Conservation Officers in the BWCA

     Last Saturday was the lake trout opener for lakes within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.  While we didn’t get out fishing there were some folks who did and other folks who made sure the anglers did it right.

     Conservation Officer Reports are listed online and sometimes in our local paper.  I love to read about what they do.  It sounds fun to be able to snowmobile out on lakes, cross-country ski on trails and boat around on lakes to interact with people who love the outdoors.  Unfortunately not everyone follows the rules and tickets have to be issued.  That part of the job I wouldn’t like.

     I especially like to keep up with what Conservation Officer Matt Miller from the Lake Superior Marine Unit is doing.  He is a past Voyageur Crew Member so it’s great to know a little bit about what is going on his life. Here’s a snippet for you all to enjoy.

CO Matt Miller (Lake Superior Marine Unit) monitored snowmobile activity in the Finland/Isabella area. A bobcat was registered for a local trapper, and incidentally caught otter seized. Ice anglers are finding mixed success along with moderate to poor ice conditions. Enforcement action was taken for snowmobile, trapping, and traffic violations. 

CO Darin Fagerman (Grand Marais) worked with other CO’s during the Boundary Water lake trout opener. There was some angling activity on Saturday with some nice fish caught. High winds on Sunday kept most anglers off the ice. Violations included fishing in closed areas, fishing for stream trout when only lake trout was open, cutting green trees at forest service campsites, expired snowmobile registration and snowmobile trail stickers. Ice conditions on the big lakes such as Gunflint and Saganaga are poor at this time. Use extreme caution. Ice on the smaller lakes is averaging about a foot. 

CO Mary Manning (Hovland) worked areas lakes and checked anglers. Fresh snow resulted in slush on some lakes. Manning also patrolled the C.J. Ramstad State Snowmobile Trail and GIA trails; conditions ranged from fairly decent to fairly rough. The officer also checked cross country ski passes, patrolled state parks, answered questions about dogs chasing deer, and handled vehicle maintenance issues. 

CO Thomas Wahlstrom (Tofte) monitored angling and snowmobile activity along the North Shore and in the BWCA. The Officer spent time in the backcountry with area Officers for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area lake trout opener. Enforcement action was taken for extra lines, angling on a closed lake and snowmobile violations.