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Saw on FB today that another lawsuit regarding mille lacs will be announced today at the capitol. Will be interesting to see what this one is about.

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Fisherman and resorts are filing a lawsuit against the dnr about the mismanagement of Mille Lacs.Essentially its just fisherman and resorts filing a lawsuit against themselves and the rest of the states taxpayers since we all fund the dnr.Not a very bright way to accomplish what there goal really is,which is banning the nets.

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mrklean

Gotta love sue happy America what's the solution to all of life's problems just sue someone sick

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It's funny They are asking for a crowd to show up and be there as backers.The press conference is today at 1 PM they put this please show up out at around midnight.

Like their last attempt to have backers,The tribes showed,The DNR showed,State rep/senate showed and all 5 of the suit filers came without anyone in tow! Again I think they may look foolish??

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Bandersnatch

While I am not in agreeance with some of the opinion, I can certainly understand the suit in an attempt to get the DNR off of sitting on their hands.

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Gotta love sue happy America what's the solution to all of life's problems just sue someone sick

Exactly. This seems like a knee-jerk reaction to their frustration. I'm sure business is terrible and they're looking for someone to blame…

I do agree with them however with regards to netting during the spawn…

Here's an article about it:

http://www.startribune.com/sports/outdoors/256606191.html

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willyfahey

There's a legitimate case here. The DNR methodically and purposefully changed the balance of fish in the lake over the last 10 years with over harvest based regulations of walleye and protections for smallmouth, northern pike and muskie. Yet, the traditional game fish sought after has been walleye. They have been minimizing their responsibility and mandate to protect walleye fishing traditions at Mille Lacs. How can one make an argument to the contrary for this case? When, where and/or how has the DNR managed Mille Lacs lake, in the last 10-15 years, to protect walleye sport fishing? The regs didn't have to target strictly male fish, quotas didn't have to be based on poundage, nets don't have to be run during the spawn, smallmouth harvest didn't need to be so conservative, etc. Whether it be blatant disregard for walleye sport fishing because of fear of tribal response or negligence, the DNR has clearly not fulfilled there Constitutional mandate.

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Where is there a constitutional mandate to protect walleye fishing on Mille Lacs?

If the resorts are so concerned the DNR hasn't been fulfilling it's obligation to protect walleye fishing, I wonder if they've stopped to consider what steps the DNR might have taken to meet this "mandate" and how detrimental those actions could have been to their business years ago.

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Bandersnatch

There's a legitimate case here. The DNR methodically and purposefully changed the balance of fish in the lake over the last 10 years with over harvest based regulations of walleye and protections for smallmouth, northern pike and muskie. Yet, the traditional game fish sought after has been walleye. They have been minimizing their responsibility and mandate to protect walleye fishing traditions at Mille Lacs. How can one make an argument to the contrary for this case? When, where and/or how has the DNR managed Mille Lacs lake, in the last 10-15 years, to protect walleye sport fishing? The regs didn't have to target strictly male fish, quotas didn't have to be based on poundage, nets don't have to be run during the spawn, smallmouth harvest didn't need to be so conservative, etc. Whether it be blatant disregard for walleye sport fishing because of fear of tribal response or negligence, the DNR has clearly not fulfilled there Constitutional mandate.

I agree.

That said, after the DNR came out with the liberalized bag limits on Northern and Smallmouth this spring, I think that two thirds of this suit is in the Asked and Answered world.

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Bandersnatch

Where is there a constitutional mandate to protect walleye fishing on Mille Lacs?

If the resorts are so concerned the DNR hasn't been fulfilling it's obligation to protect walleye fishing, I wonder if they've stopped to consider what steps the DNR might have taken to meet this "mandate" and how detrimental those actions could have been to their business years ago.

I am quiet sure that they have.

They have been yowling for years about the Slot targeting the same smaller fish that the nets do, and that there were too many un-keepable big fish in the lake.

So after 10 years or so of being ignored, this is what we get.

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I think the only one that's going to get anything substantial out of this is the lawyer. They might be able to overturn the ban on night fishing - although I would be skeptical since there is already a precedent set with the spring night ban.

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I am quiet sure that they have.

They have been yowling for years about the Slot targeting the same smaller fish that the nets do, and that there were too many un-keepable big fish in the lake.

