District 6: Two Harbors area
Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) attended training at Camp Ripley. He followed up on a complaint from Bear Head State Park staff, with enforcement action taken for operating ATV’s on the Taconite Trail which is posted closed to ATV use. Snowmobilers and anglers were worked the remainder of the week, with fantastic snowmobile conditions after the recent foot and half snowfall, plus the abundant snow that was already on the ground. Enforcement action was taken for expired snowmobile registration and failure to stop at road crossings. A motorist was stopped when a child was observed in the lap of a backseat passenger. The driver also had a suspended driver’s license, so enforcement action was taken for both violations.
Conservation Officer Marty Stage (Ely) assisted in the search for a neighbor who had walked into the woods and was eight- hours overdue. The snow in the woods was deep, up to a person’s waist in many places, and this proved exhausting for the overdue man and the searchers on foot. There was a frightening bit of urgency as it was just before dark, the ice on the river had been eroding, and the blizzard with strong wind and 17 to 22 inches of snow was setting in. All tracks quickly disappeared due to the blowing snow. Remarkably and fortunately, the man was found and safely recovered with only minor frost bite. It could very easily have ended much more tragically, but it was helpful that the man was wearing good Minnesota northwoods clothing. The family and community had quickly launched the search effort that certainly saved his life. Hypothermia kills. Remember to tell someone your plans, bring matches, and wear the proper clothing for any condition that could occur in Minnesota.
Conservation Officer Sean Williams (Ely 1) reported that about 16 inches of fresh snow fell on Friday, with more falling. Although the trails are excellent for the time, the ice on lakes in the area has become hazardous, with several sink holes and open areas. Enforcement activity included snowmobile registration and several trail violations.
Conservation Officer Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) reported that he checked snowmobiles with the recent heavy snows. Enforcement action was taken for an unregistered snowmobile. He issued a possession permit for a road- killed Bobcat.
Conservation Officer Mary Manning (Hovland) checked a few anglers working the North Shore near Lake Superior tributaries, and she checked inland lakes and accesses. A generous amount of wet, heavy snow has extended the winter sport season for some. Reports were taken of road- killed deer and of snowmobilers using a closed trail to access border lakes.
Conservation Officer Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent time at Camp Ripley instructing officers in use of force. The officer also armored several division issued shotguns with various malfunctions. Wahlstrom checked area pan fish lakes, with success being slow.
Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) attended annual in-service training at Camp Ripley during the week. He prepared a big game case for prosecution and took care of seasonal equipment duties.
Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked snowmobile and ATV activity after the Friday winter storm dumped over 20 inches of fresh snow in the area. This was the most snowmobile activity the officer had ever seen in the month of April. Enforcement action was taken for riding on bike trails closed to motorized use and registration violations.
Conservation Officer Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported an injured deer was dispatched after it had apparently been attacked by a bobcat. Assistance was given to the local law enforcement in the apprehension of two suspects who were shooting road signs from their vehicle. A talk was given at two large firearms safety classes during the week.
Conservation Officer Kipp Duncan (Duluth) worked shore fishing along Lake Superior. The fishing volume from Duluth to Two Harbors has been high. Duncan attended the division annual in-service training at Camp Ripley and assisted the local PD, Sheriff’s Department, and State Patrol with various calls.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Conservation Officer Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore anglers along Lake Superior. Kamloops rainbows seem to be staging in front of rivers, but without much runoff, anglers are restricted to casting from shore. A trespass complaint involving snowmobiles and ATVs was taken, with future enforcement efforts to be focused on the area. A complaint of dogs chasing deer was checked. With the remaining deep snow conditions, deer are still quite vulnerable to predation. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile and angling violations.
Conservation Officer Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) attended in-service training at Camp Ripley and completed some other required training. He checked anglers along Lake Superior and a few remaining snowmobiles. Enforcement action was taken for angling violations.