DNR Conservation Officer weekly reports

District 6 - Two Harbors
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports warm and rainy conditions early in the week stalled out much of the angling activity. Over the weekend, trapping and fishing activity was good and some early snowmobiling activity was again seen.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers, netters and trappers this past week. Ice conditions improved considerably this past week, but the ice is still relatively thin on the main portion of some of the larger lakes. Anglers did better at the end of the week and Velsvaag got several calls on the pike regulations.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked an Upper Red Lake detail with COs Lawler and Sura. Fishing was slow but violations were very plentiful. An extraordinary number of extra lines were detected. Time was also spent working the pine marten-trapping opener and other local work duties. The ice conditions are greatly improving in the area. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, fishing without a license, possession of dressed fillets on a special regulations lake, marijuana and drug paraphernalia, unattended lines, expired snowmobile and ATV registrations, and an untagged trap.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area ice anglers this week. Time was also spent preparing for a work detail next week.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports checking traps on the opening weekend of the fisher and pine marten season. Multiple sets were seen, but they came from only two trap lines. Hopefully activity picks up the second weekend of the season.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled area forest roads and snowmobile trails. Rain negatively affected trail conditions and riders were scarce; plowed stretches of trails are very icy. Manning took reports of a bobcat killing pet rabbits and a bobcat inside a bird enclosure. Trappers and trap sets were also checked.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked trapping and angling activity this week. Ice conditions deteriorated a bit this week with warm weather and rain making travel difficult on some lakes. Murray assisted volunteer safety instructors with a youth snowmobile safety course where 39 students earned their certifications.
District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports the trapping season for bobcats, pine martens, and fisher opened this past weekend, which brought a few people into the woods. Spearing continues on Rainy Lake and Lake Kabetogama, and few ice anglers have been out on the Sand Bay area of Rainy Lake. People are encouraged to use caution when venturing on the ice.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports checking ice anglers this past week on Rainy Lake and the Rainy River. Trapping activity was monitored throughout the area with the fisher/pine marten season in full swing now. Simonson would like remind people to use precautions and take safety measures while participating in the early ice activities.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) continued to monitor spearing and angling activity along with associated snowmobile and ATV use. The recent unseasonably warm weather melted most of the snow on ice surfaces, resulting in standing water on top of the ice. The snow that followed resulted in slush covering most areas that did not get windswept, resulting in a diminished spearing and angling activity. Slatinski followed up on a litter complaint and ongoing cases. A reminder that ATV registrations with a 2021 decal will expire at the end of the month.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports heavy rain followed by freezing temperatures have coated trees and resulted in numerous trees down on trails and roads. Some snowmobile trails have yet to be cleared and swamps are not frozen and have exposed dirt and rocks in some area. Ice conditions remain questionable in some areas. Little trapping activity was observed. Equipment work continues, as does administrative reporting.
CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily angling and trapping enforcement. Larson came across violations related to trapping and use of ATVs on snowmobile trails.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked angling and trapping activity. A storm that brought 2 inches of rain significantly reduced recreational activity. Standing water was seen on most lakes and much of the snow accumulation on local trails was lost to the rain. Anglers are reminded to remain extremely cautious on the lakes.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time investigating a timber-trespass complaint involving several hundred dollars worth of merchantable timber being destroyed on state land. He also assisted with the operating portion of a snowmobile safety class. Approximately 25 students attended and completed the class.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing and trapping activity. Ice conditions vary from lake to lake and some deeper lakes are still open. Broughten fielded calls regarding trespass and littering. He also arrested an individual with an outstanding warrant.