Weekly Conservation Officer Reports
Apr 13, 2020 04:08PM
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports angling activity slowed again as ice conditions continued to worsen. Most lakes are showing signs of the ice beginning to recede, especially on the northern shores, and although over a foot of ice is present on some lakes the quality reported is very poor. ATV activity has begun to increase although the weather overall has been cool.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely) checked people fishing crappies this past week and out recreating from all over the United States, from New York to Washington state. ATV use has increased significantly, but some areas still have a fair amount of snow. Velsvaag took several calls on fishing possession limits and ATV regulations.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time patrolling state parks, DNR buildings and recreational areas. Tourists are still making trips from the metro to the North Shore state parks despite the 'Stay at Home' order. ATV activity was monitored and station equipment was worked on.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) noticed an uptick in the number of grouse roaming the forest roads this past week. Winds made angling on the big lake challenging and anglers were checked on the lake and in the tributaries. State park visitors were down and folks are reminded that Grand Portage State Park, all trails and all facilities are currently closed.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked primarily ATV and angling enforcement, including ATV complaint areas. Overall activity was quieter this past week, with a huge decrease in angling pressure due to deteriorating ice conditions, particularly at landings and shorelines. Enforcement action included ATV operation and registration violations, no state park vehicle permits, and a traffic violation.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling and some boating activity this past week. Colder weather slowed the fish run by the end of the week. Time was also spent on extra patrols through state parks.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports contacting many state park-goers throughout the week. Vehicle pass compliance was very poor and multiple enforcement contacts were made. Dozens of cars made U-turns out of the park when they observed Hill at the front gate, thus avoiding paying the state park fee. A reminder: vehicle passes purchased at state parks go to fund a host of beneficial DNR-related activities. Anglers were also contacted trying their luck at various tributaries up and down the shore. The elusive steelhead definitely lived up to their name this past week. Enforcement action included illegal tackle, no angling license, and no trout stamp. Hill also tended to boat maintenance as the open-water season is right around the corner.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) continued to monitor state parks and other state recreation areas for activity. A high number of visitors were observed over the weekend visiting open areas. Murray also worked stream angling activity and took a report of an illegally killed gray wolf in the Finland area. Any additional information can be reported by contacting the 24-hour TIP line at 800-652-9093.