Collaborative Fishery Management Opportunities Between Tribal and State Agencies

Grant: # 1044

Grant Amount: $41,674.59

Board Decision Year: 2009

Michigan Technological University - Biological Sciences (Houghton)

Biological Sciences

Holtgren, Marty ( 231-398-2193

GLFT - Ecosystem Health and Sustainable Fish Populations- - Ecological and biological fisheries research to inform management

Project Details

The 2007 Consent Decree, signed by five tribal nations, the State of Michigan and the United States, recognized tribal rights for hunting, fishing, and gathering within the inland portion of the 1836 Treaty of Washington ceded territory. Tribal rights for the Great Lakes had been established prior to this agreement, which contained similarities and differences in institutional structure. The 2007 Inland Decree recognized the tribes may need to conduct biological assessments and restoration—as well as reclamation and enhancement activities—and specific provisions were developed recognizing this need.

When the 2007 Consent Decree was signed, and since that time, leaders of the respective agencies  recognized that an opportunity existed to collaborate to achieve outcomes that would protect the fishery resource within the treaty area in a mutually beneficial manner. Potential outcomes benefiting the agencies include achieving greater efficiency in protecting resources, creating new knowledge and innovations, and addressing broad environmental and social issues.

Grant funding from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust  enabled the project team to work with the respective agencies to develop strategies for collaboration on assessment and restoration activities. This paper details the agency research participant’s priorities for assessment and restoration activities, how they are important, areas where collaboration would meet similar management goals, and suggestions for other collaborative opportunities. Many similarities in priorities, and, as expected, differences were identified due to differing  values and knowledge systems used by the respective agencies.

Through the differences, there appears to be great potential for collaboration and an opportunity to recognize and understand how differing priorities also can be assets to successful resource management. The findings suggest this opportunity for inland waters and for incorporating a more holistic strategy of considering Great Lakes management issues as well.