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Lac Du Flambeau Tribe Off Reservation Spearing and Turkey Permit Update 4/11/20

Department Updates and Notices



Including Turkey Permit Procedures

AS OF 4/11/2020



This pandemic has threatened our traditional ways of harvesting and the safety of our membership, their families and our community so therefore these guidelines were developed and approved.

There may be areas within the guidelines that were not fully agreed upon by Tribal Council Members and Voight Representatives however the safety guidelines to minimize covid-19 exposure was a full consensus and the number one priority.

NO HARVEST AT MILLE LACS LAKE- it will open at a  later date to spear or net. — Per Tribal Council Resolution (119)20 passed 04/10/2020.

Interstate travel will be banned from harvesting Mille Lacs Lake at any given time by the Tribal Council for the safety and well-being of Tribal membership.


Please have patience through this unprecedented time.  We hope for a safe harvest of giigoo for our families and community! 


Please contact John “Goober” Johnson, LDF Tribal Council/Voight Chairman @715-439-3321 or email:, if you have questions or need more information.


Please see guidelines attached also visit GLIFWC.ORG for treaty fisheries information at

























LDF Spring Spearing Season & Turkey Permit COVID-19 GUIDELINES

as of 04/10/2020

  1. Pages 1-5 Information
  2. Page 4 list of options, separate packet explaining options

         Pages 4-5 list of sites considered to issue permits

4.         Pages 5 - 8 proposed guidelines for 2020 Spring Spearing Season

5.      Pages 8 - 9 proposed Turkey Permits issuance.

The LDF Voight reps goal while developing these guidelines were to keep the best Interests of the tribal membership in mind for public safety, health, and wellbeing for ail Tribal members. Due to the novel virus — coronavirus/COVlD-19 — the spring spearing season will have to be altered, changed, and new measures to follow to keep Tribal and non-tribal alike from contracting and spreading the virus. Will have to come up with new ideas, procedures, protocol and measures to ensure a safer spring spearing season for spear harvesters this year.

Introduce new ideas and measures, look at them objectively to use in this year's spring spearing and perhaps following spearing seasons. Go through some options and discuss them reasonably, and pick an option that will work with the least amount of interaction among people as possible this year. Streamline and tweak an option until most of the flaws are taken out of the option chosen. Meaning some steps and measures won't work this year so add some new ones or make some steps better and take steps out that won't work. It has also been brought to the Natural Resources Spring Spearing team the bingo ball system may be out dated and a newer streamlined version of the lottery system be put in place. Maybe we can incorporate new ideas and procedures from this spring spearing season to be utilized in future spearing seasons.

Train more Natural Resources employees to operate Spring Spearing Season operations — checking lakes and taking water temperature readings, naming lakes, filling out permits, issuing permits. Train Natural Resources employees of all the processes it takes to conduct a spring spearing season in case an employee for whatever reason cannot make it to work for a day or period of time.

Placing the safety and well-being of all Tribal members on the Lac du Flambeau Reservation to contract and spread coronavirus for a spring spearing season is a realistic threat to our people. Spearing fish could offset the need for extra food during this short period of time but concerns are there to contract and spread the coronavirus. People are going to go do whatever they need to do to take care of their families. Going to get natural medicines in nature is one thing because the person gathering natural medicines is usually going by themselves or small number of people. Off-reservation spearing on the other hand involves using a man-made structure boat landing, coming into contact of many more people and traveling out of the community into other communities,

Realistically, we are not the only ones using off-reservation boat landings. People from different communities are using the boat fandings too. Who knows how far they travel and where they come from. They could come from a community or county that has a high amount of coronavirus cases and unknowingly be spreading the disease by coughing or spitting on surfaces the spearing teams come into contact with. Spring spearing can put the entire Tribe's membership safety and well-being at risk to contract and spread the coronavirus placing the Reservation into an unsafe hazardous environment should a Tribal harvester contract and spread the coronavirus back to the Reservation. Spreading this disease not only to the spearing harvesters but putting employees and other Tribal members at risk to contract and spread this novel virus home to their young, elderly and to the mainstream population of Tribal and non-tribal communities.

Have to protect Tribal members from themselves sometimes and this is one of those times. The position should be to delay or postpone spring spearing to protect our Tribal community from possibly contracting and spreading a novel virus connected to getting people sick and possible death in this pandemic period.

