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DNR report: Aug. 25

Conservation Officer Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports he focused on angling enforcement over the week with generally very good reports coming from anglers, especially inside the BWCAW. Bear baiting activity continues to be slow, although more baits were found to be actively visited this week. Violations included transporting fish without a skin patch and angling with no license in possession.

Conservation Officer Marty Stage (Ely) checked ATVs and boats. Many people are operating motor boats after sunset with no lights. The common response is that since they can still see, they don't think they need lights. The law requires lights to be used after sunset.

Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) found a few people camping way out in the brush by trout streams or small lakes. The CO wound his way down brushy rocky roads by ATV only to find full sized SUV's, pickups and campers. Some people call it scratching their pickups, but the CO calls it Minnesota pin stripes. Either way, some people find it more than worth it to escape the crowds. This weekend saw an increase in bear baits as the season gets closer. Many of the bear baits the officer checked had been hit by bears. Nice bear tracks were seen as well as some other sign you just don't want to step in. Enforcement action was taken for boating violations.

Conservation Officer Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) attended a district meeting and training in Tower. The officer checked bear baits and reviewed bait registrations for the upcoming season. CO Manning also patrolled ATV GIA trails and forest roads checking ATV and OHM operators.

Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily in the BWCA last week assisted by a volunteer. Activity levels and fishing success were moderate. A couple groups were contacted with illegal glass containers. In both groups there were non-violating members that said, "I told you not to bring those" to the offenders. A litter case was made on an individual that dumped a load of garbage in the woods. A district meeting was also attended. Enforcement action was taken for angle with extra lines, fishing without a license, no PFDs, illegal beverage containers in the BWCA, litter, and no license in possession.

Conservation Officer David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area bear baiting activity this week. Time was spent at a district meeting. CO Schottenbauer also assisted the county in locating two youths who went missing while on a bike ride with their aunt. When CO Schottenbauer found them; they thought their aunt was right behind them.

Conservation Officer Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked bear baits, anglers and ATV riders. Trout are cooperating inland and on the big lake. Enforcement action was taken for angling and big game violations.

Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked bear baiting activity and attended a district meeting during the week. Fishing slowed down a bit as fall-like weather hit the North Shore. Officer Murray also assisted with a search for some missing kids on bikes at Gooseberry Falls State Park. The children were located and were not aware that they had been missing until they were reunited with their very justifiably worried aunt.

Conservation Officer Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked boating, fishing and AIS enforcement with an emphasis on impaired operation worked in the Duluth-Superior Harbor. Nuisance bear complaints are starting to increase within the city of Duluth and surrounding areas. Bears are well aware of the changing seasons and are prepping for such; keep an eye on garbage cans and bird feeders.

Conservation Officer Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers on Superior. Commercial records were monitored and bear baits checked in remote areas. Enforcement action was taken for angling, ATV and traffic violations.

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