District 5 — Eveleth area
Conservation Officer John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports multiple reports of nuisance animals and injured animals were taken this past week, ranging from black bear to eagles and a pelican. The remainder of the week was spent focusing on ATV use, angling, boating and aquatic invasive species. Anglers are finding fish in between uncooperative weather systems. The resorts and public access sites continue to see steady traffic.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports fishing activities have slowed and fishing success remains poor. ATV activities continue to be monitored. Equipment work continues. Area forest roads and public access sites continue to be monitored.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) focused his patrol time on boat and water safety around the Cook and Tower areas. A handful of contacts made throughout the week were found to have an insufficient number of wearable life jackets on board their watercraft, and a few anglers were also observed angling without a license.
While Zavodnik was waiting for the remaining anglers to come off the lake, he observed what looked like a boat traversing across the lake in the dark. He eventually encountered the person, who was found to be operating a watercraft without navigational lights nearly two hours past the required time.
Zavodnik also responded to a single-vehicle car crash in the Cook area late Saturday evening. Zavodnik, the State Patrol and other local agencies assisted with extrication in the multiple-fatality crash.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters and ATV riders and followed up on open cases. A citation was issued for littering after identifying the responsible people who dumped a large amount of fish carcasses in two locations near Chisholm.
A complaint of personal watercraft operators who were on their phones, lying on their backs, and nearly hit a pontoon was wrapped up with enforcement action. Bozovsky found one of the suspects committing a different personal watercraft speed violation and spoke to him about the earlier careless operating act. He then dealt with the second responsible party the following day. The other individual had been stopped by Bozovsky in May for a speed violation.
In another matter, he found an individual who was so intoxicated that an ambulance was summoned to transport the person. Assistance was provided to the Hibbing Police Department with a fight call. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines; no license in possession; indecent exposure, off-highway vehicle trespass; and a number of boating, personal watercraft and ATV violations.
District 6 — Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) focused on angling enforcement between medical and rescue calls over the weekend. A large group inside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness were separated from their canoes after they tried to navigate up a mostly dry river and required assistance. Violations included angling with no license in possession; no lifesaving device on board a watercraft; and failure to display watercraft registration.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent the past week checking anglers in the BWCAW. Walleyes were cooperating with anglers on area lakes. He followed up on wildlife and ATV complaints.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled area campgrounds, lakes and boat accesses checking anglers and boaters and many folks trying to beat the heat. ATV operators were also checked and compliance was generally good. Manning also continued working a couple Turn in Poachers calls and following up on a trespass complaint.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) focused primarily on aquatic invasive species, boating and ATV enforcement throughout the week. Numerous citations were issued for failing to have personal flotation devices on watercraft. Other enforcement action included late jet ski operation; failure to transfer watercraft ownership; fishing without a license; transporting watercraft with the drain plug in place; and permitting unlawful ATV operation by a juvenile.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling and boating activity this past week. Time was also spent at the academy teaching water survival training.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports checking anglers in the BWCAW, on Lake Superior and on various other lakes throughout the county. Salmon are few and far between but anglers targeting lake trout left the water very happy. Multiple boat plug violations were handled, with a few out-of-state anglers coached on the importance of respecting the waters of the state they are visiting.
Bear calls keep coming in. A few simple changes around the yard can take care of the majority of the bear issues landowners are having. Citations were issued for personal flotation device violations, watercraft-registration violations and possessing illegal containers within the BWCAW.
Assistance was given to the local U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer with a watercraft case.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV and water recreation activity during the week. Angling activity remained high and most anglers checked had fish in the boat. Nuisance-bear activity calls were handled, as was a wolf depredation complaint.
District 7 — Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers and boaters, and patrolled campgrounds, ATV riders and aquatic invasive species. Numerous game and fish questions were answered. He also responded to wildlife-related complaints.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, worked aquatic invasive species, answered questions about the upcoming bear season and assisted the county with a motor vehicle accident.
Fairbanks also responded to K9 requests from the county and tribal police. Enforcement action was taken for license issues, no navigation lights after sunset and failure to display registration on an off-highway vehicle.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) checked angling activity this past week. A lot of folks are out recreating on the water. Remember to have all the safety equipment required by law, including life jackets, onboard your watercraft.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked boating and angling activity over the past week with numerous sporting groups and families on area lakes. Enforcement action was taken for possessing an overlimit of fish and expired registration.
Action was also taken for operating an ATV on the Mesabi Trail. Please take note this is a non-motorized user trail and is only open to motorized use by snowmobiles in the winter.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working angling, boating, aquatic invasive species and ATV enforcement throughout the surrounding areas. Assistance was also given to the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office for a structure fire. Enforcement action was taken for several boating and ATV violations encountered.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) spent time at Camp Ripley assisting with the training of the conservation officer candidates at the current Academy. Follow-up work was done on past cases and equipment maintenance was completed.
District 8 — Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) handled a nuisance-wolf complaint in Brookston in which the U.S. Department of Agriculture assisted. Turn in Poachers calls were fielded and ongoing cases were followed up on. Given the heavy heat and humidity, activity was somewhat low in the area.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) handled numerous water complaints and site visits related to construction and work in public waters. Bear and coyote complaints topped the call lists for the week with wolves following close behind. He focused on aquatic invasive species work around local public accesses.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) assisted with academy instruction at Camp Ripley and patrolled Lake Superior in the Duluth-Two Harbors waters. Olson reports fishing has slowed with the warmer weather, but many boaters were out enjoying Lake Superior. Bear complaints are still being fielded in the Duluth area. State forest campgrounds were patrolled and Olson also focused on ATV enforcement.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) instructed at the CO Academy for watercraft operation and enforcement. Nuisance-bear complaints were handled and questions were answered about upcoming bear season. Anglers on Lake Superior are finding some trout and salmon where the wind allows. Enforcement action taken for ATV and angling violations.