DNR Conservation Officer weekly report ending April 27
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports many calls of out-of-control campfires all over the Iron Range. Extremely dry and windy conditions meant these fires spread quickly and both DNR and U.S. Forest Service crews had to act quickly to keep them from spreading. Please remember that there is a burning ban in place, which includes campfires on public lands.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked ATV operators this past week, as well as spring fish-run activity. He also assisted with closures and took multiple calls on burning restrictions. Velsvaag also had multiple nuisance-animal complaints and beaver-trapping questions.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time checking anglers along the North Shore tributaries. State parks and campgrounds were patrolled. The officer assisted the county with several calls. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile and angling violations.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked anglers along the shore of Lake Superior and its tributaries. Manning also assisted Cook County with a water-skipping complaint.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked the spring fish run, ATV enforcement, and sucker spearing. A group was found spearing in a closed spawning area. Enforcement action was taken for spearing in a closed area, taking fish by hand, taking fish without a license, burning prohibited materials, and ATV violations. One wildfire call was responded to where an attempt at a campfire got away.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked busy angling activity this past week. ATV activity has been busy as well, and enforcement actions were taken for registration and closed trail violations.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports the warm weather has brought both anglers and fish into the tributaries up and down the shore. This observation was highlighted by Hill witnessing a 13-year-old angler almost professionally land a nice-sized steelhead. The fish was photographed and was carefully released, almost as if the angler has been doing it for decades. Hill assisted multiple agencies in responding to a grass and structure fire in Hovland. ATVs were out in force and a few violations were addressed. A reminder to make sure machines are registered and ATV laws and ordinances are brushed up on. Station equipment maintenance was completed on multiple patrol vehicles.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV and fish-run activity during the week. Enforcement action was taken for litter, burning prohibited materials, and licensing violations.
District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports sturgeon fishing enforcement on the Rainy River consumed most of the workload as the keep season opened on Friday. ATV enforcement and wildfire investigation were also tackled throughout the week. Enforcement action for the week involved mainly ATV violations.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports the focus this past week included trapping, angling, ATV activity, and fire activity. Water levels on tributaries have dropped dramatically in the past week, leaving some traditional trapping locations difficult to set. Anglers saw success with the weather allowing people to enjoy the outdoors. An illegal fire was investigated. A report of a dead moose was investigated. ATV operators are reminded to familiarize themselves with closures of trails before heading out.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) monitored public access sites, checked area forest roads, and continued work on equipment.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) and multiple fire crews and law enforcement agencies responded to a house fire Friday morning. No known injuries were reported, but extensive damage to the house was reported. He also spent time getting boats ready for the open-water season and followed up on a variety of investigations. Zavodnik continues to see OHV traffic yielding a high number of violations on a weekly basis.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, ATV riders, beaver trappers and state park enforcement. He also investigated two wildfires. Dogs-chasing-deer complaints and an accidentally-trapped otter and muskrat were fielded. Ice-out arrived on most lakes and folks are eager to get out. So much so, that the use of PFDs was ignored or forgotten. Everyone should wear a life jacket, especially with water temperatures and low as they are. Enforcement action was taken for no life jackets and a number of ATV and burning violations.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing, trapping and ATV activity. ATV activity remained high. Broughten responded to multiple fires. Luckily, nobody was hurt and no structures were lost. Broughten investigated complaints of stolen and tampered-with beaver traps. He also worked spring fish run activity.