Preliminary Proceedings of the 2008 Great Lakes Lake Sturgeon Coordination Meeting


Lake sturgeon headThe 2008 Great Lakes Lake Sturgeon Coordination Meeting was held December 3-4, 2008 in Port Huron, Michigan. Funded by the Great Lakes Fishery Trust.


Great Lakes Lake Sturgeon Coordination Meeting, December 3-4, 2008


Breakout Group Reporting - DRAFT

Management Plan Breakout


Example GOALS

Dorsal Fin Group:

Foster connections between people and lake sturgeon to maintain enhance and rehabilitate self
sustaining populations where they historically occurrence.

Re-establish lake sturgeon as the primary benthivore in nearshore areas to stabilize ecosystem
integrity.


Upper Caudal Fin Group:

To promote self sustaining lake sturgeon populations by maintaining intact and rehabilitating
degraded ecosystems while instituting a societal eco-ethic.

To promote self sustaining lake sturgeon populations by maintaining intact and rehabilitating
degraded ecosystems while incorporating responsible stewardship, traditional native values and
ownership of the resource.


Lower Caudal Fin Group:

To protect, enhance, and rehabilitate lake sturgeon to achieve self sustaining populations and
their habitats to historic range for the benefit of the Great Lakes ecosystem and all its interested
parties.

To promote research to fill data gaps.


Anal Fin Group:

To establish abundant self sustaining populations in the area of interest relative to historic
baseline that ensures ecological integrity and the continued benefit and uses of the public.

For sturgeon to become a value to our future generations through increased public education and
awareness.


Ventral Fin Group:

To maintain and establish self sustaining populations that can support limited recreational
harvest and cultural significance (presence, use, or harvest) and provides compatibility between
social and ecological roles.

To recognize the multi-cultural components of society in development of goals so they are
understood and accepted by all groups.


Pectoral Fin Group:

Develop economically valuable and sustainable fisheries and recreational opportunities (charter
services, recreational viewing, catch and release fishery).

Delist lake sturgeon.


Plan Examples

Plan Example (Dorsal Fin Group)

GOAL: Foster connections between people and lake sturgeon to maintain enhance and
rehabilitate self sustaining populations where they historically occurred

OBJECTIVE: Determine current status of existing populations

OBJECTIVE: Maintain and protect and where necessary enhance current populations

OBJECTIVE: Increase understanding of the species and its habitat

OBJECTIVE: Increase awareness and opportunities for interaction with lake sturgeon

OBJECTIVE: Promote inter-jurisdictional and interagency cooperation

OBJECTIVE: Determine current status of existing populations
> Strategy: Maintain abundance indicators, using partnership opportunities where
possible
> Strategy: Develop and maintain a long-term monitoring program
Abundance, distribution, life history data, habitat availability, genetic profile, recruitment,
mortality rates and sources

OBJECTIVE: Maintain and protect and where necessary enhance current populations
> Strategy: Ensure regulatory compliance
> > > Action: Establish and increase sturgeon watch programs
> Strategy: Develop suitable protection regulations
> Strategy: Continually update and follow genetic stocking guidelines

OBJECTIVE: Increase understanding of the species and its habitat
> Strategy: Address knowledge gaps that limit conservation of lake sturgeon
> > > Actions: Identify habitat requirements and availability
> > > Actions: Assess key life history information
> > > Actions: Identify limiting factors to population growth
> Strategy: Identify and mitigate threats to survival (predation, habitat, invasive
species)
> > > Actions: Investigate inter-species dynamics with invasive species

OBJECTIVE: Increase awareness and opportunities for interaction with lake sturgeon
>Strategy: Develop additional outreach opportunities
>>>Action: Develop multi-media presentations, fish cameras, aquarium exhibits,
presentation to school groups, developing web sites, museums
>>>Action: Develop and implement ‘sturgeon in the classroom’ program
>>>Action: Streamline permitting system for allowing outreach

OBJECTIVE: Promote inter-jurisdictional and interagency cooperation
Strategy: Increase stakeholder engagement in recovery planning

OBJECTIVE: Increase awareness and opportunities for interaction with lake sturgeon
>Strategy: Enhance ability of public to interact with lake sturgeon
>>>Action: Develop angling, viewing and interpretative initiatives
>Strategy: Facilitate liaison and information exchange
>>>Action: Engage tribal elders to explain their connection with sturgeon
>>>Action: Engage all interested parties (regulators, stakeholders, conservation
groups, local communities, etc.)

