LAKE SUPERIOR COMMITTEE
Radisson Duluth Hotel – Harborview
19, 20 March 2002
EXECUTIVE SUMMARYLSC Members:
Chairman Ken Cullis (OMNR)
Tom Gorenflo (CORA)
Steve Hewett (WDNR)
Bill Mattes for Neil Kmiecik (GLIFWC)
Steve Scott (MI DNR)
Jack Wingate (MN DNR)
1. Fish Community Objectives
Fish community objectives were approved with one small change, for submission to the GLFC for publication. Bill Horns (WDNR) will continue as the LSC’s point person during the editing process.
2. Lake Sturgeon, Brook Trout, and Walleye Rehabilitation Plans
The LSC approved the brook trout and walleye rehabilitation plans for publication by the GLFC. Likewise the sturgeon plan was approved with some reassignment of research priority between harvest and habitat. Nancy Auer (MTU), or alternatively, Mark Ebener (CORA), will be credited as editor of the LSC’s sturgeon rehabilitation plan.
3. Lake Superior Research / Management Submissions to the Restoration Act (USFWS) and the GLFC’s Coordination Activities Program and Fisheries Research Program
LSC members will forward priorities for Restoration Act funding to the LSC Chair who will reconcile and forward to the Chairman of the CLC’s Restoration Act Review Panel. There are three Restoration Act submissions focused on Lake Superior which fall within the scope of priority topics developed and approved by the Lake Superior Technical Committee in January 2002. They are: acoustic monitoring program, lake trout model, and mapping sturgeon habitat (the latter also submitted to the GLFC).
Three proposals submitted to the GLFC require LSC sponsorship letters to be considered for Coordination Activities Program funding: brook trout genetics, brook trout conference, and mapping sturgeon habitat (the latter also submitted for Restoration Act funding). The brook trout conference (partly supported by Trout Unlimited / EPA, Sea Grant and OMNR) and sturgeon habitat mapping were supported by the LSC for CAP funding.
4. Future Research for Restoration Funds
Jack Wingate, Chairman of the CLC’s Restoration Act Review Panel, reported that Restoration Act timing and protocols will be revised to once more be similar to those of the GLFC’s Coordination Activities and Fisheries Research Programs, which the GLFC amended in June 2001. Restoration Act preproposals will need to be submitted in October / November. The Review panel will convene in January to review and to request full proposals. Peer reviews will be arranged by the sponsoring agencies and the CLC / Review Panel will make its final recommendations to the Director of the USFWS in June.
5. Brook Trout Forum
The brook trout conference (partly supported by Sea Grant, OMNR and a Trout Unlimited proposal to EPA) discussed in item 3 will be organized by a steering committee of principals, including Don Schreiner (MN DNR) and Ken Cullis (OMNR) and will provide a science-based synthesis of management options and research needs. The steering committee will determine the Forum's format and will compile a list of participants, which will include experts from outside the basin. Post-workshop, there could be science transfer sessions and the LSC might consider a future course of action.
6. Environmental Objectives
LSC reps will work with the LHC – perhaps on its steering committee -- as it develops environmental objectives for Lake Huron, and report back to the LSC on lessons applicable to lake Superior. The LSC has a start on its environmental objectives – a component of its fish community objectives and LaMP aquatic objectives. Tom Gorenflo proposed an approach adopted by the LHC: identifying specific needs of fish species mentioned in fish community objectives. Bill Horns (WDNR) prefers identifying issues and impediments that need to be addressed; he is concerned that environmental objectives might become the minimum that the LSC could expect of environmental objectives. He also questions whether sufficient info is available to quantify environmental objectives.
7. Large Vessel Research Needs
The LSC will refer for CLC discussion Lake Superior’s needs of the USGS’s large vessel program:
[The LSTC produced the following prioritized list of research needs that the GLSC of USGS should be conducting on Lake Superior each year. The projects are listed in order from highest to lowest priority.]
1) Lakewide estimates of forage fish biomass on an annual basis using both bottom trawls and acoustics that should be reported and available to all agencies.
2) Lakewide estimates of total fish biomass in the offshore portions of the lake not currently part of the lakewide forage survey; for example lake trout stocks around Isle Royale.
3) Mapping of bottom substrates throughout the nearshore waters.
4) Collection and analysis of zooplankton and benthic samples lakewide in the nearshore waters.
5) Ability to partner on special research projects using the large research vessel, i.e. being able to absorb the costs of vessel time, fuel, crew for these projects
6) Maintenance and analysis of existing and future databases; forage base, diet, etc.
Perhaps each lake could develop such a list for the USGS (or a lakewide assessment plan and gap evaluation) for use by the CLC and others in making assessment and vessel needs known.
8. Chairmanship of Lake Superior Technical Subcommittee
The LSC approved Mark Ebener’s (CORA) continuing as chairman of the Lake Superior Technical Committee while on the GLFC payroll as a half-time IMSL specialist.
9. U.S. Co-chair of the Aquatic Committee of the Binational Program
People interested in assuming the U.S. Co-chair of the Aquatic Committee of the Binational Program are invited to contact Marc Ebener (CORA) who is stepping down from the position. The committee is moving into an implementation phase with conference calls and meetings the main activity. Some EPA monies may be available to support travel.
10. Lake Trout Recovery in MN-3
Minnesota announced that lake trout stocking in Minnesota management zone MN-3 of Lake Superior (Cascade River to the Canadian border) is no longer necessary due to recovery in wild lake trout numbers.