Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority

Preserving the Resource for Future Generations
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The purpose of the CORA and its member tribes’ recreation, commercial and subsistence fishing regulations is to ensure conservation of fishery resources in the treaty-ceded waters in the state of Michigan for the continued use and enjoyment by Indian tribes and all other persons entitled to use the resources. CORA's commercial and subsistence fishing regulations were adopted in 2000. The regulations are derived from those of the predecessor organization COTFMA, which were adopted in 1982. Regulatory changes are approved and adopted by the CORA board when necessary.
The CORA regulations contain the following general information: purpose of the regulations, definition of terms, scope and application of regulations, license definition and restrictions, and identification. Specific regulations are addressed by area, gear, species and area closures, season and zone.
Requirements for catch reporting, wholesale and retail reporting, and subsistence and assessment fishing activities are described in detail. Jurisdiction and enforcement, criminal penalties, powers of the CORA Board, and access site regulations are also included.
Copies of the CORA regulations are available at the CORA office and can also be seen here: CORA CODE


Law Enforcement

Tribal conservation officers are trained at federal or state police academies. They perform all conservation enforcement investigations and services in treaty waters, enforce fishing regulations, and work cooperatively with the Michigan DNR and U.S. Coast Guard. Judicial systems are maintained by each of the tribes. The courts hear alleged fishing violation cases and impose sentences on offending tribal members. Management of the Great Lakes Treaty Fishery would not be complete without adequate conservation enforcement. Tribal conservation enforcement personnel enforce regulations established by the 2000 Consent Order, CORA and each tribe to protect and conserve the treaty fishery and its fishers. Tribal conservation officers cooperate with the Michigan DNR, U.S. Coast Guard, Border Patrol and other duly recognized agencies to enforce commercial and subsistence fishing activities and safety regulations.
Tribal conservation officers and state conservation officers have the authority to cite tribal recreational, commercial and subsistence fishers for civil and criminal infractions. When tribal fishers are cited for a violation, they are ordered into a tribal court for judgment. Fines of various amounts, revocation of fishing license and forfeiture of the catch and equipment are some of the penalties levied.
Tribal, federal and state conservation officers recognize the need to enforce regulations fairly and uniformly. The Executive Council's Law Enforcement Committee is composed of tribal, federal, and state conservation officers. It is responsible for resolving multi-jurisdictional enforcement fishery issues.
Each of the five tribes has conservation officers who enforce recreational, commercial, subsistence, and vessel safety regulations in the treaty waters of the Great Lakes. Tribal conservation officers receive mandatory police, firearm, and first aid training.
Tribal conservation officers are required to attend annual training seminars and are advised of regulatory changes and updates. Each officer is trained to enforce federal and tribal regulations. In addition to mandatory training and instruction, tribal conservation wardens receive vessel safety, navigation and rescue training.