July 8, 1997
Dear Friends of Great Lakes Fisheries:
SUBJECT: Program Requirements and Cost Estimates for Fiscal Year (FY) 1998
The Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC) is pleased to provide you with this package describing the requirements for its base program. The base program maintains sea lamprey suppression and support for fisheries management at levels that closely reflect economic situations in both the United States and Canada. This document also describes the full program to meet the commission’s mandate under the Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries.
By sharing this information with you and other ‘Friends of Great Lakes Fisheries,’ the GLFC hopes to benefit from the diverse professional, scientific, management, governmental, personal, political, socioeconomic, and environmental perspectives of those interested in the future of the Great Lakes and their resources.
In this submission, the GLFC explains its program requirements and the cost estimates for the base program in FY 1998, which totals $15.8 million (U.S. dollars), of which $10.8 million (including $0.5 million for lampricide reregistration in the U.S.) is requested of the United States and $5.0 million is requested of Canada. This base program continues efforts in all critical areas of sea lamprey control and supports joint fishery management at levels attained during FY 1995. The program has been designed to maintain the hard-fought progress won in recent years.
In addition, the GLFC explains additions to this base program which are required to deliver a full program to meet major new challenges including control of the St. Marys River, enhancement of research, and implementation of alternative control methods. This full program is estimated to cost a total of $21.8 million, of which $14.9 million (including $0.5 million for lampricide reregistration in the U.S.) is requested of the United States and $6.9 million is requested of Canada.
With its base program, the GLFC proposes to continue its remarkable record of sea lamprey suppression in most areas of the Great Lakes. Sea lamprey control has resulted in a 90% reduction in sea lamprey populations in all of the lakes except Lake Huron and northern Lake Michigan. In these waters, sea lamprey produced in the St. Marys River continue to decimate the fish community. The base program may allow for a St. Marys River treatment to begin, but at the expense of other components of GLFC programs in the Great Lakes. In its full program, the GLFC proposes to tackle the St. Marys River problem by expanding the non-chemical sterile-male-release-technique and by initiating an aggressive annual program of targeted treatments using a newly developed bottom-release lampricide. A St. Marys River sea lamprey control program will cost-effectively reduce larval populations by up to 85% and will provide the relief necessary to begin the long-awaited recovery of the Lake Huron and Lake Michigan fish communities.
The base program allows the commission to maintain its strong commitment to reduce the use of lampricides by 50% by the year 2001. Through research and deployment of new control methods that do not rely on lampricides, the commission has already reduced lampricide use by more than 25%. The commission has been devoting large percentages of its sea lamprey control budget to alternative controls. For instance, a greatly enhanced barrier program and the experimental sterile-male-release-technique will continue with the base level of funding. In its full program, the GLFC proposes to expand its barrier program 3-fold and to expand its research program by the 5-fold increase necessary to make real progress in finding new methods and delivering suppression while using less lampricides.
The support from the governments of Canada and the United States for the GLFC in face of fiscal constraint in both nations shows a strong commitment to sustain the Great Lakes fishery resources for the benefit of future generations. The GLFC’s sea lamprey control program and its support for fishery management have been critical to protecting the $2-4 billion fishery of the Great Lakes with its 75,000 jobs and recreational opportunities for four million anglers annually. Continuing these successes will require strengthened partnerships from all cooperators in both countries and the financial support identified in the enclosed FY 1998 Program Requirements.
C.I. Goddard Executive Secretary
LIST OF APPENDICES
1. FY 1998 Program Requirements Summary
2. Commission Responsibilities, Program Targets, and Critical Initiatives
3. Sea Lamprey Management Program Overview
3.1. Long-term Program Targets
3.1.1. Sea Lamprey Targets and Status
3.1.2. Reducing Dependence on Lampricides
3.2. Critical Initiatives
3.2.1. St. Marys River
3.2.2. Sea Lamprey Barriers
4. Base Program of Sea Lamprey Management
4.1. Lampricide Control
4.1.1. Scheduled Treatment
4.1.2. Chemical Purchase
4.2. Assessment Program
4.2.1. Adult Assessment
4.2.2. Larval Assessment
4.3. Alternative Control
4.3.1. Sea Lamprey Barriers
4.3.2. Sterile-Male-Release Field-Trial Program
4.4. Research Programs at United States and Canadian Agent Facilities
4.5. Agent Administration and Supervision
4.6. Alternative Control Research
4.7. United States Reregistration of Lampricides
4.8. Integrated Management of Sea Lamprey Protocol
5. Full Program of Sea Lamprey Management
5.1. Scheduled Treatment
5.2. Chemical Purchase
5.3. Adult Assessment
5.4. Larval Assessment
5.5. Sea Lamprey Barriers
5.6. Sterile-Male-Release Field-Trial Program
5.7. Research Programs at United States and Canadian Agent Facilities
5.8. Agent Administration and Supervision
5.9. Alternative Control Research
5.10. U.S. Reregistration
5.11. Integrated Management of Sea Lamprey Protocol
6. Administration and Committee and Scientific Support
6.2. Committee and Scientific Support
6.2.1. Board of Technical Experts
6.2.2. Habitat Advisory Board
6.2.3. Sea Lamprey Integration Committee
6.2.4. Coordination Activities
7. Charts and Tables Appendix 2
COMMISSION RESPONSIBILITIES, PROGRAM TARGETS, AND CRITICAL INITIATIVES
The Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC) was established by the Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries between Canada and the United States in 1956. The GLFC was formed to perform five duties (from the Convention):
a) to formulate a research program or programs designed to determine the need for measures to make possible the maximum sustained productivity of any stock of fish in the Convention Area which, in the opinion of the Commission, is of common concern to the fisheries of the United States of America and Canada, and to determine what measures are best adapted for such purpose;
b) to coordinate research made pursuant to such programs and, if necessary, to undertake such research itself;
c) to recommend appropriate measures to the Contracting Parties on the basis of the findings of such research programs;
d) to formulate and implement a comprehensive program for the purpose of eradicating or minimizing the sea lamprey populations in the Convention Area; and
e) to publish or authorize the publication of scientific and other information obtained by the Commission in the performance of its duties.
The Commission remains committed to accomplishing these duties.
In 1992, the Strategic Vision of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission for the Decade of the 1990s was produced and released to communicate the GLFC's program direction to deliver its mandate under the Convention. The Strategic Vision provides an explicit statement of the focus, intent, and direction of GLFC programs through the year 2000. The Strategic Vision was presented to the two governments and to all of the Commission's cooperators and is available upon request.
Beginning with the FY 1992 Program Requirements and Cost Estimates, annual submission have reflected actual program needs, instead of anticipated levels of funding. This approach continues with the submission of the FY 1998 Program Requirements and Cost Estimates. However, the PR&CE are presented at two levels, one level would deliver a base program that maintains recent effort and the other level would deliver the base program plus additional initiatives necessary for the Commission to fully meet its mandate. While still comparing the current (FY 1998) submission with cost estimates of the preceding year (FY 1997), emphasis is on comparing FY 1998 estimates with actual expenditures for the current year FY 1996.
SEA LAMPREY MANAGEMENT PROGRAM OVERVIEW
As noted, the GLFC was created by Convention between the United States and Canada to manage sea lampreys and improve fishery resources. The Commission enters into annual memoranda of agreement (MOA) with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) as its agents to deliver the operational phase of the integrated management of sea lamprey program. Research and technical assistance into the biology of lamprey, alternative controls, and the registration and reregistration of lampricides is carried out by the Commission under an MOA with the United States National Biological Service (NBS), and under contracts with researchers at United States and Canadian universities, other federal, state and provincial government agencies, and consultants. Fishery management agencies of the Province, states, and tribal organizations work together in lake management committees to advise the Commission about the degree of sea lamprey control required to permit a sustainable fishery. Under the Commission's direction, these agencies and organizations work together to minimize sea lamprey populations in the Great Lakes.
