Editor's note: Some conservation officers don't submit reports every week.
Conservation Officer David Schottenbauer (Silver Bay) worked the fishing opener this past week. Time was spent reminding boaters of safety equipment and AIS rules, as well.
CO Don Murray (Two Harbors) worked the fishing opener and ATV activity. Some nice fish were seen on the opener for those willing to brave the colder weather. Most anglers checked were just happy to be out enjoying the outdoors and any fish caught were a bonus. Fire danger remains high in the area, and Murray responded to multiple fires that spread very fast with the dry conditions.
CO Mary Manning (Hovland) responded to a fire call at Judge CR Magney State Park. An accidental visitor-started fire was discovered and extinguished before it could really take off and do major damage. Manning also responded to a call about an unwanted gull looking for a new nesting location near someone’s front door. Opening weekend of fishing saw a good number of anglers, particularly along Lake Superior and lakes not too far inland. Many lakes farther inland in the Hovland area still had ice on them even after the nice weather on Saturday.
CO Sean Williams (Ely 1)s pent the walleye opener patrolling areas of the BWCA and lakes near Ely. Angling success was overall poor, which was made worse by cold weather conditions. Violations included angling without a license in possession, operating an unregistered ATV and taking trout without a stamp in possession.
CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Grand Marais) spent time checking anglers during the cold and snowy opener. A few brave anglers still ventured out to their favorite fishing hole. Enforcement action was taken for angling in a closed area, as well as PFD and ATV violations.
CO Anthony Bermel (Babbitt) worked a busy opening weekend of the walleye season. Fishing was relatively slow, but some people found cooperative fish. Enforcement action included fishing with an extra line, fishing without a license, no trout stamp, live minnows on a designated trout lake, taking fish in a closed season, expired boat registration, no PFDs, no navigational lights after sunset, burning garbage and no state park vehicle permit.
CO Kylan Hill (Tofte) reports that many anglers braved the bone-chilling cold to chase fish during the weekend fishing opener. Every angler Hill checked went home with fish for dinner. Many lakes in the Tofte station produced limits of walleyes and brook trout. Very few violations were encountered with anglers and recreational canoeists doing their homework before hitting the water. An ATV helmet violation was addressed with a parent being coached on helmet requirements for his young children. A call was handled between multiple property owners and the legalities behind discharging a firearm on one’s own private property.
CO Keith Olson (Lake Superior Marine Unit) worked a busy opening weekend with fellow district officers on the St. Louis River, along with a team of Wisconsin wardens working the river, as well. The teams included officers in watercraft and at landings. The weather was cool, but everyone was in good spirits and enjoying the fishing opener. Lake Superior tributaries were also worked, where he checked trout anglers and remaining smelters in the rivers at night. Fire dangers continue to be a concern in area counties.
CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) checked anglers and boaters on opening weekend of the walleye season. A lot of boats were observed on the St. Louis River, with good catches of walleyes and pike. State parks were checked with lots of users and high rates of violations pertaining to the purchase of a park pass. ATVs were encountered doing the usual illegal things in the usual places. Enforcement action taken for angling and ATV violations.