Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

Weweni amwaadaanig ogaawag (Let’s eat walleye safely)

From GLIFWC – Mazina’igan Spring 2019

With spearing season rapidly approaching, remember to check out GLIFWC’s Mercury Maps to help you make informed decisions about safe fish consumption.

Spring spearing and netting are an integral part of the Anishinaabe bimaadiziwin (Tribal lifeway). Tribal Members reaffirm their off-reservation treaty harvest rights while providing their families and communities with a tasty and healthy food.

But, as with any species of fish, ogaawag (walleye) contain mercury. To limit exposure to mercury, choose lakes with lower mercury levels. Refer to GLIFWC’s Mercury Maps for the safe number of meals of ogaa per month you can safely enjoy from that lake. Ogaa less than 20 inches and other species of fish lower on the food chain such as asaawe (yellow perch) tend to have lower mercury levels.

The Mercury Maps are distributed to member Tribes and are available at Tribal registration stations and other springtime events. For additional information on safe fish consumption and copies of the Mercury Maps, visit the GLIFWC website.

GLIFWC recommends that women of childbearing age and children under the age of 15 avoid eating walleye from “red” lakes – those waters like where fish contain higher amounts of mercury.
Nearby “red” lakes include: Lake Mohawksin in Lincoln County; High Falls Reservoir in Marinette County; Willow Flowage and Big Stone, Fifth, Fourmile, Julia, Little Fork, Moen, Virgin, and Whitefish Lakes in Oneida County.
There are no “red” lakes in Florence, Forest, Langlade, Oconto and Vilas Counties, although there are a number of “organe” lakes with a limit of one meal/eight ounces of ogaa per month.