Here are highlights from Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer (CO) reports for the week ending May 19, 2019. The complete report is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/enforcement/co_report/index.html
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) received a report of gill nets located in Boulder Lake near Nevis. The nets were located and removed. They contained several dead fish including walleyes, pike, and bass. Citizens with information regarding the net placement are encouraged to call the TIP line. An investigation was started on a separate incident where a lakeshore property owner removed cattails and filled portions of a lakeshore. A citation was issued and restoration work will be required. Crappie anglers continue to catch fish and a report of people taking an overlimit was worked. Enforcement action was taken for illegal-length northern pike and an overlimit of crappies.
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls #2) responded to call involving a vehicle that drifted off the road and had caught on fire. When he arrived at the scene, the vehicle was completely engulfed in flames, and Zavodnik learned that both the driver and passenger side doors were blocked shut due to the surrounding trees. Luckily, a passing by motorist had noticed smoke in the ditch and decided to turn around. The quick-thinking individual was able to open the back hatch of the SUV and pull the driver and her dog out to safety unharmed. The individual’s attention to smoke in the ditch and quick thinking made for an incredible day to see everyone walk away from the scene unharmed.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) reported mixed angling results this past week. However, everyone checked had at least a couple of fish. Hopkins took enforcement action on an individual angling in a closed spawning area. A dog was attacked by a wolf near Aurora. Luckily, the dog will survive its injuries and should make a full recovery. Hopkins investigated a wetland violation along with CO Broughten.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling and boating activity this past week. Calls about “abandoned” fawns have started coming in already this spring. Please do not pick up fawns laying in the grass. The doe will come get it after the coast is clear.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) checked anglers, monitored trapping activity and responded to wildfires. The area walleye note was excellent this past week. Enforcement action was taken for license issues and possession of illegal-length walleyes.
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked along the North Shore rivers for steelhead anglers and some remaining smelters in the evenings and investigated a late trap complaint that required follow up. Charges are pending. Olson fielded a dumping complaint north of Island Lake and attempted to track down names found in the pile of garbage. He also checked anglers inland during the week.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and smelters along the North Shore. A smelt netter was cited early one evening for netting smelt in a closed river and fish sanctuary directly behind a sign that read, “No Smelting.” A few hours later in the night, the same smelter returned and was again caught netting smelt in the closed river farther into the protected spawning sanctuary. Enforcement action was again taken, including equipment confiscation. Issues of motor vehicles damaging state trails and wolves attacking a dog were handled. Enforcement action was taken for angling, OHV, ATV, and boating violations.