Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species
1996 Annual Report
Program Year 1996
Sept. 1, 1995 - August 31, 1996
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force
Great Lakes Commission
Eisenhower Corporate Park
2805 S. Industrial Hwy, Suite 100
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-6791
Prepared August 1997
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The enactment of the federal Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990, Public Law 101-646, was largely due to the unintentional introduction of the zebra mussel and its subsequent economic and ecological impacts. In drafting the Act, Congress recognized that mitigation of the adverse impacts of all such species is dependent upon a well-coordinated research, monitoring and prevention program at the regional and national level. As enacted, the legislation has five purposes: to prevent unintentional introductions; to coordinate research, control and information dissemination; to develop and carry out environmentally sound control methods; to minimize economic and ecological impacts; and to establish a research and technology program to benefit state governments. The act was reauthorized by the National Invasive Species Act of 1996, Public Law 104-332, signed into law in October 1996.
The national Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, established under Section 1201 of the 1990 legislation, requested that the Great Lakes Commission convene the Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species as per Section 1203 of the Act. Officially convened in late 1991, the Panel's primary responsibilities for the Great Lakes region are six-fold:
- to identify priorities for the Great Lakes with respect to aquatic nuisance species (ANS);
- to make recommendations to the national Task Force regarding programs to carry out the zebra mussel demonstration program;
- to assist the Task Force in coordinating federal ANS program activities in the Great Lakes;
- to coordinate non-federal programs within the region;
- to provide advice to the public and private individuals and entities concerning methods of controlling aquatic nuisance species;
- and to annually submit a report to the Task Force describing activities within the Great Lakes related to ANS prevention, research, and control.
Over the 1996 program year (Sept. 1, 1995 through Aug. 31, 1996), the Panel focused its efforts in three areas: information/education, research coordination, and policy and legislation.
Three implementation committees developed and implemented work plans within these areas. Highlights for Program Year 1996 include the following activities:
- strengthening and promoting reauthorization of P.L. 101-646;
- preparation and distribution of four editions of the Panels newsletter insert, ANS Update;
- finalizing the research inventory project;
- initiation of an ANS information/education inventory project; publication and distribution of a comprehensive, full-color ANS brochure titled Biological Invasions;
- promoting the development of ANS state management plans and assisting the states in this effort; and
- providing support to the Ballast Technology Demonstration Project, which is testing technologies to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species through ships ballast water.
In establishing a Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species, Congress recognized that providing sound advice to the ANS Task Force from experts in a highly impacted region could make a substantial contribution to the collective management effort at both the regional and national levels. Effective prevention and control efforts in the Great Lakes region continue to be the first line of defense in slowing or preventing the spread of aquatic nuisance species to other regions (e.g., the Mississippi River watershed).
This report outlines the achievement of the Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species over the 1996 program year in meeting its obligations under Section 1203 of the Act. Although $200,000 is authorized for implementation of Section 1203, no funds have been appropriated to date. Modest support for Panel activities has been secured through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Efforts will continue in Program Year 1997 to secure additional resources to fully implement this legislation and pursue associated ANS activities.
This annual report of the Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species, covering the period of Sept. 1, 1995, through Aug. 31, 1996, is submitted to the national Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force under the provisions of the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990, P.L. 101-646, Section 1203 (a)(6). The report is written primarily for the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, represented by co-chairs from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (U.S. F&WS), to provide an update on activities that have occurred within the Great Lakes region related to aquatic nuisance species (ANS) prevention, research and control.
The report also provides state/federal legislators and policymakers with key information on ANS issues in the Great Lakes region. The annual report includes a synopsis of the ANS problem in the Great Lakes; an overview of the implementation strategy and policy positions of the Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species; Program Year 1996 accomplishments; and an overview of Panel initiatives for Program Year 1997. The supporting documentation cited in this report is available from the Great Lakes Commission.
BACKGROUND ON NONINDIGENOUS AQUATIC NUISANCE SPECIES IN THE GREAT LAKES
The Great Lakes and connecting channels and rivers form the largest surface freshwater system in the world. The water-related resources are an integral part of activities such as recreation and tourism valued at $15 billion annually, $6.89 billion of which is related to the fishing industry. Approximately 75,000 jobs are supported by sport fisheries, and commercial fisheries provide an additional 9,000 jobs. (Great Lakes Fishery Resource Restoration Study, 1994).
This valuable fishery is threatened by the infestation of harmful
nonindigenous aquatic nuisance species, which alter the number and distribution of native species, and have broad economic and societal impacts that extend well beyond shoreline residents and recreational users of the resource.
The Laurentian Great Lakes have been subject to the invasion of nonindigenous aquatic nuisance species since the settlement of the region by Europeans. Since the 1800s, at least 139 nonindigenous aquatic organisms have become established in the Great Lakes. The bulk of these organisms have been represented by the following:
- plants (59),
- fish (25),
- algae (24),
- mollusks (14), and
- oligochaetes (7).
About 55 percent of these species are native to Eurasia; 13 percent are native to the Atlantic Coast.
As human activity has increased in the Great Lakes watershed, the rate of introduction of aquatic nuisance species also has increased. More than one-third of the organisms have been introduced in the past 30 years, a surge coinciding with the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway. The major entry mechanisms, unintentional releases and ships, were responsible for all but one introduction in the period from 1960 to 1990.
Approximately 10 percent of the Great Lakes' nonindigenous species have had significant impacts, both economic and ecological. The impacts of some species, the zebra mussel for example, have been enormous. The presence of the sea lamprey has resulted in substantial economic losses to recreational and commercial fisheries, and requires annual expenditures of millions of dollars to finance control programs. Alewife once littered beaches each spring and altered food webs, thereby increasing water turbidity before salmonids such as chinook salmon (themselves nonindigenous) were stocked as predators and became the foundation of a new recreational fishery. The ruffe, a small percid fish, became the most abundant fish species in Lake Superior's St. Louis River within five years of first detection in 1986. It recently has expanded its range to Lake Huron and poses a significant threat to the lower lake fishery. Five years after first being observed in the St. Clair River, the round goby can now be found in all of the Great Lakes. The goby is considered undesirable because it preys upon bottom-feeding fishes, takes over optimal habitat, spawns multiple times a season and can survive poor water quality conditions.
The spiny water flea (Bythotrephes cederstroemi), a tiny crustacean with a sharply barbed tail spine, was likely introduced through ballast water. The northern European native was first found in Lake Huron in 1984. Although researchers do not know what effect the invader will have on the ecosystem, resource managers suspect that the water flea competes directly for food with small fish such as perch. The spiny water flea is now found throughout the Great Lakes and in some inland lakes.
The zebra mussel, another ballast water introduction, also has caused serious economic and ecosystem impacts with costs estimated at $5 billion over the next 10 years, absent controls. The potential impact on the fishery is profound due to changes in food availability and spawning areas, to name a few. Economic impacts are as pervasive as ecosystem impacts. Municipal treatment and power plants, commercial and recreational vessels, and beach areas are all vulnerable to the negative impacts of the zebra mussel.
Exotic plants also have been introduced to the Great Lakes Basin. Purple loosestrife is a wetland plant from Europe and Asia that was introduced to the east coast of North America in the 1800s. Purple loosestrife invades marshes and lakeshores, replacing cattails and other wetland plants. The plants are unsuitable as cover, food or nesting sites for a wide range of native wetland animals including ducks, geese, rails, bitterns, muskrats, frogs, toads and turtles.
Eurasian watermilfoil, accidently introduced to North America from Europe, has spread westward into inland lakes primarily by boats and waterfowl. In shallow areas, the plant can interfere with water recreation such as boating, fishing and swimming. The plant's floating canopy can also crowd out important native water plants.
The 1993 Office Technology Assessment Report to Congress titled Harmful Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Species in the United States concluded that the total number of harmful nonindigenous species and their cumulative impacts are creating a growing economic and environmental burden for the country. The report also concluded that "continued research and development of new ways to manage harmful nonindigenous species remains essential."
With approximately 20 federal agencies working on research, use, prevention, or control of desirable and harmful nonindigenous species, the need for a coordinated effort is essential. The Panels regional multi-jurisdictional representation makes it ideally suited to meet this need. The 1994 report to Congress, Findings, Conclusions and Recommendations of the Intentional Introductions Policy Review, further confirmed the need for regional interjurisdictional panels in making ecologically credible decisions.
GREAT LAKES PANEL ON AQUATIC NUISANCE SPECIES
Section 1203 of the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990, P.L. 101-646, calls upon the Great Lakes Commission to convene the Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species. Membership is drawn from a wide range of federal, state, provincial and regional agencies, private sector user groups, Sea Grant programs and environmental organizations, to ensure that the Panel provides a balanced, regional perspective on Great Lakes ANS issues.
Great Lakes Panel Implementation Strategy
In designing and coordinating Great Lakes Panel activities, the Great Lakes Commission is guided by five objectives:
- Participation by all interests in the binational Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Basin will be maximized to ensure that the goals of Section 1203 are fully addressed.
- The Panel will build upon and showcase ongoing efforts, rather than duplicate or replace them.
- The Panel will adopt a consensus-based approach in setting priorities and all related decision making activities.
- The Panel will serve as a coordinator, catalyst and convener, relying upon its membership and other cooperators for the conduct of most program activities (e.g., research, public information, outreach). The Panel will provide binational clearinghouse/referral services.
- The Panel will serve as the principal regional conduit to the national ANS Task Force, federal agencies and Congress with regard to legislative, policy and program matters.
Panel Structure and Procedures
The Great Lakes Panel is responsible for addressing the provisions of Section 1203 and for carrying out all identified elements of a work program. The Panel meets in full session on aregular basis, generally two to three times per year. The chair is selected from among state members; the vice chair from the membership-at-large. Mark Coscarelli, Panel chair (Office of the Great Lakes, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality) and Jay Rendall, vice chair (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources) have served in these positions since April 1996. These two officers have assisted the Great Lakes Commission staff in facilitating meetings and serve, on occasion, as spokespersons for the Panel.
The Panel operates through three implementation committees, which enhances organizational efficiency while focusing the Panel members' energies on the areas most relevant to their interests and expertise. The Information/Education Committee facilitates the coordination of ANS information/education (I/E) activities conducted in the Great Lakes region; builds partnerships between the various stakeholders involved in ANS I/E efforts; and promotes the development and delivery of consistent messages regarding ANS prevention and control. The Research Coordination Committee provides a forum for ongoing dialogue and action among the parties who conduct, manage, sponsor or apply Great Lakes-related ANS research; enhances inter-regional communication and coordination of ANS research; and develops, maintains and disseminates an ANS research inventory database and associated policy recommendations regarding ANS research priorities. The Policy and Legislation Committee coordinates development and dissemination of Panel policy positions on key ANS issues; exchanges information on critical ANS legislative and appropriations issues; promotes development and implementation of state ANS management plans; and coordinates the Panel's involvement in regional legislative and policy-related initiatives addressing ANS prevention and control.
The Panel operates by consensus in all aspects of its work. In the event that recommendations from the Panel reflect a majority view but lack consensus, the Great Lakes Commission (an ex-officio member of the ANS Task Force) will use its discretion in accompanying any such recommendation with a minority opinion.
The breadth of Panel activities will be a function of funding levels and the extent to which members and observers can contribute in-kind services, including staff resources. Limited support for travel and associated meeting expenses for non-federal Panel members may be available at the discretion of the Great Lakes Commission. The Great Lakes Commission will administer all funds received for Great Lakes Panel operation, and expenditures recommended by the Panel will require Commission approval.
In undertaking the work program, the Great Lakes Panel recognizes the special expertise of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and its mandate under P.L. 101-646 to provide information on "technical and policy matters related to the international fishery resources of the Great Lakes." Every effort is made to draw upon Fishery Commission expertise.
The Great Lakes Commission provides staff support to the Great Lakes Panel. The level of support is a function of the availability of funds. In Program Year 1996, Panel support was provided by Lori Reynolds (project manager); Kathe Glassner-Shwayder (project manager); Matt Doss (program specialist); Christine Manninen (communications specialist); and Rita Straith (support staff). Under ideal funding circumstances, a full-time ANS coordinator would be hired and dedicated exclusively to Great Lakes Panel support. Dr. Michael J. Donahue, President/CEO of the Great Lakes Commission, provided oversight of all personnel assigned to support Great Lakes Panel activities.
Section 1301 (b)(6) of P.L. 101-646 authorizes $200,000 in each of five years to fund ANS prevention and control activities of the Great Lakes Panel via the Great Lakes Commission. However, funds were not appropriated in fiscal years 1991, 1992, 1993,1994, 1995 or 1996.
Recognizing the immediacy of the ANS infestation problem, the Great Lakes Commission committed itself to the expeditious start-up and operation of the Great Lakes Panel irrespective of funding uncertainties at the time.
While working to secure a full or partial appropriation of authorized federal funds, the Great Lakes Commission continues to seek and access alternate sources to ensure continued Panel activity at a level necessary to accomplish Section 1203 objectives.