MANAGEMENT ACTIONS:
Action 1. Quantify number of people reached with outreach program
Action 2. Measure impact of outreach activities by monitoring media sources, using
questionnaires / surveys to monitor public attitudes
Action 3. Develop leadership in others; encourage action

FOLLOW UP:
Establish lake sturgeon outreach goals by 2010
Ensure interested stakeholders are engaged in recovery initiatives

 

Plan Example (Upper Caudal Group)

GOAL: To promote self sustaining lake sturgeon populations by maintaining intact and
rehabilitating degraded ecosystems while incorporating responsible stewardship,
traditional native values and ownership of the resource.

Outreach / Education -

OBJECTIVE 1: Increase the number of groups involved in LS Advocacy
> S1: Communication plan
> > > A1: Create a plan to educate local community groups
> S2: Integrate LS advocacy into school curriculum
> > > A1: Create presentation/products which meet curriculum for school age kids
> > > A2: Deliver presentation to all local schools

OBJECTIVE 2: Create new information sharing outlets
> S1: Establish information sharing arrangements
> > > A1: Create a web site
> > > A2: Contemporary media outlets (You-tube, video, newsletter, etc)
> > > A3: Community meetings (face to face)

OBJECTIVE 3: Create volunteer opportunities
> S1: Provide opportunities for donations of time or funds from interested
stakeholders and other parties

OBJECTIVE 4: Provide activity coordination
> S1: Establish an activity unit/outreach program

OBJECTIVE 5: Educate senior bureaucrats and politicians LS advocacy
> S1: Ensure information flows up
> > > A1: Create fact sheet


Traditional Values -

OBJECTIVE 1: Promote the historical and current importance of LS to native groups
> S1: Create educational materials
> > > A1: Working with native groups to produce educational materials for both
the bands and the general public


Habitat/Ecosystems -

OBJECTIVE 1: Identify intact LS habitats for all life stages
> S1: Apply risk Mgt to existing LS habitats
> > > A1: Implement GIS mapping to inventory LS habitats
> > > A2: Rank impact potential and vulnerability

OBJECTIVE 2: Identify degraded LS habitats for all life stages
> S1: Apply risk Mgt to existing LS habitats
> > > A1: Implement GIS mapping to inventory LS habitats
> > > A2: Rank recovery potential

OBJECTIVE 3: Determine stressors on watersheds where LS exist or existed
> S1: Summarize ecological impediments to healthy ecosystem for LS
> > > A1: Measure water quality
> > > A2: Measure water hydrology
> > > A3: Identify point source stressors
> > > A4: Identify non-point source stressors


Population Mgt -

OBJECTIVE 1: Identify critical life history stages

OBJECTIVE 2: Identify all source of mortality

OBJECTIVE 3: Determine the health of LS

OBJECTIVE 4: Develop suitable population models

 

Plan Example (Lower Caudal Group)

GOAL: To protect, enhance, and rehabilitate lake sturgeon to achieve self sustaining
populations and their habitats to historic range for the benefit of the Great Lakes
ecosystem and all its interested parties.

