DNR Report: March 29
Conservation Officer Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) monitored snowmobile and cross country ski trails. The trails are in great shape. The officer checked anglers on area trout lakes with few fish in the bag. Several calls relating to BWCA use and wildlife calls were handled.
Conservation Officer Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) worked the DNR booth at the Northwest Sportshow in Minneapolis. He attending training in Two Harbors and coordinated the transport of an injured Boreal and Saw-Whet Owl to The Raptor Center. He also checked snowmobiles during the week.
Conservation Officer Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled snowmobile trails and unplowed forest roads checking sledders. Compliance was generally good and the officer continued to get questions on the change to trail sticker regulations. Few anglers were out and fishing was slow. One group was surprised to learn that the fairly small "rainbows" they had were, in fact, lake trout. Manning also attended training in St. Paul and along the way shuttled a pair of injured owls to the Raptor Center. Enforcement action was taken for no trout stamp and failure to display snowmobile registration.
Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) continued to work snowmobile activity in the area with area trails groomed and in good shape for riding. Fishing has slowed down and deep snow on the lakes makes for tough travel. Murray attended a district enforcement training session in Two Harbors during the week and prepared for spring flood response if needed. A call of a coyote struck by a vehicle was also handled.
Conservation Officer Sean Williams (Ely) reported that area trails are still in great condition and he observed average snowmobile activity. He attended a specialized week-long waterfowl enforcement school held at White Water State Park. He also answered questions for the public at the Virginia Home Garden and Sports Show on Friday.
Conservation Officer Marty Stage (Ely) worked snowmobilers and found the trails to be reasonably busy. The good ice and recent snows have helped make the trails very nice and the conditions are about as good as one could hope for. By this time last year, people were fishing from boats.
Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt / Ely) attended a district meeting and mainly worked snowmobilers and ice anglers. Over the weekend one snowmobiler clocked at 90 mph on the trail commented that the trail groomers shouldn't do such a nice job. Trail conditions were great for those who ventured out on probably the last good weekend of the year. People did a good job getting ice houses off by the deadline with only one house left out late. Enforcement action was taken for unattended lines, litter, fish house left out after the removal deadline, and various snowmobile and ATV violations.
Conservation Officer Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported that snowmobile trails throughout the area may have been in the best condition seen in years. Unfortunately, many contacts were made during the past week with snowmobilers that thought better trails meant faster speeds. Officer Hanzal worked snowmobile enforcement with both Border Patrol agents and neighboring officers. A few anglers were also checked, however increased snow depth is making for difficult travel onto area lakes.
Conservation Officer Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week on snowmobile. Trail conditions have been excellent and many people have been out using their snowmobiles. The most common violation has been registration violations and adults operating without a snowmobile safety certificate. Winter fishing was also worked. Lots of people are out looking for pan fish and many are casting along Lake Superior hoping to catch a trout or salmon. Duncan also attended a district meeting, returned several telephone calls, picked up a few dead owls found by the public, and followed up on an ice house license issue.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked snowmobiles in the Duluth and Two Harbors areas. The trail conditions have been in decent shape. Olson handled a call and gave advice about a bobcat trying to get into a chicken coop and made contact with the U.S.Coast Guard on some training items for the future open water season.
Conservation Officer Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended a district meeting and annual division training. Testimony was given at a court trial on a case from deer season. Late season snowmobiles were checked and many shore anglers were waiting for the ice to clear along the North Shore of Superior. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile and ATV violations.
Conservation Officer Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent the week checking anglers along Lake Superior and on inland lakes, patrolling snowmobile trails, and patrolling for ATVs. The snowmobile trails were in excellent condition, and some fish were being caught along Lake Superior. He also worked on some evidence related paperwork and transfers, and attended a few meetings. Enforcement action taken for angling, snowmobile, and ATV violations.