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Some Consent Decree news...

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I wouldn’t pay $40 / # Steak is much cheaper than that.
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There is no TAC on salmon harvest in the allowed commercial harvest zones season. There are limits for incedental catches outside of the those zones and seasons. Also MDNR is mandated by the decree to plant a minimum 250K king salmon at Nunn's Creek yearly. This has been going on since at least the 2000 decree.
Isn't there an official limit, like TAC. I know, with zero supervision, no limit.
I think the salmon planted at Nunn's Creek are planted by the Tribes and not the DNR. They are allowed to harvest those fish as well.
There is no TAC on salmon harvest in the allowed commercial harvest zones season. There are limits for incedental catches outside of the those zones and seasons. Also MDNR is mandated by the decree to plant a minimum 250K king salmon at Nunn's Creek yearly. This has been going on since at least the 2000 decree.
A limit for an “incidental catch” is ridiculous.

The fish is already caught. How do you limit what is already in the net? Its dead, whether it was intended to be caught or not.

The whole reason we paid $14.5m in 2000 was to get away from indiscriminate netting. Now we are right back to it.


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There is no TAC on salmon harvest in the allowed commercial harvest zones season. There are limits for incedental catches outside of the those zones and seasons. Also MDNR is mandated by the decree to plant a minimum 250K king salmon at Nunn's Creek yearly. This has been going on since at least the 2000 decree.
Here is my macro take on this whole Treaty of 1836 and related Consent Decree.
Just an opinion based on the "reading between the lines" of the goings on between the Fed's, State and Tribes.
The Treaty is a lock solid Document which allows perpetual fishing within the entire Treaty zone. Don't know for sure but the treaty provided unrestricted fishing which mean no limits and no restrictions of methods and no time restrictions.
In the 1970-80's the Natives got educated and found that the restrictions put on by the State were illegal and it became open house for the Tribal netters.
The wild west fights between the Tribes and anglers got out of hand and all parties agreed that maybe a Consent Decree will remedy some of the conflicts. The Decree allowed for fisheries management, an allocation of fish that can be caught, a significant reduction of gill nets and exclusive zones for the Tribes.
Keep in mind the Treaty is rule of the land and the Consent is a compromise.
I think the 2023 Consent negotiations started with the Tribes saying we have total unrestricted rights in the Treaty zone and that will be basis for these negotiations. The State and DNR had to start from zero and had to fight for what they got.
I'm conflicted with the use of gill nets, their damage, if any, has yet to be determined.
If the TAC is the same then no more fish should be harvested.
Sadly, no enforcement changes, only lip service.
That's my macro look. Basically the Treaty rules, the Consent is aligned with the treaty and the Tribes win.
Agreed. Gill net management, from whatever agency you choose, will work out great! I’m excited!

Gill nets are great and the daily take will be precisely recorded and very accurate. All of this will be a huge benefit to the fishery.

I understand now. It’s a great plan. Thank you to the DNR and all the other alphabet agencies out there protecting our fishery. A masterful job.

Now, let’s encourage the DNR to get a good start on the upcoming Inland Lake Treaty, the Saginaw Bay Treaty, and then the Detroit River Treaty. Maybe their expertise will carry over to those bodies of water too!


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"D. Other Stocking Commitments. Except as the parties may otherwise agree, the following stocking commitments are not subject to review and approval under sub. B., above: 1. The State shall annually stock chinook salmon spring fingerlings in St. Martin’s Bay of Lake Huron as follows: a. 400,000 in 2001 and 2002; b. 300,000 in 2003 through 2005; and c. 250,000 in 2006 and thereafter until the expiration of this Decree."
I think the salmon planted at Nunn's Creek are planted by the Tribes and not the DNR. They are allowed to harvest those fish as well.
MackinacNunns Creek NUNNS CREEK (42N 02W 16)NUNNS CREEKChinook salmon05/16/2244,533State Plant3.46
MackinacNunns Creek NUNNS CREEK (42N 02W 16)NUNNS CREEKChinook salmon05/16/2240,800State Plant3.46
MackinacNunns Creek NUNNS CREEK (42N 02W 16)NUNNS CREEKChinook salmon05/17/2215,055State Plant3.46
MackinacNunns Creek NUNNS CREEK (42N 02W 16)NUNNS CREEKChinook salmon05/17/2270,278State Plant3.46
MackinacNunns Creek NUNNS CREEK (42N 02W 16)NUNNS CREEKChinook salmon05/18/2285,285State Plant3.39

