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MN DNR Weekly Report for Feb. 4, 2019

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls #2) spent the week focused mainly on snowmobile enforcement. Hundreds of snowmobilers from as far as Iowa were taking advantage of the great trailing riding and reasonable temperatures. The most common violation encountered was excessive speed. There were a couple occasions where snowmobile operators were pulled over less than a minute apart due to speeding violations. When asked why they thought they were pulled over, all operators quickly admitted to knowing that they were going too fast. Zavodnik also received his results from a fish overlimit case he had been working on. The suspect will be facing more than $500 in fines with restitution. Time was also spent working lake enforcement with a U.S. Park Ranger in the Voyageurs National Park.

CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports the week began assisting the organizers of the Arrowhead 135 Ultramarathon with the start of the race. The extreme conditions tested the limits of some very determined athletes. Road crossings and trail use were monitored throughout the day. Snowmobile use and angling activity were suppressed due to the weather, although an uptick in snowmobile activity was observed as more temperate conditions entered the area closer to the weekend. He fielded a call of an injured deer showing up on property within the city of International Falls.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring snowmobile activities on state trails. Above-zero temperatures brought out numerous snowmobiles along with numerous violations. Equipment work was tended to and administrative tasks were completed. Fishing activity is low.

CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring angling and snowmobiling activity. Anglers continued to report limited success on Lake Vermilion and surrounding lakes. Cold weather during the week limited recreational activity, however, the warmer weekend brought out a lot of snowmobiles. Speed continued to be the primary violation for snowmobilers. Many of the snowmobilers stopped were in excess of 20 miles per hour over the speed limit. More reports of snowmobile crashes with operators sustaining serious injuries were reported again this week. Broughten also attended training at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action included angling and snowmobiling violations.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reports with the break in the weather the trails were busy this past weekend. He spent most of the time patrolling on his snowmobile. Hopkins took enforcement action on numerous speeding violations. Other violations included registration and stop sign infractions.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked anglers, snowmobiles and ATVs. A bobcat-killing-chickens complaint was handled and a mounted gray wolf was delivered to the Hibbing High School for an educational display. Enforcement action was taken on unlicensed fish house and snowmobile and ATV violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent most of the week looking for any outdoor activity. Extreme cold kept most people inside. As the weather warmed up, however, the activity on area snowmobile trails and lakes increased dramatically. Enforcement action was taken for operating unregistered snowmobiles and no angling license in possession.

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) found little to no activity during the cold spell. Fredin attended a firearms safety meeting and time was spent working snowmobile trails after the cold spell passed.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports an extremely slow week due to the very low temperatures and heavy wind.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked anglers and patrolled state and GIA snowmobile trails. She also worked with DNR Wildlife on a deer feeding dispute between neighbors and checked ski passes at Pincushion Mountain ski trails.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy weekend of angling and snowmobile enforcement and attended court. A weekend snowmobile detail was worked with CO Lerchen. Bermel gave the law talk for the Ely snowmobile safety class. Enforcement action included numerous snowmobiles with expired registration, snowmobile speed, loud exhaust, live minnows on a trout lake, unattended lines, and no shelter tag. A Division background investigation was completed.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers on area trout lakes and patrolled snowmobile trails with area officers. He officer attended training at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile violations.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Randy Patten (Northome) patrolled area lakes and snowmobile trails, attended training at Camp Ripley, and assisted with a snowmobile safety class in Northome. Time was also spent assisting stranded motorists in the cold weather.

CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked snowmobile and fishing enforcement. He also took care of injured deer complaints. Snowmobile trails were still good, with many people out riding. Recent snow should improve the trails even more. 

CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) worked snowmobile enforcement on the trails. She made contact and checked many ice anglers. Due to the extreme cold weather many people stayed indoors until the warm weekend. Enforcement action was taken for various snowmobile violations.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling and snowmobile activity in the area. With warmer weather, many more anglers are out and about on area lakes. Fishing success has been getting better as we see fish transitioning into late-winter patterns.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) worked snowmobile and angling enforcement. Area trails are in good shape and anglers are still reporting moderate success at best. Van Asch also testified in court regarding a burning complaint. Enforcement action was taken for various angling violations.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) spent time working both snowmobile and fishing activity in the area. Most people were relieved to finally get some bearable weather this past weekend and there were a lot of people out taking full advantage of it. Although fishing success varies from lake to lake many people were still able to find some nice panfish.

NE ATV officer – vacant.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) attended training in the metro for his role with the Division Use of Force training unit. Snowmobile enforcement was also worked. Riders are reminded that your current registration is required to be affixed to the machine in the manner required by law or you could be subject to citation. A lot of time is spent handling issues related to proper display that could be eliminated easily.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) checked anglers once the weather warmed up and reports snowmobile activity was also very high over the weekend. Duncan talked about snowmobile safety at the kickoff dinner for the 20th annual snowmobile ride fund-raiser for ALS with the Blizzard Tour group.  

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) attended armorers training at Camp Ripley during the week. Humphrey followed up on a snowmobile trespass complaint and a deer season baiting case. A nuisance animal complaint was also received. Patrols in area state parks were conducted.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked anglers and snowmobile activities on the lakes north of Duluth and along the North Shore State Trail. The bitterly cold weather gave way to milder temperatures and resulted in increased outdoor activities. The pack ice has arrived on the Duluth end of Lake Superior and had many daring anglers trying their luck over the weekend. Remember ice on Lake Superior is neither permanent nor safe. Enforcement actions were taken for license and registration related issues.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked snowmobiles and ice anglers as Lake Superior finally saw some fishable ice along the North Shore. Depending on location, anglers had success with lake trout, coho salmon, herring, burbot and rainbow trout. Ice conditions are constantly changing, so people who choose to go out must take safety gear, be prepared to self-rescue, and stay on high alert for bad ice. Enforcement action was taken for angling, boat access, and snowmobile violations.

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.