Conservation Officer’s reports from the field

Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked the trout opener with CO Duncan. There were a number of people out fishing despite very cold temperature and wind. Most had luck catching splake. Violations included live minnows on a designated trout lake, no shelter license, no marking on shelters, and no fishing licenses or trout stamps in possession. CO Fagerman also received assistance from CO Brad Johnson and CO Duncan in capturing a timberwolf that wandered into someone's shed after the wolf had stepped into a trap. The snow is so deep that the wolf was able to walk right through an open window. The wolf was transported to a rehabilitator. <BR><BR>CO Kipp Duncan (Two Harbors) worked on winter fishing and snowmobile activity during the week. With heavy snow earlier in the week, and very cold temperatures later in the week, winter activities were somewhat slow. Officer Duncan worked with Officer Fagerman in the Grand Marais area for opening of trout season outside the BWCA. Temperatures were -20 degrees and people were still out fishing. Some violations were found and fish were being caught on every lake we checked. Officer Duncan also worked with Officer K. Olson and a couple St. Louis County Sheriff Deputies on patrolling area snowmobile trails for speed and careless operation. <BR><BR>CO Mike Lekatz (Ely) worked checks on fishing activity on area lakes and snowmobile activity on area lakes and trails throughout the past week. He also worked checks on trout opener on lakes outside the BWCAW. The very cold temps pretty much put a crimp in the amount of outdoor activities going on in the station. Snowmobile activity in the station was way down. Some fishermen were out on some of the trout lakes but the numbers were way down and not many trout were being caught. Fur tagging was worked at the DNR Wildlife Office in Tower.<BR><BR>CO John Velsvaag (Ely) worked a couple of days on a Homeland Security detail. Trout fishermen were few and far between with the cold temperatures. Angling success was poor overall for all anglers and slush is becoming a hindrance once again, even with the cold weather. A few snowmobilers were out with nice trail conditions. Snowmobile registration enforcement continues to be difficult with the current registration system. He also reports getting fewer owl calls from the public for the last several weeks.<BR><BR>CO Marty Stage (Babbitt) worked snowmobile enforcement and some ice fishing activity. Fishermen are having poor luck most everywhere and with the temps down as low as 49 degrees below zero here, only the hardiest are out. The snow is deep so there is slush in a lot of places. Snowmobilers making the best of the temps should remember to bring some extra survival equipment and inform someone of their destinations and routes in case of emergencies. Officer assisted an Alaska Trooper with a fraud license case and dealt with a starving boreal owl report.<BR><BR>CO Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) checked ski passes on the ski trails around Silver Bay. He also picked up an injured great grey owl from the Eveleth DNR Wildlife Office. This owl had not been hit by a car, but had flown into a barbed-wire fence. Workers in Virginia had cut it out of the fence and brought it to the wildlife office. Johnson worked the fur registration station in Finland. He also captured a gray wolf that had taken refuge in a shed near Grand Marais. The front leg of the wolf had been caught in a conibear type trap. The wolf was transported to a vet for treatment.<BR><BR>