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DNR Report: Busy weekend for anglers on Rainy River

Apr. 11—Conservation officer Darrin Kittelson (International Falls 1) reports a busy weekend on the Rainy River with many boats stretching from the Birchdale area to Lake of the Woods. Most anglers had success. Enforcement action included license issues, failure to have proper boat safety equipment onboard, and boat registration violations.

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls 2) reports working the Rainy River this past week. The nice weather had many people out on the river. Boat and safety equipment checks were a focus this past week. Frequent violations encountered this past week consisted of having expired fire extinguishers; no Type IV throwables or personal flotation devices; boat registration; and license violations. Angling with extra lines was also encountered this week. Simonson reminds people to continue to check their boats for the proper safety equipment and double-check their boat registration before hitting the open water for the first time this year.

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports the sunny skies and warmer conditions brought anglers to the Rainy River in high numbers. Time was spent contacting anglers, many for the first time this year. Deficient equipment in the form of fire extinguishers and personal flotation devices was noted. Even with nonstop winds, most anglers were happy to be out enjoying the sun and catching a few fish. ATV activity also saw an uptick with several individuals visiting recreational properties trying to get a jump on spring cleanup activities.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) monitored area forest roads. ATVs have re-appeared. Some lakes have opened, and other lakes are about to open. Angling activity was nonexistent. Equipment work is ongoing.

CO Sean Cannon (Cook) spent time this week patrolling state forests and forest roads, monitoring trapping activity and working ATV enforcement. Time was also spent checking anglers and working on getting equipment ready for open water.

CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily trapping and wetlands enforcement. Open-water and boating season have officially come, with most of Lake Vermilion and other area lakes opening. Some boating activity was already present over the warm weekend. Larson also checked trappers as small ponds and streams have also opened.

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked ATV and trapping activity. In addition, time was spent following up on a complaint and presenting at a firearms safety class. Violations encountered included operating off-highway motorcycles on a public roadway, driving after revocation, and allowing dogs to chase deer.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time assisting Ontario's conservation officers with an investigation involving an illegally taken moose in Canada. Zavodnik continues to work on recreational vehicle lesson plans for the upcoming CO Academy. Time was also spent preparing for in-service and working recreational vehicle enforcement.

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing, trapping, and ATV activity. Area lakes are once again becoming ice-free. Warmer weather has started to soften area forest roads and trails. ATV operators are reminded to check closures before venturing out. Broughten fielded calls regarding licensing, ATV registration and trapping questions.

CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports the first smaller local lakes have opened and are ice-free. Warmer weather and wind also took most of the snow cover in the area. Fires have begun to pop up all along northern Minnesota following the melting snow conditions and area residents are urged to be extremely careful.

CO Brent Ihnen (Ely 2) spent the week checking anglers. Ihnen also patrolled for ATV activity.

CO Hudson Ledeen (Grand Marais 2) spent time patrolling forest roads and trails. Most tributaries flowing into Lake Superior continue to show very low water levels and remain iced up on the banks. Equipment maintenance was performed.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) continued to provide ride-along job experience hours to a DNR intern. Bermel patrolled for trapping, ATV and angling activity. An accidentally caught otter was seized. Time was spent on equipment maintenance.

CO Trent Anderson (Tofte) focused on snowmobile and ATV enforcement for the week. The recent snow melted quickly, providing much-needed moisture to the area. Equipment maintenance was conducted.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked on a fire investigation and checked ATV activity in the area. Check for area trail and forest road closures this time of year as spring closures help protect these areas during the spring season. Area streams are opening as temperatures rise and they start to provide angling opportunities for trout fishing.

Silver Bay — vacant.

CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) worked ATV, small-game and fishing activities. He patrolled campgrounds and trails. Numerous game and fish-related questions were answered. He also responded to wildlife-related complaints.

CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) worked trapping complaints, monitored off-highway vehicle activity and assisted the county with a disturbance call. Fairbanks and his K-9 partner, Fennec, also attended training and assisted with a warrant arrest.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked on cleaning up wetland cases from the past year and other hunting cases. Enforcement action was taken for illegal ATV use and tags were issued for road-killed deer.

CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) reports working sport fishing, ATV, aquatic invasive species and boating safety throughout the surrounding areas. Enforcement action was taken for multiple angling and boating violations.

CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) spoke with a couple groups of turkey hunters who were out and about scouting for the upcoming season. Turkey numbers in the area seem good and hunters' hopes of success are high. A couple fires were investigated and assistance was given to local law enforcement agencies with calls for service.

CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) checked angling and recreational vehicle activity during the previous week. Time was also spent monitoring trapping activity and nuisance-animal complaints. A ride-along was conducted with an individual interested in the CO Prep program.

CO Derek Peterlin (Brookston) spent time patrolling for angling and ATV activity. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license. He investigated a wolf depredation involving a family pet that was killed. He urges pet owners to keep predators in mind when letting their pets out.

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) worked on ATV complaint areas during the week and checked anglers. Lake Superior tributaries are still locked up with ice and the water is too cold for a fish run at this point. Time was spent following up on open cases and spring equipment maintenance was completed.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) spent time along the North Shore checking tributaries and shore anglers. The inland reservoir lakes in the Duluth area are very low this spring. Evidence of illegal ATV activity on the exposed lakebed was observed. Duncan worked with district officers concentrating on illegal ATV and off-highway motorcycle operation. Many area trails and state forest roads are closed due to spring thawing, so time was spent working the closed areas.

CO Tony Elwell (Cloquet) focused on ATV patrols and monitoring spring road closures this week. A wolf depredation complaint was investigated and a few shore anglers were checked. A high volume of ATV activity was observed over the weekend and compliance with ATV regulations was pretty good. Only a few minor violations had to be dealt with. It was good to see high numbers of youth ATV operators out as well.

CO Mikeena Wehr (Carlton) continued work on special projects. Calls were fielded regarding bow-fishing complaints as well as incidentally taken and nuisance animals.

CO Aimee Hand (Willow River) spent the week checking anglers and ATV/off-highway motorcycle riders. The snow came and went fast, much to snowmobilers' dismay. Riders are reminded that the Nemadji State Forest trails are still closed to motor vehicle traffic. Enforcement action for the week included failure to display registration; failure to transfer registration; operating unregistered vehicles; and operating with youth passengers without helmets.

CO Ben Karon (Pine City) took many miscellaneous calls about various wildlife-related questions, issues, and possession permits for deer that were hit on the road. Karon took time on equipment maintenance and completed some paperwork for wetland issues. Patrol and checks on Cross Lake were done. He also patrolled other various state lands.

CO Matt Miller (Marine Unit — Duluth) checked steelhead anglers as rivers finally broke open and the run started. Assistance was given to local agencies with shooting complaints and a mental crisis at a state park. Preparations were made for upcoming training at Camp Ripley. Enforcement action taken for angling and boating violations.