Minnesota DNR Conservation Officer ReportsHere are this week's reports filed by conservation officers across Northeastern Minnesota.
District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) worked a joint project with the US Border Patrol on border waters.
CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports the mosquitoes are as bad, if not worse, than ever in the area. Talk is that area stores are selling out of bug spray. Many are hoping for an early frost to reduce the population. Area lakes and trails were patrolled. The blueberry picking is just about over for another year. A couple of car-killed deer were taken care of. Lots of calls and concerns were received about changes for the deer season and permit boundaries.
CO Dan Starr (Tower) worked on State Park issues and a missing person that left the park. Fishing activity was found to high, with success very spotty. Nuisance calls of beaver are coming in, along with other critter complaints. CO Starr worked at the MN Trappers Association (MTA) convention and answered numerous questions. A law/ethics/safety presentation to a very large MN Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) Forkhorn Camp at the Laurentian Environmental Center was given. Numerous questions on new regulations were fielded. ATV issues were addressed, along with meeting with a local police department on current ATV issues/violations.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, boaters, the state park and an ATV trespass complaint. The officer dealt with two bears that came up short when crossing highways during the week. One caused a pickup rollover when the driver tried to avoid the bear. Enforcement action was taken on an angling violation and numerous boating and personal watercraft violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent time checking anglers on Virginia area lakes. Few anglers report having caught anything. While leaving a narrow access a car load of people pulled up blocking CO Frericks’ exit. When CO Frericks spoke with the driver to explain that he would have to move the vehicle to allow the CO to leave assorted drug paraphernalia was seen. Numerous citations were issued for possession for drug paraphernalia and possession of small amount of marijuana.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked a detail with Superior National Forest Law Enforcement and traveled rivers into remote campsites and fishing locations. Fredin received a complaint of a boat and trailer being stored at a public access; the owner was contacted and removed them. Observed lots of blueberries and raspberries in the woods. Wild rice appears to be doing well in some locations.
Ray - vacant.
I. Falls # 2 - vacant.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) took a report of a “floating island” installed on an area lake that turned out to be a loon nesting platform. Officer Manning worked a joint patrol with USFS in the BWCAW; glass bottles, trash in fire grates, and fishing without licenses in possession were a few of the violations found. The officer also took information on a cougar sighting, answered questions about moose hunting and the illegality of hiring a guide to help, and spoke with a couple concerned individuals about boaters harassing wildlife and PWC operations.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked boaters and fishermen throughout the weekend and encountered several different people fishing without licenses. All the unlicensed persons were astonished and unaware that you actually needed a fishing license to fish in Minnesota. One person felt the license should have been included as part of their motel/resort rental. Fishing was slow. A fawn became trapped on a rock ledge at a river’s edge, so officers coaxed it into the water where it swam away indicating it was not hurt in any way.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) helped the Marine Unit with the Tall Ships Festival in Duluth. He did a remote canoe patrol. More people are picking berries than fishing. Some found walleye fishing to be very good.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked the Duluth area on Lake Superior while the tall ships arrived with area officers and the USCG. The officers escorted the ships into the Duluth harbor and provided a security zone around them. A lot of people were enjoying the nice weather and seeing the ships. Wahlstrom also spent time working anglers on superior and enforcing invasive laws.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked area anglers and boaters this past week. Fishing has improved on some lakes. CO Velsvaag followed up on some wetland and waters complaints as well as some ATV trespass complaints. CO Velsvaag received several calls on the deer season changes and the upcoming trapping season.
CO Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) worked with other officers on a TIP complaint of a group of individuals fishing with multiple lines and using nets to take fish. Lake Superior and inland lakes were worked. Fishing success on Lake Superior has dropped off in the last week with the locally warm water temperatures. Several inland lakes are showing some success for walleye and crappie. CO Thomasen spent a day working with Marine Unit officers during the Tall Ships Festival in Duluth.
Babbitt - vacant.
Silver Bay - vacant.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, patrolled for ATV activity and worked invasive species. The area walleye bite was slow, while panfish and big northern pike success was good. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession, no sound producing device on board watercraft, fail to remove drain plug on watercraft and operate ATV on roadway.
