District 6 - Two Harbors area
Conservation Officer Mary Manning (Hovland) worked the final, slushy week of the winter trout season. The officer followed up on several complaints: one on a deer that appeared to have been shot (the deer was gone when the officer arrived and several deer in the area ran off when approached); one of a fish house still on the ice (gone when the officer arrived); and finally, one involving an individual living at a boat access and illegally angling (the party had moved his camp and was found to be cooperative and compliant with regulations). Landowners are reminded that the spring beaver season extends until April 30 with no special permits required for trapping up to that date. Enforcement action was taken for no trout stamp.
Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) responded to a moose vs. train call in his station. Although the unfortunate incident did not make the animal salvageable for consumption, it did provide valuable tissue samples that were recovered for moose research. The recent warm weather brought an end to the snowmobile season in the area and several flocks of waterfowl and a great blue heron were spotted marking spring’s arrival.
Conservation Officer Sean Williams (Ely) reported an increase in angling activity with the last weekend of trout season, with spotty success on area lakes. Local snowmobile trails are beginning to become difficult to travel with the warming temperatures and rain. Violations included, angling with too many lines, and expired snowmobile registration.
Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt / Ely) checked trout and crappie anglers on station lakes and in the BWCA. Violations encountered were angling with an extra line and too far from a tip-up. A careless motorist was stopped and cited on Hwy 1. Time was spent beginning to prepare for equipment transition for the spring season. Phone calls were taken about spring beaver trapping.
Conservation Officer Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) reported that he issued a possession permit for a bobcat in Finland. He was called to dispatch an injured deer in a yard near Tettegouche State Park. Johnson checked some of the late season snowmobilers. He also checked ice conditions on local lakes.
District 8 - Duluth area
Conservation Officer Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported a few days were spent on snowmobile but they probably were the last, as trail conditions continue to deteriorate. Some anglers were seen out on area lakes but not many fish were caught. Several dead boreal owls were turned over to DNR Wildlife as the difficult winter continues to be a problem for these small birds. A talk was given at a firearms safety class. An instructor was presented with an award in recognition of his 30 plus years of teaching firearms safety to local youth.
Conservation Officer Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent a couple days on snowmobile working area trails and checking inland ice fishing. Shore fishing along Lake Superior has been busy when fisherman can find open areas with ice. Area Lake Superior tributaries are still locked up with snow and ice. Duncan received several calls of dead owls found during the week. A firearm safety class was also attended during the week.
Officer Mike Scott (NE MN) worked with DNR Fisheries out of St. Paul on an issue with a person who wanted to start harvesting minnows out of an infested body of water near Duluth. The person was requesting DNR approval of the waterbody. The party had completed the required training to harvest minnows out of infested waters.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Conservation Officer Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers who were anxious to get out on Lake Superior. A few boats were seen fishing between Two Harbors and Knife River. Remnants of a moose struck by a train were collected for the moose mortality study project. A complaint of a possible sick deer was addressed, with advice given to the landowner to stop feeding the deer. Feeding deer concentrates them in a tight area and greatly increases the risk of disease being spread among the herd. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile violations.