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Boreal Community Media

Weekly Conservation Officer Reports for Northeast Minnesota

Jul 05, 2023 09:51AM ● By Content Editor
Photo: Boreal Community Media

From the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - July 5, 2023

Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports that off-and-on rain arrived just in time for the weekend. The much-needed rain also brought with it cooler weather and what appeared to be a new horde of biting insects. Angling and ATV activity was very low, as conditions changed sometimes by the minute. Violations included operating an ATV on a state highway, failure to display ATV registration, and operating an ATV without a safety certificate.

CO Hudson Ledeen (Grand Marais #2) spent the week patrolling area lakes, rivers, woods, and trails. The week ended with some much-needed rainfall and some nice fish were observed being caught on Lake Superior. Equipment maintenance was performed.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) encountered a motorcycle that had just gone off Highway 1 after the operator failed to navigate a curve. Assistance was provided and the ambulance was called for the patient. Enforcement action for the week included ATV passengers under 18 without helmets, unattended campfire, and unregistered watercraft. Much-needed rain hampered weekend recreational activity but was welcome to reduce fire danger.

CO Matt Miller (Silver Bay) worked a large ATV event held in the Finland and Silver Bay area. Many machines came from around the region to ride the trails. Common violations included operating on a state highway, no ATV safety training, and no helmet on juvenile passengers. Assistance was given to local agencies with a water incident off of Black Beach that resulted in the drowning of two people. A minnow inspection was completed and commercial items were handled for Fisheries. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and commercial violations.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports bumping into quite a few anglers throughout the week as groups were preparing for rain showers over the weekend. Hill watched one person fishing with a topwater bait for about 5 minutes in the Grand Marais harbor. Hill contacted the angler and they immediately stated, ?I am not fishing, just testing out my equipment. I work security and cannot get mixed up on the wrong side of the law.? The angler was cited for no fishing license. A group was contacted as they were leaving the BWCA. Hill noticed a handgun on the hip of one of the parties and it was determined that the party was in possession of two loaded handguns without a valid permit to carry as their out-of-state permit to carry is not recognized in Minnesota. They told Hill that they didn?t think to check Minnesota?s handgun laws. Charges were submitted.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and invasive species enforcement efforts during the week. Fishing was good in most areas with some nice fish being caught on Lake Superior. Fire danger remained high and fire restrictions remained in effect for much of the area. Enforcement action was taken for failure to extinguish a campfire and licensing violations.

Ely #2 vacant.

Eveleth area

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports spending time this past week working area lakes and rivers checking anglers. ATV trails were monitored throughout the area as well. Enforcement action taken this past week consisted of not having fishing licenses in possession and for being in possession of an illegal-length muskie.

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports angling reports continue to be positive in the area with changes to baits used and structure targeted being key to success. ATV activity was monitored with the welcomed wet weather putting a damper on activity. A site visit was completed at the location of a wetland complaint. Several discussions were had with boaters about condition and age of fire extinguishers.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes regarding fishing and boating activities. Area forest roads were checked for ATVs. Public water access sites continue to be monitored. Administrative reporting tasks continue. Equipment work is on-going.

CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily angling and complaints in his station. Larson spent time investigating violations related to state park issues. He also came across ATV violations and answered questions related to wildlife and pollution. He also responded to a litter and illegal fire complaint. Time was spent checking anglers and looking into boat violations.

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) spent most of the week at Camp Ripley training the cadets of DNR Academy 22 in emergency vehicle operation and ATV operation. In addition, time was spent working ATV and boating enforcement. Much-needed rain finally arrived to the area, but it also kept many people off the local lakes and trails as a decline in activity was seen.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent the week at Camp Ripley assisting the current Academy class with the emergency vehicle operation of their squad vehicles and ATVs. He also attended the funeral for retired Conservation Officer Jim Charles as an Honor Guard member.

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing, boating, and ATV activity. Few anglers were encountered this week. They reported limited success. ATV and boating activity were low this week. The Aurora area received much-needed rain over the weekend. Broughten also fielded calls regarding ATV safety, minnow trapping, and abandoned property.

Cook vacant.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Jeff Humphrey (NE) followed up with officers and staff on new and ongoing wetland and waters cases. AIS detail work planning continued. Humphrey attended the funeral service for retired CO Jim Charles as part of the DNR?s Honor Guard contingent. He also attended an Honor Guard meeting and drill held at Camp Ripley during the week. A wildfire investigation in the Kettle River area involving careless and negligent operation of a motor vehicle was worked in conjunction with local and DNR fire personnel.
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