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Great Lakes Co-management
On Aug. 24, 2023, U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney issued his opinion approving the 2023 Great Lakes Decree. The agreement applies to:
- The State of Michigan
- The United States government
- Five of Michigan’s tribal governments with rights reserved under the 1836 Treaty of Washington:
- The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
- The Bay Mills Indian Community
- The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
- The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
- The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians
The agreement will define for the next 24 years how the state, the federal government and the tribes will cooperatively allocate and manage the resources in the 1836 Treaty-ceded waters of the Great Lakes. The opinion and the order approving the 2023 Great Lakes Fishing Decree are available below.
Co-managing Great Lakes waters in the 1836 Treaty of Washington area
This area includes the Great Lakes waters east of Marquette in Lake Superior, north of Alpena in Lake Huron, and between Escanaba and Grand Haven in Lake Michigan.
Great Lakes Decree
The Great Lakes Decree is a legal document that defines the extent of tribal rights and describes how the state and the tribes will cooperatively allocate and manage the fisheries resources in the 1836 Treaty-ceded waters of the Great Lakes. It outlines management of numerous species but puts particular emphasis on lake trout and lake whitefish.
The 2000 Consent Decree expired in 2023 when a new decree was signed by the U.S. District Court. The 2023 Great Lakes Decree governs fisheries co-management in the 1836 Treaty waters of Michigan through the year 2047.
Co-managing Great Lakes waters in the 1842 Treaty of La Pointe area
This area includes the Great Lakes waters west of Marquette in Lake Superior.
We work with tribes and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission in the 1842 Treaty area to cooperatively manage fishery resources. We also share harvest and biological information from monitoring and independent survey efforts, and collaborate on population modeling and harvest limits.