CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) attended training all week.
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls #2) responded to call involving a vehicle that drifted off the road and had caught on fire. When he arrived at the scene, the vehicle was completely engulfed in flames, and Zavodnik learned that both the driver and passenger side doors were blocked shut due to the surrounding trees. Luckily, a passing by motorist had noticed smoke in the ditch and decided to turn around. The quick-thinking individual was able to open the back hatch of the SUV and pull the driver and her dog out to safety unharmed. The individual’s attention to smoke in the ditch and quick thinking made for an incredible day to see everyone walk away from the scene unharmed.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) monitored angling, ATV use, OHM use, and trapping activity. Time was spent assisting with instruction at two ATV safety certification courses along with the riding course. He attended training with the U.S. Border Patrol and met the seasonal rangers for Voyageurs National Park at a ranger orientation event. He assisted the local sheriff’s office with a welfare check, responded to a fire that got away from a homeowner after they decided to burn cardboard, and issued several permits for taking beavers causing damage to property.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling and boating activities over the week. Beaver-related problems continue. Public access sites were checked. Equipment work is ongoing. Area forest roads and ATV trails were monitored.
CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring angling, boating, and ATV activity. Anglers continue to report limited success on Lake Vermilion. Broughten investigated multiple public waters violations. Broughten also assisted with a firearms safety class.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers and ATVs, investigated two beaver-carcass dump sites (one had six unskinned beavers), issued a number of beaver permits, and handled a number of bear-related complaints. He found the subject of a driving complaint in Hibbing who was arrested by the Hibbing Police Department for controlled substance DWI and issued a Wetland Conservation Act Resource Protection Notification on a wetland fill violation. Bear complaints keep coming in and have the same theme: The solution is to remove all food sources and garbage. Enforcement action was taken for taking bass out of season and a minnow trap violation.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) attended National Police Week in Washington, D.C., as a member of the Enforcement Division Honor Guard. The Honor Guard was on hand to honor the memory of O.P. Lofquist, who died in the line of duty in 1936. Enforcement action taken in the Virginia area included more ATV riders being cited for operating ATVs on snowmobile trails.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reported mixed angling results this past week. However, everyone checked had at least a couple of fish. Hopkins took enforcement action on an individual angling in a closed spawning area. A dog was attacked by a wolf near Aurora. Luckily, the dog will survive its injuries and should make a full recovery. Hopkins investigated a wetland violation along with CO Broughten.
Aurora – vacant.District 6 – Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) spent the week investigating a wildfire in Aurora. The fire started and burned along a nearly half-mile stretch of Highway 100. Although fire services responded quickly, a structure was lost. The cause is still under investigation.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and canoers this past week. Fishing was moderate but several groups caught “too many big fish.” Velsvaag received several questions about bears and feeding birds and nuisance beavers.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked a detail with an Ontario CO along the border. He was also called out for a wildfire investigation in the northwest part of the state.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked anglers, boaters and areas closed to fishing this past week. She participated as part of the DNR Honor Guard at ceremonies at the Law Enforcement Memorial in St. Paul for Police Week and attended a firearms instructor meeting.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) did an extended BWCA trip with CO Huener during the week. Activity levels and fishing success were spotty, but numerous groups were found in violation of the BWCA can and glass law, with one group also in possession of marijuana. A detail was worked on Crane Lake over the weekend. Enforcement action for the week included cans/glass in the BWCA, marijuana possession, walleye overlimits, and extra lines.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling and boating activity this past week. Calls about “abandoned” fawns have started coming in already this spring. Please do not pick up fawns laying in the grass. The doe will come get it after the coast is clear.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent time in the BWCAW checking anglers. A few of them travelled long distances, got their permit, and packed all their gear but did not buy angling licenses or registration for their watercraft. He worked on Lake Superior with CO Schottenbauer checking commercial fishers and anglers. Some nice lake trout were in the bag. He also completed equipment maintenance on his patrol boat and squad. Enforcement action was taken for fishing and boating violations.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and boating activity this past week. Water temperatures remain low, making fish less active than anglers would like but a few are still catching some nice fish. Boaters are reminded to check all safety equipment and make sure lifejackets are readily accessible. But provide the best protection when they’re worn. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and licensing violations.District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, taught firearms safety to the Northome sixth-graders, issued nuisance beaver permits, and handled bear complaints. Enforcement action was taken for no wearable PFD, no angling license in possession, and keeping bass during the catch-and-release season.
CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked fishing and ATV enforcement. He answered wildlife-related calls. He also assisted other agencies and handled a TIP call.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored trapping activity and responded to wildfires. The area walleye note was excellent this past week. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and possession of illegal-length walleyes.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) had a busy opener week with many anglers out and about. Recent cooler weather slowed things down a bit, but some walleyes and pike are being caught. Past cases were worked including big-game and trapping violations. Angling violations included angling without a license, keeping northern pike within the slot and angling too close to a dam.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, boating, ATV, and AIS enforcement. Anglers continue to report steady success, despite having to endure poor weather conditions. Time was also spent responding to a brush fire that burned out of control. Enforcement action was taken for various boating violations.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) continued to work ATV and fishing activity in the area. Most anglers are reporting a slow bite but some anglers checked were doing quite well. Several natural resource phone calls were fielded and a law and ethics talk was given at an ATV safety course. Enforcement action was taken for various fishing and boating violations.
NE ATV officer – vacant.District 8 - Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) spent most of this week in Washington, D.C. as part of the Division’s Honor Guard detail. Willis stood guard for a shift at the National Law Enforcement Memorial, attended the candlelight vigil on the National Mall, and stood as part of the Honor Guard contingent for the memorial service at the US Capitol. Phone calls and email questions were fielded as well.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) spent the entire week in Alabama for training. Phone calls regarding smelting and use of seines were answered and a complaint of a boat that washed up on shore on Island Lake was handled.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) spent time working fishing on area lakes. The spring fish run for steelhead continues, so time was also spent working the area rivers. Night work was also done as smelting enforcement continues. TIP calls were investigated involving illegal netting and ATV complaints. A waters complaint was also investigated.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) spent most of this week in Washington, D.C. as part of the Enforcement Division Honor Guard detail.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked fishing activity and also conducted extra patrols in area state parks after a report of a vehicle break in. Enforcement action was taken for no vehicle permit, angling in a closed area and minor traffic violations. Extra training was conducted with K9 Schody as well as a visit to the vet for an annual check-up.Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked along the North Shore rivers for steelhead anglers and some remaining smelters in the evenings and investigated a late trap complaint that required follow up. Charges are pending. Olson fielded a dumping complaint north of Island Lake and attempted to track down names found in the pile of garbage. He also checked anglers inland during the week.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and smelters along the North Shore. A smelt netter was cited early one evening for netting smelt in a closed river and fish sanctuary directly behind a sign that read, “No Smelting.” A few hours later in the night, the same smelter returned and was again caught netting smelt in the closed river farther into the protected spawning sanctuary. Enforcement action was again taken, including equipment confiscation. Issues of motor vehicles damaging state trails and wolves attacking a dog were handled. Enforcement action was taken for angling, OHV, ATV, and boating violations.
Lake Superior Unit – vacant.