Crowne Plaza, Detroit Metro Airport, MI
25, 26 January 2000


Attendees:  CLC members: Chairman Rob MacGregor (OMNR) , Vice-Chairman Bob Lange NYDEC), Mike Costello (OhDNR), Bill Culligan (NYDEC), Bill Horns (WDNR), Neil Kmiecik (GLIFWC), Dave McLeish (OMNR), John Schrouder (MDNR), Steve Scott (MDNR), Gary Towns (MDNR), Tom Trudeau (IlDNR), Jack Wingate (MnDNR),   Absent: Ken Cullis (OMNR), Tom Gorenflo (COTFMA), Del Graff (PFBC), John Kubisiak (InDNR), Jim Moore (WDNR), Sandra Orsatti (OMNR), Tom Rozich (MDNR). Others: Bob Adair (USFWS),  Deb Brister (UMN), Marg Dochoda (GLFC), Kofi Fynn-Aikins (USFWS), John Gannon (USGS),  Chris Goddard (GLFC), Anne Kapuscinski (UMN).

1.                  Introductions, announcements, and adoption of agenda

Attendees introduced themselves.  The following items were added to the agenda: 6.a. tribal negotiations and the role of Lake Committees (B. Horns), 6.b. Northeast Midwest Institute’s meeting on federal legislation needs (B. Horns), and 6.c. Public Input on fisheries Issues (D. McLeish).

2.                  Environmental Assessment Tool for Private Aquaculture in the Great Lakes Basin  

A.Kapuscinski and D. Brister gave a 1.5 hour presentation on the draft Environmental Assessment Tool for Private Aquaculture in the Great Lakes Basin, prepared at behest of CLC and the Habitat Advisory Board with funding from the GLFC.  The Tool is not a regulatory document, and is not intended to eclipse existing regulations. Rather, it provides the decision-maker, fish farmer, and informed citizen alike to use existing literature to identify hazard, if any, and minimizing measures.  The first section of the tools addresses lake-based operations, e.g., net pens.  Upon its completion, the Tool would be developed to also address land-based operations, which would share some lake-based issues.  The Tool has three components: (1) assessment pathway with 10 sections, (2) glossary, appendices, and hotlinks, and (3) summary documentation of decisions taken.  While the Tool identifies hazard, it lets the user proceed, recording decision pathway but not determining decision outcome.

 The first example was a baitfish operation, which followed 4 principles of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HAACP) method developed by the FDA ( to identify and control ithe introduction of pathogens in food processing: (1) analyze hazards, (2) identify critical control points, (3) establish procedures to monitor the critical control points, and (4) establish effective record keeping.

The second proposal to be run through Assessment Pathway Flowcharts of the Environmental Assessment Tool was a rainbow trout net pen.  Discussion was as follows:

Q 15 – Wording should be clarified: if on Great Lakes stock, person bringing in new stock shouldn’t be allowed to skip section on genetic concerns (B. Horns).

Which should be addressed first, disease or genetic concerns?  If stock comes from an area where emergency diseases are endemic, the proposed operation would not be able to proceed and therefore disease concerns should come first (T. Trudeau). On the other hand, disease status can change, unlike genetics.

H 12 – For most utility with Tool, the GLFHC should post the most recent update of the Fish Disease Policy and Model Program on the Web. Currently the Model Program Special Publication is listed in one place and recent updates, for example for EEDV and whirling disease, are posted elsewhere.  (M. Dochoda)

The USFWS’s Wild Fish Health Survey should include Canadian data wherever possible posted on the Internet.

Q 22 – More background is needed on the feasibility of permanent, 100% sterilization.(J. Schrouder)

H 9 – Text should be repeated here from page 17.  The CLC needs more background information on stocks / strains, espacially uncertainties and differences re risk (R. MacGregor).

Q 33, 35 – Add: “Are there any species at risk or rehabilitation plans?” Perhaps this question could hotlink to a registry of stocks and areas of concern.   CLC could sponsor a registry on its web page where agencies could post info --  maybe a map with hotlinks to Goodyear and Edsall’s Fish Spawning Atlas, aquatic biodiversity investment areas, Lake Superior lake trout plan, state and federal-listed species, areas of concern etc.  The registry map should indicate that agencies may have additional concerns not listed. (D. McLeish. B. Adair, J. Gannon, etc.).

