Executive Summaries

Lake Committee Meetings

1997


LAKE SUPERIOR COMMITTEE

Sheraton Hotel, Ann Arbor, MI 19,20 March 1997

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1. Revision of last yearís executive summary (effects of size-at-stocking on lake trout survival)

The LSC deleted the last sentence of LSC-96-8 in the 1996 executive summary, i.e. "The LSC directed the LSTC to provide technical design for the study."

2. Steelhead Subcommittee of the Lake Superior Technical Committee

The LSC dissolved the steelhead committee of the LSTC. Agencies had established regulations to protect reduced stocks, the results of which will be monitored in state-of-the-lake reports.

3. Fish Community Objectives

The LSC established a Drafting Committee of Tom Busiahn (USFWS), Mark Ebener (LSTC, COTFMA), Tom Gorenflo (COTFMA), Mike Hansen (U. of WI), Bill Horns (WDNR), Rob Steedman (BNP, OMNR), and chaired by Jack Skrypek (MnDNR). Each LSC member agency is responsible for seeking input from its publics, an important contribution. Format, in particular measurability, will be discussed by the Drafting Committee. While there were some concerns re ability to meet the timetable (attachment 1) it was not amended.

4. Binational Programís Ecosystem Principles

The LSC watches to see that the Binational Programís language that "exotic fish species should be managed in a non-detrimental way" is amended to read that management of exotic species should be "compatible with the restoration and management objectives of the fish community objectives of the Lake Superior Committee" Ė as the LSC requested in March 1996. WDNR reiterated the request. Bob Thomson (OMNR) will discuss the matter with Binational Program Co-Chair Jake Van der Wal.

5. Isle Royale Lake Trout Stocks

The LSC endorsed the LSTCís concept for sampling lake trout stocks at Isle Royale.

6. Binational Programís Monitoring Work Group

Bob Thomson (OMNR) and Bernie Ylkanen (MDNR) will attend a 10, 11 April meeting of the Binational Programís Monitoring Work Group in Marquette, MI. The LSC was concerned that only 60% of the BNP fish indicators and targets are currently being monitored (per Mark Ebener) and that the Work Group has insufficient fish management representation to prioritize gaps-to-be-filled. 7. St. Marys River Sea Lamprey Treatment

The Lake Superior Committee will discuss with the Council of Lake Committees (15 April 97) and LSTC (summer 97) preferred approaches for treating the St. Marys River and funding mechanisms, e.g., barrier dams, adult assessment .

The LSC approved in principle the proposal to move sterile males to the St. Marys River in 1997 providing the eight experimental streams in Lake Superior would continue to be stocked.

8. Review of Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries

Some members of the LSC would find it difficult to comment on proposed revisions to SGLFMP by 21 April. If so, the Committee of the Whole meeting would be delayed perhaps to the Commissionís December meeting and the Fish Chiefs would be invited to discuss the proposed changes in June.

9. Siscowet

The LSC recognized that the siscowet needs more study ( in particular variability in yearclass strength) and discussion in such documents as fish community objectives and the lake trout rehabilitation plan.

10. Officers

Jack Skrypek (MnDNR) is Chairman of the LSC through the 1999 meeting. Bob Thomson (OMNR) will be Vice Chairman for that period.

Attachment 1

Fish Community Objectives for Lake Superior

Process and Timetable

Lake Superior Committee October, 1996

The Lake Superior Committee (LSC) is revisiting the Fish Community Objectives for Lake Superior, with the objective of making the derivation of quantified environmental objectives easier. This work is intended to complement the work of the Binational Program, while also implementing the Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries. This process and timetable will guide the review and revision of FCOs.

The work will be guided by a drafting/oversight committee composed of two members of the LSC, one member of the Lake Superior Technical Committee (LSTC), one participant in the Binational Program, and two or more others.

Task 1. Review the current FCOs from a fisheries management perspective. This is a job for the LSC. We need to determine if there are any policy changes that we want reflected in the new FCOs. Deadline: March 1997 LSC meeting.

Task 2. Review and clarify what is known about the kinds of information that must be provided to allow derivation of environmental objectives. HAB has already addressed this in its 1996 report to the GLFC, based all or in part on the 1993 Environmental Objectives Workshop, so there is a foundation to build on. The Habitat Advisory Board (HAB) and the Habitat Committee of the Binational Program will be asked to help us with this. The HabCARES workshop proceedings (CJFAS, volume 53, Supp1) provides an excellent review of relevant data. HAB has suggested a workshop on this topic, which would provide a good opportunity to get the right minds together to do this task. Deadline: 1 July 1997.

