DNR shares FAQs about proposed Great Lakes Consent Decree

In December 2022, the State of Michigan, the United States and four Tribal governments – the Bay Mills Indian Community, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians and the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians – filed a proposed Great Lakes Consent Decree with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan.

The proposed agreement comes after three years of negotiations. It would extend for 24 years the system of overseeing commercial and sport fishing in parts of lakes Huron, Michigan and Superior.

Because not all governments involved in the negotiations concurred with the proposed decree, it is not yet in effect; rather, it is on a litigation track that will extend into the spring. Because all parties were bound by a confidentiality agreement, the contents of the document could not be discussed prior to its release last month.

Understandably, some questions have arisen in relation to the proposed decree’s potential impact on the Great Lakes fishery within the 1836 Treaty area. To clear up any confusion and clarify key points, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions.

The proposed decree and FAQ are available at the DNR’s consent decree webpage.