District 6: Two Harbors area
Conservation Officer Sean Williams (Ely) reported that mild and sunny weather attracted many anglers to brave the swarms of insects and hit the lakes. Walleye anglers continued to show some success, but northern pike seemed to be the most common catch; several decent sized fish were taken out. Violations included: angling with no license in possession, angling with extra lines, and operating an unregistered watercraft.
Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy week of angling, boating, and commercial enforcement. A sizeable walleye over-limit was seized from a group coming out of the BWCA. Officers Bermel, Wichmann, and Kittelson worked the border crossing in International Falls, with fish seizures for over limits, no skin patch, and no license. The Birch Lake walleye tournament went well, with many fish and some big ones caught; the largest fish was 8 pounds, 2 ounces. Bermel taught the law portion of a fire arms safety class in Britt. Violations for the week included several walleye over- limits, several instances of transporting fish without a skin patch, angling with extra lines, no minnow retailer license, boating safety violations, and no angling license in possession.
Conservation Officer Marty Stage (Ely) along with Conservation Officer Fondie paddled from Ely toward the Gunflint Trail, then north and back to Ely. The officers worked fishermen and canoeists throughout the BWCAW. No canoe registration, failure to have fishing licenses in possession, and drug possession were the common violations encountered. Fishermen are reminded to keep their license with them, not only because it’s the law, but because it is often a long paddle back to get it.
Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled ATV trails and checked area lakes. Manning assisted Cook County on a resort fire and assisted volunteer instructors with the field day for a firearms safety class. Several mute swans have been sighted in Cook County and Manning spent some time attempting to locate the very aggressive, invasive birds. The officer also took complaints of personal watercraft operating after sunset and anglers behaving badly.
Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) responded to nuisance bear and mute swan complaints as well as ATV complaints. Anglers were checked on inland lakes with decent success. Equipment maintenance was executed on the officer’s patrol squad and ATV.
Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked fishing and watercraft activity along the North Shore. Murray handled nuisance bear calls and a report of an injured eagle during the week. Homeowners are reminded to remove any pet food and garbage containers to avoid enticing a bear to their home or cabin.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sergeant Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers along the North Shore and St. Louis River. Anglers are reminded that all rainbow trout caught in Lake Superior must be a minimum of 16 inches in length. Turn-in-Poachers reports have been coming in of anglers keeping undersized fish. Olson worked a detail along the border country and also assisted the Duluth Police Department with a call of teenagers displaying handguns in a residential neighborhood. He also worked an area in the townships where youthful ATV operators have been generating complaints from area residences.
Conservation Officer Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on Lake Superior. Several license violations were found when checking anglers in an area recently stocked with fish. Turn-in-Poachers complaints have also started to come in regarding anglers keeping the undersized fish. Public access enforcement issues were handled, and assistance was given to the local sheriff’s office with a juvenile party call along the Knife River waterfront. Enforcement action was taken for angling, ATV, off-highway motorcycle, and alcohol violations.
Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked boaters and anglers on an along Lake Superior and the St. Louis River. He also worked public access enforcement and some aquatic invasive species. He completed some paperwork. Enforcement action was taken for angling and drug violations.