MAZINA’IGAN PAGE 2 SUMMER 2017 • ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP AWARD • On the cover Wildlife Biologist Peter David photographed this ayaabe near Sandy Lake, Minnesota in late July last niibin. Ziigwan addendum: Melonee Montano and Hannah Panci co-authored the article “Resources like waaboozoog, snow sheds light on climate trends” with Kim Stone on page 11. High honor for GLIFWC environmental biologist The Environmental ProtectionAgency (EPA) presented the Taimi Lynne HoagAward for Environmental Stewardship to GLIFWC’s John Coleman at a ceremonyApril 6th in Chicago. The EPARegion 5 Tribal OperationsCommitteeselectedColemanfortheprestigiousawardforhis work on a wide range of environmental protection projects throughout the Ceded Territories. Each year the award recognizes significant contributions in envi- ronmental management and/or environmental stewardship in Indian country. Nominations are solicited from all tribes in Region 5 annually. Nominees are considered and selected by the R5TOC Tribal Caucus. TheEPAestablishedtheawardinMarch2003torecognizetheenvi- ronmentalprotectionaccomplishmentsandcontributionsofTaimiHoag, the former Environmental Director for the Little Traverse Bay Band of OdawaIndians.Hoagwasacommunity,regional,andnationalleaderfor environmental protection in Indian country. —COR Pictured from left: Cheryl Newton, EPA R5 Acting Deputy Regional AdministratorandRTOCCo-Chair;TinaL.VanZile,Environmental Director, Sokaogon Chippewa Community; Mark Parrish, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, Tribal Council Secretary and RTOC Co-Chair; and Coleman with GLIFWC Executive Administrator James Zorn. (Toby Wall photo) Bazhiba’owe-inaajimowinan Spearfishing stories in Waaswaagoning By: Dylan Jennings, Staff Writer & Melonee Montano, GLIFWC TEK Outreach Specialist The warm and cleansing smell of sage filled the room as community members flooded into the Waaswaagoning (Lac du Flambeau) multipurpose building. It was that time of the year again and tribal members were excited to share about it. Spearing has been a traditional subsistence practice for many Ojibwe Bands for centuries. Spearing is both a selective and effective means of har- vesting the much needed giigoonh (fish). Tribal members can spearfish year round, which even includes spearing through the ice. The Waaswaagoning community has a deeply rooted relationship with the giigoonh as its name clearly indicates. Lac du Flambeau or Lake of the Torches refers back to European contact. The French fur traders would see Anishinaabeg fishing out of canoes guided by torchlight. Today, this tradition continues. A ceremonial pipe traveled around the room and a prayer was spoken on behalf of the people and for the food. Shortly after, food was served and the stories began. Tom Maulson, former Lac du Flambeau Chair and walleye warrior started the gathering by recalling the struggle thatAnishinaabeg had to endure. Children listened intently as the elder spoke the truth. “We had rocks thrown at us. Some of us wondered if we would even make it home on some of those nights.” Vice Chairman John “Goober” Johnson recalls both the resiliency and generosity shown by Anishinaabeg: “When I harvest, sometimes we get a hundred fish. But everyone knows those fish don’t go to my freezer—they always end up feeding our elders, our single mothers, and at ceremonies. We are a giving people and I see this tradition carried forward even today.” Many of the harvesters nod in agreement. Harvesting not only translates into feeding your immediate family, but it extends to the community. Shortly after the LCO (Voigt) Decision in 1983, all hell broke loose in Northern Wisconsin. Boat landings were filled in the evenings with hostile protestors, angered by the reaffirmation of treaty reserved rights. It was the memories and stories of these times that inspired Tom Maulson’s idea of this event.WhenapproachingsomeWaaswaagoningeldersabouttheevent,afew felt they wouldn’t have much to share.Yet it was those ones who had some of the strongest voices that evening that were heard by the younger generation. “I think about what I need to do as a person living the days that I have on this here earth. The best ideas that came, to share it with our young people because they’re the generation that’s going to be around for a while,” said Tom Maulson. Harvest monitoring on Mille Lacs Lake The 2017 spring tribal harvest season in the Mille Lacs Lake area is all wrapped up. Through long nights and cold weather, GLIFWC and tribal creel clerks, wardens, and biologists worked together to ensure that the process ran smoothly. But what went into tracking all of this harvest? It turns out that a lot of work is involved with recording catch information and managing the fishery within the quota. Every day, tribal officials provided GLIFWC personnel with a list of Mille Lacs Lake boat landings where band members wished to spear or gill-net. Creel teams, wardens from some individual tribes, plus GLIFWC war- dens and biologists, were then notified and sent to those “named landings” to issue spearing or netting permits, which holdinformationsuchasthenameofthe harvester, walleye bag limit, and type of fishing gear being used. The creel team, biologist,and/orwardenremainedatthe landingwhilespearingornettingactivity was occurring. After band members were finished with spearing or netting, they brought theircatchbacktothelandingwherethe creel team counted and weighed each and every fish for all species; additional information such as length, sex, and age data was collected from a sub-sample of the total harvest and recorded on a catch report form. After all the fish were creeled at a landing,awardenorbiologistenteredthe catch data into an online database that automatically updated quota balances. Based off this information, tribal officials, wardens, and biologists could determine bag limits and the number of netting or spearing permits that could be issued to band members the follow- ing night. This entire system of recording and tracking tribal harvest has enabled GLIFWCandtribalstafftocloselymoni- torquotabalances,successfullykeeping the walleye harvest well within quotas on Mille Lacs Lake every year. Chi-miigwech to all GLIFWC and tribal staff, including creel clerks, war- dens, and biologists who were involved in this process! —Ben Michaels Counting every fish As Fond du Lac fisherman Mike Ziebarth picks fish at a Mille Lacs boat landing, GLIFWC Biologist Ben Michaels examines the net for invasive plants. GLIFWC Warden Holly Berkstresser monitors the activity. (J. Ballinger photo)