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TRIBAL ISSUES Tribes night hunt case returns to District Court The plaintiff tribes in the treaty night hunting case are pleased with the U.S. Supreme Courts denial of Wis- consins petition for review a decision which came downApril 20. This denial is favorable to the tribes because it will return the case to District Court for further consideration. In its petition to the United States Supreme Court the state attempted to convince the Court to reverseaSeventhCircuitCourtdecision on the tribes night hunting case that was favorable to the tribes.The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals found that sufficient circumstances had changed to warrant another look at the original 1990deernight-huntdecisionintheLac Courte Oreilles v. Wisconsin case. The case will now go back to Judge Barbara Crabb in the U.S. District Court West- ern District of Wisconsin for further consideration. The tribes are actively seeking more opportunity for our members through a highly-regulated treaty night hunt for deer states Mic Isham Lac CourteOreillestribalchairman.Forme the justices have ruled for tribal sover- eignty our continued ability to exercise sovereigntythroughself-regulation.We also continue to work with the state to address legitimate safety issues in our night hunt plan. We are hopeful that the final order will give our communities the opportunities we seek. Colette Routel professor at Wil- liamMitchellSchoolofLawhasserved asleadattorneyonbehalfoftheplaintiff tribes. By Sue Erickson Staff Writer Colette Routel. In response to an ongoing decline in the walleye population of Mille Lacs Lake the Minnesota 1837 Ceded Territory Fisheries Committee determined that it would take several years of significantly reduced mortality from all sources to increase and stabilize the population. In 2013 the combined walleye harvest quota for the state and tribes was reduced by 50 from the previous year. In 2014 the quota was reduced further and both parties took steps to control their harvest accordingly. TheMinnesotaDepartmentofNaturalResourcesDNRinstitutedregulations for 2014 that would significantly reduce the angler harvest of walleye from Mille LacsLake.Thetribesmadeasignificantcuttotheirwalleyeharvestin2014aswell. Various citizen groups have criticized the DNR management of Mille Lacs Lake which included these reductions in angler harvest. Many of these same groups have historically opposed tribal harvests because tribes have the right to use different methods for harvesting fish. Save Mille Lacs Sport Fishing Inc. and several other groups and individuals filed a lawsuit challenging the emergency angling rules developed by the DNR for Mille Lacs Lake in 2014. Before the Minnesota Court of Appeals Save Mille Lacs Fishing argued that the DNR failed to consider the public trust doctrine and a 1998 amendment to Minnesotas Con- stitution promoting the preservation of the states hunting and fishing heritage when adopting those rules. In its decision released in February 2015 the Court rejected the petitioners challenge finding that the emergency rule was consistent with the constitutional amendment and the public trust. The Court also found that the DNR did not act arbitrarily when enacting the rule it held the required public hearings and made therulesbasedonscientificinformation.JudgeHudsonconcurredinthejudgment but found that the petitioners lacked standing to challenge the emergency rules. No walleye harvest on Minocqua Chain The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board NRB approved a cooperative plan devised by the state tribes and the Headwaters Chapter of Walleyes for Tomorrow thatprohibitskeepinganywalleyefromtheMinocquaChainofLakesVilasCounty for the next five years. The plan was put into effect through an NRB emergency rule in response to poor recruitment and a corresponding decline in adult walleye numbers throughout the five-lake chain a phenomenon noted in both tribal and state annual walleye population assessments. Little natural walleye reproduction has been observed in the Minocqua Chain over the past decade according to Joe Dan Rose GLIFWC inland fisheries biologist. Prior to the NRB rule the rehabilitation plan was approved by the Voigt Intertribal Task Force by a 8-2 vote. Dissenters however were not necessarily againsttheplanbutratherconcernedthatsomeissuessuchastheneedforadequate enforcement had not been explicitly addressed in the proposed plan. The walleye harvest closure will extend from 3-5 years and is only one aspect of the cooperative rehabilitation project which will include continued state and tribal population assessments to help determine if and when the population den- sity goals for adult walleye identified in the plan have been met. The study also incorporates improvement of spawning habitat on Minocqua Lake water quality testing and assessment of natural reproduction. Previously initiated stocking efforts will also continue. The rehabilitation goals for the project are to improve natural reproduction and reach a density of three adult walleyes per acre in Minocqua and Kawaguesaga Lakes and to reach a density of two adult walleyes per acre in Tomahawk Lake. At that point some harvest opportunity could be reinstated. GLIFWC inland fisheries staff will be working with the state tribes and Walleyes for Tomorrow as the project progresses to coordinate and share data from assessment work on the chain. Lawsuit against MNDNR failsBy Philomena Kebec GLIFWC Policy Analyst By GLIFWC Staff Latest Michigan moose survey reveals potential downturn By Charlie Otto Rasmussen Staff Writer Marquette Mich.For the first time in nearly two decades the Upper Michigan moose herd may be backsliding. Michigan Department of Natural ResourcesDNRresearcherscompletedtheirbiannualpopulationassessmentlast winter calculating a dip from 451 to 323 moose in the core range of the western Upper Peninsula. Weve monitored this population for many years and this is only one point over time said Chad Stewart DNR moose specialist. But there are some things that are concerning. The biggie centers on calf numbers. Stewart said the 2013 survey resulted in a ratio of 57 calves for every 100 cows. In 2015 that quotient slid to 43-to-100. The adultmoosepopulationconsistingofbullsandcowsappearssteadyStewardadded. So we seem to have this loss at the calf level. What might be driving that is unclear Stewart said. It may include climatic conditions wolf predation or landscape and environmental factors. Only continued research and time will provide greater clarity on the future of Michigans small moose herd. Following winter population surveys every two years DNR wildlife officials advise Michigan Natural Resources Commission policy-makers on whether to move forward with the moose hunting season first proposed in 2011. It was an easy call to not recommend a hunting season this year Stewart said. Core moose range is centered in Marquette Baraga and Iron Counties where 59 moose from Ontario were turned loose in the mid-1980s. A scattered popu- lation consisting of less than an estimated 100 moose exists in the eastern Upper Peninsula. NearbymoosepopulationsnotablyinnortheasternMinnesotahaveexpe- rienced a dramatic decline in numbers over the past decade. Biologists from the Fond du Lac Band the 1854 TreatyAuthority and state of Minnesota are engaged in a long term study to better understand the impacts that parasites disease preda- tion and warmer annual temperatures have on moose health. Before leaving before launching inspect everything Lines Anchor Trailer Hull RollersBunks Equipment Nets and Net Boxes Axel Wheels Prop Intake Bilge PAGE 3 MAZINAIGANSUMMER 2015