Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24E CHANGE• ad resource recovery in MN Mille Lacs debuts new fish hatchery Pilot year a successful learning experience Onamia, Minn.—– If you’re thinking of undertaking a fish-hatching operation, you’re going to want to talk to Carl Klimah. Klimah—an energetic, resourceful fish- eries biologist hired by the Mille Lacs Band in November 2015—helped the Tribe get a hatchery going in just four short months. Plus, he’s full of useful tips, such as: using a wedding veil stapled to a rake handle doesn’t make the best seine. Trust him. He’s tried it. Prior to Klimah’s hire, Mille Lacs Band had never had a fish hatchery. Klimah joined Kelly Applegate, a Mille Lacs fisheries/wildlife biologist and the department set out to see if they could make good on the Tribe’s desire to raise fish. Mille Lacs Lake has been suffering from a declining walleye population since the early 2000s. “There’s no clear answer on why this is happening,” says Klimah. “The habitat in Mille Lacs Lake is a really good spawning habitat and the walleye aren’t having any trouble reproducing. But for some reason, when juvenile walleyes hit 5-8 inches, right around their first fall, they start disappearing.” Klimah points to several theories as to why this may be happening. One theory is that invasive species such as the spiny waterflea and zebra mussel are entering the lake. The presence of these species can be harmful to walleye, both physically and by altering their food webs. The zebra mussel, for example, attaches to hard surfaces, such as rocks. It has a razor-sharp shell that can injure walleye spawning in water with a rocky bottom. Young walleye also eat less when zebra mussels are present because the mussels filter out algae, taking food eaten by zooplankton, the food eaten by walleye. The spiny waterflea also affects walleye food supply by eating zooplankton.This change in the aquatic food web leads into the second theory, which is that walleye are not getting enough to eat. Biologists have observed a lack of shiners and cisco in the lake, and they are sometimeslocatedinareasofthelakethatareinaccessibletowalleye.Thispotentially causes the walleye to start eating one another. “Invasive species change everything in the habitat. You have to keep going down the chain. There’s a lot of factors affecting the decline,” Klimah stated. In March 2016, the Mille Lacs Band completed the hatchery thanks to a small amount of funding from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and some donated equipment (including the wedding veil). Klimah started mixing speared walleye eggs and milt in a bucket. Three months later, 1.3 million frye were stocked into rearing ponds repurposed from old wastewater treatment ponds that hadn’t been used in 10 years. The ponds were tested to ensure they were safe, and on July 6, the Mille Lacs Band harvested its first hatchery walleye. The first day, the pull from a small rearing pond was so high that the 3-man boat crew had trouble lifting it into the boat. The next day, however, a larger pond yielded much fewer fish. Klimah said this could be attributed to several different possibili- ties. “Maybe we didn’t get at ‘em good. Maybe the stocking density wasn’t as high. Maybe the fish were full and weren’t moving more,” he said. Walleyecapturedfromtherearingpondsweretransferredintoacoolerintheback of a pick-up truck. The cooler was filled with water and an oxygen stone, and then transported to a large outdoor tub nearby. The fish remained in the tub for 12 hours amid a steady stream of water, to reduce the risk of invasive species contamination. After those 12 hours, they were counted, weighted, and transferred to a large tank on the back of another pick-up truck and driven to either Nammadhers or Sullivan Lake for release. Klimah estimates that 5,000 walleye were stocked in Namachers Lake and 7,500 were stocked in Sullivan Lake, a lake that is open to all 1837 bands for fishing. Other lakes, including Mille Lacs Lake, may be stocked in the future depending on how many walleye survive. Susan Klapel, Commissioner of Natural Resources for the By Paula Maday, Staff Writer Red Lake Tribe,partners plan for climate resiliency Red Lake, Minn.—The Red Lake Band of Chip- pewa Indians has several plans of action related to climate change adaptation. Beginning in 2014 the tribe partnered with the Model Forest Policy Program and joined their Climate SolutionsUniversitycohortinordertodevelopaclimate adaptationplan.Thisprocessidentifiedcurrentwaterand forest resources, related ecosystem services, economic and cultural impacts, and developed a work plan based on the tribe’s needs. Additionally,interviewswereheldwithcommunity members who depend on the natural resources of the reservation.Hunters,fishermen,berrypickers,andelders were polled for their opinions and thoughts on climate change and resource management. The work of the Model Forest Policy Program (MFPP), Climate Solutions University (CSU), and the Red Lake Department of Natural Resources (RLDNR) is focused on the forest and water systems of the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota. Development of the plan came about because all parties, led by MFPP, recognized the critical need for local community resil- ienceagainsttheimpactsofclimatechangebyprotecting forest and water resources. This climate adaptation plan for the Red Lake Res- ervationisateameffort,withdeepandbroadinformation gathering, critical analysis, and thoughtful planning. The RLDNR Water Resources team took a local leadership role to engage with CSU’s Forest and Water Strategiesprogramandguidetheprogramtowardclimate resilience featuring an adaptation plan that addresses local climate risks. Importantly, the plan recognizes Red Lake condi- tions and culture. This achievement was made possible throughguidanceandcoachingfromCSUinpartnership with the RLDNR. The goal of CSU is to help rural, underserved com- munities become leaders in climate resilience using a cost effective distance-learning program. The result of this collaborative effort is a powerful climate adapta- tion plan that the RLDNR can support and implement in coming years. This plan will eventually be expanded into a guide- lineforotherenvironmental,development,andplanning programs on the Reservation. The outcome will be a community that can better withstand impacts of climate upon their resources, economy and cultural structure in the decades to come. In addition, Red Lake’s climate change monitoring initiative is associated with a partnership of tribes from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 5 area. The purpose of this is to give tribes an opportunity to set up a regional monitoring strategy that is relevant to their natural resource goals, while contributing to other regional efforts at the same time. As a part of the bioassessment portion, select invertebrates and fish species will be monitored. There is also a phenology portion that will focus on culturally important species like wild rice and sugar maples. Thegoalofthisinitiativeistohaveafunctionaldraft of the monitoring strategy completed by winter 2016-17 so that tribes can start implementation next spring. PAGE 13 MAZINA’IGAN Mille Lacs Aquatic Biologist Chad Weiss stocks walleye into Sullivan Lake on July 7, 2016. The walleye were reared from ponds converted from abandoned waste- water treatment ponds on the Mille Lacs Reservation. INSET: One of many walleye that was harvested via the efforts of the Mille Lacs Fish Hatchery’s pilot year. (Paula Maday photos) By Red Lake Natural Resources For Mazina’igan (see Mille Lacs hatchery, page 19)