Little River Band Ottawa Indian Fish Netting

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by chef, Nov 2, 2001.

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  1. chef

    chef Guest

    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 you’re 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



    The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians announces the start of commercial fishing under permits issued by the Little River Band’s 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 Band’s 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

    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


    Archie Martell
    LRB Fisheries Biologist

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
  2. I got the same press release in my e-mail when I got home from fishing. The Ludington Charterboat Assoc. sent it to me, and my views are the same as yours. I also have a problem with the nets in regards to the safety of my boat and equipment. I am sure there will be more good news from the tribal council in the near future. I can just see them setting nets along the shelf to the north during peak fishing, talk about a war.

  3. jimbos43

    jimbos43 Guest

    Treaties,decrees, whatever. It's a baffling situation in this day and age. It's like it's almost being done out of spite, "because we can, and you can't".
  4. jimbos43

    jimbos43 Guest

    When their shooting those deer on your lease land Ralf. Sad situation.
  5. chef

    chef Guest

    I thought that this subject would make you guys as angry as it does me. Why is it that when Joe Public tries to segregate a minority it is wrong however when a minority wants to segregate themselves it is ok? For instance Negro College Fund try to set up a Caucasian college Fund and see what happens! Letting them net fish out from Michigan is allowing them to segregate themselves from the general public. If that is the way they want it then set up a reservation and make ALL of them move onto it. Let the money from the fish support them not the money from the casinos. That is why they were given the writes to net those waters. If they want to net fish like the 1836 treaty said they could then make them support themselves the way they would have then.
  6. jimbos43

    jimbos43 Guest

    ****Note the part about the state buying boats****


    Daily News Staff Writer

    MANISTEE — The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians is preparing to launch commercial netting operations in Lake Michigan soon.

    Archie Martel, fishery biologist for the Manistee-based tribe, said the 48-foot fishing boat Judy B is expected to start trap-netting for whitefish along the shore soon. That fishing could take place in the waters from Arcadia to Hart. In future years it could be extended south to Grand Haven.

    Martel said the boat coming this fall belongs to Darren Mitchell of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. He said Mitchell will work as a consultant to Little River Band members Matt and Levi Stone, who have received commercial fishing licenses through the local tribe.

    The Little River Band, four other federally-recognized tribes and the U.S. Department of Interior spent two years negotiating an agreement for tribal fishing in the Great Lakes. The last 15-year agreement was signed in 1985 and expired last year.

    Under the new 20-year fishing agreement, the tribe intends to use trap nets to catch whitefish and use separate boats with small-mesh gill nets to catch chubs in deep water.

    “They’re going to be using (Mitchell’s) boat to start with and once we get the Little River boats going we’re going to use them,” Martel said.

    The Little River boats are four vessels that the tribe will receive from the state government.

    Martel said one of the trap-net fishing boats is a 53-foot boat that is currently named the PB 4, and the other trap-net boat is a 38-footer named Fin and Feather. He said the gill-netting tugs are named Shirley K and Falcon.

    “But those names will probably change once the tribe takes possession,” he added.

    The PB 4 needs a little work before it can be put into action, Martel said, and the Fin and Feather also needs minor work before it will be ready to fish the waters in this area. However, he said the gill-net tugs “are basically being rebuilt.”

    Martel said the tribe hopes to get the four boats running in the local waters next spring. He said the tribe has permits for two trap-net boats in Whitefish Management Unit 7 — the area between Arcadia and Hart. Whitefish Management Unit 8 is the area between Hart and Grand Haven and Martel said the Little River Band could possibly let other tribes use the permits for Unit 8 if there aren’t enough interested Little River Band members.

    The tribe will control the permits and will lease the fishing boats to interested tribal members, Martel said. He also said the Stone brothers are currently the only two members who are licensed for commercial fishing, and he said they have said they would like to fish together.

    “We’re trying to get the word out to the tribal community, but there hasn’t been a lot of interest,” he said. “We’re hoping that once we get some boats out, we’ll get more interest.”

    Trap nets catch fish alive while gill nets will kill fish. The small-mesh gill nets for chubs are also too small to catch and kill large Lake Michigan sport fish such as salmon and lake trout.

    “They’ll be trap fishing for whitefish and Menominee,” said Jim Ekdahl, of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, who added that the Little River Band even chose to set its size limit for whitefish at 19 inches, or two inches larger than the limit specified in the agreement.

    “That will give the fish a better chance to grow and spawn,” he said.

    Ekdahl also said the trap nets will allow the tribal members to release trout and salmon that are caught.

