Two Harbors area
Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) responded to an injured eagle call on Hwy 61. With the assistance of Conservation Officer Brad Johnson the eagle was captured and sent to a wildlife rehabilitation facility for care and hopefully will be released back into the wild. Murray continued to work fishing, snowmobile, and ATV activity in the area and investigated an illegal trash dumping complaint.
Conservation Officer Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) reported that he assisted Conservation Officer Murray with a Bald Eagle that was injured along Highway 61 near Two Harbors. The eagle was transported to The Raptor Center. Johnson completed a wolf depredation investigation near the Silver Bay Airport.
Conservation Officer Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked pan fish anglers on area lakes. Wahlstrom handled calls regarding wolves, dead owls, cougars and regulations about the upcoming opener. A meeting with the Border Patrol to discuss upcoming details was held. Wahlstrom also prepared lesson plans for use at the upcoming in-service training.
Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked anglers on the Rainy River with other officers. One fellow found out that it’s important to be able to keep track of the two walleye limit. As the officers approached, he was observed throwing something out the back of his boat. When asked what he tossed out, he stated that he threw fish out because he didn’t know how many he had. He and his fishing partner were still over the limit. Other over limits were encountered as other people had trouble counting to two or were simply making up their own rules on possession and daily possession. Hundreds of boats were checked and life jacket compliance was 100 percent, with only one warning being issued for a Type 4 throwable device. Excellent compliance for this early in the year.
Conservation Officer Sean Williams (Ely) reported spring snow storms slowed angling activity and spotty success was observed. Waterfowl are beginning to arrive in greater numbers including Canada geese, hooded mergansers, and golden eyes. Violations this week included illegal juvenile operation of an ATV and operating an ATV on a county highway.
Conservation Officer Marty Stage (Ely) worked snowmobiles and fishermen throughout the week. People were slow to get out after they apparently thought spring was here, but after the 8 or 10 inches of snow and virtually no loss of ice, people started to head back outside over this past weekend. Snowmobiles and fishermen were checked and pan fishing was uncharacteristically slow for this time of year. On lakes where there is current, bad spots are starting to show up and the ice on rivers is eroding. Caution is advised.
Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) monitored crappie fishing throughout the week. The ice and snow is holding on, making for easy access by ATV, snowmobile, or pick-up on most lakes. Bermel and Conservation Officer Williams taught the law portion of a firearms safety class in Ely.
Conservation Officer Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent some time preparing for a work detail on the Rainy River. Three days were spent working fishing and boating enforcement there. Several hundred boats were checked over the weekend. Officers found a couple of over limits of walleye, illegal party fishing, and some watercraft registration issues.
Conservation Officer Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported that he fielded several calls regarding injured animals. Concerns over wolves acting aggressively around a ranch were received. Assistance was given to local law enforcement with a number of vehicles in the ditch due to several recent snowstorms. Some annual training was completed. A few snowmobiles were advised about Grant in Aid trails being officially closed.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sergeant Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers along the North Shore. He attended an ATV safety class with Officer Duncan, and assisted area law enforcement agencies with traffic related problems during the recent heavy snowfall. An investigation of a dumping complaint in Gary New Duluth is pending. Complaints of ATV operation within the city limits were checked.
Conservation Officer Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore anglers along Lake Superior. The persistent winter weather is keeping the tributaries from opening up, creating a lot of impatient anglers. A few snowmobiles were still seen running the Ramstad State Trail. A few others operating on the now closed Grant-In-Aid trails were given verbal warnings and advised to trailer their sleds to the state trail parking lot. Proper consideration towards landowners along the corridors will help keep the trails open for years to come. Enforcement action taken for angling and snowmobile violations.
Conservation Officer Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers along Lake Superior throughout the week. He attended a meeting and did some equipment maintenance. He also worked a detail on the Rainy River with the numerous anglers there over the weekend. Enforcement action was taken for possession of steelhead during closed season, over limit of walleye, no angling license in possession, and boating violations.