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bassfshin24

Smallmouth harvest on Mille Lacs

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ntrider

but when you have NO CONTROL over the harvest of half the fish, time isn't going to solve all of that. Could better management help the cause, sure, but it is hard to fix everything when you don't control most, if not all of the variables and when those variables keep growing- musky population, smallmouth population, invasive species, lake temps(not sure it is happening, but another factor at some point)

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Coach1310

I hear what you are saying. They may control HOW MANY pounds the nets get, but have no control of the size structure of those fish(at least the way I understand it) which has an impact. I agree with them doing what they think is best, however you can't leave things EXACTLY the same, when a quota number has to be set each year in my opinion. In regard to the other fish, for the walleye number to improve I would guess that some of these other species need to be controlled. I have to believe that smallmouth and musky numbers have an impact on the walleyes, but doing something with those species is what started this thread in the first place..... glad I am not the one that has to make these decisions.

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Red Miller

Coach, you have some good concepts but come on...$100,000? I think you have to tack 3 more zeros on the end of that to even start the discussion.

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BrdHunter01

Bottom line is you will always have an issue on this lake with ups and downs. This isnt even about netting. It simply has to do with mis-managment and the fact that this lake gets pounded day after day. I do believe tho that by staying consistent with a slot that protects the smaller is the way to start so i am actually happy with what they propsed this year. It will be a couple years but you need to stay consistent and give the system time to work.

You do realize the tribes haven't changed the size of there nets right? And you also realize those nets are targeting the smaller fish right?

Whats the point of a consistant slot for anglers when the tribes haven't changed a thing? Oh and there harvest is almost exactly what they harvested last year!

Get a clue! If you think this "isn't even about netting" your absolutely wrong!

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Coach1310

Coach, you have some good concepts but come on...$100,000? I think you have to tack 3 more zeros on the end of that to even start the discussion.

My basic premise was to pay them close to whatever revenue they generate from it. I have no idea what that number is and I get what you are saying, but if it is $100,000 a year, then we pay them $100,000 a year to NOT net. Far fetched and not feasible, but just a thought.

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Red Miller

+1

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ntrider

You do realize the tribes haven't changed the size of there nets right? And you also realize those nets are targeting the smaller fish right?

Whats the point of a consistant slot for anglers when the tribes haven't changed a thing? Oh and there harvest is almost exactly what they harvested last year!

Get a clue! If you think this "isn't even about netting" your absolutely wrong!

Netting has been going on for years. and it will continue so to sit here and complain about it is pointless. the point is we know that the nets will take a certain amount of fish and a certain amount may be such and such size and it isnt going away so it needs to be managed for that. I just dont understand why most people point to netting as the only problem. I've heard multiple stories of launches last year catching 150 plus fish during the night. Times that by how many launches there are, how times a day they go out and how many days a year they go out. Plus you have how many hundreds if not thousands of boats each day on the weekend. I never said netting isnt an issue but so is all of the other anglers taking fish. Bottom line, netting is not going away, at least anytime soon so that is why i stated it isnt about netting, its about managing it to include netting and all other anglers.

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ted4887

Like I said, maybe it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but $100,000 isn't a lot of money when you consider the amount of $$$ being spent right now doing research, running studies, having all these input meetings, etc. I do, however think that you could get quite a bit of support from the public and resorts for some kind of tag/stamp/permit to fish Mille Lacs if $$$ was the issue. I know you would get plenty of resorts on board with a fee to put towards buying out the netting. The better the walleye fishing, the more money they make. They are going to have a couple of tough years until this is figured out. In my opinion, you will ONLY get this support if you eliminate the netting. I have said many times, I don't have a real dog in this fight, so it doesn't really affect me either way as I fish Mille Lacs maybe once a year, so I am not saying the netting is wrong or anti treaty. I just see this as a way to possibly fix the fishery.

So long as that I know that the buyout is being paid by Mille Lacs anglers only, then I wouldn't have a problem with it. However, if that money was to in any way affect the regular DNR budget, then I would have a major problem with it.

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Shack

delcecchi- Just curious, what was the deal they had worked out?

I posted this in the other thread to bring the so called experts who post with very little or no knowledge of what "recently" was ruled acceptable by the US Supreme Court and not some agreement from a 100+ years ago. It gives an example of the monies which some of the bands turned away from:

I will try to address some of the misconceptions about this.