Devastation of fish stocks in the upper Great Lakes resulting from the invasion of sea lamprey, eel-like parasites that originated in the Atlantic Ocean, provided impetus for establishment of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. This realization, that sea lampreys must be suppressed in the Great Lakes if trout, salmon, and other fishes are to survive, is as strong today as it was in 1956 when the GLFC was formed. A program of applying selective pesticides (lampricides) in streams inhabited by larval sea lampreys began in Lake Superior in 1958, and continues to be the key method of suppression. By the 1970s, all watersheds with significant infestations of sea lampreys (except those of Lake Erie, which first received lampricide applications in 1986) were being treated with lampricides. Of the approximately 5,350 streams tributary to the Great Lakes, approximately 450 have been inhabited by sea lampreys. Of these, 180 regularly produce sea lampreys and are treated on a 3- to 5-year cycle. Between 40 and 70 streams are treated each year. The fate of the Great Lakes fishery for salmon, trout, and other important fishes with economic impacts (valued at $2-4 billion -1985) hinges on the GLFC's ability to treat these few streams with lampricides and conduct associated assessments to determine treatment success and identify streams requiring treatment in the next field season.
The GLFC's program of integrated management of sea lamprey includes lampricide control, construction of barriers in streams to deny sea lampreys' entry, and an experimental program to reduce spawning success by releasing sterilized-male sea lampreys. Although the program has successfully allowed the re-emergence of the largest freshwater fishery in the world, its future continues to be uncertain because of a convergence of realities:
· fiscal environments in both Canada and the United States have made it difficult to financially support substantial initiatives beyond the implementation of a base-level treatment program;
· costs of purchasing lampricide and maintaining its registration with environmental agencies have escalated significantly;
· contemporary concerns with synthetic chemicals (especially pesticides) in the environment demand that efforts to find alternatives to lampricides be accelerated;
· fishery managers have identified the need for increased lamprey suppression to assist in meeting their fish-community objectives in the upper Great Lakes;
· fish stocks in northern Lake Huron are in jeopardy because treatment of the channel that connects it to Lake Superior (the massive St. Marys River) represents the single largest control challenge ever faced;
· pollution-abatement programs are making formerly degraded streams suitable for sea lampreys; and
· sea lamprey populations in all five Great Lakes remain like "coiled springs", having the potential to rapidly increase with any reductions in control effort.
3.1 Long-term Program Targets
The Commission has stated the overall objectives for the sea lamprey management program in its Strategic Vision statement:
The Commission will provide an integrated sea lamprey management program that supports the fish community objectives and that is ecologically and economically sound and socially acceptable.
The Commission recognizes that sea lamprey control is a critical fishery management action delivered to support the Fish Community Objectives developed by all the cooperating jurisdictions through the Lake Committees as part of the Joint Strategic Plan for the Management of Great Lakes Fisheries (SGLFMP). Objectives for acceptable levels of mortality that allow the establishment and maintenance of self-sustaining stocks of lake trout and other salmons have been established on all of the lakes. In some cases, the Lake Committees have established specific objectives for sea lamprey populations in the Fish Community Objectives or the lake trout rehabilitation plans. The current control program reflects the state, tribal, and provincial efforts to meet these objectives.
The Great Lakes Fishery Commission and its Agents are working with the Lake Committees, through their Lake Technical Committees, to refine the current objective statements and to develop common targets for each of the lakes. These targets will consider the costs along with the benefits of control to define the control program that is "ecologically and economically sound and socially acceptable". These targets for each lake will define the abundance of lamprey that can be tolerated and the economically viable level of control required to reach this suppression objective.
3.1.1 Sea Lamprey Targets and Status
Figure 1 presents the current status of lamprey populations versus abundance/damage targets for each of the lakes. The status of sea lamprey control varies greatly among the five lakes, with Lakes Ontario and Erie at or near current Lake Committee targets, Lake Superior slightly above the target, and Lake Huron with populations far exceeding the target level due to the influence of the St. Marys River (see section on the St. Marys River). Increasing sea lamprey abundance in northern Lake Michigan is thought to be a result of the overflow from the northern Lake Huron lamprey infestation caused by the St. Marys River. Importantly, current successes in sea lamprey control on Lakes Erie and Ontario can only be maintained with continued control efforts. Lamprey reproductive capacity is such that all the years of effective control can be quickly undone if control efforts are diminished. Figure 1. The status of current sea lamprey populations in the Great Lakes and Control program targets for their suppression. 3.1.2 Reducing Dependence on Lampricides
The Commission has established an explicit milestone for the reduction of lampricide use by 50 % of current levels by the year 2001. The average amount of lampricide (TFM) applied each year was 20% lower in 1991-94 than in the preceding decade (1981-1990) (Figure 2). Thirty percent of this reduction is attributable to lower application rates in the 1990s, made practicable with new knowledge from efficacy research (Bills and Johnson 1992), and the remaining 70% is related to a smaller average volume of river water being treated each year. Less water is treated because of construction of barrier dams and better data on ammocoete larval lamprey populations, which allows for less-frequent treatments of some streams. Further improvements in the application of lampricides may be possible with the potential to reduce the amount of lampricides used even more. The effectiveness and costs of these potential improvements, and the required increases in analysis, assessment and personnel, will be investigated over the next few years. Figure 2. Basin-wide use of the lampricide TFM and the milestone of 50% reduction by the year 2000. To meet the lampricide reduction milestone will require more than just refinements in the treatment program. Advances in methods of alternative control of sea lamprey will also be required. As shown in other successful integrated pest management programs, a wide and varied arsenal of control methods is critical to sustained cost effective suppression. Research on new, alternative methods of sea lamprey control was accelerated with implementation in 1992 of a research grants program. Important findings from this research with potential applications are designs for velocity barriers that block sea lampreys and allow passage of large-sized, non-jumping fish; inflatable and electrical barriers that allow free passage all fish throughout most of the year; discovery of chemicals that induce partial metamorphosis in sea lampreys; and evidence that components of sea lamprey bile acids serve as powerful attractants for migrating sea lampreys. The grants program also supported research on efficacy of the sterile-male-release program in Lake Superior and the St. Marys River.
Budgets in the 1990s reflect the Commission's increased emphasis on alternative methods of control. The percent of the sea lamprey management budget spent on research and implementation of alternative controls increased almost fourfold from FY 1991 to 1996 (from 4% to 17%) (Figure 3). With dramatic increases in barriers and research the Commission proposes in its full request that 31% goes to alternative control in FY 1998 (Figure 3). Figure 3. Proportion of the sea lamprey management program (excluding lampricide) reregistration allocated to alternative control implementation and research. 3.2 Critical Initiatives
Implementing a strategy to deal with the St. Marys River and northern Lake Huron and advancing the barrier program as an alternative control continue to be critical initiatives for the GLFC.
3.2.1 St. Marys River
The St. Marys River (the connecting channel between lakes Superior and Huron) is the major contributor to sea lamprey infestation in northern Lake Huron. Lake Huron sea lamprey populations are estimated to be higher than all the other Great Lakes populations combined (Figure 1). Sea lamprey account for annual mortality of up to 50% of adult lake trout in northern Lake Huron. These excessive mortality rates preclude lake trout rehabilitation and are impacting other Lake Huron fishery programs. Chinook salmon are also impacted with wounding rates of 18-33 wounds per 100 fish. In recent years, sea lamprey abundance in northern Lake Huron is estimated to be in excess of 400,000 individuals. The Lake Huron Committee (including the Chippewa-Ottawa Treaty Fishery Management Authority, Michigan, and Ontario continues to defer lake trout restoration efforts and to not stock lake trout above the 45th parallel, until the infestation of sea lampreys in northern Lake Huron is adequately suppressed. The greatest hope for restoration of native lake trout in Lake Huron lies in this part of the lake where good spawning habitat is plentiful. Thus, control in the St. Marys River is the linch-pin to restoration of the critical native top-predator, the lake trout, and attaining a healthy and sustainable fish community and aquatic ecosystem in northern Lake Huron.
Recognizing the critical situation in northern Lake Huron, the Commission requested the Sea Lamprey Integration Committee to set up a St. Marys River Control Task Force in 1992 - specifically to prepare a control strategy for the river. The St. Marys River Control Strategy has been developed to identify possible options for control on the river and to evaluate their potential effectiveness, costs, and environmental impacts. The task force is completing studies and investigations needed to evaluate and test the feasibility, effectiveness, and costs of several possible options. One important study, to be carried out in FY 1996, is a rhodamine dye study. This study is being done to validate and calibrate a lampricide transport model developed to predict the movement and dispersal of lampricide in the river under a range of flow conditions.
