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Lake Champlain Fisheries Meeting Summary for July 2002

July 31, 2002

1. Water Resources Development Act

The US Army Corps has built lamprey barriers in the Great Lakes with funding from this program. Non-Federal sponsors are required to come up with a 25% match.

The Corps has also conducted habitat modification projects. Removal of the Swanton Dam may be an option under this program. Questions were raised as to whether the Swanton Dam should come out, and whether the Corps could work on a private dam.

  • Dave Tilton will try to arrange for a representative from the Corps to attend the next Technical Committee Meeting to discuss this program and its applicability to Lake Champlain.

2. Pike River status.

  • Dave T. has made contact with representatives in the Quebec Ministry of the Environment and the Canadian federal government (the Canadian agency equivalent to the USFWS).
  • A variety of possible local (Quebec) and federal contacts were discussed. The Canadian federal role may be to offer information on the Great Lakes program from the Canadian perspective.
  • The appropriate Quebec staff should be provided with a schedule of this fall's treatments so they can observe the treatments.
  • Dave T. will do a presentation at the Lake Champlain Basin Program Steering Committee in November. Quebec is represented on that committee.
  • Dave T. will contact Kenny Miller, a former Basin Program person, about possible, additional local contacts.
  • Craig will spearhead putting together an outline of reasons for treating the Pike River, include benefits to Quebec.

3. Lawsuit update.

  • The judge asked several questions about the EPA letter and Dioxin, but he noted that these may be more of a political issue than a legal issue.
  • Our lawyers intend to provide the judge with additional information.
  • The judge is aware of our anticipated treatment schedule for this fall. A decision is likely prior to the planned treatment dates.

4. Scheduling and staffing for this fall's lamprey treatments.

  • Vermont sent a list of possible staff to Gary Neuderfer. Additional staff can be provided, if needed.
  • FWS can provide Wayne, Madeleine, Steve Smith, Dave N., and Nick (Eric for a few days). Wayne will collect ammocoetes for pre-treatment bioassays. Ellen Marsden can provide volunteers to assist with non-target collections
  • Those present considered September 18th acceptable as the application date for Putnam Creek, but Gary Neuderfer may schedule that application on the 19th.
  • Pending issuance of the permit, Lewis Creek will be scheduled soon after the NY streams.
  • How will reservations for lodging be handled?

5. Permits for treatments in fall of 2002.

  • he Endangered Species and Aquatic Nuisance permits for Lewis Creek are on hold pending results from the fragile papershell toxicity testing.
  • The Lewis Creek permit may be issued by mid-September, but then a 21-day appeal period may apply.
  • NY expects to have the necessary permits prior to September 9. Both the DEC and APA permits will be one-time extensions of the previous permits; they will not be long term permits.

6. Stocking.

  • Brian & Bill need to develop a summary for 2003.
  • Tagging & clipping of salmon:
  • LV, RV, and Ad clips will be used for the strain study.
  • Vermont will either double clip, or use a clip in combination with coded wire tags, for Sebago strain egg-take purposes.
  • Craig will look into costs of coded wire tags.

7. Deepwater electrofishing.

  • The Salmon, Little AuSable, and AuSable deltas are being sample this year.
  • Dave N. passed out a written summary of techniques.
  • Ammocoete abundances are apparently low in the Salmon and Little AuSable deltas. Pockets of abundance being detected in the AuSable delta.
  • The quality of data needed was discussed. Consensus is that we need improved statistical reliability for 2 reasons: The present level of effort may miss pockets of ammocoetes; and there is a need to quantify lamprey production from deltas relative to the various rivers.
  • A second boat is needed to obtain data with reasonable statistical confidence limits. Dave has obtained a suitable hull from the Great Lakes, but it needs to be outfitted. Outfitting a second boat is in the proposed budget.

8. Alternative control techniques.

  • Craig passed out, and discussed, several handouts including: the quarterly report to the Basin Program; two references on modeling (Crouse et al. 1987 and Crowder et al. 1994); draft meeting minutes from the April 19, 2002 Alternatives Working Group; and Design Criteria for Permanent Traps.

9. Toxicity testing.

  • The mudpuppies being held at the Rome lab are experiencing high mortality rates.
  • Fragile papershell testing is in progress.
  • Efforts to collect quillbacks were unsuccessful.

10. Lamprey tagging.

  • Eric and Ellen provided a handout summarizing the status of the study.
  • A total of 2,653 lamprey were tagged; 411 parasitic phase sea lamprey, including 3 with tags, have been returned to date.
  • Public outreach to obtain returns is going well. An abundance of additional returns are anticipated during late summer and early fall.

11. Tench are apparently abundant in northern portions of Lake Champlain.

12. Annual report.

  • A draft outline for an annual report has been provided to committee members.
  • In the annual report, summaries of research can be nested under the most appropriate topic for each study (e.g.: the salmonid strain study would be included under Salmonid Management).
  • In addition to the topics listed in the draft outline, the annual report should include a brief outline of work anticipated for the next year.

13. Walleye: Chet may be able to help NY with spring walleye trap netting on South Bay. His ability to assist would be contingent on several conditions including ongoing commitments and staffing available early next spring.

14. The next meeting will be held on October 16, 2002.

15. Our thanks and congratulations to Angie Incerpi. He left the meeting, got on his bike, and rode into retirement!

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