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MN DNR Weekly Report for Jan. 14, 2019

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports attending the annual training and awards program at Camp Ripley. A youth snowmobile safety class was held where 17 area youth received their snowmobile safety certificate. Thanks to all volunteers throughout the state who help in making this a successful program. The remainder of the workload involved snowmobile and ice-fishing enforcement.

CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls #2) worked snowmobile and fishing enforcement. Trail conditions have improved in the woods and on the lake with additional snowfall over the past week. On the flip side, with the accumulating snow on the lake, slush has started to creep its way up, deterring many anglers from being able to get their permanent ice houses out. Time was also spent helping with fur registration in Eveleth.

CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports angling and snowmobile enforcement made up most activity the past week. Accidental animal kills were collected and processed. A Division training conference was attended at Camp Ripley. Assistance was provided at a local youth snowmobile safety course. Violations encountered the past week included illegal exhaust on a snowmobile, snowmobile registration issues, possession of dressed fish fillets on a special regulation lake, and license violations.  

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes and snowmobile trails. Time was spent checking public access sites and area forest roads. Angling success remains low. Lake travel is hampered by slush and water on the ice. Equipment work was completed.

CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring angling and snowmobiling activity. Anglers reported limited success. Broughten worked trout opener with local officers. Area lakes are slushy and limiting travel for anglers and snowmobile riders. Snowmobile trails could use some more snow. Broughten also assisted with a snowmobile crash on the Arrowhead trail.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers and snowmobile riders, registered bobcats and otters, and attended two days of training at Camp Ripley. Trout opener was worked and Bozovsky hit all six trout lakes ion the area. He found angler use was high and violations were low. The number of trout iced was below normal, but the fish caught were of quality size. Bozovsky was the first officer on the scene of a truck rollover, where assistance was provided to the State Patrol. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession, no trout stamp in possession and a number of snowmobile violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley and assisted DNR Wildlife with fur registration. Area lakes were checked and angling activity has slowed significantly mostly due to poor ice conditions caused by heavy snowfall. Frericks investigated a TIP call regarding an angler observed fishing on a designated trout lake two days before the trout season opened. The angler was located and was completely oblivious that it was unlawful to fish on a designated trout lake for any species during the closed trout season.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) received a call of a mature buck that was put down that was lying under a tree in Aurora looking sick/injured. Equipment maintenance and office work was conducted.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports there were some tough lake conditions for the regular winter trout opener. Large areas of slush along with open areas deterred some anglers, but attendance the first day was only down slightly. Success was fair; most anglers had some success early with a few leaving the ice with a limit of fish. Violations included angling without a license in possession, angling on a designated trout lake without a trout stamp, and failure to display snowmobile registration.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and snowmobilers this past week. Slush conditions have improved a little since last week and fishing was a little slower than normal for trout opener. Several snowmobilers had minor registration issues and modified exhaust.

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) participated in a work detail with several officers during the opening weekend of the winter trout season. Snowmobilers and anglers were checked.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked anglers and fishing shelters on lakes this past week. The trout opener saw warm weather with some very bad slush spots. Manning also patrolled snowmobile trails and forest routes.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked trout opener and snowmobile enforcement. Trail conditions were good in the Isabella area. Time was also spent at training, on a Division background investigation, and on deer cases. Enforcement action was taken for excessive snowmobile speed, failure to register deer as required, and failure to transfer watercraft ownership.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked a busy trout opener. One angler saw Schottenbauer coming and started fumbling around in his shelter. When Schottenbauer arrived at the shelter, the angler opened up his door and shouted, “Yeah, OK, I have live minnows!” Schottenbauer observed a tipped-over coffee can with live minnows still in it and minnows swimming around the angler’s feet. Enforcement action was taken. A large number of snowmobile riders was in the area this past weekend, too.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent time patrolling for angling and snowmobiling activity. He attended a conference at Camp Ripley and worked with area officers during the trout opener. Overall, the fish cooperated and anglers were happy despite the amount of slush on the lakes. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile violations.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked the winter trout opener up the Gunflint Trail this past week. Fishing was good on some area lakes but slush made access a bit challenging. Enforcement action was taken for license violations and unattended lines. A Division training session was also attended at Camp Ripley during the week.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) attended training at Camp Ripley, checked anglers, worked a trapping complaint, assisted with fur tagging, handled a car-killed wolf call, and patrolled area snowmobile trails. Enforcement action was taken for operating a snowmobile without a headlight or taillight and operating a snowmobile without snowmobile safety training.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended training at Ripley, checked anglers and monitored snowmobile activity. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also assisted in locating a firearm in a homicide. Angler success was slow this week. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and angling with extra line.

CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) spent time at training this past week. She also checked anglers and snowmobiling activity. Enforcement action was taken for violations involving both.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked a busy week of angling and snowmobile enforcement.  Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, angling while privileges are suspended, possessing drug paraphernalia and possessing a small amount of marijuana.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) monitored area snowmobile and angling activities. Snowmobile trails are in good shape but could still use a coat of snow. Van Asch also attended Division training held at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, no trout stamp in possession, and several snowmobile violations.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) worked a busy trout opener on area trout lakes. Results were mixed but most had reports of success. The folks who got up early had better luck catching rainbow and brook trout than the folks who slept in and got a late start. Enforcement action was taken for fishing license violations, fish shelter license issues and expired ATV registrations.

NE ATV officer – vacant.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) worked snowmobiling and ice angling activity this week. The trails had good coverage but the lakes were very difficult to navigate because of the slush. Enforcement action was taken for registration-related issues. Please make sure you get current stickers on your sled before heading out.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) worked area lakes and snowmobile trails during the first part of the week and attended a Division-wide training at Camp Ripley. Duncan assisted with a work detail in the Grand Marais area focusing on fishing enforcement due to the opening of the winter trout season. Duncan also assisted the U.S. Border Patrol with a detail along the U.S./Canada border.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) attended training at Camp Ripley and also continued training with K9 Schody. Assistance was given at a work detail in the metro area on designated trout lakes. A call of a dead eagle found on an area snowmobile trail was investigated. It appeared the eagle was hit and killed by a snowmobile. A complaint of a wetland violation was followed up on, and after the initial investigation, it was determined there was no violation.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked snowmobilers and ice anglers in the Duluth area. Registration violations were common with several new snowmobiles being purchased within the last month. Olson notes slush is still a problem on the lakes north of Duluth.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked ice anglers on a very slushy inland trout opener weekend. Snowmobile trails were patrolled, with some very bad riding behavior seen, including cutting corners, sliding sideways across the opposite side of a trail, failing to stop for stop signs, and other safety concerns. Enforcement action taken for snowmobile moving and equipment violations.

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

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