MN DNR Weekly Report for May 1, 2017

District 5 - Eveleth area CO Darrin Kittelson (Int'l Falls) reports workload mainly consisted of sturgeon fishing enforcement on the Rainy River. Lots of people out enjoying nice weather, however fishing success was very limited. Animal complaint...

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (Int’l Falls) reports workload mainly consisted of sturgeon fishing enforcement on the Rainy River.  Lots of people out enjoying nice weather, however fishing success was very limited.  Animal complaints and court took up remainder of work week.  Enforcement action included boat and water safety violations, no license in possession, and failure to attach sturgeon tag.


CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) reports sturgeon fishing activity on the Rainy River was a popular activity this past week. Although the catch rate started out strong the less than desired weather that moved through slowed the sturgeon activity and left some anglers a little disappointed. Time was also spent following up on a trapping complaint and state park use. Enforcement activity included lack of watercraft safety equipment and registration compliance.



CO Colleen Adam (Ray) reports River fishing has been steady and several slot sturgeon were measured.  Most anglers are grateful for the opportunity to land one of the ancient fish and release them after a quick photo.  Remote areas were patrolled and private property owners are out checking after the winter.  Several nuisance animal calls were handled and attended lake association meeting.


CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area forest roads, checking public access sites, working on equipment and responding to questions – little angling activity observed – nuisance wildlife problems continue.


CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers this past week.  C.O. Velsvaag also followed up on several calls about spring fish run activity and fires.  Several inches of snow slowed the fish run and crappie bite on area lakes.


CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reports cold weather and snow kept most outdoor activities to a minimum.  Required online training was completed and time was spent preparing equipment for summer season.



CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked spring fish run, anglers, ATV’s, assisted the Sheriff’s Department on a threats call at a bar, and taught Firearm’s Safety Classes in Hibbing and Chisholm.  Two large ATV rides were worked in the Hibbing, Orr and Ely stations with about 400 ATV’s and 600+ people at the Hibbing station ride.  A snowmobile trail was pulverized by riders mudding through the trail on the Hibbing station ride.  A number of ATV violations and trespassing violations were encountered.


CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) patrolled area lakes, rivers, streams and ponds for spring beaver trapping activity. There are some beaver trappers still out there but most have ended their season. Complaints regarding ATV activity have been coming in in increasing numbers. Enforcement action was taken on numerous ATVers for a wide variety of violations.


CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked out a newer bridge the goes over the Partridge River on the Aurora/Hoyt Lakes snowmobile/ATV trail had the wooden rails removed.  Anyone with information of who stole the bridge rail parts should contact the East Range PD.  Lots of time was spent working ATV activity.  One activity worked was a run from Chisholm to Buhl that was reported to have around 350 machines and around 500 participants.  Numerous equipment violations observed, operating on State Highway and extra passenger (3rd passenger riding on the front with legs straddling handle bars, facing the driver).  Fredin responded to a complaint of ATV operators blocking road, spinning around on road, and drinking.


District 6 - Two Harbors area CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports: several inches of snow fell midweek followed by cold temperatures and wind. Weather conditions improved just in time for the weekend and Officer Williams patrolled areas of the Echo trail during a large ATV club ride. Turn out for the event was good and compliance was overall high. Violations included: failure to display ATV registration, open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle, and juvenile ATV passenger without a helmet.



CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked the last of the walleye run and prepared boats for the fast approaching fishing opener.  People have been getting their boats ready and putting in docks.  Remember to register you boats and canoes and bring the PFDs.


CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports he ran into what maybe the last snowmobiler of the year.  He was out enjoying every scrap Mother Nature had left to offer.  Steelheaders filled the Lake Superior tributaries over the weekend.  The fishing slowed from the earlier reports after the ice storm and cold weather.  A TIP call was investigated.  Enforcement action was taken for ATV and fishing violations.


CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) spent part of the week at Camp Ripley completing and assisting with annual firearms qualifications.  The officer also worked sturgeon anglers on the Rainy River with CO Grell.  Boating violations were more common than sturgeon -all related to required safety equipment.  The pair also assisted a group of folks stranded on the river when their boat motor failed.


CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked ATV enforcement and sucker spearing with little sucker run noted, likely due to the recent cold and snow causing water temperatures to drop.  A big influx of ringneck ducks and buffleheads was noted this week.  Enforcement action: operate ATV on state highway.  Reminder: OHMs are not allowed on public roads or road ditches unless part of a designated OHV trail or they are street legal (lights and plate).



CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity this week.  Time was spent at Camp Ripley qualifying on divisional fire arms as well.


CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) monitored spring fish run, checked steelhead anglers and spring trappers. The Officer spent time at Camp Ripley for firearms qualification and assisted the county with a domestic disturbance.


CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked trapping, fishing, and boating activity during the week. Murray assisted with an ATV enforcement detail in the Ely station and answered questions related to stream trout regulations.


District 7 - Grand Rapids area CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked ATV activity, boating, and sport fishing. He patrolled state park areas, state forests, and public water accesses.  Violations included ATV’s on snowmobile trails, allow illegal operation, fail to display registration, youth w/o helmet, ATV on roadway, ATV equipment, and no angling license in possession. He also attended instructor training for firearms and assisted other agencies on various calls.



CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended K9 training and competed at the (USPCA) United States Police Canine Association fish and game detection trial. CO Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si, along with the five other MNDNR K9 teams performed well and are certified through the USPCA for fish and game detection.


CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) spent time last week checking angling activity.  She presented laws and regulations at a firearms safety class.  She worked up on the Rainy River over the weekend for sturgeon fishing and boating activity.  Enforcement action was taken for boating violations.


CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked anglers and the spring trapping season.  Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license.  CO Sutherland also attended a youth firearms safety class where area youth were taught about safe firearm handling and game and fish laws.


CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) – reports working angling, boating, trapping, turkey, ATV, and AIS enforcement.  Pan fishing activity continues to be on the slower side with the cooler temperatures.  CO Van Asch gave a laws and ethics presentation at a Nashwauk firearms safety class.  Enforcement action was taken for angling, boating, and AIS violations.



Pengilly – vacant.


District 8 - Duluth area CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth #1) spent most of the week working shore anglers and smelters along the north shore.  Smelt are still showing up and anglers have been pleased.  The officer assisted with multiple cases of people illegally catching steelhead and Kamloops along the shore.  Nuisance bear complaints are in full swing and numerous complaints of beaver dams and flooding were handled.  Time was also spent working on nuisance bird permits along the St Louis River.


CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) spent the majority of the week working fish run and smelting enforcement along the north shore of Lake Superior.  Smelting activity was very busy over the week.  Inland lakes were also monitored for crappie fishing.  Complaints including litter, trespass, and over limits of crappies were also investigated.  Many telephone calls were answered and returned.  Officer Duncan also gave a presentation at a firearm safety class.


CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended annual K9 detection recertification in Anoka where all of the DNR K9s were certified in wildlife detection for another year. ATV and off-highway motorcycle enforcement was conducted in the area. Several enforcement contacts were made for operating on a public Hwy, registration, and safety certificate violations. A talk was given to an ATV class in the Moose Lake area. Some trout fishing and turkey hunting activity was checked in the area. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license and no trout stamp.


Brookston – vacant.

Lake Superior Marine Unit  


Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

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