Part 2, Sec V – Add ‘stocks / strains being rehabilitated.

Glossary – Define ‘endangered’, threatened’, vulnerable’, and ‘of special concern’. (R.MacGregor)

Glossary – Define ‘stocks’, ‘strains’.  (A. Kapuscinski, G. Towns)

The Tool should link to agencies’ water quality regulations.  Members will forward to Deb, Internet site for water quality regulations if available on the Web.  If not, members will forward web page for their respective jurisdictions’ water quality agency or section. (G. Towns)

Approved species lists – CLC members will e-mail lists on Web of species approved for culture in their respective jurisdictions.  (D. Brister will supply M. Dochoda list of species approved by all jurisdictions for consideration as an appendix to Consultation Procedures for Proposed introduction.) 

Glossary – Define ‘user’ and ‘accept’.  A fish farmer can’t say ok to accept risk on behalf of environment. (N. Kmiecik)

Land use – Insert a generic reminder that various jurisdictions and agencies have different regulations for land use and refer to any available website. (D. McLeish)

Permitting systems – The Tool needs a few paragraphs ‘Be aware that there are various permitting systems, and the onus is on the proponent to talk to appropriate agencies.’ ‘Several permits may be required, e.g. federal, state, provincial, tribal, local, etc.’ (A. Kapuscinski)  Give idea of what’s required and a disclaimer that not all that’s required is listed, e.g. requirement to protect endangered piping plovers on beach near net pen. (B. Adair)

Search and delete ‘ Approval granted’.

The CLC then discussed internal review, public comment, and final status of the document.  Ontario, the only jurisdiction with net pens in significant number, asked for time to review internally before released for public comment.  Public scrutiny is expected to be  somewhat less intense in jurisdictions without net pens.  However, if released to sister agencies with responsibility for aquaculture, there is possibility will be leaked to public before official release.  The Tool will most likely not become part of legislative structure (therefore public review not a requirement), but rather a rationale support for DNR/MNR permitting process and a way of communicating concerns to Agriculture Departments with responsibility for aquaculture..  The CLC and PIs agreed:

Call Tool ‘Discussion Draft’, and record on title page ‘Prepared for Council of Lake Committees’ 

PIs will make changes as agreed at this meeting and e-mail to CLC.  GLFHC pathologists will be provided this copy in 3rd week of February in preparation for their 7 March meeting.

Agencies will complete reviews and send PIs comments by 28 February.  Ontario will groundtruth Tool with some real life proposals currently being considered, and provide feedback to PIs.

Penultimate draft will be provided GLFC at end of March as RCR.

PIs will give this draft (if available 7 March) to GLFHC pathologists (and observers if asked.)

The CLC will consider at April meeting posting on web page with opportunity for public comment.

At its April meeting, the CLC will consider a mechanism for keeping the Tool updated.  For example, a subcommittee could be established to oversee maintenance of related websites such as stocks of concern, water quality regulations, approved species, Fish Disease Model, etc.  (Latter would be handled by Great Lakes Fish Health Committee.)  As needed the subcommittee might seek to work periodically with PIs to update core Tool.

The CLC approved the PI’s sharing the Environmental Assessment Tool discussion draft with the B.C. Ministry of Fisheries, which had requested it.  M. Dochoda advised that salmon managers on both coasts are also interested in examining at decision-making processes for Great Lakes fish management, i.e., SGLFMP and Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries.

3.            Restoration Plans for Sturgeon and Brook Trout

C. Goddard advised that the GLFC had received Great Lakes United’s and Trout Unlimited’s resolution supporting coaster brook trout resolution.  He requested reports at Lake Committee meetings on each lake’s status and progress, and also a recommendation from the CLC on whether the Commission should write a letter of support.

J. Schrouder, while willing to report with the LSC at the Upper Lakes common session, said there was uncertainty whether coasters were players in the lower lakes.  If so, these populations were lost early.

