District 6 - Two Harbors area
Conservation Officer Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked the trout opener with area officers in Lake and Cook counties. After the rain storm hit, the roads had an ice sheet on them and the lakes were full of slush. The anglers that made it out for the opener did well. Some nice splake and rainbow trout were seen in the bag. BWCAW trout lakes were patrolled. Enforcement action was taken for driving after revocation, vehicle equipment violations, angling and snowmobile violations.
Conservation Officer Mary Manning (Hovland) continued to check anglers in the BWCAW and area. The officer participated in a work detail in Lake County during the trout opening weekend. Snowmobiles and skiers were also checked. Rain over the weekend has left trails in very poor and icy condition, although travel in the woods is easy due to the crusty layer that is left. Enforcement action was taken for no angling license in possession.
Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked with several officers during the opening weekend of the winter trout season. Officers patrolled many miles by snowmobile checking remote designated lakes along with easily accessible lakes. A dead coyote with mange was picked up from the porch of a residence. It appeared that the very small coyote may have been killed by a wolf as the piles of large scat left on the porch couldn’t have possibly come from the coyote. The owner of the residence did previously hear some banging and noises coming from that area.
Conservation Officer Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) reported that he worked the winter trout opener and there were lots of anglers out and moderate success rates. Johnson also checked snowmobilers over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for riding on the road, no registration, and failing to display registration.
Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked the trout opener patrol up the Gunflint Trail with other District 6 officers. Warm weather and rain prior to the opener made for slushy conditions on most lakes which firmed up throughout the weekend with dropping temperatures. Much more snow is needed to make snowmobile travel on lakes and trails easier.
Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt/Ely) worked the winter trout opener. He assisted with a youth snowmobile safety class in Ely. A fish house party was interrupted with several citations issued for under age consumption of alcohol and a fleeing on foot citation. Other enforcement action included fishing with extra line, no trout stamp, no shelter license, ATV in closed area, expired registration on ATV, and no fishing license in possession. The snow took a hard hit from warmth and rain.
District 8 - Duluth area
Conservation Officer Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported lots of angling on area lakes now that cold weather has improved ice conditions. Several reports of injured deer have been fielded. Dogs chasing deer calls have also been increasing. Investigations and follow up continue from a few left over deer hunting violations. Time was also spent answering questions and handing out information at a local Powwow event.
Conservation Officer Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spoke to a high school class about the job of a conservation officer. A couple days were spent working on a trapping harassment complaint. Duncan also worked several days up the Gunflint Trail for the opener of winter trout fishing. A small game violation was investigated that will require continued follow-up and investigation.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott followed up ongoing wetlands and public waters investigations. He assisted the division by providing taser certification training to numerous Conservation Officers throughout the state.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sergeant Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers along the North Shore, attended a U.S. Coast Guard meeting about a Duluth port event, and checked ice anglers in the Duluth harbor. He also met with U.S. Coast Guard personnel about upcoming logistical needs of the DNR Marine Unit.
Conservation Officer Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) completed Step 2 of field training with Conservation Officer Cadet Vang. Inland trout anglers were checked on an icy and cold opening morning. Some fish were seen in the bag, with violations encountered for extra lines and no trout stamp. Snowmobile trail conditions remain rather poor due to lack of snow. Shore anglers along Superior are found fish to be rather inactive the past few weeks. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.
Conservation Officer Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) completed Step 2 of field training with Conservation Officer Cadet Williams. They worked some trapping investigations and anglers along Lake Superior and inland lakes. They also worked the trout opener on the Gunflint Trail. Enforcement action was taken for angling, snowmobiling, and ATV violations.