This evening the Mille Lacs Input meeting was held. The MN DNR was there and ready to present their plan of what they felt what needed to be done and why. It was an agenda full of plans and options based on their studies. But the audience attending had one thing in mind. The majority wanted the harvest of Walleyes during the spawning season stopped and all wanted something to be done to get the dark cloud negativity surrounding “treaty management” eliminated. There was no opposition to treaty rights, just not to harm the fish during the spawning season. In my opinion their was nothing wrong with any of that.
It definitely sounded like the MN DNR’s hand were tied when it came to that and every effort to sidestep it when it arose and their only defense was that their studies showed that reproduction rates have remained the same despite the springtime spawning harvest by the Bands. I think it is time to take that issue to the AG’s office and higher levels of State Government. The State of Minnesota must stand up to it’s sovereign right as a State and demand control of it’s resources regardless of treaties.
One thing that did come out of it is that they are thinking of options never thought of before and they definitely realized that the Mille Lacs Fishery is more than just fish. It’s the people that live and work the lake to provide services for fishermen from all over the State and the country, the economy around it’s shores and the effects of what has happened since “treaty management” has caused to it and the will ripple up the line to St.Paul I’m sure. It is going to be some very hard times up here for many of us the next couple years until some of this works out. But i do know it will get better, it’s going to take some time, but there is some signs that the lake is already starting to and I think we will see some evidence of that over this next year.
Now the rest of the citizens in this State that care about Mille Lacs need to step up and start calling and e-mailing their representatives in the House and Senate and especially the Governor. With this being an election year NOW is the time! Spread the word as much as you can..tell them that if they want your vote they need to do something about this! It is an opportune time! The other thing that need to be done is to start talking about and showing the harvesting during the spawning season to the general public via media. Along with that express to everyone that it goes against everything that sportsmen have always respected in this State.
Keep a Tight LIne!