R. MacGregor seemed to recall some concern re conflict with rainbow trout, to which B. Adair replied that coasters are the native species.  He reported that the LSC is looking at lake Superior’s fish community objectives, although there are some brook trout in Lake Huron’s Black River.  The USFWS is mimicing the pre-listing approach of the Endangered Species Act in looking at historical range, habitat, existing populations, genetic surveys, etc.  (Some inland populations are of interest for building broodstocks.)  After assessment, the USFWS will present information to the lake Superior Technical Committee and recommend if appropriate to revise fish community objectives.   The USFWS intends to follow SGLFMP, fish community objectives, and lake committee processes etc. 

B. Horns commented that there are issues about agency authority and processes, and federal / state working arrangements.  WDNR biologists attempted for years to restore brook trout, and differ with USFWS counterparts re what’s reasonable and feasible. B. Adair stated that the USFWS had a similar disagreement with Minnesota (J. Wingate: ‘habitat limitations.’), and that it wished to avoid being compelled to list coasters under the Endangered Species Act.

D. McLeish and R. MacGregor commented that there are a number of extirpated species and  wondered if the Endangered Species Act would be applied in those instances.  (Lake Committees and agencies have developed rehabilitation plans for a number of extirpated species, e.g., lake trout, bloater chub, grayling, Atlantic salmon, deepwater communities, etc.)  B. Adair replied that with fish, state plans are usually the preferred approach.  

4.         U.S. Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act

J. Wingate, Chair of the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Proposal Review Committee, led the CLC in reviewing the FY 2000 documents ‘Review Process for Letters of Intent’ and Committee ‘Terms of Reference’.  B. Horn’s leadership in developing these documents on Review Committee’s behalf was acknowledged.


FY 2000 Review Process for Letters of Intent

Introduction – Add a sentence that indicates full proposals ‘ may be sent for peer review’.

Introduction – The CLC clarified the role of Lake Committees mentioned in the Introduction. Lake Committees are to provide benefit of their advice to the Review Committee, but do not have veto power that would disqualify a Letter of Intent.  Lake Committees are asked to review Letters of Intent and forward comments to Review committee by the end of review (directly or through : specifically they should rank each proposal high/medium/low as supporting fish community objectives or other Lake Committee initiative.  Lake Committee members are asked to not distribute copies of proposals and to treat the intellectual property therein with all confidentiality.  In recommending proposals for funding the Review Committee will consider Lake Committee advice along with Study recommendations plus Acts and agreements  mentioned in the Restoration Act.  In this way the CLC hopes to benefit from the Lake Committee process without creating potential conflict of interest and undue burden on Lake Committees.

Eligibility – Add that Lake Committees are eligible to submit letters of intent and full proposals.

Wildlife Proposals – If a wildlife proposal is received the Review Committee will need to ask for expert review.  DNR Directors can appoint wildlife reps to the Review Committee.  (This is why Dale Burkett (USFWS), John Robertson (MDNR), Gary Isbell (OHDNR), Mike Conlin (ILDNR), Tom Gorenflo (COTFMA)and Jack Wingate (MnDNR) chose to create a subcommittee of CLC, rather than CLC itself, when they first scoped a desired garnt program under the Restoration Act.

Multi-year proposals – Add ‘with multi-year proposals, funding in future years is contingent on future appropriations and on standard federal grant procedures.’  The USFWS can hold over funds for grants the following year, as with Review Committee recommendation that $25K of FY monies be held over for anticipated sturgeon genetics study.  (The USFWS also proposes using $13K of FY 2000 monies to fund later years of Ebener lake trout study.)  The USFWS issues grants (not contracts) and thus researcher also has option of asking for several years’ support at one time; grant will say first year’s report must be accepted before second year funding is released.  The CLC recommended that multi-year proposals be funded if monies available in FY 2000, that monies may be allocated for FY 2001 special RFPs, and that benefits and need for these monies be demonstrated.  The Review Committee has several options for recommending multi-year proposals: 1) one-time grant for several years’ work; relying on standard federal grant procedures for subsequent funding decisions, 2) consider funding subsequent years work depending on fund availability and good performance, and 3) set aside funds for RFP in specific topic in future years.

