CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports weather has continued to be the deciding factor whether people have decided to be outdoors. The hot days have been great for boating and enjoying the water, but the fishing has been spotty. Time was also spent assisting fellow officers in the Grand Rapids and Hill City areas with enforcement at the 2019 Quadna Mud Nationals. Enforcement for the week included fishing without a license in possession, insufficient number of PFDs, and operating an ATV on the roadway. Numerous animal-related complaints were also handled throughout the week.
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls #2) spent time working angling and OHV enforcement over the week. With water temperatures still relatively low on Rainy Lake for this time of year, anglers were found to have spotty fishing success. Zavodnik and CO Kittelson responded to a call around midnight about an individual who was on a local lake and was scared for their safety. The individual was safety brought back to shore and picked up thereafter. Zavodnik and CO Vollbrecht followed up on a litter case involving a bag of trash left at a public landing during the week. The individual fully admitted the garbage was his. He said there’s usually trash cans where he put the bag of garbage, so that’s why he did it. Enforcement action was taken. Off-highway vehicle operators are reminded to know rules and regulations – including city and county ordinances – before going out on the trails and road. Violations encountered over the week included prohibited travel on the road right of way, litter, permitting unlawful operation of an ATV, and helmets required for ATV operators under the age 18.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) reports angling continues to be a popular activity in the area, with success slower than previous weeks. Even with water temperatures near 60 degrees, several people elected to go for a swim to cool off during last weekend’s extreme heat episode. Several calls of people dealing with beavers causing damage to property were received, with one individual reporting the animals had chewed through his water line for the second time.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) monitored area lakes for boating and angling activities. Public Access parking was checked. He worked with the Division of Forestry on a lands matter. Fondie continued working beaver complaints from landowners. Equipment work continues. Bugs and wood ticks have made an appearance.
CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring angling, boating, and ATV activity. Anglers reported moderate success on Lake Vermilion.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) assisted this past week at the Quadna Mud Nationals ATV run with a number of other officers. The most common violation observed was operating ATVs on a state highway. A number of individuals were operating ATVs while drinking, and there were minor consumption violations. Hopkins also assisted local and county agencies with a fight at a saloon in Virginia.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling, boating and ATV activity during the past week. He taught about 140 kids about boating and gun safety at the Hibbing Safety Town event. Assistance was provided to the Hibbing Police Department in searching for a suicidal person and he stopped a reckless driver wanted by a Virginia Police Department investigator. Fishing success has picked up with warmer water finally arriving. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license and several boating and ATV violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent a very busy week patrolling the Virginia area for a wide variety of recreational and resource-related activity. With the moderate temperatures, high numbers of ATVs and OHMs were observed and encountered. Of these recreational vehicles, several of them were unregistered. Citations were issued for the violations. Please check the registration on your ATVs and OHMs before heading out to the trails. Many ATV riders continue to be issued citations for operating their ATVs on area snowmobile trails. In speaking with landowners who own the property the trail runs over, they are considering no longer allowing the snowmobile trail on their property. CO Frericks reminds all ATV riders to respect landowners property and stay off of snowmobile trails.
Aurora – vacant.District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) attended a planning meeting for Academy Game Week. Time was spent patrolling in the BWCA.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week at Camp Ripley teaching firearms skills and tactics to the CO Academy.
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) fielded several nuisance-bear complaints over the week, most of which involved bird feeders or outdoor grills. Wild foods are still scarce because of the late, wet spring, and the longer the spring drags out the more frequent bear reports become. Please stay vigilant with bird seed, garbage, and compost to try to avoid conflicts.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked boating and invasive species enforcement efforts during the week. Area campgrounds are filling up with summer travelers as the kids are done with school. Anglers were getting some nice fish off Lake Superior and boating activity was high. Murray handled nuisance-bear complaints and took a TIP call of fishing in a closed area.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) attended an Honor Guard meeting and helped with handgun training for the new officers in the Academy. She also took a call of a nuisance beaver causing road flooding.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked angling activity this past week. Time was spent checking boaters on the water and at accesses. Much of the week was spent at Camp Ripley teaching handgun tactics and skills to the new conservation officer candidates.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports lots of activity in the backwoods and on lakes. Anglers and boat and water safety equipment were checked. A remote designated trout lake patrol was also done.District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked boaters and anglers and patrolled area ATV trails. He handled calls about wolf depredation on calves, minnow dealer violations, and nuisance wildlife. Enforcement action was taken for operating an ATV on a public highway and anglers possessing overlimits of fish.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked an ATV detail, attended training and responded to nuisance-animal complaints. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also provided a K9 demonstration at the Bark for Life event. Enforcement action was taken for license issues, operating an ATV on a roadway, minor consumption and OHV registration issues.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked anglers this past week. She also worked the Quadna Mud Nationals event for ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for various angling and recreational vehicle violations.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked heavy ATV activity in the area with the warm weather. The Quadna Mud Nationals was worked with multiple law enforcement agencies in Hill City. Enforcement action was taken for multiple roadway violations, youth violations, underage consumption and operating an ATV in a public water.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) worked angling, ATV, boating, and AIS activities. Time was also spent assisting neighboring officers with the 2019 High Lifter Quadna Mud Nationals ATV event in Hill City. Enforcement action was taken for several overlimits of sunfish and various ATV violations.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) worked along with several other area conservation officers at the High Lifter Mud Nationals ATV event that was held at Quadna Mountain in Hill City. Several ATV violations were addressed by the officers over the weekend but the overwhelming majority of violations involved ATVs operating on a state highway or in other prohibited areas.
NE ATV officer – vacant.District 8 - Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) fielded TIP calls and worked anglers as well as ATV activity. Willis also participated in teaching at a firearms safety field day in the Moose Lake/Kettle River area. Enforcement action was taken for no Type IV PFD, no license in possession, as well as registration issues.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) attending a district field day for youth firearms safety certification in Moose Lake.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) worked fishing and boating enforcement on area inland lakes. Some invasive species work was completed at area accesses. He also checked anglers on area tributaries catching stream trout and monitored ATV activity in past complaint locations. Duncan also assisted with a firearms safety field day class.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked boating, angling, AIS and OHV enforcement throughout the week. Nuisance- and injured-animal complaints continue to be received. Humphrey attended an Honor Guard meeting held at Camp Ripley. An area youth firearms safety field day was conducted in the Moose Lake/Kettle River area by Duluth district officers with the aid of retired firearms safety instructor Carl Boehmer. Various boating and AIS violations were encountered during the week.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) assisted other officers in the district at a firearms safety field day in the Moose Lake/Kettle River area. Time was spent patrolling area state parks where enforcement action was taken for not having vehicle permits, parking in closed areas and consuming alcoholic beverages. Complaints of fishing violations on the St Louis River were worked and enforcement action was taken for taking overlimits of walleyes. K9 Schody assisted local law enforcement with the search for a firearm that was believed thrown in the woods and also for searching for a person who fled from police on foot.Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) assisted fellow District 8 officers with a firearms safety field day in the Moose Lake/Kettle River area, responded to a report of a spotted fawn north of Duluth and fielded several other wildlife-related calls during the week. He worked AIS enforcement on public accesses in the Duluth and Two Harbors areas.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters. A good surface bite for salmon and trout continues off the mudlines near Duluth. Walleyes continued to please anglers in the St. Louis River. Complaints of overlimits and long hours of observation led to multiple citations for taking an overlimit of walleyes and confiscation of the fish. A firearms safety field day was staffed with other Duluth-area officers and enforcement action was taken for angling violations during the week.
Lake Superior Unit – vacant.