Task 3. Identify environmental stresses (e.g. reductions in particular habitat, contaminant levels, etc.) that are of current concern, and summarize existing data on how these stresses may be affecting species listed in the FCOs. The Habitat Committee of the BNP will be asked to help us with this. Deadline: July 1, 1997.

Task 4. For the species named in the current FCOs a) summarize existing knowledge about habitat requirements and b) attempt to develop more specific language following guidance provided by Task 2 and considering the results of Task 3. The LSTC could take this up at its summer meeting. Deadline: winter 1998 LSTC meeting.

Task 5. Draft new FCOs. This is a job for the drafting/oversight committee, but the product of Task 4 will provide the essential information. Deadline: 1 March 1998.

Task 6. Approval or rejection by LSC. Deadline: March 1998 LSC meeting.


LAKE MICHIGAN COMMITTEE

Sheraton Hotel, Ann Arbor, MI 20,21 March 1997

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1. Lakewide Assessment Plan

The Lake Michigan Technical Committee will incorporate comments by its summer meeting and provide the LMC with a final draft Lakewide Assessment Plan for authorization and implementation. The draft plan contains guidelines for assessing lake trout, burbot, chinook salmon, yellow perch, whitefish, prey species, as well as sport and commercial catches.

2. Whitefish Management Ė Green Bay

Whitefish stocks in Green Bay are in good shape. Michigan and Wisconsin are moving toward coordinated assessment, and continue technical dialogue on management issues such as establishing a Total Allowable Catch for all of Green Bay. Michigan manages its commercial fishery by effort and Wisconsin by quota.

3. St. Marys River Lamprey Treatment

The LMC supports treating the St. Marys River ammocoete population with granular Bayer and sterile males @ $1.310 million annually. The LMC requested that its Technical Committee (LMTC) advise the LMC after the Great Lakes Fishery Commission presents info this summer on likely impacts to the Lake Michigan program.

4. Lake Trout Stocking Ė 1997

The LMC will advise the USFWS on secondary zone locations for stocking 213,000 lake trout left over after meeting stocking protocol requirements.

The LMC asked the LMTC to consider stocking ceiling and mix of species in its stocking task group and to so advise the LMC.

5. U.S. Geological Survey -- Biological Resources Division Plans

Greg Smith (USGS-BRD) reported on the Great Lakes Science Centerís plans, and on a new initiative with the USFWS, which if successful would rely on Lake Committee input in deciding priorities.

6. Bacterial Kidney Disease and Early Mortality Syndrome

The LMC requested that Mark Holey (USFWS), Randy Eshenroder (GLFC), and Sue Marcquenski (WDNR) prepare for CLC consideration (on 15 April 1997) a strategy for research and monitoring, including a summary of current work on BKD and EMS that the CLC could ratify and use to raise funds. Holey was authorized to form an LMTC Task Group if deemed necessary. (The GLFCís Board of Technical Experts and the Great Lakes Fish Health Committee had sponsored a workshop at the 1996 annual meeting of the American Fisheries Society, which would be published. In 1996 the Council of Lake Committees had requested an issue brief that it could use to encourage Great Lakes Protection Fund spending on EMS.)

7. Status of Humpers and Other Lake Trout Strains

The LMC requested that the USFWS seek another deepwater strain (a lean one) for use on the Midlake Refuge, as broodstock capacity becomes available in the hatchery.

8. Salmonid Stocking 1997, Assessment of Natural Recruitment

In 1996 agencies stocked more than 3 million coho, something that has happened only four times in history. Michigan DNR continues its assessment of natural recruitment.

9. Fin Clip Reservation on the Internet

The LMC discouraged posting finclip reservation schedules on the Internet. If up to date, the stocking database would list used clips. Listing reserved clips might lead to individuals using clips without registering with the Secretariat.

10. GLFC Coordination Activities Program Proposal

The LMC planned to submit a yellow perch project for funding under the Coordination Activities Program.

11. SIMPLE Model

The LMC discussed the need to fill in gaps of the SIMPLE model in order to use it in the LMTCís Stocking Task Group, for example.

12. Officers

Jim Francis (InDNR) will chair the LMC through the 1999 annual meeting. Tom Trudeau (IlDNR) will be Vice Chairman for that period.