Tribal members of all age groups have medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, respiratory problems, heart problems, high blood pressure, weakened immune systems from whatever medical problems they may have. People with underlying health conditions and elderly are having more severe symptoms and reactions to the coronavirus and are dying more so then healthy people. The percentage of recovery is high with healthy people, tower with the elderly and people that have underlying health issues. Spear harvesters should take into consideration to go off-reservation to spear harvest this year should any family members have health issues.

When spring spearing starts off-reservation it will be at the beginning of the peak of the pandemic period. The risk of contracting and spreading the disease will be greater, there are other means of contracting the coronavirus and spreading the disease like going to the store, getting gas, out of necessity going out of your community to get essentials and necessities to live, making it more possible to contract and spread this coronavirus by community spread — spread unknown or accidental. Ideally staying at home in isolation would be the safest thing to do. Spring spearing this year is risky and putting Tribal members at risk because we are purposely sending out spring spearing harvesters off the Reservation into other communities that may have the coronavirus. The spearing harvesters will have a greater chance of contracting the coronavirus by traveling into other communities that have the coronavirus, coming into contact with other people, then coming back home possibly spreading the disease. Staying on the Reservation and at home would be the wisest choice.

Is it essential to the Tribe to have a spring spearing season? Some may considerate it a tradition to spear but it is also a tradition to protect families and the Tribal membership safety and well-being from harm. It would be wise to delay the spring spearing season until after the pandemic period or cancel the spring spearing season. Look at all the cancelations of recent events — College conferences tournaments for basketball teams to become eligible for the NCCA tournament, March Madness NCCA basketball tournament, NCCA wrestling tournament, NBA basketball season, the start of Major League Baseball on hold, the Masters Golf tournament postponed to a later date, Olympics postponed 1 year, Wimbledon tennis tournament canceled in England. Closer to home, large gatherings • cancelations or closures of concerts, pow-wows, weddings, going to restaurants, taverns, casinos, things that people in our community attend. This is probably costing millions or billions of dollars to the economy from these canceled events. There Is a reason for it — Contracting and spreading a novel disease — the coronavirus.

Might be over-reacting but right now the data and science don't lie about this new/novel coronavirus pandemic. Look at the updates from the Tribe, State, and Nation. Coronavirus is starting to infect more and more of the population in the United States. Here's different national updates of confirmed cases since starting this draft:

      March 24, 2020 - 42,321 sick, 541 deaths

      March 26, 2020 - 85,000 sick, 1354 deaths

      March 28, 2020 -121,000 sick, 2043 deaths

      March 30, 2020 -142,796 sick, 2490 deaths

      April 1, 2020 -190,509 sick, 4,118 deaths

                              April 03, 2020 - 245,974 sick, 6,126 deaths

      April 07, 2020 -379,224 sick, 11,835 deaths


In Wisconsin, April 7, 2020, 2,440 confirmed cases, 77 deaths. Wisconsin’s low number of cases maybe due to State of Wisconsin and Tribes going into isolation earlier than other states. Wisconsin and the other states that went into isolation early are having less cases of the coronavirus.

People may think that we might not get the coronavirus here but it's starting to show up in counties surrounding the Lac du Flambeau Reservation and in the county the Reservation is located. Starting to show up in rural areas more and more. Tribal membership should take this pandemic seriously, become informed and understand what this coronavirus can do. It is projected in the United States to have deaths up to 100,000 to 240,000 people before the end of the pandemic, since starting this draft the model used for the projection of deaths of 100,000 to 240,000 could be wrong up to one-third stated on CNN news April 06, 2020, state death is connected to this novel coronavirus disease. So, we have to take precautions and follow the guidelines - Isolation, social distancing, direct contact with other people and travelling tong distances into other communities that may or may not have the coronavirus.

At the same time people have to live and provide for their families. Spring spearing can provide extra food to families and the community, it also can be broken down into being under SD in a gathering and under 10 to in a room. This year spring spearing wilt have to lessen the amount of people in direct contact with each other, make it as small as possible to sign up for spearing teams and to issue permits. New steps and procedures put in place to protect people from contracting and spreading the coronavirus disease. it may be an inconvenience to keep spring spearing within the guidelines and protocol of Tribal, State, and National governments so Tribal members have to understand there will be new measures to follow for this year and maybe beyond this year.

Have to protect Spring Spearing employees and Tribal members that are placed in this unsafe hazardous environment connected to spring spearing this year. For this year maybe, all employees connected to spring spearing get hazard pay for putting them and their family’s well-being at risk for working in unsafe hazardous conditions. Employees and spear harvesters will have to travel out of their communities through 2 -S maybe more communities to get to a boat landing. Another drawback because one of those communities might have the coronavirus putting employees and spear harvesters at risk.

