District 8 - Duluth area

Last updated: 2015-05-27

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) spent much of the weekend working angling and boating activity on area lakes. Unfortunately the most common violations observed were life jacket related. Lighting issues on watercraft were also very common during the weekend. Anglers were having mixed success but all were enjoying the weather. One pair of anglers in an non-motorized watercraft were so anxious to get out that they resorted to using snow shovels as oars when paddles could not be located at the cabin. ATV activity was also high during the warm weather and numerous violations were observed. A female rider that was stopped for operating on a county roadway said she went for a ride to dry her hair after a shower.

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports the Memorial weekend was a very busy in the Duluth area. The officer concentrated on boating safety and stopping the spread of invasive species. Several citations were issued to boaters for life jacket violations. One boater who was upset for receiving a citation for no life jackets in his boat wanted to know if this was a new requirement. Keeping illegal length fish, operating a watercraft without current registration and transporting watercraft with drain plug in place were a few other violations encountered. Officer Hanzal along with Officer Scott located a vehicle reported where a possible hostage situation was taking place. It turned out it was a prank a couple of juvenile decided to play. Neither the officers nor the pranksters found it funny in the end.

CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week working fishing and boat safety enforcement. Many hours were spent on area lakes checking fishing licenses, PFD requirements, watercraft safety equipment and all laws related to fishing enforcement. Other activity during the week involved AIS, ATV, ORV and litter enforcement. Officer Duncan also answered many questions from the public and returned several telephone calls.

CO Jeff Humphrey (Cromwell) worked angling, boating, AIS and OHV enforcement during the week. CO Humphrey received calls and complaints on nuisance wolf, bear, beaver and an injured/orphaned deer fawn. CO Humphrey issued a resource protection notification on a wetland issue. Invasive species details were worked over the holiday weekend with overall good compliance. Angling, boating, AIS, and OHV violations were encountered.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked a district work detail over the holiday weekend where several contacts were made for invasive species violations. Other activity worked in the area consisted of boating and OHV activity. Enforcement action was taken for operating ATVs and OHMs on a public roadway, operate ATV with more passengers than allowed, juvenile passenger without a helmet and registration violations. Staples observed heavy fishing activity in the area over the holiday weekend. Not a lot of fish being caught and enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, angle without license in possession and litter. One person was talked to about a bear in a tree in her back yard. She was advised to leave it alone. It left on its own a short time later.

WREO Michael Scott (NE Region Water Resource Officer) attended a district meeting with officers from the North Shore and Ely area. He worked on issues with whitefish netting and transporting bait in BWCA. Officer Scott attended a water appropriation meeting with DNR Ecological and Water Resources in Grand Rapids. Officer Scott spent time working with conservation officers in the Duluth area for Memorial Day weekend with lots of folks out enjoying the day on Saturday fishing, boating, camping and relaxing. Fishing was good for most folks. Enforcement action was taken for no life jackets, no current registration, fail to transfer title, unsafe boating gunnel riding on pontoon outside of enclosed area, no fishing license in possession and using extra lines. A local lake shore owner was found to be removing cattails on their property because they obscured their view of the lake. The activity was stopped and they were directed to talk with the area fisheries. Officer Scott worked on AIS issues with boats traveling north on Friday and South on Monday checking for drain plugs. Enforcement action was taken for numerous drain plug violations. While working in the Twig area, a report of someone in a vehicle holding up a sign in the passenger window that said, ?Call 911 he took us, please help.? Officers were in the immediate area and located the vehicle. A traffic stop was conducted and officers found that the driver and four other people were under the age of 17. The driver said it was a joke, but was not looking at the situation the same after being stopped by law enforcement. Parents were notified and arrangements were made for the underage folks to continue on their journey to Minneapolis under the supervision of adults.