DNR report: Jan. 6
Reports filed Sunday by conservation officers for the Minnesota DNR.
Dan Thomasen (Two Harbors) worked on an ongoing big game investigation as well as some snowmobile patrol. Area trails are in decent condition, but recent rains could have a negative effect on them. Thomasen worked with other officers for the BWCAW lake trout opener. The number of anglers was down compared to previous years. Enforcement action was taken for unregistered snowmobile, no trail sticker, and not having angling license in possession.
Mark Fredin (Aurora) assisted the East Range Snowmobile Club with youth snowmobile certification by teaching the law portion of the class. With the new snow, trails are in good condition. Accessing area lakes is difficult, unless you have a snowmobile, due to the snow cover. Fishing is slow.
Mary Manning (Hovland) patrolled the North Shore and snowmobile trails. Sled owners are advised to check registrations and renew them if necessary well in advance of taking the sled out. A cold BWCA lake trout opener was also worked, and some thin spots in the ice were noted near flowages and on one larger lake. Took calls about road-kill deer and state snowmobile passes. One question came from a man curious about all the "outhouses" on lakes during his drive up the North Shore.
Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked the BWCA trout opener. He checked snowmobilers and walleye anglers.
Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) patrolled area snowmobile trails and worked the BWCA lake trout opener. Answered questions from confused anglers about the trout opener. The weather was cold, windy, and few fishermen braved the trek.
Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued working winter fishing enforcement on area lakes. A few days of snowmobile enforcement was also worked. Several calls were handled during the week involving deer hunting. A meeting with the county attorney's office took place during the week. A few trapping issues were also worked. Assisted with a winter fishing detail north of Grand Marais for the opener of lake trout fishing within the boundary waters.
Randy Hanzal (Duluth) spent time checking anglers, snowmobilers, and dealing with equipment issues. A few wildlife calls were fielded. Snowmobile riders are reminded to drive responsibly. The maximum speed limit on most trails is 50 mph, which may not be a safe speed on winding trails.
Water Resources Enforcement Officer Mike Scott spent time checking anglers on Duluth area lakes. Fishing was OK with crappies being the main bite. Site visits for several wetland cases were conducted with landowners. Worked on a public waters violation in the Ely area with information and phone interviews conducted with landowners as well as a developer.
Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior) spent time working winter fishing on the Duluth Harbor of Lake Superior, St. Louis River, along the north shore of Lake Superior, and on several inland lakes.
Time was also spent working snowmobile enforcement on area lakes and trails. Some trapping enforcement work was also completed. Assisted with a small work detail focusing on winter trout fishing enforcement within the boundary waters north of Grand Marais.
Keith Olson (Lake Superior) checked anglers along the North Shore. Checked snowmobilers in the Duluth area. Assisted in the Floodwood area with a big game investigation.
Matt Miller (Lake Superior) checked ice anglers and snowmobilers in Lake and St Louis counties. While checking ice anglers on foot, the officer fell through a thin spot of ice into knee-deep water. Fifty yards away there were 18 inches of ice. Slush and heavy snow drifts continue to maintain uneven ice conditions. Be careful on the lakes. Registration, speed, and trail stickers continue to be overlooked by eager snowmobilers ready to hit the trails. Enforcement action taken for snowmobile and angling violations.
Identification on fish shelters is still a problem. All shelters placed on the ice must display either the complete name and address, a driver's license number, or the nine-digit DNR number on the license of the owner. The information must be plainly and legibly displayed on the outside of the shelter, in letters and figures at least 2 inches high. The requirement includes ice skating warming houses and other traditional structures placed on the ice, either temporarily or overnight. More information can be found on the DNR Web site.
Anglers in portable shelters are reminded that even though they are not required to have a shelter license, they still need identification on their portable shelter.
Fish house owners are encouraged to check their houses frequently to be sure they are not freezing in.
Anglers are reminded to pack up all trash prior to leaving the lake.
Complaints have been taken regarding dogs running deer.
Suggested tips for dog owners:
- Do not allow your dog to chase big game wildlife at any time.
- Keep your dog controlled within your property boundaries.
- Report wildlife harassment to your local conservation officer.
- Respect all types of wildlife.
Any peace officer or conservation officer who observes a dog wounding, killing, or pursuing a deer in a manner that endangers the deer may kill the dog. Additionally, between Jan. 1 and July 14, any person who observes a dog doing the same can kill the dog.