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ok all this commercial fishing fine but you know what pisses me off I go to these restaurants around my way and dam it would be awesome to actually sit down and have a real Lake Huron walleye dinner that's actually from Lake Huron Great Lakes etc, and real yellow perch dinner not some crap they serve now and I ask the waitress is this real perch you know yellow perch? And they look at me like I asked them a million dollar question. where the heck are these fish going to that they net by the tons?
Out of state like the rest of their catch.

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Discussion Starter #42
The guy on Avery was Bill Winowiecki from the Michigan Charter Boats Association. Ya actually got a two-fer on Avery this week with the DNR Director also talking about the consent decree. At any rate, Bill is a good guy and the MCBA has been key in keeping recreation angling front and center. The are a member of Protect Michigan, which is a coalition of groups focused on the consent negotiations. What is not clear to me is whether Protect Michigan has any legal standing, though he did say that have a lawyer. My thinking was that the negotiations were between the feds, state and tribes. Admitedly, I am not aware of all of the nuances of that negotiation. Having said that, one comment that sticks with me is when he said "the waters belong to the tribes, and we are guests there". So that might give you a sense of who is on offense and who is on defense.

At any rate, we'll keep plugging away at the state licensed commercial. Making sure they don't get walleye, and with any luck no or much less perch. I think they are in trouble as it was repeatedly mentioned that the whitefish population in Lake Michigan and Lake Huron is in dire straits. With the new fisheries order, they may be fully on the ropes. Perhaps they will come to the table as soon as the new legislature is sworn in.






Did you

Did you listen to Mike Avery's podcast??? The individual reporting has direct access to the negotiating lawyer.
 

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Consent Decrees are court mandated negotiations/discussions where the involved parties are ordered to reach an agreement, or face a mandated judicially determined, directed, and interpreted resolution and apportionment.

The Consent Decree of 2020 agreement contains a clause that allows either party to depart and/or declare this contract invalid, shoud sufficient evidence of fraudulent activity by the other signator be documented. The impacted Tribal entities have postured frequently regarding leaving the agreement, but have never acted. The State and Feds fully understand that the tribes involved can do far greater damage to fish and game resources outside of even general compliance with the agreement's constrictions and limits. All parties fully understand this; thus the Tribes are attempting to fully leverag their negotiating position advantage. IF the Federal courts would simply acknowledge the existing evidence that Tribal fishers actions have negatively impacted lake whitefish and lake trout stocks in the current statistical grids they fish, as documented by marked downward shifts in lake whitefish stock age structure and density, withou the concomitant individual growth increases that are normally associated with over-fishing stocks or species due to nutrient flow constrictions within the food web, in combination with a broadly mandated lack of enforcement action throughout exploited Great Lakes waters, their broad lack of enforcment oversight should serve by itself as a check on future exploitation expansion efforts.

Evidence: 1.) Mulit-year gang rigging under-ice fishing effort by multiple subistence fishers setting in Big and then Little Bay de Noc waters where catch was sold to tribal commercial fishers who sold it as by-catch from their nets.
2.) Joint Federal and State of Michigan sting operation that operated a fish wholesale operation in Baraga, Michigan that purhased illegally caught and tagged lake sturgeon, lake trout, walleye, etc. from both Treaty of 1836 fishers and Treaty of 1842 fishers(Lake Superior waters from the mouth of the Chocolay River in Marquette west). This investigation only remained active for a handful of months because they ran out of alloted money to purchase these illegal fish. Yes, that's right, the supply quickly exhausted their alloted funds.
3.)Operation Fishing for Funds, the one year follow-up on the initial illegally caught Great Lakes fish sting operation that further documented the scope and depth of illegally harvested fish sales in the tribal fishery in Great Lakes waters. This resulted in 6,340 additional citations for violations being turned-in to both CORA and Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife overseen tribal fishers for over three hundred and fifty tons of illegally caught and sold Great Lake fish, shipped all over the World to commercial markets, most through Dan's Fish's four business locations in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Ilegally caught fish were sold from netting sites in northern Lakes Huron and Michigan, as well as Lake Superior waters. The final tally of illegally caught and marketed fish ran into the hundreds of tons at the end of the one year follow-up. Most of these were fillets, not dressed or in-the-round condition fish...
 

