Walleye War

Indians and sportsmen clash over fishing rights

It has become an annual ritual on the tranquil lakes of northern Wisconsin. As the sun sets behind the dense pines that surround Lake Nokomis, tribal drumbeats signal the start of the Chippewa spearfishing season. While the Indians steer their boats into the calm, dark waters, angry protesters try to drown out the drums with air horns, whistles and taunting choruses of songs with such lyrics as "Where have all the walleye gone?"

The scene, which was played out again last week, symbolizes a clash of cultures. At issue are 19th century treaties, recently upheld by the federal courts, that allow...

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