Outdoors

Fri
06
Mar

DNR Conservation Officer weekly report ending March 3

District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) focused on snowmobile speed enforcement over the past week. The violation rate was found to be high over the weekend with several citations issued. There has also been a recent rash of people attempting to drive cars and trucks on snowmobile trails and becoming very stuck. Visitors are asked to be observant of snow-covered roads they are unfamiliar with and to keep an eye out for snowmobile trail markers.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers and snowmobilers this past week. He also assisted the U.S. Border Patrol on a snowmobile work detail. Fishing has been slow on area lakes and Velsvaag continues to get questions on pike regulations and border lakes fishing laws.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time in the BWCAW checking anglers. A detail with area officers was worked along the U.S./Canada border. Enforcement action was taken for angling, snowmobile and BWCAW violations.

Fri
28
Feb

Time to buy new fishing and hunting licenses

It’s the time of year when hunters and anglers need to buy new fishing and hunting licenses. Minnesota fishing, hunting and trapping licenses for 2019 expire Saturday, Feb. 29.
Licenses for 2020 are now available wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold, online at mndnr.gov/buyalicense and by telephone at 888-665-4236.
All 2020 fishing licenses become effective Sunday, March 1.
New licenses are required for 2020 hunting and fishing seasons that continue past Feb. 29.
Ice shelter licenses, though, are valid through Thursday, April 30. Anyone who wants to start fishing or hunting can visit the DNR’s learn to fish and learn to hunt pages.

Fri
21
Feb

Snowmobile safety training class held in Ely for 20 youth

Twenty youth from the Ely area and beyond participated in a full day of Snowmobile Safety Training on Feb. 8 at Vermilion Community College.
These avid young snowmobilers arrived in the morning and were led through classroom instruction by Conservation Officer Sean Williams and Ely Igloo Snowmobile Club members Dave Marshall and Mike Banovetz. Also assisting with the class was Ely Police Officer Adam Borchert.
After a Sir G’s pizza lunch provided by the Ely Igloo Snowmobile Club, the group headed outside to take part in the field portion of the course involving a pre-trip check of a snowmobile and operation of a snowmobile through a driving course.
Volunteers assisting in this portion of the training included Ely Igloo Snowmobile Club members Alan White, Dave Johnson, and groomer operator Corey Keene.
Ely firefighters Scott Polyner and Jay Poshak also helped set the course and guide students through it.

Fri
14
Feb

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.

Fri
07
Feb

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

Sat
01
Feb

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.

Fri
24
Jan

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.

Fri
17
Jan

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.

Fri
10
Jan

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.

Fri
03
Jan

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.

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