Appendix 1 – Add hotlinks to fish community objectives.

Deadlines – The  CLC requested that the Review Committee give some thought to schedules for FY 2001, and report back to CLC in April.  To be able to write grants by the end of the FY (30 September), B. Adair would like to have the Review Committee’s recommendation by 1 June.  Also, researchers plan field studies etc. in early spring.

Lake Sturgeon Genetics FY 2000 RFP

The CLC agreed with the lake sturgeon genetics and cross-basin focus.  It authorized J. Wingate’s editing of sturgeon RFP for attachment to the general FY 2000 RFP.  CLC members were invited to forward sturgeon RFP to sturgeon authorities and geneticists and to forward any comments (ASAP) to J. Wingate.

Review Committee Terms of Reference

Membership – Delete proposed clarifying sentences #2, 3, and 4, and use language from Restoration Act.  Don’t mention COTFMA, GLIFWC, nor OMNR in terms of reference.  (The CLC will entertain requests from agencies party to SGLFMP to be present to give benefit of advice in spirit of ecosystem approach.)  While the original intent of the USFWS and fish chiefs was to have CLC agencies, including wildlife sectors, review proposals, the language of the Restoration Act is ambiguous.  There was concern that differing interpretations of which, if any, tribes have management authority and thus may participate on the Review Committee, could be used against states such as MI and WI in future litigation.  States could support Restoration Act appropriations to find that tribal agencies not signatory to SGLFMP outnumber signatory agencies on the Review Committee.  A review committee of 20-25 members would be  unworkable.  Not specifying membership (beyond those who participated in 1999) leaves the process without guidance and open to future problems and misunderstanding.  On the other hand, trying to clarify the ambiguous language of the Act focuses attention on agency differences rather than on pro-active, cooperative programs.  B. Horns requested that the minutes include the statement that “Wisconsin does not acknowledge tribal management authority on Wisconsin waters of the Great Lakes.” 

Decision-making Process 2) – Add that proposals will be reviewed by Lake Committees ‘and ranked as high, medium, and low’.

Decision-making Process 3) – Delete language re Lake Committees approving proposals.

Decision-making Process 1)– Per Restoration Act, each proposal should be submitted by state director or Indian tribe.  The CLC should ensure that either: (1) proposal is submitted by state director or Indian tribe, (2) state directors and Indian tribes approve in writing the process outlined by the CLC for securing proposals in their name; or (3) proposals recommended by Committee could be endorsed by director(s) and/or Indian tribe(s) before being forwarded to USFWS.  [If option #2 or 3 followed ‘Project Sponsor’ should be removed from App 3 of RFP.]

Decision-making Process 7&8) – The 1999 procedure where the CLC forwarded to the USFWS rep (B. Adair this year) the recommendations of the Review Committee plus the letters of intent or proposals worked fine.

Decision-making Process 10) – Language should direct that members of the Review Committee and lake Committees ‘shall not share letters of intent or deliberations of the committee.’ 

Canadian Researchers – The GLFC can contract with Canadian researcher in support of, for example, a joint NY-Ontario proposal to the Restoration Act.  M. Dochoda recommended .that the CLC address perceptions and optics in order not to jeopardize the admirable ecosystem approach of the Restoration Act.

Again, the CLC thanked B. Horns for his work.on the terms of reference and request for proposals.  Review Committee Chair J. Wingate will make changes and forward to M. Dochoda for posting on the Web and e-mail distribution.

5.                  Planning CLC Agenda for Issues of Interest to More Than One Lake

C. Goddard stated that the Council of Lake Committees has recently been focusing on interlake institutional issues but not fishery issues, such as prey issues and sturgeon restoration.  Thus there is little overlap or basinwide perspective on common fishery issues, and few common positions generated -- with notable exceptions such as the aquaculture tool now being developed.  J. Wingate added that the Restoration Review Committee recommended last year that sturgeon genetics be studied on a lakewide basis.  D. McLeish thought one meeting in common would allow more of the desired interbasin comparisons.  The LHC had contemplated with the Lower Lakes Committees in 2000, but geography proved a problem, i.e., travel costs, desire to also meet with Upper Lakes also, stakeholder access.  According to M. Dochoda, the 1997 creation of the Council of Great Lakes Fishery Agencies with its focus on process should free the CLC to focus more on management issues than in the past.  SCOL 2 also provided opportunity for interlake analyses.

