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Sault Tribe Law Enforcement enforces tribal conservation laws in the 1836 Ceded Territory and issues the majority of the treaty licenses authorized under Tribal Code, Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority (CORA) Code and the applicable consent decrees: the 2000 Great Lakes Consent Decree governing Great Lakes fishing activity; the 2007 Inland Hunting, Fishing and Gathering Consent Decree; and the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United States Forest Service governing all inland treaty activity including fishing, hunting and gathering.

Inland Hunting, Fishing and Gathering

Inland hunting, fishing and gathering licenses are governed by Sault Tribe Code Chapters 21 and 23, as applicable. Sault Tribe members can obtain their tribal Inland Harvest Hunting Licenses (hunting, fishing and gathering) or Non Hunting License (fishing and gathering only) by completing an application each year and either mailing it or bringing it to Sault Tribe Law Enforcement. If you are a new applicant, you are required to submit a copy of your current tribal membership card, and, if you were born after 1960, members must provide proof of successful completion of hunter’s safety. Harvest licenses are effective April 1 through March 31 each year; members must abide by hunting and fishing seasons and bag limits specific to each species in the licensing year they hold the harvest license. Sault Tribe Law Enforcement begins issuing the following years licenses at the beginning of March each year to avoid any lapse in licensed activity coverage.

Any licensing year that tribal members hold a harvest license, they are required to submit an annual harvest report, regardless of activity, due February 1 of each year. Members will not be able to obtain the next year’s licenses until they have turned in this report.

To be included in the lottery drawing for bear and/or elk tags, tribal members must submit an application between May 1 and May 31 each year. Bear and elk tags are drawn during the month of June. Applicants may contact either Sault Tribe Law Enforcement at 906‑635‑6065 or Sault Tribe Natural Resources Department at 906‑632‑6132 to find out if they were drawn for a bear tag. Sault Tribe Natural Resources Department contacts the members drawn for elk tags as there are specific requirements for that hunt.

Sault Tribe Law Enforcement issues Youth Mentoring licenses for tribal members age 9 and under, a program approved by Sault Tribe’s Board of Directors. Youth participating in this program are authorized to participate for a maximum of 2 years (while they are still under the age of 10), and it only authorizes the youth to hunt small game, turkey and deer; trap furbearers; fish all species; and gather under Sault Tribe regulations. Youth participating in the Youth Mentoring program are NOT authorized to hunt bear or elk. Please see Tribal Code Chapter 21, Sections 21.403-Hunter’s Safety, and 21.404-Youth Hunting for specific requirements related to youth hunting.

Please feel free to contact Sault Tribe Law Enforcement at 906‑635‑6065 to obtain more information about these licenses and any other requirements.

Great Lakes Fishing

Great Lakes fishing is regulated by both Sault Tribe Code Chapter 20 and Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority (CORA) Code. Sault Tribe members may apply for one of two different fishing licenses specific to the Great Lakes within the 1836 Treaty area, which includes portions of each of the following: Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, and Lake Huron: subsistence or subsistence/gillnet licenses, and commercial licenses. All commercial and subsistence licenses are valid from the date issued until December 31 of the year issued.

Subsistence licenses are issued to members to fish the above named Great Lakes in Sault Tribe’s treaty area to feed themselves or their families. Subsistence or subsistence/gillnet fishers are not authorized to sell their catch; this is a violation that will result in a citation being issued.

Commercial licenses include Captains and Helpers; Captains may obtain a co-captain if they meet the specific criteria approved by the tribe’s board of directors. Sault Tribe has a set number of Captains licenses that it is authorized to issue. Any tribal member who is able to be certified through the Bureau of Indian Affairs is able to obtain a Commercial Helpers license. All commercial fishermen must call Sault Tribe Law Enforcement to make an appointment to receive their license each year.

Reporting requirements for both types of Great Lakes licenses are the same: regardless of activity or catch, license holders must submit a catch report no later than the 10th of each month. In addition, commercial fishermen must abide by any special orders and/or restrictions put in place by the Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority Board and/or Sault Tribe Board of Directors. For example, additional reporting requirements, restrictions in various grids, methods, gear used, etc.

Sault Tribe members are authorized to fish recreationally on the Great Lakes in the 1836 Treaty Area by using their tribal membership card AND following state of Michigan fishing rules, per CORA Code, Section XVII.

Please feel free to contact Sault Tribe Law Enforcement at 906‑635‑6065 to obtain more information about these licenses and any other requirements.

© 2019 - Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. All Rights Reserved.

Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY