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MN DNR Weekly Report for Feb. 2, 2015

District 5 - Eveleth area CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports the investigation of possible wolf depredation in the Littlefork area. U.S. Border Patrol snowmobile operation training program was attended in conjunction with a snowmob...

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports the investigation of possible wolf depredation in the Littlefork area. U.S. Border Patrol snowmobile operation training program was attended in conjunction with a snowmobile enforcement operation involving several enforcement agencies which included U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Immigration, Koochiching Co. Sheriff’s Dept., and Voyageurs National Park. Enforcement action for the week was mainly snowmobile registration issues.

CO Jim Van Asch (International Falls) continued to monitor angling and snowmobile activity throughout the area. The fishing report continues to be slow with many anglers struggling to put fish in the bucket. The snowmobile trails received a needed dusting of snow, which made them very enjoyable for riders over the weekend. CO Van Asch worked a snowmobile detail with CO Kittelson along with Koochiching County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Border Patrol, and U.S. Customs Agents. A local radar run was held on Rainy Lake and brought many riders from across the state. CO Van Asch also handled calls regarding a car kill deer and snowmobile regulations. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display snowmobile registration and angling without a license in possession.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring outdoor activities. Very little angling activity observed. Snowmobile trails remain in very poor condition due to lack of snow. Public access sites were checked.

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports checking on angling activity this week and very few fishermen were observed. A few snowmobiles were observed riding the trails earlier in the week however conditions deteriorated quickly due to lack of snow. Some equipment issues were dealt with.

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CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reported fishing on Lake Vermilion has slowed for most anglers, and some are pulling their shelters off the lake. The trout bite in the area still seems to be pretty good. Snowmobile trails are still usable, and groomers are still operating. The Officer is investigating a complaint of live minnows being used in a designated trout lake. The Officer assisted COs Frericks and Fredin with a search warrant relating to illegal possession of a deer.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling activity, including working a fishing tournament and ATVs. The officer observed a dog eating on a freshly killed deer on an area lake. After examining the scene, it was obvious the deer was killed by wolves. The dog was taking a chance by having lunch courtesy of the wolves, as it too could have been wolf lunch. On a day off, the officer was angling on a designated trout lake where only one line can be used. An angler set up 30 feet away and decided to use two lines. Enforcement action for the week was taken on angling without a license, angling with more than one line on a designated trout lake, and ATV violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) took a TIP call informing him of two people who were seen dragging a deer and throwing it into the back of the pick-up. The TIP caller provided a license number and vehicle description. The owner of the vehicle was eventually found and two search warrants were executed and evidence was seized. The investigation is still ongoing. Some snowmobilers were seen out on Virginia area snowmobile trails but reports trail conditions to be in rough shape.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked a TIP call with CO Frericks where suspects were seen loading up a dead deer from the Whiteface Reservoir. Suspects were interviewed and search warrants were executed with evidence seized; charges are pending. Fredin responded to a complaint of an owner’s house dog came home with a snare around its neck. It was determined the neighbor’s had snares out attempting to catch fox that were eating the chickens. Fishing activity was checked and a few crappies are being caught. Fredin spent time searching for a cow and calf moose that were reported walking around Highway 135 and the calf appeared sick, stumbling and falling over.

Ray - vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports snowmobile trails are in fair shape and are getting use.  CO Bermel attended training to be a division background investigator. A couple investigations were completed with enforcement action taken for litter and for a dog chasing deer. Snowmobile registration and trail sticker compliance has been great, although some riding conduct violations were dealt with. 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked fishing and snowmobile activity during the week. Lack of snow in the area has made for tough riding conditions on area trails. Murray assisted with a snowmobile detail in the Grand Marais station where riding conditions were more favorable. Enforcement action was taken for registration and no safety training certification.

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CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports lake trout fishing has steadily improved over the week with many anglers having at least some success. The trails in the Ely area are showing a lot of wear after a weekend of snowmobile events but are still very useable. Violations included possessing live minnows on a designated trout lake, and no angling license in possession.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked snowmobiles and fishermen throughout the week. Some of the lakes are beginning to get some slush, but nothing too terrible yet. The snowmobile trails were rough, but passable. Fishing has been somewhat slow as well. Stage assisted with the Ely youth snowmobile class at Vermilion Community College. The class was very well done by the instructors and well attended by students. It is always enjoyable to see the new snowmobilers just starting out.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked with COs from Minnesota and Ontario on a border lake detail. One day the COs observed a pack of 15 wolves on Gunflint Lake leaving the area of a fresh deer kill. None of the four COs there had ever seen a wolf pack that big. Enforcement action was taken for live minnows and extra lines on a designated trout lakes, extra lines and snowmobile registration violations.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled area lakes and snowmobile trails. Manning investigated a complaint of snowmobiles operating inside the BWCAW and checked cross country ski passes at Pincushion Ski area.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking anglers and snowmobilers. The officer appeared in court regarding past big game cases. Wahlstrom was involved in a work detail in the Alexandria area with Officer Osborne and Oberg. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, unattended lines, drug paraphernalia, ATV and snowmobile violations.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity. Time was also spent checking trails. The trails are starting to show wear due to the lack of fresh snow.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, investigated a big game complaint, and answered calls on nuisance animals. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license in possession.

