MN DNR Reports: Bring your bug spray as summer bug harvest is in full swing – Duluth News Tribune
District 5 – Eveleth District
CO Darrin Kittelson (international falls #1) worked on flood relief.
CO Curtis Simonson (international falls #2) reports spending time monitoring muskellunge anglers on the Bigfork River this past weekend, monitoring ATV activity and helping with flooding issues on Rainy Lake. Simonson would like to remind people that deer are starting to drop their fawns all over the area and if a fawn is spotted leave it alone and do not handle the fawn. Most of the time, the mother is not far away and will return to the fawn.
Commander John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports that although lakes in the region are still in the flood stage, it appears that some are beginning to stabilize. Complaints of boat wakes are still heard, with some causing damage to sandbagging efforts. Along with a nearby officer, Slatinski responded to the location of a fire where the owner had not obtained a burning permit in advance and the fire ignited. Slatinski contacted two ATV operators who entered the state highway almost directly in front of his patrol vehicle. ATV drivers then began to travel on the shoulder of the highway in the opposite direction to traffic.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) signals the monitoring of area lakes for angling activities. Forest roads in the area and public access sites have been checked. ATV activity was monitored. The equipment works are in progress. Border lakes remain flooded. Complaints about boat wakes continue due to high water on area lakes.
CO Aaron Larson (Tower) mainly worked on training and reporting throughout the week. Larson also spent time servicing the squad’s trucks.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) mainly worked in angling/boating and ATV/OHM activity. He also spent time working at an AIS control station and investigating a fire. Violations encountered included ATV/boat registration issues, failure to drain watercraft prior to transport, operating an ATV on a state road, and allowing a smoldering fire.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time patrolling area lakes during the week. Windy weather and rain have slowed angling activity for this time of year. Zavodnik also spent time helping the International Falls area load sandbags.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing, boating and ATV activity. Fishing and shipping activity remained weak this week. MTB activity resumed with the best weather. Broughten also tracked violations of public waters.
District 6 – Two Ports Sector
Commander Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports that fishing activity remained stable despite strong winds for most of the week. Success was low, but most anglers reported a bit of luck. Violations included transporting boats without removing the catch, failure to display current registration and angling without a license in possession.
Commander John Velsvaag (Ely #2) fishermen checked last week. He also had several bear reports and had several questions about other states’ boat registration requirements and northern pike regulations in the northeast pike area.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time watching anglers on area lakes. He responded to complaints and attended an equipment meeting. Enforcement actions have been taken for angling-related offences.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) took a report of a wetland violation and met with local authorities to help resolve the issue. Manning also worked with other officers and MNR staff to inspect watercraft and educate boaters about aquatic invasive species. Potential campers were contacted before illegally camping in an overhanging area and directed to a slightly more remote but also easily accessible and legal location. As a reminder, lookouts, boat access, trailhead parking lots and the like are not legal locations for bivouac camping and campers should check with DNR Forestry for road conditions leading to certain campgrounds more distant.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked typical summer activities throughout the week. Water levels have steadily dropped from their highs, and major bug traps have provided new challenges for those trying to enjoy outdoor activities. Enforcement actions this week consisted of expired ATV registration, unregistered watercraft, insufficient number of PFDs and possession of dressed nets on special management water (northern pike on Birch Lake ). A TIP call was investigated.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports that angling and boating activity is beginning to resume. Citations have been issued after a group of four fishermen were found in canoes without PFDs. It was during a day of strong winds and cold waters. Upon contact, one of the parties provided a wet angling license and explained that he had fallen in the water the day before. Even though they put themselves in a dangerous situation, they still complained about the tickets. Trade inspections of minnows were carried out at a few local businesses and no violations were detected. Hill participated in an AIS detail in the Duluth area. Many contacts have been made and some violations have been dealt with. An ATV was arrested for illegal driving in Tofte.
CO Don Murray (two ports) worked on invasive species and boating enforcement activities this week. Anglers were doing well with sunfish this week but the fish weren’t the only ones biting. Bring your bug spray as the summer bug harvest is in full swing. Enforcement action was taken for permit violations and failure to remove the drain plug while transporting watercraft.
District 7 – Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northhome) responded to pest complaints and answered questions from those affected regarding the welfare of baby animals. It is best to leave baby animals where they are. In most cases, it is illegal to possess them. Time was spent patrolling area lakes by boat, conducting boater safety checks and checking anglers. Enforcement measures have been taken for fishing without a fishing license in possession, fishing in a closed area, possession of walleye of illegal length and fishing without a license.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) patrolled state parks and checked fishermen, boaters and ATV riders. Many questions about game and fish have been answered. It also responded to wildlife-related complaints.
Commander Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended training, checked anglers, and worked on boat and water enforcement. Fairbanks also helped with weather events. The success of the anglers has been tremendous this week. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a licence, no license in possession, failure to display registration on a boat, no disposable device, insufficient PFDs, no skin patch and possession of fish of illegal length.
Commander Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked angling and mountain biking with lots of people enjoying the nice weather. Sutherland took enforcement action for angling without a license, operating a motorboat with an expired personal watercraft registration, possessing protected length fish, angling too close to a dam, and operating a an unregistered mountain bike.
CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) controlled angling and recreational vehicles. Time was also spent on various wildlife complaints. Holt worked on open fire investigations and monitored AIS compliance in the area.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) has focused its enforcement efforts on recreational boating, angling, ATVs and AIS activities. Follow-up work was also carried out on ongoing investigations. A variety of angling and boating questions were answered, along with several pest complaints that were answered and addressed.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) noticed an increase in the number of families enjoying the natural resources, with most local schools out in the summer. Hochstein was very pleased with the compliance rates of children under 10 wearing life jackets while on the lakes. Enforcement action has been taken for angling without a license, lack of PFDs on board a boat and driving ATVs on a highway.
CO Andy Schmidt (West Duluth) active fishermen and nautical activities on weekdays. He helped with an Aquatic Invasive Species detail and followed up on ATV complaints. Complaints about pests were also handled. Please leave the fawns alone.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) continued to work in fishing and boating law enforcement on area lakes. ATV activity continues to be monitored and worked in and around former complaint areas. Time was spent working with an owner who needed a permit to work in a waterway. Duncan also worked with CO Keith Olson on his last day of service with the MNR Law Enforcement Division before retiring. Olson will be greatly missed by Duncan as a working partner.
CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked on off-road vehicles, invasive species, angling and boating throughout the week. Humphrey responded to calls and complaints about nuisance beavers, wetland infilling, ATV use, and MNR safety training courses. Humphrey participated in an Aquatic Invasive Species detail work held in the district and encountered violations regarding OHV, angling and boating issues during the week .
Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) anglers and boaters checked for AIS compliance. Anglers were checked along Lake Superior and the St. Louis River. The maintenance of nautical equipment has been ensured. Plans have been made for an upcoming class of gun safety. Enforcement actions taken for angling offences.