For Immediate Release
June 14, 1996
Contact: Marc Gaden
The Great Lakes Fishery Commission held its 41st Annual Meeting in early June to focus on the state of the Great Lakes fishery and on programs to rehabilitate the resources. During the meeting--held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin--the commission celebrated the success of lake trout restoration in Lake Superior, unveiled its World Wide Web Internet site, honored retiring commissioner Buzz Besadny and U.S. advisor Paul Wendler, and heard about the importance of pending national legislation to protect against the introduction of exotic species into U.S. waters. Eve Galanter delivered the keynote adress on behalf of Senator Herb Kohl, who was detained in Washington by legislative business. The Commission presented Eve with a Certificate to acknowledge Senator Kohl's many years of leadership in the preservation and stewardship of the Great Lakes ecosystem.
After decades of careful lake trout restoration efforts, fishery managers announced earlier this year that lake trout in large areas of Lake Superior are again self-sustaining. This announcement signals a major victory for the ecosystem and means that the state, federal, provincial, and tribal management authorities will no longer need to stock federally-reared lake trout in areas of the lake extending from the Apostle Islands in Wisconsin eastward to Grand Marias, Michigan. During the annual meeting, the commission presented awards to fishery agencies that made this tremendous success possible. Agencies receiving awards included:
Mr. Douglas Jester of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources,
speaking on behalf of the Lake Superior Committee, stated: "our many
dedicated hatchery employees and area managers who produced quality lake
trout by the millions during the past three decades contributed greatly
to the species' comeback and certainly have our recognition and praise
for a job well done." Commission chair Gail Beggs added: "the
success of lake trout rehabilitation proves we have the wherewithal to
rebuild the damaged fishery."
The Great Lakes Fishery Commission proudly unveiled its World Wide Web site during its annual meeting in Milwaukee, making available through cyberspace information about:
The site is under construction and will contain in the near future fishery
databases, computer images of fish species, and the commission's newsletter
Forum. The commission's home page is accessible by using the address "http://glfc.cic.net"
or through the Great Lakes Information Network.
The commission honored retired commissioner Buzz Besadny, whose term as commissioner expired in February, 1996. Mr. Besadny, the former Wisconsin DNR Secretary, helped draft the Strategic Great Lakes Fisheries Management Plan (the plan under which federal, state, provincial, and tribal fishery agencies operate), and served as commissioner since 1990.
The commission also honored U.S. advisor Paul Wendler for his success
in building a partnership with Dow Chemical to improve fish passage on
Michigan's Tittabawassee River. Mr. Wendler's efforts helped secure a donation
by Dow (matched by the commission) to hire a fish passage engineer to analyze
the existing fishway at a Dow-owned dam and to suggest measures for an
effective lamprey trap and fish passage facility at the site. Said U.S.
Barrier Coordinator Ellie Koon of the Fish and Wildlife Service, "this
partnership would not have been possible without Paul Wendler's help."
The commission has long acknowledged that exotic species pose some of the largest threats to the Great Lakes fishery. Indeed, sea lampreys caused near collapse of the fishery in the 1940s and scientists are just beginning to understand the impact of the prolific zebra mussel, which entered the Great Lakes in the late 1980s. Allegra Cangelosi, a Senior Policy Analyst at the Northeast-Midwest Institute, briefed the commission on pending legislation in the United States--the National Invasive Species Act, the reauthorization of the important Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990--that would address the serious problem of exotic species introductions into U.S. waters. Ms. Cangelosi stressed that the pending legislation is national in scope and will protect U.S. waters from exotic introductions by focusing more attention on ballast water, research, and effort coordination.
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