Detroit Airport Marriott Inn
Romulus, Michigan
19 April 1994


Members -- Chairman Doug Jester (MDNR), Vice Chairman Ron Desjardine (OMNR), Tom Gorenflo (COTFMA), Bob Lange (OMNR), Neil Kmiecik (GLIFWC), Ken Paxton (ODNR), John Schrouder (MDNR), Phil Smith (OMNR), Jack Skrypek (MnDNR), Mike Talbot (WDNR), Bob Thomson (OMNR), John Trimberger (MDNR), Tom Trudeau (IDOC), Bernie Ylkanen (MDNR)

Fish Chiefs -- Mike Conlin (IDOC), Art Holder (OMNR), Gary Isbell (ODNR), Lee Kernen (WDNR), John Robertson (MDNR), Jack Skrypek (MnDNR)

Others -- Bob Beecher (GLFC), Carol Bohan (USFWS), Dale Burkett (USFWS), Dieter Busch (USFWS), Tom Busiahn (USFWS), John Christian (USFWS), Bill Culligan (NYDEC), Marg Dochoda (GLFC), Doug Dodge (HAB/OMNR), Paola Ferrari (MSU), Vic Gillman (DFO), Mike Hansen (USFWS), Mike Jones (BOTE/OMNR), Roger Kenyon (PFBC), Joe Koonce (HAB/Case Western Reserve University), Mike Millar (GLFC), Lawrence McClelland (DFO), Jon Stanley (USFWS), Barb Staples (GLFC) 

1. Approval of agenda, 1993 CLC minutes, and 1994 LC executive summaries

The CLC approved the agenda, 1993 CLC minutes, and 1994 Lake Committees' executive summaries, the latter with a few revisions.

2. GLFC responses to 1993 Lake Committee concerns

Information item.

3. Governors' response to CLC letter on U.S. common contaminant advisory

Doug Dodge (OMNR) will help draft a letter for the Chairman and Vice-Chairman's signatures to Gail Beggs (OMNR), Cheryl Fraser (DFO), and the Ontario Ministry of Energy and Environment encouraging Canadian participation in the common contaminant advisory initiative for the Great Lakes.

4. Pennsylvania legalization of triploid grass carp

Roger Kenyon (PFBC) reported that Pennsylvania legalized triploid grass carp as a preferred alternative to diploids.

5. Fish community objectives

The CLC recommended to the Committee of the Whole that fish community objectives and state of the lake reports be revised every five years, perhaps in sync with SOLEC.

The LOC and LEC hope to have fish community objectives by 1995. The LMC and LHC plan to adopt their draft objectives for presentation at the GLFC's 1994 annual meeting. The LSC had been side tracked from a planned revision of its objectives by joint exercises with the Binational Program.

Objectives are reviewed by GLFC Boards and Committees for the Lake Committees' information. Lake Committees, not ComW, have responsibility for adoption of objectives.

6. Environmental objectives

Lake Committee Chairs will supply the Secretariat with formal statements to the Commission regarding the nature of assistance on environmental objectives they wish to receive from the Habitat Advisory Board. The LHC had already requested assistance, and the LSC would respond to the workshop suggestion that HAB help expand environmental objectives. The two lakes provided an interesting contrast since the Lake Huron LaMP was not underway and the Lake Superior LaMP was well along.

7. State of the lake reports

Regarding the State of the Lakes Environmental Conference planned by the Parties for the week of 24 October 1994 in Dearborn, Michigan, CLC Chair Jester and Marg Dochoda (GLFC) will explore whether EPA's Great Lakes National Program Office and Environment Canada plan to invite fish managers, and whether they should be urged to broaden their list of invitees.

See CLC-94-5.

8. Lake trout rehabilitation plans

The CLC established a lake trout management review task force chaired by Doug Jester (MDNR) and Ron Desjardine (OMNR) to review CLC stocking policy and related issues.   Members might include Dr. Anne Kapuscinski (BOTE, U.of Minnesota), Dr. David Noakes (BOTE, U. of Guelph), Jim Selgeby (BOTE, NBS), Dr. John Schachte (GLFDCC, NYDEC), Dale Best (USFWS), Mike Hansen (NBS), and one representative from each management agency. Randy Eshenroder (GLFC) was requested to provide staff support.

