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Minnesota DNR conservation officer reports

Reports filed this week from conservation officers for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) worked several lakes throughout the area, as well as the vacant Babbitt station. Compliance with laws and regulations was good overall, but a few people were found without angling licenses in possession and lacking required life preservers in their watercraft. Assistance was given to the sheriff's department with an ATV rollover crash in which two people were injured. Also worked road and trail closures around Jay Cooke State Park, which are still in place from the severe weather and flooding.


Marty Stage (Ely) worked ATV enforcement. Several ATVs were observed driving down a state highway and another was observed operating at high speed against busy traffic. Spent time in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness working on a bear problem. Canoe registration issues seemed to be better this week. Canoeists are reminded that even if a home state does not require registration on a canoe, one must obtain registration before a canoe can be used in Minnesota.

John Velsvaag (Ely) received several nuisance bear complaints this past week. Also checked anglers on area lakes and got calls about nonresident licenses.

North Shore

Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that people are still leaving drain plugs in their boats and failing to drain their bait buckets before leaving a lake. Many people were found without navigation lights on watercraft after sunset and that will now be a focus for the rest of the summer. A shortage of life preservers was also a common oversight. Some parents are great at making sure children have their lifejackets on, but neglect to have enough in the boat for the adults.

Mary Manning (Hovland) assisted with emergency flood response at Jay Cooke State Park. The officer also took nuisance bear and beaver complaints and checked anglers and boaters. Anglers are reminded to review angling and boating equipment regulations for Lake Superior before hitting the water. Enforcement action was taken for immeasurable salmon, expired flares on federal waters and using a worn out life preserver.

Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent time working boating and angling enforcement on Lake Superior. Some nice trout were in the bag and the salmon bite is starting to pick up. Responded to a variety of nuisance animal calls. Inland lakes were checked including a fishing tournament where overall compliance was good.