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DNR Report: April 12

District 6 - Two Harbors area

Conservation Officer Marty Stage (Ely) checked out some of the litter left after fish houses were removed. The officer was impressed and pleased with how clean the ice was after removal of the ice houses in Lake County. It is one of the cleanest he has seen in years. The ice is still good and it's hard to believe it's spring elsewhere. Lakes haven't lost much if any ice and there is a new dumping of snow to cover everything. There is very little pan fishing happening. Be careful on the late season ice since it will probably go fast when it finally does.

Conservation Officer Sean Williams (Ely) reported he responded to a call from a DNR employee who said there was a sick or injured red fox on the side of Hwy 169 outside of Ely and that a passerby was seen petting it. Officer Williams responded to the area and arrived to find people standing near the fox trying to feed it. He would like to remind the public not to approach animals that are normally reclusive, and that strange behavior may be a sign of a significant disease like rabies.

Conservation Officer Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked the Rainy River spring walleye season with Conservation Officer Wichmann. Accesses were very busy and fishing was relatively slow. Enforcement action was taken for several walleye over limits, possession of illegal length walleye, boating safety and registration violations, invasive species violations, and no license in possession. A boat operator was arrested for boating while intoxicated and an individual was turned over to the county sheriff's office for possession of an open bottle.

Conservation Officer Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked the border lakes for spring walleye anglers. There were a few anglers out and fishing was very slow. Fagerman also did a snowmobile patrol of area trails and found them to be in very good condition for this late in the year, with a few bare spots on the corners and at the top of the hills. Trail conditions now are day to day. Enforcement action was taken for burning prohibited material.

Conservation Officer Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) spent time answering phone calls about owls, wolves and other wildlife issues. The officer patrolled state parks, state trail, and cross-country ski trails. A few fishermen were checked along the shore of Lake Superior.

Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) assisted with several vehicle crashes during the winter snowstorm that hit the North Shore over the weekend. The wet wintery mix made for extremely hazardous driving conditions. Spring ice fishing activity is ongoing with most lakes still having good ice conditions. Some snowmobilers enjoyed the extended season due to the winter storm and ATVs were also able to get out on area lakes.

Conservation Officer Brad Johnson (Silver Bay) reported that he received calls of wolves in and around town in Silver Bay. Some were hunting the deer that congregated along the North Shore. Johnson checked late season snowmobilers and some north shore anglers and he patrolled at Tettegouche State Park.

District 8 - Duluth area

Conservation Officer Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reminds snowmobilers that even though we've had sufficient snow, all Grant-in-Aid trails are now closed. A few adventurous anglers have been seen out on local lakes but not many fish are being caught. A wounded fisher was collected to be used as an educational display.

Conservation Officer Kipp Duncan (Duluth) continued to work shore fishing along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Fishing activity has been very high this year. Law compliance has been good with only a few complaints under continued investigation. Duncan assisted local sheriff and police departments with various issues during the week. Other activities included returning several telephone calls, locating a Duluth resident for an investigation being conducted by a southern Minnesota Conservation Officer, and completing paperwork for people that have found and want to possess various dead critters.

Lake Superior Marine Unit

Sergeant Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers along the North Shore and Duluth breakwater. The recent snowfall should help for spring run- off, once the warm weather is here to stay. Olson assisted the Duluth Police Department with a traffic stop and assistance was also given to St. Louis County Sheriff's Office on vehicles stuck on trails north of Duluth. A reminder to North Shore anglers to positively identify the species of fish caught. Reports of steelhead being caught were fielded.

Conservation Officer Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked early season anglers launching out of Two Harbors. Some success was seen in the area, with catches of lake trout and salmon. Questions were answered regarding upcoming open water seasons. Assistance was given to local agencies with vehicle crashes during a spring blizzard. Hopefully the extra moisture will suppress fire danger in the coming weeks. Enforcement action was taken for angling and ATV violations.

Conservation Officer Troy Ter Meer (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers along Lake Superior most of the week. Lots of anglers were out and some fish were caught. He also patrolled for ATV use and attended a meeting. Enforcement action was taken for ATV violations.