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Boreal Community Media

Weekly Conservation Officer Reports

Jan 19, 2021 01:17PM ● By Editor
District 6 - Two Harbors Area - From the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - January 19, 2021

CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports angling activity was high during the winter trout season opener, with the greatest increase seen on Burntside Lake, which had nearly double the number of anglers seen in past years. Success, however, was overall not good for lake or stream trout on designated trout lakes. Violations included possessing live, non-preserved minnows on a designated trout lake, angling without a license, and expired snowmobile registration.

CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers this past week. Trout fishing was busy with an average catch. Snow and ice conditions were good. Ice thickness is still marginal on some waters for trucks. Snowmobiling has not improved and trails are rough.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time in the BWCAW checking anglers with CO Manning. He worked with several officers over the busy trout opener weekend. Enforcement action was taken for possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, and snowmobile and angling violations.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked anglers during a busy trout opener. Slush was not as problematic as it has been, but it is still spotty. She also worked BWCAW lakes with CO Wahlstrom checking anglers. Snowmobile trails are still in desperate need of snow and many reports have been heard of machines damaged by overly optimistic riders on rough backcountry trails and ditches. 

CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked the busy trout opener. Success was spotty, and some lakes had high activity. Some deer-case follow up is being conducted, resulting in enforcement action for unlawful use of a bonus tag and taking does in permit areas without a doe permit. One person didn?t feel he should receive a citation due to the following: The regulations aren?t printed on the license, he only hunts 1.5 days per year, and the cabin isn?t on his property so the other members of his party should advise him of the rules. Other enforcement action included non-preserved minnows on a trout lake, operation of an ATV on a grant-in-aid trail, and skiing without a ski pass.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity this past week. Time was also spent checking a few snowmobile and cross-country ski trails.

CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports focusing his efforts on ice anglers throughout the past week. The trout opener came with a fury of people trying their luck for various species. However, multiple people were cited for possession of live minnows on a designated trout lake. Almost all of the anglers knew of the law but used them anyways. One angler decided to throw an extra line in the pot for good measure. Splake, rainbows, and brook trout were seen on the ice. Only two people failed to purchase trout stamps. Remember: Trout stamps make trout fishing possible. Snowmobile violations were documented. Most of them stemmed from anglers using them to access their fishing spot. Snowmobile trails are in bad condition and unless you like a bumpy ride, wait for snow. Hill assisted the Parks and Trails Division on multiple cases throughout the week.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked snowmobile and angling activity during the past week. Area trails are in need of some snow as warm weather and rain deteriorated trail conditions. Opening weekend of winter trout season brought out high numbers of anglers to area lakes. Fishing was good in most areas, with many anglers checked having fish.