As noted in the Program Requirements and Cost Estimates submitted last year for FY 1997, the Commission is to begin a full scale treatment program, using a granular Baylucide on high-density population areas (450 acres) in the River in 1997. By targeting sections of the river with high densities of larvae at the rate proposed, over seven years, an estimated 60-75 % of the population will be treated. The proposed areas to be treated with granular Bayer 73 in FY 1997 and the six subsequent years have been estimated to be 450 acres each based on results of the larval habitat and abundance surveys. The actual areas to be treated will be finalized using further data on larval distribution, treatment effectiveness, the feasibility of a partial TFM treatment in the north channel of the lower St. Marys River, and available funding. If these chemical control treatments on the St. Marys River are to be undertaken in FY 1998 as one year of this 7 year program, $1.2 million in additional funding above the base level will be required. Should the option of a TFM application, in the north channel of the river for example, prove acceptable and cost efficient, a total of approximately another six to seven million dollars would be required. This option would be planned for 1999 or 2000 and, thus is not included in initiatives above the base for FY 1998.
In addition to proposed lampricide control options, the St. Mary's River Control Strategy also includes an aggressive program of alternative controls for a fully integrated program. Enhanced trapping and sterile-male release techniques (see Sections 3.5.1 and 3.6.2 respectively for more detail) as alternative control options would work in concert with the lampricide control options to deliver the most cost-effective, environmentally safe suppression possible on the long-term.
Continuing assessment will be critical in determining the success of these treatment options.
3.2.2 Sea Lamprey Barriers
Barriers currently represent the only proven alternative control technique in addition to lampricides the GLFC has available for controlling sea lamprey. While research and development of sterile-male release and other control alternatives have potential, the Commission proposes to continue to invest in an expanded barrier construction program to make real progress towards its milestone of reduced lampricide use. To date, the GLFC has funded construction or modification of approximately 50 dams to create barriers to spawning-phase sea lamprey on selected rivers. Even though blocking the migration of spawning-phase sea lamprey has some important limitations, there is real opportunity to implement this technology to reduce lampricide use and potentially even reduce control costs. The GLFC seized the opportunity with a substantial addition to is barrier construction program in FY 1995 and proposed in last year's program requirements and cost estimates to expand the program by three-fold in FY 1997. The full program request in FY 1998 maintains this proposed momentum.
A 1988 binational task-force evaluation of the GLFC barrier program concluded that properly constructed low-head barriers block spawning runs of sea lampreys, while allowing jumping salmonids to pass and reach their spawning grounds. In some cases, a barrier will block lamprey from access to any spawning habitat and the stream will no longer produce larvae or require treatment. In other cases, sea lampreys may spawn below a barrier, but the remaining shorter stretch of stream is usually much easier and less expensive to treat effectively than an entire river system. Benefits include savings in lampricide costs, decreased application costs, and more efficient sea lamprey control by excluding sea lampreys from areas where treatments are ineffective or inefficient. Trapping facilities associated with barriers also allow removal of sea lampreys from the spawning population. The traps provide assessment information and likely reduce the numbers of sea lamprey larvae produced below barriers or in adjacent streams. Captured male sea lampreys, from streams located within an economical transfer distance to the National Biological Service's Lake Huron Biological Station, are used in the experimental sterile-male-release field-trial program.
The GLFC has developed and installed experimental electric, velocity, and inflatable barriers. These innovative technologies have the potential to stop spawning sea lampreys with less disruption to stream ecosystems and, potentially, less capital costs than low-head barriers. These new barrier designs have the advantage of requiring less head and, therefore, less impoundment of the river above the structure. They also have the advantage of being able to pass non-jumping fish, either by operating only temporarily during the spring lamprey migration period or by providing a chute through which fish can pass, but not the poorer-swimming lamprey. The effectiveness, dependability, and safety of these technologies has yet to be fully proven and is the focus of research and development projects currently under way.
The addition of barrier coordinators to oversee the program in both countries in 1993 revitalized the program that has gained the attention and favor of management agencies. The barrier coordinators, together with the Sea Lamprey Barrier Task Force, have just completed a revision of the strategic plan for implementation of barriers, which was originally accepted as a working document by the Commission in 1995. Using a comprehensive set of quantified criteria this revision produced a prioritized basin-wide list of 157 potential barrier projects (including fixed-crest, electric, and inflatable) on 145 streams previously treated with lampricides on a regular basis. The result will provide barrier coordinators, cooperators, control agents, and the Commission with the initial basis for decisions about which barriers to build, how many, what type, and what additional research is needed to improve how barriers work to block lamprey and pass other fish. This revised strategy, along with the IMSL Lamprey Control Selection System (LCSS) model, will ensure that barriers are combined with lampricide treatments into a fully integrated program of sea lamprey management to deliver the most suppression at the least economic and environmental costs.
Construction of all barriers on the list identified in the revised strategic plan would cost $58 million, and could potentially result in a 54% reduction in TFM use basin-wide. Costs of individual barriers are determined by the size of the stream, the site, the design of the barrier itself, and fish passage and trapping devices. The choice of which new barriers to build will be based on the priority list established in the barrier strategy, how quickly TFM savings would pay for in the barrier, and available funding. The funds identified for the base level program FY 1998 ($836,000) will cover the costs of constructing an estimated 2-5 priority barriers around the Great Lakes basin. To continue the enhanced barrier construction/operation/maintenance program begun in FY 1995, the Commission’s base-level request for the barrier program for FY 1998 is 24% ($204,000) higher than the actual FY 1996 expenditure. To accelerate the success possible with more barriers, the Commission is again proposing a full program of $2,100,000 increasing the base-level barrier program three-fold. This aggressive program would result in a concomitant acceleration in the benefits of reduced lampricide use and stream area treated.
BASE PROGRAM OF SEA LAMPREY MANAGEMENT
4.1 Lampricide Control
As was noted in the letter to the Governments, the Parties had suggested the Commission divide their annual funding request into two parts: one being the funding necessary to support the current base-level of program effort, and the other being the addition of funding needed to support identified additional program elements necessary for the Commission to fully meet its mandate set forth in the Convention. What follows is a description of those elements associated with maintaining a base program of effort.
Consisting of treatment operations and chemical purchase, lampricide control represents the backbone of the Commission's program of integrated sea lamprey management.
4.1.1 Scheduled Treatment (Base $3,473,400)
An adequate base program of sea lamprey management requires regular treatment of major sea lamprey-producing streams, and treatment of other streams when the need is indicated by surveys of larval abundance. Treatment rotation for a stream is determined by several factors: the duration of the larval phase of the sea lamprey life cycle, how many larvae survive a treatment, and whether or not lampreys spawn in a given river. Larval sea lampreys spend on average three to five years in a stream (depending on the climate and habitat quality) before they transform into the parasitic phase and move out into the lake. Generally, streams are treated on a three to five-year rotation which corresponds to the minimum period between birth and migration in that stream.
Individual streams are treated with lampricides to eliminate larval populations prior to any significant transformation of sea lampreys and migration to feed on fish in the lake. The decision to treat an individual stream is based on surveys which establish the actual abundance and size of larvae to predict when, and how many, sea lampreys will leave the stream. Streams are selected for treatment based on the cost-effectiveness of the lampricide application. Available resources are allocated to streams in order of the numbers of larval lamprey killed per control dollar spent. The year in which a stream is treated may be adjusted to deal with larvae which survived the last treatment. Streams in which larvae consistently escape treatment may be advanced to an enhanced control cycle of annual treatments to reduce the escape of parasitic sea lampreys into the lake. Treatments may also be advanced to eliminate populations of young larvae which may move to areas where they cannot be effectively treated, such as deep lake water off the stream mouth.
Costs for treating an individual stream are unique to that stream depending on the effort and lampricide required. The effort required involves a specific number of people over a period of days determined by the complexity of pretreatment planning, application, and monitoring requirements for a given stream. The amount of TFM, and whether or not the synergist of Bayer 73 powder is required, is specific to the volume of water flow and the chemistry of a given stream.
Individual stream-treatment schedules and requirements result in cycles of years of high and low numbers of streams requiring treatment for each of the lakes. These cycles vary from lake to lake but tend to average out over all lakes. Therefore, cost estimates for the total treatment program vary from year to year for each lake with the number of streams requiring treatment and their individual lampricide and effort costs. It is often necessary to defer planned treatment of some streams within a field season due to high or low water conditions or other factors that would make the treatment less effective, too costly, or increase the risk of environmental impact. The cost estimates for FY 1998 are developed from predicted average requirements based on individual stream-treatment rotations for all of the lakes.
