DNR REPORTReports filed Sundays by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officers.
Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) reports that most trappers did well catching pine marten this season. Numerous radio collared animals were taken by trappers this year. The data collected from these animals will help wildlife managers for years to come. Ice continues to form on area lakes, with a few anglers beginning to venture out. Please remember that ice cannot yet be considered safe, so wear a personal flotation device and carry ice picks if you really feel the need to go on the lakes. Enforcement action was taken this week for trapping and fishing related violations.
Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) reports that he checked trappers and muzzleloader hunters throughout the week. He responded to reports of lynx caught in traps twice. Received a TIP report of trapping on posted property. Investigation revealed that there was no violation.
Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked trappers as the pine marten/fisher season came to a close. Some anglers are walking out onto the ice. One person drove a vehicle out on a lake that had just previously frozen over. The conservation officer thought at first that he would see the tracks leading to an open hole, but he could tell the vehicle made it back off the ice.
Mary Manning (Hovland) checked fisher and pine marten trap sets and found good compliance overall. Lynx management regulations for the northeast continue to be an issue for some trappers. Answered questions from pet owners on how to remove dogs from traps; information on this in the Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook is best reviewed before needed. Assisted with snowmobile safety class, checked muzzleloader deer hunters and grouse hunters, and checked area lake and river accesses.
Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking fisher and pine marten trappers in the area. Overall compliance is good for trappers setting traps in the lynx management zone. A few people are starting to venture onto early ice to try their luck for some fish. Assisted in teaching the law portion of the snowmobile safety class.
Kipp Duncan (Duluth) checked baiting complaints and issued citations for hunting over bait with muzzleloader. Completed reports from deer season. Trapping sites were checked and compliance levels were high. Deer carcass dumpling complaints were investigated.
Randy Hanzal (Duluth) spent time wrapping up cases left from the firearms deer season. A few muzzleloader hunters were checked. Several pine marten/fisher trap sets were checked for compliance. Trap tampering and illegal trap sets were investigated. Some maintenance issues were addressed. A few ice fishermen are venturing out on local lakes. Ice conditions are improving but can vary greatly this time of year. Be careful!
Mike Scott (Northeast Region) worked with DNR Enforcement and Fisheries personnel on developing new emergency rules for the use of smelt and cisco as bait on Minnesota waters. Attended several meetings in St. Paul.
Keith Olson (Unit Leader-Lake Superior Marine Unit) received several complaints post deer season. Most of those received will be worked next deer season due to the nature of the information. Time was spent finishing up watercraft maintenance items prior to a large snowfall. Met with United States Coast Guard personnel for upcoming winter training opportunities.
Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked trapping activity and muzzleloader hunters. Spent time at the DNR Forestry natural resource class giving instruction to new foresters on interviewing tactics. Worked on an illegal baiting complaint.
Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked marten and fisher trappers in Lake County. Multiple instances of trappers leaving boxes and equipment in the woods during the off season were handled. A reminder to trappers that this is illegal and all items brought in for trapping need to be removed each year. Looper fishing along the shore seems to be slow starting this winter. Little snow has fallen on area trails yet. Enforcement action was taken for untagged traps, preempting a trapping site, and insufficient blaze orange during muzzleloader season.