LAKE HURON COMMITTEE
Hilton Milwaukee Center
March 17-18, 2003
Tom Gorenflo - chair (CORA)
Dave McLeish - vice-chair (OMNR)
Tammy Newcomb - (MDNR)
1. Technical Committee chairmanship.
Dave Fielder (MDNR) indicated a desire to relinquish chairmanship duties after three years of service. After considerable discussion of potential candidates and criteria listed in the Terms of Reference, OMNR volunteered a chairman. Lloyd Mohr (OMNR) was enthusiastically appointed by the LHC.
2. Lake Trout Task Group - Stocking Recommendation Report.
The LTTG has completed its charge to provide recommendations related to lake-wide lake trout stocking. The LHC will review report and provide comments to the LTTG by April 17, 2003. Such comments could include additional analysis, acceptance as written, or "put on hold". With regard to pulse-stocking recommendations, the LHTC/LTTG will develop milestones and assessment plans needed to determine feasibility of pulse-stocking technique. If supported by agencies, pulse-stocking activities could be implemented in 2005. Ontario noted that they are in the process of revising their internal lake trout rehabilitation plan, which could be completed in 2003. In addition to Ontario's effort to revise its internal rehabilitation plan, there have been numerous other changes in lake trout related activities, research, and management on Lake Huron (e.g. Consent Decree). Accordingly, the LHC will pursue revising the Lake Trout Rehabilitation Guide, after Ontario has completed its internal lake trout review.
Charge to the LTTG: Further develop an evaluation plan for the pulse-stocking proposal. Incorporate/address LHC comments on the Lake Trout Stocking Recommendation.
3. Environmental Objectives.
The LHC formed an "Environmental Objectives" Task Group. Individuals that volunteered to serve on the group include: Arunas Liskauskas - chair (OMNR), Mark MacKay (MDNR), Jim Johnson (MDNR), Jim Breden (MDEQ), Jamie Shardt (EPA), Aaron Woldt (USFWS), Tom Gorenflo (CORA), and a DFO representative to be named. Arunas will prepare a draft Terms of Reference for the group, consistent with the approved template for task groups, for LHC approval. Deliverables for the Task Group are based on the GLFC's Coordination Activities contract that supports Arunas' efforts to lead the development of environmental objectives for Lake Huron. The Task Group is a support body to help complete the conditions of the CAP contract. Marg Dochoda (GLFC) indicated that the GLFC has some funding available to support this effort (e.g. travel of invited experts, travel to coordinate with similar initiatives on the other lakes, hardship travel).
4. St. Mary's River Fisheries Task Group (SMRFTG).
The LHC engaged in considerable discussion regarding the scope of future activities for the SMRFTG, including the feasibility of developing Fish Community Objectives (FCOs) for the River. There was some support for embarking on FCO development, but some members were concerned that we did not have enough data, or the appropriate data, to begin that process. The river-wide assessment plan completed by SMRFTG last year has been only partially implemented. In addition to FCOs, development of consistent cross-border fishing regulations was discussed. MDNR and OMNR indicated that, for some species, the sport fishing regulations vary considerably between the two agencies, which creates a difficult enforcement situation. The impact of such varying regulations on management activities was debated, but the LHC agreed to pursue development of common regulations. The LHC also renewed charges to the SMRFTG:
1. Develop a status and outlook summary for the major species (precursor to development of FCOs).
2. Continue to oversee coordination and implementation of the Assessment Plan, including data compilation.
3. Review cross-border fishing regulations and recommend approach for producing common regulations.
4. Review and comment on fish stocking activities (e.g. walleye).
5. Lake Huron GIS project.
Jim Johnson (MDNR) lead a discussion on the status of the Lake Huron GIS project, indicating current and potential problems, as well as a summary of the objectives of a current research funding proposal (Restoration Act) that has been submitted by Jim Johnson (MDNR), Mark MacKay (MDNR), Ed Rutherford (U. of M.), Paul Seelbach (MDNR), and Troy Zorn (MDNR). The objectives of the proposal are as follows:
The individuals working on GIS database development, along with the LHC, would like to promote partnership arrangements that would guide development, compatibility, and maintenance of Great Lakes GIS projects. The partnership issue will be presented to the Council of Lake Committees for discussion.
6. Additional Lake Huron Technical Committee priorities:
7. Research Priorities.
The LHC will provide the Restoration Act Review Panel its priority research needs for funding by mid-April.
The LHC will consider Coordination Activities Program preproposals for sponsorship as soon as they are made available.
8. LHC Officers.
Dave Reid (OMNR) will serve as chair and Tammy Newcomb as Vice Chair through the March 2005 meeting.