Published by the Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission SPRING 2018 Mille Lacs Lake ginoozhe (northern pike) abundant An untapped, flavorful resource In Mille Lacs Lake, the walleye gets all the headlines. It’s the state fish of Minnesota, the most sought after target of tribal members, and even though the population is much lower than its historical peak, still the lakes’dominant preda- tor. But another often overlooked species, the northern pike, is doing quite well in Mille Lacs Lake, and may provide a bonus harvest opportunity for anglers and spearers alike. Northern pike are a torpedo-shaped ambush predator with a mouth full of razor sharp teeth and a hungry attitude. They have firm white flesh, and excellent flavor especially when harvested from cold water. The Mille Lacs Lake pike populationwasmuchlowerinthe1990sandgrewthroughout the early 2000s after more protective regulations and harvest capswereinstituted(Figure1,page4).Now,thispopulationis abundantenoughtoprovideanadditionalharvestopportunity. Current estimates of northern pike biomass (around 230,000 pounds) suggest that they are not quite as abundant as they were at the peak in 2011 (265,000 pounds), but that the population remains at relatively high levels. Northern pike range in length to over 40 inches in Mille Lacs Lake, but most of the fish are a more manageable size. Diet studies conducted on Mille Lacs Lake show that northern pike eat yellow perch, cisco, and occasionally young walleye. Since some of this diet overlaps with what walleye in MilleLacseatandpikearerelativelyabundant,theMinnesota 1837 Fisheries Committee has set a harvest cap of 100,000 poundsforthe2018fishingseason(allocatedevenlybetween state-regulated anglers and tribal members). This harvest cap is not intended to be a long-term harvest target, but provides additional harvest opportunity in the short term while the population is abundant. By Mark Luehring GLIFWC Inland Fisheries Biologist Ginoozhe (northern pike). (www.ohiodnr.gov) By Charlie Otto Rasmussen, Editor (See Ginoozhe, page 4) Get ready for spearfishing Harvest seasons have a way of coming on quickly. A little prep work now will help get azhigwa bazhiba’ondwaa giigoonyag season off to a smooth start. The 1854 Treaty Ceded Territory is in northeast Minnesota. Fond du Lac Band issued a commemorative coin featuring Chief Enimaasing, one of 14 treaty signers from the tribe. (GLIFWC image) (See 1854 Treaty case, page 2) PFDs: make sure there are personal flotation devices for each boat occupant! Boat prep: check battery, boat plug, lights & run the motor Trailer: check all lights, wheel bearings & spare tire Gear: charge headlamp battery & sharpen spear PAGE 1 MAZINA’IGAN SPRING 2018 Fond du Lac Band, State open a new page on 1854 Treaty case Carlton, Minn.—Beginning with a powerful opening ceremony, the Fond du Lac Band launched into celebra- tion on January 29 to mark the end of the 1854 Treaty case. Cementing decades of collaboration, the Ojibwe tribe and State of Minnesota formalized shared off-reservation natu- ral resources management in the 1854 Ceded Territory of northeast Minnesota. “The exercise of our hunting, fishing, and gathering rights under our 1854 Treaty is central to the lives, culture and traditions of the Fond du Lac people. It is inaadiziwin. Our way of life,” Kevin Dupuis, Fond du Lac Band Chairman said in a statement. Trailing a veteran’s honor guard, a flourish of dancers in regalia energized the cavernous Black Bear Convention Center in union with the Cedar Creek Drum. On the edges of the main floor stood a panel of intertribal dignitaries and some300Nagaajiwanaag(FondduLac)communitymembers. SpiritualAdvisor Ricky W. DeFoe read aloud the names ofall14FondduLacsignatoriesofthe1854Treaty,identified as a headman, 1st chief, or 2nd chief. Each person attending the ceremony received a dakwenindan biiwaabikoons—or commemorative coin—bearing the image of the Nagaajiwa-