Bander what you said above.Personally I never heard a peep about fisher people and netters targeting the same sized fish? They only complained of netting.If the netters didnt take their qouta the fisher people always asked why cant we that the left over qouta the netters didn't take!! They have had no concern as to what sized fish fishers take.They only wanted more! Now they want night fishing opened? That sure is conservation at its best.Deplete the eyes more!

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BrdHunter01

Bander what you said above.Personally I never heard a peep about fisher people and netters targeting the same sized fish? They only complained of netting.If the netters didnt take their qouta the fisher people always asked why cant we that the left over qouta the netters didn't take!!

Haven't heard a peep about "fisher people and nets targeting the same sized fish?" You must not visit or follow Mille Lacs. They, fishermen and the DNR, have noticed a decline in the male walleye population years ago. Note: male walleyes are generally under 20 inches.

Yet, the DNR did absolutely nothing about it. I really dislike when people chime in on these forums and have no idea what they are talking about. confused

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How can anyone argue in a court of law the DNR did "absolutely nothing about it?" It has more restrictions on it than nearly any other lake in the state.

The restrictions may not have produced the expected results, but you can hardly say the "did absolutely nothing."

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Bandersnatch

How can anyone argue in a court of law the DNR did "absolutely nothing about it?" It has more restrictions on it than nearly any other lake in the state.

The restrictions may not have produced the expected results, but you can hardly say the "did absolutely nothing."

If you re-read the post, I believe that the "nothing about it" point being made is the DNR's failure to address the targeting of the same size fish year after year after year as those being targeted by netting.

If one follows the Slot size mandated for sport fishing back to it's inception I think it is hard to argue otherwise.

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Actually I been following it since these same people were angry about netting! I know lots more than you say or speculate.Sure the small males are taken in excess.Fishing people take all allocated and want more.This suit is the same people who contested netting and never stopped complaining.What are there 5 of them putting up smoke screens of organizations.They have never stated how many or who belongs to their organizations that change names yearly.Then try to sue under a different pretence! What a joke and waste of taxpayers $$ Begging for money for all 5 of themselves out of prejudice.Just how many do belong to these so called multimember organizations?No one knows except the 5 or so who constantly push this stuff 1 resort owner,1 ex resort owner the Fellegys,Enos and who?

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Bandersnatch

Actually I been following it since these same people were angry about netting! I know lots more than you say or speculate.Sure the small males are taken in excess.Fishing people take all allocated and want more.This suit is the same people who contested netting and never stopped complaining.What are there 5 of them putting up smoke screens of organizations.They have never stated how many or who belongs to their organizations that change names yearly.Then try to sue under a different pretence! What a joke and waste of taxpayers $$ Begging for money for all 5 of themselves out of prejudice.Just how many do belong to these so called multimember organizations?No one knows except the 5 or so who constantly push this stuff 1 resort owner,1 ex resort owner the Fellegys,Enos and who?

Now I believe that you are arguing just to argue, so I am done pointing out the obvious to you.

Have a good weekend.

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Redlineracer12

Pointless lawsuit in my opinion.

It's everyone else's fault but my own...

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Roosterslayer05

There's a legitimate case here. The DNR methodically and purposefully changed the balance of fish in the lake over the last 10 years with over harvest based regulations of walleye and protections for smallmouth, northern pike and muskie. Yet, the traditional game fish sought after has been walleye. They have been minimizing their responsibility and mandate to protect walleye fishing traditions at Mille Lacs. How can one make an argument to the contrary for this case? When, where and/or how has the DNR managed Mille Lacs lake, in the last 10-15 years, to protect walleye sport fishing? The regs didn't have to target strictly male fish, quotas didn't have to be based on poundage, nets don't have to be run during the spawn, smallmouth harvest didn't need to be so conservative, etc. Whether it be blatant disregard for walleye sport fishing because of fear of tribal response or negligence, the DNR has clearly not fulfilled there Constitutional mandate.

Anyone that know Mille Lacs knows that a few resort owners were the reason for the smallie reg. A couple resort owners pushed REALLY hard to protect the "delicate" smallie fishery. The DNR didn't come up with the idea. It was about 5 individual guys that had really loud mouths. Besides this fact I don't think anyone can argue that the smallmouth population wouldn't have exploded to the same levels they are today even with no smallie restrictions. Look around, bass populations are exploding everywhere. This isn't just a Mille Lacs thing.