LAKE HURON COMMITTEE

Sheraton Inn Ann Arbor, Michigan 18-19 March 1997

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1. St. Marys River Fisheries Task Group

The MDNR and OMNR recently conducted fish population surveys on the St. Marys River. These activities prompted a proposal to the LHC to authorize the formation of an interagency/international task group to focus on the St. Marys River. Action: The LHC agreed to form a task group with the following charge: to design and recommend a fisheries assessment and evaluation program which will enhance our understanding of the St. Marys River fish community and associated habitats, and the factors which may impact those populations.

It is anticipated that once an assessment plan is developed and approved by the LHTC/LHC, the Task Group would oversee implementation of the plan. The LHC chairman, Tom Gorenflo, will write a letter to the various agencies with fisheries management interests in the St. Marys River inviting them to participate in the Task Group. Dave Fielder (MDNR) was selected to chair the Group and will oversee the process of involving the numerous public or Ad hoc governmental groups and organizations.

2. St. Marys River Sea Lamprey Control Plan

The secretariat and control agents prepared and presented a series of strategies related to sea lamprey control on the St. Marys River.

Action: The Lake Huron Committee recommends adopting the option which utilizes a combination of; Bayer, increased release of sterile males, and trapping. The annual cost for this option is estimated at 1.3 million.

Action: The LHC also recommends reprogramming a portion of the sterilized males scheduled for release in Lake Superior, to the St. Marys River beginning in 1997. Sterile males would continue to be released in eight study streams in Lake Superior.

Action: Pending approval of funding for a control strategy for the St. Marys River, the LHC recommends that lake trout stocking resume in the areas of northern Lake Huron which were declassified from primary to deferred in 1994.

On the U.S. side, this action will require concurrence by the Executive Council of the 1985 Consent Order. LHC chairman, Tom Gorenflo, will draft a letter to the Executive Council to initiate this process when funding is secured.

3. BKD Screening of Ontario Chinook Culture Operations

John Schrouder (MDNR) discussed Michigan BKD brood stock screening procedures and inquired about Ontarioís plans to screen for BKD. Dave MacLeish (OMNR) indicated that clinical signs of BKD are so low that the ELISA test is not warranted. However, OMNR will attempt to get the private fish culture groups to test for disease in a manner consistent with provincial fish culture operations. The LHC will also draft a letter to the private fish culture groups encouraging them to adopt such disease screening procedures.

4. Coordination of Lakewide Rainbow Trout Fin-clipping and Regulatory/Stocking Programs

MDNR and OMNR discussed current rainbow trout fin-clipping/marking activities, along with current and proposed harvest regulations. Both agencies recognized the benefits of marking all stocked rainbow, preferably with a clip unique to each country.

Action: In an effort to evaluate natural reproduction and movement, the LHC charged the LHTC to develop a lakewide coordinated fin-clipping/marking strategy.

5. Reorganization of the Great Lakes Science Center- USGS - Biological Resources Division (formerly the National Biological Service)

Dr. Greg Smith, Director of the Great Lakes Science Center was invited to discuss current and planned activities, following the transfer of the Center into the U.S. Geological Survey - Biological Resources Division. LHC chairman, Tom Gorenflo, provided background information regarding his participation on an inter-agency Review Team assembled in 1994 to provide recommendations to NBS and the Center on the priorities of the Great Lakes fisheries agencies in regards to the center activities. Gorenflo noted that the fish stock assessment activities were ranked as the top priority for Center activities. He also noted that following an extensive review process, there had been little response from NBS to the Review Teamís recommendations.

Dr. Smith responded by indicating that the Centerís current budget is to low to meet priority needs. However, the Presidents FY-98 budget looks promising as an additional $1.3 million is proposed for the Center. He further indicated that the Centerís fish stock assessment activities remain a priority and that if the proposed funding materializes, the Lake Committees would be involved in setting priorities for the fish stock assessment activities. Dr. Smith recommended all agencies contact appropriate Congressmen asking for support of the Presidentís budget. 6. Prey Assessment Funding Strategies

Action: The LHC charged the LHTC to design a prey assessment protocol involving standard techniques and hydro-acoustic technologies, and estimate costs and vessel/equipment needs to support the study.

7. Bioenergetics Model Development

Jim Bence, Michigan State University, provided an update of the bioenergetics modeling project for Lake Huron. The project is targeted at the major predators; lake trout, chinook, burbot, and walleye. Jim indicated that the walleye and lake trout components have progressed well, but more work is required on the burbot and chinook models. The burbot model suffers from lack of data, but agencies are responding by collecting pertinent burbot data. Jim has proposed a workshop to look at technical aspects of the chinook model. GLFC coordination funding supported much of the model development. The LHC recognized the timeliness of this project as sea lamprey control in the St. Marys River approaches implementation.

