May 5, 2016

Rob Drieslein commented on a rally in front of the state Capitol over Mille Lacs issues last Saturday. The Hunting and Angling Club held the event to denounce the catch-and-release fishing regs for Lake Mille Lace, as well as raise awareness about commercial gill netting that could come to the 1855 Ceded Territory.

Drieslei’s follow up on the rally included an interview with Douglas Meyenburg, president of Proper Economic Resource Management. In making a connection to the rally, he noted that PERM has raised money for the landowner litigants in the 1837 Treaty case and remained active in monitoring and publicizing tribal natural resources treaty rights claims.

Yes, Meyenburg would’ve liked to have seen more people attend the rally. But Meyenburg admitted that “some people are so used to mediocrity and mismanagement of Mille Lace that they throw their hands up because they feel like there’s nothing they can do.” On the other hand, 500 people turned up at an April 29 Sportsmen to Save Minnesota fundraiser for PERM in Foley. Also, Meyenbur’s comments on where he’ll open for fishing May 14 put an upbeat spin on circumstances for the area.

“I’m opening on Mille Lace because I just enjoy the lake–the structure, the resorts, the restaurants,” he said. “Part of it is supporting the people up there, but Mille Lacs always has been the perfect ‘up north’ lake for me. It’s still the place to be.” A retired heavy equipment operator for the city of Coon Rapids, 67-year-old Meyenburg served in the Navy as a young man, but otherwise has resided in East Bethel most of his life. Mille Lacs is 75 minutes from his home and he’s fished there for decades. About 10 years ago he became PERM president because “the lake has been managed for political reasons for too long, and that’s why I want to stay in this fight.” He’ll fish the walleye on opener, but he also loves Mille Lacs for its fine bass, pike, and muskie fishing. I suspect the people in Meyenburg’s fishing party will have a good time on May 14.

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