9. Proposed ruffe containment program

After long discussion, an account of which follows, the Council of Lake Committees adopted the following resolution:

Whereas the Council of Lake Committees supports containment of ruffe in Lake Superior, and

Whereas there is at this time no known alternative to piscicide treatments to prevent unassisted range expansion of ruffe, and

Whereas treatment with TFM has been identified as a potentially effective control agent that is preferred for its selectivity, and

Whereas the Council of Lake Committees does not wish to adversely affect the sea lamprey control program, or to jeopardize continued use of TFM for sea lamprey control or TFM registration under minor use designation,

Therefore be it resolved that the Council of Lake Committees supports testing the efficacy of TFM for containment of ruffe on a limited experimental basis, under appropriate temporary use permits, with thorough scientific review by the Lake Superior Committee, and

Be it further resolved the Council of Lake Committees supports the use of federal appropriations under the Nonindigenous Prevention and control Act for this purpose,and

Be it further resolved that any regulatory action arising from the proposed use of TFM to control ruffe that threatens the capability of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to employ TFM as a sea lamprey control agent shall immediately result in the withdrawal of that proposal, and

Be it further resolved that if the experimental program is determined to not be successful then it will be terminated. This determination will be made on an annual basis. The experimental control program will sunset no later than 3 years from initiation unless it's determined to be successful by that time.
After outlining the Ruffe Control Committee's proposal to contain ruffe, Tom Busiahn (USFWS) answered Mike Talbot (WDNR) that the designated streams would be treated annually on a preventative basis, i.e. even if no ruffe were found.

Bob Beecher (GLFC) explained that the reregistration of TFM is an expensive, difficult process. However, costs have been minimized by designation of TFM as a minor use chemical, the outcome of a meeting between former GLFC Commissioner and assistant Secretary of Interior Mike Hayden and former EPA Administrator William Reilly. The reason for designating TFM as a minor use chemical is its limited use, solely sea lamprey control on a fraction of Great Lakes streams on a cyclical basis, i.e. every three years on an average stream. We were advised that TFM was the only chemical with minor use designation. However, reregistration, even under the "minor use" designation, is expensive and time-consuming -- with the lengthy delays in EPA submission review and response to the Commission's Agent, NBS, it seems impossible to meet the June 1996 deadline.

Beecher added that the proposed use of chemical, personnel, and equipment used for sea lamprey control is also problematic. Legislators and aides who have supported the GLFC have done so believing that TFM is a relatively selective piscicide -- use of TFM on ruffe strains credibility. A second credibility issue occurs when one suggests that the GLFC, under financial difficulty and buying lampricide on credit, has slack to provide manpower and equipment for ruffe containment. Beecher concluded that because of the risks of proceeding (or not) with the proposed ruffe program, the Secretariat was pleased to see the CLC laboring to make an informed, shared decision.

Busiahn explained to John Robertson (MDNR) and Bob Lange (NYDEC) that the preference for TFM lay in its selectivity and not its effectiveness. Any of the four chemicals would be effective. Shortcomings could be addressed. (He was not sure whether Bayluscide killed ruffe eggs.) Robertson asserted that efficacy was the most important criterion for choosing a chemical, and that selectivity was secondary. A quick survey of the room suggested that not much antimycin had been ordered in recent years.

In response to John Schrouder (MDNR) Beecher explained that GLFC would likely be less concerned regarding the use of Bayluscide, which is used in small amounts for assessment, and has also been intermittently registered as a molluscicide in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. Vic Gillman (DFO) added that Agriculture Canada is looking at Bayer 73 as synergist to TFM. Neil Kmiecik (GLIFWC) questioned whether Bayer would be lethal to ruffe because it is typically a bottom toxicant. Busiahn replied that ruffe are typically associated with the bottom. 

