DNR Report: May 20
Editor's note: Some conservation officers don't submit reports every week.
Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked a busy fishing opener along the North Shore. Most anglers checked had some fish, but reported a slow bite overall with water temperatures in the low 50s. Smelt run activities brought many anglers from out of the area to Lake Superior streams to try their dip nets. Most anglers were law-abiding and respectful but some chose to leave litter, use illegal seines and burn-prohibited materials in campfires.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling activity. Time was spent at an ATV safety class as well.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked area lakes over the opening weekend of the fishing season. Several folks forgot their licenses and more than a few forgot throwable devices for their boats. Steelhead are still in the tributaries and anglers were also checked along the shore.
Manning helped in the classroom for a firearms safety class and handled an unpermitted brush pile burn. The fellow burning brush said he didn't contact Forestry or seek a permit because a family member told him that he didn't need a permit for his fire. Perhaps they can split the cost of the citation issued.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy fishing opener. Time was spent before the opener and on the opener in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, with a high violation rate encountered, including one group with numerous watercraft, drug and can/glass violations. The weather was comfortable, while fishing success was hit-and-miss.
Enforcement action was taken for possession of a northern pike within the protected slot, unlicensed canoes, marijuana possession, no personal floatation devices, cans/glass in the BWCA, litter, no navigational lights and transporting watercraft with the drain plug in place. Time was also spent on a possible waters violation.
CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports fishing opener success was typical — a mixed bag between lakes where a good bite was observed, and colder lakes where very little or no angler success was seen. Most lakes were completely ice-free by opening morning, with only a few still having some ice. Violations included angling without a license in possession, operating an unregistered watercraft and failure to display current watercraft registration.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) did a canoe patrol in the BWCA, checked anglers on lakes at the end of the Gunflint Trail, and did boating safety checks.
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) reported a beautiful and sunny opening fishing Saturday. He worked area lakes north of Duluth along with the fish run in North Shore streams. Slot violations were encountered on Fish Lake along with minor license-related issues. The smelt run continues along the North Shore as well. Decent catches of smelt have been seen on some evenings during the week.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers on a busy and beautiful opener weekend. Walleyes cooperated well for anglers on the St. Louis River, as well as a few salmon and trout on the big lake. Special regulation areas were worked with violations found for undersized fish and angling in a closed area. Enforcement action taken for angling violations.