Same with northern pike. There just isn't enough harvest even when there's no restrictive regs.

Lets get to the nitty gritty here. The REAL problem is that the DNR knew there was a problem but kept BENDING to the resort owners wills. The resort owners wanted the maximum possible harvest. Since harvest quota's are based on poundage the regs have targeted the smaller fish. Whenever the DNR wanted to go more restrictive there was a massive uproar about "lost buisness" and the DNR did the best they could to keep the resort owners happy. This is their own mess. Besides this fact you have to know the risks involved in basing your business on a natural resource. When there is a low in the resource your business will suffer. That's life.

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willyfahey

The DNR's inaction was the problem. Year after year they continued to manage the lake the same way. All they ever did was move the slot around a few inches and change bag limits. Their scope remained the same. IMO there should have been changes at the macro level in order for there to be support of any argument that they tried.

Rooster, the people suing are not the same people that wanted a smallmouth fishery or over harvest. I will add, that in the early years of this management system, the DNR was openly stating that their limits and abundant harvest was necessary to keep the walleye population healthy. According to their research, the lake had so many fish that over harvest wasn't a risk. There was plenty of opposing voices to their reasoning from the beginning, even within the DNR itself. Despite whatever outside influences got to DNR officials, it was still there responsibility to protect the walleye from crashing. There were people on both sides that wanted what they wanted. The DNR is supposed to be impartial and manage the fishery according to their mandate, partially outlined in the Constitution, to protect the walleye fishery. Are you saying that the DNR has fulfilled their obligation to the state's citizens regarding Mille Lacs? You can't say that the Mille Lacs situation is the people's fault. These are not elected officials and are not supposed to be politically influenced. There was no voting process in the lake's management. If you research any of the DNR's public hearings around the lake, find one regulation change that originated with public outcry. The only bending was to do what they could to avoid a lawsuit with the tribes.

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Again, where in the Constitution is there a mandate to protect walleye fishing on Mille Lacs? The constitutional amendment you guys keep referring says absolutely nothing about any particular fish. Mille Lacs is a thriving fishery for many species.

I hope whoever is funding this lawsuit kept some spare change for their next lawsuit - which should be against whoever duped them into believing they had a case.

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That constitutional amendment states hunting fishing>>>>>>>

Just read it yourselves.it mentions zero of walleye just game fish! So are there sufficient game fish in the pond? Lawyers twist anything to their favor when speaking.Inreality they know what it reads.they just want to fool the gulableand angry. and get more onboard to the side they represent

http://ballotpedia.org/Minnesota_Hunting_and_Fishing_Heritage,_Amendment_2_(1998)

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IMO... Winning would be pleasant surprise. But letting the DNR know they are accountable for their actions good and bad is the issue. A little press and lawsuit may bring this to light. May be the dnr will just do another "study" on the effects of .........

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walleyeworshiper

Some times we have to pull our heads out of the sand. If you truly believe Mille Lacs is as healthy as it always has been this lawsuit is not for you! If you think harvesting during the spawn is ok this lawsuit is not for you. If you think this lawsuit is about a couple resort owners this lawsuit is not for you. This lawsuit is about getting Mille Lacs back in balance for all users of this great lake. I own a 17.5 ft boat and fish Mille Lacs, I go out on launches from different resorts because I can't fit all my fishing friends in my boat. I fish Walleyes, Muskies,Northerns, Bass, and Panfish. That is my interest in this lawsuit. We all dam about what goes on behind closed doors, do you want to take the DNR directives with no backing or would you like to see some TRASPARENCY in our DNR? There is a reason "the open meeting" law was passed. The government works for all of us and fulfills our wishes. When the DNR touts about all their smartness, but has to hire outside "experts" to fix Mille Lacs maybe we should set the bar a little higher when these leaders are appointed. As for me I (not a resort owner) will support this lawsuit both with my time and nickels, it is the right thing to do!

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I think its ludicrous.    It’s one thing to challenge the treaty ruling. I get that and totally understand both sides of that coin.   But to blame the DNR for your bad fishing?  Cmon….really?   Do people not realize that there are so many factors that are out of our control such as what Mother Nature throws at us or invasive species that have been introduced.  Or advanced electronic items such as GPS and Sonar or maybe even a fleet of floating platforms that shuttles dozens of people out to a spot to yank and gut hook fish night after night after night after night.