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CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) last week checked anglers on area lakes. He also spent time on an annual equipment inventory. CO Hansen worked on completing and finalizing administrative portions of investigations from the fall hunting seasons.

CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) spent time last week checking angling activity. She also finished with a trapping violation investigation where enforcement action was taken. She reminds anglers to remember to take their garbage home when they leave a lake.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling activity in the Grand Rapids area with many sportsmen hitting the area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for possessing a northern pike within the protected slot, angling without a license, angling without a license in possession and failing to register an ATV. 

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, trappers and snowmobile trails. He also conducted a wildlife talk at the Nashwauk Library during the week.

CO Shawn Wichmann (Hill City) spent time this past week working ice angling activity, as well as issuing car kill deer permits. 

CO John Velsvaag (NE Region ATV officer) checked ATV activity this past week. CO Velsvaag also checked anglers and snowmobilers after the last snow. CO Velsvaag also followed up on a license violation and took several calls on allowed tackle for trout fishing.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) fielded several questions from the public and returned several telephone calls. A complaint was investigated about a possible illegal possession of deer and work continued on a trapping violation. Officer Duncan also completed monthly paperwork. 

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) returned phone calls regarding fishing openers and closures.  A request for instructor classes was referred to the area training officer. A complaint of a problem bobcat was handled and landowner was advised of rights regarding protection of his laying chickens. Area lakes and rivers were worked and although people were enjoying the weather, angling was slow. Complaints of ATV traffic on snowmobile trails were investigated.  Officer Schmidt assisted Floodwood PD with a call at the local high school. 

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports seeing fewer anglers out on area lakes this past week. Fishing seems to have slowed with only a few anglers catching fish. A report of a wetland violation was investigated. Assistance was given to a motorist who had locked their keys in their vehicle. Although there are not many snowmobiles out on the trails, due to lack of snow, there were a very high percentage of violations found with the ones encountered. Be sure you have proper registration and display before heading out on the trail.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked angling activity on area lakes throughout the week.  Anglers were reporting a slower bite overall. CO Humphrey patrolled the Fond Du Lac State Forest for OHV and trapping activity. CO Humphrey worked on station equipment inventory.  Angling and OHV violations were encountered during the week.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) and K9 Schody assisted with a work detail near the BWCA.  Fishing activity was slow and not a lot of fish were being caught. Enforcement action was taken for unlawful transportation of fish. While checking anglers on area lakes, one angler was found to be fishing with an extra line. He stated that another person had just left and forgot to reel up their line. The person he named happened to be a police officer for a local city and a quick check found that this officer was currently working and there was no way he was fishing. After being cited for angling with an extra line, the angler apologized for lying.  The officer was later notified that this angler was using his name in this capacity. A TIP complaint was investigated where information was given that a person was violating several game and fish laws. After speaking with the suspect, the only violation found was taking a grouse without a license/permit. Enforcement action was taken on this violation.

WREO Mike Scott assisted DNR Eco Services with Lake Service Provider training for those who working waters of the state and transport water related equipment for others. Officer Scott assisted another CO in the investigation into a Public Waters violation complaint that was found to be unfounded.  Officer Scott checked anglers and snowmobilers in the Duluth Area. Fishing was slow but anticipation was high. Enforcement action was taken for possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and no snow mobile safety training.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

Sgt. Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked anglers in the Duluth harbor. He observed few walleyes being caught. One group of anglers had a large sturgeon on the line for over one hour. They attempted to drill a larger hole and lost the fish. Area snowmobile trails are still not being used, due to the lack of snow. Shore anglers on the North Shore are fishing for kamloop trout. He assisted the sheriff’s office with a gun call in Normanna Township and responded to road kill deer permits.

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked ice anglers in Duluth and inland lakes. An angler was found keeping an undersized walleye in the Duluth harbor, and the paddler of an unregistered kayak who was out for a mid-winter paddle on Lake Superior was contacted. Further checks of anglers on rural inland lakes found poor compliance for having an angling license in possession while fishing. A few snowmobiles are out trying the trails, but there remains little snow in many of the southern trails along the lakeshore.  Enforcement action taken for angling and boating violations.

CO Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) checked anglers, ATVs and snowmobilers throughout the week. He issued road kill permit, responded to a vehicle injury accident, spoke to the county attorney and reports were completed. Inventory and training was also completed. Phone calls were taken and questions answered. 

 

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