Conservation Officer Weekly Report – District 5
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports fur registration was attended at the International Falls Area DNR office. Overall trapper numbers were down in the area, but just about everybody had their furs. A report of a vehicle going through the ice on Rainy Lake was taken. Luckily, the individual was able to get out safely. People are reminded that there is no such thing as safe ice, use caution, and be prepared for the worst.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports spending time this past week monitoring trapping activity and checking anglers on Rainy Lake and Rainy River. Time was also spent this past weekend patrolling area snowmobile trails. Trail conditions are looking good on area trails. The bitter cold weekend had many outdoor enthusiasts hunkering down indoors this past weekend.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports angling and spearfishing activity brought people to area lakes, even with less-than-stellar traveling conditions. The extreme cold over the holiday weekend curtailed snowmobiling activity after there was a short burst of activity after the fresh snowfall. Questions on the newly enacted deer feeding ban in Koochiching County were fielded along with questions about fur registration. Work continued on cases initiated during the deer season as well.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports weekend temps at -30F resulted in few outdoor activities taking place. Angling activities were checked with anglers having limited success. Little snowmobile traffic was noted. Area forest roads were checked; most are not plowed. Public access sites were monitored and equipment work was completed.
CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily angling, snowmobile, and trapping enforcement. Larson assisted at the fur registration in Tower, meeting with several local trappers who had success this past fall and early winter. He also patrolled local snowmobile trails, which have improved significantly with the recent snow events. Violations related to trapping and snowmobile trail use.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked snowmobile enforcement and angling activity. Time was also spent assisting at furbearer registration in Hibbing. Trappers reported success during the fisher/pine marten season. A cold snap over the weekend brought a limited number of snowmobilers out onto local trails and few people were seen angling.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time assisting the DNR Wildlife Section with fur registration earlier in the week. He also attended a funeral as an Honor Guard member to pay tribute to Itasca County Deputy Jayme Williams. Zavodnik continues to patrol area snowmobile trails and work on equipment maintenance.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing and snowmobile activity. Anglers reported little success this week. Ice conditions continue to improve but ice thickness varies considerably from lake to lake. Few snowmobilers were encountered this week. Trails on land are just starting to become passable. Broughten received one report of a snowmobile that went through the ice.