Conservation Officer Reports District 5
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports the hot weather resulted in lots of people heading to Rainy Lake to escape the heat or at least get a reprieve from it. Fishing activity has mainly been limited to the mornings or evenings because of the heat. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession and boating issues. A wolf-depredation complaint was also investigated.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) spent time this past week working Rainy Lake and the Rainy River checking anglers and working AIS enforcement at area landings. Simonson also responded to burning complaints in the International Falls area. Simonson would like to remind people that due to the extreme dry conditions right now, there is a burning ban in place for a reason. Enforcement action taken this week was for wanton waste of walleyes, burning without a permit, no license in possession and not having a Type IV throwable device.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports that with abnormally dry conditions, outdoor recreationists are reminded about high fire dangers and responsibilities involved with any type of outdoor fires. The dry conditions are also contributing to slow green-up for black bear food sources, leading to an uptick in complaints. All food sources need to be removed to discourage bears from frequenting residential areas. Training was attended at Camp Ripley, and equipment maintenance was performed.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports angling and boating activities were monitored. ATV activities and forest roads were checked. Fire danger is extreme and numerous fires in the were reported over the weekend. Equipment work and administrative reporting is ongoing.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked ATV enforcement, angling activity, and boat and water safety. Time was also spent following up on an ongoing trespass issue, investigating nuisance-bear complaints, and assisting local partnering agencies. Violations encountered included failure to display valid ATV registration, expired motorboat registration, failure to remove the boat plug during transport, and no angling license in possession.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) responded to several water emergencies in the Tower station earlier last week. Time was also spent checking anglers and finishing paperwork. Zavodnik wants to remind operators about the importance of being cognizant of other boaters and people when out on the waters. Nuisance-bear and shoreline-alteration complaints were also fielded over the week.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the past week monitoring fishing, boating, and ATV activity. Fishing success remained poor. Warm weather brought out high numbers of recreational boaters and jet ski riders. Broughten field calls regarding nuisance animals, ATV trespass, and boat registration. Broughten also assisted with a grass fire and assisted the State Patrol with a report of a car fire.