OBJECTIVE: Maintain and Achieve at least X self sustaining populations in the Great
Lakes
> Strategy 1. Define the minimum # of populations (X)/abundance to achieve a self-sustaining
population
> > > Action 1. Model recovery targets of Annual Spawning Females (ASF)
> > > Action 2. Model population abundances to support sustainable use of populations
> Strategy 2. Identifying the status of existing populations
> > > Action 2a. Surveying for significant population metrics
> Strategy 3. Prioritize populations for management action
> > > Action 3a. Use the genetic information, cultural, and life history to identify
important populations
> > > Action 3b. Connectivity of spawning locations
> > > Action 3c. Estimate population sizes

OBJECTIVE: Maintain genetic and phenotypic diversity
> Strategy 1. Characterize the genetic and phenotypic structure
> > > Action 1. Collect and analyze data across the historic range
> Strategy 2. Develop best management practices for culturing and stocking.
> > > Action 2a. Implement best management practices
> > > Action 2b. Educate managers about best management practices

OBJECTIVE: Restore and maintain access to quality habitat for all life stages
> Strategy 1. Identifying quality habitats for all life stages and key populations
> > > Action 1.
> Strategy 2. Identification of barriers to access
> > > Action 2.
> Strategy 3. Restore degraded habitats
> > > Action 3.

OBJECTIVE: Develop an outreach and education program to establish lake sturgeon as an
iconic species for the promotion of great lakes ecosystem health.
> Strategy 1. Promote angler education
> > > Action 1.
> Strategy 2. Develop and provide educational materials for K-12 and general public
> > > Action 2.
> Strategy 3. Provide media materials for ‘public relations’
> > > Action 3.
> Strategy 3. Create ICON
> > > Action 3.

OBJECTIVE: Establish legal protection for all existing populations
Strategy 1. Listing
> > > Action 1.
Strategy 2. Enforcement
> > > Action 2.
Strategy 3. Habitat regulations
> > > Action 3.
Strategy 3. Harvest
> > > Action 3.
Strategy 3. Fish passage
> > > Action 3.
Strategy 3. Instream flow needs
> > > Action 3.

OBJECTIVE: Restore key historical population(s)
Strategy 1. Identify causes of loss
> > > Action 1.
Strategy 2. Remediate the causes of loss when feasible
> > > Action 2.
Strategy 3. Reintroduce using best management practices
> > > Action 3.

FOLLOW UP:
Assess key population status annually.
Assess population status every 5 years.

 

Plan Example (Anal Fin Group)

GOAL: Establish self sustaining lake sturgeon populations in the ___________ relative to a
historic baseline that ensures ecological integrity and the continued benefit and uses by the
public.

OBJECTIVE 1. Focus recovery efforts to meet predetermined abundance and distribution
targets
> Strategy 1. compare different approaches to determine targets
> Strategy 2. determine appropriate timeframe for recovery

OBJECTIVE 2: Restore, enhance, protect habitat for all life stages of lake sturgeon
necessary to support self sustaining populations
> Strategy 1. Inventory quality and quantity of habitat for each life stage, include assessment
of access
> Strategy 2 : Develop and implement a list of priority habitat restoration projects
> Strategy 3: Monitor habitat use by lake sturgeon in restoration projects
> Strategy 4: use law enforcement for protection

OBJECTIVE 3: Maintain genetic diversity
> Strategy 1. Complete the baseline study of genetic diversity of spawning stocks
> Strategy 2. Use appropriate hatchery practices to maximize genetic diversity. “match the
hatch”

OBJECTIVE 4: Enhance or re-establish historic spawning stocks to a self sustaining level
> Strategy 1. Review historic spawning sites, and develop a priority list for restoration
> > > Action 1. develop a list of criteria for evaluating historic spawning sites, including
access to the site
> Strategy 2. Identify appropriate donor stocks
> Strategy 3. Remove impediments to access
> Strategy 4. Identify life stages more appropriate for translocation
> Strategy 5. Apply/Develop suitability index models
> Strategy 6. Use law enforcement

OBJECTIVE 5: Increase public awareness and appreciation of the lake sturgeon
> Strategy 1, Increase public education and outreach efforts
> Strategy 2. Provide volunteer opportunities
> Strategy 3. Educate the legislators (establish dedicated funding source for
management/research)

 

Plan Example (Ventral Fin Group)

GOAL: Protect, enhance, and rehabilitate lake sturgeon by establishing and maintaining
self sustaining populations of cultural and ecological significance that can support
appropriate fishing opportunities, compatible with social and economic needs.

