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GLIN==>> Great Lakes Fishery Trust Press Release, please post

June 22, 1999
		CONTACTS: Jack D. Bails, 517/371-7468
								Great Lakes Fishery Trust
Tim Eder, 734/769-3351
National Wildlife Federation

LANSING— The Great Lakes Fishery Trust (GLFT) recently awarded grants totaling nearly $3.65 million to projects designed to improve fishing access, and rehabilitate fish populations in the Great Lakes. 

The trust was established by a legal settlement in 1996 to mitigate fish losses at the Ludington Pumped Storage Facility, which is jointly owned by Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison. To date, it has awarded over $6.2 million dollars to nonprofit conservation organizations and government entities for improving Great Lakes fishery projects. 
The trust invited grant applications in several funding categories last fall and selected the best projects based upon criteria authorized under the court settlement that established this new source of funding. 

		The latest grant awards were made to

		·	the City of Ludington, Rogers City, and the Village of Elberta, for development of new shore fishing facilities associated with larger recreation projects underway in these communities;
·	the National Wildlife Federation and the Chippewa-Ottawa Treaty Fishery Management Authority, to determine the location and assess the feasibility of constructing new fishing access facilities on the Detroit River and the upper Great Lakes, respectively;Michigan State University, for the development of fishery education and associated interpretive facilities to be located at the seven state hatcheries operated by the Michigan Department of Natural resources; and
·	the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, to determine the factors limiting natural reproduction of lake trout on Great Lakes spawning reefs and make recommendation for enhancing lake trout rehabilitation strategies.
The GLFT anticipates making additional grants in August of this year for Great Lakes fisheries research projects. A total of $6.5 million in grants will be disbursed in 1999.

"We are excited about this first round of full grant funding. These grants meet the trust's charge to mitigate the fish losses at the Ludington Facility. By improving fishing access, rehabilitating Great Lakes fish populations, and educating people about Great Lakes fishery resources, we are able to provide long lasting benefits to all the residents of the Great Lakes region," said Tim Eder, who represents the National Wildlife Foundation on the GLFT Board of Trustees. 
The GLFT Board of Trustees also includes representatives from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Attorney General of the State of Michigan, U.S. Department of the Interior, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, National Wildlife Federation, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians.

The GLFT expects to make annual grants for similar Great Lakes fisheries projects over the next twenty years with (1) income generated from investments made with the settlement dollars and (2) annual payments from the utility companies for unavoidable future fish losses at the Ludington hydroelectric pump/storage facility.

		Additional information about the GLFT can be found on the Website, at www.glft.org

Project Descriptions Attached
		·	Chippewa-Ottawa Treaty Fishery Management Authority 
			Access Site Strategic Planning ($24,771)
	Identify potential projects to enhance public and tribal fishing access in northern Lake Huron, northern Lake Michigan, and eastern Lake Superior.

		·	Village of Elberta
	Lake Betsie Fishing Pier ($186,398)
	Provide shore fishing opportunities for Great Lakes species entering Betsie Lake as part of a larger recreational project involving creative re-use of the former car/railroad ferry site.
		·	City of Ludington 
	Angler Access Improvement ($220,000)
			Provide enhanced opportunities for shore fishing of Great Lakes species as part of the new downtown harbor redevelopment project on Pere Marquette Lake, adjacent to Lake Michigan.

		·	Rogers City
	Fishing Platform at the Rogers City Boat Harbor ($150,000)
	Provide enhanced angler access to Lake Huron fish populations as part of recreational improvements (including a new breakwall) at the city's boat harbor.
		·	U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
	Evaluation of Current Strategies to Recolonize Lake Trout Spawning Reefs in Northern Michigan ($157,360)
Determine the effectiveness of the stocking strategies that have been in effect since 1985 in terms of recolonizing lake trout spawning reefs in northern Lake Michigan.
		·	Michigan State University
	Development of a Statewide Great Lakes Ecological Information System at State Fish Hatcheries ($2,994,696)
Develop integrated and comprehensive Great Lakes ecological information/interpretive centers at state fish hatcheries.

		·	National Wildlife Federation 
	Detroit River Fishing Access Feasibility Study ($23,640)
Assess and establish priorities for increasing shore and bank fishing access along Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River.