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MN DNR Weekly Report for June 25, 2018

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports fishing and boating activity on Rainy Lake was limited as storms moved in over the weekend. He looked into a possible wetland violation and a previous waters violation. Wolf depredation investigations continue in the Littlefork area.

CO John Slatinski (Ray) worked a presidential security detail with a contingent of conservation officers and officers from local, state, and federal agencies. He also assisted with a crash involving and car and UTV. The week was finished out investigating a wildlife possession complaint.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports checking anglers, monitoring boating activity and checking area forest roads over the week. Equipment work is ongoing.

CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers and boaters this past week. Fishing has improved a little bit but is still slow. Velsvaag also assisted on a couple of TIP complaints and took several calls from unhappy people on the new pike regulations and beaver complaints.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent the early part of the week at training in Camp Ripley. He also assisted with security for President Trump’s visit to Duluth. The rest of the week was spent patrolling Lake Vermilion. Enforcement action for the week included angling with extra lines, angling without a license, watercraft registration, and personal watercraft violations.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) completed a three-day BWCA fishing patrol in the Grand Marais area. Anglers, ATVs, invasive species and state park enforcement were also worked. A not-so-happy ATV driver was stopped for a registration violation and it was discovered her driver’s license was suspended. She was told to call someone to pick her up and not to drive or she would be cited again. Less than five minutes after the stop, the driver was spotted driving again, but when she spotted the officer, she tried to give him the slip. It didn’t work and Bozovsky got the driver stopped once again and she was cited one more time. Surprisingly, she was more cordial after the officer said he was going to tow the ATV. The ATV was transported in a truck by the friend who told the driver not to drive in the first place. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession, no PFD, OHV trespass, driving after revocation, driving after suspension, other ATV violations and no state park permit.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at two ATV safety classes and one firearms safety class. Frericks also assisted with security during President Trump’s visit to Duluth. Area lakes were busy with boating traffic. Enforcement action was taken for insufficient PFDs.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) checked anglers and boaters throughout the week. Most anglers report slow fishing. Fredin assisted with security at the President Trump rally in Duluth. Annual training was received on pursuit/emergency response driving.

International Falls #2 – vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked mainly angling and boating inside and outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. A decent fish bite was observed over the weekend. Several folks were cited for fishing without licenses. Other enforcement action was taken for expired watercraft registration and no PFDs, including one individual out on a nine-day solo BWCA kayak trip. He had no flotation device and already had capsized once.

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports angling activity was high over the week and peaked during the weekend in spite of surprise thunderstorms and much cooler weather. Angler success was mixed, with smallmouth bass and northern pike reports being very good and only a few walleyes being seen all week. Violations included angling without a license, angling without a license in possession, and expired watercraft registration.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked fishing activity and handled calls about nuisance wildlife during the week. Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations and nonpayment at a state forest campground. Fishing success picked up a bit in the area with some nice fish being caught on Lake Superior.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled BWCA lakes checking boaters and anglers. She assisted Cook County with the removal of two people from a residence and subsequent warrant arrests. Manning also patrolled forest roads checking ATV operators and took calls on OHM operation and nuisance bears.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area lakes for boating activity. Schottenbauer also assisted with area protection around the DECC near Duluth Harbor. He attended water survival training at Camp Ripley with the cadets.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) did a canoe patrol into the Boundary Waters, checked border lakes and did a work detail in the Duluth Harbor.

Ely #2 – vacant.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled area motorized trails, checked anglers and boaters, and enforced AIS regulations. He also handled calls on fishing without a license, taking slot fish, refusing AIS inspection, and removing emergent vegetation without a permit. 

CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked ATV activity, fishing, boating, AIS, and state forest campgrounds. He also assisted the county with various calls. Violations included transporting aquatic macrophytes, ATV on a roadway, ATV registration, juvenile passengers on ATVs without helmets, OHM on roadway, OHM registration, operating an OHM without eye protection, failure to transfer ownership of OHM, and no license in possession. He also dealt with various wildlife complaints and wetlands violations and he assisted with the apprehension of a person who stole a truck that was hooked up to a boat and trailer. He reminds people to leave fawns where you find them.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended K9 trials, instructed EVOC, worked the Presidential security detail, checked anglers and assisted the county with a stolen OHM case. Area anglers’ success was lower this week. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and possessing illegal-length walleyes.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids #2) worked anglers over the past week with the local success rate on the rise. Enforcement action was taken for illegal-length walleyes, illegal-length northern pike, not having an angling license and not having enough life-saving devices on board a watercraft.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) worked boating, angling and AIS enforcement. Anglers are having to put in more effort with water temperatures on the rise on area lakes. Van Asch also spent time preparing for a big-game case that is scheduled for trial. Enforcement action was taken for illegal-length walleyes, no angling license in possession, and several AIS violations.

Hill City – vacant.

NE ATV officer – vacant.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) assisted with the protection detail for President Trump’s visit to Duluth. Willis also conducted boating law enforcement efforts in the Duluth Harbor area. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license and registration issues.

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) handled calls pertaining to aquatic management areas, nuisance and orphaned animals and an ongoing trespassing complaint. The officer also spent the majority of the week instructing emergency vehicle operations at Camp Ripley and assisting with the boat and water week at the Academy.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) worked fishing and boating enforcement on area lakes. One day was spent assisting with security for President Trump’s visit to Duluth. Duncan also assisted with training conservation officer candidates at Camp Ripley. He also worked area accesses and continued to educate boaters about invasive species.  

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended annual testing with K9 Schody where he was certified for working another year as a patrol dog. A call of a loon that was found possibly injured on a local road was looked into. The bird couldn’t be located. It was found out later that a concerned citizen put it back into a nearby lake after determining it was unhurt. Fishing and boating activity were worked in the area. Most everyone was found in compliance with the law. A complaint of a tent left in a scientific and natural area was investigated. The owner was not found and the tent was removed from the property.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) assisted with the Presidential detail in Duluth. Marine Unit officers worked with the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety and Security Team in the Duluth-Superior Harbor. Olson also instructed at the Conservation Officer Academy for watercraft and water survival classes. Lake Superior has been producing good catches of lake trout. Area lakes north of Duluth were also worked for boating safety enforcement during the warm weather. Violations included for life jackets and minor angling violations. Bear complaints were also fielded in the Duluth area. Remember that bird feeders are also bear feeders. Bring in all food sources and place your garbage the day of your pickup.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) presented watercraft operation training at the Conservation Officer Academy. Candidates were instructed in areas of water survival, patrol boat operations, and transport of watercraft. Questions were answered regarding possession of fish on special regulation lakes.  

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

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