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Consent Decrees are court mandated negotiations/discussions where the involved parties are ordered to reach an agreement, or face a mandated judicially determined, directed, and interpreted resolution and apportionment.

The Consent Decree of 2020 agreement contains a clause that allows either party to depart and/or declare this contract invalid, shoud sufficient evidence of fraudulent activity by the other signator be documented. The impacted Tribal entities have postured frequently regarding leaving the agreement, but have never acted. The State and Feds fully understand that the tribes involved can do far greater damage to fish and game resources outside of even general compliance with the agreement's constrictions and limits. All parties fully understand this; thus the Tribes are attempting to fully leverag their negotiating position advantage. IF the Federal courts would simply acknowledge the existing evidence that Tribal fishers actions have negatively impacted lake whitefish and lake trout stocks in the current statistical grids they fish, as documented by marked downward shifts in lake whitefish stock age structure and density, withou the concomitant individual growth increases that are normally associated with over-fishing stocks or species due to nutrient flow constrictions within the food web, in combination with a broadly mandated lack of enforcement action throughout exploited Great Lakes waters, their broad lack of enforcment oversight should serve by itself as a check on future exploitation expansion efforts.

Evidence: 1.) Mulit-year gang rigging under-ice fishing effort by multiple subistence fishers setting in Big and then Little Bay de Noc waters where catch was sold to tribal commercial fishers who sold it as by-catch from their nets.
2.) Joint Federal and State of Michigan sting operation that operated a fish wholesale operation in Baraga, Michigan that purhased illegally caught and tagged lake sturgeon, lake trout, walleye, etc. from both Treaty of 1836 fishers and Treaty of 1842 fishers(Lake Superior waters from the mouth of the Chocolay River in Marquette west). This investigation only remained active for a handful of months because they ran out of alloted money to purchase these illegal fish. Yes, that's right, the supply quickly exhausted their alloted funds.
3.)Operation Fishing for Funds, the one year follow-up on the initial illegally caught Great Lakes fish sting operation that further documented the scope and depth of illegally harvested fish sales in the tribal fishery in Great Lakes waters. This resulted in hundreds of violations being turned-in to both CORA and Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife overseen tribal fishers for over three tons of illegally caught and sold Great Lake fish, shipped all over the World to commercial markets, most through Dan's Fish's four business locations in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Ilegally caught fish were sold from netting sites in northern Lakes Huron and Michigan, as well as Lake Superior waters. The final tally of illegally caught and marketed fish ran into the hundreds of tons at the end of the one year follow-up. Most of these were fillets, not dressed or in-the-round condition fish...
Excellent explanation!!! As I said many times before and I will say it again, enforcement of the Consent is much more important than the quota's argued during negotiations. Your reporting, many times, has stated barely nothing is done when illegal activity is found. SO WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING TO STOP THEM IN THE FUTURE IF THERE IS NO TEETH IN THE CONSENT.
 

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Excellent explanation!!! As I said many times before and I will say it again, enforcement of the Consent is much more important than the quota's argued during negotiations. Your reporting, many times, has stated barely nothing is done when illegal activity is found. SO WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING TO STOP THEM IN THE FUTURE IF THERE IS NO TEETH IN THE CONSENT.
ONE Federal judge whose focus is on the scope and impact of a judicially mandated decision and action, rather than simply being focused the legal mechanics with respect to prior precedence that directs and informs that decision. Our three pronged government oversight model may not be a perfect solution to governance, but I think we all more fully understand the far reaching impacts of attempting to overturn it.
 

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ONE Federal judge whose focus is on the scope and impact of a judicially mandated decision and action, rather than simply being focused on mechanics and precedence that directs and informs that decision. Our three pronged government oversight model may not be a perfect solution to governance, but I think we all more fully understand the far reaching impacts of attempting to overturn it.
So in other words it's "business as usual". I guess we can expect the same results.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
That is one of the most informative posts I've ever read on the tribal issue and the enforcement (or lack of enforcement). Thank you.

