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GLIN==> Trout Unlimited, TU Canada and GLU join forces to restore Coaster Brook Trout in Lake Superior

Posted on behalf of Maggie Lockwood Butler <mlockwood@tu.org>

For Release   September 24, 1999
Contact: Maggie Lockwood or Joe McGurrin  (703) 522-0200
Bob Redgate  (Chairman TU Canada)   WK:  403-237-1337/ HM: 403-239-4203
Jack Manno    (President, GLU)              315-470-6816

Trout Unlimited & TU Canada
Join Forces with Great Lakes United
To Restore the Coaster Brook Trout of the Lake Superior Basin

Milwaukee, WI. . .  Lake Superior’s unique "coaster" brook trout received
top billing from some of North America’s top fisheries conservation
organizations today.   Trout Unlimited  (TU), TU Canada and Great Lakes
United (GLU) announced a new partnership aimed at recovering Lake Superior’s
coaster brook trout at the International Joint Commission’s Great Lake’s
Environmental Expo in Milwaukee.

Known as “coasters” to local residents because of their preference for
near-shore lake habitat, this unique life history form of brook trout once
provided a highly valued and productive fishery along shoreline areas and in
tributary streams that supported spawning populations. Today, coaster brook
trout are defined as "those spending part of their life in the Great Lakes"
and only a few remnant populations remain. Three viable U.S. populations are
known to exist (two on Isle Royale and one in the Salmon-Trout River located
in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula).  The Canadian lakeshore supports slightly
more populations including the best population in the basin (Nipigon River).
The dramatic decline of the coaster brook trout is believed to be due to
habitat loss and over harvest.

"The restoration of the coaster brook trout offers more than just a chance
for anglers to catch trophy size brook trout,” stated Ed Michael, Trout
Unlimited National Resource Board Director.  “It is part of the natural
diversity of Lake Superior and is an indicator of the environmental health
of the Superior basin. We have everything to gain by trying to restore this
great natural symbol of Lake Superior "

Trout Unlimited’s all-volunteer National Resource Board passed a resolution
to ‘fully support rehabilitation and restoration of the native coaster brook
trout in Lake Superior and its tributary water” in response to the Great
Lakes Fishery Commission (Lake Superior Committee’s) recent approval of "A
Brook Trout Rehabilitation Plan for Lake Superior.  TU went on to call on
all citizens and government bodies (including federal, provincial, First
Nation, and native American) of the Lake Superior Basin to move quickly to
implement rehabilitation and recovery plans of the native coaster brook
trout to the waters and tributaries of Lake Superior.

ADD ONE: Coaster Brook Trout, 9/24/99

"The brook trout rehabilitation plan notes that over 100 Lake Superior
tributaries supported coaster brook trout runs in the 1800's,” noted Charles
Gauvin, President of Trout Unlimited, the world’s largest coldwater
fisheries conservation organization. “Today, there are only a few
populations remaining. If we don't act now, there is little reason to
believe that they will exist in the future."

The state of Michigan has responded quickly to the coaster brook trout
situation and recently announced a plan to reintroduce the fish on its Upper
Peninsula. Next month, TU members will assist the Michigan Department of
Natural Resources with experimental plantings of coasters in Sevenmile
Creek, and the Gratitot, Little Carp, Hurricane, and the Mosquito Rivers.
The United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) will be a cooperator in
the effort and also has shown considerable leadership in other areas such as
genetics research and broodstock development which will be used to provide
fish for future reintroduction efforts.

Hopes for a broader lakewide coaster restoration effort were boosted when
Trout Unlimited Canada and Great Lakes United pledged their support for
future efforts.

"Coaster brook trout from the Canadian side of Lake Superior are legendary,”
stated Bob Redgate, Chairman of Trout Unlimited Canada. “The Nipigon River
produced the world record brook trout. Trout Unlimited Canada supports an
international rehabilitation and restoration initiative.    With our
combined efforts, coaster brook trout will once again be prevalent in Lake
Superior and its tributaries."

"The coaster brook trout is a unique and valuable component of the natural
biodversity of Lake Superior," states Margaret Wooster, Executive Director
of Great Lakes United. "In June of 1999, our coalition passed a resolution
to support the restoration and rehabilitation of coaster brook trout to Lake
Superior. As long as a few populations still persist, we have an obligation
to make a full effort to bring them back."

Trout Unlimited is the world’s largest trout and salmon conservation
organization.  TU’s members, more than 100,000 strong, are committed to
conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s trout and salmon
fisheries and their watersheds.

Great Lakes United is a coalition of US, Canadian and First Nation’s groups
dedicated to the protection and conservation of the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence
River ecosystem. GLU's Habitat and biodversity Task Force oversees the work
of developing strategies to restore self-sustaining, diverse, native
communities.  The coalition consists of over 150 member organizations
representing the environmental, labor and social grassroots, businesses,
governmental agencies and academia.

Trout Unlimited Canada is a not for profit organization dedicated to the
conservation and wise use of Canada's coldwater resources through the
undertaking of habitat restoration and enhancement, research, management and
public education.


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