Once Great Wisconsin Fisheries
By Craig Sandell ©
There was a time when the lakes of Vilas and Oneida Counties
were "The Destination" for Musky and Walleye fishermen.
There was a time when there were many bait shops
along Hwy 51 and the towns of Minocqua and Arbor Vitae were
awash with tourists who pumped their vacation dollars into the
There was a time when The Lac Du Flambeau tribe
recognized that tourism dollars helped to feed tribal members, so
they refrained from excessive spring and winter spearing.
These things all used to be true,
but no more.
The Lac Du Flambeau, through their quest for vengeance against
non-native peoples under the leadership
Tom Maulson, have been systematically depleting the lakes
of Vilas and Oneida Counties of their once abundant Musky and
Walleye populations under the guise of subsistence.
The result has been a substantial decrease in
the tourism dollars that are so very important to the economy of
the area. Sports shops are boarded up, resorts are being sold
off for condos and even the Lake Of Torches Indian Casino has
seen their patron numbers drop.
Only intervention by the State of Wisconsin, led
by its Governor Scott Walker,
through the declaration of a "Natural Resource Emergency"
can put a stop to the destruction of the Vilas and Oneida County
The problem is that the current political
leadership in Wisconsin lacks the will to take action to rescue
these fisheries and the economy of Vilas and Oneida Counties;
yet these same politicians expect you to vote for them in
November while they sit on their hands and play patty fingers
with their ass.
There is, however, a glimmer of hope on the
horizon. The 55th District Representative, Rep. Dean Kaufert
from Neenah, has indicated that he believes that the bands,
among them Tom Maulson and the Lac Du Flambeau, are retaliating
for policy decisions by state outdoors officials and he said the
tribe's actions would hurt tourism industry in Wisconsin,
resulting in less revenue for restaurants, bars and lodging.
Representative Kaufert, vice chairman of the state Building
Commission, said when the commission meets in April he may push
to have members reconsider the $1.5 million grant money awarded
to the Lac Du Flambeau band.
If you agree with Representative Kaufert, you
need to encourage him to reconsider the $1.5 million grant. Let
him know that you support this and any other actions that the
State can take to send the message that
"Enough Is Enough".
Representative Kaufert's Email is:
Rep.Kaufert@legis.wisconsin.gov - Rep.Kaufert@legis.wisconsin.gov
You can click on the Email Link or
paste his Email address into your Email program.
We Are all In This