CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports a busy weekend with opening of fishing; lots of people were out enjoying the nice weather. Success was limited on Rainy Lake with better success on Lake Kabetogama, where most people caught a few keeper walleyes. A few animal complaints were also handled. People are reminded to leave baby animals alone. Enforcement action for the week included unattended lines, illegal-length fish, and boating equipment violations.
CO Shane Zavodnik (International Falls #2) spent time focusing on boating and angling enforcement over the week. Despite the slow fishing reports, anglers were all smiles being out on the water and enjoying the nice weather. Overall, boating safety compliance was found to be very good during the opening weekend.
CO John Slatinski (Ray) continued to monitor trapping, OHV use, state campgrounds, fire activity, and – the highlight of the week – the statewide fishing opener. A report of damage to a state trail was received along with an unattended fire that was located and was associated with the same incident. There was an uptick in state campground use with the fishing opener. Trapping complaints were received and investigated. Weather for the fishing opener was among the best in recent memory, according to anglers in the area. Most of the anglers encountered were happy to be once again fishing open water and most reported success of varying degrees. Some said all they could find were fish too big to keep.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports fishing activities were monitored. Success was poor and opening-day winds were strong. Access sites were monitored. Minnow trapping was checked. ATV activity was monitored. Beaver complaints continue.
CO Duke Broughten (Cook) spent the week monitoring angling, boating, ATV, and trapping activity. Opening weekend for walleyes and northern pike on Lake Vermilion yielded limited success for many anglers. Most of them were happy just to be out in the boat with good weather. Boaters and anglers are reminded to prepare their boat prior to entering the boat ramp. Broughten assisted with a BWI arrest where the boat operator was found to be more than double the legal limit. He also investigated a wildfire.
CO Marc Hopkins (Tower) worked the opener in the BWCA with RTO Phil George. After time spent on surveillance, the officers charged a group angling and keeping walleyes and northern pike a day before the season opened. The officers made a BWI arrest and after four relays to other officers, the suspect was transported to jail.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked the fishing opener and ATVs, dealt with a complaint of a large number of walleye carcasses dumped in the woods, investigated a dead bear complaint in a front yard and met with the SWCD and BWSR on a wetland-fill case. Fishing success was fair over opening weekend with some large northern pike and respectable walleyes taken. Enforcement action was taken for no fishing license in possession, wanton waste, unregistered ATV, no PFDs, and boat registration violations.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent most of the week working wolf depredations, beaver trapping, boating, angling, and ATV enforcement. ATV issues continue to take a lot of enforcement efforts in the area with illegal wetland riding and illegal operation on snowmobile trails.