District 6 - Two Harbors area
Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt / Ely) reported that he issued two citations in three days near the same location and to the same operator of the same unregistered snowmobile. Bermel assisted District 4 officers with the Eelpout Festival in Walker. Activity level was extremely high with the nice weather and large amount of snow. Violation rates were also very high. Many cases were found in which folks left their lines down while going to town or the beer tent. An ATV operator was arrested for DWI. Many citations were issued for underage alcohol consumption, drug paraphernalia, unattended lines, extra lines, snowmobile registration issues, etc. Snowmobile activity is the highest it has been all year with the good snow conditions.
Conservation Officer Marty Stage (Ely) worked the big snowmobile and ice fishing weekend. There were a lot of people out enjoying the new snow and the conditions were pretty good. Snowmobilers are reminded that the speed limit is 50 mph maximum unless there is an exception. Enforcement action was taken for various violations. Many snowmobile registration decals are mounted in illegal places on the snowmobiles. Please take the time to read the information and attach the decals properly. If the decals are not where they need to be, it is hard for the officers to find the decals as you drive by. This may require the officer to stop you for better inspection and ultimately, to give you a ticket for improper display.
Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) patrolled area grant-in-aid trails during the week with other DNR staff. With recent snowfalls in the area, ski and snowmobile trails are in excellent condition for travel. Skiers are reminded that ski passes are required to use the state trail systems.
Conservation Officer Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) reported that he checked anglers and snowmobiles throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for failure to display snowmobile registration. He issued a possession permit for a car-killed pine marten. Johnson patrolled at Split Rock and Gooseberry State Parks.
Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) patrolled remote areas by snowmobile and the BWCA by snowshoes during the week. The lake trout lakes are producing some fish, but the designated trout lakes have been very quiet.
Conservation Officer Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked a snowmobile detail with Lt. Thomasen and Officer Manning over the weekend. The trails were very busy with snowmobilers from all over. Despite the heavy traffic, the state trail held up nicely. The officer checked anglers on remote trout lakes where the bite was slow. Enforcement action was taken for multiple snowmobile violations.
Conservation Officer Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled snowmobile trails and generally found good compliance. Anglers and fishing shelters were checked; anglers reported slow fishing. The officer also answered questions on moose, wolves and changes to snowmobile trail passes. One snowmobiler,stopped for failing to display her registration, stated that the sled was new and that’s why the registration and trail sticker were in a Ziploc in her pocket, not on the machine. The stickers, it turned out, had been purchased in 2011 when the sled WAS new.
She received additional papers to put in her pocket. A reminder to sledders that these items must be purchased and properly displayed on the snowmobile. Enforcement action was taken for operating an unregistered snowmobile, no state trail sticker displayed, no registration displayed, no snowmobile safety certificate and no angling license in possession.
Conservation Officer Randy Hanzal (Duluth) spent lots of time answering questions and talking with people at the Duluth Sports Show. Time was also spent on snowmobile, checking anglers and snowmobilers. A case where a person illegally shot a wolf is currently being investigated. Hanzal and other officers helped patrol a nearby vacant station. A group of anglers found themselves in a tangled mess after returning from a lunch break at a nearby bar and finding that the officer wanted them to explain the unattended lines. As the anglers attempted to pull up their baits it was discovered a feisty northern pike had tangled all five lines in the fish house. The illegally taken northern pike was released unharmed.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sergeant Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) with other district officers assisted the St. Louis Co. Sheriff’s Office in the recovery of stolen property in Rice Lake Township. A TIP complaint was investigated regarding a trapping complaint north of Duluth. The TIP Wall of Shame booth was manned with a fellow district officer at the Duluth Sports Show.
Conservation Officer Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked snowmobiles and ice anglers. Questions were answered regarding use of local public water accesses in the wintertime when the water is open and accessible on Lake Superior. Several snowmobile operators have been found operating without first taking the required snowmobile safety training course. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile violations.
Conservation Officer Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked a special patrol shift in the Ely area with a Border Patrol Officer on snowmobile. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile and ATV violations.