Conservation Officer Weekly Report District – 5
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports fishing and bear hunting are the main focuses of the work activities with more people venturing into the woods. People are reminded to check that they have current registration on their ATVs. A special operation was worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the U.S. Customs Port of Entry over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for illegal bear transportation, fish-transport issues, and an overlimit of fish.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports working the Rainy River checking sturgeon anglers and working bear-hunting activity.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports bear hunters were very active earlier in the week and the harvest of some larger bears was reported. Waterfowl hunters were contacted, with some success reported. Slatinski investigated complaints of illegal trail use. A location was found where approximately 35 gallons of chemicals, tires, and other debris were left along a county roadway. A complaint was investigated, and the responsible party contacted in an incident where an individual was getting rid of a camper by cutting it into pieces and burning it. Angling and boating activity continues in strong numbers, with anglers looking for the fall bite to kick in.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring area lakes and forest roads over the week. Public access sites were checked. Computer training was completed. Numerous phone calls were answered on a variety of topics. Other time was spent working on equipment.
CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily bear-hunting and ATV enforcement. Larson testified in court and investigated several complaints. He also spent extra time enforcing aquatic invasive species laws.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked ATV enforcement bear-hunting activity. Time was also spent training at Camp Ripley, completing online training, and conducting follow-up investigation for ongoing cases. Violations encountered included ATV speed, expired registration, equipment violations, and youth ATV prohibitions.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time following up on a possible aquatic plant management complaint. Time was also spent completing various administrative duties.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing, bear-hunting, and goose-hunting activity. Anglers continued to report moderate success, whereas goose and bear hunters reported limited success. Wild rice harvesters reported a poor harvest. Broughten also fielded calls regarding deer licenses and firearm safety requirements.