DNR Report: Dec. 15
Conservation Officer Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked ice angling activity and the final week of deer muzzleloader season. Ice conditions continue to improve with recent cold temperatures and some ATV and snowmobile travel is happening on shallow lakes. Murray assisted with teaching a youth snowmobile safety class during the week and followed up on investigations from the firearms deer season.
CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked on a background for a person in the hiring process. Schottenbauer also checked anglers and trapping activities and assisted a trapper in successfully releasing a wolf from a trap this week as well.
CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports 8 to 10 inches of good clear ice on most of the small lakes. While it is said that no ice is safe ice, this is a good start. For such a beautiful weekend, with snow and good ice, there was hardly a person out enjoying it. A few ice anglers were checked as were some snowshoers out looking for that perfect Christmas tree. One muzzleloader hunter thought it was good idea to park his truck on an access road as to block entry from other hunters. Enforcement action was taken.
CO Mary Manning (Grand Marais East) checked anglers and fishing shelters. Ice conditions are still extremely varied throughout the region and more snow is needed for snowmobile trails to be ready for riding.
The officer also assisted another victim of the cellphone map app. A delivery truck ended up stuck several miles inland on an unplowed forest road. The driver showed the officer the phone with the route displayed-including a stretch of an old, impassable logging road; it was quite a few miles from their destination right on Lake Superior! Manning was able to help the driver and the responding tow truck find a place to turn both large vehicles around and get back to civilization.
CO Sean Williams (Ely 1) reports more and more anglers are taking to the ice in the Ely area and reports were good on several lakes. Ice conditions continued to vary greatly on lakes with some areas easily supporting ATVs, while other areas were unsafe for foot traffic, as one perspective angler on Shagawa found out after falling through near shore. Violations included angling with no license in possession, fail to display current ATV registration and no identification on an ice shelter.
CO Marty Stage (Ely) checked lakes and ice conditions and found some lakes to be a bit alarming. This week the officer observed open waters on local favorites like Fall, Ojibwa, Burntside, Tofte and Garden. Areas are opening up and there was rain water on the ice and fast deterioration before the snowfalls. The local area had Ely people dropping fish houses and trucks though the ice, so be smart. One fellow coming up from the Cities was convinced that there was a foot of ice and that it was all safe. He had a load of ATVs on a trailer and didn't seem convinced when the officer told him otherwise.
Just because the ice is all white now doesn't mean it is safe. Don't fall for that common misconception.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) primarily worked on a pre-employment background investigation over the past week. Time was also spent on a deer case, and information was provided to the county attorney's office on several deer cases. Enforcement action was taken for failure to register a deer.