For those who choose not review what our US Federal Government recently ruled as perfectly acceptable and decided in favor of regarding tribal harvest rights in both the 1837 and 1854 treaties here you go:

Originally Posted By: From the Minnesota DNR Website
In 1854, the Chippewa of Lake Superior entered into a treaty with the United States whereby the Chippewa ceded to the United States ownership of their lands in northeastern Minnesota. These lands are the so-called "1854 ceded territory." Article 11 of the 1854 Treaty provides:

"...And such of them as reside in the territory hereby ceded, shall have the right to hunt and fish therein, until otherwise ordered by the President." The Chippewa of Lake Superior who reside in the ceded territory are the Fond du Lac, Grand Portage and Bois Forte Bands.

1985 - The Grand Portage Band sues the State of Minnesota in federal court claiming the 1854 Treaty gives it the right to hunt and fish in the ceded territory free of State regulation. Up until this time, the State had applied its hunting and fishing laws in the ceded territory to Indians and non-Indians alike. The Fond du Lac and Bois Forte Bands subsequently join the lawsuit in order to consider a settlement.

1988 - The State and the three Bands enter into an agreement whereby the State makes an annual payment to the Bands ($1.6 million each to Grand Portage and Bois Forte; $1.85 million to Fond du Lac), and the Bands establish their own regulations that apply to harvest by Band members. The Bands' regulations restrict commercial harvest, big game seasons, spearing, netting and other activities of concern to the State. This agreement, approved by the federal court, does not commit to a legal conclusion as to whether the 1854 Treaty harvest rights remain valid.

1989 - The Fond du Lac Band withdraws from the agreement after one year, but the other two Bands remain in the agreement, which continues successfully to date. Even though no longer in the agreement and no longer receiving an annual payment from the State, the Fond du Lac Band establishes harvest regulations for its own members. The Band and the State consult and cooperate successfully to date.

1990 - The Mille Lacs Band sues the State claiming harvest rights in the 1837 Treaty ceded territory, which lies immediately to the south of the 1854 ceded territory. This case raises legal issues very similar to those in the 1854 Treaty case. The court divides the Mille Lacs case into two phases: Phase I will address whether the 1837 Treaty ceded territory harvest rights are valid; if the answer is yes, Phase II will address the scope of those rights, that is, what the Band may actually allow its members to do.

1992 - The Fond du Lac Band sues the State under both the 1837 Treaty and the 1854 Treaty, both of which it signed. It claims harvest rights in both ceded territories. Like the Mille Lacs case, this one is also divided into Phase I and Phase II.

1994 - After a trial, the federal court rules in Phase I of the Mille Lacs case that the 1837 Treaty ceded territory harvest rights are valid. Phase II of the case begins.

1996 - The court rules in Phase I of the Fond du Lac case that the 1854 Treaty ceded territory harvest rights are valid. The court also rules that the Fond du Lac Band's claims under the 1837 Treaty are valid. (The validity of the 1854 Treaty effectively applies to the Grand Portage and Bois Forte Bands as well, because they also signed the 1854 Treaty.)

1996 - The Fond du Lac Band's 1837 Treaty claim is joined with the Mille Lacs case during Phase II of the Mille Lacs case. This is so that Phase II of the 1837 Treaty claims in both cases can be resolved for both Bands together. Phase II of the Fond du Lac Band's 1854 Treaty claims is put on hold until the Mille Lacs case is completed. Both cases are now assigned to Federal District Court Judge Michael Davis.

1997 - Phase II of the Mille Lacs case is completed. Phase II addresses in detail seasons, bag limits, methods, commercialization and other harvest issues. Most of these issues are resolved by agreement between the Bands and the State; a few of them are resolved by the court. These 1837 Treaty Phase II conclusions apply to all harvest in the 1837 ceded territory by the Mille Lacs Band, the Fond du Lac Band, and several Wisconsin Chippewa Bands that also had signed the 1837 Treaty and had joined the Mille Lacs lawsuit.

1997 - The 8th Circuit federal appeals court affirms the decision of the district court in the Mille Lacs case, finding that the 1837 Treaty ceded territory harvest right is valid.

1999 - The United States Supreme Court affirms the lower court rulings in the Mille Lacs case. This is a final affirmation of the validity of ceded territory harvest rights under the 1837 Treaty.

2000 - Now that the Mille Lacs case is complete, we are moving forward with Phase II of the Fond du Lac case. The purpose of this Phase II is to address the scope of harvest rights in the 1854 Treaty ceded territory. Because of the long history of successful cooperation between the Fond du Lac Band and the State on harvest in the ceded territory, the goal in Phase II is to address only those issues that seem problematic. A process will be established to allow the Band and the State to communicate about natural resource concerns, resolve disputes, and deal with ongoing natural resource management issues.

