NACO

National Association of Charterboat Operators

A Surprising Comeback for Lake Huron's Native Fish

For years now, we’ve heard bad news about the Great Lakes. Most of it has to do with invasive species getting into the lakes and wrecking the food web. One writer called it a slow-moving underwater wildfire.

So it might surprise you to hear that native fish are doing very well in one of the lakes. The changes are so dramatic scientists are a bit puzzled and can’t explain what’s happening.

 

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New Canada/U.S. Council Will Tackle Problems of Great Lakes

Water levels in the Great Lakes were at a record low in January. Like many issues affecting the Great Lakes Region, Canadians and Americans are affected equally. As a region, we have common interests but no common voice.

That is why dozens of organizations from across the region are this week launching a new binational council to address our environmental and economic challenges. The new Council of the Great Lakes Region will bring together leaders from diverse sectors across the eight Great Lakes states, Ontario and Quebec.

 

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Toxic Chemicals Turn Up in Great Lakes Plastic Pollution

Toxic chemicals clinging to plastics could cause health problems for fish and other organisms in the Great Lakes.

They were discovered in samples from the first-ever Great Lakes plastic survey in Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Superior last summer, Lorena Rios Mendoza, an assistant chemistry professor at the University of Wisconsin – Superior, announced Monday.

And instead of just sitting in sediments as some scientists previously thought, those pollutants might be traveling with plastics to other parts of the Great Lakes.

 

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New Dredging Bills Signed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder

Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill pouring $20.9 million into an emergency dredging program.

The money will allow 58 public bays and harbors, used mostly for recreational boating, to be cleared of the sands and sediment that are clogging them and leaving many boats stranded. The dredging is needed to deal with the consequences of record low lake levels in the Great Lakes, especially Lakes Michigan and Huron.

 

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Salmon Plan Will Stock Lakes and Rivers

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will release about 100,000 Atlantic salmon into Lake Huron and two of its tributary streams this spring.

Yearling salmon will be stocked in the St. Marys River, the Au Sable River, Thunder Bay River and Lexington Harbor in southern Lake Huron.

They are raised in a laboratory at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie and the Platte River State Fish Hatchery near Beulah.

Todd Grischke is the DNR's Lake Huron Basin coordinator. He says the fisheries division's managers have consulted with interested groups about where to release the salmon.

 

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Alcoa, Reynolds to Pay $20M to Clean Up St. Lawrence

Alcoa and Reynolds Metals will pay almost $20 million to restore habitat and wildlife on the St. Lawrence River near Massena. The settlement ends a more than 20-year-old lawsuit spearheaded by the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. 

For decades until the 1970s, Alcoa, Reynolds, and a third industrial giant, General Motors, released toxic chemicals, including PCBs, into the St. Lawrence River – just upriver from the Akwesasne Mohawk reservation.

 

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DNA for Tracking Down & Controling Invasive Species

Great Lakes researchers are using new DNA techniques to track down and control the spread of invasive species. Christopher Jerde, a professor at the Notre Dame is creating a basin-wide surveillance program. 

The researchers search for the DNA of an invader in the environment, or eDNA, with techniques that may be a boon for understanding how they enter the Great Lakes basin.

 

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Bill Introduced to Prohibit Sewage Dumping in Great Lakes

 

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, U.S. Sens. Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin of Illinois and U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren unveiled legislation proposing to prohibit sewage dumping in the Great Lakes by 2033.

The proposed Great Lakes Water Protection Act would increase fines up to $100,000 a day per violation and provides communities 20 years to upgrade their sewage treatment facilities.

 

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Conservation Plan National Wildlife Refuges in Great Lakes

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of a final comprehensive conservation plan (CCP) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) for the environmental assessment (EA) for islands that are part of the National Wildlife Refuge System in Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior. The CCP includes Gravel Island, Green Bay, Harbor Island, Huron, and Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuges (Great Lakes Islands Refuges). In this final CCP, we describe how we intend to manage the refuges for the next 15 years.

 

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