In addition, recent work has shown that the amount of lampricide used can be decreased and stream-treatment efficiency improved by gathering additional information about stream pH prior to and during treatment. These additional tests are made as part of the routine treatment program and the amount of lampricide is adjusted at that time. Cost comparisons of treatments from one year to the next are further complicated by which fiscal year the chemicals are paid for and whether the chemicals used are from inventory or the current year's shipment. Because larval survey and assessment activities directly support the treatment program, their requirements and costs will also vary.
In summary, the base-level cost estimate for FY 1998 of $3,473,400 will deliver a similar level of control to that achieved in FY 1995. This base treatment effort would maintain the current suppression levels in all five Great Lakes. 4.1.2 Chemical Purchase (Base $3,304,500)
The Commission's primary lampricide is TFM, 3 trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol. Prices for TFM have almost tripled between 1986 ($8.39/lb) and 1996 ($28.10/lb) (Figure 4). The GLFC is the world's only buyer of TFM and was totally dependent on its supplier in Europe, AgrEvo USA. The GLFC initiated major worldwide searches in 1989 and 1990 for other potential manufacturers. Kinetic Industries Ltd., an American manufacturer, began investigating production of TFM in 1986, and now has product approval and registration for use for sea lamprey control in both Canada and the United States. The Commission took delivery of evaluation orders of 20,000 pounds from this new supplier in each of 1994 and 1995. There was sufficient improvements in the quality of the 1995 product, over that of 1994, that the Commission ordered a further 45,000 pounds for FY 1996.
Figure 4. Costs of the lampricide TFM since 1986. Cost estimates for 1997 and 1998 are the lowest provided by current suppliers. In an effort to secure more favorable prices, the Commission asked both manufacturers to submit a bid for a three year period - 1996 to 1998. The cost estimates for FY 1998 range from a low $29.00 to a high of $37.72 per pound, depending on the quantity ordered.
In FY 1993 the Commission adopted a policy of purchasing a regular amount of 120,000 lbs of TFM every year and ensuring 120,000 lbs were in inventory April 15 of every year. Analysis showed the average use of TFM from 1990-1994 (5 years equals the overall average treatment cycle) is 95,000 lbs. This 17% reduction in annual TFM use has been achieved through refinement of application rates and procedures, improved stream selection, and use of barriers. Therefore, in December 1994 the Commission reduced its inventory policy target to have a minimum of 100,000 lbs on hand on April 15 of each year to ensure continuation of the control program. Adequate inventory is essential to guard against disruptions in supply because lampricide remains the primary tool in protecting the Great Lakes ecosystem from sea lamprey predation.
Unfortunately, in FY 1996 AgrEvo notified the Commission that it was ceasing production of TFM after the 1996 production run. This situation necessitated the Commission ordering more TFM (141,001 pounds) in FY 1996 than its policy level (100,000 pounds) in order to provide a sufficient supply until it was determined if Kinetics could produce the quality and quality it needed to support the control program. Additional benefits of this option are that it provides time for the Commission to try and identify other potential suppliers and lock into a more stable price. This larger than policy level purchase of TFM for FY 1996 will require the Commission to carry a debt of $2.1 million. The Commission chose to maintain the integrity of the program and carry this deficit to avoid the risk running out of TFM in FY 1998 or severely reducing or eliminating other elements of the sea lamprey management program.
The base program for FY 1998 includes the policy purchase of 100,000 lbs of TFM. This purchase level will provide the lampricide required for treatments projected for FY 1998 and maintain the long-term target inventory level. The base-level cost of chemical purchases in FY 1998 is estimated to be $3.3 million. This total also includes a small amount ($304,500) of other lampricide products used in control and assessment programs. Adding $3.3 million for chemicals, to the $3.5 million required for treatment operations, brings the total cost of the base lampricide control element of the sea lamprey management program to $6.8 million in FY 1998.
4.2 Assessment Program
Assessment of both adult and larval sea lamprey is required in order to provide information used to select streams for lampricide treatment, to effectively apply alternative control methods, and to monitor the effectiveness of the whole control program. Quantitative information allows control efforts to be applied where they will cause the greatest reduction in lamprey numbers with the least impact on other nontarget organisms, using the least possible lampricide at the least possible cost. In order to get the most from this information base, the computer-based Lamprey Control Selection System (LCSS) has been developed to assist control agents in short-term and long-term predictions of the effect of lampricides and alternative control on sea lamprey populations. The collection of quantitative sea lamprey information is critical to integrate sea lamprey management with fishery-management goals of Great Lakes agencies. To meet treatment permit requirements, the control agents carry out pre- and post-application assessments to determine the impact of lampricide treatments on non-target species. In addition to using this information to measure changes in key indicators of efforts of the regular control program and/or new alternative control efforts, it is also used to meet risk monitoring and environmental assessment needs.
It should be noted that, as for treatment, assessment efforts for all streams are not equal and therefore, costs vary from year to year and stream to stream. Large streams take more effort to assess and trap. Therefore, cost comparisons cannot be solely based on the number of streams.
4.2.1 Adult Assessment (Base $894,900)
Studies of adult sea lampreys provide both the abundance and biological information needed to evaluate the effectiveness of sea lamprey management and to identify trends in sea lamprey population abundance or problem areas. Adult assessment is essential in gauging the success of the overall control program against Fish Community Objectives and Lake Committee recommendations for sea lamprey management targets. Sea lampreys are caught during spawning runs in permanent and portable assessment traps placed in selected streams. Traps are also built into low-head barrier dams. Catches of parasitic sea lampreys by commercial and charterboat fishermen also provide useful measures of relative xxxx in the lakes. Spawning-phase sea lampreys trapped in certain locations (mainly Lakes Huron and Michigan) are sorted by sex and the males are sterilized and released in Lake Superior and the St. Marys River as part of the experimental sterile-male-release technique program.
Studies of sea lamprey/fish interaction in Lakes Superior and Ontario, aided by computer-based modeling, are under way to refine the relationship between sea lamprey numbers and mortality of fish (particularly lake trout). Indications are that even a few sea lampreys inflict severe mortality on lake trout stocks.
In FY 1998, the GLFC intends to continue the assessment of adult sea lampreys critical to integration of sea lamprey and fishery management goals of Great Lakes agencies. The results of the IMSL program will facilitate refining target levels for sea lamprey control on each lake, and will result in the most-efficient and effective control program at the lowest cost.
The success of the sea lamprey management program in many areas is currently demonstrated by low catches of sea lampreys in most assessment traps and fish with low sea lamprey marking rates, combined with high survival rates of planted fish. In FY 1995, increases in the number of streams trapped in Lake Superior improved the quality of information gathered on this lake. Many thousands of adult sea lamprey are captured in assessment traps each year in problem areas where sea lamprey abundance is current high (the St. Marys River, northern Lake Huron, and northern Lake Michigan). The anticipated construction of new large permanent assessment traps in FYs 1996 (Great Lakes Power Co. trap) and 1997 (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers trap), on hydroelectric dams at the head of the St. Marys River, is expected to result is improved adult assessment activities. The efficiency and effectiveness of control is impossible to evaluate without continuing adult assessment activities.
The base adult assessment program in FY 1998 is estimated to cost $0.9 million. This amount of funding continues the level of trapping of spawning phase sea lampreys achieved in FY 1995 on 71 tributaries on the five Great Lakes and the monitoring of the parasite phase lamprey populations in Lakes Superior and Huron through analysis of commercial fishery collections.
4.2.2 Larval Assessment (Base $2,623,500)
The purpose of the larval sea lamprey assessment program is to provide the information necessary to schedule and select tributaries for treatment in the following year and determine the effectiveness of past treatments and barriers. In addition, the surveys provide quantitative larval-population-assessment data which are the basis for the IMSL model and longer term policy evaluation. The program annually determines the relative abundance, size structure, and distribution of larval sea lamprey in Great Lakes streams with populations of sea lamprey. This information is used to determine the relative size of the transformer population in all streams. The precision of these estimates is directly proportional to the survey effort on each stream. Stream treatment recommendations are based on either cost per transformer killed or maximizing the number of transformers killed. The base program surveys approximately 360 streams annually during a five month field season.