8. Lake Trout Issues

a. Rehabilitation Guide Past LHTC chairman, Mark Ebener, completed a revised draft of the Rehabilitation Guide. The LHC will review and send final comments to Mark by April 4, 1997.

b. 6 Fathom Bank Michigan has designated the 6 Fathom Bank area as a lake trout refuge and the new regulations will become effective beginning April 1, 1997. No commercial fishing, or retention of lake trout by sport fishers, will be permitted in the refuge. Ontario also has designated the area as a refuge and has restricted its chub fishery to fishing 40 fathoms or deeper within that area. Ontario will also pursue sportfishing regulations, but those are viewed as less crucial as there is little sport fishing activity that far out in the lake.

Action: The LHC has charged the LHTC to review the 6 Fathom Bank study plan and update if necessary.

c. Astroturf/Fry Stocking Plans OMNR is conducting a fry stocking experiment between the tip of the Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron. The LHC recommends astroturf stocking experiments be conducted on Spectacle/Reynolds reef - COTFMA will take lead in this project. Thunder Bay shoal near Alpena may also be a suitable site, but requires side-scan sonar mapping; BRD has indicated it will map the area this summer. If substrate on Thunder Bay shore looks suitable, USFWS will take the lead in fry stocking efforts at that location. d. Yearling Stocking Plans

Dave MacLeish (LHTC Chairman) will send to Dale Bast (USFWS) a summary developed by Jim Johnson (MDNR) showing lake trout stocking site priorities at 1 fish/acre (2.5/hectare) including some secondary site stocking around Charity Island. The LHTC will revisit the lake trout stocking model for ceiling, improved sea lamprey/lake trout ratio and improved survival to spawning on a lakewide basis.

9. Lake Huron Lamp

The LHTC has established a sub-group to begin developing environmental objectives for Lake Huron. Once completed, the environmental objectives will be incorporated into the Fish Community Objectives. Efforts will be made to complete the Environmental objectives this year.

10. Lake Huron Technical Committee Activities

The LHTC will begin developing a stock assessment coordination/prioritization plan this year. A priority assessment item is the potential impact of alewife on newly hatched lake trout fry. The LHTC will coordinate a sampling program for alewife on known lake trout spawning shoals.

11. Chairmanship

OMNR will assume chairmanship of the LHC through the March 1999 meeting. John Schrouder (MDNR) will be Vice-Chair for that period.


LAKE ERIE COMMITTEE

Sheraton Hotel, Ann Arbor, MI 24 March 1997

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1. LEC Statement Concerning Productivity and Rainbow Smelt

As the Committee has pointed out for the past several years, the Lake Erie ecosystem has experienced declines in productivity that are most pronounced in the East Basin.

With respect to rainbow smelt, the Committee would like to point out that rainbow smelt is an exotic species that flourished in Lake Erie at a when productivity was higher and predator populations were low. The conditions were well suited to smelt at that time. In the 1990s we have observed significant declines in smelt in the East Basin.

Given the changes that are occurring in the East Basin with respect to top-down and bottom-up effects, the expectation for a large, stable supply of smelt in the East Basin is not high.

Should we experience further productivity declines in the Central Basin, similar concerns over smelt may emerge there as well.

2. Standing Technical Committee Charges to Walleye Task Group

a. Use the SWIM model to evaluate the long-term effect of various management strategies on sustainability of walleye.

b. Develop recommended allowable harvest ranges for 1998 incorporating risk assessment and using state-of-the-art population and yield models. Examine the utility of incorporating eastern basin fishery data into population modeling.

c. Evaluate existing interagency gill net and trawling programs and identify changes needed to improve their fidelity as estimators of recruitment and survival.

d. Maintain and update centralized, time series data sets required for population, including tagging, fishing harvest and effort by grid, growth rate, maturity schedule and agency or interagency abundance indices.

e. Use various data (harvest and effort, index fishing, tagging, etc.) on spatial and temporal distribution of walleye to search for evidence of stock discreteness and contributions to lakewide fisheries and of the relative stability of recruitment from river versus shoal spawners.

f. Assist Forage Task Group with bioenergetics analysis of prey fish consumption by walleye. 3. Standing Technical Committee Charges to Yellow Perch Task Group

a. Maintain and update centralized time series data sets required for population models or use for the monitoring of the dynamics of yellow perch stocks including fishing effort, harvest, growth, maturity, and fecundity schedules and agency or interagency abundance indices.

b. Produce 1998 RAH for each designated management unit.

c. Determine a minimum spawning stock biomass necessary for sustaining fishable yellow perch stocks in Lake Erie.

d. Define a suitable reliable recruitment "indicator" for determining the abundance of age-2 fish entering the fishable population.

e. Explore the potential for genetic research on yellow perch stocks in Lake Erie.

