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GREAT LAKES Lake Superior commercial fishery A treaty resource snapshot ThetreatyfisheryonLakeSuperior extends through all of the four seasons. Both large and small tribal fishing boats traverse the waters of the Great Lake during spring summer and fall. Once winter sets in and ice covers the bays many small boat fishers shift from boats to snowmobiles and set their nets below the ice while the larger tugs continue to break out of the ice-covered harbors to the open lake. Members of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community KBIC the Bad River and Red Cliff Ojibwe bands exer- cisetreatycommercialfishingrightsand also fish for home use in Lake Supe- rior under the 1854 and 1842 Treaties. Laketroutandwhitefishadikamegare the most important species for Ojibwe treaty commercial fishermen in Lake Superior. Consequently GLIFWC and tribal biologists devote much of their time to assessments of these fish popu- lations and to monitoring commercial fishingharvests.Biologistsalsoworkon jointprojectstocontrolsealampreysan invasive species which threatens native fish populations. Inthe1842treatycededareawithin theMichiganwatersofLakeSuperiorthe tribes use a quota management system to regulate the harvest of lake trout and to limit mortality on recovering lake trout stocks. Total Allowable Catches TACs are estimated for management units and for each fishing year. Treaty commercialharvestismonitoredthrough mandatory daily catch reporting. In addition biologists from the tribes and GLIFWC monitor the harvest each month and use commercial catches to obtain biological data. Conservation officers from GLIFWC and its member tribesenforcetreatycommercialfishing codes in ceded waters of Lake Superior. Annualassessmentsareperformed by all fisheries management agencies which along with the harvest and har- vest monitoring provide crucial data biologists use to make management recommendations on the fishery. The informationallowsfisheriesbiologiststo track trends in numbers of fish by stock over time. Biological information such as growth mortality and movement between stocks gives insight into how fishing affects various species of fish. Habitatdegradationthroughpollu- tionandintroductionsofinvasivespecies seriously threaten various native fish species such as lake trout namegos. Therefore GLIFWC Bad River Red Cliff and KBIC biologists continue to collaborate with U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServicesSeaLampreyControlProgram to monitor sea lamprey populations in tributaries to Lake Superior. The data collected during annual population esti- matescontributetoalake-widemanage- mentplantocontrolandreducelamprey populations. Studies confirm that each adult lamprey can kill 10 to 20 pounds of fish so they pose a serious threat to the native fishery. Maintainingaviablenativefishery in Lake Superior has long been and will continue to be an important objective of GLIFWC and its member bands. For more information contact Biologist Bill Mattes at 715.682.6619. By Bill Mattes GLIFWC Great Lakes Section Leader Under a swarm of gulls gayaashkwag a tribal commercial fishing tug motors along the near-shore waters of Gichigami. Charlie Otto Rasmussen photo GLIFWC partners explore control methods for Lake Superiors fish-killing sea lampreys A jawless boneless fish that swam in the oceans at the time of the dinosaurs invaded the waters of Gichigami after shipping canals were built in the 1800s to connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. The canals were built to move goods via cargo ships to cities surrounding the Great Lakes. At the time little was known about the damage that the sea lampreys would ultimately have on native fish. Today sea lampreys start out as harmless filter feeders in streams which flow into the Great Lakes. However after several years as filter feeders sea lampreys transform into parasites developing a hunger for blood and grow a mouth full of teeth photo which are used to attach to fish and bore holes in their flesh to feed. Eighteen months prior to spawning in the fall sea lampreys migrate out of streams to feed in the Great Lakes where each lamprey kills up to 40 pounds of fish before reaching adulthood. Adult sea lampreys return to streams to spawn. Males build nests where each female lays over 100000 eggs. Adults die after spawning leaving only their offspring to grow and damage the fish populations in the future. The larval filter feeding sea lampreys are the main target of control efforts in the Great Lakes. Biologists control sea lampreys through regular treatments of tributary streams with lampricide which kills larval lampreys before they can migrate into lakes and kill fish. In addition to lampricide barrier dams which prevent adult sea lampreys from reaching spawning grounds are important in controlling their populations throughout the Great Lakes. Lampricide and upstream migration barriers are currently the two controls keeping sea lampreys from killing more fish. Alternative controls however are being researched. These include using pheromones or scents to attract repel guide or disrupt sea lamprey movements within streams. Also sea lamprey traps that allow fish other than sea lampreys to pass are being researched. Additional methods including manually removing adult sea lampreys through trapping destroying their nests in streams and trapping larval sea lam- preys as they migrate out to the lake are being pursued. GLIFWC has cooperated with the U.S.FishandWildlifeServiceUSFWS and the Bad River Band of Lake Supe- rior Chippewa to trap sea lampreys as they migrate upstream in the Bad River to spawn since 1986. The Bad River is oneofmanytributariestoLakeSuperior which sea lampreys have infested and in whichcontrolmeasuresareimplemented on a regular basis. The Bad River Natural Resources Department the USFWS and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission use infor- mation collected by GLIFWC to make management decisions. This along with other information is used as part of a large effort to reduce the numbers of sea lampreypreyingonlaketroutwhitefish and other fishes throughout the Great Lakes Basin. By Bill Mattes GLIFWC Great Lakes Biologist Larval lamprey removed from the Bad River through trapping. Bill Mattes photo An adult sea lampreys mouth is lined with teeth which are used to attach to and bore holes through fish. T. Lawrence Great Lakes Fisheries Commission photo MAZINAIGAN PAGE 4 SUMMER 2016