MN DNR Weekly Report for Dec. 19, 2016

District 5 - Eveleth area CO Darrin Kittelson (Int'l Falls) reports a few more ice fishermen are being observed on Rainy Lake, even though the temperatures have been conducive to making good ice, people are reminded to use caution. Several animal...

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (Int’l Falls) reports a few more ice fishermen are being observed on Rainy Lake, even though the temperatures have been conducive to making good ice, people are reminded to use caution.  Several animal complaints were also handled throughout the week.


CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) reports the recent cold snap has led a few fishermen venturing out on foot and recently a few are using snowmobiles and ATVs. Officer Slatinski responded to a request for assistance in apprehending a fugitive and also a crash involving two pulpwood trucks. Trapping activity has increased as animal trails are becoming more apparent. Enforcement activities for the week included various trapping, fishing, and recreational vehicle violations.



CO Colleen Adam (Ray) worked small game/trapping issues, checked shelters and spearing activity, and looked for archery deer hunters.  Snowmobiling conditions are poor to fair; more snow is needed for grooming the trails and trails across lakes and swamps are still not safe for riding.


CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports ice has begun to form on area lakes with little angling observed. Weekend temps well below zero further limited outdoor activity. No snowmobile activity was observed, area clubs have just started work on area trails with unfrozen ground and water under the blanket of snow. 


CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers and trappers this past week.  Angling and snowmobiling activity increased with the improved ice conditions.  Officer Velsvaag also completed mandatory training and followed up on trapping complaints.


CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reports the week’s cold temperatures allowed anglers to start ice fishing.  Reports on success have been varied.  The officer also spent time at Camp Ripley receiving firearms training.



CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked snowmobiles and anglers now that ice is gaining thickness.  Some folks were pushing their luck with Class 2 ATV’s and snowmobiles out on lakes, along with one SUV driving out on the edge of a lake.  The officer assisted with interviews on a deer hunting case with South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks. Injured deer calls were handled.  A duck hunting case follow up was finalized with a citation for no state duck stamp.  Other enforcement action was taken on no angling license in possession, unmarked fish house, unregistered snowmobile, and fail to stop snowmobile at a trail stop sign.


CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a snowmobile safety class in Virginia and held the riding portion of the class. A few anglers were checked but far below zero temps have kept most anglers off the lakes. The anglers who were encountered report an average thickness of nine inches of good clear ice. Officer Frericks responded to the report of a moose that was struck by a vehicle. Upon arrival, numerous pieces of the car bumper were found, moose tracks and some chunks of hair were located too. Despite a search of the area no significant signs of injury to the moose were found. Moose 1 car 0.


CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) received a complaint of possible trespass and shooting a deer at night.  An investigation revealed this to not be the case.  Anglers are out on the ice and a few ice houses are appearing.



District 6 - Two Harbors area CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports ice conditions have improved after a week of subzero temperatures on many lakes in the Ely area.  Although some lakes are already seeing recreational vehicle traffic, other larger deeper lakes tested were found to have only 3-4 inches of ice.  As always test ice before venturing out, ice conditions can vary greatly in short distances. Violations included operating an unregistered snowmobile, fail to transfer snowmobile registration, and fishing without a license in possession.



CO Darn Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that the weather couldn’t have been better for ice anglers.  Many lakes froze up quickly to make 6-10 inches of good ice.  Some of the lakes that were frozen before the snowfall have some slush, but not bad.  Snowmobile trails should be ready soon.


CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) checked anglers and spearers.  Temps have been cold with lots of ice forming on area lakes.  A meeting was attended regarding whitefish netting regulations.  Enforcement action included transport uncased firearm, use of non-certified herring as bait, storing personal property on state land, no fishing license, unattended lines, unmarked fish house, and permit juvenile to fish in violation of the fish laws.  Please remember that all ciscoes, herring, and smelt need to be certified and you must keep the label with you, or you can expect to receive a citation.


CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity this week.  Cold temps have been very beneficial to area ice up.  Some snowmobile activity was noted, but area trails are not ready for riding yet and are likely to cause damage to machines.  Officer Schottenbauer also worked on some follow up trapping complaints this week.


CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked ice anglers and a few snowmobilers. The trails are in poor condition and are in need of snow. A few walleye are being caught but overall fishing is slow. Wildlife and ice fishing calls were handled.



CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and snowmobile activity during the week. Anglers were having some success and area ice conditions varied from 4 to 9 inches of ice on area lakes.  Officer Murray assisted volunteer instructors with a youth snowmobile safety class in Two Harbors where over twenty students earned their safety certificates.


CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) checked area lakes and trails.  Cold temperatures are improving ice conditions, but folks are urged to check before venturing out, especially on bigger lakes.  Additional snowfall has been non-existent so snowmobile trails are still a bit rough.  The officer also assisted Cook County and the 1854 Treaty Authority with an injured moose and answered questions about landowners taking nuisance beaver.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and trappers, got winter equipment serviced and ready to use, and completed mandatory training courses.


CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked small game, big game, snowmobile, and fishing enforcement.  He also did equipment maintenance, training, and completed cases from the firearms deer season.  Various wildlife calls were answered. 



CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) monitored dark house spearing activity, checked anglers, and worked snowmobile enforcement. Enforcement action was taken for registration issues.


CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice angling and trapping activity over the past week.  Ice conditions are improving with the latest cold weather and many anglers are walking out and having success. 


CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, snowmobiles, and trails.  He also checked trappers during the week.


CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) reports monitoring angling, spearing, trapping, and snowmobile activity.  With the cold weather conditions, anglers are reporting varying results on area lakes. The public is reminded to take the necessary safety precautions with them while venturing out onto the ice.  Enforcement action was taken for drug paraphernalia, small amounts of marijuana, and angling licenses violations.

District 8 - Duluth area CO Caleb Silgjord (Brookston) spent time during the week monitoring trapping activity in the station and following up on timber trespass cases.  A big game detail was worked in a neighboring station.  The first snowmobilers of the season were seen out riding but conditions are still not favorable. 



CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) followed up with ongoing investigations for trapping, shining and shooting, and trespassing complaints.  Anglers are venturing out as ice conditions are improving.  Time was also spent assisting with complaints in Jay Cooke, nuisance animal calls, and the officer assisted with the Cloquet snowmobile safety class. 


CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) continued to work small game hunting and trapping enforcement.  Several rabbit hunters were checked during the week.  Ice fishing has started with area lakes making more and more ice each day.  Officer Duncan also assisted with surveillance for a deer poaching investigation.  Other activities included answering and returning calls, checking ski passes, and working snowmobile enforcement. 


CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked a shooting complaint and checked area lakes for hard water angling activity and ice conditions.  Ice thickness varied from 4”-8”.  Anglers were reporting mixed results on pan fish and pike.  Foot and ATV traffic were observed.  CO Humphrey spoke to 32 students at a Snowmobile safety class in Cromwell put on by the Cromwell Sno-Gophers.  Area Snowmobile trails are poor due to unfrozen swamps, blow down, and lack of snow.  Area club volunteers are working hard to access, clear, and prep trails. CO Humphrey assisted State patrol with a crash on I-35 and also attended firearm transition training at Camp Ripley. 

Lake Superior Marine Unit CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked some ice anglers on early ice and monitored ice conditions.  Snowmobile trails are still in rough shape, but with cold weather coming, grooming efforts should be possible soon.  Questions were answered regarding cross country ski passes and snowmobile regulations.  Enforcement action taken for traffic and ATV violations.


Lake Superior Unit - vacant.

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