LAKE MICHIGAN COMMITTEE

Radisson Duluth Hotel – Harborview
Duluth, MN
21, 22 March 2002

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

LMC Members:

Chairman Tom Gorenflo (CORA)
Brian Briedert (IN DNR)
Bill Horns Hewett (WDNR)
Tom Rozich (MI DNR)
Tom Trudeau (IL DNR)

1. LMC Expectations for the Large Vessel Program of the USGS Great Lakes Science Center

In preparation for the 24 April discussion at the CLC meeting, Dave Clapp (MDNR) and the Technical Committee will prepare a list of expectations for the large vessel program of the USGS Great Lakes Science Center. There was also concern that some of the high priority assessment activities (prey fish / forage monitoring, Lakewide assessment Plan) may not be completed in 2002 and beyond due to GLCS budget priorities (e.g. renovation of R/V Sturgeon), staff reductions, and overuse of vessel R/V Grayling.

2. Terms of Reference and Selection of Chairman for the Lake Michigan Technical Committee

Upon (re)affirmation of A Joint Strategic Plan by Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority and its five member tribes, the LMC will approve revision of the Technical Committee terms of reference to allow all five member tribes of CORA to serve as members of the Lake Michigan Technical Committee.

Chairman may be from any LMTC member agency, subject to approval by LMC. If the LMC Chair cannot provide a chairman for the technical committee, the vice-chairman will do so, subject to approval by LMC.

Dave Clapp (MDNR) replaces Mark Holey (USFWS) as chairman of the Lake Michigan Technical Committee. The LMC thanked Mark Holey for his 15-year service as chairman of the Lake Michigan Committee.

3. Restoration Act and GLFC Funding Proposals

LMC members will advise Tom Trudeau on priorities among proposals submitted for Restoration Committee funding. Trudeau will propose an LMC position based on the input, and circulate it for LMC approval. He will forward the approved position to the Chairman of the CLC’s Restoration Act Review Panel.

The deadline for 2003 proposals is June 17, 2002.

4. Environmental Objectives Task

Tom Trudeau will discuss with Ed Rutherford (U of M) the possibility of submitting a proposal to work on environmental objectives under the FY 2003 Coordination Activities Program. In the event that Rutherford is not interested, Lake Michigan agencies will inquire for “volunteer” to lead Environmental Objectives task. Bill Horns (WDNR) indicated a desire to further discuss scope and purpose of the EO task, such as determining impediments rather than quantifiable objectives. 

The LMC is interested in pursuing a lakewide GIS mapping project, similar to that underway on Lake Huron, that will help in achieving FCOs and other environmental objectives for Lake Michigan. A secondary benefit of the project would be that spatial data would be standardized across lakes, facilitating future cross-basin research and management efforts.

5. Lake Trout Task Group

The LMC approved a revised charge to the Lake Trout Task Group, urging fast progress to facilitate a revision to the lake trout rehabilitation plan. LTTG will focus on completion of stocking history information, and identifying the known and suspected impediments to natural reproduction (and survival) in Lake Michigan. 

6. Yellow Perch Task Group

The LMC approved Paul Allen (Ball State U.) as chairman of the Yellow Perch Task Group. YPTG has completed three of the original charges and will discuss next steps at its April 9 meeting. 

7. Lake Trout Stocking Issues

The LMC approved a stocking summary prepared by Mark Holey (USFWS) for stocking in 2002 (see attachment). Reductions at some sites were necessary to accommodate the mortalities at Pendills Creek. The summary included 150,000 fingerlings produced by MDNR that will provide enough fish to initiate stocking at Dahlia Shoal and Middle Ground. LMC approved stocking at Michiana Reef (Indiana) rather than Portage Lake (Michigan) for 2002.

The LMC directed that shifts in stocking location (e.g. Richard’s Reef) await revision of the Lake Trout Rehabilitation Plan.

Likewise, future stocking of new lake trout strains must await revision of the Lake Trout Rehabilitation Plan. Wisconsin issued a statement that humpers / Klondike strain lake trout should not be stocked unless required under a revised Lake Michigan lake trout rehabilitation plan. Illinois and Michigan agreed. . Tom Gorenflo stated that he would draft a letter to Bob Adair (USFWS) describing the LMC position on humpers. .

8. Asian carp, Heterosporis

Impeding range extension of Asian carp and Heterosporis will be discussed at the CLC meeting. 

LMC discussed status of electrical barrier in Chicago ship canal. LMC agencies were encouraged to write or contact U.S. COE and legislators expressing concerns that future invasions of non-indigenous species via the Mississippi River system are likely unless action is taken. Actions could range from “do nothing” to complete hydrologic re-separation. Great Lakes Panel Chairman Phil Moy will provide the LMC with Mayor Daley’s mailing address and with the announcement for the 1 April opening of the electrical barrier on the Cal-Sag Harbor. LMC agencies will write letters encouraging permanent funding for the electrical barrier operations, upkeep, and improvement as needed. The LMC encouraged action by the CLC, and suggested that the GLFC consider an Asian carp presentation or electric barrier tour in association with its annual meeting in Chicago. LMC will bring this issue to the CLC for discussion.

LMC also discussed concerns regarding potential infestation of Heterosporis. The LMC encouraged CLC dialogue on options for slowing the spread or keeping incidence low of Heterosporis. Transport by bait distributors could be a major vector to the Great Lakes. Educational campaigns, development of HACCP plans, or enaction of regulatory measures were mentioned as tools to limit spread. Sea Grant was thought to be a good organization to address these concerns.

9. Charges to the Lake Michigan Technical Committee

The LMC looked forward to discussing the Lake Michigan Technical Committee’s work plan with its new chairman, Dave Clapp. Environmental objectives might be a new area. SIMPLE might be rolled into decision analysis initiatives.