District 6 - Two Harbors area
Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) monitored fishing and snowmobile activity during the week. Some lakes are slushy with the warmer weather and heavy wet snow. Anglers are reminded to take all blocking material and debris with them when removing ice shelters for the season. Murray assisted a stranded motorist who slid into the ditch due to hazardous driving conditions during the recent storm.
Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) executed a search warrant with other officers, deputies, and an agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a result of an ongoing commercial bear guiding operation. Several items were seized including a beautiful bear rug made from a bear that was shot unlawfully. When the man asked what was going to happen to his bear rug, Fagerman said that it could possibly be used for the Wall of Shame. The man was happy with that and stated that he would at least be able to see it when the Wall of Shame is displayed in the area.
Conservation Officer Mary Manning (Hovland) checked anglers and ice houses on area lakes in and outside the BWCA. Snowmobilers were also checked on the North Shore State Trail. Reports of dying owls continue to come in during the irruption. The officer also handled a road kill deer situation, answered questions about expiration dates for angling licenses and handled vehicle repair issues.
Conservation Officer Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) reported that he worked the Deer Classic at the National Sports Center in Blaine. He also transported an injured boreal owl to the Raptor Center. Johnson reported that angling activity had slowed now that some seasons are closed. He checked snowmobilers during the week.
Conservation Officer Marty Stage (Ely) worked snowmobile enforcement and observed a lot of tracks traveling past “no trespassing” signs, road gates and cables. The snow conditions are good, so cross country travel is possible, but these people are taking some pretty big risks if they are caught trespassing. Snowmobilers are urged to respect private property.
Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt /Ely) spent time on litter, fishing, and snowmobile enforcement. Recent snows kept snowmobilers happy. Enforcement action was taken for litter. Anglers are reminded to pull up lines when going out to visit a neighboring ice house or take care of personal business in the woods.
District 8 - Duluth area
Conservation Officer Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported that time was spent marking area ice shelters to ensure their on-time removal and the removal of all associated debris. Radar enforcement was conducted along some of the area’s snowmobile trials. Several speeders were cited. The officer also attended training on identifying fake IDs and
passports. A great gray owl was turned in to be used for educational purposes. Several injured deer, problem coyote, fox and raccoon calls were also fielded.