Conservation Officer weekly report District-5
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports fishing pressure on Rainy Lake continues to be high. People are reminded that the walleye protected slot limit is 18 inches to 26 inches. Trespass issues and nuisance-animal complaints were handled throughout the week as well. A youth firearms safety class was conducted in the Littlefork area, with 15 students receiving their certification. Enforcement action taken over the last week involved illegal-length walleyes, overlimits, and license issues.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports having a busy week working AIS enforcement, recreational boating activity, and checking anglers on Rainy Lake. Enforcement action taken this past week was for no license in possession, and having illegal-length walleyes in possession. Anglers reported having success with catching the bigger fish this week but finding the keeper-size fish was tough. Simonson would like to remind people that walleyes 18 to 26 inches must be returned to the water immediately, with one over 26 inches allowed in possession on Rainy Lake. Simonson also reports helping out with a firearms safety class this week and attending training.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) assisted with a firearms safety class and field day for youth in the Littlefork area. Anglers have reported a slight uptick in success, but overall most are wishing for a higher catch rate. Slatinski followed up on public waters complaints. Boating activity in the area remains strong with a high number of users noted to be wearing personal floatation devices anytime the boat is underway.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) report monitoring angling and boating activities. Fishing has slowed with few fish observed. Recreational boating and off-road vehicle activity was checked. Area forest roads were monitored. Equipment work was completed.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked angling activity and ATV enforcement. Time was spent speaking at local ATV safety classes, conducting follow up on ongoing investigations, and assisting local law enforcement agencies. Violations encountered included failure to register an ATV, operate an ATV with no headlights, failure to transfer ownership of an ATV, allowing a child under 10 on boat with no life jacket on, and fishing with no angling license in possession.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) reports time was spent working a detail on Mille Lacs Lake over the weekend. License and boating safety violations were encountered. While on the lake, Zavodnik and CO Fitzgerald responded to a complaint involving an individual stealing items from vehicles at a public boat access. The individual was found to have several warrants out for his arrest and was taken into custody.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing, boating, and ATV activity. Anglers continue to report limited success, with many blaming the recent mayfly hatch. Boating and ATV activity remained high this week. Broughten fielded calls regarding boat and ATV registration. Broughten also investigated a complaint of a possible public waters violation.