Do you have any conclusions on the "Fishing for Funds" investigation? I know that multiple native fisheries were involved, but also I believe at least a few state-licensed commercial were in cahoots on that. Even in the Saginaw Bay area.


Consent Decrees are court mandated negotiations/discussions where the involved parties are ordered to reach an agreement, or face a mandated judicially determined, directed, and interpreted resolution and apportionment.

The Consent Decree of 2020 agreement contains a clause that allows either party to depart and/or declare this contract invalid, shoud sufficient evidence of fraudulent activity by the other signator be documented. The impacted Tribal entities have postured frequently regarding leaving the agreement, but have never acted. The State and Feds fully understand that the tribes involved can do far greater damage to fish and game resources outside of even general compliance with the agreement's constrictions and limits. All parties fully understand this; thus the Tribes are attempting to fully leverag their negotiating position advantage. IF the Federal courts would simply acknowledge the existing evidence that Tribal fishers actions have negatively impacted lake whitefish and lake trout stocks in the current statistical grids they fish, as documented by marked downward shifts in lake whitefish stock age structure and density, withou the concomitant individual growth increases that are normally associated with over-fishing stocks or species due to nutrient flow constrictions within the food web, in combination with a broadly mandated lack of enforcement action throughout exploited Great Lakes waters, their broad lack of enforcment oversight should serve by itself as a check on future exploitation expansion efforts.

Evidence: 1.) Mulit-year gang rigging under-ice fishing effort by multiple subistence fishers setting in Big and then Little Bay de Noc waters where catch was sold to tribal commercial fishers who sold it as by-catch from their nets.
2.) Joint Federal and State of Michigan sting operation that operated a fish wholesale operation in Baraga, Michigan that purhased illegally caught and tagged lake sturgeon, lake trout, walleye, etc. from both Treaty of 1836 fishers and Treaty of 1842 fishers(Lake Superior waters from the mouth of the Chocolay River in Marquette west). This investigation only remained active for a handful of months because they ran out of alloted money to purchase these illegal fish. Yes, that's right, the supply quickly exhausted their alloted funds.
3.)Operation Fishing for Funds, the one year follow-up on the initial illegally caught Great Lakes fish sting operation that further documented the scope and depth of illegally harvested fish sales in the tribal fishery in Great Lakes waters. This resulted in 6,340 additional citations for violations being turned-in to both CORA and Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife overseen tribal fishers for over three hundred and fifty tons of illegally caught and sold Great Lake fish, shipped all over the World to commercial markets, most through Dan's Fish's four business locations in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Ilegally caught fish were sold from netting sites in northern Lakes Huron and Michigan, as well as Lake Superior waters. The final tally of illegally caught and marketed fish ran into the hundreds of tons at the end of the one year follow-up. Most of these were fillets, not dressed or in-the-round condition fish...
 

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What is needed is an independent rotating (not local) regulator at each commercial (both tribal and commercial) facility to observe and record daily fish-take, method, weight, by-product, processing and sale. These regulators would be very susceptible to bribes, so would have to be in for a few days and then replaced with another.

Without stiff fines for non-reporting, false reporting, violations of creel limits, seasons, and water boundaries, this will continue.


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That is one of the most informative posts I've ever read on the tribal issue and the enforcement (or lack of enforcement). Thank you.

Do you have any conclusions on the "Fishing for Funds" investigation? I know that multiple native fisheries were involved, but also I believe at least a few state-licensed commercial were in cahoots on that. Even in the Saginaw Bay area.
I followed-up with the reporters who published the initial story overviews in the Green Bay and Milwaukee papers. After contacting them twice, with zero response, I walked away. I recently spoke with a distant friend who used to work with the USFWS. He said that the GIF&W Commission sent a battery of attorneys and tribal officials, as did CORA to Washington to try and keep a lid on any further repercussions....based on the level of silence since 2013 associated with this effort, I conclude they have been quite successful. Dept. of Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs are nested entities, as is USFWS within Interior..

When the Bay de Noc subsistence netters case came before the appelate panel (3 judges), I read through the Soo Bands website the entire court proceedings. The three judge panel asked Tom Gorenflo, CORA Fishery Biologist had any catch report discrepancies been turned-over to their enforcement personnel, ever. Tom replied NO, not since CORA's inception in 2000/2001 had this occurred. The appellate court was not impressed, specifically commenting on this aspect of fishery oversight in the decision.
 

