DNR Conservation Officer weekly reports

District 6 - Two Harbors
CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports there was very heavy snowmobile activity during the warmer parts of the weekend. Angling activity was steady, although success was low. Violations included untagged trap, and possessing live bait on a designated trout lake.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and snowmobilers this past week. Slush conditions are getting worse on many lakes and snowmobile trail conditions are very good. CO Velsvaag also attended training at Camp Ripley.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time checking area trout lakes. The Officer assisted the Use of Force team teaching firearms tactics at Camp Ripley.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) attended training at Camp Ripley and assisted with teaching for annual firearms qualifications with Division officers. Officer Manning also patrolled snowmobile trails and forest roads, responded to a lost skier call, checked a few smaller trout lakes and checked ski passes at Pincushion ski trails.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) attended training and worked anglers, snowmobilers, and cross country ski trails. One person was contacted after they left two portable shelters overnight on a local lake without ID or shelter tags, gear and litter frozen into the ice, fish left on the ice, and a set tip-up left out. The individual was also burning prohibited garbage outside the cabin. Snowmobile speed infractions were dealt with. Local trails are in good shape after recent snowfalls.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling and snowmobile activity. Much of the week was spent at Camp Ripley for annual training.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports seeing heavy snowmobile activity in the area throughout the week. A few registration violations were handled, along with riders not stopping at road crossings. Hill has received ongoing calls regarding snowmobiles illegally operating on the new non-motorized section of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail in Tofte. Snowmobiles are also illegally operating on XC ski trails in Tofte. Please plan your route accordingly and definitely do not operate your snowmobile around barriers. Ongoing background investigation work was also completed.

CO Don Murray ( Two Harbors) worked snowmobile and angling activity during the week. Recent snowfalls have put trails in excellent condition and activity is high. Area lakes are showing more signs of slush conditions making access more difficult for anglers.

District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (Int’l Falls#1) reports overall outdoor activity has been slow with the cold weather, but continuing snow falls have put the area snowmobile trails in great shape. Good job groomers! Ice fishing bite on Rainy Lake has been slow, typical January. Trappers are reminded that last fur registration in on January 25th, 3-6 pm, in either Int’l Falls or Big Falls.

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) Attended training at Camp Ripley and completed equipment maintenance. Most outdoor activity in the area has been snowmobiling or angling and spearing. The snowmobile trails are in excellent condition, but extreme temperatures have kept snowmobile activity down. The last snow event has helped to smooth the lake surface out. Angling and spearing activity continue to be steady with moderate success noted.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports angling and snowmobile activities were monitored over the week. Area forest roads and timber sales were checked. Equipment issues are on-going. Administrative items were completed.

CO Aaron Larson (Tower) attended training at Camp Ripley. He also spent time checking snowmobile activity.

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked angling and snowmobile enforcement. In addition, time was spent attending training at Camp Ripley and completing administrative tasks. Cold temperatures throughout the week brought a decline in recreational activity and local anglers reported limited success.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) Time was spent patrolling area snowmobile trails and attending training over the week. He also assisted multiple law enforcement agencies in the search for a known individual with multiple warrants out for their arrest. After several hours of the multi-agency search, the suspect was located and safely apprehended.

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing and snowmobile activity. Recent cold weather appeared to have limited recreational activity. The few anglers that were encountered reported limited success. Snowmobile trails are in good condition due to the recent snowfall.