Conservation Officer Weekly Report – District 5
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports the sturgeon ?keep? season on the Rainy River is in full swing with lots of people out attempting to catch one. People are reminded again to make sure they have all their boat safety equipment on board their boats. A few animal-related complaints were handled throughout the week. Enforcement action for the week mainly involved license issues and failure to have the proper or sufficient number of safety equipment on board.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports working the Rainy River, checking spring beaver-trapping activity and monitoring area forest roads for ATV activity. Anglers reported suckers were starting to run and the sturgeon bite has been picking up. Enforcement action taken was for keeping an illegal-length sturgeon, fishing without a license, registration issues and various PFD violations.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) monitored trapping activity and completed end-of-the-season equipment tasks. Another agency was assisted with a vehicle off the roadway. Miscellaneous wildlife-related calls were also fielded.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports all lakes in the work area remain ice-covered. Trapping activities continue to be monitored. Closed-season otter catches continue to be reported as otter populations have increased. A trap-theft case was dealt with. Equipment work continues.
CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily trapping enforcement over the last week. Larson spent time checking traps, and trappers out on their trap line. Larson also fielded complaints about loose domestic animals and spring bear activity.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked trapping and ATV enforcement. In addition, time was spent speaking at a firearms safety class in Hibbing and maintaining station equipment. Recreational activity remains in a lull as we transition between seasons. A reminder to anglers and boaters to check your watercraft registration to ensure you?re ready for the open-water season.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time monitoring trapping activity and attending deer farm training over the week. Several inquiries were fielded regarding increased bear activity observed throughout the region as of late. Open water for fishing opener seems to be the hot topic of conversation, since many of the lakes throughout the region are still locked up with ice. It looks like it?ll be another opener that will come down to the wire. Zavodnik wants to remind ATV operators to refresh themselves on the rules of the road in the DNR synopsis book. The rate of ATV contacts to violations have been quite high early in the season.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring trapping, ATV, and fishing activity. Recreational activity remained low due to poor weather conditions. Lake ice is slowly deteriorating. Broughten also fielded calls regarding nuisance bears and litter.