2002 Committee Resolutions

During the Great Lakes Fishery Commission's 2002 Annual Meeting in Chicago, the U.S. Advisors submitted three resolutions for the commission's consideration:

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Resolution #1: Resolution in Support of USGS Great Lakes Science Center: Fisheries Assessment

Whereas the USGS Great Lakes Science Center supplies essential fishery assessment data to Great Lakes fishery management agencies through its acoustic surveys, annual trawl surveys of prey populations and annual surveys of lake trout populations;

Whereas information on forage fish populations is essential for implementing fisheries management plans;

Whereas the federal fisheries research capabilities, including the large vessel program, on the Great Lakes was moved from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an agency with a long history of fisheries mandates on the Great Lakes, to the U.S. Geological Survey, an agency with no prior or existing fisheries mandate or responsibility on the Great Lakes, and

Whereas the Great Lakes Science Center is at present the only agency with the capability and mandate to conduct these surveys;

Whereas annual assessments have always been at the core of the Great Lakes Science Centerís mission;

Whereas the needs for fishery research in the Great Lakes by the state, tribal, and fishing public have consistently been unfulfilled since the federal research program was moved to the U.S. Geological Survey, and

Whereas recent personnel changes, shortages of staff, and budgetary shortfalls now preclude the center from conducting much of its core mission and the overall capability of the federal Great Lakes fisheries research program and its fiscal and staff resources continues to deteriorate,

Whereas the Committee of Advisors is alarmed by the prospect of losing the valuable assessment capability to the detriment of management of the Great Lakes fishery resources;

Whereas a multi-agency review of the Great Lakes Science Center recommended forage base assessment be continued for the foreseeable future;

Therefore be it resolved that the Committee of Advisors urge the USGS Great Lakes Science Center to fully fund and staff its vessel assessment program in order to fulfill its obligation to Great Lakes management agencies and the stakeholders in the U.S. and Canada

Be it further resolved that the Great Lakes Commissioners carefully consider these issues and add its voice to those concerned with the loss of these programs.

Be it further resolved: The Great Lakes Fishery Commission should clearly articulate the requirements of the Great Lakes Science Center's large vessel research program to the Secretary of the Interior, focusing especially on the unique capabilities of these vessels and their role in the multi-agency partnerships in the management of Great Lakes fisheries.

Be it further be it resolved: In addition to articulating requirements, the Commission should challenge the Secretary of the Department of Interior to take immediate actions necessary to ensure long term funding, staffing and equipping of the large vessel program.

And finally be it resolved; The Commission should ask the Secretary to seriously consider recombining the federal Great Lakes fishery research capability at the Great Lakes Science Center with the fisheries management assistance programs of the Fish and Wildlife Service's, however, any transfer of the large vessel program or the Science Center must include full staffing, support facilities and funding.

Passed, June 4, 2002
Resolution 02-01


Resolution #2: Resolution Related to the Army Corps Great Lakes Navigation Study

Whereas a study is planned to consider and evaluate deepening harbors, rivers and lake areas for improved navigation by commercial vessels;

Whereas the vast majority of input to the Corps is in the form of port cities, transporters and cities desiring to improve their availability to transport;

Whereas protection of the lakes, the fishes, the micro-organisms and biota, the concerns with re-suspension of contaminants lying dormant in the lakes, harbors and river beds are mentioned in only a few letters of recorded correspondence.

Therefore be it resolved that the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and members of the Committee of Advisors are urged to review the draft report prepared by the Army Corps of Engineers and to prepare and submit comments which clearly state environmental concerns related to enhanced navigation. The commission is urged to communicate to appropriate entities advisorsí concerns in a cover letter accompanying this resolution. Comments to the Corps should be submitted as soon as possible and throughout all stages of this navigation study.

Resolution 02-02

Passed, June 4, 2002


Resolution #3: Resolution Concerning Additional Funding for Continued Operation and Evaluation for the Chicago River Sanitary Ship Canal Electric Trans-migration Barrier

Whereas invaders such as the round goby and zebra mussels in the Great Lakes have invaded the Mississippi River basin, and

Whereas other species such as the ruffe may likewise expand their range from the Great Lakes into the Mississippi River basin, and

Whereas, invaders (Asian carps) from Mississippi River basin are poised to invade the Great Lakes basin, and

Whereas, the Cal-Sag and Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canals are the expected routes for these range expansions, and

Whereas, critical components of the electric barrier in the Sanitary and Ship Canal have a three-year life expectancy, and

Whereas, there is no back-up power system in case of mainline power failure, and

Whereas, no funds are currently appropriated for operation and maintenance of the electric barrier in the coming fiscal year,

Therefore be it resolved that the Committee of Advisors, in the absence of adequate primary safeguards from shipping and aquaculture-mediated invasions, find
that U.S. federal funding is required on an emergency basis for maintenance, operation and improvement (including a backup generator) of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal electrical barrier, constructed as a demonstration study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under NISA 1996, and

that U.S. federal funding is required on an emergency basis for identifying and evaluating a site for a second barrier array, and

that U.S. federal funding is required to evaluate and implement additional options for enhancing barriers to prevent range expansion of invasive species between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins.
Submitted by Phil Moy and Tom Trudeau

Resolution 02-03

Passed, June 4, 2002