DNR Conservation Officer weekly report ending February 10

District 6 - Two Harbors area
CCO Sean Williams (Ely #1) continued to focus on angler and snowmobile activity through the week. Fewer anglers were seen as success continued to slow and many lakes patrolled had few or no people. Violations included failure to display current snowmobile registration and no angling license in possession.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) attended training at Camp Ripley during the week. He also worked angling and snowmobile activity.
CO Tom Wahlstrom (Grand Marais #1) attended annual training at Camp Ripley. Trout lakes and snowmobilers were worked throughout the week. Enforcement action was taken for multiple snowmobile and angling violations.


Northland 300 becomes $5 million snowmobile ride

On Jan. 25 when Janel Vorel read the figures for the 2020 Northland 300 she also announced that the 32nd annual Northland 300 passed $5,076,411 as the accumulative total for this event. This year 76 participants raised $187,304.
The Baker’s Dozen (Top 13 Fundraisers) consisted of:
Jim Reger $14,572
Rick Tysk $11,877
Janel Vorel $8,375
Tarry Trout $8,230
Marc Williams $7,540
Diane Reger $5,887
Dave Gerlach $5,180
Pooker Meister $4,625
Jason Reinsch $4,520
Deb Campbell $4, 022
Lauren Patrin $3,945
Dean Townsend $3,820
Tom Babin $3,555
Total raised by Baker’s Dozen $86,148.
Special Awards were awarded as follows:
John Marschall Tough Luck Award – Jens Selin
Tom Patterson Northlander of the Year Award – Dean Townsend
Steve Jaeger Spitit Award – Turquoise 2 Team
CJ Ramstad Unsung Hero Award – Diane Reger
Billy Meister “Newbie” Award – Adam and Kayla Zechman


DNR Conservation Officer weekly report ending January 28

District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports the annual area snowmobile fun run was well attended. Warm weather and nicely groomed trails made for very comfortable travel, although on some lakes slush was again becoming a problem. Violations included excessive snowmobile speed, failure to display current snowmobile registration, and taking trout with no stamp in possession.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked trout anglers this past week. He also received questions on injured animals, slot-size restrictions and complaints about litter left on the ice by trout anglers.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) checked anglers on remote trout lakes who were struggling with the slush and a few flowages that have opened with the warm weather. Snowmobile trails remain busy with all the fresh snow. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile and fishing violations.


DNR Conservation Officer weekly report ending January 21

District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports a good turnout for the regular inland trout opener. There were mild temperatures and generally very little slush. Success was also generally good, with some limits being checked. Violations included angling with extra lines, excessive snowmobile speed, and failure to display snowmobile registration.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked trout anglers this past week. Fewer people were out in some locations due to snow and slush but slush conditions are improving. Fishing was average and some nice fish were caught.


32nd annual Northland 300 event in Ely this week

January 22-26 the 32nd annual Northland 300 will hold its annual snowmobile ride in Ely and hosted by Grand Ely Lodge. This Special Olympics signature event has included staying in Ely for 15 years. To date, over $4.8 million has been raised for the athletes of Special Olympics throughout the state of Minnesota.
The Opening Ceremony will be held on Thursday at 9 a.m. at Grand Ely Lodge. The Vintage Ride for snowmobiles 1999 and older will be held on Friday starting at 9 a.m. The cost is $25. Both events are open to the public.
Next year the event shifts to Grand Rapids.
Northland 300 snowmobilers hit the trails to ride over 300 miles in two days to show their support of the athletes of Special Olympics. Two athletes from the Roseville Flames, Steven Eull and Ashlea Karkula, will be carrying in the torch to light the flame of hope at the opening ceremony. The national anthem will be sung by a choir from Ely High School.


DNR Conservation Officer weekly report ending January 6

District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) checked a good number of trout anglers attending the BWCA trout opener. Slush and snow conditions were tough, and some groups camping in the BWCA reported it taking seven hours to travel less than 2 miles. Violations included angling with extra lines, possessing live bait on a designated trout lake, and taking trout without a trout stamp.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers and snowmobilers this past week. Slush conditions are bad and fishing was slow all week. Snowmobile trail conditions are very nice other than lake conditions, which should be improving later next week with the decreasing overnight temperatures.


DNR Conservation Officer weekly report ending December 30

District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports angling activity continued to be slow in the Ely area. Snowmobiling continues to pick up as trail conditions improve. Violations included angling without a license in possession and driving after revocation.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers and a few trappers this past week. Slush is on more area lakes and fishing is slow. Marten trappers had nice weather but a fair amount of snow. Velsvaag also saw a few snowmobiles out on the newly groomed trails.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time on the snowmobile checking anglers and snowmobilers. Time was spent talking with snowmobile clubs about trail conditions and common violations. Area lakes are improving with the cold last week.


DNR releases snowmobile trail report

Taconite and Arrowhead State Trail Conditions Update

Taconite Trail: Arrowhead Trail:
Snow: 10-24” Snow: 5-15”
Base: 1-2” Base: 0-2”
Groomed: Partially Groomed: Partially
Condition: Poor - Fair Condition: Poor - Fair

This the latest trail report for the Taconite, Arrowhead, Putnam/Fishing Lakes, and State Park snowmobile trails. We have some of each of the State Trails groomed. A large portion of all the trails this year are having issues with a lot of water moving in the swamps and the ice not freezing thick enough to sustain grooming equipment.
Continue checking DNR website for trail condition updates as they may change daily: http://dnr.state.mn.us/snow_depth/index.html


Kids snowmobile oval racing on Fall Lake Jan. 4

Snowmobile oval ice racing returns to the area on Jan. 4 with races being held on Fall Lake at the Ely-Winton Rod and Gun Club’s Longbranch hosting.
The Kids Championship Power Racing Organization. races for kids ages four to 14. will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4.
The event is free for spectators with 11 different classes of races starting at 10 a.m.
Registrations begin at 8 a.m. with hot laps at 9 a.m. and racing action set to begin at 10 a.m.
KCPRO East is a non- profit organization established in 1991. For more information check out kcproeast.com.


Hook and Bullet Club

Dave “Otto” Merhar and I were bound and determined to knock down a deer during the last weekend of muzzleloader season. First we had to shovel out our trucks after getting stuck in the deep snow.
Otto went first, attempting to turn around at the end of the Cloquet Line. But there were two Forest Service trucks and trailers parked there along with a cable for tying off sled dogs.
He tried to get around them but the deep snow sucked his truck in. Otto is nothing if not persistent and didn’t want to call for help. Finally he sent me a text.
“I’m a retired Army officer, bohunk. So this hard…Help!”
Little did I know I would be in his shoes an hour or so later.
It only took a few minutes to pull Dave’s truck back on to the plowed snow. From there we decided to consolidate into my truck and try our luck on the Fernberg.


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