MN DNR Weekly Report for Aug. 21, 2017

District 5 - Eveleth area CO Darrin Kittelson (Int'l Falls) reports working game and fish enforcement detail at US Customs, Port of Entry in Int'l Falls with US Customs and US Fish and Wildlife Service agents. Enforcement action included over lim...

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (Int’l Falls) reports working game and fish enforcement detail at US Customs, Port of Entry in Int’l Falls with US Customs and US Fish and Wildlife Service agents.  Enforcement action included over limits, illegal transportation of fish and illegal transport of black bear, license issues, and invasive species violations.  Numerous complaints were received and handled in regards to nuisance animals.


CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) attended a district meeting with fellow officers. Bear baiting activity has picked up in the area. Assistance was provided to local agencies.  A detail was worked at the International Falls Port of Entry with other conservation officers, US Fish and Wildlife Inspectors, and CBP Agents. Various violations were encountered involving fish, bear, and invasive species. ATV operation complaints continue to be heard and addressed.



CO Colleen Adam (Ray) reports checking anglers, boaters, and bear baiting activity.  Follow up continues on waters cases.  Officer Adam also assisted USFWS at border with checks.  Contacts were made for over limits of fish and boat plug violations.  


CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling activities and checking area forest roads. ATV’s were out in force in the forest and on area forest and county roads as the fall season approaches. Public access sites continue to be monitored. Bear baiting success remains mixed.


CO John Velsvaag (Cook) attended a district meeting and assisted other officers with an ongoing case.  CO Velsvaag also checked anglers and worked AIS enforcement.


CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) attended a meeting this week for training.  The officer is investigating an illegal carcass dumping case that he came across while on patrol.  There were a couple of loud boat complaints on Vermilion.  The officer also investigated a complaint of automatic gun fire.



CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, bear bait stations, invasive species enforcement, attended a district meeting, and took on-line training.  The officer located a domestic dispute on the side of the road at night.  They were sent on their way since it turned out to be only an argument.  The officer took a complaint of a pontoon operator allowing people to dive off the bow while underway and then proceeding to scare them by circling around and driving towards the swimmers.  The officer found the pontoon doing most of what the complaint indicated and cited the operator.  Enforcement action for the week consisted of angling without a license in possession, operating watercraft with people riding the bow, gunwale or transom, and no navigation lights on watercraft.

District 6 - Two Harbors area CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports he focused on angling enforcement over the week with generally very good reports coming from anglers, especially inside the BWCAW. Bear baiting activity continues to be slow although more baits were found to be actively visited this week. Violations included transporting fish without a skin patch and angling with no license in possession. 


CO Marty Stage (Ely) checked ATVs and boats.  Many people are operating motor boats after sunset with no lights.  The common response is that since they can still see, they don't think they need lights.  The law requires lights to be used after sunset.


CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) found a few people camping way out in the brush by trout streams or small lakes.  The CO wound his way down brushy rocky roads by ATV only to find full sized SUV’s, pickups, and campers.  Some people call it scratching their pickups, but the CO calls it Minnesota pin stripes.  Either way, some people find it more than worth it to escape the crowds.  This weekend saw an increase in bear baits as the season gets closer.  Many of the bear baits the officer checked had been hit by bears.  Nice bear tracks were seen as well as some other sign you just don’t want to step in.  Enforcement action was taken for boating violations.


CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) attended a district meeting and training in Tower.  The officer checked bear baits and reviewed bait registrations for the upcoming season.  CO Manning also patrolled ATV GIA trails and forest roads checking ATV and OHM operators. 



CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily in the BWCA last week assisted by a volunteer.  Activity levels and fishing success were moderate.  A couple groups were contacted with illegal glass containers.  In both groups there were non-violating members that said, “I told you not to bring those” to the offenders.  A litter case was made on an individual that dumped a load of garbage in the woods.  A district meeting was also attended.  Enforcement action was taken for angle with extra lines, fishing without a license, no PFDs, illegal beverage containers in the BWCA, litter, and no license in possession.


CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area bear baiting activity this week.  Time was spent at a district meeting.  CO Schottenbauer also assisted the county in locating two youths that went missing while on a bike ride with their aunt.  When CO Schottenbauer found them they thought their aunt was right behind them.


CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked bear baits, anglers, and ATV riders. Trout are cooperating inland and on the big lake. Enforcement action was taken for angling and big game violations.


CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked bear baiting activity and attended a district meeting during the week. Fishing slowed down a bit as fall-like weather hit the North Shore. Officer Murray also assisted with a search for some missing kids on bikes at Gooseberry Falls State Park. The children were located and were not aware that they had been missing until they were reunited with their very justifiably worried aunt.


District 7 - Grand Rapids area CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked bear baiting activity in the area, investigated a complaint of illegal camping, contacted anglers and boaters, patrolled ATV trails, and met with the County Attorney’s office for ongoing cases.


CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked ATV activity, boating, AIS, and sport fishing. He patrolled state park areas, state forests, made public waters violation inspections, answered questions, took complaints on various wildlife issues, and checked public water accesses. Violations included ATV’s on roadway, ATV equipment, and traffic.  He also made a warrant arrest and assisted the county on calls. 


CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) received the Kiwanis Community Service award, checked anglers, monitored bear baiting activity, and worked a detail at the International Falls Port of Entry. CO Fairbanks, and his K9 partner Si, also gave a K9 demonstration at the Itasca County Fair and assisted the Sheriff’s Office in locating suspects that fled into the woods. Enforcement action was taken for over limit of walleye, angle without license, flee on foot, and arrest for outstanding warrants.


CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) brought the TIP trailer to Hinckley, returned several calls, and patrolled the Grand Rapids station.



CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked end of summer angling activity with many families enjoying the nice weather before back to school activities.  CO Sutherland attended an ATV safety class where he gave a law talk and attended the Itasca County Fair where the Wall of Shame was present. 


CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) reports working anglers, boaters, ATV trails, and big game enforcement.  Bear baiting continues to be in full swing throughout the area.  CO Van Asch also spent time investigating a wetlands issue and fielding several nuisance animal calls. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, no trout stamp, no license in possession, and angling with extra lines.


Pengilly – vacant.

District 8 - Duluth area CO Nick Prachar (Brookston) reports an increase in black bear sightings.  Bears are creatures who will follow the path of least resistance to a meal.  If bears are getting into your garbage and bird feeders make sure to remove such items from the area and into a garage until the bear is not around for a couple weeks.  If you do not, you are then essentially inviting the bear to eat your bird feed and tear apart your garbage.  Enforcement action was taken for placing bear baits that were not registered.


CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) spent much of the week working area lakes and rivers.  ATV complaint areas were worked and nuisance wildlife calls were handled. Bear bait stations were checked throughout the week.  Officer Schmidt attended Kids, Cops, and Cars hosted by Duluth Police Department.



CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked boating, angling, OHV, and big game enforcement.  Calls were taken on nuisance bear and baiting questions/concerns.  Bear baits are being checked in the area.  Several good reports of hits on baits were received.  CO Humphrey assisted neighboring officers with a call involving a protected waters violation in progress on an area lake with cease and desist orders and resource protection notifications being issued.  Other miscellaneous boating and OHV violations were encountered.


CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked the information table at the annual trapper’s convention in Litchfield where questions were answered and a talk was given to young students in the trapper education class. Other time was spent on K9 training and answering questions on nuisance animal calls.

Lake Superior Marine Unit CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked boating, fishing, and AIS enforcement with an emphasis on impaired operation worked in the Duluth-Superior Harbor. Nuisance bear complaints are starting to increase within the city of Duluth and surrounding areas.  Bears are well aware of the changing seasons and are prepping for such; keep an eye on garbage cans and bird feeders.


CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers on Superior.  Commercial records were monitored and bear baits checked in remote areas.  Enforcement action was taken for angling, ATV, and traffic violations.


Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

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