District 5 — Eveleth area
Conservation Officer Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring ATV activity and checking public water access sites. Angling and boating activities were checked. Equipment work was completed. Angling success remains poor. Wild rice stands continue to be checked.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time working boating safety and angling enforcement over the past week. Overall, safety compliance was much higher than seen in previous weeks.
He also responded to a call regarding someone burning trash in the middle of town. Upon contact, Zavodnik observed multiple fans blowing on a fire that consisted of garbage and a large tree stump. The individual initially denied that he had anything to do with it or that there was a fire burning right in front of him. After a more in-depth conversation, the suspect admitted to the violation and appropriate action was taken.
Zavodnik assisted multiple agencies with the apprehension of an individual who at first fled on a motorcycle and then on foot.
Enforcement action taken included boating safety, registration and angling license violations. Zavodnik is also investigating possible aquatic plant management violations that occurred over the week.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked angling, boating and off-highway vehicle activity during the past week. A day was spent in the state park with a property damage investigation.
Assistance was provided at an injury bicycle-car crash with a young boy being struck.
As Bozovsky approached two anglers, one angler who was using too many lines. The angler bit the line off on his second fishing rod, which had illegal bait consisting of a sunfish. If that wasn’t enough, when Bozovsky’s back was turned, the guy’s young son was signaled to do the same and bit his sunfish-baited line. Both cut lines were retrieved and enforcement action was taken.
Enforcement action was taken on angling with extra lines, illegal bait, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, burning prohibited materials and burn permit violations, and a number of boating, aquatic invasive species, ATV and off-highway motorcycle violations.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the past week monitoring ATV, boating and aquatic invasive species activity. Broughten followed up on littering and personal watercraft-related complaints.
Broughten continues to field nuisance-bear complaints. Property owners are reminded to remove food sources completely, including bird feeders.
District 6 — Two Harbors area
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) completed a Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness trip with CO Huener early in the week. The wilderness was busy, and violations detected included walleye overlimits, transporting fish without a skin patch, extra lines, no personal flotation devices, cans/glass and making a new campsite. A good fish bite was noted.
Numerous nuisance-bear calls were fielded, as were a variety of other questions and complaints. Time was also spent at the CO Academy evaluating scenarios.
Additional enforcement action was taken this past week for litter; unregistered watercraft; insufficient personal floation devices; no navigation lights after sunset; and taking beavers in a closed season.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent the week checking ATV riders, anglers and boaters. He attended a Glock armorers training in the metro.
CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) spent the past week patrolling the Boundary Waters with officers from across the state on their first wilderness patrol.
He also assisted the St. Louis County Rescue Squad with a search for a person who had become lost after they had mistakenly traveled down the wrong waterway inside the Boundary Waters. The lost boater was found several miles from any paddling route. Williams, the rescue squad and U.S. Border Patrol assisted them in walking out of the wilderness.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely 2) checked anglers and boaters this past week. He also took multiple calls of nuisance animals and questions about the upcoming hunting seasons. Most of the questions were about the changes in waterfowl regulations.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV and angling activity this past week. Fishing success was mixed as severe weather limited fishing opportunity. Murray and CO Keith Olson responded to a live power line down near a state campground. No injuries were reported.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) attended an Honor Guard meeting and helped again with scenarios at the DNR Academy at Camp Ripley. She checked bear bait stations for early setup and baiting. She also answered general baiting questions.
Manning followed up on a noise and target-shooting complaint in a state forest campground. The group had left the campground, but not before one member left a pile of human waste and toilet paper in the campsite, which is directly across from the outhouse.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked an area Turn in Poachers complaint. Time was spent taking several bear-complaint calls and checking anglers in the Boundary Waters. Schottenbauer also helped at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley this past week.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports an excellent bite on Lake Superior with nice fish of various species being seen in live wells. Be sure to brush up on fish identification before you head out as some anglers kept the incorrect species of fish. One angler coming off of the lake was cited for an overlimit of rainbow trout from an inland trout lake after Hill located a frozen bag of fish in a cooler in their truck.
Nuisance-bear complaints are still coming in, along with questions regarding the upcoming bear season. A couple ATV riders were spoken to about headlight usage and properly displaying their registration. Hill responded to an illegal target-practicing complaint at a state forest campground.
District 7 — Grand Rapids area
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) checked anglers and boaters. He also 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, handled numerous bear complaints and attended training this past week. Fairbanks and his K9 partner Si also attended a K9 trial, where they certified in Police Dog 1. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and DWI, and an arrest was made for outstanding warrants.
CO Sarah Grell (Grand Rapids) spent time checking ATV activity and working invasive species enforcement. She followed up on an off-road vehicle-trespassing complaint and continues to work on that investigation.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling and water recreation sports on the water over the past week. The dog days of summer have arrived, slowing the walleye and pike bites, but the panfish are still going if you get out and look for them. Sutherland also issued a wetland restoration order where a wetland was filled next to an area lake.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) worked angling, boating and ATV enforcement activities throughout the surrounding areas. Time was also spent instructing at the CO Academy during sport fishing week. Several questions regarding the upcoming bear season were fielded and answered as well.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) spoke with several people who reported a midsummer lull in overall angling success. Nuisance-animal calls were handled and questions were answered about the upcoming bear-hunting season.
District 8 — Duluth area
CO Jake Willis (Brookston) assisted an area hydrologist with investigating a waters complaint regarding work done in a trout stream tributary. A Turn in Poachers call resulted in the seizure of a large amount of fish that was being transported illegally and is possibly an overlimit.
A person found fishing without an angling license was found to also have a felony warrant and was lodged at the St. Louis County Jail.
Willis also assisted with training conservation officer candidates at the Academy at Camp Ripley.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) spent time at the academy assisting with sport fishing week. He also worked aquatic invasive species enforcement and checked public accesses for returning anglers. ATV complaint areas were worked, as were complaints of trespassing. A wolf-depredation call was handled, as were numerous nuisance-animal issues.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling/boating, ATV and aquatic invasive species enforcement throughout the past week. Humphrey patrolled area state parks and assisted park staff at Jay Cooke State Park with a bad camper making noise, drinking and taking firewood unlawfully. Enforcement action was taken.
Humphrey investigated a nuisance-bear complaint with wildlife staff and continued work on a protected waters violation. Humphrey also attended an Honor Guard meeting in Duluth.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) started an investigation where a DNR Fisheries sign was stolen from an aquatic management area. An investigation into an illegal weed roller being used on an area lake was finished with enforcement action being taken for the violation. Staples assisted with certifying one DNR K9 team and other police dogs in their annual testing process.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked Lake Superior in the Duluth area, spent time working on watercraft maintenance items, and worked aquatic invasive species enforcement at area boat landings. Olson responded to several injured-wildlife calls over the weekend.
Commercial fishing enforcement was also worked along the North Shore. Stormy weather on Sunday kept many boaters and anglers at bay.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked wild rice stands and responded to bear complaints. Reports of steelhead being kept were worked in Grand Marais and Taconite Harbor. Low water levels and dry conditions persist. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.