For 20 years I have fished alongside tribal elders at the end of the Manistee piers for Menominee. Over that time I have seen the fishery slowly dwindle. When I was a kid it was nothing to catch 50+ Menomonee in an afternoon. Now youre lucky to get that many in 3 days of fishing. The people sitting to the left and right of me on those piers (tribal elders) are the ones doing the complaining about the lack of fish. Now those same elders are the people responsible for the trap and gill netting starting to take place in this area. I am irate! The 1836 Treaty I doubt said anything about casinos! They make three times the money they ever could hope to make on netting fish. I am a white American male that has no problem with the Indians raping the willing with the casinos. However when they start to rape MY/YOUR home waters of fish that there god provided for all I become angry! This is wrong. If they want to net fish then take the casinos away! If they won't give up the damn casinos than give up the netting of our fish! I will apologize to any I have offended ahead of time however Indian or not you cannot look me in the eye and say that this is right! This is not good for our fishery and it certainly is not good for your credibility as a minority! I am attaching a press release that I received of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Natural Resources Conservation Department that officially announces that they will begin netting soon. ============================================== Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Natural Resources Conservation Department 375 River Street Manistee, MI 49660 Phone: 1-231-723-1594 Date: October 26, 2001 PRESS RELEASE COMMERCIAL FISHING BEGINS UNDER LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS AUTHORITY The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians announces the start of commercial fishing under permits issued by the Little River Bands Natural Resource Commission. Three (3) permits for commercial trap net fishing operations by Tribal fishers have been approved for fishing in treaty waters of Lake Michigan between Arcadia (at the north end of Manistee County) and Grand Haven, Michigan. One of the available permits was issued to a trap net boat that will be operated by two (2) Little River Band Tribal members who will be fishing out of Ludington. The remaining two (2) permits were issued to captains from other 1836 Treaty tribes, whose fishing operations will be based in Frankfort and Muskegon. None of the three (3) available permits for small mesh gill fishing operations targeting bloater chubs was issued during 2001. The three (3) permits issued are the first Tribally-licensed commercial fishing operations in these portions of Lake Michigan treaty waters since 1985 and the first commercial fishing permits issued for these waters under the terms of the settlement (Consent Decree) signed by the State of Michigan and five (5) 1836 Treaty Tribes resolving disputes regarding treaty-reserved, Tribally-regulated fishing in the Great Lakes. Under the terms of the Consent Decree signed in August 2000, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians has the exclusive right to issue permits for commercial fishing by licensed fishers from each of the five (5) federally-recognized 1836 Treaty Tribes the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Bay Mills Indian Community, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa/Chippewa Indians, Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa and Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians agreed not to authorize the use of large mesh gill nets, which are opposed by sport fishing groups, by Tribally-licensed commercial fishers in the waters under the permit authority of the Tribe. Tribal negotiators agreed to restrict commercial fishing to the use of trap nets and small mesh gill nets, in large part, as an accommodation to sport fishing interests in these areas. State law currently authorizes commercial fishing with both trap nets and small mesh gill nets in Lake Michigan south of Leland. The 2000 Consent Decree allows the Little River Band to issue a total of three (3) commercial trap net permits for whitefish and three (3) commercial small mesh gill net permits for bloater chubs within this portion of Lake Michigan during the first three (3) years commercial fishing takes place. This portion of the 1836 Ceded Waters of Lake Michigan is divided into two sections where permits may be issued. This includes Whitefish Management Zones (WFM) 07 and 08 (see map). Within WFM-07 there can be two commercial trap net operations and two commercial small mesh gill net operations permitted, and within WFM-08 there can be one commercial trap net operation and one commercial small mesh gill net operation permitted for the first three years. The trap net operations are limited to 12 nets per operation and the small mesh gill net operations are limited to 24,000 feet of net per operation under the agreement. Regulations adopted by the Little River Bands Natural Resource Commission for the 2001 fishing season limit permit holders to 6 trap nets per operation. Tribal trap net fishers are only allowed to target and retain whitefish (19 inches and larger) and menominee. Small mesh gill net fishers may only target and retain bloater chubs. The fishers are required to release all other species back to the lake. The tribal commercial trap net fishers are required to observe a spawning closure from noon November 6 through noon November 29 of each year to protect the fish stocks. All trap nets must be either removed from the water or tied closed during the spawning closure. Harvest guidelines for both whitefish and chubs are developed by a Technical Fisheries Committee comprised of Tribal, State and Federal biologists for each Whitefish Management Unit. Harvest limits are established for WFM-8, where state-licensed commercial fishing is allowed. The limits on the number of permits and nets in WFM-07 for the first 3 years of fishing will protect fish stocks until the Technical Fisheries Committee obtains data from biological assessment and commercial catch reports to recommend harvest guidelines for implementation by the Chippewa-Ottawa Resource Authority (CORA), which regulates Tribal fishing on the Great Lakes. All Tribal parties in the 2000 Decree will mark all Trap nets and small mesh gill nets under net-marking regulations developed by CORA. All trap nets will be marked with a staff buoy with at least four (4) feet exposed above the surface of the water with a red or orange flag no less than twelve (12) inches by twelve (12) inches bearing the license number of the fisher and affixed to the top of the staff. In addition, the king anchor and inside end of the lead shall be marked with a red or orange float not less than one (1) gallon in size (see diagram). All small mesh gill nets will be marked with a staff buoy at each end with at least four (4) feet exposed above the surface of the water with a red or orange flag no less than twelve (12) inches by twelve (12) inches bearing the license number of the fisher and affixed to the top of the staff (see diagram). Tribal fishers and Natural Resource Department staff hope to work with the sport and charter fishing community to provide sport fishers with information regarding net locations, net marking, and how to avoid fishing nets so that commercial and sport fishers can safely co-exist. Tampering with Tribal fishing nets is a federal offense. Persons with questions, who want additional information regarding Tribally-licensed fishing activities, or who observe others tampering with nets or equipment, are encouraged to contact the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Natural Resource Department at 231-723-1594 or the Little River Band Department of Public Safety at 1-888-692-0220. PLEASE USE CAUTION when navigating around the orange marker buoys. Gill Net Gear NET TAMPERING IS ILLEGAL AND DANGEROUS! Tampering with any net is a violation of State and Federal Law. If you see a net you think is illegally set, or see someone attempting to tamper with a net, call your local law enforcement agency. For Further Information Please Contact: Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Natural Resources Conservation Department 375 River Street Manistee, MI 49660 Phone: 1-231-723-1594 Sincerely, Archie Martell LRB Fisheries Biologist Wanna kill these ads? We can help!