Conservation Officer Report – District 5

Conservation Officer Report – District 5

March 22, 2022 News -- KSDM-KGHS 0

CO Curtis Simonson (International Falls #2) reports having a busy week patrolling area snowmobile trails and ice anglers on area lakes. The nice weather this past week had many people out searching for crappies and had tip-up anglers chasing northern pike. The Rainy River continues to open up and lose ice every day, but remains locked up as you travel west. Simonson would like to remind people to use caution with standing on the shelf ice as it can be very thin with the current underneath.

CO John Slatinski IV (Ray) reports the snowmobiling season in the area has all but come to an end. Anglers are still traveling the lake surfaces in search of crappies and perch, with less-than-desirable reports heard. Training was attended and station equipment was tended to. Slatinski observed skunks in two separate locations moving pretty slowly on top of the snow. He also encountered two swans on the snow in the middle of Kabetogama Lake.

CO Troy Fondie (Orr) reports a week of weather in the 50s has all but ended snowmobile riding. Dirt, rocks, stumps have reappeared. Fishing remains poor and there is standing water on area lakes due to the rapid melt. ATVs have reappeared on roadways. Fish house removal was monitored.

CO Aaron Larson (Tower) worked primarily angling and snowmobile enforcement. Larson took wildlife-related calls about bobcats in his station and fielded other questions. He also found violations related to having illegal containers and power augers in the BWCAW.

CO Marc Johnson (Hibbing) primarily worked angling and snowmobile activity. Consistent warm weather has deteriorated many snowmobile trails in the area, but some traffic was still seen. A reminder that grant-in-aid snowmobile trails remain in use and it is illegal to operate other motor vehicles on them until April 1. Anglers reported limited success and are still waiting for the crappie bite to turn on.

CO Shane Zavodnik (Virginia) spent time on area lakes patrolling for fish houses that haven?t been removed from the ice yet. A few anglers were observed on lakes in search for panfish, but travel remains limited due slushy conditions. Zavodnik spent time completing administrative tasks and preparing for the open-water season.

CO Duke Broughten (Aurora) spent the week monitoring fishing activity. Anglers reported limited success. Lake travel is difficult due to slush and water on top of the ice. Snowmobile trails have deteriorated and are in poor condition. Broughten also fielded calls regarding fishing regulations, nuisance animals, and safety education classes.

Cook vacant.