I think the salmon planted at Nunn's Creek are planted by the Tribes and not the DNR. They are allowed to harvest those fish as well.
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The decrees are available to read on the internet and stocking levels are also readily available to be viewed. I'm getting tired of correcting you. Please consider investigating before making statements so that you do not misinform others.
Oddly, no one mentions that the most common bycatch are white and longnose suckers..as well as gizzard shad inshore in warm waters..mmmmmmmmm! Maybe commercial nets have "magic avoidance" gear attached to them that only allows them to catch yellow perch, walleye, and other game fish? Say, what ever happened to that great yellow perch fishery in Sturgeon Bay waters south of Waugoshance Point? Didnt some group start netting in there?

The 14.5 million dollar conversion expenditure did just that. It was a discrete effort, not a continuous conversion. When the money ran out the effort stopped. A portion of those trap nets were left in the water off of Ludington/Pentwater to rot when the tribal fisher was convicted and sent to jail. Don't remember the band, but I do remember which party paid to remove the nets to a barge and bring them onshore. I also remember who pulled the five miles of gillnets dropped in the water off Pte. Aux Barqyes when Jensen went to jail in the LLBDN subsitence fishing case. How odd, I recall seeing the twin Honda powered welded aluminum hulled Soo band enforcement boat sitting on its trailer every day I stopped at the old Manistique Hospital across from the county jail parking lot. i must have miss-remebered all thos sightings, as well as never seeing it on the water all those times I fished down there in the Thirsty Whaler.

Was the trapnet conversion dollar figure added to or renewed to obtain a complete gear conversion? No. Why? As both Steve Schultz and Dave Caroffino concurred, the tribes have a legal right to use gillnets as gear. Both stated that this is settled law/ A point apparently lost on Mr. Johnson since he brought gillnet induced potential damage up in both the Avery interview as well as the interview he gave with Jimmy Gretzinger, where he taughted all the benefits accrued from removing the gillnets via the 2000CD. Which actually was neither truthful or correct. Steve Schultz made one VERY valid point during his Reel to Reel, Caraffino should have opted to bargain on the species allotment ratio due to the tribe's requested change in gear volume fished.

Apparently, the continued statements of both Mr. Johnson in his interview with Mike Avery, as well as earlier in the Reel to Reel interview of Dave Caroffino that gillnets, outside of those fished specificallly for spawning salmon, DO Not catch salmon in significant numbers. They do catch both a mix of lake trout and lake whitefish, both target size and non-target length fish, but they do also make reaching a TAC less time and dollar consumptive. I still find it odd that the CORA approved whitefish season closure falls well into lake whitefish spawning interval in northern Lakes Michigan and Huron numbers, while the Wisconsin and Michigan closure occur earleir. Gee, what did that ODAWA band biologist say about how viable the Green Bay and Door Peninsuala whitefish stocks remain even though they are fished both commercially and via a sport fishery?

Now maybe you better understand my comment to Bigbear regarding the value of in independent judiciary over a tribal government structured as a corporation, particularly when most disagreements among corporate staff eventually get adjudicated in the courts. Again,, why biologists get along with each other as well, since most of the aggregous and self-serving actions don't arrise from their initiative(s) either at the State of tribal level.

I found it quite informative to hear Mr. Jonson's take on the alewife/salmon crash in Lake Huron, quite a bit different than multiple studies the reviewed what factors contriuted to the crash, most conducted post-hoc and supported by multi-year, multi-species analysis. I suspect he would be well served to remain up to date, particularly since he is offering statements regarding both the northern Lake Huron lake trout refuge, as well as the Northern Lake Michigan lake trout refuge that CWT lake trout data now support via actual annual fish movement. Kinda hard to justify your perspective when it is not supported by current science... Caraffino mentioned it in his Q and A session when he outlined that a portion of the reef would be opened to fishing becayse the fish don't remain their all year...

