District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports the majority of his workload involved fishing, boating, and invasive species enforcement. Fishing and boating activity on Rainy Lake has increased significantly with the warm weather. An AIS check station was worked along Highway 33 near Saginaw with fellow officers. Wetland- and animal-related issues were also handled throughout the week. Enforcement action taken for the week involved an overlimit of fish, transporting uncountable fish, no license in possession, transporting aquatic macrophytes, and transporting a watercraft with the drain plug in.
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls #2) spent time working AIS and angling enforcement over the week. With summer temperatures finally here, Zavodnik has noticed an increased amount of traffic on the waters. He wants to remind people, especially during this busy time of year, to have fun but to also to be watchful for watercraft, swimmers, and other potential hazards when navigating out on the waters. Some common violations found during the week included failure to remove plugs when transporting water-related equipment, transporting aquatic macrophytes, failure to retain a skin patch on dressed fish, and restrictions on packaging and wrapping fish.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports most of his time the previous week was spent on boating, fishing, and aquatic invasive species enforcement. An AIS detail was worked in the Saginaw area, where transporting water in livewells, transporting watercraft with drain plugs installed, and transporting aquatic vegetation were found to be common violations. He assisted with a reported complaint of an aggressive beaver attempting to keep people away from a dock near their cabin. He checked state campgrounds in the area, where people were enjoying the warmer weather and looking forward to additional time off for the holiday.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports fishing reports overall to be poor. Boating and ATV activities were monitored. Area forest road and public access sites were checked. Equipment work is ongoing.
CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring angling, boating, and ATV activity. Angling success on Lake Vermilion was slower this past week, however, warmer weather brought more boating activity. Broughten also worked compliance with aquatic invasive species laws.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, ATV riders, AIS checkpoints near Saginaw and Vermilion Lake, and dealt with state park complaints including illegal dumping, illegal camping and indecent exposure. AIS checkpoint violation rates were high on one check point and nonexistent on the other. Bozovsky also worked a domestic animal trespass call on the area WMA and assisted the Hibbing Police Department with a child abduction call that turned out to be false. Enforcement action was taken on illegal dumping in a state park, indecent exposure, allowing a domestic animal to roam on a WMA, and several boating, PWC, ATV and AIS violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) checked anglers and boaters on Virginia-area lakes. Nicer weather brought out higher numbers of sportsmen and women. A few boaters were issued warnings for insufficient PFDs and lighting violations. ATV activity remains steady. A landowner contacted Frericks to report two ATVs stuck in a swamp on a snowmobile trail. At the time of the call, Frericks was several miles away and didn’t think he had a chance of finding the ATVs. The landowner added there were two State Troopers at an intersection just down the road from his house. With assistance from the troopers, the ATV operators were located. Both were wearing chest waders and told Frericks they planned on going mudding when they left their houses. The ATV operators were cited for operating on the snowmobile trail and carelessly upsetting the ecological balance of the wetland.
Aurora – vacant.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) spent the week patrolling the Ely area for ATV activity. Although the weather was warm and mostly dry, activity was down for this time of year. Violations included transporting a watercraft without removing the drain plug, unregistered watercraft, and obstructing a water access.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers and boaters this past week. He also worked ATV complaint areas, took several calls about nuisance animals and assisted on a work detail.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) witnessed two Class 1 ATVs loaded with small kids and adult drivers cruising the forest road. She tracked them down and educated the drivers about safety and operation regulations. Manning also helped with the Great Lakes Landing Blitz, educating folks about aquatic invasive species. She also attended a county AIS task force meeting. Manning also assisted the county on a report of a young man who was thought to have fallen into the Pigeon River Gorge. It turned out he had ignored signage and climbed into a closed area around the falls and had difficulty getting back out.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked in the BWCA and found lakes and rivers to be very busy. An AIS check station was worked with other officers. Assistance was provided, along with CO Velsvaag, to Lake County on a call in the BWCA involving an unstable individual with a hatchet. Lots of enforcement action to report including extra lines, fishing without a license, no PFD, allowing a juvenile to fish in violation of the law, cans in the BWCA, and failure to remove a drain plug and aquatic vegetation during transport of watercrafts.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area remote lakes and trout-fishing activity this past week. Time was also spent checking on closed ATV trails.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked a commercial netting complaint and checked anglers on Lake Superior. Some nice lake trout were seen in the bag. He checked ATVs and anglers on inland lakes and followed up on wildlife-related complaints.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and invasive species enforcement activity this past week. Anglers headed for Lake Superior to escape the hot and humid weather and catch a few trout over the weekend. Nuisance bear activity remained high and all food temptations must be removed for bears to leave an area.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled area ATV trails, and looked for AIS violations. He investigated calls on possible violations for work in public waters, turtles, and trespass. Enforcement action taken for possessing illegal-length northern pike.
CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked fishing, AIS, boating, and ATV enforcement. He answered wildlife-related calls and patrolled parks and campgrounds.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored OHV activity and assisted the county with a traffic accident. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also provided K9 demos at community events in the area. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and possessing illegal-length fish.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) checked anglers throughout the area with most folks reporting success. Despite the hot weather and bugs in the woods, several people were still out enjoying the ATV trails. Violations included fishing with extra lines, having an insufficient number of PFDs on board a watercraft, registration issues, and transporting a watercraft with the drain plug in.
NE ATV officer – vacant.
District 8 - Duluth area
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) worked two AIS details within the district and participated in a multi-agency emergency mock aircraft incident in the Duluth Harbor. Schmidt also completed equipment maintenance and patrolled area waterways for angling activity.
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) saw steady angling activity this past week, but not a lot of success. An AIS check station was staffed in Saginaw with multiple violations found. Enforcement action taken during the week were for no license in possession, improper display of watercraft registration, transporting aquatic plants and failure to remove a watercraft drain plug during transport. Willis also assisted the Duluth Police Department in attempting to locate a subject who was missing under suspicious circumstances. The missing person was found safe
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) spent time on area lakes checking anglers and conducting boating enforcement. Warmer weather during the week brought out many people who were tubing, waterskiing, and swimming. A couple water-level complaints continue to be worked. Duncan also participated in an area work crew concentrating on water-related equipment transporting aquatic invasive species.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with an aquatic invasive species check station in the Duluth area where several violations were encountered. A K9 training was attended at Camp Ripley where the DNR K9 unit worked with the dogs in obedience and searching for firearms. Boating activity was worked in the area with enforcement action being taken for fishing without a license in possession, insufficient PFDs, and registration violations.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked an AIS road check detail in Saginaw with fellow Region 2 officers. AIS was also worked along the North Shore and Superior Harbor. Bear complaints were fielded after animals were getting into garbage and bird feeders in Duluth. Lake Superior was checked in the Duluth area and violations were detected for license-related violations.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. An AIS detail was worked with multiple violations found for transporting lake water and weeds. Follow up to commercial violations was completed. Enforcement action was taken for angling and boating violations
Lake Superior Unit – vacant.