MN DNR Weekly Report
CO John Slatinski (International Falls #2) reports angling has slowed on area waterways. Many anglers are waiting for reduced snow pack on the ice in hopes it will pick back up. Time was spent trying to locate the owner of an unregistered snowmobile that was located on public land and appeared to have been unused for quite a while. Incidentally caught furbearers were processed. Snowmobile and angling activity were also monitored with expired angling licenses and registration issues addressed. As ATVs are taken out for late-ice use, remember to check for current registration before use.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling activity on area lakes. Snowmobile trails have deteriorated rapidly and there are areas of exposed dirt and rock. Public access sites and area forest roads continue to be checked.
CO John Velsvaag (Cook) checked anglers, who reported fishing was slow. Snowmobiling has wound down with poor trail conditions. Velsvaag also checked on remaining fish houses and looked for litter.
CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) worked anglers, state park enforcement, followed up on two deer-hunting cases, marked fish houses and attended a meeting for upcoming special deer hunts in the station. An individual was cited for leaving bags of human waste on the ice near his permanent fish house. Bring your trash and anything you would not want left on your own doorstep home with you when leaving the ice. Enforcement action was taken for taking an antlerless deer without a permit, unmarked fish house and littering.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) spent a majority of his time on the ice tracking down any remaining ice shelters. With the deadline for removal approaching, Frericks recommends not waiting for the last minute to remove your shelter. Owners of ice shelters usually have a pretty poor image this time of year when the snow melts and all their garbage is exposed, so owners are reminded to take all garbage around their shelter with them. Failure to do so will result in a citation for litter.
CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) reports finding a few anglers out fishing. Most stated fishing is very slow. One angler who was observed using extra lines said he was outfishing his partner probably because of his extra lines. Snowmobiling is still taking place but trail conditions are deteriorating.
Ray – vacant.District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports that snowmobile activity continued to be high over the week. Despite several days of spring-like temperatures the trail system outside of town continues to be overall very good. Trout anglers are still out in high numbers with fair success reported. Violations included no ice shelter identification, angling without a license in possession, and angling with extra lines.
CO Marty Stage (Ely #2) worked snowmobile and fishing enforcement in the Ely area. There was a lot of snowmobile activity during the weekend with people taking advantage of the pleasant temperatures and remaining snow cover. The snow is melting quickly, though, and the trails are mostly ice. There is still good riding to be had on the lakes.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) reports snowmobile trail conditions were still pretty good over the weekend. Several nonresidents were contacted without the required trail pass and citations were issued. Other violations included several instances of snowmobile speeding, including one group of nine sleds all traveling at least 70 to 80 miles per hour on a local lake. Enforcement action was also taken for use of non-VHS free smelt as bait.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area trout lakes this week and snowmobile trails. Schottenbauer also continued work on a public lands squatting complaint and Academy lessons.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) focused primarily on snowmobile enforcement. The officer worked with the Cook County school and volunteer safety instructors on the snowmobile safety field test. All of the students passed and had a great time. Enforcement action was taken for loud exhaust, operating snowmobiles where prohibited and registration violations.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked snowmobile and angling activity during the week. Anglers are reminded to clean up all debris, including wooden blocks used to block up ice shelters, during removal. Snowmobile trail conditions are starting to degrade and become rough in some areas with recent warm weather.District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Randy Patten (Northome) checked anglers, patrolled area snowmobile trails, worked on items for an upcoming Bear Committee meeting, and handled numerous calls on regulation questions. Enforcement action was taken for illegally possessing a firearm.
CO Jayson Hansen (Big Fork) worked snowmobile activity, fishing, small game enforcement, and answered miscellaneous wildlife calls. He checked area lakes and patrolled area snowmobile trails. Violations of no fishing license were encountered.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended an EVOC meeting and checked anglers. Enforcement action was taken for license issues.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked panfish anglers this past week with the bite starting to heat up with late ice conditions. Enforcement action was taken for having an overlimit of crappies and angling without a license. Follow up from last deer season was performed with interviews conducted.
CO Jimmy Van Asch (Pengilly) worked angling and snowmobile enforcement. Anglers are reporting steady success with the crappie and sunfish bite. Van Asch also completed follow-up work on an ongoing big-game investigation. An Emergency Vehicle Operation Course meeting was attend at Camp Ripley to prepare for the upcoming CO Academy. Remember, the ice shelter removal date for the northern zone is March 19. Enforcement action was taken for several angling violations.
Hill City – vacant.District 8 - Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) spent this week working snowmobile enforcement and checking some anglers. The trails in the Brookston area are still rideable in the wooded areas but they are nearly impassable along the roads. Enforcement action was taken for riding an ATV on a snowmobile trail, no license in possession, and snowmobile speed.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) worked snowmobile enforcement on area trails and lakes. Several lakes were also checked for ice houses and the remaining houses were documented for follow-up if they are not removed on time. Fishing on Lake Superior was also worked, which involved ice and shore anglers. Duncan answered several calls during the week and also spent time with a high school student who is interested in the job of a conservation officer.
CO Scott Staples (Carlton) worked snowmobile and fishing activity this past week. Trails in the area were in good to excellent shape. Enforcement action was taken for no safety certification and registration violations. Fish houses were checked to make sure they were removed by the deadline and good compliance was found in the area. K9 assistance was given to the Fond du Lac police in searching for a knife that was suspected of being used in a crime.Lake Superior Marine Unit
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reports ice anglers have ventured out on the ice of Lake Superior in the Duluth area. Just a reminder that this is pack ice and can float out as fast as it floats in. Caution is advised to the hearty anglers looking for coho salmon and herring. Area snowmobile trails were worked prior to the expected arrival of temperatures in the 40s.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked late ice anglers and snowmobilers. The fish house removal deadline for the northern part of the state is approaching and conditions are getting tougher for removal. Make plans now. Snowmobile trails have held up away from the lake, but sunny days are doing away with the snow quickly. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile violations.
Lake Superior Unit – vacant.