Commissioner of Natural Resources Katie Draper presented the 2021 Spring Harvest Guidelines to about 50 Mille Lacs Band harvesters who joined a Zoom meeting on March 31.
Commissioner Draper started off by encouraging those who have lost a relative during the last year to be spoonfed (zhakamodaw) and asking all harvesters to put tobacco down (biindaakoozh).
Commissioner Draper went over the basics of the 1837 Conservation Code, which can be found in Chapter 5 of Title 11 of Mille Lacs Band Statutues. Click here for Title 11.
She summarized netting and spearing regulations and strongly encouraged Band members to consider targeting ginoozhe (northern pike). The Bands have a 50,000-pound quota on ginoozhe, but last year Mille Lacs Band members only harvested 866 pounds.
Commissioner Draper gave an overview of the 2020 harvest and an update on the Fisheries Technical Committee, which is the group of tribal and state officials who determine harvest allocations for state anglers and tribal harvesters.
Finally, she shared some changes for this year:
— First, beginning this year, harvesters can declare a landing 7 days a week(including Art Gahbow Day holiday). Harvesters must complete the Landing Declaration Form by 11 a.m. daily to allow DNR staff adequate time to notify GLIFWC/State. PLEASE be patient with us, as this is a new venture for the DNR team.
— Second, Harvesters do NOT need to physically come to the DNR Headquarters to pick up permits as they will be issued at landings.
NETTING: During harvesting season there will be DNR staff member from 5:30-7:30pm to distribute permits at said landing. Harvesters must pick up your netting permit within that time.
SPEARING: During harvesting season spearing permits will be issued (same as previous years) at declared landings beginning at 8:00pm.
Harvesters are asked to have tribal ID handy to expedite permit issuing.
The Text Alert system will be used to share which landings are declared. To be added to the text alert list please contact: Alyssa Welsh, 320-362- 1514. Please be prepared to share your name, cell phone number, and cell phone provider.
For details, see Spring 2021 harvest guidelines for Mille Lacs.