LAKE HURON COMMITTEE
Radisson Duluth Hotel – Harborview
18,19 March 2002
Chairman – Tom Gorenflo (CORA)
Vice Chairman – Dave McLeish (OMNR)
John Schrouder – (MDNR)
1. LHC expectations of the large vessel program of the Great Lakes Science Center. Peck and Schneider’s vessel report.
With level funding, unfilled positions, and the budget priority assigned to overhauling of the RV Sturgeon, the LHC was concerned that the USGS’s Great Lakes Science Center will not be able to undertake expected assessment and monitoring in 2002 and beyond.
The Lake Huron Technical Committee provided the LHC with a previously requested list and rationale itemizing their priorities for the GLSC large vessel program:
The LHC requested that its technical committee develop its list of priorities and rationale into a lakewide assessment plan like that of the Lake Michigan Committee. Such a plan could be used to determine unmet needs and to develop strategies for implementation, for example in concert with the Peck and Schneider vessel report. The LHC will take its concerns regarding unmet expectations of the GLSC large vessel program to the CLC for discussion.
2. St. Marys River Task Group report and next steps.
The Lake Huron Committee accepted the report of the St. Marys River Task Group in principle. LHC will review assessment plan and determine priorities based on staff and budget, coordination among agencies will be necessary. LHC members will send comments to D. Fielder by 1 April. Upon finalization it will be posted on the Lake Huron Committee’s web page.
Lake Huron Committee Chair Tom Gorenflo will draft a charge for Lake Huron Committee review to the St. Marys River Task Group, charting a course of fish community objectives, assessment, and standardization of regulations, e.g., providing the Lake Huron Committee with summary of regulatory consistency, identifying expectations for change. The Lake Huron Committee is willing to meet with task group and stakeholders as needed.
3. Initiation of the environmental objectives task
The Lake Huron Committee approved plans for PI Arunas Liskauskas (OMNR), with support of a steering committee and benefit of public consultation, to produce environmental objectives by September 2003.
4.a. Lake trout issues: finalization of the lake trout study plan
The LHTC provided the LHC with a final draft of the lake trout study plan. No further action was taken.
4.b. Lake trout issues: lake trout stocking plans – 2002
The Lake Huron Committee adopted a stocking distribution plan for U.S. waters of Lake Huron in 2002 as prepared by the Lake Trout Technical Committee and presented by Bob Adair (USFWS). The plan included stocking changes mandated by the Consent Decree.
4.c. Lake trout issues: lake trout pulse stocking
The Lake Huron Committee sent back the issue of pulse stocking to the technical subcommittee to clarify; end points, evaluation criteria, stakeholder considerations, evidence of “pulses” in the Parry Sound wild population, PR program, movement between reefs, experimental design, needed numbers of lake trout. T. Gorenflo will draft this communiqué for review by Lake Huron Committee.
4.d. Lake trout issues: size at stocking/movement studies
4.e. Lake trout issues: humpers
T. Gorenflo will write Bob Adair (USFWS) to report that the Lake Huron Committee could not reach consensus on stocking humper lake trout.
4.f. Lake trout issues: OMNR quarantine station
OMNR may by able to provide hatchery in Owen Sound??? as quarantine station and will investigate the feasibility of using wild Lake Huron lake trout from Parry Sound for establishment of broodstock by USFWS. Dave Reid (OMNR) will investigate and report to the LHC.
5. Milestones established in the GLFC’s revised Strategic Vision
Development of rehabilitation plans for extirpated deepwater species – discussion tabled.
Lake trout rehabilitation in Georgian Bay is encouraging per fish community objectives.
Assessment of % natural reproduction of trout and salmon should be available in 3-6 years.
Review of Fish Community Objectives following State of the Lake conferences – The LHC is not planning to review FCOs at this time, but will consider reviewing FCOs for possible revision following the development of environmental objectives.
6. Lake committee reaction to the Whitefish / Diporiea workshop
Dave McLeish (OMNR) indicated that the workshop was highly successful and informative. He will draft a common letter for use with stakeholders stating what is known about the status of whitefish, and that uncertainty as well as risk around current quotas is increasing.
7. Lake Huron Initiative
LHTC Chair Dave Fielder (MDNR) is working with Jim Bredin (MDEQ) on Lake Huron Initiative indicators.
8. Research priorities
The LHTC provided a list of research priorities, which can be updated at subsequent LHTC meetings. It may wish to organize information needs in context of fish community and environmental objectives. The Lake Huron Committee might want to post on Lake Huron Committee web page, and to use to attract desired research to Restoration Act, Fisheries Research Program, and the Coordination Activities Program.
The Lake Huron Committee would like to see proposals submitted to the Fisheries Research Program and Coordination Activities Program password-posted on the web for Lake Committee viewing as are the Restoration Act proposals.
The LHC expressed concern regarding the timelines for submission, recommendation and approval of research proposals funded under the Restoration Act, GLFC Coordination Activities, and GLFC Research programs. LHC also expressed desire to develop and maintain a list of projects that have been funded, such a list would greatly aid future prioritization and selection of research proposals.
9. LHTC terms of reference
The Lake Huron Committee tabled consideration of admitting CORA’s two new tribes to the Lake Huron Technical Committee pending their acceptance of the Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries. The Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority will brief the tribes and send the Commission a letter reaffirming its commitment to SGLFMP with resolutions from the two new tribes.
10. Charges to the LHTC
Dave Borgeson (MDNR) was appointed chairman of the St. Mary’s River Fisheries Task Group.
The Lake Huron Technical Subcommittee will continue to work on
* Finalization and publication of the State of Lake Report
* Review of lake trout stocking guide
* Lake Trout Study Plan implementation
* Predator / prey dynamics
* Great Lakes Science Center large vessel program – progress toward meeting needs and expectations
* Lake trout rehabilitation, e.g., pulse stocking
* Environmental objectives (perhaps a task group led by OMNR’s Arunas Liskauskas
* St Marys River Assessment Plan implementation (new charge)
* Next year’s Lake Huron Committee report, with whitefish emphasis
* Sturgeon rehabilitation plan
* Development of a Lakewide assessment program per Lake Michigan Committee (consider)
* St. Marys River sea lamprey (backburner)
* Walleye stocking review (backburner)
11. Data Sharing
Issues around interagency data sharing were referred to CLC for discussion. LHC will ask LHTC to develop a list of shared databases important to implementation of A Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries.