2004 Committee Resolutions

During the Great Lakes Fishery Commission's 2004 Annual Meeting in Rochester, the U.S. Advisors submitted nine resolutions for the commission's consideration:

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Resolution #1: Lake Trout Coded Wire Tagging

Whereas lake trout restoration in Lake Ontario continues to be a high priority for the Lake Ontario Committee and Lake Ontario stakeholders and

Whereas the use of coded wire tags (CWTís) in stocked lake trout has played a critical role in the restoration efforts and

Whereas data from these tags make it possible to identify a recaptured lake troutís age, parental strain, hatchery raceway origin, size at stocking, stoking date and location and stocking method and

Whereas data from these tags allowed evaluation of factors such as age, strain specific survival, post stocking movements, adult fidelity to stocking sites, age and strain specific fecundity and other factors and

Whereas the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) provided CWTís in all Lake Ontario lake trout reared at the Allegheny National Fish Hatchery from 1982 to 1995 and

Whereas the Service continues to provide CWTís in lake trout stocked in the upper Great Lakes

Be it resolved that the U.S. Advisors for Lake Ontario request that the Great Lakes Fishery Commission request that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service restore funding for this important program and resume providing coded wire tags in lake trout stocked in Lake Ontario.

Resolution 04-01
Submitted by Ed Sander, U.S. Advisor, Lake Ontario
Passed by Committee of Advisors
June 8, 2004

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Resolution #2: Allegheny National Fish Hatchery and Development and Allocation of Mitigation Fishery Reimbursement Funds

Whereas Lake trout restoration in the Great Lakes is a national priority for the governments of both Canada and the U.S., as evidenced in the Joint Strategic Plan and related Fish Community Objectives for each of the Great Lakes;

Whereas Lake trout restoration in Lake Ontario continues to be a high priority for the Lake Ontario Committee and Lake Ontario stakeholders;

Whereas The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), Allegheny National Fish Hatchery (ANFH), rears all of the lake trout stocked in the U.S. waters of Lakes Erie and Ontario and, as a National Broodstock Station, currently holds three lake trout strains;

Whereas Chronic staff vacancies and operating budget shortfalls at ANFH seriously jeopardize lake trout restoration programs on Lakes Erie and Ontario;

Whereas The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) currently operates nearly 40 fish hatcheries that are involved in mitigation fishery activities related to construction and operation of Federal water resource development projects;

Whereas The Service has historically expended its appropriations to offset mitigation fishery costs resulting in deficits in maintenance and operation of its National Fish Hatchery System and its Fish and Wildlife Management Assistance Program to the detriment of lake trout restoration programs in the Great Lakes;

Whereas H.R. 4383 (attached) has been introduced into the 108th Congress, 2nd Session, to cause the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Tennessee Valley Authority to pay to the Service the total amount of funds necessary to meet the mitigation fishery costs to meet objectives described in the fishery mitigation plans respective water development projects; and,

Whereas H.R. 4383, as introduced, fails to specify that mitigation fishery reimbursement funds shall be used to remedy deficits in maintenance and operation of its National Fish Hatchery System and its Fish and Wildlife Management Assistance Program; now therefore

Be it resolved

(1) That the Great Lakes Fishery Commission request that the Service restore funding for the ANFH so that the lake trout can be produced and restoration of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie can continue, and that adequate funding be provided to Iron River, Pendills Creek and Jordan River National Fish Hatcheries to support native trout restoration efforts in Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

(2) That the Great Lakes Fishery Commission encourage the Great Lakes Task Force to support H.R. 4383 with an amendment to require that any mitigation fishery reimbursement funds shall be used to remedy deficits in maintenance and operation of its National Fish Hatchery System and its Fish and Wildlife Management Assistance Program.

(3) That the Great Lakes Fishery Commission urge the Great Lakes Task Force to offer a specific amendment of H.R. 4383 to its sponsors in the form of an addition, as follows:
SEC. 6. ALLOCATION OF MITIGATION FISHERY COST REIMBURSEMENTS.