Partial funding for the first-year start-up (FY 1992) was secured from NOAAs Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) and through Illinois and Indianas funding under NOAAs Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act (IFA). Support for the second year of Panel operation (FY 1993) was supplemented by funding from the U.S. F&WS, in addition to NOAA funds provided through GLERL, IFA and Sea Grant. Support for the third, fourth, and fifth years (FY 1994-96) was provided by funding through the U.S. F&WS and NOAAs IFA (Indiana only). Additionally in FY 1996, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources provided funds to support publication of the Biological Invasions ANS brochure. Support from Panel members and other sources also will be sought until federal funds are appropriated under the terms of P.L. 101-646.
RESPONSIBILITIES, WORK PROGRAM AND 1996 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
The Panel's work program consists of six elements that collectively support Panel responsibilities specified in Section 1203 (a) (1-6) of P.L. 101-646. Each element is presented below, accompanied by a statement describing the implementation approach and Panel accomplishments for Program Year 1996. In a case where an individual activity crosses program elements, each program element will be referenced. Panel support activities have been grouped under work program element number 6 (annual report).
1) Priority Setting
P.L. 101-646 calls for the Panel to "identify priorities for the Great Lakes with respect to aquatic nuisance species." The Panel interprets this broad statement as applying to the areas of research, monitoring, control, information/education and policy. In each of the first four areas, the Panel is responsible for developing, maintaining, distributing and periodically updating a list of priorities for use by policymakers at all levels, as well as the scientific and management communities. The statements of priority provide guidance for program development, budgeting and operational purposes, and will be of use at the regional and national levels, particularly by the national ANS Task Force.
The Panel has used both surveys and workshops to establish such priorities. In the area of research, the Panel has made full use of the research needs identified in a document titled Coordinated Program of Research on Nonindigenous Species in the Great Lakes, prepared in August 1990 by the U.S. Great Lakes Nonindigenous Species Coordinating Committee, which operated on an-ad hoc basis prior to the establishment of the Panel. The document provides a balanced approach to researching the nonindigenous species problem in the following priority areas: biology/life history, ecosystem effects, socio-economic analysis regarding the cost and benefits of nonindigenous species, control and mitigation, prevention of introduction and control of spread.
With respect to policy priorities, the Panel determines policy, program, legislative, regulatory and budgetary needs to ensure that the Great Lakes-related provisions of P.L. 101-646 are pursued to the maximum extent possible. Such priorities are regularly conveyed to the ANS Task Force, as well as agency and elected officials at all levels of government.
A Selected List of Panel Initiatives and Accomplishments in Priority Setting:
- Established Panel program priorities for 1997:
The Panel identified the following priorities for Program Year 1997:
- Enhance inter-regional communication and coordination in areas such as ANS research and information/education outreach;
- Support passage and implementation of the National Invasive Species Act (NISA) and adequate funding for its provisions;
- Strengthen linkages between researchers and policymakers to improve technology transfer to maximize application of research results;
- Provide consistent and effective messages on prevention and control of aquatic nuisance species, including model recommendations for specific target audiences (e.g. recreational boaters);
- Facilitate consistent legislation across the Great Lakes region through the development of model state legislation for ANS prevention and control; and
- Maintain the visibility of aquatic nuisance species as a critical regional/national issue.
- Provided a forum for regional policy discussion and decision making on ANS issues: The Great Lakes Panel has contributed to the development of a balanced, multi-jurisdictional ANS program that integrates components of prevention, research, monitoring and control efforts. The diverse representation on the Panel, including federal, state, local and tribal jurisdictions; private and commercial sectors; environmental groups; and the university research community, facilitates well-balanced discussions essential to the development and implementation of viable policy decisions.
- Worked toward comprehensive federal legislation: The Panel closely monitored the activities of Congress relative to the reauthorization of P.L. 101-646. Panel recommendations on draft language were also available to assist the Task Force in preparing/presenting testimony that demonstrates the need for the Act, accomplishments achieved to date and budget needs for the Great Lakes region.
- Enhanced inter-regional communication and coordination: The Panel worked closely with the International Joint Commissions (IJCs) Council of Great Lakes Research Managers to develop a comprehensive database of Great Lakes-related ANS research. The data were analyzed and reviewed at a research symposium in the spring of 1996 which identified gaps and future research needs. A policy position was also prepared based on results of the symposium and was transmitted to the national ANS Task Force in June 1997. Also in Program Year 1996, the Panel initiated an ANS I/E inventory project to list and assess the adequacy of ANS I/E activities and materials in the Great Lakes Basin. This inventory will be analyzed to determine gaps, inconsistencies in prevention and control messages, and future needs. Comprehensive reports, including the Panels formal policy positions and descriptive listings, are being prepared for both the research and I/E inventories.
2) Recommendations to the National ANS Task Force on Section 1202 Activities
The 1990 ANS legislation calls upon the Panel to "make recommendations to the Task Force regarding programs to carry out section 1202(I)." The section, Zebra Mussel Demonstration Program, has two elements. The first provides for a "program of prevention, monitoring, control, education and research for the zebra mussel to be implemented in the Great Lakes and any other waters of the United States infested or likely to become infested by the zebra mussel..." Elements include research and development of control options; tracking of established populations and development of an early warning system; developing control plans; and providing technical assistance to state, regional and local entities.
The second element of the demonstration program, Public Facility Research and Development,, calls upon the Assistant Secretary of the Army to devise a research and technology development program that provides for environmentally sound control of zebra mussels in and around public facilities.
The Great Lakes Panel has cooperated with the Great Lakes states, the ANS Task Force and other applicable entities throughout the development and implementation of the Zebra Mussel Demonstration Program. The Great Lakes Commission is an ex-officio member of the Task Force and has been present at all meetings of the national Task Force, in particularthose meetings where zebra mussel prevention, monitoring, control, education and research efforts have been discussed.
3) Federal Great Lakes Activities
The ANS Task Force has oversight and primary coordination responsibilities for federal programs called for in P.L. 101-646. The Act states that the Panel is to "assist the Task Force in coordinating federal ANS program activities in the Great Lakes." The assistance of the Great Lakes Panel is vital since the Panel has a coordination responsibility for all other (i.e., non-federal) programs.
The Great Lakes Panel believes that a single system for tracking activities and related programs at all levels of government is critical to successful ANS research, coordination and control efforts. The Panel, therefore, works with the ANS Task Force to establish a protocol for tracking and coordinating all relevant programs. Furthermore, the Panel offers the ANS Task Force advice and recommendations relative to the coordination of priorities and the relationship of those programs to non-federal efforts, both public and non-governmental.
Selected List of Panel Accomplishments in Coordinating Federal Great Lakes Activities:
- Provided ex-officio representation on the national ANS Task Force: Pursuant to P.L. 101-646, the executive director of the Great Lakes Commission was requested to serve as an ex-officio member of the ANS Task Force, with the chair of the Great Lakes Panel serving as alternate.
Michael Donahue, ex-officio member, and Panel chair Mark Coscarelli of the MDEQ, attended the national Task Force meeting held on April 25, 1996 in Washington, D.C. While in attendance at this meeting, Donahue presented an overview of the Panels 1996 accomplishments, agreed to serve as co-chair of an ad-hoc committee (with Bill Roper of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) to develop and implement email and related electronic communications services (e.g., the Internet and the Great Lakes Information Network) for the national Task Force and other ANS interests. Donahue also reviewed the Great Lakes Commissions efforts to promote reauthorization and adequate funding of P.L. 101-646. Coscarelli presented an update on Michigans draft ANS Statewide Management Plan and discussed it in the context of the model state management plan developed by the Great Lakes Panel.
Donahue and the Panel officers communicate frequently with the Task Force officers and staff regarding opportunities to contribute to and coordinate with Task Force activities and related ANS issues.
- Responded to the national Task Force on its recommendations for reauthorization of P.L. 101-646: During the fall of 1995, the Panel reviewed and discussed the draft reauthorization language for P.L. 101-646, the Nonindigenous Aquatic NuisancePrevention and Control Act of 1990. The Panel was pleased to see that many of the recommendations from its nine-point policy position (developed in Program Year 1995) were incorporated into the draft reauthorization language and subsequently signed into law as part of the National Invasive Species Act of 1996 (NISA). The Panel used this review opportunity to develop additional recommendations and revisions to the original policy position, which were then forwarded to the Northeast-Midwest Institute to be incorporated into its ANS legislative positions.
The Panel continued to track the status of P.L. 101-646 reauthorization and expansion throughout the remainder of the program year. NISA was signed into law on October 26, 1996 as P.L. 104-332 (a copy of the legislation is included in Appendix D).
4) Non-Federal Programs in the Great Lakes
The Great Lakes Panel is charged with coordinating, where possible, non-federal program activities associated with ANS prevention and control in the Great Lakes Basin. As indicated in work program priority number 3, the Panel recognizes that a multi-jurisdictional, partnership approach is required to address ANS issues, and a single system for tracking and coordinating activities is advisable.
On the basis of its broad membership and regular meetings, the Panel provides a vehicle for the assembly of research, control and monitoring activities. Current efforts to compile this data (e.g., Sea Grant clearinghouse services) are relied upon to the extent possible. Through its own membership, workshops and other networking techniques (e.g., newsletter inserts, annual reports), the Panel conveys its research, control, monitoring and policy priorities to applicable agencies and interests, and promotes coordination of efforts among them.
A Selected List of Panel Accomplishments in Coordinating Non-Federal Activities:
- Prepared Panel newsletter insert: Rather than adding to the already large population of ANS newsletters in circulation throughout the basin, the Panel produces a one-page, double-sided update for insertion into, or selective use by, existing newsletters. The purpose of the newsletter insert is to educate and inform readers of Great Lakes Panel activities, events, publications and important issues relating to the zebra mussel and other aquatic nuisance species.
In Program Year 1996, the Panel produced four editions of the newsletter insert, ANS UPDATE . Newsletter feature articles addressed ruffe control efforts, the zebra mussel and how it has cost Great Lakes water users an estimated $120 million over a five-year period; the round goby and its spread into the Great Lakes; and the Ballast Technology Demonstration Project.
The UPDATE is provided to 20 newsletters with a potential readership ofapproximately 20,000. Among the newsletters that have included the UPDATE are the ANS DIGEST (distribution of 13,000); the Great Lakes Commissions Advisor (distribution of 3,000); the Great Lakes Basin Report, a publication of the Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council (distribution of 1,100), and Perspectives, a publication of the Great Lakes Program of the University of Buffalo and New York Sea Grant (distribution of 2,400).
- Distribution of results from an economic assessment of Great Lakes zebra mussel infestation: With Panel support, Great Lakes Commission staff joined forces with research staff from Ohio Sea Grant during Program Year 1995 to develop and distribute a survey to evaluate the economic costs of the zebra mussel infestation to facilities that draw water from the Great Lakes, including electric generating plants, municipal water systems, and industrial water users. Ohio Sea Grant received a total of 585 responses, a response rate of over 50 percent.
The survey responses were compiled and analyzed during Program Year 1996. Data indicated that prevention and control measures cost Great Lakes facilities using surface water during the five-year period 1989-1994 a total of $120.4 million. In addition, the Great Lakes Panel assisted Ohio Sea Grant in publicizing the results of the survey by featuring an article in the Panels newsletter insert, ANS UPDATE.
- Continued development of an ANS Research Inventory: Staff have continued working closely with the International Joint Commission (IJC) to ensure that the Panels ANS research inventory effort supports, and eventually becomes integrated into, the IJCs larger Great Lakes St. Lawrence Research Inventory.
During the 1996 program year, the Research Coordination Committee discussed the content and layout of the survey form with the co-chairs of the IJCs Council of Great Lakes Research Managers and finalized the form in November 1995. The survey form was distributed electronically (e.g. online form and via email lists) at two conferences (Sixth Annual International Zebra Mussel and other Aquatic Nuisance Species Conference held in Dearborn, Michigan in March 1996, and at the Goby Conference in Chicago, Illinois in February 1996), and through several extensive mailing lists. A total of 271 research project survey forms were submitted from 18 states and five countries (Canada, United States, England, Netherlands, and Germany). The survey results were then entered into a Microsoft Excel database.
A preliminary analysis of the inventory was performed by the Great Lakes Commission staff as background material for a research symposium, titled Aquatic Nuisance Species Research Relevant to the Great Lakes Basin: Enhancing Prevention and Control, which was held on April 17, 1996 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The purpose of the symposium was to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of ANS prevention and control efforts by identifying research gaps, highlighting key findings, determining research needs, and, in general, promoting technology transfer to benefit the Great Lakes ecosystem.
Based on the outcome of the symposium and the results of the research inventory, the Panel adopted a formal policy position consisting of a series of findings and recommendations for strengthening the collective ANS research effort. This policy position was published together with a descriptive listing of the 250 ANS research projects in a report titled Aquatic Nuisance Species Research Relevant to the Great Lakes Basin: Research Guidance and Descriptive Inventory.
- Inventory of ANS Information/Education Materials Relevant to the Great Lakes: A systematic inventory and evaluation of I/E materials was undertaken in 1996 to assess the adequacy of existing I/E products and activities for ANS prevention and control in the Great Lakes Basin.
