MN DNR Weekly Report for May 9, 2016

District 5 - Eveleth area CO Darrin Kittelson (Int'l Falls) reports a busy week with the sturgeon fishing keep season on the Rainy River coming to a close. Several animal complaints were handled also throughout the week. Enforcement action taken ...

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (Int’l Falls) reports a busy week with the sturgeon fishing keep season on the Rainy River coming to a close. Several animal complaints were handled also throughout the week. Enforcement action taken for the week included angling with extra line, tag sturgeon incorrectly, driving after suspension, and illegal length sturgeon.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) continued focus on the spring fish run. Sucker spearing and netting season opened and a good number of individuals were seen out. The officer worked the latter part of the week on the Rainy River helping CO Kittelson with the sturgeon season.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, invasive species enforcement, worked a wildfire, taught a Firearms Safety Class, and worked sturgeon fishing enforcement on the Rainy River. Two anglers without angling licenses chose to open season early on northern pike and were cited. In another case, an angler returned to the scene of the crime from 2015.  The angler had no angling license and was also cited for angling after revocation as he had not taken care of an angling citation from 2015. Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license, take fish out of season, fishing after revocation, fail to remove drain plug from watercraft, and a number of OHM violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time checking anglers on Virginia area rivers. After watching a group of anglers in a secluded area of the St Louis River for about 30 minutes, CO Frericks watched one of the anglers catch a walleye, fillet it and dispose of the remains. When CO Frericks approached the angler, he denied catching anything. After speaking with the angler a little longer he admitted to finding a dead walleye on the shore. Eventually the fillets were located and seized. The angler was cited. ATV activity remains extremely high in the Virginia area.   


CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked sturgeon fishing activity on the R, take fish out of season, no license in possession, and boat equipment violation Rainy River with CO Hopkins and found violations of angling for fish in closed seasons. Fredin and Hopkins were walking on a sidewalk in International Falls when a young man walked past reeking on marijuana. When confronted he threw a joint down on the sidewalk. He was removed of the rest of his drug paraphernalia, cited and sent on his way. Assistance was given on two local fires, one east of Hoyt Lakes and the other by Embarrass.

Cook - vacant.

International Falls #2  - vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports angling and boating activity in the Ely area has ramped up as the spring fishing opener has gotten closer. Assistance was given to the county after high temperatures and winds helped to fan several wildfires in the Arrowhead region. Violations included taking fish during the closed season, operating an ATV on a state highway, and operating an ATV with a passenger under 18 without a helmet.

CO Marty Stage (Ely) observed a heavy increase in visitors to the area and the associated increase in unregistered canoes on vehicles and on the lakes. Canoers from out of state are reminded that the state requires registration from either their home state or Minnesota to utilize their watercraft on Minnesota waters. Stage assisted with possible evacuation associated with the Finland fire, but fortunately it was not required.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) had a very busy week with multiple call outs for the fire investigation team.  He assisted with fire investigations at Nimrod, Lake George and Finland.  Until we get much needed rain, please use extreme caution with any type of fire.  Remember to check with local burning restrictions and apply for burning permits if required.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) helped teach arrest and control tactics and firearms to CO Candidates at Camp Ripley. At the local school, the officer participated in a course on integration of law enforcement, EMS and fire/rescue squads to hostile events as an instructor trainee. CO Manning also patrolled forest roads and was standing by to assist with evacuation if needed for a large fire in the Finland area; fortunately the fire was contained before it reached that point.


CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) assisted with the Embarrass fire and patrolled area lakes and rivers for angling activity.  The officer also worked ATV enforcement and monitored fish run.  Enforcement action was taken for leaving fish on the banks (wanton waste), taking fish without a license, and taking fish in closed season.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked high activity river anglers. Fire complaints picked up with one fire almost causing the evacuation of the town of Finland. Time was also spent working on divisional equipment needs, academy training, and officer training.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked trout anglers and monitored ATV activity. The officer responded to three area fires and several bear complaints that killed chickens. Wahlstrom assisted the volunteer firearms safety instructors with the field day. Enforcement action was taken for ATV, OHM, allow illegal operation of ATV by a juvenile and fire violations. 