In FY 1993, the GLFC directed the control programs to reprogram part of quantitative larval assessment budget to the St. Marys River project. Consequently, larval assessment in large, regularly producing streams has declined during this period resulting in continued uncertainty in scheduling TFM treatments in these systems. The larval assessment in the St. Marys River has become a regular component in larval assessment and will continue to be as the current larval mapping efforts to a long-term high-resolution indexing program.
The base larval assessment program in FY 1998 is estimated to cost $2.6 million excluding chemicals (covered in 3.4.2). The operational cost, excluding chemicals, for the base assessment (adult plus larval) program is $3.5 million. 4.3 Alternative Control
The planned alternative control program will continue to consist of the sea lamprey barrier program and the experimental sterile-male-release field-trial program.
4.3.1 Sea Lamprey Barriers (Base $836,000)
Barriers to the migration of spawning-phase sea lamprey and traps are the only alternatives to lampricides fully available now for controlling sea lamprey populations. See Section 3.3.2 for a full description of this program element.
4.3.2 Sterile-Male-Release Field-Trial Program (Base $451,700)
In FY 1991, following 20 years of research and developmental work, the GLFC began an experimental release of sterile-male sea lampreys into Lake Superior and the St. Marys River. Research had shown that after being sterilized by injection, male sea lampreys retain their sexual libido and spawn with fertile females, producing infertile eggs. Federal regulatory agencies approved the use of the chemical sterilant bisazir for use on sea lampreys in 1989, therefore making a large-scale experimental program possible—a significant breakthrough. In 1990-91, the last impediment to implementing operational-scale field testing was resolved when a sea lamprey sterilization facility was constructed at the Lake Huron Biological Station, funded by a special appropriation from Congress to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
This large-scale experimental field-trial is being carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of sterile-male release and, if successful, will reduce the residual sea lamprey population further without using more lampricides. The present sterile male release program consists of trapping about 26,000 to 33,000 male sea lamprey in Lakes Huron and Michigan tributaries for sterilization at the Hammond Bay facility. These animals are subsequently released into a designated number of Lake Superior tributaries and the St. Marys River. Approximately 21-27,000 are targeted for release in Lake Superior streams and 5-6,000 in the St. Marys River.
To fully evaluate the success of the technique, releases are planned over two full generations of sea lampreys, (i.e., 10-15 years). Models show that after this period of deploying sterile males, sea lamprey populations in Lake Superior will be depressed and the use of lampricides will be significantly reduced. It is important to note that temporary increases in lampricide treatments may be required in the future on Lake Superior in order to gain the full benefit of the sterile-male-release technique and to fully achieve the potential lampricide reduction it may afford.
The goal for future years is to release at least 5,000 sterile males into the St. Marys with the possibility of increased releases with the two new improved trapping facilities planned for the river. The use of sterile-male sea lampreys in the St. Marys River could prove to be an effective part of the control strategy for that large river, if sufficiently high ratios of sterile to normal males could be achieved there. The use of sterile males in this system is experimental and will be employed as one element of a comprehensive, integrated management approach to control sea lampreys over the long term. Pending adequate funding, releases are planned to continue in the St. Marys River in FY 1998 and beyond.
A comprehensive evaluation program has been developed for the sterile male experiment. To evaluate the success of sterile male introduction, a hierarchy of questions about effects through different life history stages need to be answered. To evaluate success through to the nest phase, short-term evaluation studies have been carried out to observe nesting in rivers, to measure the actual ratio of sterile to normal males spawning in the river, and to evaluate the successful production of larvae in nests. The results of these studies have been positive and have shown the sterile male, to effectively compete with normal males and reduce the production of larvae from nests. Studies are underway to evaluate the next question in the hierarchy, that is, how is the production of larvae affected by this reduction in reproduction. A four year evaluation of 8 study streams and the St. Marys River has been begun in FY 1996 to answer this question. These short-term assessment studies were previously programmed as part of the adult assessment efforts, but as of FY 1997 are reflected as SMRT evaluation studies in the SMRT program category. Research studies to support the experimental SMRT program are included in the internal research or alternative control research categories.
Sterile-male operational costs for the base-level program are projected at $451,700 for FY 1998. This amount covers the proportional cost of trapping male sea lamprey for the sterilization program, transporting the trapped sea lampreys to the sterilization facility and back to release sites, the purchase of the bisazir sterilization agent, operation of the facility, and field assessment of the success of the technique in the study streams and the St. Marys River. Increases over the previous year’s program include increased operating costs resulting from the two new traps coming on stream on the St. Marys River and the temporary weir on the Carp River.
4.4 Research Programs at United States and Canadian Agent Facilities (Base $1,045,000)
The GLFC contracts with the National Biological Service to carry out research and technical assistance related to sea lamprey management at the Upper Mississippi Science Center (UMSC)—LaCrosse, Wisconsin and the Lake Huron Biological Station (LHBS) near Millersburg, Michigan. The stations conduct GLFC-funded research and technical assistance related to the registration, environmental safety, and efficacy of lampricides; alternative control methods; and ecology and assessment of sea lamprey. Only a small portion of the total program at UMSC is funded by the GLFC. The program at the LHBS is funded entirely by the GLFC and focuses totally on sea lamprey technical assistance and research. The Commission, National Biological Service, and Michigan State University are entering into a new cooperative arrangement where the science leader for the internal research program is cross-appointed between the university and government research environments. This new arrangement has the potential to further improve the quality and quantity of the GLFC-funded research.
Key issues impeding progress toward the GLFC's Strategic Vision and milestones require research. Increased knowledge of the environmental effects of lampricides are required to meet increased public concerns generally about chemicals in the environment and increasingly more stringent chemical registration requirements. More research into the basic biology of lampreys, including behavior and physiology, are required in order to develop alternatives to chemical control. Better understanding of the distribution and ecology of sea lamprey in connecting channels and lentic areas is needed to develop effective new assessment and control methods. Improved knowledge about the interaction between sea lamprey and the fish they prey on is needed to effectively integrate the planning of sea lamprey with fishery management actions on the lakes. NBS, as the main contract research agent to the GLFC, carries out long-term and broad-ranging research into these critical areas and is in a position to do so in a manner that is well integrated with the specific needs and programs of the control agents. Such research expertise and physical facilities are critical to the support of researchers external to the program who are pursuing GLFC research objectives, particularly studies funded by the GLFC.
The Upper Mississippi Science Center—LaCrosse, with the assistance of the Lake Huron Biological Station, plans to continue and increase efforts in the following program areas related to lampricides in FY 1998:
· analyzing effectiveness of new liquid formulation of Bayer and developing new treatment guidelines (the use of liquid Bayer, in combination with TFM, has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of TFM used under certain stream conditions);
· meeting the ever-changing and more-stringent requirements of regulatory agencies for the maintenance of registrations of chemical formulations used in the sea lamprey control program in both countries—emphasis will be on the registration of the liquid Bayer formulation;
· providing technical assistance on issues of environmental effects, safety, and efficacy of lampricides to sea lamprey control agents and cooperating states on an "as needed" basis: and
· continuing the analysis of (i) purchased lampricide products to ensure they meet the Commission’s bid specifications, and (ii) water samples from the bisazir sterilization process in order to maintain the LHBS water discharge permit.
Research programs at the Lake Huron Biological Station are planned to include new studies along with the continuation of ongoing research and major projects resulting from initiatives begun in prior years (see below). The provision of technical assistance to sea lamprey control agents and the GLFC on a full range of program issues, including alternative control and assessment activity (e.g. larval assessment in St. Marys River), will be maintained. In addition, collaboration with visiting researchers on studies of sea lamprey endocrinology, olfaction, and other topics will continue.
Studies proposed to be undertaken or continued in FY 1998 at the Lake Huron Biological Station are:
· determining the survival of chinook salmon attacked by sea lampreys;
· measuring the survival to spawning-phase of fall and spring migrating recently metamorphosed sea lamprey;
· collaboratively design, build, and evaluate a raised electrical weir for the Ocqueoc River;
· individual-based model of seasonal growth, seasonal blood consumption, and seasonal effects on hosts of parasitic phase of sea lamprey;
· physical attributes of habitat as a predictor of larval distribution;
· long-term evaluation of sterile-male release for control of sea lamprey; and
· conduct efficacy studies with pathogens and parasites of Atlantic run sea lampreys.