John Christian (USFWS) stated that the Service would conduct an environmental assessment and possibly an environmental impact study, and would discuss with EPA whether TFM's minor use designation would be jeopardized, before proceeding. According to Mike Millar (GLFC) an expanded permit would have to be obtained upon successful completion of the experiment if the containment program was to be continued.

Ontario had no official position, as ruffe are no longer found in Ontario, reported Bob Thomson (OMNR), but the Great Lakes managers supported the objectives of the containment program as they believe ruffe pose a significant threat. Ontario's Great Lakes managers did, however, have some concerns for example on the use of TFM. Therefore there was support for a closely controlled experiment (rather than an operational program) on containing the spread of ruffe. There was hope that an alternative to chemical control becomes available.

Ken Paxton (ODNR) was not supportive of the action plan as proposed by the Ruffe Control Committee, as he believed the momentum to act was based on political pressure rather than a scientific appraisal of costs and benefits. Although Ohio is not a beneficiary of the sea lamprey control program, he would not risk it for the uncertainties of attempting to contain ruffe. 

Referring to the CLC's earlier support for ruffe eradication, Lee Kernen (WDNR) suggested that the proposed approach would only delay the spread of ruffe. Robertson concurred that the proposal under consideration was now containment, rather than the previously approved eradication. Kernen continued that given the distribution of ruffe offshore, there were no good places in Wisconsin to attempt containment, except possibly a stream associated with the Red Cliff Band. Now that the ruffe have accessed Chequamegon Bay, Wisconsin is willing to consider treatment of a stream on the border with Michigan.  The chances for success will be better where waters are deep offshore. Possible impacts on endangered species must be a consideration. 

Bernie Ylkanen (MDNR) reported that there may be outside constraints on treatment of four streams. The Black River is a "wild and scenic river", treatment of which would have to be considered by the U.S. Forest Service -- perhaps triggering a time-consuming Section 7 analysis. Three other streams are in the (state) Porcupine Mountain wilderness management area. Rivers east of Porcupine to the Ontonagon River might be candidates.  Ylkanen and Robertson stated that Michigan is willing to do what it can to establish a confinement zone but does not expect to carry the burden of an ongoing program alone. 

Participants attempted to reach consensus on several points: 

Beecher concluded that the GLFC will need to discuss at its June meeting whether to permit access to the chemical inventory, equipment, and personnel that the Commission supports for sea lamprey control and research. Others noted that the USFWS holds TFM registration and could with adequate funding contain ruffe without GLFC permission.

10. Meeting arrangements

The CLC encouraged efforts to apprise appropriate outdoor and science writers of upcoming lake committee meetings. To this end the CLC agreed to prepare agendas well in advance, and to advise on appropriate reporters for briefing.

11. Law Enforcement Committee

Information item.

12.a. GLFDCC response to Michigan BKD Strategy

The CLC was apprised that the Great Lakes Fish Disease Control Committee would advise within the year on "Rs-free" and research needs associated with salmonid mortalities in Lake Michigan. The GLFDCC desired the support of the LMC and its technical committee on these issues.

12.b. Larval salmonid mortality

The CLC supported the GLFDCC's planned workshop on larval salmonid mortality and other efforts to exchange information on the phenomenon, including promotion of research through BOTE, state Sea Grant programs, and the Council of Great Lakes Research Directors.

12.c. Diagnostic tool for EEDV

The CLC will write U.S. National Biological Survey re the need for an EEDV diagnostic tool, asking that the Leetown Lab assign the project a high priority and that they make the virus available to outside researchers.

12.d. GLFDCC strategic operating plan

The CLC agreed to review the GLFDCC's proposed strategic operating plan upon receipt.

12.e. Proposed GLFDCC name change

The CLC accepted the proposed GLFDCC name change to "Great Lakes Fish Health Committee". The CLC will consider terms of reference inferences when the proposed strategic operating plan becomes available.

Changes in terms of reference are approved by the Commission, under which the management committees operate. Because the management committees also operate under the Strategic Great Lakes Fishery Management Plan, the Commission has in the past consulted with the Committee of the Whole where proposed changes may diverge in a major way from existing agreements or practices, e.g. the addition of new member agencies to lake committees.

