MN DNR Weekly Report for Jan. 28, 2019

District 5 - Eveleth area CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports bitter cold continues in the area, which limited outdoor activities. However, recent snowfall brought out more snowmobile traffic. Snowmobilers are reminded of snowmob...

District 5 - Eveleth area CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports bitter cold continues in the area, which limited outdoor activities. However, recent snowfall brought out more snowmobile traffic. Snowmobilers are reminded of snowmobile speed limits and that they must adhere to them. COs Slatinski and Kittelson attended the Arrowhead 135 rules and safety meeting, and monitored traffic at major road crossings during the start of the race.  


CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls #2) reports frigid temperatures up in the Northland! Zavodnik observed minus-41 degrees with expected temperatures to hit as low as minus-50 degrees in the next couple days. With the cold snap, walleye fishing has slowed down quite a bit. Smaller jig sizes along with a slower presentation have helped lift fish up that are hugging tight to the bottom. Snowmobile enforcement was also worked on the trails and lakes. A few of the violations encountered over the week included expired snowmobile registration, failure to transfer ownership, possession of marijuana, and excessive speed on trails. 


CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports extreme temperatures as low as minus-44 degrees were seen in the area and the overall amount of outdoor activity decreased, although the number of snowmobilers in the area has increased. Snowmobile trails in the area are in good shape and conditions continue to get better with each snowfall. Time was spent assisting a contractor with a project requiring a waters permit. They are hoping to start when the weather cooperates. To avoid delays, now is the time to apply for permits on projects that are being planned for early spring. Training was attended in the metro area for technology upgrades.



CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports another week of extreme temperatures kept outdoor activities light. Angling activity and public access sites were monitored, snowmobile trails and logging roads were checked and office administrative tasks were completed.


CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring angling and snowmobiling activity. Recent cold weather limited recreational activity. Anglers who did venture out reported poor success. Snowmobile trails could use some fresh snow. Broughten assisted local law enforcement with one of multiple snowmobile crashes this past week. Speed was the contributing factor in all of the crashes. While working snowmobile trail enforcement, Broughten stopped a snowmobiler for going through two posted stop signs. The snowmobiler was going too fast and had no way of stopping. The snowmobiler stated, “Well I slowed down, but I guess I should have stopped.” Snowmobilers are reminded to slow down and stay to the right when operating on the trails.


CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) worked mostly on his snowmobile this past week. There were a couple of crashes in the area. Remember to drive safely. Hopkins took enforcement action for no registration and failure to transfer title.


CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time patrolling Virginia-area lakes for anglers and found little activity. Local snowmobile trails were patrolled and trails were in pretty decent shape thanks to needed snowfall and grooming efforts. Enforcement action was taken for operating unregistered snowmobiles. Frericks attended the memorial service for Duluth Police Department K9 Haas.



CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked sledding and angling activity throughout the week and found activity down due to cold weather. Fredin responded to a snowmobile accident with injuries where the driver was thrown from his machine and struck his head on a tree. Violations of failure to transfer snowmobile registration and failure to display registration were found.

District 6 - Two Harbors area CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked trout anglers this past week. Fishing was very slow. Velsvaag took several calls on trapping regulations. Several people were contacted with snowmobile registration decals peeling off and anglers without their licenses in possession.


CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) took part in a work detail on Lake Vermilion. Anglers and snowmobile riders were checked.


CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) spent time checking trout anglers and working snowmobile trails. Trail conditions are good, although the extreme cold is making for shorter rides for those venturing out. Bermel responded to two snowmobile accidents on consecutive days involving head injuries and a broken femur. Enforcement action included failure to display snowmobile registration, no trout stamp, live minnows on a trout lake, and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. 



CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked snowmobilers and ice anglers along the North Shore. The extreme cold kept most people off the ice, while a few sleds were still out on the trails. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile violations.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled snowmobile trails and checked anglers on area lakes. He handled an injured-deer call and continued to work an ongoing snowmobile trespass problem. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display current snowmobile registration.


CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked snowmobile and fishing enforcement. He also responded to miscellaneous complaints regarding wildlife. Snowmobile trails were good, but few people were riding due to the cold. Recent snow should improve the trails even more.  


CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended training, checked anglers and monitored snowmobile activity. Angler success was good this past week. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and snowmobile registration issues.


CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked anglers and snowmobilers over the past week with enforcement action taken for unregistered snowmobiles and not having angling licenses while fishing. Presentations were given to multiple grade schoolers at a local elementary school where furs of Minnesota animals were shared with the students.


CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) worked snowmobile and angling activity in the area. Anglers are reporting slow success with frigid, subzero temperatures experienced over the weekend. Area snowmobile trails are in good condition after receiving additional snow. Enforcement action was taken for overlimits of crappies


CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) reports that despite the frigid temperatures many people were still willing to brave the cold to get out and enjoy the outdoors. The people who dressed right found out that most area trails are in good shape. Enforcement action was taken for violations including juveniles riding snowmobiles without a safety certificate, no shelter license, and snowmobile and ATV registration issues.


NE ATV officer – vacant.

District 8 - Duluth area CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) worked anglers on area lakes and rivers and checked shore anglers along Lake Superior. Time was spent following up on trespassing complaints, snowmobile trail issues, and nuisance/injured animal complaints. Schmidt assisted with a search warrant and taught a safety class for Proctor High School students.


CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) worked several lakes for winter fishing during the week. Several complaints were investigated and followed up on. Time was also spent on equipment maintenance, equipment inventory, training and computer work. Area ski trails were monitored and skiers were checked for passes. Duncan received several injured-animal calls and snowmobile enforcement also took place throughout the week.  

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked ice angling activity on area lakes and worked snowmobile and OHV enforcement. Anglers were reporting mixed results on panfish, pike and perch. Area snowmobile trails are in generally poor condition due to lack of snow and warm temperatures during the week. Humphrey assisted the sheriff’s office with a vehicle rollover incident. A report of a snared deer is also under investigation. Angling and OHV equipment, operation and licensing violations were encountered.

Lake Superior Marine Unit CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ice anglers in the Duluth harbor. Catches of sturgeon have been showing up in the evening bite, while coho salmon are being caught along the North Shore and in Two Harbors. During the week, Olson also attended the United Northern Sportsmen 65th annual ice fishing contest on Island Lake. Snowmobile trails in the Duluth area are in tough shape. More snowpack is needed.


CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and snowmobilers. Training items for the upcoming Academy were worked on and wildlife questions were answered. A few boats are getting out from the Two Harbors access and having some success with salmon. Enforcement action was taken for watercraft and snowmobile violations.


Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

Related Topics: FISHING
What To Read Next
Peterson’s unassisted goal lifts Springfield to the NAHL home win.
Ice cross racers are competing in three divisions during multiple days of competition at Mont du Lac Resort in Superior as part of the U.S. Ice Cross Association's annual ATSX 250 event.
Thoreson’s third-period goal is the difference as Posch is tough in net for Minnesota.
Three-day Ski de She camp and clinic in Cable will include Olympic champion Kikkan Randall.