The specific studies undertaken in FY 1998 will depend on the findings of studies currently underway , changes in staff expertise at the research facilities, and the results of the Commission's comprehensive peer-review process. The total research effort proposed for the Base FY 1998 program is equivalent to the current program.
4.5 Agent Administration and Supervision (Base $630,600)
This area includes the administrative and supervisory costs for the United States, USFWS and NBS programs in Minneapolis, Washington, LaCrosse, Ann Arbor, and Denver and the Canadian DFO program in Winnipeg, Burlington, and Ottawa. These over-head costs are proportional to the level of program effort planned for FY 1998 and deliver the current level of services.
4.6 Alternative Control Research (Base $464,700)
Lampricides have proven extremely successful in reducing sea lamprey abundance in many areas of the Great Lakes to the point where control is adequate to permit satisfactory growth and survival of key recreationally and commercially valuable fish species. Applied by professional applicators (the control agents), lampricides have minimal effects on nontarget organisms.
Agencies, the public, and elected officials, however, are increasingly concerned about the general proliferation of chemicals in the environment. One of the GLFC's milestones as outlined in the Strategic Vision is a 50% reduction in the use of lampricides by the year 2000. Over time, given the required funding, alternative control research will permit the GLFC to meet this goal. During the development and implementation of alternative sea lamprey-control techniques, the GLFC will continue to depend on lampricides. The Great Lakes fishery, valued at $2-4 billion (1985 data), must not be endangered by suddenly shifting away from chemical control without a proven replacement approach. The change must be gradual and effective controls must be maintained to protect fishery gains achieved during the past three decades.
Alternative-control research provides information about sea lampreys that will help the GLFC better understand this very adaptable species. Research will be designed to reveal weaknesses in sea lamprey physiology, behavior, or life history that may be exploited. Other investigations will address the feasibility of potential control techniques and how to use them. As new procedures are developed and implemented, use of lampricides will continue to be reduced.
The GLFC has, through its Sea Lamprey Integration Committee (SLIC), established an iterative approach to establishing its alternative control research needs to provide direction for the overall program. Mini-workshops have been, and are being held to solicit new ideas and input from scientists not previously involved with sea lamprey research. A recent review of the GLFC program by the General Accounting Office of the United States government suggested that a research plan be developed by the GLFC to ensure the alternative-control funds being sought would be spent prudently. In response to this review, a research strategy was developed, approved by the Commission, and fully implemented in December 1994. Elements include the prioritization process, a solicitation and review procedure, and an administrative system to ensure that the requested dollars are directed efficiently in the quest for the desired products. In addition to general requests for proposals, the new research strategy also calls for directed and managed research to be implemented and this approach was instituted in FY 1995.
In FY 1992, the GLFC launched a new external research granting program to find and develop alternative methods of control. This program has continued to fund highly successful research projects and will be continued in FYs 1997 and 1998 to the extent that budget allocations allow. The GLFC continue to seek agencies and people with the greatest chance of succeeding for each type of alternative-control research study. They could be agencies of the Canadian, United States, provincial, or state governments; universities; foundations; and/or private research organizations. Research proposals will be evaluated by appropriate GLFC committees and outside experts to ensure they fit GLFC sea lamprey research priorities and needs and are scientifically sound. All successful proposals will be approved by the GLFC before initiation. The base funding estimate will continue this research program at the levels achieved in FY 1995. Approximately 6-8 new and continuing research projects will be possible at this level.
4.7 United States Reregistration of Lampricides (Base $500,000)
In the United States, the two chemical lampricides used by the GLFC (TFM and Bayer 73) fall under the United States Environmental Protection Agency's (U.S. EPA) reregistration requirements. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act amendments of 1988 require that all chemicals registered with the U.S. EPA be reregistered under newer, more-stringent guidelines for environmental safety.
In 1988 both lampricides were manufactured by German companies. Because of the high reregistration cost and the small revenue from the chemicals, the companies did not plan to reregister them. In the case of TFM, the GLFC is the only buyer in the world. If the chemicals are not reregistered, the GLFC will no longer be able to use them. Cost estimates to meet U.S. EPA requirements range from $2-8 million. Current (December 1995) Commission estimates show Phase IV reregistration requirements costing $4.9 million through to and including FY 1997. Cost for Phase V reregistration requirements (end-use product reregistration phase) have been estimated at $500,000 in FY 1988 and this is the amount budgeted. To date, the GLFC's lampricide registration has been funded full by the U.S. government to a total of $4.7 million. The difference between the Phase IV funding and estimated costs, $300,000, will be addressed by the GLFC when the actual expenditures are known. The GLFC and its representatives (the NBS Upper Mississippi Science Center at LaCrosse, Wisconsin and private contractors) are working closely with the U.S. EPA to ensure that requirements for reregistration are met in the most-efficient and economic manner. Due to U.S. EPA delays in providing responses and approvals to initiate specific studies, studies to be completed in FYs 1996 and 1997 may not be completed until FYs 1997 and 1998. The full requirements of the U.S. EPA, the time-line for these requirements, and the findings of the studies themselves all will affect the actual needs in FY 1998.
While extremely costly, these extensive studies, when completed, will provide a complete and rigorous evaluation of the safety of the lampricides. This knowledge will be useful in assuring stakeholders, governments, and the Commission itself that the program is as safe to the environment and ecosystem as possible.
4.8 Integrated Management of Sea Lamprey Protocol (Base $75,000)
Implementation of the IMSL protocol will enable the GLFC to achieve a key milestone of its Strategic Vision by establishing target levels of sea lamprey abundance which maximize net benefits of sea lamprey and fisheries management. The IMSL protocol provides the planning framework which will support the GLFC's decisions on allocation of resources among the lakes and among program elements and the optimal integration of alternative methods with lampricide control. FY 1994 was the first year that an explicit program item for IMSL protocol implementation was included in the cost estimates. In this first year, efforts were focused on developing a short-term planning tool to help the agents do the immediate job of deciding where it is most effective to carry out lampricide control treatments. The same system has been designed to make long-term predictions on the effects of lampricide and alternative treatment choices on lamprey populations. The Lamprey Control Selection System (LCSS) is up and running with complete data sets for Lakes Superior and Ontario.
This relationship is the basis for exploring the benefits of control in terms of the objectives set for the fish community in each lake. The control agents and fishery managers on the Lake Committees work together to evaluate options and trade-offs in development of targets for the ecologically, economically, and socially optimal program of control. The software will be extended to include dynamic simulations of fish communities, where these are necessary to refine the target estimates and to evaluate short-term allocation issues. Working with control agents and lake committees has resulted in broad targets for sea lamprey control being set for each of the Great Lakes.
As the decision support tools and the databases are completed, the technical development tasks will decrease. The IMSL protocol will continue at a reduced level in FY 1998 ($75,000) with efforts to support continued efficiencies in program delivery and planning. Modeling and analytical refinements of the decision-support tools will be carried out. Workshops and analyses to assist the integration of sea lamprey management with broader ecosystem planning will be carried out in FY 1998.
Full Program of Sea Lamprey Management (Additions to Base Program)
As was noted in the letter to the Governments, the Parties had suggested the Commission divide their annual funding request into two parts: one being the funding necessary to support the current base-level of program effort, and the other being the additional funding needed to support identified additional program elements necessary for the Commission to fully meet its mandate set forth in the Convention. The request for the additions to base ($5,713,800), when added to the request for the base program ($14,299,399), total the full program request ($20,013,100) for the sea lamprey management program for FY 1998 from the Commission to the governments of United States and Canada.
What follows is the identification of how program elements would be enhanced with additional funding over and above that required to maintain the base program level of effort. The presentation follows the same order as used in presenting the base sea lamprey management program effort. If additional funding over the base level is received, the Commission will determine priorities among these elements based on the amount of the funding received, when it is received, and the particular programs needs at that time.
5.1 Scheduled Treatment (Addition to Base $162,900)
The addition of $162,900 would permit both the addition of lentic area spot treatments with Bayer on the Ontario side of Lake Superior and year 2 of the 7-year Bayer spot treatment program on the St. Marys River. Two additional lampricide treatment operations have been identified as critical new programs and would be continuations of initiatives that were identified in the FY 1997 Program Requirements and Cost Estimates. The cost of the chemicals for these two treatments additions are identified in the following section on chemical purchases.