13.a. BOTE's lake trout task

Commending BOTE and the GLFC for the RESTORE lake trout conference, the CLC supported renewal of BOTE's lake trout task area. It was understood that funds are available within current allocation, and that some cross-consultation will occur with the CLC's lake trout stocking review (CLC-94-8). 

13.b. BOTE's proposed biodiversity task

The CLC supported BOTE development of a biodiversity task area proposal for GLFC consideration. The CLC requested to be consulted in the planning of workshops or roundtables including interest groups. There was concern that the topic might generate undue concern among traditional stakeholders, and that "roundtable burnout" might result in poor turnout. On the other hand members were hopeful that the proposed biodiversity task area would provide ecological concepts which would be useful to managers as underpinnings for fish community objectives, and as the basis for cooperation with Water Quality Agreement initiatives. 

14.a. Review of GLFC vision

CLC members expressed no preferences for participating in a planned review of the GLFC's Vision. One member thought it ironic that Lake Committees were invited to review progress on the Vision when they were not offered an opportunity to fully participate in its development. 

14.b. GLFC budget

Information item.

15.a. Proposed review of institutional arrangements for ecosystem management 

The CLC forwarded for implementation the proposal for a review of institutional arrangements to the GLFC and ComW Operations Committee. It was time for a SGLFMP review.  There was some reluctance to invoke the Council of Great Lakes Governors, particularly for SGLFMP which could be reviewed more profitably by the Committee of the Whole. After some discussion the CLC concurred that despite some current exceptions such as the Lake Superior Binational Program, it was proving difficult to cooperate with environmental initiatives on an ad hoc basis and that a review leading to formal arrangements such as an ecosystem management plan would be an interesting exercise. Also, an open discussion on arrangements for meeting basin needs such as sea lamprey control might also be beneficial. 

15.b. Communications and management information

The CLC encouraged the GLFC to continue its discussions and development of an electronic information system. 

15.c. Proposed arbitration protocol

In response to hearsay re the proposed format for GLFC arbitration procedures as proposed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada CLC Chairman Jester stated that

15.d. Ecosystem Charter

CLC members agreed to advise the Great Lakes Commission and the GLFC of any problems with the draft Ecosystem Charter.

16.a. National Biological Survey funding shortfall

The CLC will send a letter signed by the Chair and Vice Chair to the NBS supporting allocation for important monitoring and survey work by the Ann Arbor Lab, and requesting a briefing by Commissioner nominee Bob Davison at the GLFC's Annual Meeting on the Great Lakes' status as a national priority.

It was noted that the Northeast Midwest Institute planned a conference on ecosystem protection and pollution prevention in the Great Lakes the following Monday, that Davison would be addressing the conference on priorities, and that GLIFWC was the only fishery management agency invited. Carol Bohan (USFWS) explained that the Institute's Allegra Cangelosi wished to keep the conference small and high level. Bohan was arranging a poster session featuring coaster brook trout, Tawas Reef lake trout (and sea lamprey control), and Metzger Marsh.

16.b. Restoration Act MOU with USFWS

The Fish Chiefs (except for Indiana and Pennsylvania, who were not represented) were supportive of a single Memorandum of Agreement between U.S. fish management agencies and the USFWS Restoration Act Offices, if such an agreement could be negotiated. The Fish Chiefs felt strongly that states must sign off on the proposed Restoration Act study before same could be submitted to Congress.

17.a. Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Control and Protection Act intentionalintroductions policy review

Michigan DNR will provide its comments on the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Control and Protection Act intentional introductions policy review to Margaret Dochoda (GLFC) for distribution to CLC members. 

17.b. Office of Technology and Assessment intentional introductions policy review

Information item.

18. Other business

The 600,000 surplus fall fingerling lake trout produced by Region 3 of the USFWS will be split equally between Lakes Huron and Michigan as in the past. The LHTC will provide specific instructions for that lake.