Conservation Officer Report: Outdoor Activities Slow

Posted at: 02/10/2014 3:47 PM
Updated at: 04/12/2014 10:15 AM

File photo
File photo

Minnesota DNR Conservation Officers provided the following reports about last week's activities and conditions:

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls) reports investigation into wolf depredation case in the Littlefork area. Cold weather again has kept ice fishing and snowmobile activities at a minimal, however a local snowmobile club held their annual hotdog roast on a local trail this weekend along with a vintage snowmobile event and run.

CO Brad Schultz (Cook) reports area snowmobile trails are in excellent condition and not very many snowmobiles were observed on the trails. Ice fishing activity was very slow.
CO Dan Starr (Tower) reports many snowmobilers were out with some nice weather to enjoy. Fishing violations were found to be far too common, with angle with extra lines leading the statistics. No license and unattended lines were also found.

CO Don Bozovsky (Hibbing) reports angling with extra lines was prevalent last week, even with an angler taking part in a fishing tournament. A snowmobiler taking part in a vintage sled run nearly collided with the officer when the other rider entered the trail.

CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) reports trout anglers have been doing well but crappie anglers report little success. CO Frericks worked an antique snowmobile rally between Kinney and Chisholm. The event was well attended and most snowmobilers behaved well but one inexperienced snowmobiler decided to pass another while going up a steep hill while unable to see if any traffic was oncoming. When the snowmobiler was stopped the rider admitted they practiced poor judgment in passing the other sled in the location they did. A citation was issued for operating a snowmobile in an unsafe manner.  

CO Mark Fredin (Aurora) worked some snowmobiling activity in the Tower station with speed violations addressed. Received a complaint of an individual plowing across a lake to a fish house leaving large piles of snow.  He felt a law should be written against such to protect snowmobilers who may hit the piles. Received a call of a deer caught up in a barb wire fence with a broken leg.

CO Sean Williams (Ely) reports less than normal angling activity was observed over the week although the report from those who were out was generally good. There was an increase in snowmobile activity in the Ely area for the Winter Festival, with hundreds of people from the region coming to see the snow sculptures at Whiteside Park. Sightings of a local resident lynx continue to trickle in from the hidden valley area. Most of the sightings have been brief, but a few people have been able to get photographs and video.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) worked a snowmobile detail at Voyageur’s National Park. Traffic was lighter than expected due to the cold temperatures, but still plenty of hardy snowmobilers out. One group was riding for miles on the highway because they kept getting stuck in the snow that was along the road. Some of the modern snowmobiles just aren’t designed for deep snow, slush, or anything other than the trails. Sadly, the best advice to those people is to know your sled and avoid areas that will get you into trouble if you have a sled that can’t operate in deep snow.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) checked angling and snowmobiling activity during the week. The snowmobile trails were in excellent condition with very little use during the middle of the week. Designated trout lakes are still doing well while the laker action has been a little slow to this point.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked anglers in and around the BWCA; slush has been less of a problem and fishing success was mixed. The officer patrolled snowmobile trails and forest roads checking sleds.
CO Jayson Hansen (Bigfork) reports trail conditions are excellent in the area, and the clubs are grooming them on a regular basis.  
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) reports another week of cold winds made it tough for area anglers who tried to keep their portable fish houses over their holes in the ice.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked anglers and snowmobile activity with many sportsmen getting outdoors. Trout angling activity was also worked with the bite being fairly good in the area.
CO John Velsvaag (NE regional ATV Officer) reports cold conditions and few people out recreating.
Water Resource Enforcement Officer Tony Arhart (Grand Rapids) checked anglers, dark house spearers, and bait on infested and on other waters. Some northern pike are still being speared in spite of the deep ice. Crappies and perch continue to keep resilient anglers happy.

CO Andy Schmidt (Brookston) worked area lakes and snowmobile trails. Anglers are reporting a slow bite and very few fish have been checked. Ice conditions are great and auger extensions are becoming necessity.

CO Randy Hanzal (Duluth) reported the continued bitterly cold weather seems to have put a damper on many outdoor recreational activities this year. Very few snowmobiles were seen taking advantage of the exceptionally good trails we have this year.

CO Scott Staples (Carlton) reports that because of reports of poor compliance, ski pass enforcement was picked up at local state parks. A report of a possible shot deer was investigated when it was found to be bleeding.  Turns out it was a deer with an injured leg that reopened the wound when it fled from the complainant.