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Published by the Great Lakes Indian Fish Wildlife Commission Summer 2016 Waabizheshi mystery on the Apostle Islands By Jonathan Gilbert GLIFWC Wildlife Biologist By Paula Maday Staff Writer Long spearing season gets an early start Brady Edwards angles a Big Muskellunge Lake walleye into a boat shared with fellow spearfisherman Alan Peterson. The Lac du Flambeau spearers and several family members fished under a full Earth Day moon in Vilas County Wisconsin. Charlie Otto Rasmussen photo Prior to gathering biological data from waabizheshiwag GLIFWC wildlife technicians administer a temporary sedative to each animal. Nick McCann photo What do you say when you find a species that you thought was long gone from an area for more than 40 years Was it rediscovered after having been there the whole time Was it success- fully reintroduced more than 60 years prior Did it recolonize the area after reintroductions to nearby areas No matter what it is called it is an exciting development. This is exactly what is happening with the American marten waabezheshimartesamericanaonthe Apostle Islands in Lake Superior. Martens were native to Wisconsin and were common in the northern part oftheCededTerritorypriortoEuropean colonization. But through over-harvest and cutting of the forests martens were extirpated from what is now known as Wisconsin by the 1920s. At least that is what we thought and what is stated in many published reports. Martens in Wisconsin and Michi- gan were reintroduced through several projects. Many people know about the efforts in the Nicolet National Forest near Eagle River in the 1970s and the efforts on the Chequamegon National ForestnearCayugainthe1990s-2010s. But the earliest reintroduction effort occurred on Stockton Island one of the Apostle Islands in 1953. In that first reintroduction effort between five and 10 martens were released on Stockton Island. During the next 10-15 years there were sporadic observationsofmartensonornearStock- ton Island the last observation occurred in 1969 on the ice near Stockton. But since then and since the establishment of the Apostle Islands National Lake- shore there have been no observations of martens on the Islands. The Stockton Islandreintroductioneffortwasdeemed a failure by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Fast-forward to 2008-2010. In an effort to bolster the marten population on the Chequamegon National Forest Great Divide District 90 martens were captured in Minnesota and released. We are monitoring this population to see if the 2008-10 augmentation of martens had a positive effect on the resident population already there. However a few years later 2013 a trail camera placed on the Red Cliff Reservation just on the mainland from the Apostle Islands and 40 miles north of the releases on the Chequamegon National Forest captured a photo of a marten. Then in 2014 a marten was confirmed on Manitou Island through a photo taken by a park visitor this siting was confirmed by a park volunteer on ManitouIsland.Thatsameyearaperson who visited the park in 2010 identified a marten from one of the pictures they took during that visit. These photos werethefirstevidenceofmartensonthe Apostle Islands in more than 40 years. See Waabizheshi page 5 Spring spearers from St. Croix offered tobacco to the water spirits and ven- tured out to Cedar Lake to open the 2016 spearing season on March 24. It was the second earliest opener in the modern spearing era. Largetemperaturefluctuationsmadeforachoppystarttotheseason.Astribes in the western region of the 1837 and 1842 Ceded Territory neared their midway point tribes in the eastern region were just getting started. Of the Wisconsin tribes Bad River was next in line to start spearing taking 79 walleye from Long Lake on March 31. LCO joined on April 5 opening nine lakes only four of which were speared for 46 total walleye. Red Cliff followed on April 9 Mole LakeSokoagon on April 12 and Lac du Flambeau on April 16. In total Wisconsin treaty spearers harvested 32270 walleye from a harvest declaration of 58407 and 179 muskellunge from a quota of 1658. The walleye harvest was lower than the amount harvested in recent years falling 8 below last years harvest of 56. The muskellunge harvest grew slightly from 9 last year to 11 this year. From 1989-2015 Wisconsin treaty tribes have harvested on aver- age 57 of their walleye declaration and 15 of their muskellunge declaration. Minnesota On Lake Mille Lacs continued efforts by state and tribal managers aim to recoverahealthywalleyepopulation.Thelakehasstruggledwithdecliningwalleye due to the effects of cleaner warmer water invasive species and predation. At the Voigt Intertribal Task Force Meeting on March 2 representatives from Mille Lacs asked Wisconsin treaty tribes to relinquish their harvest allocations on the big lake. Full and partial allocations from these tribes bumped Mille Lacswalleye quota from 3101 pounds to 6579.5. Of this Mille Lacs tribal harvesters brought in 3340.9 pounds. They also brought in 235.4 pounds of northern pike. Lake Mille Lacs also saw action from Fond du Lac. FDL tribal members harvested 2924.2 pounds of walleye from an adjusted harvest quota of 3108.5 pounds. They also harvested 209.7 pounds of northern pike. On the 1854 lakes in Minnesota including Eagle Lake Sturgeon Lake Lake Vermillion West and Whiteface Reservoir Fond du Lac harvested 1837 pounds of walleye including 1539.2 pounds from Lake Vermillion alone. See 1836 1842 Ceded Territory page 2 MAZINAIGAN PAGE 1 SUMMER 2016 Spring spearing roundup