Conserving this Nation’s fish and other aquatic resources cannot be successful without the partnership of Tribes; they manage or influence some of the most important aquatic habitats both on and off reservations. In addition, the Federal government and the Service have distinct and unique obligations toward Tribes based on trust responsibility, treaty provisions, and statutory mandates.
Measuring mercury, growing gar
Fish accumulate mercury, people eat fish, and mercury hurts people. The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida wants fish without mercury for a sustainable use, be it for angling or for traditional cultural use. Bowfin, Florida gar, largemouth bass, and several sunfish species partly constitute the traditional diet of the Miccosukee people. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded the Miccosukee a Tribal Wildlife Grant to measure mercury levels in fish and sediments, restore a 2.6 mile-long canal, and to develop a fishery management plan.
Part of the plan includes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s South Florida Fisheries Resources Office lending its technical expertise in habitat restoration. Welaka National Fish Hatchery will stock fishes used by the Tribe. But that takes some up-front work. Hatchery techniques for Florida gar and bowfin are untried. Once habitat is restored, the hatchery’s work will be monitored for success.(John Galvez).
Disclaimer: Resource accomplishments provided by the tribe are for informational purposes only. It does not imply endorsement of any kind by the U.S. Government.