Wisconsin's Last Flash Point Over Tribal Spear Fishing

Mar 20, 2013

Chippewa tribes in northern Wisconsin have announced plans to spear 59,399 walleyes in off-reservation lakes this season.
Credit Wolfgang Hoffmann

Tribal leaders in Wisconsin have been unhappy with state leaders for relaxing mining standards and approving a wolf hunt. Now tensions have emerged over spear fishing.

When the ice melts, the walleye harvest begins.

This week, the tribes announced that they intend to spear nearly 60,000 walleye on lakes off the reservations. The DNR says that number would drastically reduce bag limits for sport fishermen.

WUWM’s Marge Pitrof takes us back two dozen years, when major confrontations occurred in northern Wisconsin over tribal spear fishing.