District 6 - Two Harbors area
Conservation Officer Sean Williams (Ely) reported that warmer weather was enjoyed by the influx of people on the area lakes and trails this holiday weekend. Walleye success was spotty, with most anglers having some luck over the weekend. Higher than average water levels made some portages difficult between many popular lakes in the BWCA. Violations included no throwable personal floatation device, allowing illegal operation of an off-highway motorcycle by a minor, and failure to dispose of bait waters.
Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy Memorial Day weekend. The fish were cooperating in several locations. Time was spent inside and outside the BWCA on angling enforcement. Invasive species enforcement was worked with a neighboring officer at Lake Vermilion with less than stellar compliance. Enforcement action was taken for several instances of fishing without a license, transporting watercraft with drain plug in place, no throwable personal floatation device in boat, untagged minnow trap, allowing illegal operation of off-highway motorcycle by a juvenile, failure to display watercraft registration, and no fishing license in possession.
Conservation Officer Marty Stage (Ely) worked in the BWCAW checking fishermen. The fishing was incredible and most people were found to be counting their walleyes accurately. One group caught taking more walleyes than their limit said: “If you’d have come ten minutes later, they’d have been all fried up.” The fishermen were referring to the over-limit catches they intended for their supper. What they didn’t take into account was that the officer had been waiting in the woods for them to return, with plenty of time to spare. Please don’t hesitate to call a conservation officer when you see over limit violations. They’re stealing opportunity from you and everyone else.
Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling, ATV, and boating safety enforcement over the busy holiday weekend. Several contacts were made involving invasive species enforcement efforts at public accesses. Murray also responded to a grass fire near Two Harbors that was contained by DNR forestry and the local fire department.
Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked a Red Lake recovery detail with other officers. While assisting Conservation Officer Regas north of Waskish on a multiple ATV stop, officers Fagerman and Duncan pulled up behind some other ATV’ers. When they were directly behind a woman on an ATV, she began to pitch empty beer cans into the woods. The officers couldn’t believe what was happening. Fagerman thanked the woman, explaining that he didn’t know how many times he’d seen beer cans in the woods, and would love nothing more than to catch someone in the act of doing this. Now he’d finally found that person and it was her. Embarrassed, she accepted her citation for littering. Other citations included over limits of walleye, illegal length walleyes, failure to register watercraft, failure to drain live wells and failure to remove drain plugs when leaving a waterbody.
Conservation Officer Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) worked aquatic invasive species, ATVs, boat and water safety and anglers. The officer worked a detail in the BWCA over the Memorial weekend. Wahlstrom and area officers responded to a search on Lake Superior for a missing vessel with four people on board. Luckily, everyone was safe.
Conservation Officer Mary
Manning (Hovland) worked anglers and boaters on inland lakes and the BWCA. The officer investigated reports of a dead moose cow and a road injured yearling bear that kept wandering into the roadway. An aquatic invasive species detail was worked with Conservation Officer Wahlstrom. Manning also assisted Lake County with a search for an overdue boat on Lake Superior. Enforcement action was taken for failure to remove drain plug and no navigational lights after sunset.
Kipp Duncan (Duluth) worked many hours of fishing and boating enforcement. Area lakes have been busy with fishermen. A few days were spent working Red Lake. Some of the violations encountered on Red Lake were possessing illegal length walleye, over limit of walleye, and possessing walleye fillets in the boat while fishing. Some ATV enforcement was also worked during the week. Time was also spent working on a couple possible waters violations at area lakes and rivers.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sergeant Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) assisted the U.S. Coast Guard boarding team with the report of a stolen sailboat in the Duluth harbor. At one point, it was believed the suspect to have fled on foot. Upon further investigation it appeared mooring lines had been cut by the breakwall and the boat was carried across the bay by the strong northeast winds. He checked anglers and boaters within the harbor and inland lakes. Several ATVs were stopped for operating on a public roadway north of Duluth. Shore anglers were checked in the Island Lake area and several nice catches of walleye were observed. He assisted the U.S. Coast Guard and Lake County Sheriff’s Office with a missing boat on Lake Superior in the Silver Bay area. The airwing also assisted in the effort. The boat was eventually found near Sand Island in the Apostle Islands. He assisted St .Louis County Sheriff’s Office with a call of a burglary in progress. Upon further investigation it appeared to be a disputed home ownership problem.
Conservation Officer Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked steelhead anglers and trollers on Lake Superior and its tributaries. Assistance was given to the Coast Guard and Lake County Sheriff’s Office with the search for an overdue watercraft on Lake Superior. The watercraft and its occupants were eventually found unharmed in the Apostle Islands, against their original float plan. Charter fishing boats were checked with excellent compliance found for licensing requirements. Enforcement action was taken for angling, ATV, and watercraft violations.
Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) investigated a wolf depredation complaint in the district for an officer who was off. He spent most of the week checking steelhead fishermen in the rivers, which are still producing some fish. He checked for any remaining smelters and night activities on the rivers. He checked boaters on Lake Superior, along with some charters. He worked aquatic invasive species at Lake Superior and St. Louis River accesses. An over limit complaint was investigated. Enforcement action was taken for angling and aquatic invasive species violations.