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Boreal Community Media

Weekly Conservation Officer Reports for Northeast Minnesota

Jul 19, 2023 10:57AM ● By Content Editor
Photo: Boreal Community Media

From the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - July 19, 2023

Two Harbors area

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports he continued to field nuisance-bear complaints in the Ely area. Residents and visitors are reminded to be careful with food and garbage in and outside of the BWCA. He also investigated reports of shoreline alterations and possible netting activity.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) checked anglers, AIS, and ATV riders. He patrolled border waters and spent time in the BWCA. Nuisance-wildlife calls were handled. Enforcement action was taken for angling and watercraft violations.

CO Hudson Ledeen (Grand Marais #2) worked primarily on angling and boating enforcement throughout the week. Later in the week, Ledeen received a juvenile hawk that was brought into the sheriff's office. The hawk is being relocated to a rehab center to get the care it needs. No throwable PFD, angling without a license, no watercraft registration, and an abandoned vehicle at a public water access were some of the violations encountered over the week.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) conducted an extended BWCAW patrol trip with CO Al Peterson. People were generally happy with the fishing success and manageable bugs along with great weather. Violations encountered were fishing without licenses, no license in possession, and glass in the BWCAW. A complaint was investigated earlier in the week regarding the possible illegal alteration of a lake bed.

CO Matt Miller (Silver Bay) spent time instructing at the CO Academy at Camp Ripley. CO candidates were instructed in boat operation and enforcement. Questions were answered regarding nuisance bears and ATV modifications. Enforcement action was taken for ATV and state park violations.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports checking anglers and boaters throughout the week. Time was spent in the BWCA, and compliance was great. However, Hill noticed about 75 percent of the paddlers not wearing PFDs. Although it isn't a requirement for an adult to wear a PDF, please consider wearing it whenever you are on the water as help is far away.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV and angling activities during the week. Fishing slowed again this week and windy conditions made for poor fishing conditions on Lake Superior. Murray also took reports of nuisance animals and checked on a shoreline complaint.

Ely #2 vacant.

Eveleth area

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports time was spent again at Camp Ripley with new COs training in trailering and backing courses. Fishing and boating activities on Rainy Lake continue to be the main emphasis of Kittelson's workload. A wolf-depredation complaint was investigated and handled in the Littlefork area.

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports spending time this past week checking anglers on Rainy Lake and area rivers. Anglers reported a good bite on Rainy Lake. He continued to monitor ATV activity on area trails and forest roads. Injured-animal calls were answered and calls about bear baiting were addressed.

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports anglers and recreational boaters are taking advantage of the pleasurable weather. Angling reports continue to be mostly positive, with a wide variety of tackle and bait configurations being used. A wetlands-related complaint was followed up on and closed out. Equipment was tended to and administrative tasks were completed.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling and boating over the week. Fishing remains poor with little observed being caught. Numerous questions were responded to relating to the upcoming fall seasons. ATV activity and area forest roads were checked. Free time was spent working on equipment and completing various administrative reporting requirements.

CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily on angling, boating, and ATV enforcement. Larson spent time in the BWCAW checking for angling activity. Time was spent working on equipment and investigating complaint calls. He also checked local forest roads and trails for ATV activity and checked remote lakes for angling activity.

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) spent the week at Camp Ripley training at a firearms instructor course. Time was also spent maintaining station equipment, fielding calls, and working ATV enforcement.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent his time at Camp Ripley instructing the latest conservation officer candidates with watercraft week. The first week entailed basic watercraft operations and trailering exercises. Time was also spent preparing for the second week of watercraft week and preparing for field training logistics.

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing, boating, and ATV activity. Recreational activity was lower than expected. Anglers reported limited success. Cooler weather likely contributed to low boating activity. Broughten also fielded calls regarding ATV registration, bear regulations, and injured animals.

Cook vacant.

Water Resource Enforcement Officers

WREO Jeff Humphrey (NE) worked on new and ongoing wetland, waters, and aquatic plant management cases. Humphrey prepped for an AIS work detail this week. He also completed the required training.
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