Social -

OBJECTIVE: Increase recognition of lake sturgeon as a heritage species with game,
subsistence, commercial, and recreational benefits/uses. (note that “commercial”
and “recreational” have many components)
> Strategy 1. Implement comprehensive educational program that contact all components
of the public (Adopt a sturgeon program: “Why eat caviar when you can own your
own sturgeon”).
> > > Action 1. Implement policy
> Strategy 2. Get it to the media (nature deficit syndrome, fill the hole that Cathy was
talking about).
> Strategy 3. Include all parts of the public in decision making process

OBJECTIVE: Establish lake sturgeon as a symbol of ecological integrity
> Strategy 1. Increase and develop opportunities for viewing


Scientific -

OBJECTIVE: Restore access to historical spawning and rearing habitats where
impediments to migrations exist.
> Strategy 1. Promote removal of dams where possible and appropriate.
> > > Action 1. Implement policy
> Strategy 2. Promote use of effective lake sturgeon up and downstream passage
Techniques in non-free flowing rivers (particularly needed where hydro
is still being developed/expanded).
> > > Action 1. Implement policy for regulatory process
> > > Action 2. Test prototypes in River A,B,C
> > > Action 3. Install in River X,Y,Z

OBJECTIVE: Re-establish lake sturgeon as a primary benthivore
> Strategy: protection
> Strategy: habitat
> Strategy: increase survival/recruitment (streamside rearing)
> Strategy: stock fish

OBJECTIVE: Maintain genetic integrity
> Strategy: Protection
> Strategy: Reintroduce populations where needed

OBJECTIVE: Population abundance at levels that help stabilize ecosystem integrity or
at carrying capacity.

OBJECTIVE: Increase availability of lake sturgeon as a game, subsistence, and
recreational fish

OBJECTIVE: Maintain existing and increase free flowing river habitat
> > > A: Promote removal of dams where possible and appropriate (socially acceptable)

 

Plan Example (Pectoral Fin Group)

GOAL: To protect, enhance, and restore lake sturgeon to achieve self sustaining
populations and their habitats throughout historic range where practicable for the benefit
of the Great Lakes ecosystem and all its interested parties.

OBJECTIVE: By 2019 identify and quantify status of existing populations for each of the
management units in Lake Superior to determine baseline conditions.
> Strategy 1. Survey professionals around L. Superior to assemble existing data.
> Strategy 2. Review existing data to identify data gaps.
> Strategy 3. Conduct field surveys where data are currently lacking to fill in data gaps.

OBJECTIVE: By 2019 identify and quantify status of existing spawning and nursery
habitats for each of the management units in Lake Superior to determine baseline
conditions.
> Strategy 1. Survey professionals around L. Superior to assemble existing data.
> Strategy 2. Review existing data to identify data gaps.
> Strategy 3. Conduct field surveys where data are currently lacking to fill in data gaps.

OBJECTIVE: By 2024 mitigate/eliminate top three threats for each discrete population as
determined by previous objectives.
> Strategy 1. Develop plan to mitigate threats.
> Strategy 2. Implement plan.
> Strategy 3. Monitor plan progress and make course corrections as needed.

OBJECTIVE: Enhance existing remnant populations.
> Strategy 1. Stock when deemed appropriate.
> Strategy 2. Improve habitat when deemed appropriate.
> Strategy 3. Eliminate harvest when deemed appropriate.
> Strategy 4. Monitor population to track success.

OBJECTIVE: By 2024 identify sites where sturgeon reintroduction and establishment of
self-sustaining populations is possible.

> Strategy 1. Review historical records to determine pre-settlement distribution.
> Strategy 2. Design criteria for determining site suitability for reintroduction.
> Strategy 3. Based on criteria from Strategy 2, evaluate sites identified in Strategy 1.
Quantify habitat availability and suitability from existing HSI data.


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