Proper Economic Resource Management2021-10-25T10:23:46-05:00

. . . from the blog

Rationale for DNR Mille Lacs Walleye Regs Doesn’t Add Up

Eric Jacobson does a great job of challenging the DNR’s inexplicable self-defeating tactic of preserving (rather than conserving) the Mille Lacs 2013 year class of walleyes. How good does the fishing have to be? Mille Lacs Messenger, July 2, 2021.

Jacobson points out that while walleye fishing on Mille Lacs lake has been “nothing short of phenomenal,” the DNR continues to jigger slot limits to always exclude the 2013 year class of walleyes. That same slot limit exclusion also denies most anglers their preferred size walleye to eat, generally anywhere from 15-17 inches.

He points out that intentionally protecting that class of fish creates a giant eating machine that will cannibalize small walleyes whenever there is a shortage of forage. It also restores the cycle of failed class years Mille Lacs has […]

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Mille Lacs Walleye Angling Shutdown ‘Unnecessary and Unethical’

In a similar vein to Eric Jacobson’s editorial, Joe Fellegy is very much to the point regarding the unnecessary and unethical extremism of the DNR’s shutdown of Mille Lacs walleye angling. June heat and drought: impacts at Mille Lacs? Mille Lacs Messenger Jul 3, 2021

“The upcoming July 1 – July 15 walleye fishing closure at Mille Lacs, when anglers can’t even “target” (fish for) walleyes, is, in my view, an unnecessary and unethical scandal.  Nothing in the Mille Lacs biosphere justifies such extremism. Blame “treaty” co-management, its off-base low walleye allocations, and hooking-mortality nonsense. Release-‘em-all isn’t enough? Yikes!”

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Hope for actual Mille Lacs Walleye Harvest in the Fall?

Erik Jacobson reported on the DNR’s Mille Lacs fishery numbers from opening day on May 15 through May 31, Spring creel data looks promising for walleye season, Mille Lacs Messenger Jun 30, 2021

The total number of walleyes harvested and designated as “hooking mortality” was 7,167 for a total weight of 19,091 pounds. Adding the winter angler take of 15,861 pounds gives a total as of May 31 of 34,952 pounds.

Taking the 34,952 pounds from the 2021 allocation for non-tribal walleye of 87,800 pounds leaves anglers 52,848 pounds for the remainder of the open water season that ends on November 30.

Jacobson believes those numbers for the walleyes look promising that a season may stay open until Nov. 30. The walleye season is closed on Mille Lacs, July 1 through July 15, […]

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DNR’s plan to divert funds intended for habitat purchases draws fire

Dennis Anderson March 13, 2021

How seriously the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) led by Commissioner Sarah Strommen has blundered in its ongoing attempt to change the law governing expenditures from the Critical Habitat Program account remains to be seen.

But blundered it has.

Laid bare a few weeks ago, when Gov. Tim Walz’s budget was unveiled, showed the DNR’s hoped-for switcheroo. They would allow money from an approximately $25 million stockpile gained through sale of the state’s special Critical Habitat license plates to be used for fish and wildlife research, population assessments and other DNR work-a-day purposes. This, rather than, as the law requires, would be used to purchase habitat deemed critical to the continued existence of Minnesota fish and wildlife.

Virtually every major conservation group and many smaller sportsmen’s clubs and organizations […]

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Habitat plates veer from their intended mission

By DENNIS ANDERSON February 7, 2021

Minnesota’s Critical Habitat license plates are increasingly popular with vehicle owners. But with record-level revenue from the plates’ sale, the DNR is purchasing less habitat than ever. Now the DNR wants to direct some of the money toward research and monitoring, among other uses.

Dedicated accounts are the backbone of American conservation. Beginning with establishment of the federal duck stamp in the 1930s, such funds have helped the U.S. retain a semblance of its original open lands, clean waters, fish, and wildlife.

By law, for example, 98% of funds derived from sales of federal duck stamps must be used to protect wetlands and associated habitats through purchases of land or acquiring it by leases or easements.

Thus the funds are […]

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Mille Lacs Band’s Boundary Lawsuit on hold for Appeals Court decision

PERM is reporting on the Mille Lacs Messenger’s recent article to keep this issue before the public, and to encourage support for equal protection of the law for all Minnesota citizens.

Briefly, on December 21 U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled in favor of the Mille Lacs Band’s lawsuit over the boundary issue. The County’s position is that the 1855 Treaty Reservation was terminated by Congress through subsequent treaties, statutes, and agreements. Tribal policing efforts thus are limited to the 3,500-acres of trust land being considered a reservation. The Mille Lacs Band position is that the boundaries have never been dissolved by Congress and policing jurisdiction covers the entire dis-established reservation.

The lawsuit claimed that Mille Lacs County’s position on policing jurisdiction, including County Attorney Joe Walsh and Mille Lacs County […]

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Court sets next steps in reservation boundary dispute

Both parties to the Mille Lacs reservation boundary dispute in U.S. District Court made requests for Summary Judgement. While summary judgments can sometimes lead to a quick resolution, there won’t be one in this case. The question of the Court actually having the jurisdiction to make a decision has led to the court stepping back and asking both parties for legal briefs on the jurisdictional issue. T.A.LeBrun’s report outlines various scenarios and options for litigation that could lead all the way to the Supreme Court.

From PERM’s perspective, the outcome of this case could have a significant impact on access to hunting and fishing for non-tribal citizens within the dis-established Mille Lacs reservation.

Read more below.

Boundary Battle

By T.A.LeBrun, Editor, Mille Lacs Messenger

March 23, 2021, A summary judgment hearing regarding the Mille Lacs […]

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Early and late season walleye harvest to be allowed on Mille Lacs in 2021

March 23, 2021         Early-season walleye anglers on Mille Lacs Lake will be able to keep one walleye 21-23 inches long or one longer than 28 inches. Summer will bring catch-and-release walleye fishing, with a mid-season closure, before the potential for a one-fish limit returns in the fall.

“Lower walleye harvest this winter is allowing us to offer some open-water walleye harvest this year,” said Brad Parsons, fisheries section manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “We’re glad Mille Lacs anglers will have the chance to keep a walleye on opening weekend and Memorial Day weekend — two of the most popular times to fish during the year. We also hope to be able to allow some harvest this fall.”

The one-fish walleye limit will be in place from Saturday, May 15, […]

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