Conservation Officer Report – District 5

Conservation Officer Report – District 5

January 5, 2023 News -- KSDM-KGHS 0

CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports time was spent checking ice fishing and spearing activity on Rainy Lake, with some fish being caught. Snowmobile activity is picking up in the area, but trails need more snow as it doesn?t take long for trails to get washed out. Enforcement action was taken for fishing license and snowmobile registration issues.

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports working area snowmobile trails this past week and checking anglers on the Rainy River and Rainy Lake. Simonson also spent time working the marten/fisher fur registration in International Falls and Big Falls.

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports conditions on area lakes and trails continue to keep snowmobile and fishing activities at lower-than-normal levels. Some anglers reported very good activity prior to the weekend, then there was a bit of a lull. Slush continues to be a problem. Lack of ice on the big lakes continues to limit people from venturing too far and limits trail connections with area attractions. Work continues on a background investigation.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports lake conditions remain difficult at best. He noted little activity on area lakes, with slush, deep snow, and drifting impacting lake travel. Snowmobile trail conditions remain poor. Some swamps are not frozen and limited grooming is taking place. There?s been limited snowmobile activity due to poor riding conditions. Equipment work and administrative tasks rounded out the week.

CO Aaron Larson (Tower) spent time working angling and snowmobile enforcement. He spent time working at the fur registration in Tower with other COs, resulting in several violations that he had come across through the season. Larson also spent time checking anglers in the BWCA during the trout opener. Larson addressed other snowmobile-related violations.

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked trapping, angling, and snowmobile enforcement. Time was also spent assisting at the furbearer registration day held in Hibbing. Snowmobile trails and area lakes remain in poor condition, but more snowmobile activity was seen throughout the week. A lengthy trapping investigation was concluded that resulted in charges.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time assisting DNR Wildlife with fur registration in Eveleth over the week. Several license and site-validation violations were encountered during the slower-than-normal event. Time was also spent patrolling area lakes and snowmobile trail systems. Slush on the lakes still exists but seems less severe compared to the previous week or so. Several snowmobile violations were encountered, including an individual who was found to be in possession of an illegal-length northern pike when spearing.

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing and snowmobile activity. Ice anglers reported limited success. Ice thickness and slush continue to hinder travel on lakes. Snowmobile activity was low. Many snowmobile trails cannot be groomed due to unfrozen ground beneath the snow.

Cook vacant.