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DNR Report: Butchered hogs illegally dumped near Grand Marais

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources report for the week of March 13.

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District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports the recent snowstorm has extended the snowmobile season as the trails are back in great shape. Ice fishing on Rainy Lake continues, but the success rate is not so great, with small fish being caught. Enforcement action taken for the week included license issues. People are reminded that new angling licenses were needed March 1.

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports spending time this past week checking anglers and snowmobile activity. ATV activity was monitored on area forest roads and lakes. Equipment maintenance was taken care of.

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports it appears the latest snowfall will extend the snowmobile season longer than many anticipated. If you are still itching to get out and ride, the trail conditions have been excellent, and we can expect that to continue for a while yet. Anglers have been finding easy access to lakes, but mostly small fish have been leaving fish bags light. Common issues encountered the past week continued to involve snowmobile registration and display, illegal snowmobile exhaust and excessive speed.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports continued monitoring of angling and snowmobile activities. Multiple inches of new snow fell over the weekend, extending the riding season, which is good for motorized snowmobiles, but bad for deer. Area forest roads were monitored as was the upcoming fish house removal.

CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily angling and snowmobile enforcement. Larson spent time checking anglers on Lake Vermilion, with very few people fishing for panfish. Snowmobile trails in locations were degrading fairly quickly with the warming weather resulting in bare spots. The fresh snow over the weekend may help extend the snowmobile season a while longer.


CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked angling activity and snowmobile enforcement. In addition, time was spent training at Camp Ripley and recovering a stolen ATV that was found abandoned. Most shelters have been removed from local lakes, but a few remain. Anglers are reminded that the shelter removal date is March 20 for the northern one-third of the state. Violations encountered included snowmobile speed, snowmobile registration and operating a motor vehicle on a grant-in-aid snowmobile trail.

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing and snowmobile activity. Anglers reported limited success. Fewer snowmobiles were observed this week. Broughten also fielded calls regarding ATV registration and littering.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports snow continued to fall through the weekend and, along with cooler weather, helped improve trail conditions. Angling activity was noticeably lower through the week into the weekend. Violations included angling without a license in possession and failure to display current snowmobile registration.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers and snowmobile riders this past week. Snowmobile conditions are very good with the recent snowfall. Velsvaag received several calls about panfish regulations and nuisance-animal questions.

CO Hudson Ledeen (Grand Marais #2) received a report of a dead calf moose that was discovered in the Schroeder area. Upon further investigation there was no dead moose, but two butchered farm-raised hogs that had been illegally dumped in the forest. Violations encountered this week included no license in possession, failure to display snowmobile registration and an overlimit of lake trout.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) took an individual who is interested in a career as a conservation officer on a ride-along. Fresh snow has come just in time to extend the snowmobile season. Enforcement action focused around angling and snowmobile enforcement. An individual was arrested for DWI driving off the lake from fishing at over twice the legal limit. Charges are pending. An angler was checked on a local lake who stated he was just “testing out his equipment.” He had a rod baited with a hook and crappie minnow and was found to have no license-purchase history. A citation was issued. Other enforcement action was taken for snowmobile violations, including loud exhaust, which continues to be a common problem and complaint.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and snowmobile enforcement efforts this past week. As the deadline for ice shelter removal approaches, anglers are reminded to not wait until the last moment and make sure to remove all items and leave the area clean. Enforcement action was taken for licensing and registration violations.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Vinny Brown (Northome) checked anglers and monitored snowmobile activity. Questions about coyote, fox and turkey hunting were answered. Anglers are once again reminded of the ice shelter removal date of March 20.


CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended K-9 school with his K-9 partner Fennec this week.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling and snowmobile activity. Sutherland took enforcement action for angling with unattended lines and angling without a license in possession. Sutherland also worked birch tree thefts where individuals cut down young birch trees and sell them for ornamental purposes. Enforcement action was also taken for operating a Class 2 ATV on a U.S. highway.

CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) checked angling and recreational vehicles throughout the past week. Time was also spent on a trespassing complaint involving theft of birch poles. Holt followed up on an open investigation and competed required training.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) monitored the first round of fish house removal in the area. Compliance rates were good, and no reports of excessive garbage left on the lake were fielded. Snowmobile enthusiasts were happy to see the mid-March snowstorm, which will extend the snowmobile season for another few weeks.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) attended training this week and fielded regulation-related calls. Snowmobile trails got a new life with the added snow and will remain good as long as it stays cold. Remember to start getting your ice shelters ready to remove prior to the March 20 statutory removal date north of U.S. Highway 2.

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) worked snowmobile enforcement throughout the week. Snowmobile trails were in excellent condition. A few anglers were also checked on area lakes attempting to catch crappies. Snowmobile-enforcement activity included snowmobile trespass, altered exhaust and operation without snowmobile safety certification.

CO Tony Elwell (Cloquet) patrolled area lakes, checking non-portable shelter removal and ice anglers. Snowmobile trails were patrolled this week as well. Injured-animal calls were taken, and a call about a possible cougar was fielded. After investigating, Elwell determined the tracks were those of wolves, not a cougar. Enforcement action this week included various angling and snowmobile violations.

CO Mikeena Wehr (Willow River) continued work on special projects. Time was also spent ensuring shelters were removed from the ice, as the deadline for shelter removal was March 6.


CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this week checking anglers and snowmobile patrol. Many people are still catching some crappies and sunfish, and most snowmobile operators were observed driving safely. Karon also gave a law talk at a local snowmobile safety class.

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