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling, boating, and fire enforcement efforts during the week. Dry conditions in the area made for a very active fire weekend with fires spreading quickly. Check all local burning restrictions before burning. Enforcement action was taken for failure to comply with burning permit conditions.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports multiple wolf/cattle depredation investigations were completed, assistance was provided to DNR Forestry with fires resulting in citations for no burning permits, and lastly confiscated furs were sold. Free time was spent monitoring area lakes and forest roads and checking public access sites. CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers and boaters this past week. Crappie fishing was slow but conditions improved over the weekend. CO Velsvaag also assisted with wildfire fighting efforts in St. Louis County and took calls on taking suckers.

CO Randy Patten (Northome) monitored fish run activity, patrolled for illegal ATV operation, checked anglers and boaters, and enforced AIS regulations.  Also helped with an ATV safety class, prepared boats for the season, and processed incidentally caught furbearers. Enforcement action taken for operating a class 1 ATV on a public roadway.

CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked ATV, sport fishing, and assisted with firearms training at academy 17. He patrolled state park areas, state forests, and public water accesses. Preparations were made for upcoming academy instruction, and division training. Violations included ATV’s on the roadway and equipment violations. CO Hansen also assisted with a great horned owlet found on the deck of a family in Grand Rapids. 


CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, continued investigation on an arson case, worked trapping complaints and assisted the county with locating a suspect that fled into the woods. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and arrest for outstanding warrants.

CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) spent time checking angling and ATVing activity. The UPM Blandin Trail is open and it great shape, lots of activity on it over the weekend. Anglers are excited for opener and getting their boats on the water. Officer Grell took a call concerning an injured hawk and also a dead Eagle. She also handled a call regarding dock pieces floating around a lake, which is being taken care of. Enforcement action was taken for ATVing violations.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked pan fisherman over the past week with multiple individuals getting out enjoying the nice weather. Enforcement action was taken over the past week for unpermitted fires, failure to pull the plug on a boat while traveling on a roadway, littering and for dogs chasing deer.

CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, ATVs and spring beaver trappers. He also taught a firearms safety class during the week.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) spent the week attending a training course that was held in St. Paul. Time was also spent investigating a trapping complaint and assisting Itasca County deputies with an individual who fled. The individual was found and taken into custody.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent the majority of the week focusing on spring fish run activity. This included working inland rivers and tributaries of Lake Superior. ATV activity continues to be worked. Pan fishing activity was monitored and when checking fishermen at local accesses invasive species enforcement was completed. Officer Schmidt also investigated illegal burning activity and assisted Lake County Enforcement with a wildfire over the weekend.

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports conditions throughout the area were extremely dry this week. Several contacts were had with people who were in violations of burning ban regulation. Several calls with questions about fishing regulations were received. Time was also spent following up with residency license fraud violations.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work fish run activity on inland streams and tributaries of Lake Superior. An investigation was completed on illegal fishing activity that resulted in citations issued for taking in a closed area. Several calls were returned during the week. Time was also spent checking fishing enforcement on inland lakes for pan fishing enforcement. ATV and illegal burning activity was also worked. 

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked anglers, turkey hunters and worked OHV, AIS, and fire enforcement during the week.  CO Humphrey patrolled the Sawyer WMA and in the Fond Du Lac state forest.  CO Humphrey continued to assist other District officers working north shore fish run and smelting.  CO Humphrey spoke to students and parents at the firearms safety class held at Cromwell School. CO Humphrey completed a Deer season investigation from last fall with enforcement action taken.  Violations were encountered for illegal burning, ATV operation/registration and big game taking/licensing

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended K9 training in the metro area and gave a K9 talk to a DARE class in the Duluth area.  Extra fishing patrols were conducted in the Metro area where violations of angling with extra lines, unattended lines, angling without a license, taking fish out of season, and no trout stamp were encountered.  A talk was given to a local ATV safety class about the duties of a Conservation Officer and the rules and regulations that go along with riding.  Assistance was given to the State Patrol when a vehicle was encountered operating against traffic on the interstate. The vehicle crashed into the guard rail in the median and continued in the other lane of traffic. After getting the vehicle stopped with another officer, it was determined to be a medical condition and medical assistance was given to the driver. 

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked steelhead anglers who are still finding good numbers of fish in the rivers.  A call of a dead deer in a yard turned up a violation of failure to register a deer from last deer season.  Assistance was given to a local agency with response to a large wildfire close to the town of Finland. Enforcement action taken for big game and angling violations.

Lake Superior Unit - vacant.


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