An I/E survey form and distribution list were developed by Commission staff and reviewed by the Panels I/E Committee. The final form was distributed in March 1996 to more than 100 U.S. and Canadian federal and state/provincial agencies, tribal authorities, environmental organizations, recreational groups, foundations, businesses and industry organizations, universities, Sea Grant programs, and others involved in ANS work. More than 60 responses were received. Support staff collected additional I/E products based on catalogues, lists, and products which they were aware of or had on file.
From the submitted and collected information, the staff developed a database of ANS I/E materials relevant to the Great Lakes region. The primary assessment and evaluation of the inventory was conducted by Panel members and selected ANS experts at a December 5, 1996 symposium titled Enhancing ANS Prevention and Control Through Effective Information and Education. A formal Panel policy position on ANS I/E efforts was subsequently adopted and published together with a descriptive listing of Great Lakes-related ANS materials in a report titled Aquatic Nuisance Species Information and Education Material Relevant to the Great Lakes Basin: Recommendations and Descriptive Inventory.
- Developed the ANS brochure titled Biological Invasions.The Panels I/E Committee took the lead in developing a comprehensive, full-color brochure that has been used to inform federal and state legislators and other stakeholders of the problems caused by aquatic nuisance species as well as initiatives that are in place to prevent new introductions, control existing populations and mitigate their impacts. The brochure emphasized the national scope of the ANS problem while highlighting the special role of prevention and control efforts in the Great Lakes Basin. The brochure was highly popular, with more than 8,000 distributed by Panel members and others working on the ANS issue. The brochure was distributed to every member of Congress during consideration of NISA and played an important role in supporting passage of the legislation. In response to continuing demand, the brochure has been updated and reprinted.
- Support for Online ANS Information: Panel members identified the expansion ofANS information available online as a priority for Program Year 1996. Commission staff have continued to add Great Lakes Panel and related ANS information to the Great Lakes Information Network (GLIN), a partnership of state, provincial, federal and regional agencies and organizations that provides a single, online source for accessing information related to the binational Great Lakes region. Information available includes the Panel membership list, minutes of meetings, policy positions, the information/education strategy, annual reports and the ANS UPDATE. Commission staff is also working with Panel members to develop a comprehensive and well-organized series of links to ANS information available from other agencies and organizations. Panel-related information can be found online GLIN at the following address: http://www.glc.org/projects/ans/anspanel.html
Additionally, an email list has been established for the Great Lakes Panel members to facilitate the conduct of Panel business and to allow the transfer of ANS information among Panel members in a timely and efficient manner. As Panel members take advantage of this tool, information technology transfer among members will be enhanced.
- Assisted in initiation and development of a national newsletter: With support of the Panel, the U.S. F&WS approved funding for development of a quarterly, national newsletter titled ANS DIGEST. The project is a partnership between the Freshwater Foundation and the Great Lakes Commission in cooperation with the Great Lakes Panel. The Freshwater Foundation is responsible for preparing the quarterly editions of the newsletter with input and direction provided by an editorial board. The Panel vice chair, Jay Rendall and Commission staff Kathe Glassner-Shwayder are members of the editorial board and ensure that Great Lakes regional interests are reflected in the newsletter. The Panel identified a need for a national newsletter devoted to aquatic nuisance species in its Information/Education Strategy for Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control adopted in October 1993.
The newsletter serves as an excellent vehicle for generating widespread awareness of ANS issues on a national scale by providing resource managers an opportunity to share and exchange ANS information among regions; serving as an early warning signal to those regions that are most likely to become infested; providing a link to experts in the field of prevention, control, and education; and providing a list of new resource materials as they become available.
5) Control Methods
The Panel is directed to "provide advice to public and private individuals and entities concerning methods of controlling aquatic nuisance species." This activity is accomplished primarily by Panel members, particularly via Sea Grant education extension specialists in the Great Lakes states, who have special expertise in this area, and maintain activeinformation and outreach programs.
The Great Lakes Panel serves primarily as a vehicle for coordinating and communicating the efforts of the Sea Grant programs, government agencies and other entities presently or potentially engaged in public advisory programs regarding methods of ANS control. Furthermore, the Great Lakes Panel identifies and prioritizes information/education needs and works with applicable public entities to address them. This type of coordination role eliminates duplication of efforts. In those instances where the Panel itself is determined to be the preferred vehicle for delivering a public information/education service, the design and implementation of such is pursued.
Given its role within the overall ANS control effort, the Panel operates in conjunction with existing agencies and organizations (e.g., Great Lakes Sea Grant Network, office list included in Appendix F) to assume a facilitating function with government agencies, industry, and the public. The Panel makes referrals, provides its own documents (e.g., priority lists, annual and technical reports), and distributes public information materials available from its members.
A Selected List of Panel Accomplishments in Providing Advice on Control Methods:
- Promoted the development and implementation of ANS state management plans: To foster the development and implementation of ANS state management plans, Commission staff made a presentation titled Comprehensive State Management Plans: A framework for ANS Prevention and Control Efforts at the Sixth International Zebra Mussel and Other Aquatic Nuisance Species conference held March 5, 1996 in Dearborn, Michigan. The presentation was based on the Model Comprehensive State Management Plan for the Prevention and Control of Nonindigenous Aquatic Species (a Great Lakes Panel product developed by Commission staff) as guidance for the Great Lakes states in shaping their management plans.
Considerable interest was voiced by conference participants regarding the regional framework established by the model, an approach that is actively being used by the Great Lakes states in the development and implementation of their own ANS management plans. State representatives from outside the Great Lakes region also expressed interest in using the model plan to promote action on the prevention and control of aquatic nuisance species.
In addition, comments on Michigans state management plan in relation to the model plan were shared by Commission executive director Michael Donahue at the national ANS Task Force meeting held April 25, 1996 in Arlington, Virginia.
- Provided support to the Ballast Technology Demonstration Project: The Lake Carriers Association and the Northeast-Midwest Institute are co-chairs of a project that is testing technologies to prevent the spread of exotic species via ballast water, including technologies recommended for study by the Marine Board of the National ResearchCouncil. The Great Lakes Commission is providing fiscal management and related assistance.
During 1996 project activities included the design and installation on a ship of a filtration system to test various sized filters. Ultimately, the project will determine the systems effectiveness in preventing entrance of aquatic organisms into the ballast tanks and evaluate the safety of the filtration system with regard to ship stability. The project schedule calls for equipment installation and testing to be completed prior to the 1997 shipping season. The project is supported through a $1.3 million grant from the Great Lakes Protection Fund.
6) Annual Report on Great Lakes Activities
The Panel is directed to "annually submit a report to the Task Force describing activities within the Great Lakes related to ANS prevention, research and control."
A selected list of reporting and related administrative initiatives and accomplishments is as follows:
- Elected Panel officers:The Panel's Organizational Strategy specifies that the chair be a representative from one of the Great Lakes states, while the vice chair position is open to all members of the Panel (the successful candidate is determined by majority vote of Panel members).
Procedures for electing a new chair and vice chair for the Panel were initiated at the May 2, 1995, Panel meeting. A request for nominations was distributed to Panel members in July 1995 and an election ballot was mailed in September. The new Panel officers were announced at the September 1995 Panel meeting and assumed their positions beginning with the April 1996 meeting. Mark Coscarelli, MDEQ, was elected the new chair, and Jay Rendall, MnDNR, was elected the new vice chair.
- Conducted two Panel meetings
- The tenth meeting of the Great Lakes Panel was held Sept. 21-22, 1995 in Duluth, MN.
- The 11th meeting of the Great Lakes Panel was held April 16, 1996, in Ann Arbor, MI, in conjunction with the ANS research symposium held the following day in the same location and titled Aquatic Nuisance Species Research Relevant to the Great Lakes Basin: Enhancing Prevention and Control.
- Developed a work program to guide future efforts: Each year the Great Lakes Panel develops a detailed work plan, outlining products and deliverables, that addresses the tasks specified in Section 1203 of P.L. 101-646. The program is designed to support the following baseline functions:
- Conducting Great Lakes Panel meetings;
- Providing representation at national ANS Task Force meetings;
- Providing Panel representation at significant research-, control- and prevention-oriented meetings;
- Providing program support to the Panel;
- Providing basic information and referral services;
- Continuing to develop and implement policy statements on major ANS issues;
- Providing advice to the ANS Task Force pursuant to P.L. 101-646; and
- Developing and pursuing new Panel initiatives consistent with mandated functions.
For FY 1997, detailed work plans have also been prepared by each of the three implementation committees (Information/Education, Resource Coordination, Policy and Legislation).
- Maintained Panel membership: The Great Lakes Commission initiated the formation of the Great Lakes Panel in close consultation with the national ANS Task Force. In convening the Panel, efforts were made to maintain a balance to ensure that the Panel was both broad in representation and manageable in size. Membership includes Great Lakes representation from federal, state, local and regional/binational agencies; tribal authorities; private environmental/ user groups; commercial interests; and the university/research community. The Great Lakes Commission is responsible for extending Panel membership invitations, pending approval of the ANS Task Force co-chairs. In addition to Panel members, Panel observers were identified who have the opportunity to contribute fully in Panel discussion and decision making (e.g., Canadian federal and provincial officials).
On September 21, 1995, the Panel welcomed Tom Busiahn, who replaced Hannibal Bolton as representative from the U.S. F&WS; Lt. Commander Rhae Giacoma was officially appointed the alternate member for the U.S. Coast Guard, replacing Lt. Katherine Weathers.
- Provided general staff support for Great Lakes Panel activities: Substantial time has been invested in routine coordination activities between and among Panel members, and support to the three implementation committees. Articles in the Great Lakes Commission's bimonthly newsletter, the ADVISOR, and special presentations at Commission meetings ensured that key policymakers and opinion leaders in the binational Great Lakes region were well informed on ANS news and research.
- Secured funding from numerous sources to ensure operation of the Great Lakes Panel: Although P.L. 101-646 authorized $200,000 per year over a five-year period for establishment and operation of the Great Lakes Panel, no appropriations have been made under the Act to date. To ensure basic operation of the Panel from September 1995 to August 1996, the Great Lakes Commission secured funding from two federal and one state source, including NOAAs IFA (Indianas share--$15,400), the U.S. F&WS ($40,000) and MnDNR ($30,000).
For Program Year 1997, funding proposals were prepared for and approved by the U.S. F&WS ($40,000) and NOAA (Indianas share of IFA funds, $12,747).
Total funding from these sources has been much less than the annual amount authorized under P.L. 101-646 but has provided baseline support for the Panel and has allowed substantial progress to be made in advancing its objectives under the Act. The Panel will continue its efforts to secure additional support, including appropriation of federal funds authorized in P.L. 101-646 and reauthorized in P.L. 104-332.
POLICY POSITIONS OF THE GREAT LAKES PANEL
Several policy position statements have been prepared by the Panel since its inception and are outlined briefly below. These policy positions have been widely disseminated for information/education purposes to members of Congress, state/federal agency officials, and other policymakers and opinion leaders.
Research and Management Needs and Legislative/Budget Needs
The first two policy position statements were developed by the Panel in 1992 to coordinate and link efforts of the research community with challenges facing policymakers and resource managers. The research and management policy position helps guide strategic decision making in the scientific community by providing guidelines for interactions between researchers and managers, and listing key research needs that exist in the areas of biology and life history of nonindigenous species; ecosystem effects; socio-economic costs and benefits; control and mitigation; prevention of future introductions of nonindigenous species; and reducing the spread of established nonindigenous species.
The budget and legislative policy positions for ANS programs at the binational, national and regional levels target the policy community, thereby providing an important foundation for future development and funding.
Three areas are of particular interest:
Panel Position: Funding for ANS programs under P.L. 101-646 has been inadequate to address the burgeoning need for prevention, monitoring, research, management and control measures in the Great Lakes Basin and elsewhere. A strong federal lead through the national ANS Task Force, coupled with a federal/state/local partnership, will reduce unnecessary duplication of efforts. Budget and program emphasis is especially needed in the areas of:
- Research development and implementation of effective measures to prevent theintroduction of aquatic nuisance species into the Great Lakes, especially altenatives or refinements to ballast exchange in order to reduce ballast introductions;
- Research, development and registration of environmentally sound zebra mussel control measures for raw water users in the Great Lakes Basin (currently, chlorine is the principle control option, yet other options may be equally or more environmentally sound);
- Research, development and implementation of effective intra-basin and inter-basin containment measures for the zebra mussel and the river ruffe; and
- Information and outreach activities aimed at industry, recreational boaters and anglers regarding containment and control of aquatic nuisance species infestations.
- Program Implementation
Panel Position: The agencies currently receiving funding through P.L. 101-646 are using those funds in well-targeted and productive ways. The Task Force is urged to address the infestation problem on a basin-wide scale, focusing on inland waters as well as the Great Lakes and their tributaries, as authorized in P.L. 101-646. The Panel emphasizes the importance of international cooperation and coordination in implementation of its responsibilities.
- Legislative Needs to Expand or Enhance P.L. 101-646
Panel Position: There is a need for new legislative language to expand the geographic scope of the U.S. Coast Guard's authority in implementing its ANS prevention efforts to include Great Lakes contiguous waters and other U.S. coastlines.
