Skip to main content

Boreal Community Media

Weekly Conservation Officer Reports

Jan 04, 2021 11:45AM ● By Editor
District 6 - Two Harbors Area - From the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - January 4, 2020

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports the BWCA winter trout season opener saw a slushy start, making wilderness travelers work extra hard to get to local lakes. Success was generally good and the fair weather made for some excellent days for fishing. Violations included angling with no license in possession, failure to transfer snowmobile registration, and expired snowmobile registration.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers and trappers this past week. Snowmobiling activity increased a bit this past week. Lake conditions are good but trails have marginal snow. Velsvaag took several calls on trout fishing and BWCA regulations before the opener. 

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked anglers on a very busy BWCA trout opener. Several folks had to be reminded to have their license in possession and to leave their aluminum beverage cans at home. Manning and CO Hill assisted the Cook County Sheriff's Office with a deer on the ice in the downtown harbor. The deer was safely escorted off the bay and onto shore. Manning also checked snowmobiles and an ORV and helped DNR Wildlife with fur registration. 

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time in the BWCA for the trout opener. Lakes were busy with anglers and the lake trout were cooperating for most of them. Enforcement action was taken for drugs, angling and snowmobile violations. 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked angling, snowmobile, and ski pass enforcement, along with assisting the Wildlife Section with fur registration. The outdoors were extremely busy over the holiday weekend with the nice weather. Some snowmobile trails have been groomed once but need more snow. Bermel and CO Zavodnik worked one evening on Lake Vermilion with an extremely high violation rate encountered. Enforcement action for the week included extra lines, unattended lines, unmarked fish houses, no shelter tags, expired snowmobile registration, failure to transfer ownership, expired ATV registration, operating illegal vehicles on snowmobile trails, no ski pass, and trapping violations.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity this past week. Several snowmobile riders who were trying to ride very poor trails were also checked. Time was also spent working a very busy BWCA trout opener this past weekend.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports working the BWCA trout opener with other officers in the area. The wilderness was full of people angling, skiing, snowshoeing, and camping. Anglers had great success with multiple limits of lake trout seen on the ice. No license in possession was a common violation seen over the weekend. A few people left with citations after bringing aluminum cans into the wilderness. Hill saw an influx of snowmobile activity, which also brought numerous registration tickets. Not only do you need to register your snowmobile, you need to display it. You cannot keep it in your pocket. Hill rescued a cross-country skier lost on a ski trail, along with a deer that decided to ride around the Grand Marais Harbor on a floating ice chunk.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked angling and snowmobile activity this past week. Some area lakes were slush-covered, making access a little more difficult. Area snowmobile trails are beginning to be groomed but more snowfall is needed to improve trail conditions. Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations and failure to obtain cross-country ski passes on state trails.