REGIONAL— The quest for wild rice has been more challenging this year than most, but ricers have found a very harvestable crop along the Vermilion River, north of the Gold Mine Camp. As …
REGIONAL— The quest for wild rice has been more challenging this year than most, but ricers have found a very harvestable crop along the Vermilion River, north of the Gold Mine Camp. As reported on the 1854 Treaty Authority website, the rice along an approximately three-mile stretch of river is consistently thick and high enough out of the water to make it easily harvestable.
The Vermilion River is the exception rather than the rule this year, as a variety of challenges, including storms, cool temperatures that limited growth and slowed ripening, and high water in some cases, have meant disappointing crops at most other popular rice lakes in the region.
In fact, the crop at Nett Lake, traditionally one of the region’s largest and most reliable crops, is so poor this year that the Nett Lake Conservation Committee announced last weekend that it has canceled the harvest for this year. According to the Bois Forte Department of Natural Resources, late seed germination due to poor spring growing conditions significantly slowed plant growth and ripening throughout the summer. The Bois Forte DNR makes its reports to the Conservation Committee, which sets the harvesting dates and times on Nett Lake.
“This was a very difficult decision for us to make and we apologize to all band members who were looking forward to the season,” said Bois Forte Tribal Chair Cathy Chavers in a statement issued by the band. The band will still conduct a small ceremonial harvest at Nett Lake at a time and place to be set at a later date.
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