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MN DNR Weekly Report for April 15, 2019

District 5 - Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) worked the last weekend of the walleye catch-and-release season on the Rainy River. Fishing was very slow with muddy water being the main contributing factor. Most people switched to sturgeon fishing, which was a little better but not great. Enforcement action was taken for boating and license violations.

CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls #2) spent time working boating and angling enforcement on the Rainy River. Debris and low visibility from the Littlefork River caused fishing to slow down considerably throughout the week. Anglers had a tough time trying to find the walleye bite and sturgeon fishing seemed spotty. Time was also spent attending the International Falls Expo with the DNR Fisheries Section and Forestry Division. Violations found throughout the week included no license in possession, expired registration, failure to drain a live well/bilge, and failure to have lifesaving devices on board. Zavodnik wants to remind anglers that the catch-and-release season for walleyes on the river has now closed, but sturgeon catch-and-release is still open.

CO John Slatinski (Ray) continued to monitor angling activity on the Rainy River, where the weather and water conditions made for less-than-desirable circumstances. He also monitored for AIS compliance, ATV use, and dealt with equipment issues. He finished out the week attending annual training and following up on complaints of illegal fishing activity.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) attended training and continued work on equipment. Area lakes, roads, and public access sites continue to be monitored.

CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring angling and ATV activity. The winter storm limited recreational activity. Area lakes are in poor condition for late ice fishing. Broughten checked a few spring trappers and attended court for a past case.

CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) spent much of the week addressing equipment issues. He also dedicated time to spring beaver trappers. 

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley, worked ATV riders, and followed up on a call from the previous week about a reported wolf in a trap. It turned out to be a coyote. The freshly caught coyote was in a trap left out in the woods from earlier in the winter. The trapper was cited. An inexperienced ATV driver ran a stop sign and shortly thereafter made a turn on two wheels. The driver had a suspended driver’s license. Enforcement action was taken for failure to tend traps, leaving a trap set after the end of the respective seasons, OHV trespass, driving after suspension and several ATV violations.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spoke at a firearms safety class in Virginia and attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley. Heavy snow in the area slowed most activity. Frericks focused efforts on monitoring snowmobile trails and keeping ATVs off them. Several ATVs were stopped on snowmobile trails and the operators were cited for the violation. Other enforcement action taken included operating an unregistered ATV and having a juvenile passenger on an ATV without a helmet.

District 6 - Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports the most recent spring snowstorm again deterred much of the normal crappie angling for this time of year. The very few anglers checked over the entire week had mixed success, but most reported only marginal luck. Violations included taking fish during the closed season. 

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked a Rainy River detail with other officers during the week.  

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) spent the week at Camp Ripley assisting with annual training for field officers in firearms use and defensive tactics. Manning also worked a snowy stream trout opener on the North Shore.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) spent much of the week storing winter equipment, readying summer equipment and on equipment maintenance. Questions were responded to from students working on a school project. A few crappie anglers were checked but ice conditions are at the dangerous stage in most places. Closed trails were monitored.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked at Camp Ripley this past week training officers. Schottenbauer spent much of the rest of the week checking shore anglers on Lake Superior.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) followed up on past investigations. He investigated a litter complaint on the ice and handled wildlife calls.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked stream trout fishing and boating activity on Lake Superior this past week. Cold weather slowed down the fishing with some streams freezing over once again. Murray also attended a training session at Camp Ripley and handled nuisance-animal complaints.

District 7 - Grand Rapids area

CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked ATV, boating, AIS, and fishing enforcement. He also took care of wildlife complaints. Ice conditions are deteriorating.

CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked angling activity this past week. She also followed up on a couple of littering complaints. She attended Division training and worked on the Rainy River. Enforcement action was taken for littering and angling violations.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked late-season ice anglers over the past week with some good crappie bites going on in the area. Ice conditions are rapidly changing so be careful if you venture out on area lakes.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) worked late-season angling and ATV enforcement. Time was spent at Camp Ripley for training as well.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) reports spending time checking on trails and forest roads that are closed due to wet spring conditions. Spring beaver trapping was monitored and assistance was given to other law enforcement agencies on calls for service.

NE ATV officer – vacant.

District 8 - Duluth area

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) spent time at Camp Ripley instructing Division in-service training this past week. Snowmobile and ATV activity was addressed. Registration issues are already arising with ATVs coming out for the summer season. Enforcement action was taken for no ATV registration, allowing illegal juvenile operation of a snowmobile, failure to transfer ownership, operating an unregistered snowmobile, no snowmobile safety certificate, and for a juvenile without a helmet on a snowmobile.

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) worked along the North Shore and checked anglers along rivers and the shore. ATV complaint areas were worked and nuisance animal issues were handled. Schmidt worked a detail on the Rainy River over the weekend. Fishing was very slow due to water temperatures and recent storms.  

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) continued to work steelhead fishing enforcement along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Many Lake Superior shore anglers were also checked. A fishing and recreational trespass complaint continues to be worked on a North Shore tributary. Duncan also worked walleye and sturgeon fishing on the Rainy River between International Falls and Baudette.  

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked spring forest road and trail closures during the week. He attended Division in-service at Camp Ripley and worked an enforcement detail on the Rainy River over the weekend.  

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) spent most of the week at Camp Ripley for annual in-service training. He also checked spring anglers chasing suckers, patrolled Jay Cooke State Park and had a report of escaped elk at a local elk farm, which he is following up on. Staples also assisted the Moose Lake Police Department in locating potential evidence.  

Lake Superior Marine Unit

CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked shore anglers and steelhead anglers along North Shore rivers. McQuade Harbor is still iced-in, preventing the launch of watercraft. Olson followed up on trespass issues on a North Shore river. Nuisance animal complaints are on the rise and questions were answered regarding spring fishing seasons.  

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked a few boaters excited to get out trolling from Two Harbors and McQuade. Recent storms have left a lot of sediment in the water. Inland lakes could still be accessible with a little adventure, but hopefully warming weather will bring them toward open water. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile violations.

Lake Superior Unit – vacant.

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