 

There are some things the DNR does that really makes no sense at all to me, but when it comes to ML how much time and effort do you want them to devote to it?   Its ONE LAKE and already micromanaged  like no other lake in the state. What more do you want them to do?

 

So what do the plaintiffs plan on accomplishing if a judgment is found in their favor?  Is it a monetary thing?  Are they going to change the bag limits and regs to whatever they feel works best FOR THEM?  If they want the lake restored how do they plan on having their cake and eating it too?

 

What about the bass and muskie folks, do they get a say?   I understand the night  ban thing, but what I don’t get is why do others have to suffer?  Some people could give a rats a55 about walleye but want to fish after dark, why should any of this affect them?

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willyfahey

Technically, all that "stuff" that's out of the DNR's control is supposed to be taken into account when the DNR make their final decision on regulations. They are the ones with all the data that show climate change, water quality change, forage base, etc. They made this mess by not making the necessary changes earlier in order to preserve the walleye fishing at Mille Lacs. Too much focus was put on smallmouth, muskie and northern over the last 10-15 years or so. It's not the fault of the fisherman who followed the guidelines that the DNR set forth. If your argument is that we weren't supposed to be following the DNR guidelines to begin with and not keep the fish they said we could, then you've proven the incompetence of the DNR and made the case for the suit.

As for the fisherman the target other species, they are stuck on the side of the road. This lake is historically a walleye fishery. The DNR have faultered by ignoring that heritage. Managing the lake to preserve, grow and maintain walleye on Mille Lacs should be the main priority.

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bassfshin24

I'm with DTRO on this. Why do you think Smallies, Pike, and Muskie are doing so well in that lake...because those who target them practice C&R! I'm not saying all walleye guys keep what they can but I would guess a majority of the people fishing for eyes keep everything they can.

And guess what willyfahey...this lake maybe have been a walleye lake in the past but it isn't anymore. This lake is now a Multispecies destination whether you like it or not.

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CaptainMusky

The flaw I see is that "safe harvest" levels are set in place for allowable harvest which then results in limits and slots.

Well, the walleye anglers whether by hook and line or net harvested fewer fish than what was allowed so there shouldnt be a problem right?

Walleye fisherman not C&R? You obviously havent fished Mille Lacs in the last 5 years for walleyes to make that comment. You do FAR more C&R with walleyes than those that are kept. Turning it into a complete C&R fishery for walleyes wouldnt solve the problem either. Too many big fish, too few small fish.

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walleye walleye walleye walleye walleye walleye walleye walleye

 

I always thought the heritage of ML was being “The Dead Sea”?

 

Is it possible that the lake is just going through a cycle?

 

No? Well then maybe the DNR made a big mistake. It is entirely plausible and could very well be the case. But, is it such a tragedy?  Walleyes are a plentiful renewable resource here, not something like a Sturgeon fishery or a Redwood Forest that will take decades to replace.  Give it a few years and bam, right back to the so called glory days. 

 

In the meantime, why not adapt?  How about erecting a big ol Smallie statue on the highway in Garrison or inviting the PWT Bass tour and giving them free reign for a couple of weekends?  How about a World Class Carp tournament?  Heck you could even start a marketing campaign.  “Welcome to Mille Lacs…NOW home to fish that fight back!”

 

Believe it or not outside of the walleye box, there are a lot of people that actually like to target other kinds of fish.  GASP!  shocked

 

Signed

Scandinavian Iron Range White Dude

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pushbutton

To those that believe in a DNR boogy man, or conversely that they have magical wand powers.....uhmn.....yeah....ok. It is a government entity that does or does not do for a multitude of reasons, some which maybe good for some and bad for others. Cronyism, back door deals, special favors, lobbying efforts, partisan votes, votes by completely uneducated legislators ......some completely separate from the Aitkin office, or even the DNR itself, have all influenced Mille Lacs policy. Then add to that a court case forcing them to share a resource with some of the major players not willing to share, or at least always seeking the most for their respective sides .....top that off with some nasty invasives along with ma nature not playing by the rules.....you got to get more fingers to point....or more lawyers ....to sue more people.

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