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DNR Report: Hats Off to Snowmobile Groomer Operators – Duluth News Tribune


CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports that the week and weekend were spent tracking snowmobile activity and ice fishing. The clubs in the area continue to do a great job maintaining the trails in the area due to the lack of snow. Hats off to the groomer operators – keep it up. Snowmobilers are reminded to steer to the right, to slow down, and not to drink while driving. Time was also spent training new commanders in snowmobile operations and application.

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports that he spent time last week checking on fishermen on the lakes and rivers in the area. Snowmobile trails in the area have also been monitored. Enforcement action taken last week was to have exhausts illegally modified, fail to show snowmobile registration, and fail to display shelter licenses on fish houses. Simonson also witnessed snowmobile training being held at International Falls for new commanders.

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports that snowmobile activity in the area has increased with most of the traffic being on land trails. Work continued on a background investigation of a potential hire. Assistance was provided to International Falls with snowmobile operations training for new officers at the last CO Academy.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports tracking fishing and snowmobiling activity for the past week. Snowmobile traffic has significantly decreased from previous years. Fishing was light during the week as the trip on the lake remains rough and rough. Large pockets of slush remain. Work on the equipment and administrative tasks have been completed.

CO Aaron Larson (Rook) spent time checking out the snowmobile activity and fishing activity. Larson worked a catch violation and worked a fishing violation in progress. Time was also spent on a dumping case.

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) worked primarily with the fishing and snowmobile business. There has been some success with angling or spear fishing in the last two weeks, but the ice quality on the lakes in the area continues to improve. The violations found mainly concerned the speed and registration of the snowmobile.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) he spent time patrolling the area’s snowmobile trails and checking on fishermen during the week. She also assisted with snowmobile training for the latest graduate class of conservation officers. Zavodnik wants to remind snowmobile riders to watch their speed and operate at reasonable speeds as accidents have become more common in recent times.

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing and snowmobiling activity. Fishermen continued to report limited success. Snowmobile trails are in moderate condition and may use fresh snow. Broughten has also received calls regarding injured animals, dogs chasing deer and trespassing on timber.

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports that trout fishing activity dropped sharply during the week. Angling success was once again slow for the few people found fishing. Violations included fishing without a license, taking unstamped trout, and failing to display the snowmobile registration.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) Checked fishermen and snowmobiles last week. Fishing has been slow and slush continues to be a problem in many lakes. Snowmobiling on the larger lakes is rough, but trail conditions are good.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) monitored snowmobile activity on local trails and the North Shore State Trail. The snowmobile clubs have done a great job clearing all the trees and debris from past storms. She has also spent time in the BWCAW supervising trout anglers.

C.O. Hudson Ledeen (Grand Marias #2) spent the week in International Falls attending the snowmobile training school. Ledeen and other new officers learned skills on how to patrol effectively and safely from a snowmobile, use RADAR detection to accelerate, and life-saving winter survival skills.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked mainly on angling and snowmobile application. The trails continue to get crowded, especially on weekends. Fishing success has been relatively low. Enforcement action was taken for fishing with extra line, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, failure to display a shelter tag, and failure to display a snowmobile registration.

CO Matt Miller (Silver Bay) monitored the snowmobile activity and checked out the trout fishermen inland. Signage issues were discussed with state park staff, and noisy snowmobile exhaust complaints were resolved. Lake Superior trade items were handled with fishery personnel. Enforcement actions have been taken on sport fishing and snowmobiling violations.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports working a full week of background investigations. Hill conducted follow-up work on a catch case and some fishermen were vetted. They were having some luck.

CO Don Murray (Two Ports) worked snowmobiling and fishing. Recent snow has provided fresh snow for grooming and trails are groomed frequently. Many lakes are still rough, making travel difficult and dangerous for snowmobile operators who encounter hard slush and driftwood.

CO Vinny Brown (Northhome) fishermen checked, snowmobile activity monitored and follow-up completed. Four fishermen were found to be in possession of sunfish limits. Enforcement measures have been taken to exceed the limits and the sunfish has been seized. Enforcement measures have also been taken for fishing with additional lines.

CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked ice fishing, snowmobiling and trapping in the area. As the ice thickness continues to increase, homes for larger fish are seen in lakes in the area. Tandem plank fish houses are also popping up. Sutherland filed an enforcement action for fishing without a license in possession and failure to properly register on a snowmobile.

CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) Tracked snowmobile riders and fishing activities. Time was also spent following up on complaints about trespassing and illegal trout fishing. Holt continued work on a background investigation of a candidate for the upcoming CO Academy.

CO Taylor Hochstein (City on the Hill) reports that both sport fishing and snowmobiling activity were high throughout the area. The snowmobile trails are in very good shape and the weather was very conducive for a ride. Several complaints were followed up and ongoing cases were worked on.

CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) worked fishing and snowmobiling all week. He reports heavy use on area lakes and trails. The success of the fishing was good, as was compliance with the regulations. Thanks to the efforts of local snowmobile clubs, many of the trails are in excellent shape. Enforcement action has been taken for failure to produce license plates and failure to hold driver’s license.

CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) worked snowmobile trails and area lakes for anglers. The snowmobile trails are in great shape and many people are taking advantage of them. The fishing has been good and the slush problems seem to be improving. She attended snowmobile training for first year officers at International Falls.

CO Kipp Duncan (East Duluth) he spent most of the workweek snowmobiling enforcement on the trails in the area. This also included a day with nearby officers working in Carlton and Pine counties. Some of the violations snowmobiling found included modified exhausts, expired registrations, and adults without snowmobile safety certification. The lakes in the area have been checked for fishing activity and those fishermen have been checked. Duncan also spoke about the job of a conservation officer to a group of residents at their monthly meeting.

CO Tony Elwell (Cloquet) patrolled snowmobile trails and checked ice anglers this week. A presentation was given to youth from the Hermantown area who participated in a snowmobile safety field day. Enforcement actions were taken during the week for snowmobiling and angling violations.

CO Mikeena Wehr (Willow River) worked on special projects last week.

CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time last week continuing snowmobile enforcement and fishing controls. Time was also spent on snowmobile training.

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