Strict rules, procedures, and protocol must be followed and these will be put in place before this year's spearing season. The purpose is to protect all Tribal and non-tribal people from contracting and spreading the coronavirus. It would be best to stay home in isolation and not travel. Tribal members should understand this.

Some Tribal members will want to take their chances and go spearing. But what about Tribal members that have nothing to do with spearing. Maybe one Tribal spear harvester contracts the coronavirus and the spear harvester recovers to be okay without too many symptoms but passes the virus to some other Tribal member that has nothing to do with spear harvesting who is not as lucky — doesn't do as well, has more severe symptoms, suffers and maybe dies. Tribal spear harvester might think he/she was great for going out to exercise their rights during this pandemic but on the other hand maybe the spear harvester was irresponsible to put someone else at risk to contract this virus.

Hopefully this doesn't happen. As mentioned before the coronavirus might come anyway by some other means but again why take the risk of contracting and spreading the coronavirus by purposely putting Tribal members into an unsafe hazardous environment during this year's spring spearing season. The spear harvesting of fish can be done at some other point and time. Other methods can be used other than spearing harvesting — netting, hook and line, spearing done during summer and fall. Hopefully everyone can still be here safe, well and alive to enjoy harvested fish when this pandemic period is


Spring spearing is a festive, great and fantastic time of year but precautions wilt has to be taken this year to make spring spear harvesting safe as possible for everyone. Voigt Task Force members started with 4 options:

1. — Delay or postpone spearing to a later date.

2, — Keep spring spearing the way it was as much as possible like in previous years.

  1. — Spearing permits given out at landings on a first come, first serve basis.
  2. — Have a shortened 5-day season first for walleye, then 5-day musky season or have a staggered season where spearing teams spear every other day until they speared 5 times. After spearing teams speared 5 times they should have enough fish for the season.

Drawbacks are in every option mentioned and one option will be addressed streamlined and tweaked until it is the safest option to use for this year's spearing season. Option 2 was considered the best option to use going forward if Spring Spearing Season isn't canceled or postponed. Measures will still have to be in place if spearing season Is delayed or postponed to a later date because of the reinfection factor of the coronavirus.

Option 1 should be seriously considered so we are not putting Tribal membership at risk to contract and spread the coronavirus at its projected peak which is during the spring spearing season. Staying home in isolation, social distancing and not travelling outside our community unless it is absolutely necessary'. if that Is not the case, Option 2 format will be worked on by Voigt Task Force members hopefully putting Tribal membership into the least amount of contact with each other and other people. LDF Voigt Task Force members will work to streamline and tweak Option 2 to take measures out that won't work and add measures that will work. Taking the best measures of not contracting and spreading the coronavirus which is a realistic threat to all Tribal members this year. Spring spear harvesters there can be dire consequences involved this spring spearing season due to contracting and spreading the coronavirus and bringing it home to your families and other tribal members to get sick, we are not the only ones using these boat landings.

Location — Three sites were considered:

  1. Natural Resource Building
  2. Fish Hatchery— Old Natural Resource Building
  3. Registration Station

All sites considered the Natural Resource building being the number 1 site because It is totally isolated from the public at this time of year but it is a second Emergency Management location.

Fish Hatchery was also considered but was deemed to have less space than the Registration Station Area.

Registration Station area was considered too small of an area and would get congested too fast. But going around Bearskin Circle in single file keeping distance and not getting out of vehicle will solve this problem. Only concerns with Bearskin Circle are residential areas located around Bearskin Circle with pedestrians and children playing on road. Extra precaution will be given to pedestrians and children playing on road who live in this area from Registration employees and spear harvesters.

Location — Deer Registration

Times — All times wilt stay the same for each day of the week Monday thru Sunday. 7:00 am — 8:00 am lottery bingo balls drawn, 9:00 am list of spearing teams and time slot wilt be posted, 12:00 noon named lakes wilt be posted, 5:00pm permits will be issued.

