Wisconsin Fishing Discussion


4/11/24 @ 10:54 AM
User since 12/23/21

I see the tribes have declared they are going to spear the Minoqua chain  guess 10 years of closure to rebuild the population and banning everyone else from keeping any was just a waste. 


Displaying 1 to 15 of 113 posts
5/11/24 @ 7:38 AM
User since 3/23/20
Yes it's a huge problem to all the lakes that they are spearing the impacts are obvious but I always wondered how many trophy if not state record fish have been speared and no one will ever know. People talk about the affects of front facing sonar well spearing when ever you want while shining fish in the shallows is alot worse. Our regs decrease there's stay the same government pays them and I pay the government we're getting screwed. Plus spearing is just the beginning of the problems but when you have your own law enforcement all the illegal activity is sweep under the rug.
5/10/24 @ 7:37 PM
User since 2/6/19

Anyone who says Mille Lacs is as good for walleye as it's ever been is sadly mistaken and doesn't know what they are talking about or doesn't have anything more than a 10 year history of the water.  Or has a bias.  Shaking my head!

The Mille Lacs walleye fishery is a fraction of what it was.  It's misleading to try to rewrite history.  Of course a guide is going to tell any prospective client it's great.  Do you really expect them to say anything else when they are trying to make a living?!!
5/10/24 @ 11:45 AM
Musky Ben
User since 3/13/02

I will say that Mille Lacs (ML) has recovered per most all of the guides and outdoors writers in that area.  That's what a 139,000 acres and natural reproduction will do for you.  The fact that the harvest limit is still only one fish is a MNDNR travesty, but that's what happens when you add into the harvest equation netting as well as spearing. But for at least 3 years now most all who are fishing it are saying that ML is as good as its ever been...

I'm not even going to get into the conversation regarding treaty rights and our ability to change them, I hope something changes in my lifetime, but that time is getting shorter and while the natives take what they take in the spring, most info relates to sports fisherman taking 80% of the other 100,000 tween now and the opening of SMB season in mid-June.  Good Luck and Be Safe out there all!!!

Musky Ben
5/10/24 @ 7:38 AM
User since 7/20/09
Pretty much, fisherman and northwoods businesses are in the minority, not just in this state but even more so at the federal level.  Don't hold your breath on it changing when votes are involved and you don't have enough of them.  No politician would introduce that change and risk the blow back.
5/9/24 @ 5:52 PM
User since 9/3/11
After all this amateur commentary....it remains the actuality is no.one cares. The fishery will be decimated eventually....take for example  Mille Lacs in MN.   
The tribes will take what they want when they want...they hate whiteman
5/9/24 @ 12:12 PM
User since 4/1/05
"The Chippewa tribes have treaty rights in the Ceded Territory."

Yes, they do.  Article I of the Wisconsin Constitution also spells this out for everyone else: "The people have the right to fish, hunt, trap, and take game."  The Chippewa treaties don't give tribes any more authority - it just gives them the right to do the same thing as the Constitution already does for all Wisconsin citizens.  The treaties don't state that tribes may spear 100% of the allowable safe harvest on lakes, and they don't state tribes don't have to abide by the law on off reservation lands.  You also stated that treaties don't state tribes can take 100% safe harvest levels, but woke judicial systems turned it into that.  If they want to take 100% of the safe harvest on reservation lakes, then the more power to them.  The reservations are their country.

5/8/24 @ 6:22 PM
User since 7/3/01
The Chippewa tribes have treaty rights in the Ceded Territory.   Other tribes have different natural resources rights.  There are specific tribes in Wisconsin.   Grouping them together adds confusion.  The more precise we communicate about specific tribes, the less confusion there is.

Number 3 needs clarification.   What specific funding source is limited to stocking fish on which reservation ??   

Number 4.   No tribe harvests 100% of the fish or game.   No treaty promises 100% of the harvest. 

Number 5.   Where is it written a shared harvest of what specific species  50/50 between the state and the Chippewa tribes ??   

