DNR report: Dec. 17
Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) checked late trapping activity and assisted wildlife personnel with fur registration. This year's take of fisher and pine marten seemed to be on par with last year if not up slightly. Ice anglers were checked as well as ice conditions on lakes which have yet to see an angler this ice season. Ice conditions vary from good clear ice to poor with lots of slush. The snow storm missed the Two Harbors area, so hopefully lakes will continue to make good ice. Snowmobile trails in the immediate area still need more snow to cover hazards such as rocks and holes.
Mark Fredin (Aurora) helped DNR Wildlife staff with fur registration with many trappers commenting that conditions were hard this year with the deep snow. Ice fishing houses are being pulled out onto area lakes, but ice is still unstable.
- John Velsvaag (Ely) checked anglers and muzzleloaders this past week. Observed trucks on the ice, even though conditions are not good. He also received calls about an ATV and a snowmobile going through the ice.
- Marty Stage (Ely) worked some snowmobile enforcement and caught up on some leftover fall casework. The recent snow is nice for many things up north, but the ice conditions are suffering because of it. Two chops with an axe put a hole through the ice on a local river. Yet someone rode a snowmobile right down the middle of the river just before the cold snap.
Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent time checking muzzleloader hunters during the last week of the season. Enforcement action was taken for hunting violations including shooting a deer within a State Game Refuge. Assisted volunteer instructors and area officers with a snowmobile safety class. It was a large class and all the students passed. The bitter cold weather moved in and is making some good ice on the lakes for the fishermen.
- Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that some anglers are kicking off the ice fishing season with unattended and extra lines violations. Some hearty muzzleloader deer hunters braved -37 degree wind chill temperatures to hunt the last day of the season. Even though the hunters are reporting seeing many deer, wolf sightings have outnumbered deer sightings in a few instances along the North Shore. Assisted at a snowmobile safety field day.
- Mary Manning (Hovland) continued to work trappers and took another report of a dog caught by a trap. The leashed dog was caught in a trap set less than three feet off a popular hiking trail. Helped wrap up a large snowmobile safety training class, checked muzzleloader hunters, and patrolled state forests and WMAs. A radio-collared wolf was killed in the Hovland area during the firearms deer season. Anyone with information is urged to call the TIP line at (800) 652-9093.
Kipp Duncan (Duluth) spent time with office work put off during the busy fall season. Some winter fishing and snowmobiling activity was also worked during the week.