Information/Education Strategy for Aquatic Nuisance Species Prevention and Control
- This policy document was completed and approved at the Panel's October 1993 meeting in Duluth, Minn. The purpose of the strategy is to facilitate regional cooperation of outreach programs among participating agencies, institutions and organizations. The strategy, based on the goals of P.L. 101-646, promotes the following primary issues:
- Prevention of the unintentional introduction and dispersal of aquatic nuisance species into, within and from Great Lakes waters through implementation of information/education activities;
- Regional coordination of information dissemination regarding ANS programs involving prevention, control, monitoring, research, education, policy and other related activities;
- Active involvement of Great Lakes regional policymakers and user groups in the promotion of aquatic nuisance prevention and control programming; and
- Availability of adequate resources to implement the Great Lakes Panel's Information/Education Strategy for Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control.
FY 1995 Appropriations for P.L. 101-646 Implementation
At the March 1994 Panel meeting, Panel members revisited existing policy positions. Panel members believed that for FY 1995 the program emphasis should remain the same as stated in the 1992 Legislative/ Budget Needs policy position statement presented above. However, in order to meet these and related program priorities, the Panel approved the following position statement on suggested appropriation levels for FY 1995:
- U.S. F&WS/National Biological Survey - For support of ANS Task Force and implementation of the National ANS program ($7 million).
- NOAA - For support of ANS Task Force and implementation of the National ANS program ($5 million).
- NOAA - Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory - For conducting ANS research ($1.125 million).
- NOAA - National Sea Grant Program - For conducting ANS research, education and outreach programs ($3.375 million, of which $2.5 million is targeted exclusively at the Great Lakes Basin).
- Great Lakes Commission - For operation of the Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species ($200,000).
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. F&WS - For implementation of state management plans ($2.5 million, through U.S. F&WS and $5 million, through U.S. Army Corps of Engineers).
These recommendations address specific priorities of the Great Lakes Panel; other appropriations opportunities, while not specifically mentioned above, also were supported where consistent with the goals of the Act.
Ruffe Control Plan for Lake Superior
In April 1994, the Panel approved the following position statement: "In order to contain the spread of ruffe in western Lake Superior and protect the valuable international fisheries of the Great Lakes, the Great Lakes Panel supports approval and implementation of the Ruffe Control Program under authority of the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990. The program is an integrated plan that addresses each of the ways that ruffe may spread. Range reduction by chemical treatments, prevention of ballast water transport, and education to prevent movement via anglers and bait dealers are all essential to containing the ruffe and must be supported by vigilant monitoring and surveillance.
If range reduction for the ruffe is to be successful, the Great Lakes Panel emphasizes the need for immediate implementation of the Ruffe Control Program. To this end, it is essential that state/federal resources be allocated to this pressing issue. In addition, the Panel recommends that Wisconsin and Michigan expedite the process by which emergency use permits are issued for the use of TFM or a TFM/Bayluscide combination (non-bioaccumulative fish toxicant) in western Lake Superior. The Panel recognizes the need to monitor and evaluate the performance of TFM or TFM/Bayluscide treatments."
Ballast Water Management Measures
In April 1994, the Panel approved the following position statement: "The Great Lakes Panel endorses the proposed Ballast Water Management Act presently under consideration by Congress. The bill seeks to curb the spread of aquatic nonindigenous species through the discharge of vessel ballast water by directing the Marine Board of the National Research Council to evaluate and identify promising ballast water management technologies and practices. Upon completion of the evaluation, the Administrator of the Maritime Administration is directed to conduct a national demonstration program to test and evaluate the most cost and biologically effective ballast water management technologies and practices identified by the Marine Board. Because discharge of vessel ballast water is a documented source of aquatic nuisance species introduction, this legislation is a critical component of prevention and control efforts. It should be funded at authorized levels ($0.15 million in FY 1995; $1.85 million in FY 1996)."
Timely Reauthorization of P.L. 101-646
In April 1994, the Panel approved the following position statement: "The Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act, P.L. 101-646 is the first act to address impacts of nonindigenous invaders on aquatic ecosystems. As such, the legislation addresses a previously uncharted area of environmental protection. It also seeks to mitigate the economic impacts of a newly recognized type of environmental disaster: aquatic nuisance species infestation. The act expires in 1995, and the Great Lakes Panel urges Congress to enact reauthorizing language in a timely manner. During this process the Great Lakes Panel will examine the existing language and make recommendations on any necessary refinements or expansions to ensure that regional needs are adequately addressed."
Sea Lamprey Control and Related Great Lakes Fishery Commission Activities
In April 1994, the Panel approved the following position statement: "The Great Lakes Panel recommends enhanced funding for the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in FY 1995 to protect the basin's multi-billion dollar sport and commercial fisheries and to coordinate/conduct fisheries research and management activities. Important program requirements include maintenance of a full sea lamprey control program, re-registration of lampricides as required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), and research and development of alternative (non-pesticide) control technologies. To meet these requirements, $14,080,500 is needed in FY 1995."
Reauthorization of the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act (P.L.101-646)
On January 30, 1995, the Great Lakes Panel transmitted the following policy position to the national ANS Task Force. The following comments and recommendations on P.L. 101-646 reauthorization reflect the views of the Panel members who expressed opinions. In instances where consensus was not achieved the majority position prevailed, and the minority view is presented in a footnote. The Panel urged all involved in the reauthorization process to consider these views carefully and reflect them in any reauthorization activity.
- The Great Lakes Panel believes that unintentional introductions should remain the principal focus of P.L. 101-646 provisions and associated implementation activities. The Panel recognizes the importance of addressing potential risks from intentional introductions but believes that they should be addressed through other legislative/program vehicles (e.g., national initiative to address harmful nonindigenous exotic species). To this end, Panel members believe that the requirements of Sec. 1207, Intentional Introductions Policy Review, have been fulfilled and therefore should be omitted from the Act [Minority view: Of the Panel members that responded, four indicated that section 1207 should be amended to allow the Task Force to respond to new intentional introductions of both nonindigenous aquatic plants and animals.]
- Panel members believe that, unless all ports are provided some measure of protection, new nonindigenous aquatic nuisance species will continue to be introduced. The Panel therefore recommends that the U.S. Coast Guard be authorized to implement a prevention-oriented ballast management program on a national scale to provide all ports with some level of protection. The program should address issues of intra-Great Lakes vessel movement as well as overseas vessels entering the system. Federally funded technology research, and demonstration should be pursued to support such a program. Appropriations should be increased accordingly to implement the expanded program.
- The Panel recommends that the national Task Force authority be expanded to enhance its capability to ensure a prompt and effective response to emergencies (e.g., ruffe control). P.L. 101-646 provisions should define an emergency, and establish a mechanism whereby the Task Force, after full consultation with all the relevant states and tribes, would make recommendations through its co-chairs to the U.S. F&WS and NOAA on emergency response issues. These agencies should respond to the request in a timely and substantive manner and direct the necessary program and financial resources, as available, to the emergency. The establishment of a permanent fund to support emergency responses is one recommended option.
- The Panel recognizes that the ANS issue is national in scope and a multi-regional approach of prevention and control is essential if the goals of the Act are to be achieved. The Great Lakes Panel therefore supports the establishment of such panels in other regions, at theinitiative of the relevant states, where conditions warrant. Amending language to this effect, however, is supported only if: 1) authorizing language for Panel funding support is increased substantially and in no way compromises that presently provided for in the Great Lakes region; and 2) the Act maintains a strong focus on Great Lakes issues, given that ANS problems in this region were the impetus for the Act, and effective prevention and control efforts in the Great Lakes region continues to be the first line of defense in slowing or preventing the spread of aquatic nuisance species to other regions (e.g., Mississippi River watershed).
- The Panel recommends that authorized funding levels in the existing legislative language be maintained. Should the opportunity arise for funding to be enhanced, the Panel recommends that:
- The U.S. Coast Guard receive increased funding to support the recommended national prevention-oriented ballast management program.
- All eligible states receive adequate federal base funding to assist in the development, as well as implementation, of state management plans called for in section 1204.
- Resources be allocated for emergency response purposes.
- Resources be allocated to support panels in other regions of the country.
- The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) funding be increased to continue ecosystem level studies of the zebra mussel and other species, including the quagga mussel and Bythotrephes.
- Both reauthorization and appropriations language should ensure that research activities of NOAAs Sea Grant College Program and GLERL be directed to aquatic nuisance species in general as opposed to being limited to the zebra mussel alone.
- The Panel recommends that the role of tribal governments in P.L. 101-646 be strengthened by amending language to include more references to tribes to recognize their interest, role and responsibility relative to ANS issues [Minority view: Of the Panel members that responded, one indicated that there is presently adequate language in P.L. 101-646 for tribal presence and involvement.] The Panel recommends that it be consulted on the drafting of the amended language, as members views vary on the degree of tribal involvement.
- The Panel believes that its mandate is appropriate as outlined in Section 1203. The Panel recognizes that the ANS issue is a national one and, through its existing mandate, will enhance its involvement in inter-regional communication and coordination activities.
- The Panel recommends that section 1204 (State Aquatic Nuisance Species Management Plans), and Section 1301 (Authorizations) be amended to provide for some form of federal base funding to assist in the preparation, as well as the implementation of state management plans. This would be a cost-effective way to build partnerships with the states andstrengthen the states role in ANS management.
- the Panel recommends that any reauthorization activity and amended language be pursued in a manner that acknowledges and complements other legislation and programs addressing some aspect of the ANS issue (e.g., sea lamprey control under the Convention of the Great Lakes Fisheries [Minority view: Of the Panel members that responded, three indicated that reference to sea lamprey should be exempted from the Act since it is addressed through other means (e.g., 1955 Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries).] prevention of intentional introductions under the Lacey Act; the Aquatic Plant Control Program under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers).
- The Panel notes that progress under P.L. 101-646, while notable in many areas, has been compromised by the fact that only a small fraction of authorized funds have been directed at implementing provisions of the Act. While the above recommendations should be pursued in the interest of fine-tuning the legislation during reauthorization, an equal emphasis should be placed on the full appropriation and use of funds authorized in the original legislation.
GREAT LAKES PANEL INITIATIVES FOR PROGRAM YEAR 1997
The Great Lakes Panel will continue to perform the functions outlined in P.L. 101-646, with particular emphasis on development and implementation of Panel policy positions, supporting the implementation and funding of the new National Invasive Species Act, enhancing inter-regional communication and coordination, and providing support for the Great Lakes states in developing and implementing ANS state management plans and other ANS activities.
Development and implementation of Panel policy positions: During the upcoming fiscal year, the Panel will continue to implement its policy positions addressing research/management and legislative/budget needs and priorities. The Panel also will develop policy statements regarding ANS research and information/education efforts. The new policy positions will be components of larger initiatives in these two areas that are expected to require substantial investment of staff time.
Supporting the implementation of and funding for the new National Invasive Species Act: The Panel will assist the Task Force and other interested parties in assembling data and information documenting the need for adequate funding and programmatic support for the Act, accomplishments to date, and budget needs for the Great Lakes region.
Enhancing inter-regional communication and coordination: The Panel recognizes the national scope of the ANS issue and, through its existing mandate, will maintain and enhance its involvement in inter-regional communication and coordination activities. Activities in this area will include communicating with other regions that have, or plan to establish, similarpanels/committees to address the ANS issue; disseminating research and management information; establishing linkages with other federal and state programs to strengthen prevention and control efforts; and giving presentations on Great Lakes experiences.
Reprinting and distributing the ANS Brochure: The Biological Invasions brochure has been a highly successful information outreach tool for a wide variety of target audiences. The initial printing of 8,000 is largely exhausted and requests for individual and bulk quantities of the brochure continue to be received. Options will be explored to reprint the brochure, including appropriate revisions to reflect developments since its first printing (e.g. passage of NISA). The Panels I/E Committee will coordinate distribution of the brochure, both to individual elected officials and bulk quantities to support groups and other stakeholders actively involved in ANS educational outreach and policy making.
Development of model state legislation for ANS prevention and control: At the Panels request, the Great Lakes Commission is seeking grant support for a new initiative to develop model state legislation for ANS prevention and control. The project will identify inconsistencies, gaps, and unmet needs in state ANS legislation; develop model state legislation that incorporates all elements necessary for a robust ANS prevention and control regime; and broadly disseminate this information and promote its incorporation into state law in the Great Lakes Basin and beyond. To help achieve the final goal, the Council of State Governments has expressed interest in including model state ANS legislation in its annual book of model state legislation distributed to state legislators throughout the United States. The project will promote consistency in legislative approaches to ANS issues among the states and provide recommendations for better integrating ANS efforts with coastal management and related laws and programs.
Support for Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species: A portion of available funds will be directed at providing staff support to Panel activities. This will include allocation of time for the executive director, project managers, communications specialist, administrative assistant, and a research associate. Services will include coordination among, and responsiveness to, Panel members; planning and coordination of Panel meetings and related forums; preparation and dissemination of Panel products (policy positions, reports, etc.); advisory services to the national ANS Task Force; response to informational requests; and conduct of related activities consistent with provisions in P.L. 101-646.
PROGRAM UPDATES OF GREAT LAKES PANEL MEMBERSHIP
The following information, submitted by Great Lakes Panel members, provides an overview of ANS research, control and information dissemination efforts undertaken in the Great Lakes Basin during Program Year 1996 (September 1995 through August 1996).