The importance of beginning lampricide treatments on the St. Marys River has been identified in Section 3.3.1. Pending development of an improved bottom-toxicant formulation, lentic treatments on the Canadian side of Lake Superior have not taken place since 1987 and recent larval assessment efforts have shown the resurgence of significant lentic populations in Batchawana and Mountain Bays and in Lake Helen (within Nipigon River watershed). The availability of a new, effective, and easily-applied granular Bayer product makes these lentic-area treatments possible. Alternate treatment approaches using TFM annually on streams emptying into these bays would be less cost-effective. By targeting these currently untreated lake populations while maintaining the regular base of stream treatments, the further reduction of sea lamprey prescribed in the Fish Community Objectives in Lake Superior may be possible.
5.2 Chemical Purchase (Addition to Base $1,185,000)
The $1,185,000 is necessary to purchase the 79,000 pound of Bayer granular to carry out the St. Marys River ($1,012,500) and the Lake Superior lentic treatments ($172,500) noted in 3.12.1.
5.3 Adult Assessment (Addition to Base $226,600)
The major initiatives above the base for adult assessment include expansion of the trapping network and increased risk assessment, and improved quantitative estimates of run size in Canada.
These proposed initiatives fill in significant gaps with new trapping projects, in addition to the current basin-wide monitoring network. The base adult assessment program continues the same level of trapping spawning phase sea lampreys on 71 tributaries on the five Great Lakes and the monitoring of the parasitic phase lamprey populations in Lake Superior and Huron through commercial fishery collections. Currently no streams are trapped on Georgian Bay (in Lake Huron) and the north shore of Lake Superior is significantly undersampled for lakewide estimates. In addition, mark and recapture studies are essential for developing lake-wide estimates of sea lamprey population and calculating individual trap efficiencies. At present no mark and recapture estimates are conducted on streams in Lake Michigan. To rectify these situations $136,600 in FY 1998 is required for the operation of eight new traps (five in Georgian Bay and three in Lake Superior) and increased effort on 12 trap locations in Lake Michigan for mark/recapture estimates.
The GLFC and its cooperators have conducted extensive research since the inception of the lamprey management program on the effect of TFM on non-target organisms. The results indicated that the risk of mortality is low for most species. However, the risk among species is variable. The GLFC supports ongoing assessment of lamprey management on non-target species. For example, little information is known on the effects of barriers on coaster brook trout or TFM treatments on lake sturgeon populations. Currently, only limited non-target monitoring is conducted by the Canadian Agent. A total of $90,000 would permit development of a regular monitoring program within the Canadian Agent’s program to compliment the ongoing non-target species monitoring program conducted by the United States Agent.
5.4 Larval Assessment (Addition to Base $154,300)
At the base level of effort, larval sea lamprey populations in small streams are adequately understood. However, population large streams are most uncertain and are the largest treatment decisions. The large streams are underrepresented in sampling. Increased quantitative surveys of the large streams are proposed in an attempt to improve this situation. 5.5 Sea Lamprey Barriers (Addition to Base $1,264,000)
As described in the program overview document, the Commission proposes a significant increase in barrier-construction. This three-fold increase in construction ( from between 2 and 5 to up to 15 barriers annually) would permit the Commission to move closer to achieving its milestone of reducing its reliance on the use of lampricides. Increasing the barrier funding would increase flexibility allowing construction of large, top-ranked structures.
5.6 Sterile-Male Release Field-Trial Program (Addition to Base $313,300)
The Commission proposes to increase the effectiveness of the SMRT program by increasing the numbers of male lamprey available for sterilization and release. These additional lamprey will come from increased trapping and possibly importation of male sea lamprey from Atlantic spawning runs. The long-range plan for SMRT projects the release of sterilized Atlantic Ocean origin male sea lamprey in Lake Superior beginning in 1998. A total of $300,000 in new funding was requested in FY 1997 for the purchase of equipment and the expansion of the sterilization facility at Hammond Bay to meet increased demand created by increasing the program to sterilize Atlantic lamprey. For FY 1998 an additional $313,300 is needed to purchase a new injector to handle the larger Atlantic lamprey, to catch and transport the Atlantic lamprey from the East Coast, and enhance the evaluation studies to include assessment of Atlantic lamprey.
5.7 Research Programs at United States and Canadian Agent Facilities (Addition to Base $0)
While additional research is central to meeting the Commission's Vision and mandate, additional agent research will be funded from Alternative Control Barrier research funds. LHBS and UMSC staff will compete with external researchers for these additional funds. Collaborative research efforts will be encouraged between agent and external researchers to maximize the applicability and cost-effectiveness of additional research.
5.8 Agent Administration and Supervision (Addition to Base $140,400)
If additional dollars over the base level funding are received for other program elements, the agent administration and supervision costs would increase proportionally in order to provide the required increase in services.
5.9 Alternative Control Research (Addition to Base $2,267,100)
An aggressive program of research is critical if the Commission is to make breakthroughs in alternative control methods. This additional to base essentially maintains the request for alternative control research at the FY 1992 level of $2,500,000. While this total request is significantly greater than our current research funding (FY 1996 program $438,000), the full request would move the program to a whole new level of potential research. An enhanced level program would attract interest from a greater range of researchers, offer the potential to fund much larger projects, both of which would greatly increase the chances of new control methods being discovered. This increased funding would allow significant acceleration of work in promising areas with large collaborative projects and concurrent studies. Increased funding for research would improve the GLFC’s progress toward its Strategic Vision of integrated pest management and a reduction in its use of lampricides.
5.10 U.S. Reregistration (Addition to Base $0)
Any additions to base for this program element will be dealt with by the Commission when notified of any cost estimate changes for Phases IV and V by its agent, the National Biological Service, Upper Mississippi Science Center.
5.11 Integrated Management of Sea Lamprey Protocol (Addition to Base $0)
The reason for no addition to base in this program element is because it moves into a sustaining effort beginning in FY 1997. The base level of program will continue to provide program refinement/efficiencies and further ecosystem planning integration.
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ADMINISTRATION AND COMMITTEE AND SCIENTIFIC SUPPORT (Base $1,013,000, Addition to Base $234,000)
The GLFC executes its administrative responsibilities with a full-time staff of nine at its Secretariat in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The FY 1998 cost estimates provide for staffing to accommodate the level of activity associated with the committee and scientific support, and sea lamprey management and research activities. The administrative budget covers salaries, benefits, travel, meeting arrangements, communications, printing, supplies, and equipment.
The process for securing and applying information on Great Lakes fish communities, their ecosystems, and related issues such as use, is becoming increasingly important and complex, as managers seek to improve habitat and fisheries through partnerships. No longer can fishery managers resolve issues without regard to decisions made by sister agencies. The research underpinning such decisions must be similarly broad based and comparative across lakes, accessing all information impacting aquatic ecosystems. Many agencies also need to pool and, therefore, leverage dwindling local resources in order to continue providing quality fishery management for their constituents. In order to meet their objectives, fishery agencies are increasing their reliance on the international/interstate forums supplied by the Commission, a reliance first formally stated in A Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries (1980). The Secretariat provides support, leadership, and institutional memory for management and technical committees, additional special committees, task forces, and projects initiated to develop mutually beneficial, coordinated management and research programs.
Administration of A Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries (Joint Plan), implementation of the Strategic Plan for Integrated Management of Sea Lamprey, involvement of fishery interests in the U.S. EPA/Canada Lakewide Management Plans, and Remedial Action Plans for the 43 Areas of Concern have resulted in increased workloads for the Secretariat. In 1986, and again in 1990, the Great Lakes Natural Resource Agency Directors recommitted themselves to implementing the 1980 Joint Plan. Each initiative requires Secretariat support, leadership, and institutional memory in some measure in order to contribute to the overall goal of responsible husbandry of fishery resources.
The Secretariat is responsible for support and implementation of the Strategic Vision of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission for the Decade of the 1990s, which covers healthy Great Lakes ecosystems, integrated management of sea lamprey, and institutional/stakeholder partnerships. The Secretariat is also responsible for the expansion of research into alternative methods of sea lamprey control, and carrying forward an approved communications plan.
