Skip to main content

Boreal Community Media

Weekly Conservation Officer Reports for Northeast Minnesota

Jun 21, 2023 11:40AM ● By Content Editor
Photo: Boreal Community Media

From the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - June 21, 2023

Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports dry conditions continue, and new burning restrictions meant no more fire at backcountry sites inside the Superior National Forest and BWCAW. Several contacts were made with campers staying at boat in sites within the forest informing them of the order. Violations included angling with extra lines, allowing illegal operation of an OHM by a juvenile, and angling with no license in possession.

CO Hudson Ledeen (Grand Marais #2) spent the week working angling activity in and outside of the BWCA. Time was also spent investigating a site in the State Forest where campers were burning garbage, littering, and leaving human waste all about. Enforcement action was taken for various angling violations.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily angling and boating enforcement as well as several complaints throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for using an extra line, using game fish as bait, and PFD violations. Continued fishing success was noted on many area lakes. Wildlife permits were also issued.

CO Matt Miller (Silver Bay) checked anglers and ATVs on a very dry and dusty weekend. Bugs continue to find a stronghold despite the lack of moisture. A fire related detail was worked in the BWCA. Assistance given to county rescue squad with injuries on a rural trail in a State Park. Enforcement action taken for ATV and state forest violations.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports noticing an uptick in ATV activity throughout the week. Multiple ATV stops were conducted on local county roads around Grand Marais. Please brush up on ATV roadway operation laws. Hill spent time at the Academy evaluating scenarios. The walleye bite continues to be decent on lakes along The Grade.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV and water recreation activity during the week. Area conditions remain high for fire danger and outdoor enthusiasts need to be mindful when camping or riding in areas off tall grass as the forest floor is extremely dry. Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations and failure to extinguish a campfire.

Ely #2 vacant.

Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports time was spent checking fishing, boating and invasive species enforcement on Rainy Lake and Rainy River. Enforcement action for week involved license violations, boat safety equipment issues, boat registration violations, and extra line violations. Time was also spent at Camp Ripley instructing new COs with Emergency Vehicle Operations and Recreational Vehicle Enforcement Training.

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports working Rainy Lake and Rainy River this past week. Fishing reports were good early in the week with a mayfly bug hatch happening later in the week, slowing things down a little bit according to anglers. ATV activity was monitored this past week as well.

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports angling and boating were the prevalent activities observed this past week. Anglers are still reporting favorable conditions. Those trying to stay protected out of the wind were not having as much success. Boating safety was also monitored with good compliance. Areas of deposited litter were noted and will be monitored for future issues, which in most cases is just lack of respect for other user groups.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports fire danger is extreme, campfires are banned now across Voyageurs National Park, Boundary Waters Canoe area, and dispersed camping on state lands. The drought continues with no rain in sight. Angling and boating activities continue to be checked. Equipment work was completed. Numerous daily administrative tasks continue.

CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily angling and ATV enforcement. Larson spent time around town checking for illegal ATV activity. He also worked on pending cases related to boating on Lake Vermilion. He also spent time on equipment maintenance.

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked ATV, angling, and boating enforcement. Angling success has been inconsistent except for a steady northern pike bite. In addition, time was spent assisting local law enforcement agencies on calls and maintaining station equipment. Violations encountered included ATV registration, speeding, no helmets on youth passengers, and angling license violations.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time handling several nuisance bear complaints over the course of the week. Complaints ranged from minor property damage, to bears posing as a potential safety concern. CO Zavodnik spent the remainder of the week working a watercraft detail on Lake Minnetonka. Watercraft registration, wash-wake, and gunwale riding were all common violations while working the lake.

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing, boating, and ATV activity. Fishermen reported limited success. Cooler weather appeared to have limited recreational boating activity. ATV activity was lower than expected, however, with the lack of rain trails are extremely dusty. Wildfire danger remains high.

Cook vacant.

Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here