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2000 Great Lakes Consent Decree

New Proposed Decree & FAQs

View proposed agreement

While the 2000 Consent Decree remains in effect until a U.S. Federal Court orders otherwise, an agreement has been reached by six of the seven parties that have been negotiating for a new Great Lakes decree. That proposed new Decree has been filed with the court and is part of the public record. This proposed agreement will not be in effect unless and until it is ordered by a court.

View frequently asked questions

To clear up any confusion and clarify key points contained in the proposed decree, we’re sharing answers to some of the questions that have come up most often since the proposed decree was filed with the court.

What is the 2000 Consent Decree?

The 2000 Consent Decree is an agreement that governs allocation, management, and regulation of state and tribal fisheries in the 1836 Treaty waters of the Great Lakes. It outlines management of numerous species but puts particular emphasis on lake trout and lake whitefish. It was signed in August 2000 by Bay Mills Indian Community, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, the state of Michigan and the United States. Although originally set to expire in August 2020, it has been extended by a federal court and currently remains in place as the parties negotiate a successor agreement.

Technical Fisheries Committee

The Decree established a Technical Fisheries Committee which is an inter-governmental body comprised of biologists that seek to resolve issues using the best available science. The TFC strives for consensus in all matters brought before it; however, if consensus cannot be reached, the Consent Decree describes a dispute resolution process that is to be followed. When conditions in the lakes warrant a change from the management strategy than was agreed upon in the year 2000, the Decree can be amended by consensus among the parties.

Recent Reports

2020 Implementation of the 2000 Consent Decree

This annual report documents sport, commercial, and subsistence harvest and effort by state and tribal fishers as well as enforcement of regulations established by the 2000 Consent Decree.

2020 Implementation of the 2000 Consent Decree

Current Status of the Stocks Report (2022)

This annual report documents the status of lake trout and lake whitefish populations in the Treaty Management Units of the Great Lakes, as well as the process by which annual harvest limits are calculated for each species.

Current Status of the Stocks Report (2022)

Lake Trout Long Report

This report provides a detailed description of the statistical catch-at-age models used to describe lake trout populations in the 1836 Treaty Waters of the Great Lakes. It also describes the status of lake trout populations at the start of the 2000 Consent Decree.