What Johnson did get right is the horrid sum of money spent on sea lamprey control efforts in the St. Marys River and the Mansistique River watersheds. Governor Snyder signed the contract that obligated the State to provide personnel and funding for dam maintenance at the site on the Manistique River with a projected completion date that has yet to occur, since the dam construction has never been initiated. I was told by Jessica Mistak that the permits are now all nearly in-line...as Governor Whitmer goes into her second term. USFWS personnel have expended more money on treatments of this watershed than the original dam and lamprey barrier's construction cost of 4.2 million. All of this delay over a snit between EGLE and the US Army Corps of Engineers over whose permitting progression should be followed... The Sea Lamprey Treatment lab. manager in Marquette was named liasson between the two agencies. She did not do her job, actually contributing to the log jam. Last time I ran into her she beat for the door... Did I mention that the sterile male release inocculation equpment was mothballed at the Hammon Bay Sea Lamprey Research Facility? This was happily enacted by a good Federal retiree before he went out the door. Like so many things in the USFWS/USGS it can always be recreated, with the right amount of money ingested into the system. Why I left...

There is one good thing that will come from eventual seal lamprey control and suppression without TFM, sterile male release, control efforts' dollar expenditures. Matt Kornis, in a phone call a year ago, outlined some very compelling indirect evidence from salmonine wound healing data in assessment nets the USFWS set in northern Lake Huron and Micigan waters, Chinook appear to recover at lower rates than lake trout from sea lamprey attacks, or at minimum, they heal at much slower rates. Indirect evidence on decline in Age III chinook wild stock abundance over multiple years supports that they die more frequently. Consequently, sea lampre suppression equates to more chinook salmon as well as lake trout. Declines in lake trout, cause more marked increases in chinook salmon, per studies done by Dr Kerfoot's group at MTU.

Mr. Johson also missed the declines in southern and mid-lake wild origin lake trout stocks, like those likely induced by the charter fishery, But that is another chapter and can-of-worms to open. If you can peddle a half day charter for lakers to a customer off Leland down to Crystal Lake, you can be back at the dock in under three hours. A good gig if you fish to catch fish...
A limit for an “incidental catch” is ridiculous.

The fish is already caught. How do you limit what is already in the net? Its dead, whether it was intended to be caught or not.

The whole reason we paid $14.5m in 2000 was to get away from indiscriminate netting. Now we are right back to it.


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When the chinook stocking reductions were proposed for Lake Huron waters, Greg Wright decline the State's request to stop stocking per the Consent Decree requirement. I got a kick out of him having to be coerced into alloting Bay Mills fishers to participate in the put and take fishery.

This information has been provided multiple times to Gordon and ignored repeatedly.
The decrees are available to read on the internet and stocking levels are also readily available to be viewed. I'm getting tired of correcting you. Please consider investigating before making statements so that you do not misinform others.
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Nets kill shad but not alewife??!! inshore suckers as bycatch?? Bass that avoid nets??? People wanting to jig by a gillnet?? Can’t net salmon/oh ya, can net salmon!! $40 pound perch??? Flying statistics! Can’t make this stuff up😂🤣
#WEREDOOMED!!😂
I’m sure there will be no damage at all.


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“I’m conflicted with the use of gill nets, their damage, if any, has yet to be determined.” .
Are those number you listed, State plants? Is there any documentation on the Tribal plants?
MackinacNunns Creek NUNNS CREEK (42N 02W 16)NUNNS CREEKChinook salmon05/16/2244,533State Plant3.46
MackinacNunns Creek NUNNS CREEK (42N 02W 16)NUNNS CREEKChinook salmon05/16/2240,800State Plant3.46
MackinacNunns Creek NUNNS CREEK (42N 02W 16)NUNNS CREEKChinook salmon05/17/2215,055State Plant3.46
MackinacNunns Creek NUNNS CREEK (42N 02W 16)NUNNS CREEKChinook salmon05/17/2270,278State Plant3.46
MackinacNunns Creek NUNNS CREEK (42N 02W 16)NUNNS CREEKChinook salmon05/18/2285,285State Plant3.39
The decrees are available to read on the internet and stocking levels are also readily available to be viewed. I'm getting tired of correcting you. Please consider investigating before making statements so that you do not misinform others.
OK, so I got just about everything right about the Nunn's Creek issue. The Tribes do plant fish at Nunn's Creek and harvest them but I missed the fact that the DNR ALSO plant fish so that the Tribes can catch them. Just don't correct me and you won't be so tired. There are many other truth abusers out there that are rife for correction.
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My take from the interview is that all Fisheries Biologists have brain busting ego's and each think they are totally correct and everyone else is totally wrong. Did you ever notice almost every Fisheries Biologist has one arm longer than the other. That's the result from continually patting themselves on their backs.
Oddly, no one mentions that the most common bycatch are white and longnose suckers..as well as gizzard shad inshore in warm waters..mmmmmmmmm! Maybe commercial nets have "magic avoidance" gear attached to them that only allows them to catch yellow perch, walleye, and other game fish? Say, what ever happened to that great yellow perch fishery in Sturgeon Bay waters south of Waugoshance Point? Didnt some group start netting in there?

The 14.5 million dollar conversion expenditure did just that. It was a discrete effort, not a continuous conversion. When the money ran out the effort stopped. A portion of those trap nets were left in the water off of Ludington/Pentwater to rot when the tribal fisher was convicted and sent to jail. Don't remember the band, but I do remember which party paid to remove the nets to a barge and bring them onshore. I also remember who pulled the five miles of gillnets dropped in the water off Pte. Aux Barqyes when Jensen went to jail in the LLBDN subsitence fishing case. How odd, I recall seeing the twin Honda powered welded aluminum hulled Soo band enforcement boat sitting on its trailer every day I stopped at the old Manistique Hospital across from the county jail parking lot. i must have miss-remebered all thos sightings, as well as never seeing it on the water all those times I fished down there in the Thirsty Whaler.

Was the trapnet conversion dollar figure added to or renewed to obtain a complete gear conversion? No. Why? As both Steve Schultz and Dave Caroffino concurred, the tribes have a legal right to use gillnets as gear. Both stated that this is settled law/ A point apparently lost on Mr. Johnson since he brought gillnet induced potential damage up in both the Avery interview as well as the interview he gave with Jimmy Gretzinger, where he taughted all the benefits accrued from removing the gillnets via the 2000CD. Which actually was neither truthful or correct. Steve Schultz made one VERY valid point during his Reel to Reel, Caraffino should have opted to bargain on the species allotment ratio due to the tribe's requested change in gear volume fished.

Apparently, the continued statements of both Mr. Johnson in his interview with Mike Avery, as well as earlier in the Reel to Reel interview of Dave Caroffino that gillnets, outside of those fished specificallly for spawning salmon, DO Not catch salmon in significant numbers. They do catch both a mix of lake trout and lake whitefish, both target size and non-target length fish, but they do also make reaching a TAC less time and dollar consumptive. I still find it odd that the CORA approved whitefish season closure falls well into lake whitefish spawning interval in northern Lakes Michigan and Huron numbers, while the Wisconsin and Michigan closure occur earleir. Gee, what did that ODAWA band biologist say about how viable the Green Bay and Door Peninsuala whitefish stocks remain even though they are fished both commercially and via a sport fishery?

Now maybe you better understand my comment to Bigbear regarding the value of in independent judiciary over a tribal government structured as a corporation, particularly when most disagreements among corporate staff eventually get adjudicated in the courts. Again,, why biologists get along with each other as well, since most of the aggregous and self-serving actions don't arrise from their initiative(s) either at the State of tribal level.

I found it quite informative to hear Mr. Jonson's take on the alewife/salmon crash in Lake Huron, quite a bit different than multiple studies the reviewed what factors contriuted to the crash, most conducted post-hoc and supported by multi-year, multi-species analysis. I suspect he would be well served to remain up to date, particularly since he is offering statements regarding both the northern Lake Huron lake trout refuge, as well as the Northern Lake Michigan lake trout refuge that CWT lake trout data now support via actual annual fish movement. Kinda hard to justify your perspective when it is not supported by current science... Caraffino mentioned it in his Q and A session when he outlined that a portion of the reef would be opened to fishing becayse the fish don't remain their all year...

What Johnson did get right is the horrid sum of money spent on sea lamprey control efforts in the St. Marys River and the Mansistique River watersheds. Governor Snyder signed the contract that obligated the State to provide personnel and funding for dam maintenance at the site on the Manistique River with a projected completion date that has yet to occur, since the dam construction has never been initiated. I was told by Jessica Mistak that the permits are now all nearly in-line...as Governor Whitmer goes into her second term. USFWS personnel have expended more money on treatments of this watershed than the original dam and lamprey barrier's construction cost of 4.2 million. All of this delay over a snit between EGLE and the US Army Corps of Engineers over whose permitting progression should be followed... The Sea Lamprey Treatment lab. manager in Marquette was named liasson between the two agencies. She did not do her job, actually contributing to the log jam. Last time I ran into her she beat for the door... Did I mention that the sterile male release inocculation equpment was mothballed at the Hammon Bay Sea Lamprey Research Facility? This was happily enacted by a good Federal retiree before he went out the door. Like so many things in the USFWS/USGS it can always be recreated, with the right amount of money ingested into the system. Why I left...

There is one good thing that will come from eventual seal lamprey control and suppression without TFM, sterile male release, control efforts' dollar expenditures. Matt Kornis, in a phone call a year ago, outlined some very compelling indirect evidence from salmonine wound healing data in assessment nets the USFWS set in northern Lake Huron and Micigan waters, Chinook appear to recover at lower rates than lake trout from sea lamprey attacks, or at minimum, they heal at much slower rates. Indirect evidence on decline in Age III chinook wild stock abundance over multiple years supports that they die more frequently. Consequently, sea lampre suppression equates to more chinook salmon as well as lake trout. Declines in lake trout, cause more marked increases in chinook salmon, per studies done by Dr Kerfoot's group at MTU.

Mr. Johson also missed the declines in southern and mid-lake wild origin lake trout stocks, like those likely induced by the charter fishery, But that is another chapter and can-of-worms to open. If you can peddle a half day charter for lakers to a customer off Leland down to Crystal Lake, you can be back at the dock in under three hours. A good gig if you fish to catch fish...
And far too many sport fisherman believe that purchasing a current fishing license confers all the knowledge and scope to become fishery biologists, Gordon.
My take from the interview is that all Fisheries Biologists have brain busting ego's and each think they are totally correct and everyone else is totally wrong. Did you ever notice almost every Fisheries Biologist have one arm longer than the other. That's the result from continually patting themselves on their backs.
I am sure their use is garanteed by the Federal judiciary in this instance, quite sure. The saddest part of the Avery interview with Johnson was their joint inference that this is all some backroom deal that bypasses rank and file staff biologist input. If I were instructed to pick one group or one location where the best biolgists the State of Michigan can muster are located, it would be the Charlevoix Fishery Research station. Overall, the staff is top-notch with several stand-out individuals. Mr.Johnson's slanderous comments directed at Dave Caroffino were both unwarranted unprofessional. Yes, over twenty years ago staff biologists coordinated with Jim Ekdahl to negotiate with the Treaty of 1836 tribes. There were several glitches and mistakes( like leaving Munising Bay open to tribal gill netting for the duration of the 2000 CD) that occurred via the scatter shot coordinated approach. What ensued was the designation of a Tribal Coordination unit staffed by a biologist and several technicians, whose duties included setting great specific TACs, resolving conflicts that arose within the joint fishery, as well as assessing the impacts of proposed changes to the Consent Decree as negotiations advanced. Was it a contentious process? How far past the deadline did negotiations run prior achieving a tentative agreement? Were all parties happy with this oucome? Where are these folks located" Right among the Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station staff biologists. While the do not share information on the CD negotiations, they have worked together on much of the modeling and oversight of the Great Lakes fishery. Randy Claramunt is the Lake Huron basin coordinator, the guy who developed the multi-species Predator-Prey Model that is used to inform biologists as the target salmonine plants in both Lakes Huron and Michigan, Jory Jonas has probably the most in-depth understanding of the hybrid cisco population in northern Lake Michigan. Guess where the round goby robotic estimation program was developed?

