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DNR Report: July 14

Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ATV and boating activity during the week. Fishing was slow on most area lakes and the biting deer flies were out in swarms. Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations and a report of an injured owl was taken.

Conservation Officer David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked Independence Day activities in the area. Anglers and boaters were checked. Time was spent on area ATV trails. Schottenbauer checked an angler coming off Lake Superior, but the angler didn't want to show the officer his fish. Schottenbauer asked why not, and the angler was afraid he would be forced to tell where he caught it as it is his secret spot. Schottenbauer was however insistent on seeing the fish, when the angler produced a large eelpout, Schottenbauer chose not to press about the secret spot.

Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) primarily worked angling and boating enforcement this week with high activity observed. Violations encountered included operating watercraft without navigational lights nearly an hour after sunset, fishing without a license, insufficient PFDs, and no license in possession. Assistance was provided on an injury crash on Highway 135 and to Babbitt Police Department with a search warrant. Time was also spent on a littering case.

Conservation Officer Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports although activity was high, it was far below average for the Fourth of July week. Compliance overall was very good even with the large volume of anglers and boaters. Violations included angling without a license in possession, operating an unregistered watercraft and no life-saving device on board a watercraft.

Conservation Officer Marth Stage (Ely #2) worked fishing and boating enforcement in the Ely area and found fishing to be relatively good for a lot of fishermen. Remember to have a wearable PFD for each person in the boat.

Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports a relatively quiet Fourth of July week. The beautiful weather on the Fourth made for some busy lakes with lots of activity. The officer gave out lots of awards to kids under 18 that wore their life jackets in the boats. One woman in a kayak though was not impressed with the officer offering an award to her children that contained processed sugar. After the officer got a brief scolding in manners, he went on his way. He was able to get back on track with his day as the kids in the very next boat were more than happy to take their award from the Dairy Queen.

Conservation Officer Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) worked with Conservation Officer Thomas Wahlstrom checking boaters and anglers on a busy Fourth of July. Manning took a report of angler harassment on an area trout stream; landowners are reminded that they may not restrict anglers or others using state waters they have lawfully accessed. The officer also conducted patrols in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness checking boaters and a few anglers and followed up on a littering case from last summer.

Conservation Officer Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent the week on the water both on Lake Superior and inland lakes north of Duluth. Anglers are reminded to keep your license with you while out fishing. Aquatic invasive species (AIS) and boating enforcement was also focused on during the Fourth of July holiday. Compliance with AIS requirements have improved as a result of the extra enforcement focus as of late. Personal watercraft (PWC) users are reminded of the slow no wake regulations around other watercraft (including other PWCs) and swimming areas.

Conservation Officer Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters over a busy Fourth of July and vacation week. Juvenile ATV operators and passengers were contacted after breaking several rules they just learned in ATV safety class. The owner of one unregistered boat blamed the violation first on the body shop that repaired the boat, then on her insurance agent, and then on her son. After being confronted with the fact that the boat was still registered to an address at which she no longer lives, she continued to look for other places to place the responsibility. Enforcement action was taken for watercraft, ATV and alcohol violations.

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