District 6 - Two Harbors area
Conservation Officer John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers this past week and followed up on some trapping complaints from the marten season. Velsvaag found much better ice conditions in the area after the colder weather and more anglers are venturing out.
Conservation Officer Marty Stage (Ely) worked early ice fishermen and dealt with some ATV’s operating on the road. We’ve gotten a second chance with the ice formation since the poor original ice nearly melted away. The new ice that came with the cold weather is strong and clean. The early ice fishermen have been having good success. Snowmobilers are reminded to get the registrations on their machines.
Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt/Ely) continued to work muzzleloader deer hunters, wolf hunters and trappers, and ice anglers. Ice conditions improved greatly over the last week. Good success was had by wolf trappers. Enforcement action included over limit of deer, untagged wolf, fishing without a license, untagged snares, and many instances of no license in possession.
Conservation Officer Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) reported that he conducted trapping investigations in Isabella. He patrolled for muzzleloader hunters and wolf trappers. Johnson checked ice conditions on local lakes. He inspected locations with aeration permits and responded to a report of an injured wolf on Highway 61 near Gooseberry State Park.
Conservation Officer Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked area black powder hunters. Wahlstrom assisted teaching the snowmobile safety class at the Cook County School. Anglers were eager to get out fishing and reporting various ice thicknesses. Caution should be used when venturing out on early ice.
Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reported that many of the shallow, smaller lakes have eight inches of good ice on them. With the snowmobile trails open, all other motorized vehicles must now stay off of designated snowmobile trails. Wolf hunters, trappers and anglers were checked. The early season walleye fishing hasn’t started off as well as it did last year. Fishing is reported to be very slow so far. The stream trout (lakes) and lake trout season within the BWCA opens Dec. 29. Lakes outside the BWCA or partially outside the BWCA open Jan. 12.
Conservation Officer Mary Manning (Hovland) continued to check wolf trappers and answer questions about the wolf hunt and sick wolves. One trapper’s snare was set close to a roadway and garnered attention from passersby. Manning assisted Conservation Officer Wahlstrom and volunteer instructors with the classroom portion of snowmobile safety class. Snow arrived too late to permit field testing of students. Manning also checked trails and hunter activity in Magney State Park.
District 8 - Duluth area
Conservation Officer Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported very little ice fishing in the area since ice conditions are fair at best. They are, however, improving. Time was spent investigating an illegally taken deer. Hunting over baited areas are still being reported. A person who shot a bobcat that was threatening his animals was contacted. Several car killed deer permits were issued during the week.
Conservation Officer Kipp Duncan (Duluth) worked on a follow-up investigation for a hunting deer over bait violation. Time was also spent gathering evidence for a big game violation. A control zone was established for a wolf depredation. Several trappers were contacted in the field during the week with zero violations encountered. Officer Duncan also attended the funeral for Officer Thomas Decker of the Cold Springs police department.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sergeant Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked shore anglers along the North Shore and muzzleloader hunters. The new snow over the weekend has some snowmobile riders in the ditches around the Duluth area.
Conservation Officer Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended funeral services for Cold Spring Officer Decker. Follow up was completed on TIP calls, and the report of an injured deer in a Duluth resident’s back yard was handled. A few anglers trying for salmon and lake trout were checked on Lake Superior, but the fish were not cooperating. Inland ice conditions have been fair to poor. More cold weather is needed for safer ice.
Conservation Officer Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent the week on big game, small game, commercial enforcement, as well as ATV enforcement. He spent time finishing up paperwork from deer season and working on open cases. He attended a funeral for a law enforcement officer and attended court at Fond du Lac. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations.