It has been a long time since I have put anything on this (my report/blog page). Last time was on April 1st. Since then alot has happened on Mille Lacs scene since then in regards to the Walleye regulations and it’s fishery. First we had a “catch and release” fishery with no live bait, which the Advisory committee (which I am a member of) with a conference call with the Governor and DNR officials fortunately was reversed for the live bait portion overturned.
Now at our last meeting, (which I couldn’t attend due to work at my marine shop), some of the true problems of the Mille Lacs and it’s Walleye fishery decline, (in my opinion) was talked about and right away the “media” reports of the meeting started talking about the “race” card in respect to the fishery and treaty rights again. (mainly due to the influence of the Bands and their advertising with the media and the lobbying contributions by the Mille Lacs Band to Minnesota’s Senators and Representatives.) and guess who is one of the members of of the the Mille Lacs Advisory committee but one of their lobbyists. You can decide for yourself what happened after that…. Unfortunately the only “card” they have to play is the Supreme Courts decision to allow treaty rights to harvest. And the last 15 plus years of abuse of Mille Lacs’s Walleye resource by harvesting with gillnets and spears during the reproductive time of year for Walleyes ,(and or any other wildlife) has proven over time is counterproductive to the species survival if done during that time. And is proven in other places besides here. Example: (Do we or they shoot deer while they are carrying fawns?)
So anyways, I get an email from a member of the council a couple weeks ago because some of us were talking via email that we felt there was a need to work on making a resolution that said if Mille Lacs was to have a “catch and release” fishery that we felt that because the DNR’s methods of censusing the “hooking mortality” of catch and released Walleyes had a (admitted by DNR officials), had the possibility to have a 25% to 35% margin of error by their that we needed “no closure” at Mille Lacs to help businesses survive during the fisheries recovery. And that we felt that the gill-netting of Walleyes during spawning was “culturally offensive to today’s society’s beliefs and detrimental to fishery biologically. His response was that it was “culturally offensive” to them to say that in our statement that we said it was “culturally offensive” to us, and he stated that he was surprised that the state would even pay out money to have a committee that would say that ….(Wow)… Guess who that was… it proves that is all they have to fall back on, after almost two hundred year they still don’t care about the resource. But they try they try to portray themselves as the caretakers of it…(their record doesn’t prove that at all for anyone that really checks it out.)…the more we expose the truth, the more the majority will decide.
I am so sick and tired of this crap and the people that just because of an outdated treaty think they can turn back time and rape a resource to it’s almost distinction, (Red Lake for example, Northern Wisconsin lakes for example), with no regard the times, all of us are living in now. (not 200 years ago). Along with the government that the rest of the country, including us in Minnesota that pays taxes to take care of them in so many ways, would think that there would be some understanding instead of demanding of it. Everyone except them have learned over time that harvesting a natural resource when it is reproducing is wrong and to protect it during that time is important. (Must be a reason for that).
For almost 40 years I have stood my ground on this issue based on the protection of the fishery. Not the objection to treaty rights of harvest that were affirmed almost 19 years ago.. (Even though I have been termed “racist” because of it many times…I am not.) Long before the treaty stuff started I was objecting to gill-netting during the time Walleyes were spawning and I met face to face with the Mille Lacs Band Chief at the time Art Gahbow when at the age of 23, I was president of the Mille lacs Lake Advisory Assn. The day after a meeting with the tribal council where I and other members presented a petition to them objecting to the mention of them starting to net during the spring for Walleyes. (They had been doing it for years long before to celebrate a tradition of their culture, and all around the lake knew it and respected it . But they announced they were going to do it in larger proportions, and made it known to the media.)
I was at my Dad’s place and two big Lincoln’s drove in and guys in black suits and Art Gahbow in full Tribal dress got out of the cars and walked to my Dad’s office for his Ice Fishing business and came in. The first thing Art said to my Dad was “Hi Clark! How have you been?” Turns out my Dad and Art were friends back in their school days, they talked for awhile and then he turned to me and asked “are you really going to go thru with this petition and make it an issue?” I told him as a representative of the Mille Lacs Lake Advisory Assn. I was going to to protect the reproduction of the resource and make it and issue. And that is how this all started for me…….
To hear all the bullshit and politics these days and seeing how our State of Minnesota’s officials cover it up because of money and allow the destruction of it’s citizens resources that they are supposed represent, and because of a old treaty and the people it represents can’t change with the times and celebrate a tradition, instead of thinking they have to live on it like they did 200 years ago is to me totally nuts. It would be like me because I’m Norwegian, be a “Viking” and conquer lands and all the stuff they did then and wouldn’t do now…..or maybe us “Vikings” should…… lol 🙂
Keep a Tight Line!
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