Outdoors: Ojibwe tribes discuss fish management in Minnesota

"Department of Natural Resources fisheries researchers met with their counterparts from the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) Thursday to discuss what perhaps will be the most contentious Mille Lacs walleye management issue since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1999 that eight Chippewa bands reserved off-reservation hunting and fishing treaty rights in what is now a 12-county region of east-central Minnesota.

DNR research indicates a trend of declining male walleyes in the big lake, data that if confirmed could result in significant Mille Lacs harvest changes.

For about 15 years, the Chippewa have netted Mille Lacs during the spring spawn, each year taking a significantly smaller proportion of the total "safe harvest'' of Mille Lacs walleyes than sport anglers receive.

This year, the bands were awarded 142,500 pounds, while hook and line anglers got 357,500 pounds. But a proposed five-year plan the Chippewa sent to the DNR allows for the bands' quota to grow by nearly 20,000 pounds, with no significant changes proposed in harvest methodology."

Get the Story:
Dennis Anderson: Mille Lacs walleye take to be reviewed (The Minneapolis Star Tribune 8/1)

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