Conservation Officer Tales

Although the Cook County News- Herald knows that the majority of sportsmen and women are law-abiding folks, there are a few that run afoul of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Conservation Officers. Periodically, the DNR provides a report of some of the miscreants the Conservation Officers (CO) have encountered. The News- Herald shares these stories as a reminder to all to be safe and to follow the rules!

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) reports a fairly active BWCA trout opener. Although the numbers of anglers were down inside the BWCA, several people were checked riding snowmobiles outside the BWCA as the officers traveled from lake to lake. Many of the smaller lakes had anywhere from four to 12 inches of ice reported while Saganaga and Gunflint still had areas of open water. Along with inconsistent ice conditions, keep in mind that the slush monster is starting to creep around on lakes with heavier snowfall on them. Some energetic folks cut the portage from Missing Link to Tuscarora. Enforcement action was taken for various angling and snowmobile violations.

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) checked anglers on inland lakes and Canadian border waters. Trout opener was rather slow, but compliance was good. Ice conditions were extremely varied and overall ice thickness is considerably less than normal years. The officer also patrolled snowmobile trails and checked sledders. Conditions are improving as the local clubs are getting more trails open, but there are still areas that are not passable. Manning also checked ski passes and answered questions about snowmobile safety certification for adults.

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) checked anglers during the BWCAW trout opening weekend. The ice thickness varied from about 6 inches to open water throughout the area. Time was also spent on border lakes checking walleye anglers. Ice was sketchy there as well and caution is to be used on any lake. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile and angling violations.

CO David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked area snowmobile activity. Trails are in very poor condition. Time was also spent checking anglers for the BWCAW trout opener. Schottenbauer found poor ice conditions with more than a few spots of open water yet.

CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked the BWCA trout opener in the Grand Marais station over the weekend. Many areas were inaccessible due to downed trees blocking trails from an earlier wet snow. Ice conditions on many area lakes remain sketchy with areas of thin ice. Enforcement action was taken for license violations.

CO Mitch Lawler (Alexandria) reports that one fisherman used an ATV with expired registration to drive down a snowmobile trail illegally in order to gain access to a lake.

CO Paul Parthun (Lake George) reports that an unlucky angler fell through the ice just a few yards from shore.

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2016-01-09 digital edition

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