Guidelines to follow for this year’s spring spearing season 2020 to lessen the contraction and spread of the novel new disease - coronavirus:

  1. No entry into Registration building, no exceptions building will be locked and windows closed. Call to talk with Natural Resource employee at 715-588•4245. Tables will be placed in front of door and window.
  2. Between 7:00 am and 8:00 am Jotter•/ bingo balls will be drawn.
  3. 9:00 am list of spearing teams’ position and time slot will be posted at

Registration Station, Natural Resource Building and the Community Center side entrance where the old clinic and dental was located — now Indian Child Welfare

  1. At 12:00 noon lakes named will be posted at Registration Station, Natural Resource Building, and Community Center side door.
  2. 5:00 pm start with vehicles going around Bearskin Circle and stay in vehicle. Vehicles wilt line up in order of number caned, stop at intersection and move forward when space becomes available in front of Registration Station. 5-minute time slot for 5 spearing teams, for example:

1 — Whatever spearing team

                                              5:00 pm         2

                                                    to               3

                                               5:05 pm         4


6 — Whatever spearing team

5:05 pm        7 to     8

                                            5:10 pm         9


11 — Whatever spearing team

5:10 pm 12 to            13

                                            5:15 pm         14


So, on and 50 forth until ail teams are done. Get in line in your time slot to keep from getting area congested. If you miss your time slot will go to bottom of list, come back at the end of time slot times. If last time slot is 5:40 — 5:45 pm come back at 5:45 pm.

  1. Have one member of spearing team name lake. Have lake ready to name before coming to side of Registration Building where named lakes will be posted, have 2Dd lake ready in case first lake you want is closed, want to name lakes in a timely manner. When spearing team in front gets done and leaves, next vehicle pulls up to side of Station. Stay in vehicle when it's your turn to name lake, use phone to give information to Natural Resource employee.
  2. Due to the coronavirus pandemic spearing teams will have 4-member team, but only 3 permits will be issued per team to keep social distancing and direct contact from each other. Up to 3 team members leave LDF Reservation in boating party to spear harvest and spearing teams must have own boat, no travelling together in same vehicle with other spearing teams. Permits will be issued at named boat landing. — Council Approval
  3. When spearing teams leave the Lac du Flambeau Reservation spearing teams will go directly to named boat landing without stopping anywhere. Get supplies in town — gas, cigarettes, food. — Council Approval
  4. When permits are issued at named boat landing spearing teams will keep in single file keeping distance so issuing permit site doesn't become congested.
  5. At permit site one spearing team member will put ID's on table and back away. Creel team will look at ID's on table without touching, take information down, let spearing team know when they are done and back away. Spearing team member will get ID's and spearing permits to sign in vehicle then go spear harvesting. Spearing teams make sure you have pen or pencil to sign the permits with. Spearing teams give each other time to land boats and park vehicles. Spearing teams give creel team courtesy call if not showing up.
  6. When done spear harvesting, spearing team will dump fish into Creel bucket, put signed spearing permits on table and back away. Creel team will sex, measure, count your fish, put fish back into spear harvesters’ bucket, inform spearing team when creel is done, take signed permits from table and back away. Spearing team will come get their bucket of fish.
  7. Spearing team will get their fish stowed away, leave landing, and come directly back to the Reservation without stopping anywhere • advised. Spearing teams will give each other enough time to load boats and fish keeping distance between each other. — Council Approval
  8. If any available permits at named boat landing this year to make it as safe as possible to keep spear harvesters from travelling from boat landing to boat landing, permits will become available at 10:00 pm only to spearing teams that

are spear harvesting that designated lake or to spearing teams that didn't harvest a named lake that night, if spearing team wants to get available permit who speared harvested lake inform the creel team. Creel team will make list of spearing teams that want available permits and inform spearing teams of permits available and start Issuing available permits at 10:00 pm. Any spearing team that didn’t*t harvest a named lake can get any available permits before 10:00 pm.

This will change during clean-up and musky season when there is considerably less amount of spear harvesters, have musky season follow same format as walleye season but allow musky harvesters to go to more than one landing.

With the small number of musky harvesters this will be possible.

