District 5 — Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports ice fishing and snowmobiling continue to get busier in area with relatively nice weather. Fur registration was worked with fewer trappers than previous years, which was consistent with what Kittelson observed during the season. Basic snowmobile operation and enforcement training was conducted with a couple of the new officers so they can utilize their snowmobiles for enforcement purposes.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2), reports spending time this past week working trappers and checking ice anglers. Simonson also worked the marten/fisher fur registration at the International Falls station and the Big Falls registration station. The overall number of trappers were down but the people who participated in the marten/fisher season had success. Enforcement action taken this week was for trapping without the required license/coupons and not having trap tags on traps.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports anglers were contacted, with mixed results observed. In one large group of anglers, most houses contacted were reporting little activity with low numbers. The last house checked of the group had a 14-year-old reporting good success with a combination of walleyes, sauger, and perch in his bucket. He had more than the entire rest of the group. Fur registration was staffed with lower numbers of animals registered, which was reflected by a lower number of trappers encountered in the field. He also met with the county attorney’s office in regards to ongoing cases.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Cook) spent time monitoring snowmobile trails and worked angling enforcement over the past week. Lake trails remain in great shape, but land trails are in need of some fresh snow. Zavodnik observed a large increase in snowmobile traffic over the weekend, and many anglers were out and about during the warm weekend. Angling success remains fair for both walleyes and panfish. Enforcement action taken over the week included several license violations, small amount of marijuana, and unattended lines.
CO Matt Frericks (Virginia) worked fur registration at the Eveleth office. There was a marked increase in both fisher and pine marten taken compared to last year. Over the long New Year’s Day weekend, Frericks concentrated on snowmobile enforcement. Hundreds of sleds were seen in the Lake Vermilion area on New Year’s Day alone. In other areas, despite rough trail conditions, snowmobilers were still out in full force. Enforcement action was taken for operating an unregistered snowmobile.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the past week monitoring fishing, trapping, and snowmobile activity. Fishing success was poor this past week. Snowmobile trails are in poor condition due to lack of snow and area lakes are starting to show a lot of slush.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports monitoring angling activity on area lakes. Fishing success overall has been poor. A number of angling violations were detected and addressed. Snowmobile trails locally are in poor condition, with areas of exposed grass, dirt, and rocks due to lack of snow. Above-average temperatures for the upcoming week won’t help matters. Little snowmobile activity was observed.
District 1 — Baudette area CO Ben Huener (Roseau) checked coyote hunters and anglers around Roseau County. Anglers were checked on Lake of the Woods, where the bite has been slow. Violations encountered included angling without a license and angling with extra lines.
CO Aaron Larson (Baudette West) worked angling, ATV, snowmobiling and trapping enforcement. Larson attended the fisher/marten registration in Baudette and spent time checking anglers on Lake of the Woods and Upper Red Lake. Violations encountered this past week included no shelter license, no angling license in possession, angling with extra lines, unattended lines, possession of marijuana, possession of illegal-length walleyes, possessing fish fillets on a special regulations lake and a walleye overlimit.
CO Corey Sura (Baudette East) reports participating in snowmobile safety and operations training, checking furs and trappers at the recent furbearer registration, patrolling the area for trapping activity and checking anglers on the Rainy River and Upper Red Lake. Violations encountered included fishing with extra lines, no shelter license, no license in possession, and possessing filleted fish on special regulation waters. Sura wants to remind folks to make sure they have current registration on their ATVs and snowmobiles before hitting the lakes/trails, and that all non-portable fish houses and shelters require a license.
CO Ryan Brown (Karlstad) worked mainly snowmobile and angling enforcement. Brown saw a huge increase in recreational activity out on the waters this past week due to the holiday season and weather. Enforcement action taken this past week included expired snowmobile registration, failure to transfer title, no fishing license in personal possession, juvenile on a snowmobile with no helmet and hunting deer with the aid of bait.
CO Jeremy Woinarowicz (Thief River Falls West) worked a New Year’s Day detail on Lake of the Woods. During the detail, a report of a skinned mountain lion along the ice road was received. Investigation showed it to be bobcat carcass, and not the aforementioned cougar. Enforcement action for the week included possession of a small amount of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, angling with extra lines, angling with unattended lines, possession of dressed fillets on a special regulations water and snowmobile/ATV registration violations.
CO Demosthenes Regas (Blackduck South) reports working angling activity on special regulation lakes throughout this past week. Angers reported mixed results as the bite on Blackduck Lake slowed and the panfish bite on Gull Lake appeared to be picking up. Time was spent investigating a TIP report with CO Brown of an archery hunter hunting deer with the aid of bait. Violations encountered and addressed included transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, hunting deer with the aid of bait, possession of a small amount of marijuana, angling license violations and snowmobile registration violations.