Lac du Flambeau President Tom Maulson and Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp announced the tribe and state will continue an agreement that provides a three walleye per day bag limit for sport anglers on most lakes the tribe harvests. 2012 marks the 15th year the tribe and state have cooperated on the agreement which helps support tourism in the area.
The verbal agreement was reached March 20 at a meeting in Lac du Flambeau between President Maulson and the Tribal Council, and Secretary Stepp and DNR officials. The DNR reported a written agreement was being drafted March 21.
Under the agreement, the tribe will assure a three-fish daily walleye bag limit for sport anglers on the more than 200 lakes it declares. Lakes speared by Lac du Flambeau at a two walleye per day bag limit last year will return to a three walleye per day bag limit this year. In 2012, Lac du Flambeau will spear 14 lakes to a wo-bag limit to achieve a harvest similar to 2011.
“I want to thank President Maulson and the Tribal Council for a very productive meeting. We believe that the agreement is good for both the northern tourism interests and the Tribe,” said DNR Secretary Stepp. “I am very pleased to say we also agreed to meet in May to work out the details of a 2013 agreement, well in advance of next spring’s spearing season. Our reaffirmed cooperation and respectful government to government consultation will serve tribal members and the public alike.”
An on-going agreement between the Lac du Flambeau and State gives the Tribe authority to sell state fishing licenses in return for making declarations at a level that allows a three walleye per day recreational angler bag limit. The state also provides funding for the tribal fish hatchery.
As part of a 1983 federal Appellate Court decision affirming Chippewa off-reservation hunting, fishing, and gathering rights, (commonly known at the Voigt case) the six bands of Wisconsin Chippewa set annual harvest quotas for off-reservation lakes in the Wisconsin Ceded Territory. As part of court agreements, the Department of Natural Resources reduces bag limits for recreational hook and line anglers in lakes declared for harvest by the Chippewa bands to assure the combined tribal and recreational angler harvest does not jeopardize the ability of walleye to sustain its population in any lake.