(CN) – The Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma can’t sidestep government regulations to start a commercial fishing business on Lake Erie because it lost its fishing rights when it left Ohio in the 1800s, the 6th Circuit ruled.
The tribe claimed in its 2005 lawsuit against the Ohio Department of Natural Resources that the state can’t regulate or limit its fishing rights based on a 200-year-old treaty.
The Cincinnati-based circuit sided with the district court in dismissing the complaint, finding that the tribe’s fishing rights “were extinguished along with the right of occupancy when the tribe abandoned the territory.”
By 1831, the United States acquired what is modern-day Ohio through a series of treaties. The tribe had relocated to Kansas by 1939.