Weekly Conservation Officer Reports
Jan 06, 2020 03:58PM
● By Editor
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.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent the week in the BWCAW during the trout opener. Overall the ice conditions were decent with some deep pockets of slush. He also monitored snowmobile trails. Enforcement action was taken for taking fish out of season, live minnows on a designated trout lake and multiple snowmobile violations.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked anglers and snowmobilers primarily. Manning worked a detail with fellow officers for the first trout-fishing opening of the season on lakes entirely inside the BWCA. Slush is challenging on area lakes for both sleds and folks on foot. Manning also rang in the new year by being berated by a would-be skier upset about needing a Minnesota ski pass to use an area trail system. Manning explained the expenses involved in maintaining and grooming the outstanding ski trails – paid for in part through the funding provided by the passes – but the skier opted to skip buying a pass and went elsewhere.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a two-day detail on Mille Lacs Lake with CO Lerchen. The lake was very busy with a high violation rate. Assistance was provided with fur registration in Tower, deer cases were worked, and lakes and trail were patrolled. Enforcement action included trapping without a small-game license, taking a doe without a permit, no fishing license, extra lines, unattended lines, illegal-length walleyes, overlimit of walleyes, marijuana/drug paraphernalia, and expired registration on ATVs and snowmobiles.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked the BWCAW trout opener last week, slush is very deep in many areas due to mild temperatures and heavy snow. Time was spent with wildlife complaints, and snowmobile complaints.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports tackling a multitude of different winter activities throughout the past week. Hill took part in a Boundary Waters trout detail with area officers. Multiple anglers were contacted and a few different species were seen in the bag. One angler was spoken to about using game fish as bait. Snowmobiles are out in full force as the holiday season is behind us. A few registration violations were handled and a party was cited for an illegal exhaust. Hill hit the ski trails and contacted cross-country skiers. Unfortunately, ski pass compliance was very poor and multiple tickets and verbal warnings were issued.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling, trapping, and snowmobile activity during the past week. Area lakes continue to be problematic for anglers with areas of slush. Most snowmobile trails are in good shape with a high volume of users. Murray also assisted with a fur registration station in Two Harbors.