MN DNR Weekly Report for May 23, 2016

District 5 - Eveleth area CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) attended training at Camp Ripley. Much of the officer's time was spent on Vermilion checking anglers. The bite was good early, but with the hot weather and calm conditions it slowed slightly as th...

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) attended training at Camp Ripley. Much of the officer’s time was spent on Vermilion checking anglers. The bite was good early, but with the hot weather and calm conditions it slowed slightly as the week progressed. The warm weekend resulted in a large number of people taking advantage of the good conditions. Reminder to everyone be safe out on the water, wear your life jackets, and don’t boat while intoxicated.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling, boating, invasive species, and ATV activity and attended training at Camp Ripley. The officer gave a talk to 90, 5th graders from a Hibbing Elementary School, about the duties of a Conservation Officer. A boater operating without navigation lights over an hour after sunset and having no life jackets on board, nearly hit a pontoon operating in front of him. The officer stopped the boater and took enforcement action to the cheers of the pontoon occupants who came by to exchange words of unhappiness to the boater. Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license, angling without a license in possession and numerous boating and ATV violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) is investigating the report of a person who dumped the contents of their waste tank from their RV into the ditch off of a county road. Reports for ATV activity were prepared for court. Equipment maintenance was worked on.

CO Darrin Kittelson (Int’l Falls) reports lots of people out fishing on Rainy Lake and Lake Kabetogama however the fish were are not cooperating. Youth ATV Safety Classes rounded out the week with approximately thirty kids receiving there certificates. Youth under the age of 18 are reminded that they are required to wear an approved helmet.


CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports an increase in angling activities resulting in a number of angling violations being dealt  with. Beaver complaints and related permits were issued. A  BWCA patrol was conducted. A firearms safety range day was attended with the law presentation given. Commercial baiting trapping and trespass questions were answered.

CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers this past week. Fishing was slow but several limits were seen. CO Velsvaag also followed up several ongoing cases.

Cook - vacant.

International Falls #2  - vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports he assisted the St. Louis County Rescue and the U.S. Forest Service after strong winds and warm temperatures put homes and cabins in danger near the Foss Lake Fire north west of Burntside Lake. Although evacuations were not ordered, residents were put on alert in case weather and fire conditions changed. Violations included: failure to display valid watercraft registration, operating a watercraft without navigational lights, and angling with no license in possession.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked fishing activity and attended training at Ripley.  Stage worked in the area of the fire in Ely in case assistance might be needed. There is so much dry and dead standing balsam in the area that any fire could turn into the next big one.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) talk to a group of youngsters about ATV laws and safety for the classroom portion of the ATV training certification. He also did remote patrols by ATV and patrolled lakes by boat.


CO Mary Manning (Hovland) assisted volunteer instructors and members of the Cook County Sherriff’s Office teach ATV safety class in Grand Marais. Officer Manning checked anglers and ATVers, helped with annual firearms qualification for the division, helped teach at the CO Academy and took reports of a mangy wolf in Hovland and bears on the prowl.   

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) checked anglers and boaters in and out of the BWCA. The BWCA was busy while other lakes had lesser participation. Enforcement action included unregistered watercraft, insufficient PFDs, and no license in possession. Firearms qualification was attended at Camp Ripley. Security was worked for the Foss Lake fire.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity. Time was spent at the Silver Bay ATV Safety class. CO Schottenbauer also spent time working on station equipment.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking anglers, boaters, ATV riders and AIS. The Officer patrolled a few days in the BWCAW where the compliance with registered canoes was very low. Wildlife calls were returned and handled. Wahlstrom assisted in teaching an ATV class in Silver Bay. Enforcement action was taken for angling and watercraft violations.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked boating and invasive species enforcement efforts on Lake Superior during the week. Fishing success was slow but the weather was perfect. Boaters are reminded to make sure their watercraft is prepared with all required safety equipment before headed out on the lake. Enforcement action was taken for no valid watercraft registration displayed, no license in possession, and insufficient number of PFDs.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled for illegal ATV activity, handled nuisance animal complaints, and attended training at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action taken for overlimits of walleyes, operating ATV’s on public roadways, transporting aquatic vegetation, and failure to remove watercraft plugs.

CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked ATV, sport fishing, boating, AIS, and with firearms qualifications and training at Camp Ripley. He patrolled state park areas, state forests, and public water accesses. Violations included no license in possession, transporting aquatic macrophytes,  unregistered ATV, unregistered watercraft, fail to transfer ownership, and ATV on the roadway.  He also answered wildlife calls. 


CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity, investigated a possible arson fire and worked AIS. CO Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also attended the officer down 5K in Aitkin where they assisted in a K9 demo. Enforcement action was taken for operate OHV on roadway and license issues.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked an active week of fishing opener with enforcement action taken for bass out of season, walleyes overlimit, not having an angling license and enough lifesaving devices on a watercraft.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATV’s, state parks and campgrounds.  He also completed division training during the week.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) reports working angling, boating, and AIS activities throughout the surrounding areas. Many anglers and boaters were checked enjoying the nice weather. Most anglers were seen having success targeting both walleye and crappie over the weekend. CO Van Asch also spent time handling several nuisance animal complaints.

Enforcement action was taken for failure to remove boat plug, fail to display valid boat registration, insufficient number of PFDs, no angling license in possession, and illegal length walleye.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked area lakes and rivers for angling activity and aquatic invasive species was worked at landings. Schmidt attended annual in-service training and a district meeting.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) participated in annual training at Camp Ripley. Many hours were spent working area lakes for fishing, boating and AIS enforcement. Several complaints were investigated involving illegal fishing. Several violations for not having navigation lights were encountered. Life jacket compliance over the first week of fishing has been the best CO Duncan has seen during his career. 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked anglers, boaters, turkey hunters and worked OHV, AIS and fire enforcement during the week. Anglers fared much better than on opener with good catches seen and reported. Several calls and complaints were received which included nuisance animals, boating and OHV operation, public water access and wetland concerns, Tribal netting and illegal burning. CO Humphrey attended an area district meeting and completed squad maintenance. Angling, boating, burning, recreational vehicle and AIS violations were encountered.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended a district meeting and checked several anglers in the area. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, angle without license in possession and using game fish as bait. Extra patrols for ATVs in the area resulted in enforcement action being taken for no safety certificate, operating without valid registration, moving, and equipment violations. Extra patrols were also conducted in area state parks where contacts were made for being in the park after hours and permit violations. One stop of a vehicle resulted in the driver being cited for DAR and the passenger going to jail on a warrant

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked area lakes around Duluth for AIS and fishing enforcement, the warming weather had many out and about enjoying the water. Fishing has been decent with nice bags of crappies and walleyes seen. Shore anglers along the North shore are still fishing kamloops in the Duluth and Two Harbors areas. Water temps on the Minnesota side of Lake Superior are slowly warming and a decent salmon bite is expected. Enforcement actions taken for fishing and boating violations.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters for AIS compliance. ATV problem areas were checked, and a district meeting was attended. Warmer weather has anglers out enjoying an improving bite.  Enforcement action taken for AIS violations.

Lake Superior Unit - vacant.

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