C. Goddard offered GLFC reimbursement of travel costs of Lake Committee Chairmen, as well as the CLC Chair and Vice-Chair, to attend Lower Lakes meetings if they were from Upper Lakes, and vice versa.  The challenge of addressing interlake fish management issues will be discussed further at the April meeting.  The CLC will hold a fall 2000 meeting for interbasin presentations on species of general concern

6.                  Other Business

Role of Lake Committees in State / Tribal Negotiations  -- J. Schrouder explained that Michigan and the tribes were negotiating a replacement for the expired 1985 consent agreement.  Involved are Michigan, the US Government, the five tribes and their legal advisors, and various amicae groups, such as MUCC , a Hammond Bay anglers’ group, MI Trout Unlimited, MI Steelheaders etc.  All are subject to a confidentiality order, but both the states and tribes’ positions are public.  (MDNR’s Kelley Smith can provide.)  The States seeks to preserve the 85 consent agreement and to support fish community objectives etc. adopted by Lake Committees.  B. Adair explained that the Dept. of Justice brought in the USFWS as technical advisors.  The USFWS adhered to SGLFMP, fish community objectives, and lake trout restoration plans  in reviewing tribal positions.  J. Schrouder summarized that the issue between the parties boiled down to gear and to some extent areas that should be closed.

B. Horns commented that all members of the Upper Lake Committees – states, Ontario, and tribes represented by GLIFWC – had a stake in outcome of the negotiations.  Perhaps the Lake Committees were remiss in not asserting themselves under SGLFMP.  B. Lange commented that while Lake Committees have no real status, member agencies could file for amicus status.

Northeast Midwest Institute Meeting on U.S. Fisheries Legislation  -- M. Dochoda explained that the meeting the week before had been prompted by (1) Council of Great Lakes Fishery Agencies’ requests for Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act amendment and Restoration Act appropriations for grants; (2) the reshuffling of the USGS Great Lakes Science Center right out of its authorization; (3) difficulties inherent in including the Great Lakes in coastal legislation.  C. Goddard added that the NEMW was no doubt influenced by its success last year in writing legislation that would permit the Corps of Engineers to assist the GLFC in building $2 million worth of sea lamprey barriers – because the sea lamprey had entered through canals.  The major differences between the coast and the Great Lakes is the states’ management authority in the latter and the border with Canada.  As a result, federal support tends to be directed (endangered species, sea lamprey control, water quality) or supportive (research, support for technical committees).

J. Gannon reported that those who made it to the meeting were sensitive to state concerns.  One item discussed was that the Stevens-Magnuson Act is up for reauthorization, and there is no essential fish habitat monies for the Great Lakes.  Mostly, information was shared at this meeting on mandayes, roles, and responsibilities.  On the 16th of March the second such meeting will identify issues to explore for Great Lakes benefit, and potential legislative pathways..

Public Input on Fish Community Objectives etc.—D. McLeish reported that participants at Great Lakes United’s ‘Taking Stock Workshop’, in particular GLU and TU,  were very interested in discerning the mechanism(s) for public consultation on fish community objectives.  M. Dochoda reported that prior to the workshop she had advised GLU’s Jennifer Nalbone that in 1981 the Joint Strategic Plan was very specific that agencies had responsibility for consulting with their respective publics – many have specific requirements peculiar to their own jurisdictions.  In 1997, parties to the Plan agreed that they might develop materials in common for public consultation, but consultation remained an agency responsibility.  It might be helpful if agencies posted on Lake Committee web pages their respective plans for consultation on such matters as fish community objectives.

T. Trudeau suggested that Lake Committees schedule a panel presentation at the end of state of the lake reports to elicit real dialogue rather than rote position statements.  B. Horns agreed that Lake Committee meeting  lend themselves to this kind of informal input.  There was general agreement that the IJC’s ‘open-mike’ session was not a profitable model for Lake Committees.