The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa were ready to allow band members some limited netting on Lake Superior this fall, but no one showed up.

The band’s Tribal Council offered band members the opportunity for subsistence netting (any fish caught could not be sold) on the big lake for herring and whitefish. But Fond du Lac members would first have to take an apprentice fishing course from veteran Grand Portage band netters.

So far, no Fond du Lac members have signed up for the program, said Brian Borkholder, Fond du Lac fisheries biologist. Borkholder said he expects the offer to be out there again in 2020 for Fond du Lac members.

While Fond du Lac members, thanks to treaty rights, are allowed to net and spear walleyes and other fish in smaller lakes each spring, this was the first time band members had been allowed access to Lake Superior netting.

Fond du Lac and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fisheries experts would work together to develop a management plan for any species targeted by the band.