Natural resource management concerns in the 1854 Treaty ceded territory

The State of Minnesota has shared natural resource harvest in the 1854 Treaty ceded territory with the Grand Portage, Bois Forte and Fond du Lac Bands successfully for over 12 years. Legal disputes over these harvest rights began as early as 1985, but only recently have court decisions made it clear that the Bands' treaty harvest rights are valid. The Department of Natural Resources and the Fond du Lac Band are now beginning to discuss resolution of remaining issues in the case brought by the Fond du Lac Band. The other two Bands may also need to become involved in these discussions because they share the same harvest rights. There are a few concerns that need to be addressed explicitly in the discussions, which are listed below:

Treaty Share Allocation.

The three Bands share treaty harvest rights in the 1854 Treaty ceded territory. These rights entitle the Bands collectively to harvest up to one half of the harvestable surplus of each resource, such as deer, walleyes or grouse. The three Bands may distribute the treaty share among themselves as they see fit, but under no circumstances may the total Band harvest exceed the total treaty share. This is a particularly important issue for high demand species, such as moose and certain furbearers.

Hunting, Fishing and Trapping.

Harvest by management unit (avoid localized depletion and inequitable opportunity).

Moose (limited numbers).

Commercial harvest (notice; monitoring).

Private property (access; applicable law).

Spearing and netting (notice; monitoring).

Deer season frameworks (protect young; protect during yarding).

Disease control (stocking; exotic species).

Special hunts in parks, SNAs and refuges (applicable law).

Road-killed big game (accounting and distribution).

Other Harvest Concerns.

Endangered, threatened and rare species.

Forest products (birch bark and boughs).

Wild rice (seeding).

Exotic species.

Law Enforcement.

Consistency of terms and definitions.

Cross-deputization of Band and State conservation officers.

Process.

Information exchange and regular meetings.

Coordination and sharing of effort (data collection; law enforcement; other).

Mutual notice of new plans and concerns.

Dispute resolution.

Reference from MN DNR: Click Here

Mille Lacs Band depiction of the time line for reference:

Originally Posted By: From the Mille Lacs Band Website
The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe - like all Indian tribes - is a sovereign Indian nation with its own laws and its own system of government.

A treaty is an agreement between two or more sovereign nations. It is like a contract.

The federal government can make treaties with tribal governments without state approval.

In 1837, even before Minnesota was a state, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and several other tribes signed a treaty that ceded - or sold - land to the United States government. The tribes signed the Treaty of 1837 on the condition that they would still have the right to hunt, fish and gather in the ceded territory.

The Treaty of 1837 was not properly upheld. In 1990, the Mille Lacs Band was ready to sue the state of Minnesota because too many Band members were being wrongly arrested for hunting and fishing in the ceded territory. But to avoid unnecessary and unpleasant confrontations, the Band tried to settle the issue out of court.

After a challenging negotiation process, the Band and the Minnesota executive branch of government reached a settlement. That settlement was later voted down by the Minnesota Legislature, which felt that the case should be settled in court.

In June 1994, the case went to court. In the first phase of the two-part trial, a federal judge ruled in favor of the Mille Lacs Band, saying Band members still had the right to hunt, fish and gather on the ceded land. For the second phase, six other tribes that had also signed the treaty joined the Mille Lacs Band in the suit. In August 1997, a three-judge panel from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed the 1994 ruling.

On March 24, 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Treaty of 1837, saying that Mille Lacs Band members and members of the other tribes that signed the treaty can hunt, fish and gather on the ceded land under tribal regulations.

Today’s Mille Lacs Band members, like their ancestors, are committed to protecting and preserving natural resources. That is why the Mille Lacs Band worked with the state of Minnesota to develop and implement a conservation code for the 1837 ceded territory.

The conservation code requires Mille Lacs Band members to purchase licenses from the Band’s Department of Natural Resources before they can hunt and fish on public lands in the ceded territory. It also prohibits hunting on private land in the ceded territory unless it is forest crop land. Tribal members must obtain daily permits for all spearing and netting, and these activities are closely monitored by a conservation warden and/or a biologist.

Enforcement of the conservation code is coordinated by tribal officials, the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, and conservation officers from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Reference: Click Here

The actual treaty wording which was declared in 1837:

Quote:
Articles of a treaty made and concluded at St. Peters (the confluence of the St. Peters and Mississippi rivers) in the Territory of Wisconsin, between the United States of America, by their commissioner, Henry Dodge, Governor of said Territory, and the Chippewa nation of Indians, by their chiefs and headmen.

