CASS LAKE, MN- The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (LLBO) Division of Resource Management issued public notice today that Manoomin (wild rice) waters within the exterior boundaries of the Leech Lake Reservation will be closed to hunters participating in the MN DNR’s early teal and goose seasons.
The new early teal season, which is experimental and could last up to three years, is open from September 4-8, 2021. The State’s Early Goose Season also opens on September 4. These dates overlap with the traditional Manoomin harvesting season taking place throughout Northern Minnesota.
“With peak ricing season taking place now and lasting for the next few weeks, our Natural Resources Advisory Council and the LLBO Tribal Council, agreed that the safest course of action is to close the wild rice beds to hunters taking part in the experimental early waterfowl hunting season,” said Ben Benoit, LLBO Environmental Director. “While these closures only affect rice beds within the Leech Lake Reservation, we encourage hunters to exercise extreme caution throughout the 1855 Treaty Territory where many of our people will be gathering rice throughout the weekend.”
Leech Lake Reservation waters containing wild rice beds will open to all hunters on the State’s regular season opening date on September 25, 2021.
The public notice, Leech Lake Reservation Business Council resolution and map of affected waters is available on the Leech Lake Division of Resource Management website at https://www.llojibwe.org/drm.
EARLY WATERFOWL HUNTING PROHIBITED IN LL RESERVATION WILD RICE WATERS
MNDNR promulgated an Experimental Early Waterfowl Teal Season set for September 4 through 8, 2021. Due to public safety concerns presented by the overlap of over-water waterfowl hunting and the Wild Rice harvest season within Leech Lake Reservation, Leech Lake Reservation Wild Rice waters will be closed to over-water waterfowl hunting for the experimental teal and early goose seasons.
The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe maintains exclusive jurisdiction and authority over the management and protection of Wild Rice and Tribal Member safety. Closure of waters with actively harvested wild rice beds is consistent with MINN. STAT. 97A.151 & LLRBC Resolution #2022-16. Hunters on waters with active rice beds will be removed. For further information and list of closed waters please contact Leech Lake Division of Resource Management at 218-335-7400 or visit www.llojibwe.org/drm.