U.S. and Canadian Federal Agencies
Canada Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans - Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) research program on aquatic nuisance species is conducted primarily by the Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences in Burlington and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Research addresses distribution, abundance, population dynamics, ecological impacts and potential management options. Species of research interest include the zooplankter (Bythotrephes cederstroemi), zebra and quagga mussels (Dreissena sp.), and the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus). Projects are integrated into long-term biological monitoring programs on the Great Lakes that provide background data needed to evaluate the ecological impact of invading species.
The Lake Ontario/Lake Erie trophic project measures spatial and temporal trends in the physical, chemical and lower trophic biological communities to determine whole-lake response to perturbations, including the invasion of exotics species. Changes in energy flow were being monitored in the Bay of Quinte to assess the impact of the invasion of zebra mussels, in addition to other factors such as phosphorus control. Another project is investigating the effect of zebra and quagga mussels on benthic production and community composition in Lake Erie. One component of a lake trout restoration project is to determine the effects of nonindigenous forage species on trout reproduction. Work with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources examined the changing diet of Lake Erie smelt before and after the influence of phosphorus controls and the zebra mussel invasion. All of these projects were active in 1995 and are currently ongoing. Many are being conducted in collaboration with other Canadian and U.S. agencies.
The long-term goal of a research project on sea lamprey is to develop alternate, non-chemical strategies for sea lamprey control and to reduce or replace the need for TFM use in the Great Lakes. Work with sterile males, including monitoring upstream migration and habitat selection, and the effects of low-head barrier dams on riverine teleosts, was ongoing in 1996. The work is being done in collaboration with DFOs Sea Lamprey Control Centre and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.
DFO staff members also serve in various advisory capacities on nonindigenous species issues. A regional Exotics Species Committee is a multi-agency group with a Great Lakes focus that is being expanded to include membership from Transport Canada, Canadian Coast Guard, Environment Canada, Health Canada and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. The goal of this committee is to provide multi-agency scientific advice on exotic species issues and communication links with other regions and agencies. A Non-Native Species Risk Assessment Committee, with membership from DFO and the provincial governments of Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, provides advice on the introduction of fish for aquaculture purposes and other applications such as aquatic vegetation control. DFO has a member on the Ruffe Control Committee and, together with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, actively supported components of the Ruffe Control Plan (e.g. voluntary ballast water exchange program for Lake Superior and surveillance). DFO and the Canadian Coast Guard supported the Canadian voluntary guidelines and U.S. regulations, which control the exchange of ballast water from marine vessels that enter the St. Lawrence Seaway. DFO also participated in the joint U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Conference, where ballast water regulations and the controlof nonindigenous species were discussed.
NOAA - Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
Much of the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory's (GLERL) efforts focused on the continuing evaluation of effects of zebra mussels on the Saginaw Bay ecosystem during 1990-1996 as well as comparative work on Lake Erie. In recent years, the focus of the program has been to evaluate the possible role of zebra mussels in promoting nuisance blooms of Microcystis, a potentially toxic, blue-green alga, that have occurred on the bay every summer since 1994. Experiments suggest that selective filtering and nutrient excretion by the mussels may promote and maintain Microcystis blooms in Saginaw Bay and Lake Erie. Limited experimental work on Saginaw Bay and Lake Erie will continue during the late summer of 1997 to get further insight into bloom dynamics. Results of the work on Saginaw Bay will be synthesized to describe the major ecosystem changes there as well as the mechanisms for this change. Proposed experimental work on evaluating the combined effects of mussels and event-related nutrient inputs on Microcystis blooms will await future funding.
National Park Service - Great Lakes Parks
The National Park Service continued working with the U.S. F&WS regarding development of a test strategy for ruffe control. Lamprey control activities continue to be carried out in the waters of Isle Royale National Park and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Most of the Park Services efforts have been directed at the control and eradication of purple loosestrife at Indiana Dunes, Sleeping Bear and Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Parks. Hand removal and application of herbicide have been the primary management tools to date. However, at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, a three-year trial study involving the use of several species of loosestrife-eating beetles continues. This years efforts have focused on evaluating the beetles effectiveness as a biological control agent.
The National Park Service, with the cooperation of the U.S. F&WS, the natural resource agencies of Minnesota and Wisconsin, and private companies and public interest organizations, has continued its efforts to delay or avert zebra mussel establishment into the St. Croix River at the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. These efforts include controlling boat access in upper reaches of the drainage and conducting public education and outreach efforts. Additionally, a native mussel relocation study is now in its second year at St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. This relocation effort is being conducted in anticipation of an eventual zebra mussel colonization of the St. Croix drainages world class mussel beds. Mussel relocation results should have application in other areas, including the Great Lakes Basin.
NOAA - National Sea Grant College Program
The National Sea Grant College Programs work on Aquatic Nuisance Species includes high quality research, outreach and public education activities to examine and minimize (through control and prevention strategies) the effects of zebra mussels and other aquatic nuisance species on both infrastructure and the environment. Sea Grants work within the Great Lakes region, and nationally, has produced some of the countrys most important results and has significantly reduced the spread and the impact of aquatic nuisance species. In recent years this work has expanded to include efforts on all four coastlines. The result has been the development of aclosely integrated network of academic, federal and private sector researchers working closely with extension and outreach personnel focused on developing methods for dealing with the invasion, communicating those results to the user community and increasing public involvement in the issue.
In addition to its work on zebra mussels, the spiny water flea, ruffe, gobies and sea lampreys, the National Sea Grant College Program, with its 29 state programs working with over 300 of this countrys top academic institutions, is deeply involved with all aspects of the ANS issue and the role of ballast water introductions. Refer to the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network for a review of ANS-related activities being pursued by state Sea Grant programs in the Great Lakes region.
U.S. Coast Guard - Ninth District
The U.S. Coast Guard continues to have satisfactory compliance within the Great Lakes regime. The Ninth District is addressing marginal issues, such as the problem with "outside" NOBOBs (No Ballast On Board), vessels which cross the ocean in a pumped-down state, but then take on water in a coastal port of North America on top of residual ballast before entering the Lakes. Coast Guard policy is to require an open ocean exchange, but the Ninth District is attempting to refine the designation of appropriate exchange sites for both economic and environmental effectiveness. Coast Guard Headquarters is writing guidance for a voluntary nationwide regime under the National Invasive Species Act of 1996. The District hopes this may (a) bring broader support for efforts in the Great Lakes, including research; and (b) make more acceptable the possibility of requiring necessary modifications to vessels on a basis which does not discriminate against the seaway.
The Marine Board report Stemming the Tide, commissioned by the Coast Guard and other agencies and issued in 1996, endorses the current focus on filtering as the most favored treatment technology, but acknowledges that this technology is far from ready for installation on ships. It also suggests the need to (a) revisit biocides; and (b) consider long-term changes in the design of ballast tanks.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Environmental Research Laboratory, Duluth
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) research program on aquatic nuisance species is conducted and funded through U.S. EPA's Environmental Research Laboratory in Duluth, Minn. (ERLD). The objectives are not only to develop an integrated, coordinated research program in the Great Lakes, but to look beyond this geographic area to introduced aquatic species throughout the continent, focusing initially on the Mississippi River basin.
The approach has been to consider not only the characteristics of the invading species and their effects on the invaded ecosystem, but also to consider characteristics of ecosystems that might make them more or less susceptible to invasion. Under this framework, ERLD is funding research on several species that have demonstrated the ability to successfully invade lake and river ecosystems, including the zebra mussel, ruffe and rusty crayfish. Research on the role of disturbances in rivers and streams caused by flow extremes is being funded, as well as research on characteristics of the surrounding watershed. Projects also are underway on the accumulation and trophic transfer of organic chemicals by zebra mussels and the effect on nutrient and energydynamics, and the potential influence of zebra mussels on native benthic communities in the upper Mississippi River and its major tributaries.
Projects currently underway will be completed in 1996 and results will be published. Beginning in 1996, university-based research is expected to be funded through grants awarded by a new Center for Extramural Programs in the Office of Research and Development, Washington, D.C. In-house research will continue on the zebra mussel and the ruffe in the Great Lakes Basin.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
This agency did not submit an update for the annual report. For information on their ANS activities, contact:
Panel representative Tom Frietag
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
477 Michigan Ave.
P.O. Box 1027
Detroit, MI 48226
U.S. Department of Agriculture
This agency did not submit an update for the annual report. For information on their ANS activities, contact:
Panel representative William S. Wallace, Director
Policy & Program Development
Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
P.O. Box 96464
Washington, D.C. 20090-6464
U.S. Department of Interior, National Biological Survey
This agency did not submit an update for the annual report. For information on their ANS activities, contact:
Panel representative Dr. Donald Schloesser, Fisheries Biologist
U.S. Dept. of the Interior
National Biological Survey-Great Lakes
1451 Green Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
U.S. Department of State
This agency did not submit an update for the annual report. For information on their ANS activities, contact Panel representative David Hermann, Office of Marine Conservation, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street, NW, Room 7820, Washington, D.C. 20520-7818, 202-647-3228.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Great Lakes - Big Rivers Region
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Fishery Resources Office (FRO) in Ashland, Wisconsin, chaired the Ruffe Control Committee for the ANS Task Force and represented the Service on the Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species. In FY 1996, the Ruffe Control Committee met twice, established a working relationship with Michigan bait dealers, and helped to organize a meeting and field trip on the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal to plan for a dispersal barrier to prevent ruffe from migrating into the Mississippi River basin. Committee chair Tom Busiahn presented a retrospective case history of ruffe control at the 6th International Conference on Zebra Mussels and Other Aquatic Nuisance Species.
The Ruffe Control Committee revised the Ruffe Control Program, dropping the range reduction and predator evaluation components and adding the development of a model bait harvest management program and recommendations for promoting resilience of fish communities in the face of ruffe invasion. A "population reduction" component was added, as was an objective toplan for a dispersal barrier on the Chicago waterways.
The Ashland FRO contributed to implementation of the Ruffe Control Program, including population reduction, ballast water management, education and surveillance. The FRO contributed articles on ruffe control to Lake Superior Magazine and the ANS DIGEST, and a paper at the annual meeting of the American Fisheries Society. Ruffe surveillance activities led by the Ashland FRO detected no new colonies of ruffe in the Great Lakes in 1996, although populations on the periphery of its range appear to have grown. The Service surveyed 24 tributaries and coastal locations on Lake Superior and several in northern Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Surveillance in the harbor at Alpena, Michigan, on Lake Huron, found reproduction in 1996.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Northeast Region
The Exotic Species Program (Program), implemented by the Service's Lower Great Lakes Fishery Resources Office (LGLFRO) in Amherst, NY, consists of four components: monitoring, research, education, and coordination and technical assistance.
The Lower Great Lakes Ruffe Monitoring Program was conducted for the third consecutive year. Bottom trawls were conducted at seven sites on Lake Erie and one on Lake Ontario. Results of 1996 surveys will be published, in cooperation with the Ashland Fishery Resources Office, the Alpena Fishery Resources Office and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, in a Great Lakes-wide report entitled Ruffe Surveillance in the Great Lakes, 1996. Surveillance efforts for 1995 were summarized in a similar report published in March 1996.
An abstract was prepared and approved for presentation at the 7th International Zebra Mussel and Aquatic Nuisance Species Conference entitled Surveillance for Ruffe in the Great Lakes - An Overview. The presentation will review ruffe surveillance efforts throughout the Great Lakes as a model management approach to nonindigenous species introductions. All nonindigenous species sightings are reported to the Nonindigenous Aquatic Species GIS Program conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey - Biological Resources Division (USGS-BRD) office in Gainesville, FL. The Round Goby Tracking Program was initiated in response to the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force's request for further information regarding this species. The project is being conducted in cooperation with USGS-BRD and the Minnesota Sea Grant College Program.
Zebra mussel monitoring was continued in Lake Champlain by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation in cooperation with the Lake Champlain Basin Program. This monitoring effort was initiated in 1994 to track the spread of zebra mussels throughout the lake. Results of 1996 surveys will be available in early spring 1997.
An investigation analyzing the impacts of changing ecosystem productivity, especially since the introduction of zebra mussels, on young-of-the-year fish growth in western Lake Erie continues. An investigation comparing fish species diversity and abundance in harbors with and without ruffe was also initiated. Both of these projects were presented at the 6th International ZebraMussel and Other Aquatic Nuisance Organisms Conference in 1996. A workshop was sponsored by New York Sea Grant examining the biology, ecology and potential impacts of zebra mussels in large river systems such as the Hudson and Ohio rivers.
Throughout the year, information is provided to the public through news releases, radio and newspaper interviews; mailings and presentations to sportfishing groups; and presentations and display booths at sportfishing and outdoor shows and museums. Presentations to youth groups and work with students and teachers at various educational levels has increased the amount of information reaching young people.
Particular emphasis was placed on distribution of the ruffe and round goby identification cards, Ruffe WATCH and Round Goby WATCH, as well as the brochure, Biological Invasions, produced by the Great Lakes Commission. In the Lake Champlain and Chesapeake Bay basins, posters and signs continue to play an important role in educating the public to report potential sightings of zebra mussels.