4. Standing Technical Committee Charges to Forage Task Group

a. Continue to describe the status and trends of forage fish species and invertebrates in 1997 for each basin of Lake Erie.

b. Continue the investigation and analyses regarding the utility of the interagency trawl assessment program:

i. Support the use of SCANMAR equipment for interagency calibration of assessment trawling gear. Continue the development of an experimental design to facilitate forage assessment. Recommend a standard reporting format for trawl catch per effort data.

ii. Continue trawl catch simulations to select appropriate measures of central tendency expressing speciesí abundance.

iii. Complete statistical evaluation of species CPE indices and effects upon sampling from physical and environmental features.

5. Standing Technical Committee Charges to the Coldwater Task Group

a. Coordinate annual standardized lake trout assessment among all eastern basin agencies and report upon the status of lake trout rehabilitation.

b. Continue to assess the whitefish and burbot population age structure, growth, diet, seasonal distribution and other population parameters.

c. Continue to participate in the Integrated Management of Sea Lamprey (IMSL) process on Lake Erie to outline and prescribe the needs of the Lake Erie salmonid stocking and current projections for the Standing Technical Committee, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, and Lake Erie agency data depositories.

d. Assist Forage Task Group with bioenergetics analysis of prey fish consumption by coldwater predators.

6. St. Marys River Sea Lamprey Control

The LEC will provide general guidance or reaction to the Secretariat by 15 April on the various options available for treating sea lamprey in the St. Marys River. The LEC also awaits the midsummer report on probable impacts to Lake Erieís sea lamprey control program, in order to provide additional comment.

7. Habitat Supply Analysis for Lake Erie

The LEC will respond to the Secretariat by 4 April re endorsing or submitting the proposed habitat supply analysis project for funding under the Coordination Activities Program.

8. News Release

The Chairman will work with GLFCís Marc Gaden in producing a news release on the LECís 1997 annual meeting.

9. Fish Community Objectives

The LEC will shortly submit its Fish Community Objectives for publication by the Commission.

10. Yellow Perch Total Allowable Harvest

The LEC approved a 1997 Total Allowable Harvest of 2.4 million pounds of yellow perch for Management Unit 1, 3.6 million pounds for MU 2, 1.2 million pounds for MU 3, and 0.2 million pounds for MU 4. The forecasts for yellow perch had brightened somewhat with the appearance of a strong yearclass.

11. Walleye Total Allowable Harvest

The LEC approved a 1997 Total Allowable Harvest of 9.7 million walleye. The LECís somewhat conservative harvest strategy was due to the weaker yearclasses that will soon be entering the fishery.

12. Lake St. Clair Technical Committee

The LEC established a Lake St. Clair Technical Committee which will meet in late November to work on fishery issues from the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, and the Detroit River. The LSCTC will report to the LEC at the beginning of the March meeting. In its work meeting the LSCTC will develop its Fish Community Objectives and develop a common report to the Lake Erie Committee. Its first focus will be standard regulations: identify Michigan / Ontario differences and rationale, plus information needed to allow decisions on a common approach. Doug Jester (MDNR) will announce the November meeting and Bob Haas (MDNR) and Don MacLennan (OMNR) will organize.

13. Next Meeting

The LEC will meet in Niagara Falls, Ontario in March 1998 at a date to be decided at the 15 April meeting of the Council of Lake Committees. 14. Officers

Rob MacGregor (OMNR) will chair the LEC through the March 1999 meeting. Bill Culligan (NYDEC) will be Vice Chair for that period.


LAKE ONTARIO COMMITTEE

Kingston, Ontario March 27, 1997

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1. USGS Biological Resources Division Great Lake Science Center

The LOC was briefed on the status of the USGS Biological Resources Division Great Lakes Science Center and its satellite units, including the Lake Ontario Biological Station in Oswego, New York, by Dr. Gregory Smith, Director of the Great lakes Science Center. Dr. Smith expressed optimism about the status of the USGS-BRD Great Lakes Science Center in the proposed FY 1998 U. S. Federal budget.