    Martel expects that the trap nets will be set in about 20-30 feet of water near shore in the fall and set in about 80-120 feet of water during the summer. He also said the nets will be well marked, in keeping with Michigan’s normal regulations for commercial fishermen, to warn boaters and sports fishermen about the nets’ locations.

    The nets stretch for about 600-1,200 feet, he said, and their heights vary between 20-60 feet.

    Chub nets are set along the Lake Michigan bottom in depths of about 240 feet or deeper, Martel said.

    Martel’s department is also currently setting large-mesh gill nets near Ludington, Arcadia and Point Betsie as part of a state and federal study of lake trout population in northern Lake Michigan.

    Little River Band Ogema, or leader, Bob Guenthardt could not be reached for comment about the tribe’s commercial fishing plans Tuesday or Wednesday morning.
  7. I've been ranting and raving about this situation for years. The Indians have been raping our waters for years and now are able to extend their privledges. I have seen the nets strung across east and west Grand Traverse Bay and wondered how any fish could reach the Boardman river. What they have done to Lake Huron is unexcusable and now Lake Michigan is fair game. All I can say is when your cannon balls get hung up in thier nets, just cut the cables and give the indians your equiptment too. They already have several of my cannonballs and baits from years of hitting unmarked nets. Don't even bother trolling Northern Lake Huron near the Les Cheneaux Islands these days.

    Fishcatcher- Trust me, they are not afraid to place nets along the shelf at Big Sable point. They have already lined them up along the shelf in Rogers City and at Middle and Thunder Bay Island near Rockport and Alpena. Last year these were hot spots for salmon trollers and are now unaccessable. The nets were extending out to 120 and even 150 ft of water. "Just netting whitefish and bloater chubs".....MY ASS!

    Talk to Capt. John Lindenau (Infinity Charters in Leland) about the hundreds of lbs of dead lake trout the the Indians harvested from the offshore refuge near Leland. They left the fish to rot in the sun at the launch just to spite the charterboat captains (who have paid licence fees mind you).
  8. you know it makes me sick knowing that our lisence money goes to plant fish so others can net them. imagine the runs we would have if there was no commerical netting in the lakes. casinos or fish? let the tribal council make the choice......
  9. After doing a little research on the subject, I ran across several threads concerning the netting.

    One appeared in Sound Off back in May of this year.
    Several of our Indian members felt they were wrongly accused.

    The Chef and I don't need a pissing match on this portion of the site. (Especially during Steve's absense)

    The netting in general, by native Americans or Commercial is going to draw negative comments. It effects all Great Lakes fishermen and this thread will become heated at times.
    This has nothing to do with Indians and Sportsmen, it's about Netting and Sportsmen. KEEP THIS IN MIND
    #9 Shoeman, Nov 2, 2001
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2015
  10. I got hung up in a poorly marked net back in the early 80's and you might just as well cut everything loose and leave it behind because you won't get it back. Furthermore if it happens to be rough you could easily be swamped and loose your boat and your life. I think that if they put nets on the shelf north of Ludington they will be asking for a war and will probably get it. It realy sucks that just as our great fishery is getting better it is about to be plundered and exploited. If you think they are going to release our steelhead and salmon, let alone our trout, perch, walleye, and whatever else they catch I have a bridge I'll sell you cheap. Maybe all these people wanting mandatory catch and release, and lower limits for license buying sportsmen and women should put their efforts toward getting the state to put pressure on the tribes to either give up the nets or the casinos.
  11. chef

    chef Guest

    fishctchr I agree with you on that.
    This should be a cause that all fisher people can work together on for the exact same outcome!
    If they had to choose between the casinos and netting fish they would give up the fishing rites immediately!
  12. $Big Pimpin$

    $Big Pimpin$ Guest

    It sickens me to hear what they do with lake trout, I have been to Leland and seen it. Furthermore nets up to 1,200 feet thats close to a quarter of a mile which is just idiootic. It's time to take a stand against them being allowed to ruin great fisheries.
  13. Just wait guys, things may even get worse. The battle is about to move to inland waters as well. Makes me ill just thinking about it!
  14. $Big Pimpin$

    $Big Pimpin$ Guest

    Inland waters eh I'll just bug the hell out of them with my jet ski and drive through there net if they go inland.
  15. Here are my thoughts. If they have to decide between Netting and Casinos I hope they choose Casinos. I dont like either but I can live with casinos :(. I dont think it is possible to make them stop netting since of the Treatys but we need to regulate them more. We need to get all states and Canada that are on the Great Lakes that indians net to help regulate. So that nets can be regulated better. Also if anyone can send me more info about the battle moving to inland lakes at please.

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