5/8/24 @ 5:01 PM
User since 5/17/11
JC a couple of your points are addressed with the ceded territory. It's land the US acquired but allowed native Americans to retain hunting and fishing privileges. It is separate from reservation lands. 

Right, wrong, or indifferent. That's the explanation for your points 2 and 4.

5/8/24 @ 4:55 PM
User since 4/1/05
Couple of my viewpoints:
1) Obviously the safe harvest - something wrong with those numbers - tribal or nontribal....doesn't matter.  Something is missing.
2) I have no problem with the tribes spearing their reservation waters if the water falls entirely within their reservation.  Even though I have problems with that at least it is easier to understand.
3) I have a problem with our license dollars going to tribes to stock walleyes ONLY into reservation waters when spearing occurs outside of those waters.
4) No place in any treaty does it state that tribes are promised 100% of the available harvest.  The treaties basically just preserve them the right to hunt and fish....the same as everyone in Wisconsin.  Why do rules not apply to tribe members outside of the reservation just like everyone else?
5) Sharing the resource...spearing vs. fishing.  If spearing declares half the safe harvest and if the intention is to share the resource 50/50, then ‚Äčtribes should not be allowed to fish for walleye the remaining 11+ months of the year.

5/8/24 @ 1:56 PM
Swamp buck
User since 1/23/09
What would be the reason for spearing big muskies by the tribes? Nothing but spite and because they can!
5/8/24 @ 1:34 PM
Fish Hound
User since 1/29/02
Fin Bender, I didn't say anything that contradicted anything you mentioned.

The tribes set their own quota and reports their harvest, then if there is anything left the hook and lines anglers get the remainder of the overall quota if there is any. The tribes declare their own quota and can take 100% of the allowable harvest if they choose, thanks for confirming that!

Tell me what I said was "head spinning" wrong anywhere in my post.
5/8/24 @ 12:34 PM
Fin Bender
Fin Bender
User since 9/16/11
Fish Hounds comments are so incorrect and false it makes my brain hurt. No matter what side of this issue you're on, or even if you're neutral, please take the time to learn some basic facts about it.
Here's a start for FH: the safe harvest isn't determined just for Wi sportsmen, or the tribes, it's done for both. It's determined by a state/GLFWC collaboration. Biologists who work for the state and tribes both contribute. This level can not be exceeded by any party, by federal court order.
Secondly, as ruled by the federal court approx. 30 years ago, the tribes can take up to 100% of the safe harvest of walleye and musky, leaving nothing for Wi sportsmen. Believe it or not Tom Maulson used to advocate that the tribes achieve this, maybe he still does. Hate this or not, it's the law.
I could go on with interesting facts and observations, but that's all for now. And BTW, I'm not pro or anti native spearing, it's just something that exists and will not be going away in my lifetime.
5/8/24 @ 11:30 AM
PRO MEMBER User since 5/23/05
Fishound- I agree, but be sure they transport their canoes and torches with horses and/or wagons, not 4wd trucks,  use homemade fillet knives, not electric and cut some ice out of the lakes to supply their ice houses to store all their fish.  Times have changed and it's time for the treaty's to change to reflect the times we currently live in.  Other policies change, no reason these can't change as well.  
5/8/24 @ 10:59 AM
User since 5/17/11
I personally don't care how the walleyes are legally harvested...speared, net, setline, rod and reel. Or when, spring or fall. Or with what technology. Dead fish is a dead fish.

I'm more concerned with the overall total harvest number. Clearly that number needs to be reduced by both tribal and non-tribal. 
5/8/24 @ 10:38 AM
Fish Hound
User since 1/29/02
The six Chippewa tribes of Wisconsin are legally able to harvest walleyes using a variety of high-efficiency methods, but spring spearing is the most frequently used method. In spring, each tribe declares how many walleyes and muskellunge they intend to harvest from each lake. Harvest begins shortly after ice-out, with nightly fishing permits issued to individual tribal spearers.

They self impose a harvest limit, not nearly the same thing. This is a copy and paste directly from the WDNR website.
Displaying 1 to 15 of 113 posts
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