Lake Champlain Fisheries Meeting Summary for January 2006
1. 2006 Stocking Discussion.
Handout of stocking commitment by Tom Wiggins. Do we substitute potential VT surplus yearling BT in place of LLS yearlings diverted from other NY waters to Champlain to make up for short supply of yearling salmon?
- Preference to not further reduce salmon - Schoch
- If VT has surplus BT, Doug Stang (NY) will decide whether to restore (where and how many) some of the LLS that were being diverted from other NY waters, or potentially substitute them with browns.
2. Landlocked salmon.
- Landlocked salmon at White River National Fish Hatchery are very large. VTFW may stock them in lower rivers with hope of over-wintering success and imprinting. OK with committee - may be further discussion in house (VTFW).
3. Pittsford a LT production facility.
- The Coop. should give this some thought for the day when Allegheny gets back on line. This discussion has taken place before. Still depends on ultimate future of Pittsford - hard to predict.
4. GLFC Funds.
- G. Neuderfer has purchased new fluorimeter. He wants to use unspent seasonal funds (approx $2K) to hire a chemist to write an SOP for the new fluorimeter. OK with committee. Dave T. talked about seasonal techs for delta surveys and trapping. 3 six month, 1 three month openings will be listed using GLFC monies.
5. AFS 2006 Lake Placid.
- Lamprey symposium idea has been kicked around. Symposium proposal needs to be submitted to AFS Program folks. Now up to 6-7 papers. Need 20 to fully populate a symposium session. Brian said Mike Jones lab has many students - likely to meet goal of 20. Gavin would be good for keynote as would Gerry Barnhart. Get names/topics to Bill ASAP. Donna suggested getting notice on AFS list serv to see if others out there might want to submit. Ellen suggested going through SLIS II for names/candidates. Bill/Brad/Donna/Ellen will talk.
6. Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conf. Burlington April 23-26.
- Deadline passed but still looking for presentations. Send abstracts to Rod Wentworth if interested. Brian passed out abstract of panel discussion. "Panel is likely sitting here." VTFW will be sending press releases to build local interest in this and Lake Placid lamprey symposium.
7. Alewife workshop.
- Malchoff reviewed the draft agenda that was mailed to the group yesterday. Marsden lead a discussion of questions for panelists. Some discussion of the degree of challenge to speakers to somehow gain expertise/familiarity with Lake Champlain limnology/ecology prior to their presentation. Group discussed various resources that could be sent to speakers including: a) LCBP Atlas; b) One page overview of ANS in Marsden and Hauser manuscript; c) Pertinent stuff from lamprey EIS. Malchoff will track down documents/URL addresses and forward to speakers. Lisa Windhausen discussed registration.
8. Strain Evaluation.
- Handout given. Do we need more strain evaluation? Madeleine - this not enough to confirm Sebago. However, VTFW is happy with Sebagos. Group - "What would it take to have enough info to decide?" Need more data over more years, including older fish. NY may move away from Little Clear strain in favor of Sebago. Discussion of creel census data and lamprey wounding as criteria also. Still need to mark all fish 'cause some sebagos stocked as smolts, some will be stocked as fry.
9. Wounding rates.
- Lake trout overall, small sample size, 64 in 533-633 mm range, mostly Grand Isle, 94% wounds (up from 62 % in 2004). Whallon Bay 54% (53 in 2004), Grand Isle 104% (74 in 2004). Why different rates in different areas of lake? Wide ranging discussion of implications of this bad news. Post treatment assessment of treatment effectiveness will be done with new technicians.
- Lake trout sampling in fall, 2005 resulted in a small sample size with only 64 fish collected in the 533-633 mm range (Grand Isle, n=49; Whalon Bay=15). A wounding rate of 94 wounds per 100 fish was calculated (up from 62 in 2004). If the wounding rate is analyzed by sampling site: Whallon Bay 54 wounds (53 in 2004), Grand Isle 104 wounds per 100 fish (74 in 2004). Why different rates in different areas of lake? Wide-ranging discussion of implications of this bad news. Post treatment assessment of treatment effectiveness will be done with new technicians.
10. Sea Lamprey Alternative Workgroup update.
- Good idea for good faith effort to convene group and talk about ideas, options, etc. It's been a successful effort lead by C. Martin. Bigger question .... now what. Short answer - we (USFWS alone) can't do it (i.e. keep it going). Policy Committee (Doug, Eric, Dave) want to keep it moving forward. Ellen will chair next Alternatives Workgroup meeting to pose question - how do we keep Alternatives Workgroup viable. Meeting date will be May/June.
11. Strategic Plan.
- Another current gap previously lead by Craig Martin. Outline exists, and has been modified by policy committee. Ellen indicated much of this text exists and can be lifted. Mark offered to help with public input IF the group desires this. Group seemed to agree that no agency currently positioned to take lead on this. Previous "writing" committee included Craig, Bernie, Lance, and Ellen. What are consequences of not having a plan? Chet - needs an individual to lead the effort. Broad guideline could be circulated to re-start the process (Ellen). Perhaps call it guiding principals vs. strategic plan. Ellen will send strategic plan/guiding principals draft to Bill for circulation w/ minutes. File will be reviewed at next tech committee meeting for strategy on how to proceed. Lead=Bill Schoch.
12. Policy Committee meeting.
- Next meeting will likely occur in field season. Agenda items will include lamprey wounding issue, and Poultney River treatment 2007/2008.
13. Lamoille River update.
- No progress since last meeting.
14. Cormorant fact sheet.
- No progress since last meeting. Mark still has draft questions for fact sheet and will circulate a draft prior to next meeting.
15. FWS as permittee for Lewis Creek.
- USFWS will not be permittee, but USFWS would like to work to help streamline the process.
16. Poultney River permitting.
- DEC has contacted APA to ask if they will be exerting jurisdiction on lamprey treatment. Apparently answer is yes. Bill will schedule meeting with APA. No progress in VT. Brian - It would be good to assemble walleye wounding rate for use in the permit application.
17. Annual Reports.
- Lance is still missing some info 2004 (salmonid data); has circulated 2003 report. Dave suggested max length of document as 10 pages. Bill moved we declare 2004 done, unless strong objections. Deadline for 2005 material to Lance is February 10. After 2/10 Lance is authorized to bug folks aggressively.
18. Tench- experimental commercial fishery on the Richelieu.
- Pierre reported that Quebec has proposal from commercial fisherman to establish experimental commercial fishery on the Richelieu. Fishery has been around for 13 years, catching hundreds of pounds now. Only three fishermen will be allowed to fish. Reporting system will be incorporated. Market is for human consumption. If tench really become commercially viable, it increases human interest and potential for establishment of new populations. However, there is currently no downward pressure on tench population. A directed fishery may help limit tench population growth/distribution. Dave has similar comments from ANS sub-committee, and will finalize/submit to Pierre in January. Comments will reflect need for no live transport, and caution about greater potential for spread. Quebec has no firm timeline, but figures to have regs in place by spring. Dave will copy fish tech with draft comments from ANS sub-committee
19. Lamprey barriers.
- Lance - hope to hire Curt Orvis from USFWS for work on little Ausable lamprey barrier design. Morpion Stream - Brad will chat with Pierre about scheduling meeting with stakeholders to review engineering report and begin process of construction. Permit applications not yet submitted.
20. VT Regs change.
- No limit on yellow perch. No live possession of fish in a means to keep them alive, except bait.