Effective communication is essential to accomplish the Commission's mission and goals, and to support the various management agencies' pursuit of common objectives for long-term benefits from the fishery. The Secretariat works with Commission boards and committees to coordinate and implement programs, essentially serving as "brokers" of information and ideas involved in fisheries management issues. In pledging support for the fishery agencies' A Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries, the Commission agreed to assist in the generation of common databases. In its Strategic Vision, the Commission committed itself to implementing a communications strategy that promotes stronger and broader partnerships with stakeholders.
The proposed funding will enable the Secretariat (in executing the Commission's administrative responsibilities) to advance these initiatives and to promote liaison and coordination of fishery activities among governmental agencies in the development of administrative mechanisms and scientific protocols needed to resolve difficult management problems in sustaining the multibillion dollar fisheries. Approximately 50 percent of the administration cost estimates support work carried out under the committee and scientific support program. The balance supports sea lamprey management and other GLFC activities. Headquarters costs of the Commission increase to accommodate the level of activity associated with the increase in those programs.
Executing the Commission's sea lamprey control responsibilities involves actively managing resources through several Memoranda of Agreements, and developing budgets to maximize efficiency and effectiveness of the overall program. The barrier program is closely managed by the Commission's Ann Arbor office, in cooperation with contract employees in both countries. The Secretariat leads the integrated pest management approach in the sea lamprey program. Leadership in strategic analysis of the problematic St. Marys River sea lamprey population was delivered by the Secretariat particularly in initial stages. The Secretariat manages the Commission's research program on alternative controls. The Secretariat implements Commission-mandated higher standards for its internal program of sea lamprey research (e.g. scientific peer review). The Secretariat is primarily responsible for seamless, cost-effective procurement of lampricide in adequate amounts and with safe and effective composition. Through leadership, a range of technical task forces, and the Sea Lamprey Integration Committee, the Secretariat provides the Commission with effective decision support.
6.2 COMMITTEE AND SCIENTIFIC SUPPORT (Base $351,300, Addition to Base $65,100)
The Committee and Scientific Support Program provides for the operation of three Commission-appointed boards/committees that provide expert advice to the Commission, support for research aimed at restoring the Great Lakes fishery, and for support of coordination activities. Funding for the Commission's Board of Technical Experts (BOTE), Sea Lamprey Integration Committee (SLIC), and Habitat Advisory Board (HAB), and for other coordination activities is needed for addressing critical problem areas affecting current and future Great Lakes fishery needs, and for developing new initiatives to resolve emerging issues.
Inadequate funds for committee and scientific support would cripple the Commission's infrastructure and negate efforts to encourage the work of its boards/committees. Such an effect would impede progress toward fulfilling the Commission's charge from Canada and the United States to "determine the need for measures to make possible the maximum sustained productivity of any stock of fish...of common concern to the [Great Lakes] fisheries, and to recommend appropriate measures."
6.2.1 Board of Technical Experts (Base $265,900, Addition to Base $35,800)
BOTE serves in an independent, expert, and professional capacity in advising the GLFC about technical matters relevant to the Commission mandate. The board identifies major problems and opportunities in research related to technical matters of Great Lakes fisheries, and recommends to the Commission a program of research, workshops and conferences as needed to address those critical issues most affecting the productivity of the Great Lakes fisheries. This program also includes the peer review and scientific evaluation of research applications relating to alternative (sea lamprey) control research and of research contracted with NBS and DFO.
In FY 1998, the board proposes to sponsor research on (1) an early mortality syndrome that threatens reproduction of salmon and trout in Lakes Michigan and Ontario, (2) socioeconomic and ecological dimensions of applying biodiversity concepts to ecosystem management, (3) quantification of physical habitat requirements of key Great Lakes fishes, (4) lake trout rehabilitation based on the results of a conference synthesis (RESTORE) to be published in early 1996.
6.2.2 Habitat Advisory Board (Base $26,100, Addition to Base $16,600)
In 1984, the Commission, at the request of the Great Lakes Natural Resource Agency Directors and Ministers, created the Habitat Advisory Board (HAB) to assist each lake committee to develop environmental objectives related to fishery objectives. The Commission also charged the board to assist the GLFC in its role as an advocate for fishery resources and as a catalyst for the development of improved habitat assessment and management capabilities. HAB members are administrators and scientists who make or influence decisions affecting the quality and quantity of aquatic habitat on which the welfare of the Great Lakes fishery resource depends.
The Commission also depends on HAB for assistance with three environmental milestones from the Commission's vision statements for healthy Great Lakes ecosystems and institutional/stakeholder partnerships:
· Ecosystem Milestone 4 Achievement of net gains in the quality of aquatic habitats
· Ecosystem Milestone 5 Reduction of toxic substances to levels that do not impair the health of aquatic organisms nor the wholesomeness of fish for consumption by humans and wildlife;
· Partnership Milestone 1.C. The Commission will achieve and foster partnerships necessary to effectively accomplish the following: quantifiable environmental objectives will be included by 1993 within the fish community objectives established by the lake committees.
In FY 1998, HAB will assist the Commission in meeting its Strategic Vision environmental milestones and its Joint Strategic Plan commitments to cooperators, by working with lake committees to draft operational environmental objectives. Where appropriate, working partnerships will be sought through environmental management instruments under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, i.e. lakewide management plans (LAMPS) and the Remedial Action Plans (RAPs). The board is recognized as a unique binational forum for addressing issues of common concern to both fishery and environmental managers, and will assist lake committees in ecosystem management and planning through merging of initiatives under the Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. HAB's publications are basic to Great Lakes fish management, remedial action plans, and lakewide management in fish habitat matters.
6.2.3 Sea Lamprey Integration Committee (Base $16,400, Addition to Base $6,200)
SLIC is a standing committee authorized by the GLFC to provide expert advice to the Sea Lamprey Committee of the Commission. The committee assists the Commission by providing recommendations for development and implementation of strategies and policies related to control of sea lamprey to support management of Great Lakes fish communities. SLIC and its associated subcommittees provide critical exchange of information in the sea lamprey management program.
SLIC has a core group representing agents from both countries, the lake committees, and ecologists. In addition, the chairperson is currently a commissioner. SLIC has established five forces, one for each of the major program areas, to address charges handed down the by the SLIC Core. The task groups involve program leaders and selected staff and outside experts as appropriate. In addition, two program integrating working groups were established to bring together the research, IMSL, and program planning products of the individual task forces. Secretariat liaison is provided for each task force and working group.
SLIC requires an operating budget to cover meeting costs and travel for members where not covered by their agencies. The SLIC budget covers expenses associated with meetings of its subcommittees and working groups. The SLIC budget provides for compensation of experts as required. The full committee carries out charges defined above with two to three meetings per year, while individual working groups meet as required to achieve objectives. 6.2.4 Coordination Activities (Base $42,900, Addition to Base $6,500)
As articulated in the Strategic Vision, the Commission has established the overall focus, intent, and direction of its program from 1990 through the year 2000, as healthy Great Lakes ecosystems, integrated management of sea lamprey, and institutional/stakeholder partnerships. The Commission will encourage rehabilitation of healthy aquatic ecosystems in the Great Lakes, including rehabilitation of native fish populations, species, and communities. This work calls for complementary programs focused on achievement of fish community objectives as adopted by the lake committees for each Great Lake through:
· leadership from lake committees,
· coordination of fish-management programs,
· recognition of fish community objectives by environmental agencies as they implement their programs, and
· strengthened and broadened partnerships among fish-management agencies and non-agency stakeholders.
Under the 1980 Joint Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries signed by Great Lakes fishery agencies and endorsed by the Commission, the GLFC has specific obligations to those agencies. These obligations include representation to responsible bodies on environmental issues affecting fish, arbitration of differences related to fish community objectives (and to management actions significantly affecting the interest of another jurisdiction), support for measuring and predicting the effects of fishery- and environmental-management decisions, and institutional memory and other types of committee support. In 1985, the Commission funded proposals from the Lake Ontario Committee for technical support for its fish community objectives exercise and the Lake Huron Committee to evaluate long-term stability of predator and prey dynamics in Lake Huron. Both of these initiatives will strengthen fishery management and objective setting consistent with the Commission's milestones.
In FY 1998, the Commission will address such issues as moving fish communities to more stable configurations, restoring lake trout, planning habitat quality and quantity improvements, containing and controlling exotic organisms, managing fish diseases, and supporting management of information needs in the Great Lakes.