Do we shout at the rain, or attempt to minimize their impacts and wait for inherent sloth, overfishing easily exploited local stocks, and inter-tribal conflicts and jealousy to drive the attrition that will ensue.? Commercial fishing is hard work. I used to buy lake whitefish at Thill's for $7.50/lb, now it is four to five dollars a pound more. Yet, much of the Lake Michigan open water fishery evidence indicates several impacts tied to overfishing a slower growing stock that is maturing at older ages despite the reality that intraspecific density is falling. So, the focus will be catching lake trout for a limited market. Alewife will likely benefit from reduced lake trout densities, with concomitant benefits for ALL species that consume them-steelhead, chinook, coho, and brown trout.

Where I fish, we have tribal gill nets, trap nets, a purse seiner and two trawlers operating. I caught 31 chinook last year in five trips. Peterson's make decent money by allowing sport fishers to use the launch ramp and cleaning facilities, even though some of these guys are pigs. They are trap netters, but gillnet tugs also rent dock space. Among the gillnetters I hear a lot of, "Exercise treaty rights chirped in a variety of variations."
I’m sure there will be no damage at all.


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Naw, I would never qualify being a Fisheries Biologist because my vocabulary and ego would never meet the requirements. I'm just like most everyone else posting on here, I have an opinion.

I have found that some Fisheries Biologists just like other disciplines first draw a conclusion to their liking or political slant and then generate massaged scientific based data to prove their conclusion.
This is where a manager needs to weed through all this fog and make decisions that are appropriate for all involved. Mr. Johnson is squawking foul, now that he is retired, because he probably was not heard while he was working. Doesn't that appear to be a common trait for some.
And far too many sport fisherman believe that purchasing a current fishing license confers all the knowledge and scope to become fishery biologists, Gordon.
Gordon, the scope of your posts underscore one theme:
You posses the innate ability to misinterpret most of what you read, yet you continually offer your "unique insights" based on your self-percieved ability to clearly understand an individual's thoghts and intentions, extrapolating them to fit your conclusion(s)

Transponders affixed to every commercial fisherman's vessel keep looking better and better!
Naw, I would never qualify being a Fisheries Biologist because my vocabulary and ego would never meet the requirements. I'm just like most everyone else posting on here, I have an opinion.

I have found that some Fisheries Biologists just like other disciplines first draw a conclusion to their liking or political slant and then generate massaged scientific based data to prove their conclusion.
This is where a manager needs to weed through all this fog and make decisions that are appropriate for all involved. Mr. Johnson is squawking foul, now that he is retired, because he probably was not heard while he was working. Doesn't that appear to be a common trait for some.
Thank you for your kind words. Yup, just opinions, insight, and interpretations, just like everyone else on here.
Gordon, the scope of your posts underscore one theme:
You posses the innate ability to misinterpret most of what you read, yet you continually offer your "unique insights" based on your self-percieved ability to clearly understand an individual's thoghts and intentions, extrapolating them to fit your conclusion(s)

Transponders affixed to every commercial fisherman's vessel keep looking better and better!
The fish planting database lists all plants, and whether they are a State plant, or not.

For those who don’t know, Nunn’s Creek is a short creek in eastern Mackinac County where I believe the Sault tribe (could be a joint operation with others, doesn’t really matter) operates a weir to harvest the incoming fish. Because that area has a basically quite low population density (and is in turn fairly distant from population centers, comparatively) there isn’t a significant sport fishery around those returning fish, imo. Though the plants do supply some fish to some recreational fishing. Chinooks do travel around a fair bit.
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