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E-M:/ Errata--GLFC News Release

Enviro-Mich message from mgaden <mgaden@glfc.org>


Our recent news release about funding for the GLFC and its sea lamprey
control effort failed to properly acknowledge Congressman Joe Knollenberg's
key assistance in increasing the U.S. budget for this program.  We regret
the oversight.  The following is an update of our news release:

Great Lakes Fishery Commission
For Immediate Release
December 14, 1999
Contact:  Marc Gaden
734-662-3209 x. 14

Congressman Knollenberg, Michigan Delegation 
Rally to Protect the Great Lakes Fishery

U.S. federal budget provides boost for Great Lakes sea lamprey control

	The Great Lakes Fishery Commission today applauded Congressman Joe
Knollenberg (R-Bloomfield Hills) and his Michigan colleagues for their
recent work to secure an additional $1 million for sea lamprey control, a
vital component of a healthy, vibrant, and valuable Great Lakes fishery.
Knollenberg helped lead the charge in the House Appropriations Committee to
include these funds in the recently completed fiscal 2000 budget, largely to
address the sea lamprey problem on the St. Marys River.  This increase,
along with  funds provided by the State of Michigan, will allow the
Commission to reign-in the last uncontrolled populations of sea lampreys in
the Great Lakes:  those produced in the St. Marys River.  The benefits of
Knollenberg's work will be felt in Lake Huron and northern Lake Michigan
where sea lampreys currently claim far more fish than humans.

	Sea lampreys invaded the Great Lakes in the early part of the 20th
Century through shipping canals.  Their impact on the valuable fishery was
tremendous:  fish harvest declined dramatically and the thriving fish
communities, based on self-sustaining fish stocks, were thrown seriously off
balance.  In 1955, the governments of Canada and the United States created
the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to control sea lampreys.  Since then, the
commission has been able to suppress lamprey populations in most areas by
90%, paving the way for successful stocking, fisheries rehabilitation, and
the resurgence of sport and commercial fishing.

	Despite the commission's success, there is a major trouble-spot in
the Great Lakes:  the St. Marys River.  The river currently produces more
sea lampreys than all of the other Great Lakes combined.  These lampreys
migrate downstream and feed on large numbers of fish in Lake Huron and
northern Lake Michigan.  Sea lampreys currently kill more than 50% of the
fish in Lake Huron and northern Lake Michigan, compared to 20% harvested by
sport, tribal, and commercial fishing combined.

	"Sea lamprey control contributes significantly to the $4 billion in
economic return the fishery provides annually to the region," said Van
Snider, President of the Michigan Boating Industries Association, located in
Livonia, Michigan.  "The Michigan Boating Industries Association joins with
a broad coalition of businesses, anglers, and other stakeholders in
supporting sea lamprey control and in thanking Congressman Knollenberg and
his colleagues for their commitment to the fishery."

	Dr. Ken Merckel of the Michigan Steelhead and Salmon Fisherman's
Association added: "Sea lampreys are enormously destructive to our fishery.
We observe sea lamprey wounds on all kinds of fish including chinook salmon,
lake trout, brown trout and even walleye.  In the worst-hit areas, only one
out of seven fish attacked by a sea lamprey will survive.  It is a good bet
that for every wounded fish we catch, up to six more could be dead on the
bottom of the lake.  We need to do everything possible to reduce the
population of these noxious pests." 

	Merckel Continued:  "The work of Congressman Knollenberg and his
Michigan colleagues, particularly Senators Abraham and Levin and Congressman
Barcia, will mean a significant reduction in parasitic sea lampreys and,
ultimately,  will be a tremendous boost to the health of our valuable
fishery.  More than five million people fish the Great Lakes each year.  The
Steelheaders are very pleased to see our representatives in Congress going
to bat for the resource."


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