MN DNR Weekly Report for March 19, 2018
District 5 - Eveleth area CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) reports fishing and snowmobiling were again the primary activities in the area this past week. Shelters were documented ahead of the northern inland waters removal deadline. Fol...
District 5 - Eveleth area CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) reports fishing and snowmobiling were again the primary activities in the area this past week. Shelters were documented ahead of the northern inland waters removal deadline. Follow-up on a previous case from the fall was worked on. A few trappers were contacted trying to outsmart the wily coyote. It was noted several projects in the area have begun involving or near waterways. Make sure you have appropriate permits prior to starting work. Several questions were fielded in regards to the new northern pike regulations.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes for activity. Work in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area resulted in multiple documented angling and BWCA violations. Area forest roads and public access sites continue to be monitored.
CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers and a few snowmobilers. He also assisted on a work detail and answered questions on the new pike regulations. Trail conditions are tough and quickly deteriorating.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) attended a DNR Bear Committee meeting in Grand Rapids and assisted with a call of a student threatening to get a gun and return to shoot another at a local high school. No guns were involved.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent a majority of his time tracking the removal of ice shelters from Virginia area lakes. For the most part shelter removal has gone smoothly and shelter owners picked up around them. But numerous people left behind the wooden blocks upon which shelters sat. The blocks are now frozen in. Those shelter owners were contacted and warned to remove everything when they remove their house from the lake. Other activity included assisting sheriff’s deputies in searching for a bank robbery suspect in Orr and a barricaded suspect.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) has received complaint about bobcats going after chickens and rabbits and being around towns. One got in scuffle with a couple dogs. Most fish houses are off area lakes. A few fishermen are out but travel across lakes is difficult due to deep, slushy slow.
Ray – vacant.
District 6 - Two Harbors area CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports he and other area law enforcement officers responded to Orr to assist with the search for a suspect after a bank robbery attempt. Two bank employees were sprayed by pepper spray and a suspect was taken into custody near town. Violations for the week included taking deer without a license.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked the lakes in the Ely area – both in and outside the BWCA – to check trout and crappie fishermen. There is still 1 to 3 feet of snow in the woods. Recent cold nights have frozen the slush on lakes, making conditions very good for winter travel, but exercise caution with late-season ice. Remember that new fishing licenses are required.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports a high volume of snowmobile traffic over the weekend. The vast majority of the sleds had registration numbers and year of expiration decals properly displayed. Remote designated trout lakes were also checked.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) attended instructor training and planning meetings at Camp Ripley. Along with U.S. Forest Service Officer Belmore, Manning assisted Cook County with a search for a motorist stranded on a snowmobile trail. Manning also worked with CO Willis and St. Louis County Sheriff’s deputies on a snowmobile water-skipping detail.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily in the BWCA checking anglers with CO Stage. Violations for the week included fishing without a license, cans in the BWCA, operating vehicles on a grant-in-aid snowmobile trail, and no license in possession.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) inspected a turkey complaint area. It was unknown if the turkey was wild or illegally released. Without many formal sightings it is hard to tell. Schottenbauer encourages Lake and Cook county sightings of turkeys to be reported to the area wildlife office.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and snowmobile activity during the week. Most ice shelters were already removed ahead of the removal deadline and area snowmobile trails were in poor shape after the warm weather over the weekend. Area streams are beginning to open. Ice conditions are beginning to deteriorate and caution should be taken with late-season ice.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, documented fish houses that might not make the removal deadline, helped with removing a vehicle that partially went through the ice, and assisted the sheriff’s office with an attempted felony warrant pickup.
CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked snowmobile and ATV activity, as well as fishing and small game enforcement. He also answered miscellaneous wildlife-related calls. Hansen checked lakes and patrolled snowmobile trails. Violations for ATV equipment and operation were encountered.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked late-season ice anglers and found the success rate to be on the rise. Anglers should use caution when venturing out. The main ice sheets on the lakes are still well over 2 feet thick, but recent warmth has opened up some springs and holes around the lakes. Sutherland also worked the Wall of Shame at the Grand Rapids Area Home and Sport Show.
Hill City – vacant.
District 8 - Duluth area CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) checked anglers and snowmobilers. A complaint about a spearing shelter left on the ice on a remote lake was also addressed. The owners were able to chip it out of the ice and remove it prior to Willis’ arrival. Additionally, Willis spoke with students at a high school career fair at the Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) spent much of the week working angling activity and monitoring ice house removal prior to removal date. Shore anglers are out in force and beginning to have some luck. Snowmobile trails in the area are in very tough shape and bare spots are getting larger. Nuisance animal calls were also handled.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) checked fishermen along the North Shore of Lake Superior. He also checked inland lakes for any remaining ice shelters.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked snowmobile and ATV activity in the area. A special detail was also worked on Lake Vermilion near Tower. Enforcement action was taken for failing to transfer ownership, no safety certification, and registration violations. A career fair was attended at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College where several high school students were educated on the job of a conservation officer. Possession permits were issued for car killed animals in the area. Time was spent patrolling area state parks. A complaint of a careless driver in Jay Cooke State Park was received and is being investigated.
Lake Superior Marine Unit CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reports the warmer weather over the course of the week took a toll on area snowmobile trails. Area lakes are still rideable. Olson checked crappie anglers north of Duluth, where a few nice fish were observed but nothing in numbers. The Kamloops anglers have been hitting the Duluth end of the North Shore in good numbers. Pack ice is still present on the big lake. He assisted the Two Harbors officer with a report of a homemade Viking ship being launched at McQuade Small Craft Harbor without life jackets aboard the boat. The Vikings had departed the water prior to the officers arriving.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked on training items and patrolled the upper Gunflint Trail. Boaters are starting to take to the open waters of Lake Superior, mostly accessing across beaches. A few coho salmon and Kamloops are being caught, but the bite is pretty slow. Snowmobile trails are still mostly covered but conditions are fading fast. Enforcement action was taken for angling and boating violations.
Lake Superior Unit – vacant.