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MN DNR Weekly Report for Aug. 6, 2018

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) spent most of the week at Camp Ripley instructing at the CO Academy in regards to sport fishing enforcement. Equipment maintenance, animal complaints, and waters complaints were also handled throughout the week.

CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports main activities monitored this past week included angling, boating, ATVs, and aquatic invasive species. He spent time answering questions in regards to the fast-approaching bear season and also checked an area where it is believed firewood was taken from a logging site without having a permit. Fishing reports in the area have been positive.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes, checking ATV activities and assisting the Border Patrol. Public access parking continues to be a problem. Boating activities continue to be monitored. Assistance was provided to DNR Forestry.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) worked the booth at the Minnesota Trappers Convention in Barnum. He also checked anglers on local rivers and Lake Vermilion. Hopkins is also investigating a littering complaint at a local access.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, ATV riders, state park enforcement and Lake Vermilion. A shore angler smelled so strong of unsmoked marijuana that the officer could smell it from about 4 feet away. He gave up his “weed” and pipe and was cited. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license, no license in possession, possessing illegal-length slot fish, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, blocking a public access, and a number of boating violations.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) ran into a group of Boy Scouts who completed canoeing the St. Louis River from Seven Beavers to Skibo landing. Their plan was to continue downriver the next day to Norway point. After informing them the river has little navigable water and mostly is large boulders and dead trees, lots of long faces were seen. Fredin checked anglers and boaters throughout the week.

International Falls #2 – vacant.

Cook – vacant.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) presented at the International Wolf Center wildlife career day in Ely. Students from across the country and ranging in age from 15 to 50 attended the event, which showcased several professions over a wide range of disciplines. Violations for the week included failure to display current watercraft registration and operating a watercraft with no life-saving device.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers and boaters this past week. Angling was slow and the weather kept boating down a bit. Velsvaag took several calls about angling slot limits and marten trapping regulations.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked area anglers and ATV operators. Enforcement action was taken for a juvenile passenger without a helmet and operating without required equipment. Folks are also reminded that golf carts are not ATVs and may not be legally operated on county roads. Manning responded to camper issues in the state park campground, checked boaters on inland lakes, and helped out at the DNR Academy at Camp Ripley.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports encountering a large permit fire that consisted primarily of prohibited materials, including two sheds that had been bulldozed into a pile and great deal of all types of garbage, furniture, etc. The Embarrass Fire Department was called to put out the fire and a citation was issued to the landowner. Other enforcement action included two citations for not having an angling license and failure to have a driver’s license and proof of insurance.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity in the area. Warm and humid weather brought a new crop of biting flies to the area, but folks were still found out enjoying the outdoors. More time was also spent at Academy 18 assisting with shotgun qualifications.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers and boaters on area lakes. Time was spent on equipment maintenance and handling wildlife calls. Enforcement action was taken for boating violations.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked boating and angling activity during the week. Fishing was fairly slow in most areas with wind and rain making it hard to get out on the lake. Murray took calls of nuisance animal complaints and answered questions about the upcoming bear season. Blueberry crops in the area are looking good with many people observed out harvesting them.

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. He also checked public water accesses. Violations included litter and DUI. He also issued nuisance beaver permits.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, boating, and ATV enforcement throughout the surrounding areas. Van Asch spent much of the week instructing at Academy 18 during sport fishing enforcement week. Enforcement action was taken for several boating and angling violations

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) did repairs at the Cut Foot boat house, checked anglers, responded to injured animal calls and assisted with the search for a missing person. Angler success was on the down side this week. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and arrest for outstanding warrants.

CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and boaters, patrolled area ATV trails, completed several training classes, and assisted with a motorcycle crash.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked anglers over the past week with the fish bite slowing down. Sutherland instructed at Camp Ripley during fishing week for the new CO recruits. 

Hill City – vacant.

NE ATV officer – vacant.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) spent time at Camp Ripley assisting with training Conservation Officer Candidates at the division academy. Anglers were checked over the weekend, and boating safety equipment was checked. Enforcement action was taken for no license in possession and no PFD onboard watercraft.

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) followed up on wetland and waters complaints in the area. Time was spent working ATV complaint areas, a trespassing complaint and state park complaints. Nuisance bear issues are ramping up and Schmidt attending the annual trapper’s convention in Barnum.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked fishing, OHV, and AIS enforcement during the week. Humphrey assisted at the Minnesota Trappers Association convention in Barnum working in the DNR’s booth answering questions and listening to comments. Patrols were conducted on area lakes and trails including the Fond du Lac State Forest, Sawyer WMA, and Moose Lake State Park.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent time working the information booth at the annual Minnesota Trappers Association Convention in Barnum. Time was also spent attending the board of directors meeting and giving a law talk to junior trappers who attended the convention. Some incidentally caught furbearing animals were donated to the MTA Tanned Fur project, which gets them tanned and donates them to educational facilities.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked the upper portion of Lake Superior in Grand Marais. Cooler water provided for decent catches of fish with some steelhead being caught. Olson responded to an injured wildlife call in the city of Duluth.

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.