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Fishing in the Age of Climate Change

Apr 06, 2015 | 831 videos
Video by Jason Kohl

"We don't know what happened to the whitefish," says Cindi John, a Native American. "Their numbers aren't there like they used to be." Cindi and her husband, Ed, run a small fishing business near Lake Michigan. The Native American tribes in the region hold the right to fish and hunt in the area—thanks to an 1836 treaty between the U.S. government and the Ottawa and Chippewa nations—but face threats from pollution, invasive species, and climate change.

Jason B. Kohl follows the Johns in this melancholy documentary, which illuminates the environmental struggles they face. As Ed explains, fish that typically swim 50 to 60 feet below the surface are now being caught in much deeper channels. "That's telling me the water temperature is getting warmer, and I don't know if that's good."

In 2011, WBEZ interviewed John about the future of tribal rights on Lake Michigan. Kohl is currently putting together his first feature film, a crime drama set in Michigan, which he plans to shoot in early 2016. 

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Author: Chris Heller

About This Series

A showcase of cinematic short documentary films, curated by The Atlantic.