ARTICLE 1.

The said Chippewa nation cede to the United States all that tract of country included within the following boundaries:

Beginning at the junction of the Crow Wing and Mississippi rivers, between twenty and thirty miles above where the Mississippi is crossed by the forty-sixth parallel of north latitude, and running thence to the north point of Lake St. Croix, one of the sources of the St. Croix river; thence to and along the dividing ridge between the waters of Lake Superior and those of the Mississippi, to the sources of the Ocha-sua-sepe a tributary of the Chippewa river; thence to a point on the Chippewa river, twenty miles below the outlet of Lake De Flambeau; thence to the junction of the Wisconsin and Pelican rivers; thence on an east course twenty-five miles; thence southerly, on a course parallel with that of the Wisconsin river, to the line dividing the territories of the Chippewas and Menomonies; thence to the Plover Portage; thence along the southern boundary of the Chippewa country, to the commencement of the boundary line dividing it from that of the Sioux, half a days march below the falls on the Chippewa river; thence with said boundary line to the mouth of Wah-tap river, at its junction with the Mississippi; and thence up the Mississippi to the place of beginning.

Page 492

ARTICLE 2.

In consideration of the cession aforesaid, the United States agree to make to the Chippewa nation, annually, for the term of twenty years, from the date of the ratification of this treaty, the following payments.

1. Nine thousand five hundred dollars, to be paid in money.

2. Nineteen thousand dollars, to be delivered in goods.

3. Three thousand dollars for establishing three blacksmiths shops, supporting the blacksmiths, and furnishing them with iron and steel.

4. One thousand dollars for farmers, and for supplying them and the Indians, with implements of labor, with grain or seed; and whatever else may be necessary to enable them to carry on their agricultural pursuits.

5. Two thousand dollars in provisions.

6. Five hundred dollars in tobacco.

The provisions and tobacco to be delivered at the same time with the goods, and the money to be paid; which time or times, as well as the place or places where they are to be delivered, shall be fixed upon under the direction of the President of the United States.

The blacksmiths shops to be placed at such points in the Chippewa country as shall be designated by the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, or under his direction.

If at the expiration of one or more years the Indians should prefer to receive goods, instead of the nine thousand dollars agreed to be paid to them in money, they shall be at liberty to do so. Or, should they conclude to appropriate a portion of that annuity to the establishment and support of a school or schools among them, this shall be granted them.

ARTICLE 3.

The sum of one hundred thousand dollars shall be paid by the United States, to the half-breeds of the Chippewa nation, under the direction of the President. It is the wish of the Indians that their two sub-agents Daniel P. Bushnell, and Miles M. Vineyard, superintend the distribution of this money among their half-breed relations.

ARTICLE 4.

The sum of seventy thousand dollars shall be applied to the payment, by the United States, of certain claims against the Indians; of which amount twenty-eight thousand dollars shall, at their request, be paid to William A. Aitkin, twenty-five thousand to Lyman M. Warren, and the balance applied to the liquidation of other just demands against them—which they acknowledge to be the case with regard to that presented by Hercules L. Dousman, for the sum of five thousand dollars; and they request that it be paid.

ARTICLE 5.

The privilege of hunting, fishing, and gathering the wild rice, upon the lands, the rivers and the lakes included in the territory ceded, is guarantied to the Indians, during the pleasure of the President of the United States.

ARTICLE 6.

This treaty shall be obligatory from and after its ratification by the President and Senate of the United States.

Done at St. Peters in the Territory of Wisconsin the twenty-ninth day of July eighteen hundred and thirty-seven.

Reference: Click Here

Also here is some info on the conservation code for the 1837 ceded territory:

Minnesota 1837 Ceded Territory Conservation Code

Department of Natural Resources, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Click Here

Specifically:

Spearing and Netting Regulations Click Here

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Coach1310

Thanks Shack.... to summarize, we already pay $1.6million EACH to two different tribes and another tribe turned down $1.85 million. To summarize further, we ALREADY pay $3.2 million to keep two tribes from netting, but one netting tribe still remains.

Just want to make sure I have it correctly. If that is the case, how much $$$$ do they generate from the netting??? The numbers are a bit staggering to me.

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Shack

If I recall the Fond du Lac Band does not take the monies but does adheres to the agreement the other bands collect the monies for.

