MN DNR Weekly Report for Feb. 6, 2017

District 5 - Eveleth area CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) reports the recent snowfall conditions are once again starting to improve on area snowmobile trails. There was a vintage snowmobile ride in the area which always draws interest ...

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) reports the recent snowfall conditions are once again starting to improve on area snowmobile trails. There was a vintage snowmobile ride in the area which always draws interest when participants are seen on the trails. Assistance was given for the start of the Arrowhead 135 race. Officer Slatinski also spent time monitoring angling, spearing, and snowmobile activity, along with responding to calls for assistance.


CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling and snowmobile activities. Angling activities remain limited with few fish observed caught.  State snowmobile trail activities were monitored.  



CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers and snowmobilers this past week.  CO Velsvaag also followed up on several old complaints and assisted with a BWCAW patrol.  Area trail conditions improved slightly and ice conditions are much better than last week.


CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent the week working snowmobile and angling enforcement.  The trails are in good condition, but the lakes are a little rough yet.  Hopefully the snow system this week will improve snowmobile travel on Lake Vermilion.  The officer also spent time in court on a gun case from earlier this season.


CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked anglers and snowmobiles during the week.  The officer assisted the Hibbing PD with a stolen vehicle incident by helping locate the vehicle, searching for suspects, locating footprints that matched the suspects, and help arresting the two people involved.   A deer had to be euthanized after it became entangled in the cables of a hanging bird feeder.  Enforcement action was taken on a number of snowmobile violations.


CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent a lot of time patrolling area snowmobile trails. Great riding and trail conditions brought out a large number of snowmobilers. Several snowmobilers were cited for operating unregistered snowmobiles. Angling remains slow on most area lakes. Some follow up investigation was done on a few old cases.

District 6 - Two Harbors area CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports trail conditions continue to slowly improve thanks to recent snow and cold weather. Angling reports have been poor, and activity has slowed but local trout lakes continue to be active. Violations included angling without a license in possession and failure to display snowmobile registration.



CO Marty Stage (Ely 2) worked with other officers in the Ely station focusing on snowmobile and angling activity.  Officer Stage also assisted the US Border Patrol.  Recent snowfall has created much better travel conditions on the area lakes. 


CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) attended training in Duluth during the week.  He also checked weekend snowmobile traffic as many people rode in the Cook County Ridge Riders Fun Run.  The weather was great and lots of people talked about how impressed they were with the trail conditions and are thankful to the groomer operators. 


CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports time was spent checking anglers and enforcing snowmobile laws.  Violations included operating vehicles on snowmobile trails, snowmobile speed, and snowmobile registration violations.  Trail conditions are improving with the new snow.  Groomers are doing a good job with what they have to work with.  Be sure to express your appreciation to the local club volunteers.


CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity.  Time was spent on area snowmobile trails this week.  CO Schottenbauer also assisted with water survival training at the State Trooper’s academy.



CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) monitored angling activity on area lakes in Cook and Lake Counties. Trout fishing has slowed. The snowmobile trails are in excellent shape. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile activity.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers on area lakes and patrolled snowmobile trails. Enforcement action was taken for fish house marking violations and snowmobile registration.


CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked snowmobile activity, fishing enforcement, and he answered miscellaneous wildlife calls.  Violations included snowmobile on the roadway, expired registration, and fail to transfer ownership.  Snowmobile trails around the Bigfork area are excellent and more snow is expected this week. 


CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored snowmobile activity, and assisted the county with a search warrant. Angler success was average this week. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and registration issues.



CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice angling and snowmobiling activity over the past week.  Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and for excessive speed on a snowmobile.  Area snowmobile trails are looking much better with the added fresh snow.


CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, trappers, snowmobiles, and GIA trails.  He also worked complaints of dogs chasing deer during the week.


CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) worked angling and snowmobile activity.  Snowmobilers were out in full force enjoying the nice weather and fresh snow on area trails.  Follow up work was completed on angling complaints and pending cases.  Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession and snowmobile related violations.

District 8 - Duluth area CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) continued work on a trapping investigation. CO Schmidt also spent time on area lakes checking anglers.  Area trails were worked and trails are in ridable condition. The officer handled a complaint of an illegal fire, handled numerous injured animal complaints, and assisted with water survival training for the State Patrol academy.


CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked area lakes for angling activity and worked a local fishing contest.  Snowmobile trail conditions improved with recent snowfall.  Several snowmobile enforcement contacts were made for various operation, equipment, registration, and no safety training violations.  CO Humphrey followed up on big game registration issues resulting in enforcement action.  He answered several questions and discussed proposed license fee increases, fishing regulations, and limit changes.  He also conducted a phone interview with a law enforcement student on conservation officer job duties, qualifications, and hiring requirements. 



CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with K9 training in the metro and also gave a K9 talk and demo with others to DNR staff at the St. Paul office. Snowmobile trails are in fair condition in the area. Fishing success is slow in the area but several anglers are still trying their luck. Extra enforcement was focused on complaint areas at local state parks. Law and rule compliance in the parks was noticeably very poor over the past week. Several contacts were made in the parks for skiing without a pass, having dogs off leash and having dogs on the ski trails. Assistance was given to the Sheriff’s Office in helping to locate a missing person in Jay Cooke State Park over the weekend.

Lake Superior Marine Unit CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers along the Northshore. Coho’s are still being targeted and caught by the shore anglers. CO Olson instructed a water safety / confidence course for the current State Patrol academy at Camp Ripley and worked area snowmobile activities.  He primarily encountered registration violations.


CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) completed work on commercial fishing items and worked with the Fisheries Division.  Questions were answered at a local minnow retailer. 


Lake Superior Unit – vacant.


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