DNR Report: March 16Reports filed Sundays by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officers.
Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) worked snowmobile activity throughout the week. Warm weather over the weekend has taken its toll on trail conditions, and a forecast calling continued warmth and rain may spell the end of usable trails. Checked and documented the fish houses that still remained on area lakes. March 19 is the deadline for shelters to be off the lakes in this part of the state, but most people have removed them already as ice conditions appear to be deteriorating rapidly. Enforcement action was taken for various snowmobile-related violations.
Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) worked the Wall of Shame booth at the Deer Classic. He was interviewed about poaching by a law enforcement student for a class at the U of M Crookston. Responded to a complaint of blocking the road right of way on Highway 1 near Finland. An individual was blocking the right of way to deter snowmobile travel. Checked snowmobiles during the week and completed computer training.
Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) received many calls and has been asked many questions in the field about the expiration date of the trout stamp. Even though the trout stamp, when purchased separately, says that it expires Feb. 28 (unless noted elsewhere), it actually expires on April 30. Many people don’t know where the “elsewhere” is so they call the CO. The CO has asked for the date on the stamp to be changed, but that hasn’t happened yet. So go fishing and buy your new stamp on May 1. Found anglers fishing with extra lines and unattended lines during the week. Slush is becoming a big problem. So you might want to drive your snowmobile through your fishing area under power before settling that big piece of metal into a thick soup.
Mary Manning (Hovland) found more slush than anglers and compliance was good. Snowmobilers were plentiful on the trails as the snow melted very quickly. Anglers are reminded that fishing shelters and all cribbing and garbage must be removed from inland lakes by March 19; houses on Canadian border lakes must be off by the 31st. The officer also took several calls and complaints regarding a dog allowed by its owner to roam the roadways and chase deer; enforcement action was taken.
Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) monitored snowmobile and angling activity. Some of the trails along the shore are showing some dirt but the trails inland still have good snow cover. The Officer followed up on a bear investigation from last fall. Calls continue to come in about wolves and a possible season.
Kipp Duncan (Duluth) worked on snowmobile and winter fishing enforcement. Time was also spent checking on ice houses and documenting potential problem houses. Fielded calls referencing icehouse removal and trapping issues.
Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reports numbers of snowmobiles were seen taking advantage of the last remaining days of the season. Trail stickers and registration issues were less frequent this past week. Two reports of bobcats having to be killed after attacking domestic animals were reported to the officer. A wolf that was killed by a snare was dumped off the side of a forest road. An investigation originating from illegal hunting in another state was completed. An inventory of equipment was also completed.
Mike Scott (Northeast Region) worked with DNR waters on a restoration order for public waters and APM violation issuing a restoration order. Worked with local Conservation Officer on another public waters violation with more follow up to occur at ice out. Final work on a background investigation was completed. Information was provided and work with DNR fisheries was conducted on new rules and training for others on aquatic invasive species issues.
Keith Olson (Unit Leader-Lake Superior Marine Unit) the warm weather has the trails deteriorating at a rapid pace. Shore anglers checked in the Duluth and Two Harbors area. Some coho salmon are showing up in the creel.