DNR Conservation Officer weekly reports

District 6 - Two Harbors
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports less activity in the Ely area as the coldest weather of the year has arrived. The weekend saw high temperatures making it only into the teens below zero, and wind chills as low as below-50 were reported.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) focused on angling and snowmobile activity. Recent snow helped improve the state and local trails. Wahlstrom worked a detail with the Border Patrol.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) hit the ski trails checking ski passes and directing skijors to the correct trails. Anglers and snowmobilers were also checked. Manning is also following up on a report of anglers with unattended lines.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily angling and snowmobile enforcement. A couple of traps were also checked. Enforcement action included fishing without a license, no shelter tag, under 21 consumption of alcohol, expired snowmobile registration, and loud/altered exhaust.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked angling and snowmobile activity this past week. Time was spent following up on a waters complaint as well.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports contacting anglers and snowmobile riders throughout the past week, despite arctic cold temperatures. Snowmobile violations were nonexistent and Hill wants to thank riders for following all snowmobile laws. One angler forgot to purchase their trout stamp and Hill made sure they purchased it on their way back home. Possession permits were issued for road-killed deer. Hill monitored lakes in the BWCA for trout activity and found some decent fish in the bucket.

District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports bitter cold has kept a lot of people home and indoors, but a few brave souls were out snowmobiling and ice fishing this past weekend. Snowmobile trails are in good shape considering the amount of snow on the ground. The local clubs have been working hard to get them in shape. Kudos to all who help with that. The trails on the lakes have drifted, causing hard mogul hills. People are urged to slow down.

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports spending time this past week patrolling area snowmobile trails. Area trails are in good condition, but Simonson would like to remind people to be careful while traveling trails that cross area lakes because high winds have caused snow drifts causing rough travel conditions. Time was also spent this past week checking ice anglers and checking fish houses for shelter licenses. Enforcement action taken this past week was for leaving portable shelters up overnight without a shelter license, no snowmobile registration and no fishing license in possession.

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports despite the extreme temperature change there were still those who faced Mother Nature in pursuit of snowmobiling and fishing adventures. Anglers were happy to be indoors with the heater going and snowmobilers found the overland trails to finally be shaping up, which made for better traveling than being out in the open on the lake. Violations encountered were angling without angling licenses, illegal exhaust on snowmobiles, and illegal operation of a snowmobile and ATV by juveniles.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling and snowmobile activities over the past week. Below-zero temperatures and dangerous wind chills limited outdoor activities. Forest roads and access sites continue to be checked. Equipment work is ongoing.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time monitoring snowmobile activity and working a detail on Upper Red Lake over the weekend. Anglers were observed with few fish, but many said the bite has really slowed. Common violations found over the weekend included possession of marijuana, illegal possession of fish fillets on a special regulations lake, no shelter license, and extra lines. Zavodnik continues to focus on snowmobile speed on area trails.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) primarily worked trout anglers and snowmobile riders. He also worked a trapping complaint. An accidentally trapped fisher was turned in. That was not the unusual part, however. The fisher - the supposed master of porcupine predators had about six dozen quills on its face and neck, with one that had nearly blinded it. It survived the porcupine, but not the trap. It was the coldest week of the winter, and Bozovsky asked two snowmobile riders how low the wind chill was for them after they were stopped going 80 miles an hour. The wind chill chart actually doesn’t register that low. Separate trout anglers on a designated lake were found with no trout stamps and using extra lines (one actually using two extra lines). One had a bait violation as well. Excuses abounded for the anglers.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) patrolled area lakes ahead of the cold snap checking anglers and a few dark house fishers. One angler who was trout fishing neglected to purchase a trout stamp. As Frericks was processing the violation, he found there was a felony arrest warrant for the angler. The angler was arrested on the warrant and brought to jail. The next day, Frericks assisted a State Patrol trooper who was following a person who had a warrant out for his arrest. The driver drove onto an area lake in hopes of getting away from the Trooper and a Gilbert police officer. It didn’t work and the subject with the warrant was arrested.

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the past week monitoring fishing and snowmobiling activity. Recreational activity was low this past week likely due to the recent cold spell. Fishing success remains poor. Snowmobile trails are still in need of snow.