An attempt was made to increase awareness among waterfowl hunters who utilize Service lands throughout the Northeast region. Information regarding the potential spread of nonindigenous species, including plants, by waterfowl hunters was forwarded to all refuges within the region. This program was in response to similar efforts and new legislation in the state of Minnesota.
Coordination & Technical Assistance:
As the scope of nonindigenous species issues continues to broaden as a national concern, the need for effective coordination is essential. The Service has maintained a leadership role in the coordination of nonindigenous species issues within the Northeast region. The LGLFRO plays an active role in the activities of the Aquatic Nuisance Species Ruffe Control Committee, the Lake Champlain Basin Zebra Mussel Task Force, the Chesapeake Bay Exotic Species Workgroup, and the Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species and its Information/Education Committee. Also, the LGLFRO represented the region throughout reauthorization activities related to the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act. The LGLFRO is the main contact for round goby activities conducted by the Service. In the fall, surveillance efforts were conducted in the Illinois Waterway System to determine the extent of the round gobys expansion into the waterway system. This effort was coordinated by the LaCrosse Fishery Resources Office. In November the U.S. F&WS and the Army Corps of Engineers were charged by the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force to develop a recommended control strategy to prevent further spread of the round goby into downstream areas of the Illinois Waterway System. This control strategy is scheduled to be presented to the Task Force in spring 1997. Also, the Service was charged with initiating a program to develop a resource document to include a round goby risk assessment and control feasibility analysis.
Great Lakes Fishery Commission
The Great Lakes Fishery Commission, created by Canada and the United States in the 1955Convention on Great Lakes Fisheries, is charged with investigating and advising governments on measures to address issues affecting fish stocks of common concern. The Commission's main management responsibility is to control the nonindigenous sea lamprey. The Commission is committed to preventing the ill-considered introduction of nonindigenous species.
Under the direction of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, sea lamprey control agents continued in 1996 to devote significant attention to the sea lamprey problem posed by the St. Marys River. The St. Marys River produces more lampreys than all of the other Great Lakes combined, causing extremely high abundances of sea lampreys in Lake Huron and northern Lake Michigan. Traditionally, the St. Marys River was untreatable because of its tremendous size and flow volume. In 1996 the Commission carried out a detailed assessment of the St. Marys River and mapped the larval densities there in preparation for spot treatments using granular Bayer, a lampricide used in lentic areas of the Great Lakes. The Commission also conducted a St. Marys River dye study to track the potential dispersal of the lampricide TFM, if it were to be used on the St. Marys River. These assessment efforts will provide vital data in the development of the commission's St. Marys River control strategy, to commence in 1997.
In 1996, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission also continued its effort to research and develop alternatives to chemical lampricides. The Commission devoted about 15 percent of its sea lamprey control budget to research into and implementation of non-chemical control techniques such as barriers, sterile-male release, trapping, and other innovative methods to control sea lampreys. Alternative controls and more efficient use of the lampricide allowed the Commission to continue on its schedule of reducing TFM by 50 percent by the year 2001. Since 1990, TFM use has been reduced by about 30 percent.
In 1996, state, provincial and tribal fishery management agencies in the Great Lakes, which work together under the Joint Strategic Plan for Management of Great Lakes Fisheries, continued their efforts to revise, update and improve the plan. The Great Lakes Fishery Commission, which facilitates the implementation of the plan, led the review process and actively sought input from the signatory agencies. In December 1996, the Commission convened a workshop in Detroit, Mich. to discuss various aspects of the plan and to focus on ways it could be improved. Agencies completed their review of the plan in spring 1997, and signed a revised version during the GLFC's annual meeting in June 1997.
Sea Lamprey Control and Related Great Lakes Fishery Commission Activities
Important program requirements include maintenance of a full sea lamprey control program, re- registration of lampricides as required by the U.S. EPA, and research and development of alternative (non-pesticide) control technologies. To deliver a full program, as mandated by the convention on Great Lakes Fisheries, the Commission estimates that the governments of the United States and Canada would be required to provide a combined total of $22.4 million (U.S.). To deliver a program equal to the program delivered in 1995 (considered a "base-level" program) the Commission would require $18.1 million from the governments. To deliver a level program (minus inflation), the Commission would require $12.6 million.
International Joint Commission
This agency did not submit an update for the annual report. For information on their ANS activities, contact:
Panel representative Doug McTavish, Director
Great Lakes Regional Office
International Joint Commission
P.O. Box 32869
Detroit, MI 48232
Great Lakes States and Provinces
Illinois Natural History Survey (Acting for and funded by the Illinois Department of Conservation)
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS), the research division of IDNR, have advanced ANS management and research initiatives in Illinois. IDNR has implemented changes to its Administrative Rules to ban the possession of live round gobies, tubenose gobies, Eurasian ruffe, and rusty crayfish. These rule changes will help prevent spread of these species, especially by angler bait buckets.
The Chicago waterways are the primary link between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds, and thus are a primary pathway of ANS exchange between these watersheds. IDNR and INHS are working closely with the U.S. F&WS and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to determine the feasibility of an ANS dispersal barrier for these waterways. INHS is seeking funding to pilot-test and monitor such a barrier.
The round goby has been found in the Calumet River (a Chicago waterway) 12 miles downstream of Lake Michigan. IDNR and INHS personnel have assisted U.S. F&WS in determining the distribution of this species in the Chicago waterways. INHS also is conducting research on the factors influencing the survival and movement of the round goby within Lake Michigan and into the Mississippi River drainage.
Finally, the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program has funded an ANS outreach specialist at the INHS Lake Michigan Biological Station. This specialist provides ANS information, including potential ANS impacts on aquatic ecosystems, to educators, anglers, boaters, and the media.
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources Commission passed a non-rule policy for the containment of zebra mussels in December 1996. This policy encourages DNR employees to implement procedures protecting the equipment and facilities under their control and to increase sensitivity to and awareness of ANS introductions through public outreach programs. Initial steps have already been taken to develop a pilot program at Summitt Lake State Park involving signs, brochures and video information.
A zebra mussel ecology research project on Lake Wawasee, Indianas largest inland natural lake, continues under the direction of Dr. David Garton. The Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife is conducting an extensive study of the fishery on Lake Wawasee including a creel survey, general population survey, black bass population estimate and largemouth bass movement study. This baseline fishery information will be valuable to understanding the historical impact of zebramussels on inland fish populations in the Midwest.
State hatchery biologists have implemented two procedures to prevent the introduction of aquatic nuisance species into their facilities and the spread of these organisms to new waters from fish stocking programs. All pumping equipment, used to fill or temper fish hauling trucks from surface water, has been retrofitted with filters. Information on the cost and mechanics of using filtered surface water should be available after the 1997 fall fish stocking season.
Statewide mapping of zebra mussel distribution indicates approximately 25 percent of the counties either border a body of water with zebra mussels or contain colonized populations. A coordinated effort between the Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program involves a statewide sign program for public and private waters. The design and content of sign information will be standardized for consistency.
Approximately 150 people attended a zebra mussel workshop hosted by Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant for the 9th Annual Lake Management Conference. This meeting was held at Pokagon State Park near Angola, Indiana in early April 1997. Sea Grant staff, Dr. David Garton, and the Division of Fish and Wildlife presented information on life history, prevention and control methods, and distribution.
A purple loosestrife biological control study is continuing at five locations in northern Indiana under direction of the Division of Entomology and Plant Pathology. Indiana is participating in a multi-state field research project to determine the effectiveness of beetles as a long-lasting and environmentally sound control method. Results are expected within one to two years.
A new sea lamprey barrier under construction on Burns Ditch will be recognized with a certificate of appreciation in June 1997. This project is a cooperative effort between the U.S. and Canadian federal governments, the State of Indiana, a steelhead fishing organization and the private sector. The barrier is expected to save the Great Lakes Fishery Commission at least $25,000 annually and re-directs control efforts toward reductions in lampricide use in the Great Lakes basin. Lamprey traps will be used to monitor success of the barrier.
Efforts to control the introduction of fish pathogens and minimize their spread within the Great Lakes Basin were coordinated through the Great Lakes Fish Health Committee (GLFHC). Policies and decisions on the inter-lake movement of whirling disease have been discussed extensively by the GLFHC during the past year. The process of determining how private sector input is incorporated into the fish health management decisions is a crucial part of the prevention and control of pathogens within the Great Lakes Basin.
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality - Office of the Great Lakes
Pursuant to the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Species Prevention and Control Act of 1990, Michigan received approval of an ANS state management plan in April 1996. The plan, titled Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Species State Management Plan: A Strategy to Confront Their Spread in Michigan, requests funding of $466,700 over a three-year period to prevent and control the spread of harmful species. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded Michigan a $28,500grant to begin implementation of three priority activities:
- Conduct a comprehensive review of all state statutes, regulations, injunctive relief and penalties pertaining to the possession, transport and control of aquatic nuisance species and develop actions to improve regulations at the state level;
- Review private sector transport, culture and stocking of aquatic organisms (plants and fish) for food, sport, hobby, gardening and biological controls and develop recommendations to minimize the spread of harmful species by these vectors; and
- Develop a procedures handbook for state agencies, counties and townships that conduct activities on or near Michigan waters to prevent the further spread of harmful species.
Through its Office of the Great Lakes, Michigan has initiated these activities, with completion targeted for September 1997.
Moreover, the Governor has allocated $100,000 in state funds in fiscal year 1998 to continue implementation of the Plan. It is anticipated this money will be available for three consecutive years and will provide the resources necessary for enhanced information and education efforts, additional monitoring capabilities, and establishment of a foundation for a long-term commitment to ANS control in Michigan.
In response to a study by the National Research Council, the Office of the Great Lakes initiated a study on the use of non-oxidizing biocides, specifically glutaraldehyde, as a promising means of treating ballast water. The project is being carried out by the Cooperative Institute of Limnology and Ecosystems Research at the University of Michigan with a $20,000 grant from the Michigan Coastal Zone Management Program. Six different aspects of biocide treatment were appraised: (1) the practicability of biocide application; (2) the biological efficacy of the biocide in eliminating target organisms; (3) the health and safety risks associated with biocide use; (4) the potential environmental impacts associated with the release of glutaraldehyde and its residuals; (5) the costs associated with different application scenarios; and (6) the monitoring of ballast water to determine biocide efficacy and ship compliance.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
The Department of Natural Resources (MnDNR) is the lead agency for coordinating efforts to curb the spread of "harmful exotic species" (nonindigenous aquatic species and wild animals) in Minnesota. This is a broad responsibility which includes species such as purple loosestrife, Eurasian watermilfoil, zebra mussels, ruffe, and flowering rush. The state exotic species program, with six full-time and numerous part-time program staff, is funded at a level of $1 million per year. Revenues are generated by a water craft surcharge of $5 per boat (licenses are issued for 3 years).
The program funds are used for control, research, containment, enforcement and public awareness activities. An extensive "Clean boats, Clean waters" public awareness effort was continued during the summer of 1996. It included new public service announcements for radio(distributed to 260 radio stations with air time for the announcements was purchased on radio stations), press releases, displays at fairs and boat shows, and numerous presentations to citizens. A new video about "aquatic exotics" was produced for grade-school age children. The video will be used in exotic species traveling trunks cooperatively developed by Minnesota Sea Grant, the Bell Museum of Natural History and MnDNR.
The program has participated in several activities to contain the spread of aquatic nuisance species. These include collaboration with U.S. F&WS, National Park Service, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WIDNR) and other interested organizations to implement and refine a St. Croix River zebra mussel response plan to help prevent or slow the spread of zebra mussels into the St. Croix River. Seasonal water craft inspectors hired by the MnDNR checked over 42,000 boats entering and exiting infested waters in 1996 and distributed exotic species notices on boat trailers of boaters they were unable to contact. The MnDNR proposed, and the state legislature passed, a statutory prohibition on transporting most aquatic plant species on public roads. The purpose of the law is to deter the transport of zebra mussels on aquatic plants and the transport of harmful aquatic plants such as Eurasian watermilfoil. The state legislature also responded to a proposal from the MnDNR and revised, expanded and consolidated statutes intended to limit the introduction and spread of harmful exotic species. The revised statutes include a comprehensive system to classify exotic species according to the likelihood that a species might become established, their potential negative effects and the potential to control the species. The MnDNR began implementing the new classification system by listing 17 prohibited exotic species that are subject to the state's strongest restrictions on importation, possession, sale or transport.
Eurasian watermilfoil was discovered in five additional lakes. Zebra mussels, ruffe and round goby did not appear to have spread to any inland lakes and rivers in Minnesota. No additional lakes with flowering rush were discovered.
A draft response plan for nonindigenous fish was developed by MnDNR. The plan will help prepare for potential discoveries of nonindigenous species such as ruffe, round goby or rudd in the state's inland waters.
MnDNR continued efforts to manage populations of purple loosestrife, flowering rush and Eurasian watermilfoil. The MnDNR provided funding and technical assistance for management of Eurasian watermilfoil on 48 lakes. Likewise, the MnDNR continued to control purple loosestrife using Integrated Pest Management, an approach that uses both herbicides and biological control insects. Insects were released at 34 new sites and 130 high priority sites were chemically treated.
