Joe Fellegy writes about the ongoing Mille Lacs controversy, A look at the record lake trout, MN-FISH, and Mille Lacs Outdoor News August 30, 2019. His report starts with Ron Schara’s question raised in Schara’s last Ramblings column in Outdoor News: Schara asks “The status of walleye fishing on Mille Lacs needs some kind of resolution, but who, what, when?”

Fellegy’s take was “Yes, the unethical and unjustifiable playing out of the state-tribal co-management quota system must end. And higher-ups in state government, especially the executive branch, must be held accountable.”

Fellegy continues with his impression of two DNR hosted “community conversations” about Mille Lacs management that he attended. What stood out was the “amazingly skimpy attendance” adding that it was “like a combined three-meeting total of only several dozen non-DNR folks!”

The meetings were promoted as opportunities for citizen input regarding future DNR management plans, but even setting aside the meager attendance, how could such “input” impact whatever DNR-tribal “co-management” agreements will be turning up in the coming months? “After all,” he writes, “that co-management quota system – with eight Chippewa bands, six from Wisconsin – ultimately rules and limits what the DNR can do, regardless of citizen input.”

Finally, as he has often pointed out in the past, it’s not about the biology. “Always remember that there’s nothing in the Mille Lacs biosphere that requires the ongoing extremist management of the Mille Lacs sport fishery.”

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