Cooperative Releases Strategic Plan for Lake Champlain Fisheries
The Strategic Plan, which was prepared by the Cooperative’s Fisheries Technical Committee, provides a framework for implementing the Cooperative’s coordinated fisheries management programs. It outlines fish community goals and objectives and describes the role of each of the agencies. University of Vermont Professor Ellen Marsden, Ph.D., led the Lake Champlain Cooperative’s Technical Committee in developing the new Strategic Plan. According to Dr. Marsden, “this plan outlines the guiding principles for the management of Lake Champlain’s fishery resources, and establishes priorities for protection and restoration of fish populations and their habitat”.
According to Patricia Riexinger, New York State Director of Fish, Wildlife, and Marine Resources and Chair of the Cooperative’s Policy Committee, “The Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative drew on the experience of state, provincial, and federal fisheries biologists and outstanding cooperating academics in New York, Vermont, and Quebec to prepare a Strategic Plan incorporating a state-of-the-science perspective on fisheries management.”
“The Strategic Plan includes guiding principles for ecosystem management, sustainability, natural reproduction of native species, and adaptive management,” said Marvin Moriarty, Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “We are proud of the partnership approach that produced it.”
The plan also addresses key management challenges such as non-native and nuisance species, use of stocking, application of genetics, protection of habitats, use of science-based management, management accountability, fish diseases, and human dimensions of fisheries management.
Wayne Laroche, Commissioner of Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, said, “The Cooperative reached out to stakeholders in the Lake Champlain Basin for input in developing this plan. A number of changes were made in response to comments from conservation organizations and others.”
The Cooperative is a partnership formed over three decades ago by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the states of New York and Vermont. It provides direction for coordinated fish and wildlife programs in the Lake Champlain basin. The Canadian Province of Quebec has not been a signatory to the Cooperative, but has been actively involved in key decisions.
The Strategic Plan can be found online at the Cooperative’s sea lamprey control web site (www.ChamplainLamprey.org). Copies of the plan may also be obtained at the following locations:
•New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Bureau of Fisheries
1115 Route 86
Ray Brook, NY 12977-0296
•Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife
103 South Main Street
Waterbury, VT 05671-0501
•U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Lake Champlain Office
11 Lincoln Street
Essex Junction, VT 05452