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MN DNR Weekly Report for Jan. 22, 2018

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) reports primary activities included angling, snowmobiling, and trapping. Fishing has slowed down a bit, with anglers starting to change locations more frequently in an attempt to find fish. CO Slatinski attended division training at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for registration and license issues.

CO Colleen Adam (Ray) reports warmer temperatures and a good trail base made for many snowmobilers enjoying the lakes and trails this week.  Warm temperatures through Saturday caused some bare spots and exposed rocks but a fairly good base remains for groomers to repair.  Fishing activity has been moderate with a decent morning bite.  Trail sticker and fail to display registration were a common thread this weekend.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes and checking area snowmobile trails. Fishing remains poor.  Public access sites were checked and snowmobile violations were dealt with.

CO John Velsvaag (Cook) reports slush conditions have gotten bad in some areas.  Fishing was average this past week but some nice fish were taken.  Several people called about snowmobile trail conditions and registration requirements for out of state sleds.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked anglers, snowmobiles, ATV’s, and attended training at Camp Ripley.  Cold temperatures finally subsided and more people were found recreating.  A vintage snowmobile run was worked with more than 100 sleds attending the ride.  Enforcement action was taken on angling without a license in possession, angle with more than one line on a designated trout lake, dispose of bait into state waters, operate ATV on GIA snowmobile trail, allow illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile, and several snowmobile violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) attended annual awards and training events at Camp Ripley. Area snowmobile trails are in good condition and we are seeing increased traffic. Enforcement action was taken for operating unregistered snowmobiles and operating without safety training. CO Frericks located several tip-ups on a lake with no one around. After following tracks back to a nearby cabin, he learned that the tip-ups belonged to some friends of the cabin owner. CO Frericks later met up with the two inexperienced anglers who told him they thought it would be okay to leave their tip-ups out on the lake while they went to Gilbert to eat. The anglers were advised of the reason for the law and issued a citation.  

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) attended annual In-service training at Camp Ripley.  Snowmobile and anglers were checked throughout the week. 

CO Darrin Kittelson (Int’l Falls #1) reports snowmobile activity in area has picked-up with warmer weather, trails are in good to fair condition, more snow would be welcomed.  Ice fishing activity on Rainy Lake has also picked-up, however the catching has slowed.  Annual awards and training program was attended at Camp Ripley and background investigation was completed.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports he attended a work detail on Upper Red Lake and Lake of the Woods. Fishing success was overall low, with smaller saugers making up the bulk of fish caught on Lake of the Woods. Violations included angle with an extra line, take fish with an unattended line, and possession of a small amount of marijuana.

CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) patrolled snowmobile trails, which are getting thin due to light snowfall and warm temperatures.  Anglers checked have had good success and have been remembering to bring their licenses with them on the ice!  The officer attended the annual awards and safety training at Camp Ripley, responded to a report of a road kill moose, and issued a permit for a road kill deer.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) checked trout anglers, worked snowmobile enforcement, finished up a formal complaint for violations resulting from a big game search warrant, and attended training at Camp Ripley.  The trails took a beating from the weekend heat and heavy traffic. Slush is appearing all over now with some trout lakes having nearly a foot of slush in heavily fished areas.  Enforcement action included snowmobile speed, fail to stop at road crossing, expired ATV registration, unlawful transport of deer, over-limit of deer, fail to register deer, and lend/borrow a deer tag.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling and snowmobile activity this week.  Time was spent at Camp Ripley as well.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers and snowmobilers. A presentation was given to the wildlife biology class at the Cook County High School. The Officer also attended department training at Camp Ripley.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers on numerous lakes.  He patrolled area snowmobile trails for recreational riders and investigated a trespass complaint.  CO Patten also attended training a Camp Ripley. 

CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked snowmobile and fishing enforcement.  He also dealt with wildlife calls.  Trails in his area got some use this weekend, but should hopefully get some additional snow.  Wild animals may not be picked up unless permitted to do so by a conservation officer or other agent of the state.  If you have questions about it, ask first. 

CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked angling and snowmobiling activity this past week. She attended division training. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobiling violations.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked trout anglers in the area with multiple individuals having good success and even multiple limits coming off of some area trout lakes. Enforcement action was taken for failing to register an ATV, failing to have a trout stamp, and not having an angling license. 

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Hill City) focused on snowmobile and angling enforcement.  CO

Van Asch worked details on Upper Red Lake and Lake of the Woods with local officers. Anglers are reporting slower results on both of the big lakes.  Division training was also attended at Camp Ripley.  Enforcement action was taken for various angling violations.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended training and checked anglers this week. Anglers were out in force with the warmer temps and found good success. Enforcement action was taken for license issues.

Pengilly – vacant.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) spent much of the week working ice anglers in the area.  Snowmobile trails are in need of snow and nuisance animal complaints were handled.  Officer Schmidt attended division safety training and awards conference at Camp Ripley.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) attended division safety training and awards conference at Camp Ripley.  Officer Duncan also worked several lakes for winter fishing activity, where many people were checked and several ice shelters were also checked for identification and licenses. Few snowmobiles were observed and checked for registrations while working area lakes.  

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked ice angling activity on area lakes and worked snowmobile enforcement.  Anglers were reporting mixed results on pan fish, pike, and perch.  CO Humphrey also attended division training at Camp Ripley.   

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) taught a snowmobile law class to area law enforcement officers and patrolled area trails. Because of recent warm weather, trails are now in poor condition.  Some snowmobile activity was observed over the weekend with enforcement action being taken for registration violations. Assistance was given to the state patrol for a vehicle that was found to have gone off of the highway. Assistance was also given to the sheriff’s office after a report of a dirt bike accident. Activities were shut down in this area when it was found to be an organized event that did not have the proper permits.

Brookston – vacant.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended division training at Camp Ripley and reports snowmobile traffic around the Duluth area is starting to increase with the dusting of snow received recently. Fishing remains spotty at best on Island Lake.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ice anglers and snowmobilers. Changing weather has made for mixed success on the big lake.  Shore casters are having some luck, but ice anglers are seeing less ice each day.  Inland ice anglers were checked along with snowmobiles on the trails that desperately need more snow.  In-service training was attended at Camp Ripley.  Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile violations.

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

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