CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls #2) reports a busy week working trapping, ATV, snowmobile and fishing Enforcement. With warmer weather over the weekend, an increase in outdoor recreation was noticed. Fishing success seemed to vary, but many were just happy to be outdoors enjoying the nice weather. While on patrol, Zavodnik encountered a group minors operating three-wheelers and not wearing helmets. When asked where their helmets were, they stated they were back at their house and they were just going a short distance to meet at a friend’s house. One of the minors agreed to get a ride in the squad truck to grab helmets for the both of them. After returning with helmets and making sure they put them on, they were sent on their way. While responding to a call about an injured deer, Zavodnik noticed two large garbage bags in the ditch off the road. When opening up the bags, he discovered two bucks that still had their registration tags attached to them, along with household garbage. One of the bucks had also never been registered and the other tag was not validated. Upon confronting the two individuals, one quickly admitted to dumping the two garbage bags into the ditch stated he knew it was wrong. Enforcement action taken over the weekend included unregistered ATVs and snowmobiles, failing to validate a deer tag, failing to register a deer, unlawful deposit of garbage, and minors operating ATVs without helmets as required.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports spearing and angling activity has increased with the mild weather encouraging people to get outdoors. Success reports for both have been varied. Several questions on spearing regulations were answered. Reminder to check snowmobile registration before heading out this season as some have expired over the summer.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports snowmobile trails in the area are showing dirt, grass, and exposed rocks due to lack of snow. A record high of 47 degrees was set Saturday. Area lakes were checked with a number of anglers and recreational vehicles encountered given the spring-like weather of sun and temps in the mid-40s. A number of violations were encountered regarding angling, snowmobiling, and ATV violations.
CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring trapping and angling activity. Anglers reported limited success. Ice conditions are still limiting travel as anglers report 6 to 10 inches of ice on local lakes. Snowmobile riders are going to have to wait as warm weather deteriorated the little snow the Cook area had. Broughten also investigated a trespass complaint and fielded calls regarding ice shelter regulations.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) attended training in Ripley this past week. He checked anglers and trappers.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) spent the week primarily working anglers, with ATVs in the mix while dealing with anglers and other activity. Bozovsky investigated a complaint of a dog that was trapped in a snare. Follow up was completed on open cases with citations issued for various offenses. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, possessing illegal-length fish, no angling license in possession, failure to check snares daily, untagged snares, unmarked fish house, unregistered ATV, no ATV safety certificate, and driving after revocation.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a snowmobile safety class in Virginia and worked on setting up the riding portion of the class. Area anglers and spearers were checked. One spearer Frericks checked was taking full advantage of the new northern pike regulations and had speared seven pike so far – two of the pike were over the 26-inch slot and the rest were under 22 inches.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) reports a resident of Hoyt Lakes assisted living called when they observed an individual shoot a deer in the woods by their building. The hunter shot the deer with a crossbow within city limits. The individual was charged and the deer was seized. Some crappies are being caught and most lakes have 8 to 10 inches of ice. Violations of no license in possession, expired snowmobile registration and failure to transfer registration were found. Fredin assisted 28 youths with the riding skills requirement to complete their snowmobile safety class.District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports angling and recreation activity was up over the weekend as more people tried to take advantage of the above-average weather. As expected, slush on lakes was beginning to be a problem and so was the loss of what little snow we had after several days in the 40s. Violations included angling with no license in possession.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers this past week. Ice conditions are still quite variable and fishing has been slow. Velsvaag took several nuisance-animal calls and questions about dogs chasing deer and responded to a TIP complaint and took enforcement action.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked anglers by snowmobile during the week. He also did a radio interview on pike spearing, the Boundary Waters trout opener, and ice conditions.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) attended the funeral of CO Chelsie (Leuthardt) Grundhauser as part of the DNR Honor Guard detail. She also patrolled area lakes, forest roads and trails. Snow dances are currently underway in the Arrowhead region as warm weather has taken a toll on already low snow conditions.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) followed up on active cases and worked with the county attorney on cases coming up for court trials. Angling activity has been minimal. Enforcement action included failure to register marten as required and ATV transfer and registration violations.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity this past week. The snow pack took a hit with sun and warm weather in the area.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) attended training during the week.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and trapping activity. ATVs and snowmobiles are now being used on area lakes but ice conditions continued to vary on many lakes. Murray assisted volunteer snowmobile safety instructors with a youth field day where students earned their safety certificates. An illegally taken grey wolf investigation continued and any public information can be reported by contacting the TIP line at 1-800-652-9093.District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers and trappers, patrolled for illegal ATV operation, performed equipment maintenance, and investigated a call of possible deer poaching.
CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked snowmobile and fishing enforcement. He also responded to miscellaneous wildlife complaints. Snowmobile trails in his area are lacking snow.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, performed maintenance on station equipment and attended training this past week. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also assisted with a deer-poaching case in the Blaine area. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and shelter violations.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked anglers and trapping activity this past week. She also attended annual training.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling and spearing activity over the past week with the fishing bite slowing down a bit. Road-kill deer tags were issued over the past week with deer still on the move at dusk and dawn. Trapping activity is still underway with bobcat and otter trappers having moderate success
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, small-game, and recreational-vehicle enforcement. The warm weather had ice anglers out in full force. Individuals heading out onto area lakes should remain vigilant and take proper ice safety precautions. Van Asch also attended annual training held at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for several angling/spearing license violations, controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) spent most of the week focusing on ice-fishing activity. Ice conditions were good and there were lots of folks out enjoying the mild weather. Several people were observed doing very well with most reporting at least some success. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations, fish house shelter license issues, fishing without a license and fishing with extra lines.
NE ATV officer – vacant.District 8 - Duluth area
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) checked ice-angling activity on local area lakes and investigated a complaint of a state land trespass. He is working with Forestry officials on the matter. Humphrey attended funeral services for a fellow officer as part of the Enforcement Division’s Honor Guard contingent.Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ice anglers on the area lakes north of Duluth. The catch has been fair with some walleyes seen. He also attended the funeral service for CO Chelsie (Leuthardt) Grundhauser.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked ice anglers on the Duluth Harbor and trollers launching out of the McQuade Safe Harbor. Walleyes were biting under the ice and salmon were very cooperative in open water. Training was attended, and seasonal maintenance items handled. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.
Lake Superior Unit – vacant.