DNR Report: Stolen snowmobiles found near the Boundary Waters
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources report for the week of March 6.
District 5 - Eveleth area
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports this might have been the last good weekend for snowmobiling in the area. Trails are starting to go with bare spots and the snow is starting to get very sugary. Lake trails still should be good. People are reminded again to remove litter and debris from ice shelter sites when removing them from the lake. Enforcement action was taken for several no state trail stickers.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports spending time this past week working area snowmobile trails, lakes and rivers. Time was also spent working Lake of the Woods and up at the Northwest Angle. Enforcement action was taken for angling with extra lines, unattended lines and registration violations.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports warmer weather brought anglers and snowmobilers out to enjoy what may be some of the last days for good snowmobiling conditions. Bare spots are showing up and areas where there had been logging activity are sloppy at best. Most shelters have already been removed from area waterways, but owners are still reminded that deadlines are fast approaching for both inland waters and border waters. With no significant snowfall in the forecast, ice conditions can and do change rapidly.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) continued monitoring angling and snowmobile activities. Local trails have deteriorated as temperatures above freezing have arrived. The end of the snowmobile season is around the corner. Field patrols over the week revealed multiple deer killed by wolves. Angling success remains very poor with few fish observed being caught.
CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily angling and snowmobile activity. Angling activity has dropped off significantly after the close of seasons for many primary game species. Larson encounter snowmobile violations in the state park and is working on investigating a theft.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked snowmobile enforcement and angling activity. In addition, time was spent training at Camp Ripley and working the Crane Lake Challenge snowmobile event with other local COs. Anglers still targeting panfish and trout are reminded that 2022 angling licenses are expired. Violations encountered included snowmobile speed, snowmobile registration, no shelter license, and allowing dogs to chase deer.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing and snowmobile activity. Few anglers were encountered on area lakes. Anglers are reminded ice shelter deadlines are approaching. Anglers should be making arrangements and not waiting until the deadline. Snowmobile activity remained high. Snowmobile speed remains the most common violation, with several stops for more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, including one for 92 mph in a 50 mph zone.
District 6 - Two Harbors area
CO Sean Williams (Ely #1) reports snowmobile activity was very high in the Ely area over the week as trail conditions continue to hold. Angling success for trout was limited with only a few anglers checked having any success. Violations included failure to display current snowmobile registration and angling with no license in possession.
CO John Velsvaag (Ely #2) checked anglers and snowmobilers this past week. Trails started to deteriorate over the weekend due to the warm weather. Trout fishing was slow overall this week on area lakes.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) attended firearms training at the St. Paul Police Department. He assisted with certifying 41 students at the Cook County School during the snowmobile safety field day. Time was also spent patrolling area lakes and trails by snowmobile.
CO Hudson Ledeen (Grand Marais #2) reports trout anglers are having more success as the days continue to grow longer. Snowmobile trails are in as good of condition as one could ask for. Ledeen and U.S. Forest Service Officer Belmore recovered three stolen snowmobiles that were abandoned at the edge of the BWCAW. The snowmobiles had been previously reported stolen out of an enclosed trailer off the Arrowhead Trail weeks prior. Other violations encountered were failure to display registration, no snowmobile safety certificate, modified snowmobile exhaust and angling with an invalid license.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a weekend snowmobile and angling detail with CO Lawler stretching from Ely to the Gunflint Trail, with many good contacts made. Time was also spent on ski trail enforcement and working with the Flathorn-Gegoka ski club on an article for their next newsletter. Enforcement action included snowmobile speed, registration, and modified muffler violations, fishing without licenses and trout stamps, and use of live minnows on a designated trout lake. The crappie bite is still slow.
CO Matt Miller (Silver Bay) checked ice anglers for litter issues and shelter removal deadlines that are fast approaching. A reminder that a new 2023 angling license is now required. Snowmobile trails are holding up well with warmer weather, but road crossings and parking lots are fast becoming muddy. Training was received, and work planning commenced for the open-water season. Enforcement action taken for snowmobile violations.
District 7 - Grand Rapids area
CO Vinny Brown (Northome) checked anglers, monitored snowmobile activity, and answered questions related to small-game hunting and fishing. Enforcement action was taken for fishing with extra lines. Anglers are reminded the fish house removal deadline is only a couple weeks away.
CO Mike Fairbanks (Deer River) attended K9 school with his K9 partner Fennec this week.
CO Thomas Sutherland (Grand Rapids) worked snowmobiling and angling activity over the past week with many people still participating in outdoor activities. Enforcement action was taken for angling without a license and angling without a license in possession. Many snowmobile riders are still hitting the area trails. Trails are in OK condition even with the sun beginning to wear trails down.
CO Brian Holt (Grand Rapids) worked anglers and snowmobiling activity throughout the area. Time was also spent following up on open cases and checking complaints involving deer. Violations encountered included snowmobile-registration issues and speeding.
CO Taylor Hochstein (Hill City) followed up on several complaints involving snowmobile riders. The trails remain in good shape, with the fresh layer of snow that fell this past week. Fishing success varies from lake to lake, but anglers were happy with the warmer weather and were able to comfortably move around outside of the fish house.
District 8 - Duluth area
CO Jacob Willis (Brookston) fielded calls regarding wildlife issues and regulations. Area snowmobile trails were patrolled and still have heavy activity. A reminder to the ice anglers to make sure your shelters are off the ice by the deadline.
CO Andy Schmidt (Duluth West) worked snowmobile activity and trails during the week. Trails have been in excellent condition and clubs have been doing a fantastic job of maintaining the trails. Nuisance-animal complaints were handled, as well as injured-animal issues. Anglers were checked via snowmobile and ice conditions have been allowing rather easy travel on area lakes.
CO Kipp Duncan (Duluth East) spent the majority of the week on snowmobile. Area trails are in excellent condition. Many contacts were made throughout the week involving altered mufflers, displaying registration and operating off-trail. Area lakes had plenty of people attempting to catch crappies and perch this past weekend. Extra lines and license violations were found. Most anglers had their new 2023 angling license, but not all. Duncan also investigated dogs-chasing-deer complaints and tended to an injured wolf.
CO Tony Elwell (Cloquet) checked anglers this week and patrolled snowmobile trails. Warmer weather has started to deteriorate some sections of trail, but recent and upcoming snow events should help keep them in good shape for a little longer. Snowmobile trespass continues to be a problem, with more complaints being fielded this week. A report of deer feeding in the deer feeding ban zone, which includes all of Carlton County, was investigated and handled.
CO Mikeena Wehr (Willow River) continued to work on special projects at Camp Ripley.
CO Ben Karon (Pine City) spent time this week on snowmobile patrol. Time was spent checking anglers and talking with ice shelter owners about the upcoming ice shelter removal date. Karon would also like to remind anglers to look at their fishing license and make sure it is not expired.