Lake Ontario Committee
Grand Island, New York
26,27 March 1996
1. Canadian budget reduction for sea lamprey control
The LOC will write DFO Deputy Minister Rowatt and the Department of Foreign Affairs re commitments to the Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries and to SGLFMP, and re likely consequences of the cut for Lake Ontario. The LOC requests notification from the GLFC on program cuts necessitated by the budget cuts and likely impacts on Lake Ontario.
2. GLFHC representation on LOTC
The LOC agreed to appoint a representative of the Great Lakes Fish Health Committee to the Lake Ontario Technical Committee. The LOC suggested that the rep come from the same agency as the LOC Chair. For example, GLFHC's John Schachte (NYDEC) would serve on the LOTC when Bob Lange (NYDEC) is LOC Chairman.
3. Environmental objectives
When working on fish community objectives, the LOC will take into consideration HAB advice regarding features of fish community objectives which lend themselves to development of environmental objectives. In addition the LOC looks forward to availing itself of the Habitat Advisory Board and its resources when developing both fish community and environmental objectives.
4. Procedure for public consultation on fish community objectives
Developing procedure for public consultation on fish community objectives will be a priority item for LOC discussion upon OMNR return to force. Upfront work to educate and consult in an intensive way was contemplated, perhaps followed by a six week period open period for comment. Support might be sought from OMNR educational group and FWS Management Assistance Team, plus help with travel from Great Lakes United, Sea Grant, and the Great Lakes Protection Fund.
5. Database on habitat availability
The LOC agreed with HAB in recognizing a need for a database on habitat supply or availability. In particular there is a need for mapping reefs that NBS could meet. However, given reduced resources and the early phase of partnerships between fish and environmental managers, the LOC did not think this the time to initiate new projects.
6. HAB / LOC cooperation on species recovery plans
The LOC welcomed HAB's offer of assistance on species recovery plans. For example HAB might help identify habitat requirements for lake trout and sturgeon. The LOC is willing to invite a HAB nominee to serve on any species rehabilitation committee.
7. Native Prey Fish Task Group
The LOC established an ad hoc task group of the Lake Ontario Technical Committee, called the Native Prey Fish Task Group. The NPFTG should review past charges and recommend terms of reference for LOC approval, e.g. to advise LOC on options should the LOC include establishment of native prey fish (such as deepwater sculpin and bloaters) among their fish community objectives. The NPFTG should identify policy and regulatory requirements, technical feasibility, disease considerations, and a potential time frame. The Task Group would consist of Don Stewart (SUNY), Rich Ruby (SUNY), Randy Owens (NBS), George Kettula (NBS), Bill Krys (sp?) (NBS), Tom Czapla (USFWS), Clif Schneider (NYDEC), and an OMNR rep to be named.
8. Tumour assessment
The LOC noted that HAB's Tumour Manual would soon be available from the GLFC and could be used in assessment.
9. American eels
NYDEC, OMNR, DFO, USFWS, and NBS will evaluate whether opening the American eel fishery in Chaumont Bay would threaten the continuing viability of the population. Contaminant levels are now low enough that eels may be sold for human consumption, and the decision has been made to open the fishery.
10. Assessment and science needs
The LOC referred for CLC discussion assessment and science needs, the collective loss of science capability, and options for securing, leveraging and coordinating same. The SGLFMP implementation review provides one opportunity to address these issues.
11. Next meeting
The LOC will meet in Kingston, Ontario in 1997. The LOC will consider inviting Phil Cook and John Fitzsimmons to the 1997 technical session.
MD 18 April 1996