DNR ReportReports filed this week from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation offices from the region.
Reports filed this week from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation offices from the region.
Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) began investigation into a solid waste dumping issue. Maintenance items on station watercraft and ATV were addressed. Thomasen spent time working Lake Superior as well as inland lakes. Lake Superior is producing a mixed bag of lake trout and salmon, while inland lakes are putting out walleye for anglers using the right presentations. Enforcement action was taken for PFD and watercraft registration issues.
John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers this past week. Velsvaag observed multiple public boating accesses clogged with people parking in the boat launching lanes and people swimming and not yielding to boating traffic. People apparently need to be constantly reminded that the accesses are for launching boats and parking areas are for parking.
Marty Stage (Ely) worked boating and fishing enforcement. Calls came in about nuisance bears and road killed deer. Enforcement action was taken on ATV violations and canoe registrations. The new paddle boards are considered watercraft and must be registered like any other watercraft. PFDs are also required.
Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports another busy week as hot weather has driven people out onto the lakes. Many boaters encountered were without lights after sunset. It’s a shame that just as the walleyes are starting to bite after the sun goes down, the conservation officer shows up, gives out some paperwork, and tells you to leave the lake because you don’t have the required lighting. Lots of Panda awards given to the little ones for wearing lifejackets and still more paperwork to the adults that don’t even have one in the boat. One person encountered told the Fagerman that as a lake property owner he is too busy keeping up his property to have time to follow all the fishing and boating safety laws. Fagerman handed him his citation with a smile and went on his way.
Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled the Moosewalk and Red Dot ATV trails and found good compliance. The officer answered numerous questions about the upcoming wolf season from local residents. Nuisance bears continue to be a problem, although ripe berries now becoming available should help keep bears in the woods. Manning also participated in a rescue drill in the Grand Marais harbor along with Fagerman and Wahlstrom, the Cook County emergency responders and the Coast Guard.
Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked Lake Superior for summer anglers. He checked ATV operators and fielded numerous questions. Wahlstrom responded to nuisance black bear complaints. He participated in a rescue preparedness drill in the Grand Marais harbor.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott worked with DNR Waters on a restoration order that was issued to a person for dredging in public waters and altering the shore of a lake. Scott worked with the MN Sea Grant folks staffing a booth for Lake Superior Days at the Maritime Museum located in Canal Park. Information and education was provided for public about invasive species. Scott investigated a complaint where a homeowner shot a large black bear at their residence.
Kipp Duncan (Duluth) and Jen Mueller (officer in training) patrolled the area lakes and checked shore fisherman for violations. Fishing continues to be slow this time of year. Time was also spent on ATV enforcement in the area. Warnings were issued for various violations. Mueller’s training also consisted of vehicle maintenance, proper paperwork completion, going over DNR enforcement policy, and continued work on patrol tactics.
Scott Staples (Carlton) checked into three separate waters and wetland complaints. All but one was unfounded. Angling activity has been slow in the area. Enforcement contacts were made for angling without a license and angling without license in possession. OHV complaints were worked in Moose Lake and Cloquet with good compliance found. Another complaint in the Nemadji State Forest was worked where ATVs and OHMs are repeatedly driving on a closed trail. Routine patrols were made in Jay Cooke State Park. The park remains closed after extensive flood damage.
Randy Hanzal (Duluth) spent time working to stop the spread of invasive species at several boat landings. Compliance of special laws designed to slow the spread of invasive species was found to be very high. Several calls of injured or sick deer were received. A few equipment maintenance issues were also addressed.
Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked area lakes and rivers. Jet ski violations were prominent with registration violations and operation near docks and boats. Wolf depredation complaints were investigated. Bear complaints continue in the area. Pan fish angling has been good but walleye fishing has slowed. ATV complaint areas were worked and enforcement action taken for registration, operation on roadways, and youth violations.
Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. Salmon and trout are starting to show up more regularly in coolers as the debris from flooding begins to settle out of the water. Commercial herring nets were checked, and registration issues addressed on recreational boats. One angler trolling outside of Silver Bay fell asleep in the hazy sun of a quiet afternoon. He was quite surprised to wake up and find two officers in a boat a few feet away when he was a mile off shore. He reported fishing had been slow. Enforcement action taken for angling, boating, commercial netting, and traffic violations.
Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked boaters and anglers throughout the week. Some equipment maintenance was performed. Enforcement action taken for boating and angling violations.