2001 Committee Resolutions

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Resolution #1: Annex 2001 to the Great Lakes Charter

Whereas the Council of Great Lakes Governors has published Annex 2001 to the Great Lakes Charter (of 1985), and

Whereas the issues of water diversions will become more pressing as populations increase and the potential scenarios from the impacts of global warming play out, and

Whereas the Annex 2001 provides and good starting point for the future, but falls short in some important areas, therefore 

Be it resolved that the U.S. Advisors for Lake Ontario urge that the Great Lakes Fishery Commission advise the Council of Governors, the Government of Canada, and the Governments of Ontario and Quebec to:
1) Expand Annex 2001 to include Canadian participation, negotiating differences as required. The Great Lakes are a resource which must be managed as a whole in order to withstand legal scrutiny.
2) Remove the one million gallon per day exclusion, as the cumulative effect of this exclusion could be significant.
3) Mandate all future diversions within the basin be evaluated on a cumulative effect rather that on individual request.
4) Place a moratorium on all diversions until a joint U.S. / Canada set of standards are developed.
5) Set specific water conservation targets for the Great Lakes Basin (as an example, a 1% reduction in consumptive use by 2005).
6) Annex 2001 should take an ecosystem approach to water related proposals so that the impact to the entire aquatic ecosystem can be evaluated. Loss of habitat, spawning grounds, etc. may prove more powerful arguments in trade litigation than simply consumptive use of water by itself.
7) Strengthen the definition of waters of the Great Lakes Basin to be inclusive of all ground waters within the watershed.


Submitted by Ed Sander, U.S. Advisor, Lake Ontario
Resolution 01-01
Not passed (vote 6-5-01) Yes: 2 No: rest


Resolution #2: Oil and Gas Exploration and Drilling 

Whereas there is consideration in the state of Ohio to reverse the existing ban on oil and gas drilling in Lake Erie, and

Whereas current energy prices and actions by OPEC to reduce production have brought increased pressure to expand domestic exploration, and production, and

Whereas the Great Lakes may harbor some untapped reserves of oil and gas, and

Whereas drilling accidents and spills would not be subject to quick dispersal or “flushing” through the system (given the “replacement” timeframes for the water in each Lake), therefore

Be it resolved that the U.S. Advisors [to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission] urge that the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to advise the agencies responsible regulating oil and gas exploration of the economic importance of the Great Lakes fishery, and how habitat impairments resulting from exploration and operational accidents could threaten the fisheries and the economic benefits that are accrued from them. 


Submitted by Ed Sander, U.S. Advisor, Lake Ontario
Resolution 01-02
Passed by U.S. Committee of Advisors, June 4, 2001
Windsor, Ontario


Resolution #3: Double Crested Cormorants

Whereas the Double Crested Cormorant has proliferated in the Great Lakes basin due to protection under the Migratory Species Act in the United States, and due to improved ecological conditions, though it is not protected in the Province of Ontario, and

Whereas populations of the cormorants continue to spread and increase throughout the Great Lakes basin and are an issue beyond just Lake Ontario, and

Whereas recent studies by New York Department of Environmental Conservation and US Geological Survey have indicated the Double Crested Cormorants are consuming significant numbers of prey and game fish (e.g. smallmouth bass in Lake Ontario’s Eastern Basin and the St. Lawrence River), and

Whereas large colonies of the Double Crested Cormorant have a negative effect on the flora, fauna, and other wildlife in the ecosystem surrounding their colonies, therefore

Be it resolved that the US Advisors for Lake Ontario urge the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to take a leadership role, as an international organization, in coordinating research, information exchange and coordinating policy formulation dealing with the Double Crested Cormorant. We further request that, as a logical extension of it’s role as an advocate of fisheries management issues (delineated in the draft Strategic Vision), that the Great Lakes Fishery Commission take an active role in advocating and
supporting policies and measures for the management of the Double Crested Cormorant, where their numbers are shown to impact the fishery and the ecosystem.


Submitted by Ed Sander, U.S. Advisor, Lake Ontario
Resolution 01-03
Passed by the U.S. Committee of Advisors, June 4, 2001


Resolution #4: Boundary Waters Fishing Regulations

Whereas the Great Lakes States and the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec have different fishing regulations for the Great Lakes and connecting channels which they share, and

Whereas anglers, particularly in connecting channels such as the St. Lawrence River and Niagara River, may possess licenses for both a state and a province (one resident, one non-resident) in order to fish both sides of the border in these areas and 

Whereas regulations such as different sizes, different creel limits and different seasons are often confusing, and may be conflicting (may possess on one side of the border but not on the other), therefore

Be it resolved that the U.S. Advisors for Lake Ontario request that the Great Lakes Fishery Commission address this issue with the various agencies in the Great Lakes States and the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and the Government of Canada and urge those agencies to work toward commonality in regulations, that support fish community objectives and promote conservation, especially in connecting channels of the Great Lakes, to reduce the conflict and confusion. 


