KBIC members harvest eight walleye via spearing

CHASSELL?- The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Portage Lake special quota walleye spearing season opened the night of May 8. According to tribal President Donald Shalifoe, Sr., 11 registered participants successfully speared eight fish that night, with most participants walking the shores of Chassell Bay.

Participants must be enrolled members of the KBIC or another tribe, must register to spear each night at the Pike Bay Boat Launch Site in Chassell, and must bring non-commercial fishing, hunting, trapping and gathering license information to register.

Shalifoe said the tribal Natural Resources department has not yet opened the spearing season on smaller inland lakes.

He said Natural Resources sets opening and closing dates depending on conditions each each season, “to not hurt the natural resources.”

“I’m expecting them to open soon,” Shalifoe said. “I know our members are going to want to go.”

He said the Lac de Flambeau tribe from Wisconsin has not responded to his request for dialogue and greater courtesy after that tribe included traditional KBIC waters in a list of lakes where they intended to spear this season, without first asking permission or contacting the KBIC.

Legally, however, Lac de Flambeau or other registered tribal members do have the right to spear in other tribes’ traditional waters.

“They would have to follow our rules, when we open (the lakes),” Shalifoe said. “They’d have to go by title 10 of the KBIC code, and we’d have to enforce that.”