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DNR report: Sept. 3

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Reports filed Sunday from area conservation officers for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) participated in a work detail in the BWCAW with other officers. Many wilderness users were contacted by officers about boating safety issues. Several canoeists received citations for unregistered canoes and not having the proper number of flotation devices for the people aboard. Bears seem to be readily coming to hunters' baits as most berries have dried up with the continued hot and windy weather. While checking on one hunter's bait station, officer walked in on a sow with a pair of cubs. The officer was able to watch the trio for a considerable time as the wind was in his favor.

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North Shore

Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) focused enforcement action in the BWCAW with area officers during a work detail. Many groups were checked with a wide array of equipment. The most interesting piece of gear that was lugged across a portage was a large rock with a rope tied to it for an anchor to be used later in the trip. Checked bear bait stations, where prohibited material continues to be a problem. Followed up on burning complaints and past investigations. Enforcement action was taken for no watercraft registration and false application for a license.

*****

Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports nuisance bear activity was high. Bears are being reported in the city of Grand Marais. Leave them alone. On the Gunflint Trail, three homes were broken into by bears. Two of those were occupied. Mosquito screens aren't much for keeping the bears out. Officer was charged by a mother bear at a bait station and was stung by several bees at another. The forest is becoming very dry. Be careful with fires.

*****

Mary Manning (Hovland) checked bear bait stations and found garbage at a few. Also worked the BWCAW detail with Wahlstrom and Forest Service officers. Also worked a detail at the port of entry with Fish and Wildlife officers. Took a report of an illegally taken small bear. On checking the remains it was found to be the hide of a domestic pig. Enforcement action was taken for fish overlimits, no canoe registration, and transporting fish without skin patch.

Duluth

Kipp Duncan (Duluth) assisted with some animal complaints including an aggressive deer and a wolf pup that took up residency in someone's yard. Also worked bear baiting season and talked with several soon-to-be hunters. Bear activity at area bait stations have been very high. ATV enforcement was also worked.

*****

Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports a large pile of ducks dumped alongside a road. A person shot and killed a bear after it reportedly charged the resident after he disturbed the bear feasting on his bird feeders. Several road-killed deer and bear permits were issued. Bear hunters were checked again with numerous violations: failure to purchase license before baiting, failure to sign bait pit, failure to register bait pit, and no current registration on ATV.

*****

Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior and several inland lakes. Information on aquatic invasive species was issued to many and enforcement action was taken for fail to remove drain plug when leaving lakes and transporting boat with drain plug still installed. Investigated new public waters violation and located a wetland violation on the same property.

Marine Unit

Keith Olson (Lake Superior Unit) spent the week checking boaters and anglers on Lake Superior. The hot weather produced many boaters, anglers and beach enthusiasts. Barkers Island Marina hosted the Dragon Boat Festival. Time was also spent on maintenance items. Local bear baiters are getting success at the bait stations near Duluth.

*****

Matt Miller (Lake Superior Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Superior. Time was spent on equipment maintenance and fall work planning. Vacation days were utilized prior to the start of a busy season. Enforcement action taken for angling and boating violations.

*****

Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Unit) checked boaters and anglers on Lake Superior. He worked a BWCAW detail in the Ely area with Forest Service. He checked bear baits. Equipment maintenance performed. Enforcement action taken for boating, angling, ATV, and hunting violations.

North

John Velsvaag (Ely) checked area anglers this past week and saw some nice walleyes. Also took part in the work detail in the BWCAW. Took several calls on a bear in Ely and questions on moose hunting.

*****

Marty Stage (Ely) worked boating, fishing, and bear bait enforcement, and was part of the detail in the BWCAW. Citations were issued, but overall compliance was very good. Bear complaints were received for the Disappointment/Ensign area and interested bear hunters are encouraged to give the DNR Wildlife or Forest Service a call. Apparently these bears have learned to climb the food pack trees and bite the ropes or ride the packs to the ground. Unintentional feeding of bears can lead to real problems. More calls came in concerning wolves on BWCAW campsites. Apparently there have been no problems but it is unusual for wolves to be on the sites.

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