  1. On big lakes with multiple landings more than one site will be named to keep congestion from happening at boat landing. Spearing teams will give what landing they want to use, when permits at one boat landing site are all issued, will issue permits for available boat landing site. This could prevent more lakes named that night because more creel clerks will be at one named lake.
  2. Lakes with big numbers that have only one named boat landing, depending on size of the parking area will have limited spearing teams spear harvesting the lake due to congesting the boat landing site. Half of spearing quota will become available to limited number of spearing teams one night than half the quota will become available to different limited spearing teams the next night.
  3. More alternative lakes will be named this year and spearing teams will get fish sexed, measured, and counted at a designated named boat landing site.
  4. Due to the coronavirus, sign up at the Registration Station will have No Entry, No Exceptions. One spearing team member in person keeping Tribal ID's on person WII! read names and Tribal ID numbers over the phone, call 715-5884245. Natural Resource employee will take down information. If a spearing team is signing up, spearing team that wants to sign up will stay in vehicle until spearing team member that is signing up is done and gets back into vehicle. Natural Resource employee has other job responsibilities and may not be able to answer the phone or check phone messages in a timely manner to sign up spearing teams by phone. Switching teams will be done a day in advance.
  5. If a spring spearing team member gets sick with coronavirus spearing team is done for the spearing season. Any people feeling sick or is sick don't show up to get/be issued permits for a named lake or go to a boat landing to get a permit to spear harvest. Stay away from all spring spearing activities and postings.
  6. Spearing teams will treat creel teams with respect and mind your manners. The creel teams are there to do a job without any additional stress. Save your comments for down the road or on the lake, not at the creel site. Creel clerks will treat spearing teams with respect, mind your manners, the spearing teams are there to spear harvest without any additional stress, save your comments until you are away from the creel site area.
  7. On Reservation and Off Reservation procedures will be done daily at same time Monday — Sunday.
  8. Due to the Coronavirus it is suggested Tribal members from different

Reservations that live/address in the immediate area — 15-mile radius or on the Lac du Flambeau Reservation with immediate family be allowed to spear harvest under Lac du Flambeau harvest quota this year. This will keep Tribal members from different Reservations travelling daily long distances into other communities that may have the coronavirus then contracting the virus and spreading back here to Lac du Flambeau. — Council Approval

  1. This year any Tribal member who lives South of Hwy 8 will have to go through

14-day isolation period before Spring Spearing due to the high number of Coronavirus cases in Southern Wisconsin or for those Tribal members that live out of the State of Wisconsin. — Council Approval

  1. Due to Coronavirus request GLIFWC Wardens to limit tickets for minor infractions this year such as oversized fish that are measured in the 20.1 20.4 range. 1 fish over the spearing permit, put overharvested fish on spearing permits as long as the harvested fish doesn't put named take into being overharvested. Hopefully this will keep direct contact between spear harvesters, GLIFWC Wardens, or anyone involved from contracting and spreading the coronavirus. — Council Approval
  2. Interstate travel will be banned from harvesting Mille Lacs Lake at any given time by the Tribal Council for the safety and well-being of Tribal membership. Mille Lacs Lake will be opened at later date to spear or net.  Per Tribal Council Resolution (119)20 passed 04/10/2020.
  3. Harassment may be an issue this spring spearing season at landings and named lakes due to the coronavirus. Non-tribal people may be having a rough time without a Job with bills piling up, worrying about taking care of their families, and in general frustrated. This frustration might be directed towards Tribal spear harvesters so limit confrontations and call law enforcement immediately if confrontation escalate. GLIFWC Wardens phone numbers — Jonas Moermond — 715 - 562-0026, Riley Brooks - 715-562-0300 or Emergency 911
  4. As fac south the Tribe wilt spear harvest this year is Mohawksin and Rice River Flowage. Lakes further south wilt not be spear harvested — Wissota, Holcombe, and Long. Council Approval
  5. Spear harvesters will be given a list of creel team's phone numbers.

                      A separate packet of options will be made available to look at.






Outline for Turkey season permits —

  1. No entry into Registration Building, no exceptions due to the Coronavirus pandemic guidelines and precautions are being taken to lessen the contraction and spread of the novel virus
  2. Issuance of Turkey permits will be delayed until April 13, 2020.
  3. Call ahead with Tribal member's name and ID, Natural Resource employee will get permit ready before Tribal member arrives at Registration Station. Natural Resource employee will place permit in envelope with Tribal members name on it
  4. When tribal member arrives at Registration Station stay in vehicle, Natural Resource employee will set envelop outside the building on a table
  5. Tribal member gets out of vehicle to get envelop on table with permit in it, get back into vehicle
  6. Check to see if information is correct on permit then leave. If Information isn't correct stay in vehicle. call the Natural Resource employee and correct information. Natural Resource employee will re-issue permit with correct information, place in envelop, put envelope on table outside the Registration Station for tribal member to pick up.
  7. If Natural Resource employee isn't available leave a message at 715•5884245, Natural Resource employee will call you back to make an appointment time to issue tribal member a turkey permit
  8. Some permits will be made available get on-line. An option to get camping, gathering permits, small game, and Turkey permits on-line at They are still working on details and will become available soon.

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Lac du Flambeau Tribe
P.O. Box 67
Lac du Flambeau, WI 54538

418 Little Pines Rd
Lac du Flambeau, WI 54538

(715) 588-3303


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