The Service has historically expended its appropriations to offset mitigation fishery costs resulting in deficits in maintenance and operation of its National Fish Hatchery System and its Fish and Wildlife Management Assistance Program. Therefore, not later than October 1, 2008, and each October 1st thereafter, the Service shall identify and prioritize deficits in the maintenance and operation of its National Fish Hatchery System and its Fish and Wildlife Management Assistance Program. The Service shall allocate, from mitigation fishery reimbursement funds received the preceding fiscal year, the total amount of these funds to remedy the prioritized deficits in the maintenance and operation of its National Fish Hatchery System and its Fish and Wildlife Management Assistance Program.
Resolution 04-02
Submitted by Ed Sander, U.S. Advisor, Lake Ontario
Passed by Committee of Advisors
June 8, 2004

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Resolution #3: Funding for Construction of a Second Electrical Barrier on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, for Upgrades and Continued Operation of the Existing Barrier, and for a Project to Investigate Permanent Hydrological Separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins

Whereas invaders such as the round goby and zebra mussels in the Great Lakes have invaded the Mississippi River basin and other species such as the ruffe may likewise expand their range from the Great Lakes into the Mississippi River basin, and

Whereas Asian carp (e.g., silver carp, bighead carp, and black carp) escaped from aquaculture facilities in the Southern United States and have significantly expanded their range through the Mississippi River system, have become the dominant fish species in some areas causing a significant disruption to the ecosystem, and are poised to invade the Great Lakes basin, and

Whereas, the Cal-Sag Channel and Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal are the expected routes for these range expansions, and

Whereas critical components of an electrical barrier constructed and activated on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal in April, 2002, are nearing the end of their service cycle, and

Whereas a second electrical barrier is needed on the canal to provide another layer of defense against the migrating carp and allow maintenance of the existing barrier, and

Whereas the State of Illinois has agreed to partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to construct the second barrier in 2004 and whereas pending federal legislation allows for the Illinoisí contributions to be refunded when this barrier becomes a federal project, and

Whereas permanent federal funding is needed to operate and maintain both barriers on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, and

Whereas currently, the federal government has reached the maximum amount it can contribute to the construction of the second dispersal barrier and whereas an additional $1.8 million are needed to complete the barrier, and

Whereas the International Joint Commission has written to the Great Lakes governors and Premiers requesting non-federal contributions to the barrier project to help make up the $1.8 million shortfall, and

Whereas a major recommendation from the May, 2003 Aquatic Invasive Species Summit, convened by Mayor Richard M. Daley in Chicago, Illinois was that "A project should be established that would result in the hydrologic separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins within 10 years. The separation could happen through lock modifications, through the placement of physical barriers at one or more locations in the Chicago Waterway System, or through other means."

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Committee of Advisors:
  • Urges the appropriation of full federal funding for the construction and operation of the second electrical barrier on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, and to
  • Upgrade the first electrical barrier immediately following construction of the second barrier,
  • Request authorization for and appropriation of permanent federal funding to operate, maintain, and improve both barriers on the canal,
  • Seek and implement innovative technology or methods to improve and enhance the effectiveness of the barriers,
  • Support the recommendation from the Aquatic Invasive Species summit to investigate hydrologic separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins and urge all appropriate funding entities to seek and underwrite suitable projects to fulfill this recommendation.
  • Request that the states and the province of Ontario support the International Joint Commissionís request for non-federal contributions to the barrier project and urges the members of the Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries to support contributions to the project.
  • Support legislation that authorizes this barrier at full federal cost.
  • Support legislation that would refund non-federal contributions to the dispersal barrier project.
Resolution 04-03
Submitted by Advisors Mike Ryan and Phil Moy
Passed by U.S. Committee of Advisors and supported by the Canadian Committee of Advisors
June 8, 2004

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Resolution #4: Stocking of Inland Transferred and/or Cultured Yellow Perch into Lake Michigan

Whereas any type of stocking of inland transferred and/or cultured yellow perch into Lake Michigan and its tributaries due to genetics, fish health and costs are not supported by the state agencies governing Lake Michigan, and

Whereas the lack of information about whether distinct stocks (i.e., gene pool and/or gene pools) of yellow perch make up the current Lake Michigan yellow perch population, and

Whereas stocking of hatchery reared yellow perch into Lake Michigan would be a risky program without trying ot maintain a current gene pool and/or gene pools, and

Whereas introduction of hatchery reared yellow perch can lead to transmission of fish parasites and diseases from outside sources into Lake Michigan and affect not only yellow perch but all native and non-native species.

