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NETTINGSPEARFISHING Mille Lacs Reservation Minn.Mille Lacs has a rich history of fishing by net. When the season comesaroundfamiliesandprovidersdropeverything to make it out on the lake. Many people manage to maintain full time jobs children and households while still setting nets late into the night and check- ing them early in the morning. For many groups netting is a continuation of family legacy. Others simply love to exercise their treaty rights and provide for their families and com- munities. For a special group of women from Mille Lacs all of the reasons above continue to motivate them onto the lake each year. Katie Draper Shelly PardunandAudreyPardunarethreeMilleLacstribal members who arent afraid to get their hands dirty. The crew has been netting together for over five years. Braving choppy waters and below freez- ing temperatures the team has a passion for fishing and exercising their treaty rights. Shelly the most experienced team member recalls netting with her late brother Ken Pardun former GLIFWC warden. It all started with my brother Ken he wanted to take me out netting. Pretty soon I came to love it and became excited when the snow started melting and the ice went away. Once my brother passed away it was really hard it was like I didnt even want to go anymore.Myfathersaidyesyouareandheencour- aged me to get back out there. From that moment Shelly has been looked up to as a leader. With over ten years of experience under her belt community members seek her advice. Intodaysmodernsocietystereotypesandgenderassignedrolesfalselyguide community members and youth into believing men are solely responsible for the harvest of the resources. However Shelly Katie and Audrey are a testament to the power that our ikwewagwomencarry.Servingasrolemodelsand providers for their communities they work hard to ensure their tribal members and women especially are empowered to exercise their rights which were hard-won rights. The trio recalls one of the first years netting at North Garrison landing on Mille Lacs. There were a lot of other tribes fishing the lake on this night and when we pulled up a guy came over and asked us Whos taking you girls out Many of the guys were poking fun at us and they undermined us. The next day we came back to lift our nets and they were filled with beautiful walleye and the guy that was poking fun left with a bucket of suckers. The group doesnt boast or brag they just tell the story and laugh hard. Anyone that harvests fish during this time of the year recognizes the work that goes into every step. A lot of work goes into prepping the boat and mending nets not to mention setting and lifting nets sometimes in inclimate weather and cleaning and packaging fish.There are regulations and guidelines that every tribal member must follow as well. All fish taken are measured and weighed to ensure the lake is at a healthy carrying capacity. Compassion and taking care of each other is such a huge theme in Anishinaabe culture. Every year the women host a few community fish frys and give back to their people. Katie remarks We are always willing to help teach people to net and to exercise their treaty rights because its such a big part of our future. Remembering the teachers and keeping an eye to the future help preserve these practices alive and thriving for the seven generations to come. Katie Draper left Shelly Pardun right and Audrey Pardun not pictured exercise their treaty rights by setting nets at Mille Lacs almost every season. photo by Dylan Jennings By Dylan Jennings Staff Writer Gidoogichidaakweminaanig Our women warriors Perch make good eating too Bad River members enjoyed netting for perch in Mille Lacs Lake this spring. Pictured picking perch from nets are Mike Herberg Sharri Letson Preston Pospychalla and Matt Deloney. photo by Ben Michaels. harvest allocation taking home 2030.8 pounds. During the brief yellow perch run to the Mille Lacs shallows Bad River and Lac Courte Oreilles joined the Mille Lacs Band to gill net a combined 961 asaawe yellow perch. Despite 73 walleye waters available to treaty tribes beyond Mille Lacs in the Minnesota 1837 territory bands selected only 13 to fish taking 330 ogaa for a 702 pound total. One of the most productive outings came from Crow Wing Countys South Long Lake where members from Bad River Fond du Lac St. Croix and Mille Lacs Band combined for 189.8 pounds of walleye. Record harvest in Wisconsin Treaty fishers took advantage of an extraordinary month-long season estab- lishing a walleye harvest record in the Wisconsin ceded territory. GLIFWC creel clerks tallied 38512 walleye a figure well above the previous high mark set in 2010anotherearlyspringthatunfoldedslowlyincreasingharvestopportunities. On April 3 the St. Croix and Lac Courte Oreilles Bands launched the 31st consecutive off-reservation spearing season on southern-tier ceded territory lakes. Near the fishing seasons close in early May only the muskie hunters still plied the evening waters. From a harvest quota of 1944 Ojibwe spearers registered 170 muskellunge. Upper Michigan InUpperMichiganaflurryofwinterweatherstruckmidwaythroughtheogaa harvest season preventing spearers from getting out on the water over a string of evenings. For many Michigan Ojibwe however the elements did not avert a successful overall spring season. ThesnowslowedfishingdownsaidMattKniskernGLIFWCOfficer.You cant see the fish when there are these huge snowflakes in the water. Lac Vieux Desert spearers enjoyed a much better season on their primary harvest water Lake Gogebic. Ogaa spearers easily outdistanced last years harvest of 1809 on the western Michigan lake with 3167 in 2015. Gogebic provided a lot of opportunity for the band this year Kniskern said. It was a bit unusual that walleyes seemed to spend a lot more time hanging out in the shallows. Preliminary total harvest for the LVD Band came in at 4183. Keweenaw Bay Indian Community fishers found spearing success in the Portage Lake systema looping waterway that bisects the Keweenaw Peninsula. Throughout the season that ran fromApril 20 to May 3 creel teams counted every fish at Portage Lake and recorded biological data at boat landings. With fishery modeling assistance from GLIFWC KBIC officials set a walleye safe harvest level at 2062 fish.At Mazinaigan press time tribal biologists continue to process final harvest numbers. All figures are preliminary and reflect totals as of May 6 2015 Long season brings big ogaa numbers Continued from page 1 Keweenaw Bay Indian Community creel crew members Otis Malmgren left Joe Francois seated and Sam Spruce monitor the spearfishing harvest on Michigans Portage Lake. photo by Gene Mensch MAZINAIGAN PAGE 6 SUMMER 2015