Annual Report of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission
1991 News Brief
U.S. Congressmen Dennis Hertel (MI) and Robert Davis (MI) held a hearing
before the House Subcommittee on Oceanography, Great Lakes and the Outer
Continental Shelf to study the status of sea lamprey management on the
Great Lakes. The hearing featured testimony by Commissioner Buzz Besadny,
Carlos Fetterolf (GLFC), Doug Jester (MDNR), John Popowski (USFWS), Norville
Prosser (Sportfishing Institute), and Bruce Shupp (NYDEC). Live lampreys,
placed in an aquarium, illustrated the testimony.
Canadian Section: U.S. Section:
F. William H. Beamish Robert L. Athey, alternate
Gail Beggs C.D. (Buzz) Besadny
David A. Good James Cady
Paul Sutherland, Vice-Chair Constance B. Harriman
Charles C. Krueger, Chair
Sea Lamprey Management and Research
The commission approved reactivation of the Sea Lamprey Barrier Task Force
to: review and update the 1988 Barrier Dam Task Force report; expand the
development and use of various types of sea lamprey barriers throughout
the convention area; develop strategies for best use of barrier technology;
and develop a multi-year plan for research and development of barriers
and fish passages.
The commission sponsored a workshop on endocrinology.
The commission approved funds for the development of Support Tools for
the IMSL Protocol.
The commission agreed to fund five "mini-workshops" to generate new ideas
on alternative controls.
The Hammond Bay Biological Station received funds from the commission to
study the breakdown products of bisazir.
Fishery Management, Environment, and Research
The commission requested a report from the Ruffe Task Force on the potential
for ruffe to disrupt fish stocks, the likely impediments to ruffe range
expansion, other waters containing ruffe, and the feasibility of a ruffe
The commission earmarked funds for the lake trout task area to purchase
egg traps for use in interagency research, as directed by the task co-chairs.
Dr. Barbara A. Knuth (Cornell U) received funds to assess social factors
pertaining to management of lake trout rehabilitation and on providing
consultation services to fishery managers.
Status of Walleye in the Great Lakes: Case Studies Prepared for the 1989
Workshop, edited by Colby, Lewis, and Eshenroder. (SP 91-1)
Lake Michigan: An Ecosystem Approach for Remediation of Critical Pollutants
and Management of Fish Communities, edited by Eshenroder, Hartig, and Gannon.
The State of Lake Ontario Fish Community in 1989, edited by Kerr and LeTendre.
Committee Action, Resolutions, and Reports
The Council of Lake Committees requested that the commission write
the owners of the vessel Incan Superior, a Duluth-Thunder Bay shipper,
and stress the need to avoid transport of ruffe in ballast water. The council
agreed to write the USFWS concerning the development of epizootic epitheliotropic
disease-free (EED) broodstocks and concerning the need for the production
of pure EED virus in adequate amounts for development of a field diagnostics
The Lake Erie Committee focused principally on difficult and complex
issues associated with walleye and yellow perch fisheries. The committee
agreed on the necessity for conservative harvest strategies but could not
reach consensus on total allowable catch. Subsequent to sea lamprey control,
a dramatic increase in adult lake trout survival was detected.
The Lake Huron Committee reported a sharp decline in major forage
species (smelt, alewife, bloater chub) but populations were still at higher
levels than those of the 1970s. The committee recommended commission action
to study and control sea lampreys in northern Lake Huron and to determine
chinook survival from sea lamprey attack.
The Lake Michigan Committee reported that fish diseases caused serious
losses in Great Lakes hatcheries and in the wild in Lake Michigan and were
impacting the lake trout rehabilitation program and chinook salmon populations
in the lake. In response to spring die-offs and big declines in catches,
the committee established a Chinook Salmon Technical Committee.
The Lake Ontario Committee reported the implementation of a lakewide
midwater trawling program and the incorporation of the program into existing
programs. The committee reported a decrease in survival of adult and juvenile
lake trout and a very sharp increase in harvest of lake trout by anglers
in U.S. waters. The presence of zebra mussels was documented over much
of the lake.
The Lake Superior Committee recommended support for the pending
U.S. Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act. The committee
noted that the Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries
(SGLFMP) has been the "guiding light" which changed lake committee activities
for the better.
Board of Technical Experts
With respect to the Introductions Task, board Joe Leach (OMNR) and Ed Mills
(Cornell U) submitted a manuscript to the Journal of Great Lakes Research,
made a presentation at the AAAS, and held a workshop.
Placed a high priority on producing a long-range plan to inform granting
agencies about research needs.
Great Lakes Fish Disease Control Committee
Agency reports indicated EED did not appear in any fish hatchery in 1990
which carried out a complete disinfection and destroyed all infected brood
Bacterial kidney disease (BKD) remained a basin-wide problem. Several states
attended a workshop to organize and coordinate efforts to deal with the
chinook losses (BKD implicated in these losses) in the wild of Lake Michigan.
Recommended that non-salmonids be inspected for salmonid diseases prior
to their shipment to a salmonid hatchery.
Habitat Advisory Board
Presented the commission with a proposed statement on contaminants which
sought to formalize the commission's position, addressed the concerns,
and answered the IJC's question about continued stocking of lake trout
With respect to RAPs, the board noted that fish and wildlife habitat concerns
and input by management agencies had improved but needed to be more pro-active.
The board encouraged agencies and the lake committees to stay involved
The commission conveyed its support for a provision of the Nonindigenous
Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act that would fund U.S. Coast
Guard ballast management initiatives.
The Commission sent a letter to the USFWS requesting a plan of action for
study and management of EEDV.
The commission received the following funds from the United States and
Canada (in U.S. dollars):
United States Canada Total
Total $6,441,000 $3,302,995 $9,743,995
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