I am not sure if netting is 100% not being done as the wording reads:

Quote:
The Bands' regulations restrict commercial harvest, big game seasons, spearing, netting and other activities of concern to the State. This agreement, approved by the federal court, does not commit to a legal conclusion as to whether the 1854 Treaty harvest rights remain valid.

As for the Mille Lacs band the monies and agreement discussed in:

Quote:
After a challenging negotiation process, the Band and the Minnesota executive branch of government reached a settlement. That settlement was later voted down by the Minnesota Legislature, which felt that the case should be settled in court.

would be a figure and terms which I do not recall off hand. If someone wants to dig back in P.E.R.M. archives they would probably find what it was that del alluded to.

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Shack

If that is the case, how much $$$$ do they generate from the netting???

Technically commercial netting I believe is not being done so they should not be getting any money from this. The only netting which occurs should be subsistence netting.

Here is a snippet from the Mille Lacs Band DNR regs:

Quote:
Mille Lacs Lake. Gillnetting in Mille Lacs Lake is allowed year around. Only subsistence netting may occur from March 2 - May 31.

Subsistence nets during this and other times may be up to 100 feet in length and 4 feet deep. The allowable mesh sizes (bar) for

subsistence nets during this and other times are 1.25 to 1.75 inches. From June 1 - March 1 both subsistence and commercial netting

may be authorized. If authorized by your tribe, allowable mesh sizes (bar) for commercial nets are the same as for subsistence nets

(i.e. 1.25 to 1.75 inches); however, commercial nets may be up to 300 feet in length and six feet in depth. All nets must comply with

lifting, marking, and safety requirements. For gill-nets targeted at tullibee, only 1.75 inch mesh (bar) is authorized.

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Red Miller

Excuse me...what was the question again?

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Search Function

I believe part of the deal was we wouldn't be allowed to fish on a large chunk of the Western Side. I was told Vineland Bay and Indian Point would have been off limits.

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Walleyehooker

If I remember right they would only have netted an area around Vineland bay and Indian Point. I think they also wanted a lot of land and cash along with that deal!!!!

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northender

If I remember right they would only have netted an area around Vineland bay and Indian Point. I think they also wanted a lot of land and cash along with that deal!!!!

Just for the record, the settlement was only with the Mille Lacs Band. The 7-8 other Bands relative to the treaty and wthin the ceded area would have been added to the amounts of fish, exclusive Tribal zones on the lake and the money. Tribal deer hunting on private land was also part of the settlement. In fact, in the end, when all the settling would have been done (with 8 Bands not just one), it would have been much worse than you have now. Just for the record.

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Tanker

Looks like there is talks about opening up a 6 fish limit of smallies on Mille Lacs. This scares the $hit out of me! A lot of people are putting some of the blame for Mille Lacs' walleye problem on the smallie population. I don't know about everyone else but I seriously think this would really hurt the smallie fishing on Mille Lacs. I've posted a couple comments on some topics in the Mille Lacs forum about this. The same thing happened on Lake Sharpe in South Dakota. This place was one amazing smallmouth fishery! The size and #'s of fish caught were unbelieveable. Well the walleye guys complained enough about it that the regulations on smallies were lifted.

Here is an email from a friend of mine that fishes Lake Sharpe frequently:

The limit used to be 5 but only 1 over 18” and everything between the 12” and 18” slot had to be thrown back. Later they changed the slot to 14”-18” in 2008 with only 1 over because the walleye guys were complaining. They put the slot in place in like 2003 and took it off starting in 2012. You use to catch 2-3lbers in the slot consistently but now its hard to find fish I guess since there is no size limit but still a 5 fish limit. The state said their surveys and studies show the slot was not helping the size of bass even though our opens and tourney’s out there kept increasing in terms of number of fish caught and the size brought to the scales. Joe (my uncle) said he had some tough days there last year and some where he didn’t catch anything. The walleye guys were complaining so much they took the regulation off. It took 5 years to build that fishery up to what it was and not even a year to ruin it.

IT just bugs me to think that something like this could ruin one of the best smallie fisheries in the nation. I feel like the walleye problem has a lot more to do with people then it does other species.

Please let me know what you guys think. Maybe I am way off.

I wouldn't blame it on unprotecting the slot. I fish sharpe every year and the decline in smallies happend in just one year. In 2011 you couldn't keep the smallies off your hook. Then come 2012 after the flood it seemed like every smallie I caught was sick super slender. You can't tell me the walleye guys did this in just one year.

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Juan Grande

Did anyone see Mille Lacs is ranked the #74 best bass lake in the United States by Bassmaster mag?

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