Nett Lake won’t open for wild rice harvest

Duluth, Minnesota (AP) 9-08

Officials with the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa say one of northern Minnesota’s most productive wild rice lakes will not open this season.

A late, cold spring and poor rice germination tribal officials to suspend the rice harvest on Nett Lake, which is one the Bois Forte Reservation in northeast Minnesota.

Reservation Biologist Chris Holm says it is the first time in many years that Nett Lake has been closed to ricing. Holm says he’s never seen the crop this bad.

He says that on a good year at Nett Lake, there’s 1,400 acres of wild rice plants capable of producing more than 200 pounds of rice per acre.

Holm says that after a ceremonial pick, ricers reported the crop was so poor that it didn’t make sense to send people back out.