MADISON — The state Department of Natural Resources and the Chippewa tribes in northern Wisconsin are locking horns again, this time over the tribes' plan to dramatically increase the number of walleye harvested this spring.
The six bands say they intend to spear nearly 60,000 fish. Limits for nontribal fishermen would then drop from five to three or fewer.
The DNR acknowledges the tribes' legal right to hunt and fish in ceded territory, but says the move is a challenge to longstanding relationships between the state and tribes.
More on spearfishing in our 'Peace on the Lakes' special report from 2011: Read the complete report | Protest photos from 1980s and 1990s | Database: The most speared lakes | View spearfishing slideshow
Tribes were already upset over state moves to allow a wolf hunt and to relax certain mining standards.
The history between Wisconsin tribes and their neighbors has sometimes been troubled. The resumption of spearfishing in the 1980s and 1990s spawned protests that escalated into incidents of racial taunts and rock-throwing.