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What is needed is an independent rotating (not local) regulator at each commercial (both tribal and commercial) facility to observe and record daily fish-take, method, weight, by-product, processing and sale. These regulators would be very susceptible to bribes, so would have to be in for a few days and then replaced with another.

Without stiff fines for non-reporting, false reporting, violations of creel limits, seasons, and water boundaries, this will continue.


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There was an effort to require transponders on all commercial fisher hulls written into the updated Michigan Commercial fishing regulations that were crafted to consolidate and bring forward the hodge-podge of regulations that were over a century old. The fishers fought this tooth and nail, because it would lend a real-time location for every boat in the fishery for reference, enabling enforcement personnel to meet them at the dock as the began to offload their catch. This, in and of itself is quite damning when you inspect it as a single entity.
 

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I’d be very interested in who the “enabled enforcement agency is”. DNR won’t touch, local Law Enforcement won’t touch, USFWS has no people on the ground...so no one is responsible to enforce laws.

The sting operation of many years ago was as close as the general public got to enforcement. Those days are long gone.

Local fishing clubs may be the answer here to enforce reporting and violations, but what do the clubs do with their revelations?

This is a dead end unless the federal court puts teeth in the 2020 decree and tags an agency to enforce.

My vote is for 20 federal regulators deputized for netter oversight. $100k per year salary plus per diem, rotating in the tribal and commercial netting houses (and boats). Thats $2M (plus per diem) for starters.

Violations more than 1 incident and the netter is shut down.


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Transponders & 24/7 video Is a good start. Rotating inspectors & mandatory check of each days catch would be great! COST TO BE COVERED BY THE NETTERS!!
 

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NO, that is your conclusion, not mine. Please don't attempt to put words in my mouth to satisfy your preconceptions.
OK, in 50 words or less what is your stance to remedy the situation. Please don't talk around the edges of the central issue but get to the point. You know my stance......enforcement. What's yours? You talk a lot about "what's going on and what was going on" but you present no remedies on how to fix it.
 

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I’d be very interested in who the “enabled enforcement agency is”. DNR won’t touch, local Law Enforcement won’t touch, USFWS has no people on the ground...so no one is responsible to enforce laws.

The sting operation of many years ago was as close as the general public got to enforcement. Those days are long gone.

Local fishing clubs may be the answer here to enforce reporting and violations, but what do the clubs do with their revelations?

This is a dead end unless the federal court puts teeth in the 2020 decree and tags an agency to enforce.

My vote is for 20 federal regulators deputized for netter oversight. $100k per year salary plus per diem, rotating in the tribal and commercial netting houses (and boats). Thats $2M (plus per diem) for starters.

Violations more than 1 incident and the netter is shut down.


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3 dogs
You defined a plan and that is a whole lot more than just throwing up your hands and saying nothing can be done. It's a starter conversation.


What the hell is 2 million when the government is going to spend 858 million to attempt to fix a potential problem with stopping the asian carp from entering into the Great Lakes.

But that's another thread issue. It just aggravated me when I read it in today's paper.
 

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OK, in 50 words or less what is your stance to remedy the situation. Please don't talk around the edges of the central issue but get to the point. You know my stance......enforcement. What's yours? You talk a lot about "what's going on and what was going on" but you present no remedies on how to fix it.

Enforcement doesn't mean squat if not enforced. Might as well be a free-for-all, by-catch and total harvest.

So why allow something not under any kind of regulations.

Or allow gravel pits all along on the banks of the Pere Marquette.

An easy fix on a State level for the non-tribal netters would be a handful of those minimum wage census takers we see on occasion at our local boat launches.
 

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Enforcement doesn't mean squat if not enforced. Might as well be a free-for-all, by-catch and total harvest.

So why allow something not under any kind of regulations.

Or allow gravel pits all along on the banks of the Pere Marquette.

An easy fix on a State level for the non-tribal netters would be a handful of those minimum wage census takers we see on occasion at our local boat launches.
Good! Census takers are another potential solution to monitor the catch.
 
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