CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports time was spent at the CO Academy training new conservation officer candidates in emergency vehicle response and pursuit driving. Fishing, boating, and invasive species enforcement continue to be the main components of the Kittelson’s workload. ATV activity in the area has picked up. People are reminded to make sure they have current registration displayed.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports angling activity continues to be steady throughout the area with success reports inconsistent. ATV activity has picked up in the area as berry pickers hit the woods. Aquatic invasive species was monitored. Slatinski met with a landowner in regards to a restoration order for a project involving wetlands. He also followed with a campground attendant on a complaint of an unruly guest.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) monitored area lakes, checked forest roads, and monitored public access sites. Fishing remains poor. Beavers and wolves continue to cause problems.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) took a number of complaints this week of loud boats on Lake Vermilion. Efforts are being made to locate the violators, and enforcement action will be taken. He continued investigating two invasive species violations. With equipment down for repairs, Hopkins spent much of the week working area boat landings.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) reports working angling and boating activity, ATVs, OHMs, state park enforcement, and dealing with an eviction of a person from state property. Two off-highway motorcycles were seen illegally operating down a paved county road. At highway speed, one of the pair decided to pop a wheelie for a couple hundred yards and did so successfully. Neither of the OHMs had registration. Bozovsky received no good explanation for the antics and they were cited. Enforcement action was taken for no trout stamp, no PFDs, and underage consumption of alcohol.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) reports attending training for a new dispatch program and issued a restoration order for a wetland violation. Frericks was also involved in evicting a person from a house that was on state land. The house had been there since the 1940s and the person evicted had moved in and was squatting on the property after the previous owner had died. Frericks handled a TIP call regarding some illegally killed swans on Lake of the Woods. He spoke with the caller, who advised he was concerned that he was going to be blamed for the violation. When Frericks asked the caller how he learned of the violation, the caller told him the actual people (one of whom was Dog the Bounty Hunter) who committed the violation told him telepathically. When asked why they wanted to blame him for the violation, the caller told Frericks that he had a will that said he was the King of Scotland and the violators didn’t want him to have it.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) reports checking anglers throughout the week and most reported slow fishing. Complaints of beavers causing damage to trees have been received. Warm, humid weather brought out more recreational boaters trying the beat the heat.
International Falls #2 – vacant.District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports assisting the St. Louis County Rescue Squad early in the week locating a missing person who was overdue after a day of berry picking on the Echo Trail. The person had become disoriented and turned around in the heat and thick brush. Fortunately, they were experienced in the wilderness and had told people where they would be picking and when they would be returning. Rescue squad members were able to exchange signals with them and they were quickly located and assisted out of the woods.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) investigated an ATV damage to property case; an ATV operator intentionally drove over a brush berm to tear up a hillside and numerous trees recently planted there. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIP line. Manning attended training in Duluth and patrolled forest roads, lakes and area campgrounds. She also conducted a commercial minnow retailer inspection and followed up on angling issues.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area anglers and ATV activity. Schottenbauer also took a call from Tettegouche State Park of a wounded turtle that was found. He advised the staff and visitors to release the turtle and let nature take its course.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers, boaters and ATV riders. He assisted the county with a drowning incident in the BWCA. Enforcement action was taken for boating, speeding and PWC violations.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and boating activity during the week. Warm weather increased water recreation activity in the area and a complaint on personal watercraft illegal operation was investigated. A division training session was attended and enforcement action was taken for marijuana possession and licensing violations.District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked ATV activity, boating, AIS, and sport fishing. He patrolled state park areas, state forests, answered questions and took complaints on various wildlife issues, and checked public water accesses. Violations included ATVs the on roadway, ATV equipment, and youth on ATVs without helmets.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) worked the week at the Conservation Officer Academy at Camp Ripley. He instructed for the new officers in recreational vehicle enforcement as well as EVOC training.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling and boating activity over the past week. Enforcement action was taken for possessing protected slot walleyes, angling with extra lines, operating an unregistered watercraft and angling without a license.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) primarily worked boating, angling, and AIS activities throughout the surrounding areas. Van Asch also spent time instructing at the CO Academy’s emergency vehicle operation certifications. Enforcement action was taken for illegal-length walleyes, angling with extra lines, no angling license in possession, failure to display watercraft registration, and operating a watercraft without required navigational lights.
Hill City – vacant.
NE ATV officer – vacant.District 8 - Duluth area
Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) continued to work boating and angling enforcement on area lakes. Water recreation continued to be popular due to the warm weather. A couple complaints continue to be worked that involve public water issues. Duncan also worked past complaint areas for ATV and OHM violations. Public access at lakes with AIS concerns were also worked.
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) assisted Lakewood first responders and Gold Cross with transporting an injured motocross rider on a private track out to the ambulance. Willis also assisted the Floodwood Police Department during their Catfish Days Street Dance and attended a fish with a cop event hosted by the Duluth Police Department. Multiple phone calls were fielded regarding animals causing damage, general regulation questions, and ATV complaints.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted with updated computer training for local officers. Both he and K9 Schody attended detection certification where they were tested and certified for another year. Assistance was given at a local state park where there were possible hikers overdue. Everything turned out fine. Complaints of boating and waters violations were investigated.Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked commercial enforcement efforts and checked boaters and anglers on Lake Superior. Fishing has seemed to slow on the Duluth end but has been better farther up the shore, where the water is cooler. Bear complaints were received and advice to take in bird feeders was given.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked boaters and anglers on Lake Superior. Commercial activity was checked in the upper shore areas, and AIS reminders given to boaters at multiple accesses. A complaint was followed up on of a dog left in a truck at an access. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.
Lake Superior Unit – vacant.