CO Jeff Koehn (Grand Rapids – OHV Specialist) patrolled for OHV activity. He attended a meeting of Pine County officials about a possible ordinance to allow ATV use on county roads. CO Koehn gave an OHV training presentation to State Patrol Troopers in the Brainerd area.
CO Gary Lefebvre (Pengilly) worked fishermen, watercraft, ATVs, state parks and campgrounds. He also taught a firearms safety class during the week and handled a boating complaint on an area lake.
CO Jon Paurus (Hill City) processed furs from closed cases. Boating and fishing activities were monitored. Various complaints were handled during the week also.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked anglers and boaters over the past week with multiple families enjoying the nice weather. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, boating without enough life jackets and boating with an overloaded watercraft. CO Sutherland also worked an open wetlands case. CO Sutherland also enforced ATV laws and regulations.
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, handled complaints on early bear baits, processed seized furbearers, and worked on issues with the upcoming waterfowl season.
CO Sarah Sindelir (Grand Rapids) investigates a possible APM violation where cattails were removed from the lake bed. She also investigated a complaint of minnow trapping without a license. She received several calls from the Big Fork area of boating complaints. Enforcement action was taken for angling and boating violations.
Bigfork - vacant.
District 8 - Cloquet area
CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) investigated a report of a party harassing sea gulls in the Duluth area. The officer worked a detail with other CO’s and US Coast Guard as the tall ships arrived in the Duluth Harbor. Anglers and boaters were checked during the week. A complaint of ATV’s operating on roadways and closed snowmobile trails were also investigated.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) assisted local law enforcement with welcoming several tall ships into the Duluth Harbor. This included assisting with security zones and escorts into the Duluth Harbor. Boating traffic was very high during the tall ship event. Several calls were also returned during the week. Inland fishing and boating enforcement was also worked.
CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) investigated a large APM violation on a local lake. Several boating safety violations were encountered during the week. Reports of problem bears are still frequent. He also answered questions at a trapping convention.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (NE MN) worked with local soil and water conservation district to close several wetland violations. Officer Scott spent time working with Minnesota Sea Grant staffing an Aquatic Invasive Species booth at the Duluth Tall Ships event over the weekend. Information was provided on Aquatic Invasive Species in the Great Lakes and Minnesota. People from all over Minnesota, Canada, and as far away as Maine, California, Washington, Texas and Arkansas were talked with on the importance of stopping the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked with local law enforcement on issues of camping along a state trail in the Moose Lake area. A lot of time was spent working the information booth at the Minnesota Trapper’s Convention in Barnum. A meeting was attended on upcoming issues with fur bearers and trapping in Minnesota. Local enforcement contacts were made for operating an ATV without registration and safety certificates. Some time was spent talking to anglers at area accesses about invasive species and new regulations.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) reports working angling, boating, and off-highway vehicle enforcement. CO Humphrey patrolled the Fond Du Lac State Forest. Violations during the week included angling w/out license, misc. watercraft operation and equipment, ATV registration.
CO Keith Olson (Marine Unit) spent time working a security detail for the tall ships visiting the port. The Duluth harbor and Lake Superior was very busy. There was an estimated 100,000+ people watching and touring the tall ships. One minor boating accident was reported. Additional officers from the area assisted the Marine Unit. Officers also assisted DPD with issues harbor side.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Unit) monitored boating traffic during a very busy Duluth Tall Ships event. Nice weather and world-traveled sailing ships drew many thousands of people to the waterfront. Compliance was good with water safety equipment requirements and angling regulations, but some boaters needing a reminder of boating etiquette when operating in heavy traffic areas. Salmon and lake trout continue to cooperate with anglers at various depths. Enforcement action was taken for angling, boating, and burning violations.
CO Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Unit) checked boaters and anglers on Lake Superior. He assisted with the security zone for the Tall Ships entering Duluth Harbor. It was the most boat and people traffic he has seen in the Canal Park area. He assisted with a swimmer in Lake Superior who a private boat had picked up after he asked for assistance. The swimmer was turned over to Duluth Police Department. Enforcement action was taken for OHM, boating, and fishing violations.