BE IT RESOLVED, the committee of advisors recommends that yellow perch should not be stocked into Lake Michigan and its tributaries by any state or federal agency, private entity, or tribal group.

Resolution 04-04
Submitted by Mike Ryan
Passed by U.S. Committee of Advisors
June 8, 2004

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Resolution #5: Organisms in Trade

Whereas the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and the Committee of Advisors have been fighting for more than 50 years to prevent and manage invasive species, and

Whereas more than 165 species - including the sea lamprey, round goby, zebra mussels - have invaded the Great Lakes; and

Whereas our Great Lakes are governed by bi-national, federal, state, provincial, and tribal agencies and that their actions have made our waters "clean waters," providing a welcomed home for the invaders, and

Whereas invasive species cause severe economic and ecological problems and because invasive species are impossible to eradicate once they are established, these harms become permanent, and

Whereas the nonindigenous black, silver, and bighead carps escaped from fish farms in the southern United States during floods in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and

Whereas these carp are currently swimming toward the Great Lakes, and

Whereas bighead carp are currently imported into the basin for sale at live fish markets, and

Whereas the three species of Asian carp, if allowed into the Great Lakes, would wreak ecological havoc on the system, as these carp completely destroy the vegetation, weed growth, and habitat, which has been home to our entire fresh water fisheries, and

Whereas the U.S. Federal Lacey Act allows the federal government to declare harmful species to be "injurious," thus limiting the handling and transportation of the species, and

Whereas, the three species of Asian carp have not yet been listed as "injurious" under the Lacey Act, and

Whereas individual states and provinces have the authority to limit the movement and sale of live organisms and whereas this piecemeal approach has resulted in disparate policies governing the trade of live organisms, and

Whereas there exists no effective screening process in the United States or Canada to prevent future importations of species like the Asian carp, though such a screening process has been proposed in the pending U.S. National Aquatic Invasive Species Act.

Therefore, be it resolved that the U.S. Committee of Advisors recommend
  1. that the GLFC begin a dialogue with state, federal, and provincial regulatory agencies and aquaculture facilities in the Mississippi River basin to address invasive species issues common to the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, and
  2. strong support for the U.S. National Aquatic Invasive Species Act, particularly the screening process provisions for organisms in trade of the legislation, and
  3. immediate listing of black, silver, and bighead carps as "injurious" under the Lacey Act, and
  4. that all Great Lakes states, tribes, the province of Ontario, and the federal governments review laws and regulations governing the trade of live organisms and make immediate and necessary changes to those regulations to ensure that Asian carp and other injurious species cannot be traded live in the Great Lakes basin.
Resolution 04-05
Submitted by Dick Reuss
Passed by the U.S. Committee of Advisors
June 8, 2004

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Resolution #6: USGS Large Vessel Program

Whereas the large vessel program of United States Geological Survey provides critical ecosystem and forage base information to researchers and fisheries managers and

Whereas the "Blue Ribbon" panel convened by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in response to a resolution by the advisors and by the Council of Lake Committees recognized the importance of this program to the ongoing successful management of Great Lakes fisheries and

Whereas the "Blue Ribbon" panel recommended a level of funding for the program of at least $6.2 million on an annual basis and

Whereas the proposed funding for this program for the 2005 fiscal year is set at $4.5 million therefore

Be it resolved that the U.S. Advisors commend the Blue Ribbon Panel, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the Council of Lake Committees, and the U.S. Geological Survey for their strong commitment to vessel research on the Great Lakes and for producing a Memorandum of Understanding to improve vessel research, and

Be it further resolved that the U.S. Advisors request that the Great Lakes Fishery Commission ask the United States Geological Survey and the United States Congress to fully fund the large vessel program for the Great Lakes in the amount of at least $6.2 million.

