Conservation Officer Report – District 5
CO Darrin Kittelson (International Falls #1) reports snowmobile activity still continues to increase even with the unseasonably warm weather. The local snowmobile clubs continue to do a great job in the grooming efforts. People are reminded to always ride right, slow down, and don?t drink and drive. Enforcement action for the week included modified snowmobile exhaust and registration issues.
CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports checking anglers this past week on area lakes and rivers. Snowmobile trails were patrolled and trapping activity was monitored throughout the area. Enforcement action taken this past week was for snowmobile registration issues, angling with extra lines, and license-related issues.
CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports trail conditions continue to limit most of the snowmobile traffic to overland trails. Complaints of both illegal snowmobile exhaust and trespassing were heard. Both of these issues can lead to trail closures, affecting not only the operator but everyone else wanting to use the trail as well. Equipment maintenance was tended to and work continues on a background investigation for the next CO Academy.
CO Troy Fondie (Orr) monitored angling and snowmobile activities. Trout opener was worked. Snowmobile trails remain rough with little new snow received. Equipment work and administrative tasks were completed.
CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily angling and snowmobile activity. Larson spent extra patrols working loud or modified snowmobile exhaust. Violations included fishing for trout before open hours, failure to have trap tags, trapping within 20 feet of flagging, top of the snare over 20 inches above the first ground surface, and various snowmobile registration issues.
CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked angling and snowmobile enforcement. Time was also spent at Camp Ripley, completing online training, and investigating a call regarding a deer illegally taken out of season. The winter trout season opened over the weekend, but few anglers were seen on local designated trout lakes.
CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time checking anglers during the inland trout opener and patrolling snowmobile trails near the North Shore over the weekend. Angling success and activity were slightly lower than previous years. Several recreational vehicle and license violations were encountered.
CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring ice fishing and snowmobile activity. Anglers reported moderate success over the trout opener. Snowmobile trails were in rough shape after the weekend due to high traffic and warmer weather. Snowmobile trails could use some new snow. Broughten also fielded calls regarding dumped animal carcasses, trespass, and snowmobile regulations.