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E-M:/ GLFT Awards $1.1 Million in Fisheries Research Grants

Enviro-Mich message from "Julie Metty" <jmetty@staff.pscinc.com>

August 28, 2000

Jack Bails, Great Lakes Fishery Trust, (517) 371-7468
Bill Parsons, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, (231) 723-8288


Lansing, MI--The Great Lakes Fishery Trust (GLFT) recently awarded grants totaling nearly $1.1 million to Great Lakes fishery research projects. Since its inception in 1996, this private foundation has provided more than $9 million in grants to government agencies, nonprofit conservation organizations, and universities, to improve the fishery resources of the Great Lakes. 

The GLFT invites research grant applications every February and announces the successful applicants in August.  Projects are selected based on criteria authorized under the court settlement that established this relatively new source of funding.  
The 2000 research project awards are the following:

* Michigan State University Energy Dynamics of Lake Michigan ($265,426) 
This project will determine reliable indicators of nutritional stress in Chinook salmon populations by collecting wild-ranging Chinook salmon from Lake Michigan and measuring various indicators of fish energy reserves over a three-year period. The study will determine which indicators provide the best measure of stress, what time of year is best for sampling, and enhance understanding of factors causing stress in Chinook populations.

* North Carolina State University Interactive Role of Transport and Foraging Success in the Determination of Growth and Survival of Larval Yellow Perch in Southern Lake Michigan ($104,340) 
This project will determine the importance of larval yellow perch being transported out of productive nearshore areas of Lake Michigan and whether offshore transport inhibits larval growth and increases the probability of mortality.

* Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada Effects of Egg and Fry Predators on Lake Trout Recruitment in Lake ($346,400)  
This project will evaluate egg, fry, and predator abundance at spawning reefs in northeastern Lake Michigan, using egg seeding, alewife exclosures, and laboratory experiments to assess the current effect of predation on recruitment.

* U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Evaluation of Cartilage-Bone Biopsy and Polymerase Chain Reaction Procedures for Nonlethal Detection of Myzobolus Cerebralis in Rainbow Trout from the Great Lakes Region ($22,232) 
This study will validate a nonlethal test for whirling disease in salmonids, thereby preventing unnecessary sacrifice of suspect hatchery and feral fish, valuable broodstock and threatened and endangered species.

* University of Michigan Dynamics of Alewife Recruitment Variability in Lake Michigan ($358,456) 
Using field studies and historical data, this project will determine factors affecting alewife abundance, growth and survival.  Natural chemical tracers present in alewife ear bones will be used to determine alewife environmental histories and identify which habitats are producing the most survivors.  Statistical models will be developed, for use by fisheries managers, to predict alewife survival and abundance.

"These research projects will lead directly to application of management practices intended to enhance the Great Lakes fisheries," said Bill Parsons, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians' representative on the Trust Board of Directors. "We are looking forward to their findings."
The mission of the GLFT is to provide funding to enhance, protect, and rehabilitate Great Lakes fishery resources.  The Trust manages its resources to compensate the citizens of Michigan for the lost use and enjoyment of Great Lakes fishery resources resulting from the operation of the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant.    


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