Report of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission
1992 News Briefs
The commission published its Strategic Vision of the Great Lakes Fishery
Commission for the Decade of the 1990s detailing priorities and milestones
Great Lakes ecosystems, sea lamprey control, and strengthening partnerships.
The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report concluding that
the commission supports an ecosystem management approach to its programs.
The GAO recommended that the commission develop a comprehensive research
strategy to fully support an increased alternative control research budget.
Carlos M. Fetterolf, who served as GLFC Executive Secretary for 16 years,
retired. Bob Beecher was appointed as new Executive Secretary.
Canadian Section: U.S. Section:
F. William H. Beamish C.D. (Buzz) Besadny, Vice-Chair
Gail Beggs James Cady
Cheryl Fraser J. Michael Hayden
Paul Sutherland, Chair Charles C. Krueger
Harry H. Whiteley, alternate
Sea Lamprey Management and Research
Lake Erie was declared a full operational component of the commission's
sea lamprey control program.
The commission approved funds to begin planning of an innovative electrical
barrier on the Pere Marquette River. The Pere Marquette barrier was to
be modeled after the successful electrical barrier on the Jordan River.
The commission approved funds for Dr. Peter Sorenson's (U of Minn) project
to determine why the sea lamprey olfactory system is extremely sensitive
to bile acids.
Dr. Barbara Zielinski (U of Windsor) received funds to study developmental
changes in embryonic, larval, juvenile, and adult lamprey olfactory receptor
The commission provided funds for the design of an improved trap at the
Great Lakes Power site on the St. Marys River, in hopes of creating a source
of male lampreys for the Sterile Male Release Technique (SMRT) program.
Agents successfully field tested the SMRT program in Lakes Superior and
Fishery Management, Environment, and Research
The commission agreed with the Habitat Advisory Board's plans for a major
workshop on Habitat Restoration, the publication of the Habitat Criteria
document, and the publication of the Tumor Manual.
The commission wrote to the governments of Canada and the United States
concerning ruffe in Lake Superior. In the letter, the commission urged
that priority be given to studying the biology and distribution of ruffe,
to researching chemical and physical means of suppression, to preventing
its spread to other watersheds, and to developing a sterile male release
technique. The commission also urged the two countries to move quickly
to establish a coordinated approach to containing and managing ruffe in
Strategic Vision of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission for the Decade of
Toxicity of [Bayer 73] to Three Genera of Larval Lampreys, by Scholefield
and Seelye. (TR 57)
Effects of pH on the toxicity of TFM to Sea Lamprey Larvae and Nontarget
Species During a Stream Treatment, by Bills and Johnson. (TR 57)
Effects of the lampricide [TFM] on Dissolved Oxygen in Aquatic Systems,
by Dawson, Johnson, and Sullivan. (TR 57)
Surficial Substrates and Bathymetry of Five Historical Lake Trout Spawning
Reefs in Near-Shore Waters of the Great Lakes, by Edsall, Brown, Kennedy,
and French III. (TR 58)
Ruffe in the Great Lakes: A Threat to North American Fisheries.
Committee Action, Resolutions, and Reports
The Council of Lake Committees endorsed the management plan for
ruffe in the Great Lakes and added that "surveillance of currently uninfested
river mouths are not a high priority if eradication techniques are not
available; treatment should only be undertaken with a reasonable expectation
of eradication; trawling would probably be inefficient to suppress ruffe
numbers in Duluth Harbor."
The Lake Erie Committee reiterated its 1991 request of the commission
to declare Lake Erie an operational component of the sea lamprey control
program. The committee directed the Cold Water Task Group to prepare an
annual consolidated lake trout rehabilitation status report.
The Lake Huron Committee discussed the feasibility of measuring
the effect of traps and the sterile male release technique on St. Marys
sea lampreys. The committee accepted its technical committee's proposal
for stocking early life stage lake trout pending a written proposal including
dates and responsibilities.
The Lake Michigan Committee supported stocking of early life stage
lake trout in astroturf sandwiches in alternate years on an isolated reef
with the understanding that the project would not compromise yearling production.
The committee recognized that the establishment of new environmental objectives
under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement had the potential to greatly
influence fishery management, and, thus, asked the commission to organize
and develop an effective, coordinated approach to ensure fishery agency
input in initiatives such as LaMPs.
The Lake Ontario Committee noted that Seneca strain lake trout appeared
to afford special benefits for rehabilitation efforts in Lake Ontario,
and, thus, requested that hatcheries develop and maintain that broodstock.
The Lake Superior Committee saw a need for resource managers to
better connect with environmental managers. The committee discussed the
need for adequate sampling in studying siscowet stock dynamics.
Board of Technical Experts
Completed a long range research plan (to be reviewed every five years)
which followed the commission's vision statements of healthy ecosystems,
integrated management of sea lamprey, and institutional/stakeholder partnerships.
Proposed a 3-part program to provide improved understanding of environmental
effects and density dependent responses in ammocete populations. The focus
will be on diet effects, density effects, and performance in the wild.
Great Lakes Fish Disease Control Committee
Reported a major breakthrough with respect to epizootic epitheliotropic
disease research: a new ultrafiltration and concentration technique had
produced sufficient quantities of the virus to proceed with the development
of field diagnostic tests. Indications were good that erythromycin treatment
of chinook fingerlings in hatcheries had resulted in increased survival
in the wild. Far fewer bacterial kidney disease lesions were seen in the
young fish captured during the summer of 1991.
Habitat Advisory Board
Recommended that fisheries managers become as involved as possible in the
LaMP process as well as in the RAP process. Fish community goals should
be a part of LaMPs, as lake-wide planning must be holistic and ecosystem-focused.
Expressed concern about the IJC Water Level Reference and its apparent
focus on the needs of navigation, power, and riparian landowners to the
exclusion of fish and wildlife interests. HAB noted that most of the scenarios
for water level management in the Great Lakes were modeled for level stabilization
when, in fact, fluctuating water levels were needed to renew plants in
wetlands for optimal fish and wildlife production.
The commission received the following funds from the United States and
Canada (in U.S. dollars):
United States Canada Total
Total $7,780,000 $3,473,084 $11,253,084
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