DON’ÄôT BE SURPRISED if you hear sometime this week that the Lac
du Flambeau tribe has declared 100 percent of the safe walleye
harvest on lakes the tribe intends to spear this year. It appeared
as though that could be a possibility last week, according to an
anonymous posting on the website www.ldfnews.com, which calls itself
the unofficial news website of the Lac du Flambeau tribe. One very
brief posting that announced the date and time of a spearing
meeting said the tribe was going to declare at 100 percent of the
tribe’Äôs court-allotted share of the safe walleye harvest.
If that does, indeed, occur, that would translate into a zero
walleye bag limit on those lakes for hook-and-line anglers. Nowhere
in that posting did it say this position was supported by the Lac
du Flambeau tribal council or the Great Lakes Indian Fish and
Wildlife Commission. The posting also hinted that the tribe would
be willing to negotiate, but did not say for what.
It’Äôs possible the posting was made by tribal members who are
looking to embarrass current tribal officials over poor investments
and money management issues that has the tribe nearly bankrupt.
Even if we hear that the tribe is starting out at a ’Äú100 percent
declaration,’Äù it’Äôs not likely to end up that way. The Lac du
Flambeau tribe already has an agreement with the state to set its
walleye quotas low enough to allow a three-walleye bag limit on all
lakes named each spring by that tribe. In exchange, the tribe may
collect all revenue from state fishing licenses and boat,
snowmobile, and ATV registrations sold on the reservation. The
tribe was supposed to officially notify the DNR of its intended
spearing levels by Saturday, March 15.
THE LEGISLATURE MAY NOT have done anything with the DNR
secretary bill, the youth mentoring bill, and the Great Lakes
compact during its recent session (please see news story on front
page of this issue), but the Assembly did pass a bill that would
increase the fines and penalties for illegal deer feeding and
baiting. The bill sets up a maximum $2,500 forfeiture for anyone
violating those provisions. State officials also could revoke a
violator’s hunting license and prohibit a violator from obtaining a
license for an unspecified time. The measure passed 73-22 on March
5. It then went to the Senate, which was still in session as of
press time for this issue.
It is possible the bill could have been aired late in the
closing minutes of the Senate session on March 13, but Wisconsin
Wildlife Federation Executive Director George Meyer said it looked
STURGEON GUARD VOLUNTEERS are again needed to keep an eye on
these large, unique fish during their annual spawning run on the
Wolf River. The presence of volunteers discourages poaching. This
partnership with the public is directed by DNR Law Enforcement
staff and funded, in part, by Sturgeon for Tomorrow, a local
sturgeon conservation organization.
’ÄúSturgeon Guard” volunteers maintain a presence at the
spawning sites 24 hours a day throughout the spawning season, which
usually begins in late April and lasts through early May. Pairs of
sturgeon guards are assigned to sites along the river for 12-hour
shifts. To volunteer, send an e-mail to:
firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the the DNR’Äôs Oshkosh
office at (920) 303-5444.