Weekly Conservation Officer ReportsJan 22, 2019 03:42PM ● By Editor
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports extremely cold weather deterred some snowmobile activity for the annual Ely-Babbitt-Tower snowmobile fun run. Large groups of sleds were still seen and reports were that the recent dips near negative 40 in the area helped with the slush that had become severe on some lakes. Trail conditions are fair but many of them have become packed from the recent heavy traffic and lack of fresh snow.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked trout and walleye anglers this past week. Fishing was very slow but slush conditions have greatly improved. With the frigid temperatures, fewer snowmobilers were out but trail conditions are good. Velsvaag received several calls on injured animals and trapping questions.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports lots of snowmobilers but very few anglers out in the frigid cold. Anglers and snowmobilers were checked.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled area snowmobile trails and checked sledders; trails have held up well with the extreme cold conditions. Manning spoke with WTIP radio about snowmobile trail etiquette and safety for Snowmobile Safety Awareness Week. She also checked anglers and ice fishing shelters as well as ski passes. Questions about coyote-hunting tournaments outside Cook County and use of tracked ATVs on designated snowmobile trails were also addressed.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) primarily worked on a background investigation over the course of the week. Time was also spent patrolling snowmobile trails and station lakes. Activity was slow due to extreme cold except for a short period for Saturday’s snowmobile club benefit Fun Run. Clubs have been doing a good job grooming the trails but new snow would certainly aid a thinning base. Spotty moose sign and a very large amount of wolf sign was observed.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked angling and snowmobile activity. Time spent on a public lands squatting issue.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week checking anglers and snowmobilers. The trails were very busy with snowmobilers enjoying all the snow. He saw some nice trout in the bag on area lakes. Enforcement was taken for snowmobile and angling violations.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked snowmobile and fishing activity this week. Area trails were in good shape and trail use was high. Riders are reminded to stay on trails to avoid trespass issues with landowners. Slush remains a problem on area lakes but has begun to freeze with recent subzero temperatures.