Editor's note: Some conservation officers don't submit reports every week.
Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked state trail enforcement efforts on ski and snowmobile trails this past week. Grooming efforts began with many trail users out enjoying the freshly groomed trails. Enforcement action was taken for licensing violations.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area angling and snowmobile activity. Most trails are not groomed yet due to swamps, lakes and wetlands not hard enough to support the groomers.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked on a background investigation and patrolled for snowmobile and angling activity. In spite of plentiful snow, the forest roads, trails and lakes were nearly vacant of winter activity in the Isabella area, and very little ice fishing activity seems to be occurring anywhere in the station.
A couple folks were stopped with expired snowmobile registrations and received citations. Snowmobile riders should take note that area snowmobile clubs have requested increased enforcement efforts on snowmobiles with modified exhaust.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) attended an Honor Guard meeting at Camp Ripley. She also checked muzzleloader hunters, took a call about an injured wolf and patrolled grant in aid snowmobile trails. The northeast tip of the Arrowhead was largely missed in the last big snowfall. Trails are snow-covered, but need a bit more before grooming can begin.
CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports angling and snowmobile activity continued to be low. The snowmobile trail system around Ely had not yet been groomed, but it was passable. Violations included failure to display snowmobile registration, operating an unregistered snowmobile and angling without a license in possession.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely 2) checked muzzleloaders and a few anglers this past week. Ice conditions continue to improve and anglers have been doing well overall. Velsvaag also worked snowmobile enforcement and followed up on fishing complaints.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports logging a few miles on his snowmobile after recent area snowfall. The trails were a little bumpy, but no violations were observed. A snowmobile trespass complaint was investigated and Hill wants to remind riders that they can't cut across private property to access the trails.
Grouse hunters were contacted and they reported little success. Muzzleloader hunters report that the deer have moved extremely close to the shore, making success very low.
Hill took part in a radio interview in Grand Marais and continued work on a background investigation.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) completed commercial bear guide inspections. He checked ice anglers and a few sleds that are out enjoying the snow. Enforcement action was taken for commercial guiding violations.
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers along the shore of Lake Superior in the Duluth and Two Harbors areas, and worked snowmobile enforcement in the Two Harbors station with CO Murray, where registration violations and excessive noise violations were the most frequent violations. The North Shore State Trail was in good condition and was getting well used over the weekend.
Olson also patrolled Jay Cooke State Park for the special deer hunt.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked snowmobile riders and early ice anglers. Lake trout anglers on Lake Superior are finding some fish in deeper spots, with trollers picking up a few salmon when the wind allows. Snowmobile mufflers and registration-related issues continue to be an issue. Enforcement action was taken for angling and snowmobile violations.