Conservation Officer Report – District 5
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports fishing and boating continue to be the main focuses of the work activity. Bear baiting started this weekend so work is starting to shift from the water to the woods. An invasive species check station was worked at the U.S. Customs Port of Entry in International Falls over the weekend. Enforcement action for the week included insufficient number of PFDs onboard watercraft, burning prohibited materials, and invasive species violations.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports working Rainy Lake and the Rainy River this past week. Fishing reports remain good on both the lake and river. With the bear baiting opening up this past weekend, bear-bait registration was monitored and AIS work was conducted at the U.S. Port of Entry in International Falls.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports invasive species compliance was monitored, along with boating and angling activity. Drain plugs left in bilge drains of watercraft was a common violation observed. Questions on upcoming hunting seasons and bear baiting were fielded. The rest of the week was spent at training.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling and boating over the week. Area forest roads were checked and public access sites monitored. Equipment work and administrative tasks were completed. Time was spent returning phone calls.
CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily angling, ATV, and bear baiting. He began several investigations on complaints of violations on Lake Vermilion. He also spent time checking ATV trails and people placing bear baits as well.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked ATV and boating/angling enforcement. Bear baiting began over the weekend and multiple bait sites were checked. Time was also spent presenting at a firearms safety class in Hibbing and assisting local law enforcement agencies on a variety of calls. Violations encountered included angling with extra lines, taking fish without a license, expired registration, and driving after revocation.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time helping out at the CO Academy with boating operations throughout the week. He also spent time working a detail in the Duluth area. Violations encountered include illegal-length walleyes and bass, angling without a license, and boating safety and registration violations.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing and ATV activity. Broughten fielded calls regarding injured animals and waterfowl regulations. He also assisted local law enforcement in a search for a lost child. The child was located a short distance from her home in good health.