District 6 - Two Harbors area
Conservation Officer Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled snowmobile trails and checked sledders on trails. The officer also gave a radio interview on ice safety and handled calls on road kill deer, dead owls and spearing for northern pike. Enforcement action was taken for failure to have an angling license in possession and careless operation of snowmobiles.
Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked a Lake of the Woods detail with other officers during the week. Violations encountered included extra lines, unattended lines, unregistered snowmobiles, no trail stickers on snowmobiles, unregistered ATVs, drug possession, people fishing without licenses, and no snowmobile safety certificate. A citation was also issued in the Fagerman’s station for no trout stamp while possessing trout. Follow up interviews and reports for a commercial investigation were also completed.
Conservation Officer Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) monitored area lakes and snowmobile trails. Snowmobile trails are still in good shape. Cross country skiers were checked with overall good compliance.
Conservation Officer Marty Stage (Ely) worked snowmobile and ATV enforcement. ATVs are coming out again and the common observation with both types of machines is that operators are not stopping at road crossings. Recreational vehicle operators are reminded that they must stop at all road crossings, not just the crossings posted with a stop sign. Stage observed an ATV operating on a sidewalk in town and not stopping at the road crossings but enforcement action was not possible at the time. The officer believes he knows who the operator is and will follow up accordingly.
Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt / Ely) worked anglers and snowmobilers throughout the week and checked a couple beaver trappers. Fish houses being removed were monitored for litter left behind. Two ride-alongs were given to college students. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile registration and trail sticker violations, snowmobile speed, allowing illegal ATV operation by a juvenile, and litter.
Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked snowmobile and angling activity during the week. Area trails were freshly groomed and in great shape over the weekend which enticed some riders to exceed the 50 mile per hour speed limit. Enforcement action was taken for speed violations. Murray and Conservation Officer Miller responded to a call of a snowmobile crash near Brimson. A rider lost control at night and hit a tree. Officers assisted EMS and Search and Rescue with reaching the crash site and hauling out the injured rider. The rider’s injuries were severe and the accident is under investigation.
Conservation Officer Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) reported that he checked anglers and snowmobilers throughout the week. He patrolled at Tettegouche and Split Rock State Park. Johnson did some follow up investigation on a falconry violation.
District 8 - Duluth area
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth) worked area ski and snowmobile trails. The North Shore Snowmobile Trail was worked with focus on speed enforcement. Anglers were checked along the North Shore and inland lakes. Ice houses were checked and marked in preparation of removal dates. Duncan also followed up on a trapping complaint.
Conservation Officer Randy Hanzal (Duluth) followed up on a few cases left over from last year’s deer season. Local snowmobile trials were reportedly in very good shape due to the recent snows. Angling seems to have slowed on most area lakes. The lack of fishing activity was blamed by a couple of anglers as the reason they decided to smoke marijuana. Unfortunately, the smell was so strong that the officer smelled it as he was passing by on a snowmobile and followed his nose to the violators. Several boreal owls have been found dead due to the difficult winter and turned over to be used as an educational tool at various schools.
Water resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (NE MN) worked on aquatic invasive species issues in St. Louis County and North Shore area. Information was exchanged with Lake County Attorney for AIS road check this summer. Scott followed up on report of illegal minnows being used for bait in the Ely area. More info to follow. He also assisted Officer Randy Hanzal with completing several big game cases from deer season. An interview with person for shooting from the road, resulted in a citation issued for shooting at big game from the roadway. Snowmobiles were out on local lakes and several checks were made while at road crossings. An ATV with two juvenile females was investigated resulting in a citation for allowing illegal operation of an ATV by a juvenile.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sergeant Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers along the North Shore and fielded calls for a boreal owl and fisher found along the roadways.
Conservation Officer Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore anglers on Lake Superior and monitored snowmobile activity in the Two Harbors and Duluth areas. Officers Miller and Murray responded to a late evening snowmobile crash and assisted with transporting EMS and rescue personnel to the crash site. The rider was found to have multiple broken bones but luckily survived his cold weather rescue. Alcohol and speed were found to be among the contributing factors in the crash. Cross country ski passes were checked in the Duluth area, with a high violation rate found among skiers on grant-in-aid trails. Enforcement action was taken for ski and snowmobile violations.
Conservation Officer Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers on Superior Bay, St. Louis River, and Lake Superior. He also worked the snowmobile trails. An investigation was completed along with the reports. He attended a meeting and transferred some items to St. Paul for auction. Enforcement action taken for angling, snowmobiling, and controlled substance violations.