DNR Report: May 9
District 6 Two Harbors area
Conservation Officer Sean Williams (Ely) reports that the race is on and it’s unclear which, if any, of the larger lakes in the Ely area will be free of ice for the upcoming walleye opener. Although warmer weather is in the forecast, lakes like Shagawa and Burntside are still almost completely covered with ice. Violations included insufficient floatation devices in a watercraft and operation of an unregistered watercraft.
Conservation Officer Marty Stage (Ely) watched the spawning areas for illegal activity. The ice is showing signs of going out in places, but it will be hard pressed to open up before the opener. The public is reminded to get registrations on their boats and have life jackets readily accessible before heading out on the lakes.
Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports that he was still checking snowmobilers on May 4. Folks claimed that they could find plenty of snow for riding, but with the upcoming warmer weather, this could be the last weekend. Devil Track Lake was checked and it looked more like mid-March than the first week of May. Much of the ice hasn’t even begun to pull away from shore. The officer checked North Shore rivers and found the water too fast and the fishing too slow for some. The unplowed Forest Service roads are still impassable due to snow.
Conservation Officer Mary Manning (Hovland) spent most of the week instructing at the division’s statewide firearms and tactics training at Camp Ripley. While returning from Ripley, she assisted another officer with an ATV stop on the state highway. Several young riders were educated regarding legal locations for operation. Manning also checked anglers along the shore, river tributaries and state parks.
Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) attended training at Camp Ripley. A big game violation was reported to another officer. Spring fish run was monitored.
Conservation Officer Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent the week at officer in-service training at Camp Ripley. The rivers along the North Shore are flowing fast and are very murky. ATV complaints were handled and equipment maintenance was completed.
Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked spring beaver trapping and ATV activity during the week. Several calls of injured deer were received and spring fish run activities were monitored. Some area lakes are starting to become ice free while others are still mostly ice covered.
Lake Superior Marine Unit
Sgt. Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) spent time checking North Shore anglers on the rivers in the Duluth and Two Harbors area. He handled a call on a litter complaint. The officer assisted the sheriff’s office with a call in Canosia Township, fielded questions on the smelt regulations and dealt with ATV violations in Rice Lake Township.
Conservation Officer Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked shore and river anglers during a busy weekend. Water temps remain cold and few fish were seen despite many anglers giving it a try. A few smelters were checked late at night with no silver fish seen for their efforts. One river angler approached the officer to present his angling license with his marijuana pipe sticking very visibly out of the pocket of his fly vest. Most boat accesses are now open on the big lake. A local law enforcement student rode with the officer for a day, and state park activity was checked. Enforcement action was taken for angling, controlled substance and public access violations.
Conservation Officer Troy Ter Meer (Marine Unit) attended spring in-service at Camp Ripley. The rest of the week was spent checking anglers along Lake Superior. Some time was also spent on ATV, litter, and off-highway motorcycle enforcement. Some were trying for smelt, but not seeing any yet and some fish have been seen in the rivers. Enforcement action was taken for traffic violations.