Weekly Conservation Officer Reports
Jul 07, 2020 03:52PM
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports activity in the Ely area was high and seemed about average for the Fourth of July weekend. Officers responded to a near-drowning that occurred inside the BWCA. The victim survived because of the quick action of his camping partners who got him out of the water and breathing quickly. Violations included no PFD on board a watercraft, expired watercraft registration, and no angling license in possession.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers and boaters this past week. Fishing has been poor overall. Velsvaag followed up on more bear complaints and other nuisance-animal calls.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) checked anglers and boating activity on Lake Superior and inland lakes over the busy holiday weekend. He followed up on boating complaints, monitored ATV activity and responded to wildlife-related complaints. Enforcement action was taken for angling, ATV and watercraft safety violations.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked a very hot and dry holiday week and weekend. Numerous folks were advised of the extremely high fire danger and the use of fireworks, including many illegal ones. Many North Shore campgrounds are still closed and some campers did not check before travelling and were forced to move to dispersed camping or share sites. Manning checked anglers and boaters and talked with many folks just trying to cool down in area lakes. She also checked ATV operators, assisted Cook County with a fire and with fireworks complaints, issued a road-killed deer permit and answered questions about lake access and trapping nuisance beavers.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a very busy Fourth of July weekend in the station and on Lake Vermilion. A BWCAW detail was worked during the week. Numerous enforcement contacts were made, with citations issued for violations such as fishing without a license, cans/glass in the BWCA, under 21 consumption of alcohol, no PFDs, unregistered watercraft, no navigational lights, expired ATV registration, and no ATV safety certificate.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling and boating most of the week. Time was also spent teaching water survival at the Academy at Camp Ripley.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports focusing on boat and water safety throughout the holiday weekend. The majority of the watercraft seen in the area were canoes, and PFD compliance was excellent with only a few outliers. Temperatures in the 90s, paired with little to no wind, kept most recreational motorboat activity minimal during the day. With no recent precipitation, water levels on a few area lakes have dropped and operators stated they had to be a little more careful. Hill took a report from a group of kayakers who observed a person shoot and kill two geese on Lake Superior just east of Lutsen. Hill would appreciate any and all help from the public with identifying the shooter as Hill wasn't able to locate the shooter the day of the incident. Hill stopped a 14 year old on an ATV after Hill observed them drive a very long wheelie in the lane of traffic on a state highway in the wrong direction of travel. Contact was made with the parent and it was determined the juvenile took the ATV without parent permission. The parent in question had one arm in a sling and Hill learned they were injured in an ATV incident the week before. A discussion about ATV safety ensued.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked a warm holiday weekend along the North Shore. Water sport recreation use was high in the area with many boats pulling skiers and tubers. Murray responded to an incident where a water skier was injured by a tow rope and a short time later responded to a single-vehicle car crash.