2. Proposed Treatment of St. Marys River Sea Lamprey

The GLFC Secretariat requested that the LOC develop a preliminary position on the proposed St. Mary's River sea lamprey treatments from the existing GLFC budget prior to the 1997 Annual Meeting. The LOC agreed to provide such a statement prior to May 1, 1997, so that it could be included in the Commissioners' briefing book, with the understanding that it would be very general in the absence of information on the specific impacts on Lake Ontario. The LOC understands that an evaluation of specific impacts will be provided this summer, pending a decision by the Commissioners to proceed. The LOC will then have an opportunity to comment more specifically before the Commission decides whether or not the GLFC will proceed with the proposal at its December, 1997 meeting.

3. Fishery Assessment of St. Lawrence River

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation expressed concern about the interruption of a binational fisheries assessment program for the St. Lawrence River and will write a letter to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to formally state that concern. The letter will include acknowledgment by the NYSDEC that consideration of a renewal of binational fisheries assessment program should include a critical review of the components of that program.

4. History of Fish Management and Fish Community Objectives in Lake Ontario

The GLFC Secretariat expressed interest in documenting the fisheries management process and the development of fish community objectives for Lake Ontario since 1992, tentatively to be dubbed IPYLO (International Policy Year for Lake Ontario). Two potential approaches could be taken: a. Fish community objectives with a concise narrative; appended documents relating to process. b. Fish community objectives that would include a detailed synthesis of the management process that lead to them.

The LOC acknowledged the importance of documenting the management process but expressed reservations about the commitment of staff time that would be required for the second approach, which would probably require a grant to fund an independent initiative to produce a synthesis. 5. Proposed American Eel Management Plan

Dieter Busch of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported on the intention of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to develop a management plan for American eels. The USFWS has been asked to provide technical assistance. The LOC will maintain liaison with the development of this plan through NYSDEC, which is represented on the ASMFC through its marine fisheries program. The LOC endorses a technical assistance role for the USFWS in this initiative.

6. Participation in Lake Ontario LaMP

The LOC will advise its Federal partners involved in the development of the Lake Ontario Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP) of its interest in playing an active role in the development of that plan, and will urge that the involvement of fishery stakeholders also be actively solicited.

7. Change in EED Management Recommendations

The LOC expressed agreement with the recommendation of the Great Lakes Fish Health Committee to lift the prohibition of the importation of species other than lake trout and splake from the upper Great Lakes to the Lake Ontario basin.

8. Interim Plan for Lake Trout Rehabilitation

The LOC accepted the Interim Plan for Lake Trout Rehabilitation prepared by the Lake Ontario Technical Committee as an element of fish community objectives for Lake Ontario.

9. Recognition of Mike Jones

The LOC recognized the outstanding technical contributions of Mike Jones to Lake Ontario fisheries management and wished him well in his new position with Michigan State University.

10. Officers

Phil Smith (OMNR) will chair the LOC through the March 1999 meeting. Bob Lange (NYDEC) will serve as Vice Chair for that period.


COUNCIL OF LAKE COMMITTEES

Detroit Metro Airport Marriott Inn Romulus, MI 15 April 1997

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Attendees Ė CLC members or their representatives Bill Culligan (NYDEC), Jim Francis (INDNR), Tom Gorenflo (COTFMA), Bill Horns (WDNR), Doug Jester (MDNR), Jim Johnson (MDNR), Neil Kmiecik (GLIFWC), Roger Knight (ODNR), Bob Lange (NYDEC), Rob MacGregor (OMNR), Dave MacLeish (OMNR), Jim Moore (WDNR), Chuck Murray (PFBC), Jack Skrypek (MnDNR), Tom Stewart (OMNR), John Trimberger (MDNR), Tom Trudeau (ILDNR), Bernie Ylkanen (MDNR).

Observers Dale Burkett (USFWS), Joe Budzyn (USFWS), Gavin Christie (GLFC), Marg Dochoda (GLFC), Doug Dodge (OMNR), Marc Gaden (GLFC), Vic Gillman (DFO), Chris Goddard (GLFC), Randy Eshenroder (GLFC), John Heinrich (GLFC), Greg Smith (USGS-BRD), Mike Staggs (WDNR) .

1. Approval of agenda, April 1996 CLC minutes, and 1997 Lake Committee executive summaries

The CLC approved the agenda and the April 1996 minutes. The LSC amended LSC-97-7 to state that the LSC approved in principle the proposal to move sterile males to the St. Marys River (see Bad River in item 3). The LHC and LOC provided revised versions of their executive summaries.

2. GLFC responses to 1996 Lake Committee concerns

Info item.

3. St. Marys River sea lamprey program

The CLC suggested that the combination of release of sterile males and of application of Bayer 73 was appropriate for the GLFC to adopt as a long term direction for proper management of the St. Marys River.