Submitted by Ed Sander, U.S. Advisor, Lake Ontario
Resolution 01-04
Passed by the U.S. Committee of Advisors, June 5 2001


Resolution #5: Avian Botulism Research 

Whereas recent outbreaks of Avian Botulism (clostridium botulinum) have increased and appear to be moving from West to East from Lake Huron through Lake Erie may well show up in Lake Ontario soon and,

Whereas very little is known about the ecology of Type E botulinum toxin and, 

Whereas there appears to be linkage between Type E botulinum toxin and fish, but it is very poorly understood and, 

Whereas people are susceptible to poisoning with Type E botulinum toxin and agencies responsible for managing the resources and providing information to the human population have little information in this regard, therefore

Be it resolved that the U. S. Advisors for Lake Ontario urge the Great Lakes Fishery Commission sponsor research in this area to help to better understand Type E botulinum toxin ecology, its origins, it’s linkages to the fish population and causes for its apparent spread in the Great Lakes Basin.


Submitted by Ed Sander, U.S. Advisor, Lake Ontario
Resolution 01-05
Passed by the U.S. Committee of Advisors, June 4, 2001


Resolution #6 : Great Lakes Navigation Study

Whereas the United States Army Corps of Engineers is undertaking a review of the Great Lakes Navigation system, including locks, dams, harbors, ports, channels and other related features, to examine the feasibility of undertaking any capital improvements, and

Whereas an ecosystem wide biological assessment, recommended in the United States Fish and Wildlife Services Coordination Report has not been completed, and

Whereas improvements would include dredging of harbors and connecting channels causing re-suspension of contaminants, potential loss of aquatic habitat and potential changes in flow rates and lake levels, and

Whereas year round shipping is a component of the improvements which, in the case of the St. Lawrence River could have ecosystem wide repercussions, therefore

Be it resolved that the U. S. Advisors for Lake Ontario urge the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to take a strong position with the United States Army Corps of Engineers to ensure that:
1) Comprehensive ecological studies are completed as part of this Review.
2) Any improvement projects do not adversely impact the ecosystem or result in habitat loss.
3) The design components and outcomes of the Review are consistent with the Lake Level Reference Study for Lake Ontario.
4) Dredge materials are removed and disposed of in the most environmentally safe manner.
5) The Review addresses the issue of introduction of non-indigenous species into the basin and has an enforceable control process in place as part of the Review
6) Comprehensive cost / benefit analysis is completed and give full weight to habitat and ecosystem impacts to be sure that the improvements will be justified. 


Submitted by Ed Sander, U.S. Advisor, Lake Ontario
Resolution 01-06
Passed by the U.S. Committee of Advisors, June 5 2001


Resolution #7: Minimum Size Limits On Lake Trout

Whereas there are now significant differences in minimum size limits on lake trout between areas within the Great Lakes basin, as well as among states and provinces, causing confusion and disparity; 

Whereas a minimum uniform size limit on lake trout, with a phase in to a higher limit, would encourage natural reproduction and have minimal impact on harvest by sport fishers; 

Whereas a uniform size limit on lake trout would reinforce a lake wide commitment to rehabilitation and lend consistency to sport fishing regulations throughout the Great Lakes. 

Therefore the Committee of Advisors unanimously encourages agencies who have authority for establishing minimum size limits on lake trout for the Great Lakes to implement an initial minimum size limit on lake trout, and 

Further unanimously encourages these agencies to phase in a higher minimum size limit on lake trout as data indicate such action to be warranted. 


Respectfully submitted: Dennis Grinold, Supported by Chuck Pistis
Resolution 01-07
Passed by the U.S. Committee of Advisors June 5, 2001


Resolution #8:  Effective use of TFM to Control the Parasitic Sea Lamprey

Whereas  the control of parasitic sea lamprey has always been a primary mission of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission; 

Whereas the U.S. Advisors are alarmed about the recent documented increases in parasitic lamprey populations;

Whereas TFM has been demonstrated to be the most effective method of lamprey control in spawning streams;

Whereas the U.S. Advisors recognize the Commission is attempting to reduce its reliance on TFM to meet the objective of effective lamprey control using non-chemical techniques;  Whereas the Advisors are concerned that we may be losing the battle against lamprey because of this policy that in effect restricts the usage and dosage of TFM; 

Therefore be it resolved the U.S. Advisors urge the Commission to reexamine control policies and use of chemical control, specifically TFM, in the most effective manner to deal with this immediate threat to the Great Lakes fisheries; and 

Be it further resolved the Commission consider placing in temporary abeyance its policy of reduced TFM usage and utilize effective chemical control. 

Respectfully submitted: Paul Wendler and Charles Pistis
June 4, 2001

Resolution 01-08