COUNCIL OF LAKE COMMITTEES
Detroit Metro Marriott Hotel
13 April 1993
|Attendees:|| CLC members -- Ron Desjardine (OMNR), Tom Gorenflo
(COTFMA), Dick Hassinger (MnDNR), Rich Hess (IDOC), Art Holder (OMNR), Doug Jester (MDNR), Bob Lange
(NYDEC), Ken Paxton (ODNR), John Schrouder (MDNR) Mike Talbot (WDNR), Chairman Bob Thomson
(OMNR), John Trimberger (MDNR). Absent were Del Graff (PFBC), Neil Kmiecik
(GLIFWC), Craig Selby (OMNR), Phil Smith (OMNR), and Bernie Ylkanen (MDNR).
Others -- Carl Baker (ODNR), Bob Beecher (GLFC), John Christian (USFWS), Gavin Christie (GLFC), Marg Dochoda (GLFC), HAB Chair Doug Dodge (OMNR), Randy Eshenroder (GLFC), Vic Gillman (DFO), Art Holder (OMNR), Roger Kenyon (PFBC), LAW Chair Daniel LeClair (USFWS), Joe Muldoon (GLFC), John Robertson (MDNR), Gerry Swanson (DFO)
1. Approval of agenda, 1992 CLC minutes, and 1993 Lake Committee executive summaries
Agenda and minutes of 1992 CLC meeting were approved. Lake Committee members would FAX comments to Dochoda on 1993 executive summaries.
2. GLFC responses to 1992 Lake Committee concerns
3. Law Enforcement Committee report
The CLC accepted John Christian's offer that the USFWS's newly hired Great Lakes coordinator coordinate proposal development and further funding of the law enforcement database for consideration at the 1994 CLC meeting. Art Holder added that if the product makes sense Ontario could be supportive. When filled the Great Lakes intelligence officer position would be an appropriate contact.
Chairman Daniel Leclair reported on the need for intelligence in regulating international and interstate commerce, the need for continuity and high level participation at LAW meetings, implementation needs for a law enforcement database, and LEC-93-1 which recommended abolishing or restructuring LAW.
Citing lack of clear issues as a common problem for standing committees, Art Holder asked whether law enforcement efforts should be coordinated at the basin or lake level. If the latter perhaps ad hoc task groups could be formed to tackle common issues which the lake level groups identify. LeClair replied that illegal commerce does not confine itself to a single lake's jurisdictions, and information needs, e.g. the law enforcement database, transcend the single lake approach.
As recommended by Doug Jester the CLC Chair will write Lake Committee chairmen reaffirming that law enforcement subcommittees report to Lake Committees and need more support. Ken Paxton suggested that some Lake Committee members lack law authority and budget, and can't give assignments to law enforcement.
Art Holder reported that one of Ontario's lake committee members will be designated to attend Law Enforcement Committee meetings.
4. Environmental objectives workshop
The CLC supported the Lake Erie and Superior environmental objectives workshop and agreed to participate. CLC members expressed concern that there aren't institutional arrangements for receiving and accomplishing objectives ("cart before the horse"), that fishery objectives were being developed in isolation from other users, and that the engineering / biology gap must be bridged.
5. Institutional arrangements for ecosystem management
The CLC supported the HAB recommendation to GLFC that it encourage Parties to re-define LAMPs to be a more comprehensive and strategic planning framework which would provide a neutral, bi-national forum for the integration of fish and wildlife management planning, coordination of Remedial Action Plans, control of critical pollutants, and other components of ecosystem management. The CLC made its support conditional that re-definition of LAMPs not delay efforts to control toxic materials.
A number of CLC members doubted that a more comprehensive cumbersome process would improve productivity. There was doubt that information could be adequately quantified or defined. Information demands could be incredible if the Binational Program on Lake Superior was any indicator. Preference was stated for a phased-in approach, and for a toxics control plan with opportunities to ecosystem management.
It was also recognized that a journey starts one step at a time, with recognition of need and a decision to start followed by organization and rationalization through various decision points. Without a strategic Great Lakes ecosystem management plan we will never have the information nor the institutional framework to make rational tradeoffs.
6. GLFC-contracted review of RAPs
The CLC was asked to comment whether reviewing Stage 1 and 2 RAPS continues to be desirable. From a fish management agency perspective, are there better ways GLFC can help ensure that Stage 2 RAPs recognize habitat needs?
GLFC reviews of Stage 1 St.Clair and Detroit River RAPs were useful because they were passed from LC members to fish biologists and managers actually working on RAPs, where the reviews resulted in a change of attitude whether fish communities had been injured. As a result Stage 2 RAPs may develop differently. There were two suggestions for improving the utility of the reviews: (1) provide to LC members earlier in process (currently provided with notice of review meeting), and (2) have reviews refer to fish community objectives where available.
Lake Huron RAP reviews affirmed the efforts of participating fish managers and biologists. Fish managers appreciated the independent view that they were on the right track.
The CLC asked the cost of each review (~ $500).
According to one CLC member, the issue raised in the previous item (institutional arrangements for ecosystem management) made it clear that GLFC reviews would be important until other mechanisms were developed to ensure recognition of fish habitat needs.
7. Draft GLFC contaminant position statement
The CLC recommended GLFC adoption of HAB's draft contaminant position statement with minor revisions. Bob Lange had some suggestions on
Doug Jester offered to contribute some language on the relationship between fish community
structure and the flow of toxic contaminants. Randy Eshenroder would provide a statement that
a lot of progress has been made in realizing contaminant levels but more needs to be done.
8. Common U.S. contaminant advisory
The CLC Chair and Vice-Chair will sign and send a letter drafted by Doug Jester, with a list of agencies represented on CLC. The GLFC was asked to send a similar letter, and to schedule a presentation at its 1993 annual meeting on the common U.S. contaminant advisory initiative.
9. GLFC budget shortfall
The CLC recommended that the GLFC strongly consider alternate funding sources within the two federal governments conditional upon safeguards to ensure the GLFC sets priorities and has authority in a basinwide program, i.e., ensure the integrity of the funds and their no-strings transfer to the GLFC. For example Interior could be tapped for lampricide reregistration or the St. Marys River, and EPA and Environmental Canada could be asked to fund alternate research.
(The GLFC's position is that it will tap but not invent alternative funding sources. The GLFC believes that the two governments are responsible for mitigation. However the GLFC is leery of strings associated with monies channeled through non-traditional sources. The Dept. of Commerce has tried to reprogram GLFC funds appropriated through its channels, has tried to charge a "handling fee", resisted State Dept. offers to recover the funds on behalf of the GLFC, and currently is offering a paperwork-laden grant program.)
The CLC also recognized the importance and urged GLFC acceleration of IMSL products such as lake targets for sea lamprey control based on values and damage. CLC members believed that the Parties should not view the funding formula as an impediment to increased contributions, at least in the short-term.
The GLFC is facing a $5.2 - 5.6 million (36%) shortfall in FY 94 (begins 1 Oct. 93). $2.67 million of this shortfall is due to the requirement to reregister lampricides with USEPA. Less than 5% of the GLFC budget is spent on non-sea lamprey items such as SGLFMP, publications, and research on exotics and sustainability (SIMPLE). The existing inventory of TFM is expected to run out in the spring (Canada) and the early summer (U.S.) of FY 1994. An order will have to be placed this December if the inventory is to be replenished in time for the FY 1994 field season.
The GLFC will likely decide its program response to the FY 94 shortfall at its May meeting. As in 1990, a letter will be sent to agencies advising them of cuts in sea lamprey control in order that agencies can, if they wish, reprofile their fisheries management and stocking programs in an attempt to offset, somewhat, expected damage to the resource. (CLC members indicated that reprofiling was not an option on their part.) If the Commission decides that the shortfall is a short term phenomenon, it may decide to cut treatments and maintain its permanent infrastructure and capability. If the shortfall is judged to be longterm the Commission may decide to downsize; the money thus saved would not be evident for a year or two, due to costs associated with employee displacement etc.
The above shortfall relates to maintaining a level program in FY 1994. Costs to cover a sea lamprey control and research program for the St. Marys River would be additional to this amount. The Technical Fisheries Review Committee was recommending to the Executive Council (which oversees tribal fishing agreements with Michigan) that lake trout stocking cease in northern Lake Huron until sea lamprey control is scheduled for the St. Marys River. (Note: the Executive Council implemented the recommendation to cease stocking. This action may lead to the opening of the 1985 consent agreement, as the Tribes regard control of sea lamprey as a legal requirement of this agreement between the Tribes, the State of Michigan, and the Dept. of the Interior.)