The CLC approved the redirecting of sterile males into the St. Marys River beginning in 1997, except for those needed for the 8 Lake Superior streams in which the efficacy of the sterile male release technique is being studied. Also the CLC supported Lake Superiorís Bad River being stocked in future at the same percentage rate of available males, i.e., males should become less numerous as the St. Marys River treatment progresses.

The CLC advised that implementation of the Bayer treatment of the St. Marys River should be subject to increased funding. If the GLFC is contemplating funding from existing funds, CLC advice will be forthcoming upon receiving more information on the expected benefits and the impacts to the rest of the program. Such information is necessary in order for the CLC to consider whether treatment of the St. Marys is worth the sacrifices that would be required in the rest of the program if the St. Marys treatment is conducted within existing budgets.

Jim Johnson (MDNR) reported on the deliberations of the Michigan Task Force which was considering options and strategies for securing adequate, stable funding for sea lamprey control.

4. Commercial sale of sea lamprey

The CLC supported a preliminary GLFC finding or position that a commercial fishery for sea lamprey is not sustainable and is inconsistent with sea lamprey control, stocking programs, and other management actions taken in support of fish community objectives.

5. Private aquaculture policy and clean list

CLC members committed to returning completed surveys to the Secretariat as soon as possible in order to allow preparation of a draft "clean list" of species thought safe for private aquaculture.

The CLC will request funding from the Commissionís Coordination Activities Program for Dr. Anne Kapuscinski (U. of Minnesota) to develop a model management program for private aquaculture, i.e., generating flow charts addressing genetic and ecological risks of introducing new animal species and strains, and plants, and habitat concerns .

6. Environmental objectives for fish management

The CLC tabled discussion of the kinds of assistance Lake Committees needed to progress on environmental objectives for fish management. Although the question is important, the CLC did not have enough time at this meeting for adequate discussion.

7. Early Mortality Syndrome

The CLC authorized its Chair to write funding agencies urging fish health issues (such as Early Mortality Syndrome and Bacterial Kidney Disease) as funding priorities in coming funding cycles and urging funding for research proposals thus received. The Great Lakes Fish Health Committee provided a brief on Early Mortality Syndrome for the CLCís use. The CLC thought that the following might be potential funding sources: Great Lakes Protection Fund, Sea Grant, Fisheries Trust, Great Lakes National Program Office. If successful in revising the Interjurisdictional Act to allow pooling of grants to states, agencies could use such monies to fund disease research.

8. EEDV diagnostics tool

The CLC supported USFWS Region 3 and 5ís recommendation to the USGS-BRD at an imminent meeting on research priorities that EEDV diagnostics research be assigned to the Seattle, Washington lab of the USGS, where the USFWS believed that the appropriate researchers were located.

9. Law enforcement database

The CLC will write letters to the directors of Great Lakes fishery law enforcement agencies suggesting a use agreement and joint purchase of law enforcement software or pooling of funds via the GLFC to develop a custom application. In its letter the CLC will reiterate the importance of binational cooperation (especially in dealing with criminals) in order to achieve fish community objectives. The CLC suggested to the Law Enforcement Committee that joint purchase of pre-existing software might prove more satisfactory in the long run than developing a custom application. The Law Enforcement Committee was asked to provide the CLC with a draft letter for consideration when LAW had chosen its preferred course of action. 10. Law Enforcement effectiveness and reporting arrangements

The CLC approved the Law Enforcement Subcommittees reporting to the Law Enforcement Committee rather than Lake Committees, but requested that some connection be maintained / developed with Lake Committees, e.g. attention to fish community objectives, mutual exchange of information with technical committees, and annual reports to Lake Committees. While criminal acts may transcend a particular lake, lake-level fish community objectives and issues should determine law enforcement subcommitteesí priorities.

The CLC referred to the proposed Council of Great Lakes Fishery Agencies, the Law Enforcement Committeeís proposal that it report to the GLFC rather than to the CLC. While acknowledging communication problems, the CLC believes a change in reporting arrangements will only exacerbate the isolation of resource managers and law enforcement. Perhaps the proposed council can suggest some new approaches for improving communication.

11. Lake assessment protocols

The CLC suggests to the GLFC that it would be useful for the commission to consider sponsoring (perhaps in partnership with others) a major symposium or conference in ~2000 Ė or later as required -- reviewing the history of Great Lakes fisheries, identifying information gaps, and identifying forces acting on them and actions that could be undertaken. SCOL technical reports could be used as templates for lake reports and could facilitate interlake comparability in future. An interlake conference could "kick off" the state of the lake conferences being proposed in the SGLFMP revision.

