed restriction on their property now wants to know how they can comply with the original restoration order. The county attorney is looking at best options for this individual. Officer Scott worked with CO Hopkins in Tower on Lake Vermilion putting up AIS signs on the trout portage access to Trout Lake. Boaters waiting to be taken across the mechanical portage were talked to about the AIS laws and their requirement to pull their drain plug as well as drain water in boat as they were being portaged to and from Trout Lake.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) worked Lake Superior with St. Louis County deputies in joint patrols efforts. He attended a district meeting and worked Island Lake. Enforcement actions were taken for watercraft registration and minor safety violations. Fishing has slowed on the Duluth end of Lake Superior. Olson moved watercraft and completed field maintenance on those watercraft.

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters in the Silver Bay area of Lake Superior. A patrol boat was moved to a new location and training attended in St Paul.  Questions were answered in relation to upcoming deer seasons and regulation announcements. Preparations were made for upcoming academy instruction.

CO Ter Meer (Marine Unit) worked boat and water, AIS, and ATV enforcement throughout the week. He also attended a district meeting, worked on reports, and equipment maintenance.


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