DNR Conservation Officer weekly reports

District 6 - Two Harbors
CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers and snowmobile riders this past week. Most of the fish houses have been removed and slush continues to be a problem in some areas. Fishing has been slow but seems to be picking up.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) worked remote trout lakes and patrolled snowmobile trails. He instructed a snowmobile safety field day in Grand Marais. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile and angling violations.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports another busy snowmobile week in Cook County. No violations were seen. Hill took part in Exploratory Day for Cook County Middle School students. Hill watched a group of avid young anglers try their luck at catching rainbow trout on a local lake. Between snowball fights and hotdogs over the fire, the kiddos landed a few nice fish.

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) assisted with a security detail in Duluth. He spent a lot of time working busy snowmobile trails and checking anglers. Most people remembered to buy their new fishing licenses. Local clubs have kept snowmobile trails in good shape, and traffic remains high. Citations and warnings were issued for the following infractions: snowmobile speed, careless operation, loud exhaust, registration violations, unmarked fish house, and failure to renew fishing license.
District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports snowmobile and ice fishing continue to be the main emphasis of enforcement activities. Enforcement action was taken snowmobile registration and exceeding snowmobile trail speed limit regulations. Several animal-related complaints were also handled throughout the week

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports spending this past week checking ice anglers and patrolling area snowmobile trails. Anglers reported the bite being slow overall and the trail conditions remain great. Enforcement action taken this past week was for excessive speed and operating unregistered snowmobiles on area trails.

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports snowmobile activity continues to be steady on the weekends, although there have been several groups contacted that have decided during the week is a better time to ride area trails as there is less traffic. Trails continue to be groomed regularly and are still in excellent shape. Lake surfaces have leveled out with the last snowstorms and off-trail travel has increased. Use caution off of staked trails as hazards and slush can be encountered. Modified/illegal exhaust on snowmobiles continue to be addressed. Again, any modification that makes the noise emitted from the snowmobile exhaust louder than it was from the manufacturer is illegal to operate on public lands. This includes trail ?cans? as they are commonly known. He attended training at Camp Ripley and completed equipment maintenance.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports snowmobile activity and angling activity continue to be monitored. Wolves killing deer continues, as a research deer was taken by wolves over the week. Area forest roads and trails were checked. Fish house removal was monitored.

CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily angling and snowmobile enforcement. After the close of many of the fishing seasons, most of the fish houses have been removed from the lakes. Please remember to remove all blocking and debris while removing fish houses. Larson also spent time in training.

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked angling activity and snowmobile enforcement. In addition, time was spent following up on current investigations and presenting at a snowmobile safety class in Chisholm. Violations encountered included snowmobile speed and registration issues, operating a motor vehicle on a grant-in-aid snowmobile trail, and no permanent shelter identification.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time tracking down a sick moose in coordination with the Wildlife Section over the week. The event started with a complaint of a ?stand-offish? moose challenging a vehicle while the driver was commuting during the early morning hours. A day later, Zavodnik received another complaint in the general vicinity of a logger returning to his personal truck in the afternoon, only to find it heavily damaged by a moose. Wildlife and a neighboring CO were able to locate the sick animal, euthanize it, and obtain samples for the Wildlife Health Program to study the cause of its abnormal behavior. Zavodnik also handled several nuisance-animal calls.