12. Stocking database

The CLC approved the Great Lakes Stocking Database Protocol, and agreed to write to principals with authority and responsibility for stocking data , outlining project objectives and process and requesting cooperation.

CLC members identified the following people as principle authorities for releasing and verifying hatchery data in the respective jurisdictions:

USFWS Dale Bast, Dieter Busch MnDNR Don Schreiner GLIFWC Bill Mattes WDNR Dave Ives ILDNR Dan Makauskas InDNR Gary Armstrong MDNR Kelley Smith COTFMA Karen Wright ODNR Ray Petering PFBC Chuck Murray NYDEC Phil Hulbert OMNR Cam Mack.

Tom Eckert (NYDEC) will collect and verify data for Lake Ontario before passing on to Shawn Sitar (USFWS).

The CLC thought lake technical committees should be consulted by Shawn Sitar (USFWS) re fields and the kinds of information to be collected.

13. Legal status of SGLFMP in U.S.

Info item.

14. Proposed revisions to SGLFMP

The CLC referred to the SGLFMP Steering Committee a recommendation that the Strategic Procedure should specify members of the proposed Council of Great Lakes Fishery Agencies: specify Fish Chiefs if you want them participating.

Similarly, the CLC referred to the Steering Committee a recommendation that it consider use of Advisors, in particular their role in supporting resource needs.

The CLC noted that the proposed name "Council" might cause the new committee to be confused with the CLC.

15. Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act

CLC Chairman Doug Jester reported that staff of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Oceans and Fisheries had been receptive to proposed revisions to the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act which would allow states the option of pooling their grants under the administration of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. The CLC will, however, need to revisit this issue with the House Committee in order to have the necessary language inserted in the reauthorized Act. Also agencies will need to advise delegations of their support for the new language.

Members did not think that tribal commercial catches were included in state totals, and that perhaps a case could be made for a greater share of funding to be directed towards the Great Lakes Region. The Secretariat will provide Neil Kmiecik with a copy of the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act.

16. Mechanism for advising USFWS on priority projects for funding: CLC or proposed new committee?

The CLC appointed the following people to draft for CLC consideration in July a process for advising the USFWS on priority projects for funding: Dale Burkett (USFWS), John Cooley (DFO), Bill Culligan (NYDEC), Chris Goddard (GLFC), Rob MacGregor (OMNR), and John Schrouder (MDNR). The Presidentís budget had identified $75,000 for partnership projects to become available 1 October 1997. The draft reauthorization of the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act calls for a committee under the auspices of the CLC to establish priorities, for 25% match in money or in-kind from non-U.S. federal sources, and for projects including, but not limited to, restoration.

17. Internet-posted databases

The CLC suggested adding to the list of databases to be considered for posting by the GLFC: fish community objectives for each lake, laws of various jurisdictions, license info and costs, etc. (Latter may be available via GLIN.)

The CLC requested that Marc Gaden (GLFC) develop for its consideration a policy / protocol / process, with standards, on serving committee reports on the Internet. The policy should address ownership concerns and peer review.

18. UN Code of Conduct for Fisheries

The CLC welcomed the UN Code of Conduct for Fisheries as food for thought, and suggested that the GLFC respond to former Commissioner Regierís suggestion for evaluation of Great Lakes fisheries by its precepts by asking where he sees the weak links.

19. Great Lakes Fish Health Committee Mission and Organization

Info item.

20. Coordination activities program

CLC members updated the list observing that the LSC and LOC would not be sponsoring proposals to the Coordination Activities Program this year.

21. Officers

The CLC suggested that the Commission revise terms of reference for the LSC, LHC, and LEC suggesting that the next in line always serve as Vice Chairman. In the LHC this would be John Schrouder. In the LEC this will be Bill Culligan.

Rob MacGregor (OMNR) was elected as CLC Chair for the period through the April 1999 meeting. Bob Lange (NYDEC) was elected Vice Chairman.

22. Meeting schedule

The LMC, LSC, and LHC (in that order) will meet in Thunder Bay, Ontario the week of 16 March 1998 (later confirmed with Bob Thomson). Other potential meeting sites were Windsor and Sarnia.

The LOC and LEC (in that order) will meet in Niagara Falls, Ontario 24-26 March 1998.

The CLC will meet at the Detroit Metro Airport on 15 April 1998.

23. Agency news

Inadequate time for reports.

24. Other business

None raised.


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