DNR Report: Jan. 3
District 6 - Two Harbors area
Conservation Officer Sean Williams (Ely) reports more snow and very cold weather arrived along with freezing rain that lasted most of Saturday. Before the change, many residents and visitors took advantage of the mild weather and took to the lakes, although few anglers had anything to show for their efforts. Trail conditions were still good and high snowmobile activity was seen. Violations included operating an unregistered snowmobile and no fishing license in possession.
Conservation Officer Marty Stage (Ely) worked snowmobiles and fishermen and found the slush to be the thing most people were talking about. The snowmobile trails have greatly improved, but are still a little rough. Fishing has been slow, but a few people are doing well. Calls have come in about the trout seasons and the law says the BWCAW opens on Jan. 1. Lakes in the BWCAW along on the Canadian border (like Basswood) aren’t open until Jan. 4.
Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports he had a close call with a hole in the ice, which was created by water coming up from below. The officer was on Devil Track Lake Lake to set up a trail marker that had begun to lean. He stepped into a bowl made by the moving water. He was able to use the sign post in his hands to keep him from sliding into the open hole. The hole was large enough to swallow an ATV or snowmobile. We always hear that ice is never safe and this is truly an example of that. There was 15 inches of good ice in the area. The officer was comforted by the fact that he had his ice picks handy in case he went for a winter swim. This should serve as a good reminder to anyone who uses the state’s frozen waters, always be aware of potential dangers.
Conservation Officer Mary Manning (Hovland) checked cross country ski passes and found less than 20 percent of skiers had current passes. The officer also checked anglers and lakes, and found fishing taking a back seat to concerns about slush and ice conditions. Manning patrolled snowmobile trails, responded to a complaint of an injured bobcat and answered questions about use of forest road snowmobile trails by loggers.
Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) primarily worked snowmobile and fishing enforcement throughout the week. The snowmobile activity greatly increased over the last week. Violations included expired snowmobile registration, snowmobile speed, no state trail sticker, failure to stop at road crossing, improper display of registration, no helmet on youths, operating ATVs on snowmobile trails and no ID on unattended fish house. A collared marten was also picked up from a trapper on an incidental catch.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Conservation Officer Keith Olson (Marine Unit) checked snowmobilers in the Duluth area. The warmer temps had many riders out putting on miles. He assisted the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office with the apprehension of a burglary suspected driving a stolen motor vehicle. Fishing in the bay has slowed and become hit or miss during the week.
Conservation Officer Matt Miller (Marine Unit) checked snowmobiles on local trails. Several violations were found for unregistered sleds, modified exhaust and failure to transfer title at the time of sale. Questions were answered about the wintertime health of the deer herd. Enforcement action taken for snowmobile violations.