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PAGE1MAZINAIGANSPRINGSUMMER2013PublishedbytheGreatLakesIndianFishWildlifeCommissionSpringSummer2013Lateice-outcoolsnettingGoodfishingforwalleyespearersVITFhonorsRedCliffsLeoLaFernierBySueEricksonStaffWriterApinchofasemaatobaccoishandedtoRedCliffsLeoLaFernierrequestinghimtoopenaVoigtIntertribalTaskForceVITFmeetingwithaprayerarequesthegraciouslygrantsandoffersuphiswordstotheCreatorfollowingaDrumSongandthepassingofaPipe.InthiswaymanyVITFmeetingshavebegunovertheyearswiththeTaskForceslongest-standingmemberaskingtheCreatorforwisdomandguidance.LaFernierhasbeenwiththeTaskForcesinceitsbeginningin1983andisenteringhis28thyearasaTaskForcerepresentativefromRedCliffalthoughthisyearheisservingasanalternate.Asoft-spokenbutdeterminedogichidaaLaFernierknownasUncleLeohasadvocatedforhistribetreatyrightsandtheenvironmentasatribalcouncilmemberaVITFrepresentativeandasaspiritualguide.Hisjourneyhasbeenlongandrichashehasparticipatedinthere-affirmationoftribalsover-eigntyandtreatyrightsandtheresultingempowermentoftribalgovernmentsthroughthepast30years.HesparticiaptedinmanybattlesalongthewayincludingtheprotestyearsonWisconsinspearfishinglandingsthestrenuousnegotiationswiththeStatethatcharacterizedthefirstyearsoftreatyharvestsinthe1980sthebattleagainstthelocationofanuclearwastedisposalsiteintheregionRedCliffsefforttoinvestigatemysterybarrelsplantedbytheUSDepartmentofDefenseinLakeSuperiorandmostcurrentlythethreatofanironminestationedatopthePeno-keeMountainssettodrainintotheBadRiverwatershedandLakeSuperiorthetribescurrentandhistoricalfishingandricinggrounds.LaFerniergrewupontheRedCliffreservation.Hisfamilydependedheavilyonhuntingandfishingtoputfoodonthetable.Thiswasduringatimewhenyoudidntknowwhatmightbeservedfortheeveningmealmuskratporcupinewhateveronewasfortunateenoughtocatch.Whateverthemenuwaswesureenjoyeditherecalls.HoweverlifecalledLeotoworkawayfromthereservationinthemid-fifties.HespenttimeinMichiganMil-waukeeandChicago.HereturnedtoRedCliffin1973oneyearafterthehistoricGurnoedecisionwhichre-affirmedtribaltreatyfishingrightsinLakeSuperior.AfterseveralbidsforelectionLaFernierwonelectiontotheRedCliffTribalCouncilin1983andservedontheCounciluntil1999.ThemajorityofthattimeLaFernierwasvice-chairmanapo-sitionwhichtookhimonmanyjourneystoWashingtonDC.OnonesuchtripwithlateTribalChairmanRichardGurnoehecarriedagiftofLakeSuperiorfishondryicethatslowlybegantomeltalongtheway.Thepreciouspackagewasdrip-pingfishjuiceasLaFernierandGurnoeenteredtheDepartmentofInterior.ButLaFernierdoggedlypursuedhismission.BoththeRedCliffTribeandGLIFWCsaidchimiigwechtoRedCliffsLeoLaFernierforhis28yearsofserviceontheVoigtIntertribalTaskForceVITFasRedCliffsrepresentative.CongratulatingLaFernierashereceivedaframedresolutionofappreciationfromGLIFWCareRedCliffTribalChairwomanRoseGurnoe-SoulierGLIFWCBoardofCommissionersChairmanMicIshamandVITFChairmanTomMaulson.PhotobySueEricksonSeeHonoringpage20RedCliffsMorrisfamilyspenttheeveningofMothersDayonMiddleEauClaireLakeinNorthwestWisconsin.PhotobyCharlieOttoRasmussenCededTerritoryWesternGreatLakesGaa-biboonikedOldManWinterkeptfreshwaterlakesinhisicygripwellinMayfrustratingtheeffortsofanxiousfishermenreadytohitopenwater.Thelatenearrecordice-outonmanywaterstranslatedtoashortseasonandmodestharvestatMilleLacsandotherhistoricallyproductivelakes.ApairofsmalllakesonthesouthernreachesofthecededterritoryinWiscon-sinpresentedthefirstharvestopportu-nityMay1.SpearersfromLacCourteOreillesbroughthome108walleyefromWindfallLakewhileCedarLakeyielded175fishforSt.Croixmembers.ByMay7allsixWisconsinbandswereparticipatingintheharvest.Evenwiththeseasonbeginningnearlyfiveweekslaterthanthe2012openerWisconsinspearersbagged28273walleyebythethirdweekinMay.Tribalofficialsear-lierannouncedaharvestdeclarationof59399walleye.InUpperMichiganLacVieuxDesertfishermenfoundopenwateronEmilyLakeandtheCiscoChainaninterconnectedlakesystemthatdescendsintoWisconsinonopeningnightMay5.TheexpansivebutreliableLakeGo-gebicprovidedthehighesttotalsfortheLVDcommunitywith1631fishspearedthroughMay16.BayMillsfishermenintheeasternUpperPeninsulaconductedlimitedwalleyespearingatMonocleLakeandtheEscanabaRiver.IndownstateChe-boyganCountyBlackLakeyieldedasinglelakesturgeonforaBayMillstreatyspearer.JustinCarrickBayMillsConservationDepartmentsaidthatnear-shoreareasofLakesSuperiorHuronandMichiganhavereceivedthemostattentiontodatebothfromsubsistenceandcommercialfishermen.WhileMilleLacsBandfishermennegotiatedthelatebreakupwithunder-icenetsinlateAprilitwasMay9beforeopenwaterfishinggotunderway.SkilledOjibwespearerssuccessfullytargetedabroadersizerangeofwalleyeintheefforttoconservesensitiveyear-classesofsmallerfish.Historicallythemostutilizedfishingmethodnettingproducedonlyabout17oftheharvesttotalac-cordingtopreliminarynumbers.ThenewregulationsallowingallsizesofwalleyetobespearedatMilleLacsappearstohaveshiftedsomeoftheharvestawayfromsmallerfishsaidJoeDanRoseGLIFWCInlandFisheriesBiologist.Accordingtopreliminarycreeldatawalleyetakenbyspearaveraged19.2-inchesinlengthasizethatmeshesnicelywithstateanglerrequirementstokeeponly18-20walleye.Duetodecliningabundanceofcatchablewalleyethetotalharvestablesurplusforthe2013fishingyearwasreducedto250000poundshalfofwhatitwaslastyear.TheBandsvoluntarilyByCharlieOttoRasmussenStaffWriterSeeWeatherpage5