Cooperators have no strategy at present to persuade governments to provide the needed funds. On behalf of the Committee of the Whole, Bruce Shupp (NYDEC) had briefed Congressional staff persons in March, with the assistance of Sport Fishing Institute representative Norville Prosser, GLFC Vice Chairman Buzz Besadny, and Executive Secretary Bob Beecher. (This briefing material is in appendices.) The GLFC has just released a video on sea lamprey for educational TV, etc., which will be made available to cooperators. CLC members stated that many angling stakeholders were preoccupied at present with other matters (salmon in U.S. and tribal fishing rights in Canada). IMSL products which would provide useful background are at least a year away in development.
With regard to Canadian Party support of the GLFC, Gerry Swanson (DFO) explained that while the DFO has funded the GLFC at a constant level, all other programs are being cut back or eroded to reduce the federal deficit. He recalled that in 1990 the Canadian Government came through with an 18% increase in September, and the U.S. followed suit. The situation was called into question when the GLFC called for a further increase of 80 or 90% the following and subsequent years. DFO has requested a clarification in the budget narrative in order that it can determine the implications of not funding at the requested level. Mr. Swanson could not comment on whether External Affairs would be more flexible, or responsive, or whether it had more money than DFO. He did not think it would make any difference to DFO's position if the U.S. were to meet its share of the shortfall.
CLC members indicated that in Canada sea lamprey control competes for DFO funding with fishery programs on the coasts. DFO suggested that the Province assume the costs of sea lamprey control, however the Province, short of funds itself, regards sea lamprey as a federal responsibility. There are no GLFC barriers to the GLFC accepting U.S. (or Canadian) funds in excess of formula contributions, except for the concern that at some point the GLFC and sea lamprey control could erode its binational character. CLC members believed that the Parties should not view the funding formula as an impediment to increased contributions, at least in the short-term. The U.S. system is more accessible to lobbying by stakeholders, and U.S. agencies are freer in that regard. The U.S. could call Canada on its failure to meet its share of expenses. (The Parties are expected to address this issue at an April or May meeting.)
10. Michigan DNR proposal for reducing incidence of Bacterial Kidney Disease
The CLC supported the overall thrust of the Michigan DNR proposal for reducing incidence of BKD, while requesting GLFDCC input on clarifying "Rs-free" and research needs associated with BKD.
Michigan reassured CLC that it did not mean to construe BKD only as the cause of chinook mortalities in Lake Michigan. Michigan merely wants agencies to cooperate and share clean eggs. Others requested GLFDCC review of the plan, its scientific defensibility and implications, before its adoption by the CLC.
11. Pennsylvania proposal to permit triploid grass carp
The CLC will send a letter to PFBC reaffirming the CLC's 1992 position that it opposes any further legalization of grass carp, diploid or triploid.
Ohio announced that a few hybrid striped bass have been taken in Lake Erie, possibly due to a proposed Indiana introduction into the Maumee River drainage.
12. State of the lake report
The CLC referred for ComW consideration an LSC recommendation that state of the lake reports be produced every five years rather than every three years.
13. USFWS resource assistance offices
The LMC will write for itself and the LHC re the relationship between Lake Committees and USFWS resource assistance offices.
14. Fish community objectives
15. Election of CLC officers
The CLC elected Doug Jester as its Chair and Ron Desjardine as its Vice-chair through the 1995 meeting. Former Chair Bob Thomson will report to the GLFC at its 1993 annual meeting.
16. Meeting arrangements for 1995
The Lower Lakes Committees will meet the week of Monday, 20 April 1995 in the Buffalo / Niagara Falls, NY area.
The Upper Lakes Committees will meet the week of Monday, 27 March 1995 in Milwaukee, WI.
The CLC will meet 19 April 1995 at the Detroit Metro Airport.
17. Other business
The CLC will meet at the Detroit Metro Airport on the 19th rather than the 12th of April 1994 -- in order to allow distribution of briefing material prior to the meeting.
The LOC and LEC will both meet in Niagara Falls, Ontario in 1994, rather than in Kingston and Toledo, respectively -- in order to accommodate two meetings in a week shortened by the Canadian holiday, Good Friday.