Research initiatives were continued with the University of Minnesota and Cornell University to further evaluate the potential effectiveness of biological control methods. These studies are currently focused on developing biological control options for purple loosestrife and Eurasian watermilfoil. In addition, the MnDNR concluded a study that evaluated whole-lake fluridone treatments to control Eurasian watermilfoil and the findings are being prepared. The MnDNR investigated the management of curly-leaf pondweed by contracting with an aquatic biologist to conduct a literature review of information about the species.
New York Department of Environmental Conservation
New Yorks Nonindigenous ANS Comprehensive Management Plan was approved by the national ANS Task Force in March 1994. In July 1995, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation received a $68,000 grant under the provisions of P.L. 101-646, the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990. The grant proposal outlined three initiatives: education, ecological/fisheries data collection and bioaccumulation.
Accomplishments in the field of nonindigenous aquatic nuisance species management during 1996 include:
- Completion of the procurement of warning signs for boat launches. Signs are now being made available to any lake association, marina or boat launch site that would like one. The signs warn boaters about the potential for inadvertently transporting and introducing Eurasian watermilfoil, water chestnut and zebra mussels.
- Purchase of 1,000 copies of the Biological Invasions brochure, produced by the Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species. The brochures are being distributed to the general public to provide basic information and education about nonindigenous aquatic nuisance species issues through the Department of Environmental Conservations nine regional offices.
- Completion of a second year of data collection on the impacts of zebra mussel colonization of New Yorks Finger Lakes. Data is being collected on a range of water quality and biological parameters from eight of New Yorks Finger Lakes that are in various stages of zebra mussel colonization. The data will be used to guide fisheries managers in understanding the changes to the lakes since zebra mussels were introduced and how those changes should be factored in to strategic fisheries management decisions.
- Participation in the Lake Champlain Zebra Mussel Task Force. Under the auspices of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Lake Champlain Basin Program, New York participated actively with the Lake Champlain Zebra Mussel Task Force. The task forces function is to provide education and assistance to state agencies, businesses, sportsmen associations and private citizens impacted by the introduction of zebra mussels in Lake Champlain. The task force is expanding its mandate to address all ANS species, and is in the process of preparing an ANS plan under the provisions of the National Invasive Species Act of 1996.
- Participation with the Chesapeake Bay ANS program. The U.S. EPA Chesapeake Bay Program, in conjunction with Maryland and Virginia, developed an ANS policy for the Chesapeake Bay watershed, of which New York is a part. Part of that policy called for the establishment of an ad hoc panel to review any proposed introductions of nonindigenous aquatic species within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Although New York has not formally signed the policy, New York was invited to participate on an ad hoc panel evaluating the proposed introduction of triploid pacific oysters into the Chesapeake Bay.
- A no-cost time extension was approved so that remaining grant funds not utilized in 1996could be used in 1997. Funds remained primarily because of a statewide hiring freeze (see "problems" discussion below).
Problems related to ANS activities encountered in 1996:
- In order to reduce overall spending statewide, hiring freezes were imposed in New York. This adversely impacted the ANS program because seasonal technicians could not be hired to conduct the extensive field sampling for the Finger Lakes project. The bulk of the remaining money in the ANS grant had been programmed for hiring seasonal technicians, and that money went unspent. Fortunately, the most essential sampling for program continuity was completed by fisheries technicians.
- The bioaccumulation project begun in 1995 was unsuccessfully terminated. Inadequate goldeneye tissue samples were collected for analysis, and only a few zebra mussel samples from the areas used by the goldeneye were collected. Because of the hiring freeze, seasonal technicians could not be hired to properly collect, store and transport zebra mussel samples from around the state. Technicians from other programs could not be diverted to do the collections, so the project was dropped. It appears that bioaccumulation research is being more adequately addressed by university and college research efforts.
Plans for FY 1997:
An ambitious set of goals has been established for FY 1997. Because hiring seasonal staff still remains difficult, the remaining funds will be used to purchase equipment, supplies, and materials for use by existing programs working on ANS issues. Some of the anticipated plans include:
- Underwriting the production of a high quality ANS display in the New York State Museum.
- Purchase of sampling gear for the Lake Erie Fisheries Unit. They are investigating the impact of zebra mussel colonization of lake trout spawning shoals.
- Purchase of expendable supplies and materials to support the continuation of the Finger Lakes ANS project (data collections by fisheries staff).
- Purchase of postage to cover the mailing and distribution of warning signs throughout the state.
- Purchase of several microscopes for units involved with ANS monitoring, nonindigenous aquatic macrophyte identification, zebra mussel veliger monitoring and phytoplankton assessment studies in zebra mussel-impacted waters.
- Purchase or production of a colored brochure for use by boaters and sportsmen for identifying nonindigenous aquatic macrophytes.
- Production of a zebra mussel identification "kit" for lakeshore property owners. This activity is a component of a New York citizens lake water quality monitoring program.
- Purchase of supplies and materials needed by New Yorks fish hatcheries for monitoring hatchery water for zebra mussels, and for ensuring that zebra mussel veligers are not distributed inadvertently by fish stocking.
In the summer of 1997, the Department of Environmental Conservation also is evaluating the possibility of underwriting a demonstration project for capturing, culturing and stocking weevils that feed upon and provide biological control of Eurasian watermilfoil. This proposal is still in the discussion stages.
The activities planned for 1997 should completely expend the remaining funds in the U.S. F&WS ANS grant. Plans will be made this summer to continue ANS activities. Due to the limited funds available, a proposal has not been submitted for a new grant for FY 1998.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR)
Ohio's Draft State Management Plan for Aquatic Nuisance Species was completed in April 1996 and mailed to more than 60 organizations and entities for public review. Comments were then reviewed and incorporated into the state plan. The final draft plan was completed in September 1996 and submitted to the ANS Task Force. Ohio's plan was formally approved by the ANS Task Force in January 1997. The plan follows a model plan developed from a 1995 workshop hosted by the Great Lakes Commission in cooperation with the Michigan Coastal Zone Management Program. Coordinated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife in conjunction with six other state entities, the plan includes an overview of the seriousness of nonindigenous species; ANS policy background (federal, regional, and state roles); Ohio's related authorities and programs; and recommended actions (specific tasks) for the prevention, control and abatement of harmful nonindigenous aquatic species.
A work plan comprised of three projects for implementing the state plan was also developed for consideration for federal funding under the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990. A $25,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was awarded for the projects in June 1997. Projects funded by the grant and matching state money include: 1) regional and national coordination of ANS issues; 2) interagency and interest group coordination of Ohio ANS strategies; and 3) the assessment and development of ANS information and education materials. Current activities include the review of existing state legislation and policies, the formation of an advisory council, the development of a five-year work plan, the evaluation of existing Ohio ANS monitoring programs, and the review of existing ANS related materials.
Since the discovery of round goby in Lake Erie, the Ohio Division of Wildlife (ODW) has researched the abundance, range expansion, fish community, diet, sex ratio, age structure and potential predators (i.e. walleye, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, white bass, etc.) of round gobies. In August 1994, round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) were collected for the first time in the central basin of Lake Erie by ODW bottom trawl surveys. These fish were collected from a small area west of the Grand River harbor estuary in 7 to 11 meters of water. Since the initial discovery, round goby catch rates (ODW trawl surveys) and range expansion have increasedsignificantly. Catch rates in the central basin of Lake Erie have increased from 2 fish per trawl-hour in August 1994 to 414 fish per trawl-hour in October of 1996. Round gobies were in the top five catch rates in every monthly trawl survey in 1996. The range expansion of round gobies extended across Ohio waters of Lake Erie (ODW trawls) by October of 1996. In the central basin of Lake Erie, round gobies migrated offshore following lake turnover in October. Round gobies have also been collected in Pennsylvania trawl surveys and by Ohio and Canadian anglers, indicating the spread of round gobies throughout Lake Erie by 1996.
Round gobies have exemplified size-selective predation and appear to be feeding exclusively on zebra mussels. Gobies do not have a planktonic feeding stage but are more opportunistic at smaller sizes. Studies have indicated that the sex ratio of round gobies is correlated to year class strength. When the ratio of males to females is low (1.1-1.4), the survival rate is 70-93 percent. This ratio and survival rate will be examined closely with future year classes, as the percentage of female gobies has increased from 0-40 percent. Three year classes of round gobies have been documented since 1994 and the age structure is comprised of an increasing number of larger fish, indicating a more mature and stable population. Round gobies were not found in the diet of predators in 1995. In 1996, the only fish to consume round gobies were smallmouth bass, with 11 out of 121 having fed on round gobies. The consumption of gobies by smallmouth bass was discrete to the month of July and to an area off Geneva, Ohio, in central-basin Lake Erie. The ODW will continue to monitor goby expansion, diet, age structure, sex ratios, and to determine if predators begin utilizing the increasing goby population as a food source. A final report in the form of a publication summarizing the findings will be prepared.
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) is the lead agency with respect to many nonindigenous species issues within the province. In 1996, efforts concentrated on communications/ awareness initiatives and background work on a Provincial Nonindigenous Species Strategy. Monitoring programs for nonindigenous species in inland lakes and cooperative research programs on impacts continued in 1996.
The nonindigenous species outreach partnership between the OMNR and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) continued in 1996. The partnership consists of a toll-free Invading Species Hotline, the Zebra Busters Boatwash Program and Project Purple. The public uses the hotline to report sightings and to obtain information about zebra mussels and other nonindigenous species. The hotline distributes thousands of brochures and other materials to the public each year and keeps a central record of nonindigenous species distribution in the province. The Boatwash Program is a mobile wash station and crew that visits numerous locations around the province each summer to demonstrate to the public proper ways of removing zebra mussels and other exotic species from boats. Project Purple promotes community involvement in controlling and slowing the spread of purple loosestrife. The OFAH initiated an invading species web site in 1996 (http://www.ofah.org/invsp.htm).
The OMNR has been involved in several additional initiatives related to nonindigenous species in 1996. The OMNR participated on a national committee that developed a generic risk analysis protocol for exotic fish introductions. The OMNR is actively involved with the Ruffe Control Committee and implementation of the associated control program. Ontario's new aquaculture policies were implemented in 1996 and are currently being reviewed. The OMNR is helping to support research on the biological control of purple loosestrife being carried out at the University of Guelph. Some Ontario sites have shown very promising results. Plans for 1997 include evaluating the effectiveness of nonindigenous species communications/awareness efforts, evaluating the risks associated with the live food-fish industry, and reducing the risks associated with the use of baitfish.
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
The Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) continues to coordinate a statewide zebra mussel monitoring program using private industry, water utilities, power generators, academic institutions and government agencies in a cooperative network. This network consists of approximately 160 monitoring sites scattered throughout the states major river basins and public lakes. Recent sampling indicates ongoing zebra mussel colonization in the Presque Isle section of Lake Erie. Additionally, recent monitoring has noted that several fish species may be feeding on zebra mussels and that quagga mussel populations appear to be increasing, especially in depths greater than 12 feet.
New reports also verify sparse zebra mussel populations in the Ohio and Monongahela rivers, indicating a slight range expansion in southwestern Pennsylvania. However, zebra mussel densities remain relatively low in the infested river systems.
As improved education is key to controlling the spread of invasive species, fisheries personnel have been alerted to the pending threat of invasion by the Eurasian ruffe. Pennsylvania has also prepared and distributed a zebra mussel poster for display in marinas and an information sheet for boaters.
In the spring of 1996, PA DEP initiated a review of its Zebra Mussel Treatment and Control Policy. This review was used to de-emphasize the use of chemicals during treatment and control activities, as well as expedite the permitting process for chemical treatment.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is investigating methods and approaches to protect fish culture stations from zebra mussel colonization. They continue to require permits for the use of grass carp in aquatic vegetation control programs. The commission is very concerned with restraining the introduction of grass carp and other nonindigenous fish species.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
The Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for coordinating activities on aquatic nuisance species. A number of programs within the WIDNR manage individual aquatic nuisance species. The Bureau of Watershed Management deals with management issues related to zebra mussels; the Bureau of Fisheries Management and Habitat Protection coordinates activities on Eurasian watermilfoil, ruffe, carp, rusty crayfish and sea lamprey; and the Bureau of Wildlife Management manages issues on purple loosestrife.
The WIDNRs primary focus in 1996, as in past years, has been on education. Brochures,pamphlets, signs, workshops and public service announcements are the principle ways the agency educates the Wisconsin public, particularly boaters and fishermen, on the precautions they should take to avoid transporting invasive aquatic nuisance species. The WIDNR also focuses on increasing the publics understanding of the importance of maintaining natural ecosystems to preserve native plant and animal species.
The WIDNR has established monitoring programs that track the spread of Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels in Wisconsin. Approximately 75 inland lakes in 39 of the states 72 counties have Eurasian watermilfoil, and 10 inland lakes in six counties have zebra mussels. For the first time in three years, no new zebra mussel sightings were reported in 1996 on any inland Wisconsin waters.