Resolution 04-06
Submitted by Ed Sander, U.S. Advisor, Lake Ontario
Passed by the U.S. Committee of Advisors
June 8, 2004

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Resolution #7: Problems with Burning Coal and Benefits of Wind Power

Whereas emissions from coal-burning power plants have a significant, detrimental affect on humans, fish, and wildlife and

Whereas coal-burning power plants are the single largest source of mercury emissions in the United States, causing a health hazard in humans, fish, and wildlife, and

Whereas coal-burning power plants are also a cause of acid rain, excessive nitrogen emissions, and increased ground-level ozone, all causing serious health issues in humans, fish, and wildlife, and

Whereas four of the eight states are on the top ten list of states for coal-burning power plant emissions, with many other coal plants clustered around the Great Lakes basin on both sides of the border,

Whereas renewable sources of energy, particularly wind power, would significantly lessen the detrimental emissions from coal-burning power plants, therefore

Be it resolved that the Committee of Advisors support the use and proliferation of renewable sources of energy, particularly wind power, as a way to reduce dangerous emissions from power plants, emissions that harm humans, fish, and wildlife.

Resolution 04-07
Submitted by Paul Wendler, U.S. Advisor, Lake Huron
Passed by committee of advisors (with dissent) and supported by the Canadian Committee of Advisors
June 8, 2004

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Resolution #8: USCG Proposed Ballast Water Management Regulations

Whereas the U S Coast Guard is in the process of promulgating regulations requiring mandatory ballast water management, (BWM), nationally including a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, (PEIS), and

Whereas the final PEIS will establish a ballast water discharge standard that is significantly different than currently established, and

Whereas the USCG has suggested three basic alternative standards being:
  1. Discharge of no detectable viable organisms larger than 0.1 micron.
  2. Establish maximum acceptable discharge concentrations for various types of potential nonindigenous species.
  3. No action - not establishing ballast water discharge standards...,and
Whereas alternative (1) seems to be the most stringent and technically simple and therefore the preferred standard for the Great Lakes if not nationally, and

Whereas the USCG is emphasizing alternative (2) which is far more technically complicated involving setting standards for discharge of different allowable concentrations for different organisms, and

Whereas none of alternatives are without merit, and

Whereas the Great Lakes Fishery Commission is a leader in fisheries research, co-ordination and management.

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Committee of Advisors;

Urges the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to initiate/continue a very proactive role in all matters concerning introduction of nonindigenous invasive species through
  • Specific involvement in research and evaluation concerning the three alternative standards listed above. Dissemination of current information concerning the proposed regulations to the GLFC family of fisheries managers is needed.
  • Continued support for the re-authorization of NIASA with emphasis on the need for the USCG BWM regulations to be sound and enforceable and an integral part of NIASA.
  • Continued partnerships with other Great Lakes management organizations in outreach programs both regionally and nationally that illustrate the severe detrimental impact of NIS on the Great Lakes and other fresh water bodies and the potential for greater harm both regionally and nationally without effective programs and sufficient funding.
Resolution 04-08
Submitted by Advisor Don Arcuri
Passed by the U.S. Committee of Advisors
June 8, 2004

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Resolution #9: American Eels

Whereas the American Eel is recognized as a species in crisis and in danger of being extirpated from Lake Ontario and

Whereas mortality loss from hydroelectric facilities, habitat loss (including dams which prevent migration), water quality degradation, changes in oceanic conditions and fishing pressure are deterrents to the growth, migration and spawning of the American Eel and

Whereas there is increasing demand by Asian markets and domestic bait fisheries and

Whereas the governments of the State of New York and the Province of Ontario have restricted the capture and possession of the American Eel and

Whereas there is a lack of consistent long-term data regarding the American Eel, which impedes effective management of the species, therefore

Be it resolved that the U.S. Advisors request that the Great Lakes Fishery Commission work with the appropriate agencies, including, but not limited to, the Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission, United States Geologic Survey, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Canadaís Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to aggressively begin to build the necessary data sets for effective management of the species and

Be it further resolved that the U.S. Advisors request that the Great Lakes Fishery Commission urge the appropriate governments (Federal, state, provincial) to restrict, if not prohibit the capture and possession of American Eels at any life stage other than those needed specifically for species research. Governments should also take measures to eliminate other sources of mortality such as mortality from hydroelectric operations and prevention of migration from hydro dams. The restrictions should apply to all waters in the American Eel range.

Resolution 04-09
Submitted by Ed Sander, U.S. Advisor, Lake Ontario
Passed by U.S. Committee of Advisors with comments from Canadian Committee of Advisors
June 8, 2004

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