District 6 - Two Harbors area
Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reported that snowmobile trails and lakes looked more like mid-February than the end of April. By the looks of some of the deer coming out of the winter, they’ve had about all they can take. The calls for troopers and officers to dispatch deer hit on the highway have increased. Many of them are congregating where the walking is a little easier. Looper and steelhead anglers are reporting better luck towards Duluth, as the rivers up towards Grand Marais are iced-in and un- fishable. Officer Fagerman presented a big game case to the local prosecutor.
Conservation Officer Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) met with the assistant county attorney to discuss multiple upcoming charges related to big game violations. Wahlstrom conducted interviews and completed reports associated with the same case. The officer taught the law and ethics part of firearms safety for the Cook County class. Anglers along the shore of Lake Superior were checked and preparation for in-service was completed.
Conservation Officer Mary Manning (Hovland) worked the Rainy River sturgeon anglers with Conservation Officer Sindelir. All fish checked were safely within the legal slot and the most common violation was no audible warning devices on boats. Manning checked anglers on Lake Superior and its tributaries; a few fish are being caught up the shore. The officer also took report of a deer injured by a car and patrolled state parks. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license, operating a motorized watercraft without required lighting, and no throw-able device on boat.
Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) responded to several car-injured deer calls on Highway 61 along the North Shore this week. Deer are hanging out on roadways trying to get to grassy areas for food this time of year. Drivers need to be cautious and expect to encounter deer on the North Shore. Murray also worked ATV and angling activity in the area and gave a law presentation at a local firearms safety class.
Conservation Officer Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) reported that he checked ATVs this past week. He also checked anglers along the North Shore. Johnson assisted the license bureau by retrieving computer equipment from a vendor. He responded to a report of a dead Bald Eagle in Schroeder, and dispatched an injured deer along Highway 1.
Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked ATV enforcement and crappie anglers throughout the week. Time was also spent preparing to teach an ATV law class for local law enforcement agencies. People out enjoying the 70-degree weather on Saturday were accessing the lakes using all forms of travel, including full-sized pickups and snowmobiles. The lake edges are now eroding, bringing pickup travel to an end. Enforcement action was taken for youthful ATV operation, unregistered ATV, operation on a county road with a cancelled driver’s license, no ATV safety certificate, and no fishing license in possession.
Conservation Officer Marty Stage (Ely) worked on cases. Ice conditions are finally beginning to deteriorate, so be careful when you’re out and about. The bears are walking around and the woodcock are back. The swans, juncos, and sandhill cranes have all shown up in the past few days. Spring might come after all.
Conservation Officer Sean Williams (Ely) reported that with the recent warm weather, ice conditions on area lakes have become hazardous and difficult for travel. Fishing reports have been good with some success this weekend. Violations included expired ATV registration, and operating an ATV on a public road right of way with no valid driver’s license.
Conservation Officer Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent the majority of the week working shore fishing along Lake Superior. Many fishermen were checked and law compliance was very good. Several telephone calls were also returned and taken during the week. There were lots of questions about the upcoming fishing opener and the “what if” questions about ice covered lakes. Bear activity around Duluth has increased with the warmer temps and snow covered ground. Wildlife feeders (aka bird feeders) and garbage cans seem to be the food of choice for the spring bears.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Mike Scott (NE MN) finished up work on issues with a person requesting to harvest minnows from aquatic invasive species- infested waters in St. Louis County. He continued work to close a wetland case in Lake County with the county attorney and followed- up on information from resort owners who thought that they were required to have a Lake Service Provider trainer for their business.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sergeant Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers along the North Shore. Boat ramps are snow free and in use. Olson assisted the sheriff’s office with vehicle accidents in the townships and worked ATV complaints within the city of Duluth.
Conservation Officer Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked many anglers who were happy to be trolling on the big lake even though the fishing was slow. A local conservation organization banquet was attended, and assistance provided to local agencies with calls. ATVs have started to reappear. The officer received a report of a deer injured by a dog at Hartley Park in Duluth. The deer was badly injured and had to be put down. Several dog owners were reminded that it is illegal to allow dogs to chase deer. Enforcement action was taken for angling, boating, and ATV violations.
Conservation Officer Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent the week checking shore anglers along Lake Superior. He did not notice anyone fishing the rivers, but that should start soon. He also spent time on Lake Superior checking anglers. There were lots of boat out from all over the state, but not many fish were being caught. Good compliance with required boating safety equipment and registrations. The officer also checked for spring beaver trappers and looked at some dumped garbage for evidence. Enforcement action was taken for boating and angling violations.