Ruffe have now expanded their range into Michigan waters of Lake Superior and into Lake Huron. In cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, WIDNR continues to monitor the eastward expansion of the ruffe in Lake Superior. Wisconsins efforts are focused on preventing the spread of the ruffe to inland waters and waters adjoining the Great Lakes. The WIDNR will not use chemicals to control the range expansion of the ruffe because the agency has determined that it would be ineffective.
Wisconsins control efforts on nuisance aquatics in 1996 have focused on two species Eurasian watermilfoil and purple loosestrife. In a study initiated in the spring of 1996, the WIDNR stocked weevils in several Wisconsin lakes to evaluate their effectiveness in controlling Eurasian watermilfoil. This study will continue in 1997. The WIDNR is also determining the distribution of the weevil in inland Wisconsin lakes. A second control program is aimed at curbing the spread of purple loosestrife in Wisconsin. The WIDNR, in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin, U.S. F&WS, USDA, and private individuals or organizations, released approximately 55,000 leaf-eating beetles and 2,000 root weevil eggs in the summer of 1996 at 19 sites in Wisconsin.
In 1996, the state legislature passed legislation making it illegal to launch or operate a watercraft with attached zebra mussels in the lower St. Croix River. This legislation is part of a joint interstate program directed at boat operators that will help prevent the transport of zebra mussels from the Mississippi River (an infested waterbody) to the St. Croix (an uninfested waterbody).
Private Environment/User Groups
Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council
The Great Lakes Sport Fishing Council (GLSFC) continues to be involved in the process of attempting to control exotics both in the Great Lakes Basin and beyond, and is concerned about the expansion of existing exotics as well as the introductions of new ones. The GLSFC continues to work with multi-level governing agencies to inform and educate the recreational sport fishing community about exotics; is an active member of the Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species, Ruffe Control Committee, and Chicago Waterway Barrier Committee; and works closely with the national ANS Task Force.
To better promote and educate the angling community of the Great Lakes Basin, the GLSFC initiated an Internet site, located at www.great-lakes.org, in May 1996.
The site consists of top weekly regional fishing news stories, monthly news briefs from the GLSFCs print newsletter and a complete list of public tournaments in the Basin. The site is divided into state pages with information on fishing opportunities within each state, message boards to post local events or reports, angler photo galleries and weather information such as marine forecasts, wind directions, and lake surface temperatures. The site has an image map link to these areas at the top of each state page. For anglers seeking to contact other anglers within a state, GLSFC has provided links to personal pages of angler fishing sites, along with club member and charter captain profiles.
For a broader regional perspective, visitors may link to state fishery departments, federal agencies and commissions, Sea Grant offices, U.S. F&WS offices, on-line, fishery-related newsletters and research papers, non-indigenous species updates, and a list of issues facing the sport fishing industry.
Anglers are concerned about nonindigenous species. The GLSFCs Internet site is linked to many nonindigenous species sites, and anglers frequently e-mail with reports of sightings. Other concerns include the increased number of sticklebacks in Lake Michigan, phosphorus reductions and their relationship to the food chain in Lakes Ontario and Erie, and a growing concern over the lack of smelt. The GLSFCs Webmaster forwards all such inquires to the appropriate state agencies.
Great Lakes United
This organization did not submit an update for the annual report. For information on their ANS activities, contact:
Panel representative Ed Michael
Great Lakes United
223 Barberry Rd.
Highland Park, IL 60035
Chippewa-Ottawa Treaty Fishery Management Authority
Aquatic Nuisance Species Control Activities:
The Chippewa-Ottawa Treaty Fishery Management Authority (COTFMA) was created to manage and regulate the treaty fishery sections of northern Lake Michigan, southeastern Lake Superior and northern Lake Huron, as defined by the 1836 Treaty in Michigan. The tribes represented by COTFMA are the Bay Mills Indian Community, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The Inter-Tribal Fisheries and Assessment Program (ITFAP) is the biological division of COTFMA which has the primary responsibilities of assembling catch statistics, recommending harvest quotas and conducting fish quality research. Summarized below are areas of research that involve aquatic nuisance species.
Sea Lamprey Population Assessments:
ITFAP conducted a mark-recapture study in Albany Creek, Mackinac County, Michigan todetermine the number of spawning-phase sea lamprey ascending the river system to spawn in 1997. This effort was a cooperative project with the U.S. F&WS Sea Lamprey Control Station in Marquette, Mich. U.S. F&WS supplied trapping equipment and ITFAP provided the personnel required the trapping data. A total of 151 lamprey were captured between May 3 and June 28, 1997.
ITFAP also assisted staff of the Sea Lamprey Control Program with operation of an electric weir on the Carp River, Mackinac County, Mich. ITFAP staff assisted with assessments using fike nets set at points above and below the weir in order to determine if the barrier hampers the passage of other anadromous fish to spawning areas further upstream.
In the summer of 1996, ITFAP assisted in a multi-agency effort to determine the effectiveness of lampricides in the St. Marys River. ITFAP personnel took part in dye studies to determine the rate of dispersal, current patterns and other physical characteristics in the river. Results of this study have determined that a full-scale treatment of the river is not feasible. Other methods of lamprey control in the river are currently being assessed.
Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission
The Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) continues to be involved in control, management and research of four exotic species: purple loosestrife, sea lamprey, ruffe and zebra mussels. GLIFWC has been investigating purple loosestrife control techniques since 1988. The studies have led to a specific strategy for control of loosestrife in Fish Creek Sloughs and other key wetlands of value to the Commission's 11 member tribes. A more general control strategy for loosestrife in northern Wisconsin also has been developed.
In 1996, GLIFWC conducted purple loosestrife surveys and mapped distribution in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Stand areas and plant densities were estimated. The data provide a basis for systematic monitoring of loosestrife infestation and for evaluating control measures. Control and cleanup using herbicides continued or was initiated. A Geographic Information System (GIS) is being used to map, display and analyze loosestrife distribution and other survey information.
GLIFWC and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (U.S. FWS) sea lamprey control personnel have had a cooperative project since 1986 to annually gather information on adult, spawning-phase sea lamprey from select Lake Superior tributaries. Biological data are collected and mark-recapture estimates of abundance are made. These estimates, in turn, are pooled with others to estimate overall abundance of adult lamprey in U.S. waters of Lake Superior and to generally assess the effectiveness of control efforts.
Another cooperative project with the U.S. FWS to evaluate the effectiveness of fish predation on controlling numbers of ruffe ended in 1994. During this four-year research study, GLIFWC crews analyzed stomach contents of predators in the St. Louis River and estuary. Results indicated that fish predation was ineffective in controlling ruffe. In 1995 and 1996, GLIFWC and the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa conducted an inventory of the fish community in the Kakagon River and Sloughs. Ruffe have been found in these waters and their impact will be assessed through periodic surveys. GLIFWC also participates on the Ruffe Control Committee and co-occupies a seat on the ANS Task Force.
Since 1992, GLIFWC has been a member of the St. Croix River Zebra Mussel Task Force, a multi-agency team aimed at preventing the spread of zebra mussels and protecting native mussels in the St. Croix River and watershed. Survey work includes assessing abundance, distribution and habitat preferences of mussels in select areas. GLIFWC has conducted similar surveys with a focus on native species in other rivers. Also, GLIFWC was on the steering committee which developed a national strategy for imperiled mussels and serves on the National Native Mussel Conservation Committee which was created to implement this strategy.
City of Monroe
The city did not submit an update for the annual report. For information on their ANS activities, contact:
Panel representative the City of Monroe
915 E. Front St.
Monroe, MI &nbp;48161
Council of Great Lakes Industries
This organization did not submit an update for the annual report. For information on their ANS activities, contact:
Panel representative the Council of Great Lakes Industries
1968 Green Rd.
P.O. Box 134006
Ann Arbor, MI 48113-4006
This public utility did not submit an update for the annual report. For information on their ANS activities, contact:
Panel representative William Kovalak, Biologist
Warren Service Center
6100 W. Warren
Detroit, MI 48210
Lake Carriers Association
This organization did not submit an update for the annual report. For information on their ANS activities, contact:
Panel representative George J. Ryan, President
Lake Carriers' Association
614 Superior Ave. West
915 Rockefeller Building
Cleveland, OH 44113-1383
This public utility did not submit an update for the annual report. For information on their ANS activities, contact:
Panel representative Renata Claudi, Senior Engineer
595 Bay St., Room A7A4
Toronto, ONT M5G 2C2
Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research
This organization did not submit an update for the annual report. For information on their ANS activities, contact:
Panel representative Dr. Guy Meadows
Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research
4109 IST Bldg.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Since 1988, the six programs that make up the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network have sponsored Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) research and conducted outreach programming to meet regional and national needs. Sea Grant outreach staff in Illinois-Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin have organized conferences, conducted workshops, developed electronic information systems and produced publications and news stories designed to inform and educate specific user groups affected by infestations of ANS.
The Great Lakes programs are among 29 that form the National Sea Grant College Program within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Sea Grant has played an important role in the region by identifying ANS issues of greatest concern to water users and forming partnerships with other agencies and organizations to most effectively respond to the expressed needs. The Network Programs have maximized dollars spent and minimized programming overlap through their cooperative work with the Great Lakes Panel; federal agencies, such as the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. EPA, National Park Service and NOAA-GLERL; and with state, provincial and local natural resource management agencies. Below is a selected list of Great Lakes Sea Grant Network ANS-related activities.
Nonindigenous Species Research
The network continues to support outstanding research on ANS and has developed a special Internet site for this information -- www.sgnis.org. The Sea Grant Nonindigenous Species Site (SGNIS) is a peer-reviewed national information center that contains a comprehensive, searchable, collection of research publications and education materials produced by the National Sea Grant College Program.
Sea Grant Network Services
New York Sea Grant operates a Zebra Mussel Information Clearinghouse, providing easy access to the most current research, technological and policy information on biology, spread, impact and control of zebra mussels and related biological macrofoulers.
Michigan Sea Grant operates a graphics library of slides, photos and illustrations of nonindigenous species. These materials are available to all interested media, schools, agencies and organizations.
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant developed a curriculum-based Zebra Mussel Mania Traveling Trunk, in conjunction with the Illinois Rivers Project at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. Created for nationwide use in 5th and 6th grade classrooms, the trunk integrates science, math, social studies, English and other subject areas in its 10 activities.
Minnesota Sea Grant developed the Exotic Aquatics Traveling Trunk, in conjunction with theBell Museum of Natural History and the National Park Service. The Traveling Trunk is filled with museum-quality artifacts, along with a user guide for students (grades 6-12) in environmental education settings.
Brunswick Marine has contributed over $100,000 in printing costs for nonindigenous fact sheets written by Network programs (over 1.5 million documents). More than 200 agencies and associations in the U.S. and Canada distribute these publications.
Reaching Out to New Stakeholders
The Network has undertaken several initiatives to reach out to new stakeholders. In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Extension Service, the New York and Minnesota Sea Grant programs coordinated a national teleconference which educated Cooperative Extension field staff and other audiences in 17 states about zebra mussel issues; Illinois-Indiana and Minnesota Sea Grant programs held training sessions to furnish extension educators with timely, research-based information on zebra mussels, including monitoring efforts, dispersal mechanisms and potential control measures; and a citizen monitoring program for inland waterways has been developed and is being coordinated by Minnesota Sea Grant in collaboration with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Michigan and Wisconsin Sea Grant programs.
In December 1990, Ohio Sea Grant sponsored the first research conference on zebra mussels. Since then the Network has convened several conferences and workshops to disseminate research information and has provided a forum for technology transfer. Each program has hosted a conference with the Network cooperativing with Canadian scientists to alternate conferences between the U.S. and Canada. The most recent International Conference left the region for the first time and met in New Orleans. Michigan Sea Grant continues to assist local industries with local conferences and recently attracted more than 150 industrial and municipal water users to receive information on the latest control research results. Ohio Sea Grant invited power plant and water treatment plan personnel to share case studies of promising control strategies at a workshop in March 1995 and is repeating the effort in 1997. Minnesota and Wisconsin Sea Grant programs sponsored several conferences for inland water users on the upper Mississippi River. Also, Minnesota and Michigan Sea Grant held an informational briefing for fish farmers and fisheries management personnel to inform them of zebra mussel threats to the aquaculture and bait harvest industry.
Minnesota and Michigan Sea Grant programs co-sponsored an International Ruffe Research Symposium in early 1997 in cooperation with six universities in the region. The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant program conducted a round goby conference in February 1996 in conjunction with the Illinois Natural History Survey.
Outside the Great Lakes region, Sea Grant staff continued to help other regions prepare for the zebra mussel invasion. Wisconsin Sea Grant distributed thousands of zebra mussel identification cards and Aquatic Exotic catalogs of Sea Grant outreach information to invaded inland states and Atlantic coast states. Ohio Sea Grant has continued to produce annual reports documenting research and outreach activities.
Activities conducted and publications produced by the Great Lakes Sea Grant Programs (Illinois-Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin) are available by contacting their offices directly.
National Biological Survey - Cooperative Research Unit
This organization did not submit an update for the annual report. For information on their ANS activities, contact:
ANS Panel representative Dr. Bruce Vondracek
Assistant Unit Leader - Fisheries
MN Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit
University of Minnesota
200 Hodson Hall
St. Paul, MN 55108