Annual Report of the Great
Lakes Fishery Commission
1989 News Brief
The United States government allowed for the appointment of an alternate
commissioner to its section.
Canadian Section: U.S. Section:
Pierre Asselin James Cady
Henry A. Regier Becky Norton Dunlop
Paul Sutherland, Vice-Chair Charles K. Dutcher, alternate
George Whitney Charles C. Krueger
James M. Ridenour, Chair
Sea Lamprey Management and Research
Several toxicity tests were conducted during the Sturgeon River treatment
to determine whether treatment levels lethal to sea lampreys could be tolerated
by lake sturgeon. The river was successfully treated with no adverse effects
Dave Borgson (MDNR) noted that the new wave of electrical barriers that
Michigan had been evaluating the past two years may become a viable substitute,
or at least a low cost supplement, for widespread chemical treatments.
Habitat improvements in the Spanish River contributed to the re-emergence
of large lamprey populations in the river. The commission treated the Spanish
River in 1989, the first time since 1972; the treatment was a success.
Fishery Management, Environment, and Research
The commission continued intensive efforts to focus greater attention on
the issue of nonindigenous species. Three phases of action were identified:
1) implement an effective method of preventing Great Lakes introductions
via ballast water; 2) strengthen the ballast exchange program (e.g. 100%
compliance); and 3) reinforce efforts within a national/continental/global
framework of legislation, codes, research and development, and capital
The commission assisted the Canadian Coast Guard in the development of
Canadian Great Lakes Ballast Water Control Guidelines and sponsored a workshop
to develop study proposals on compliance and effectiveness of the Guidelines.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported that stock assessment research
would remain the top priority for the Service. The Service noted that new
research dollars would be devoted to climate warming, wetlands, and zebra
The commission funded Dr. Joe Leach (OMNR) and Dr. Ed Mills'(Cornell U)
overview of introductions of exotics into the Great Lakes.
Dr. Lee Anderson (U of Delaware) received funds to produce an introduction
to economic valuation principles for fisheries management.
The commission wrote to the Canadian Coast Guard concerning the need for
100% compliance with Canadian Great Lakes Ballast Water Control Guidelines
and for inclusion of the lower St. Lawrence River under the guidelines.
A Decision Support System for the Integrated Management of Sea Lamprey,
by Koonce and Locci-Hernandez. (SP 89-1)
Committee Action, Resolutions, and Reports
The Council of Lake Committees adopted a resolution calling for
the management of intra-basin ballast water to prevent the spread of ruffe.
The CLC also urged agencies to develop contingency plans to prevent access
of ruffe into important fisheries connected to the Great Lakes. The CLC
endorsed the Model Program to Minimize the Risk of Introducing Disease
Agents with Imported Fish Stocks, which was developed by the Great Lakes
Fish Disease Control Committee.
The Lake Erie Committee encouraged Lake Erie fisheries management
agencies to maintain sound harvest monitoring programs, as these data were
essential for task groups evaluating population status and predicting future
abundance. The committee approved plans for the Statistics and Modeling
Task Group to develop an interagency index netting, to interact with species
oriented task groups in population modeling, and to document procedures
used in applying various models.
The Lake Huron Committee recommended that the Council of Lake Committees
support regular updating of the Great Lakes salmonid stocking database.
The committee was pleased to note that Rockport/Alpena area lake trout
showed strong evidence of natural reproduction and may be on the threshold
of becoming self-sustaining.
The Lake Michigan Committee resolved to keep working toward the
recommendations of its technical committee with the hope that full hatchery
production of lake trout would alleviate partial deviation from stocking
The Lake Ontario Committee urged the IJC to revise the 1958-D Water
Control Plan to include fish and wildlife habitat needs and public access
and use needs as criteria for water level management decision making.
The Lake Superior Committee asked its technical committee to develop
criteria for lake trout rehabilitation with the hope that stocking could
be curbed by 1990 and that lamprey control could be intensified.
Board of Technical Experts
Joe Leach (OMNR) and Ed Mills (Cornell U) reported that their "inventory
of introductions" study was progressing satisfactorily and that more than
80 introduced species had been identified to date.
Anderson's report on the value of the fishery was progressing well and,
when completed, would include statements on the commercial and recreational
valuation of the fishery and would contain research recommendations.
Great Lakes Fish Disease Control Committee
Reported that research by Dr. Terry Bradley (of URI) and Dr. Phil McAllister
(USFWS) had reduced the time for a presumptive diagnosis of epizootic epitheliotropic
disease (EED) to 48 hours. Attempts to develop a lake trout cell line continued.
Urged its member agencies to establish criteria for inspections/certifications
that avoid conflict of interest problems with respect to hatchery certifications
by the private sector.
Habitat Advisory Board
Submitted the final and revised documents on the Protection and Enhancement
of Aquatic Habitat in the Great Lakes and on Guidelines for Artificial
Reef Development in the Great Lakes.
The board was pleased to report that it had worked diligently to strengthen
its ties with the International Joint Commission, particularly through
Remedial Action Plan (RAP) reviews, committee membership, and a meeting
with the Restoration Subcommittee.
Noted that contaminants, sediment management, and water levels were emerging
issues warranting attention.
The commission received the following funds from the United States and
Canada (in U.S. dollars):
United States Canada Total
Total $4,549,000 $2,387,502 $6,936,502
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