Chicago fishing: Lakewide meeting on yellow perch

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Chicago is hosting a lakewide summit on yellow perch in March.

The formal announcement came from the Lake Michigan Committee of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission today.

Will it help standardize regulations, at least a bit? I don’t have a lot of faith, but we can hope.

Here is the word (I added registration details at bottom):

Lakewide Lake Michigan Yellow Perch Summit Announced The Lake Michigan Committee (LMC) of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC) will host ayellow perch public meeting at the UIC Forum in Chicago on Saturday, March 22, 2014. Anglersand interested stakeholders are invited to attend. This multi-jurisdictional meeting will take place from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm and is open to personsfrom all Lake Michigan state (IL, WI, IN and MI) and tribal jurisdictions. The morning programwill consist of informative presentations by invited experts, highlighting the latest science about Lake Michigan ecology and yellow perch populations, fishing, and management. The afternoonsession will consist of a small-group breakout session where constituents can comment on theinformation presented and provide input to Lake Michigan fishery managers. A webinar of themeeting will be available online to registered participants unable to travel to the meeting inperson. The event is being hosted free-of-charge to registered participants by the Illinois Department ofNatural Resources and the GLFC. Registration is free of charge until March 15, after which a $20fee will be charged. Participants may register on-line at or by callingthe Illinois DNR Lake Michigan Program office at 847-294-4134 during regular business hours (8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday – Friday). Yellow perch are a key component of the inshore fish community in Lake Michigan and afavorite target of anglers up and down the Illinois coast, as well as elsewhere around the lake,said Marc Miller, Director of the Illinois DNR. We are pleased to work with our Great Lakespartners in ongoing efforts to improve management of the important perch fishery and providea public forum to engage our enthusiastic angling community. Lake Michigan yellow perch experienced a rapid, lakewide decline in abundance during the early1990s, and abundance has since remained low relative to earlier peaks. Managementauthorities convened a yellow perch conference in December 1994 to alert constituents aboutthe drastic decline in perch abundance around the lake. A Yellow Perch Task Group was createdand the group developed and implemented a research strategy to explore the causes ofdeclining yellow perch populations. Later in the decade, individual management authorities closed the commercial perch fishery inthe lake’s main basins and reduced the potential harvest from recreational angling byimplementing restrictive harvest regulations (e.g., slot limits, bag limits and closed seasons).These regulations were intended to ensure that adequate numbers of mature perch remainedfor future spawning seasons when favorable conditions returned to the lake. Original ormodified versions of these earlier regulations have now been in place for almost two decades. While the cooperative actions by Lake Michigan management agencies prevented a completecollapse of the perch population, recovery has been slow and recent stock assessments indicatea continued gradual decline in population abundance. Brad Eggold, Chair of the LMC, explained what the committee hopes to accomplish. This meeting willprovide our constituents with a lakewide view of the latest information available on Lake Michiganyellow perch and provide managers with input from anglers and other stakeholders around the lake.The LMC will review this information and determine the best path forward for managing the fishery.Possible next steps by the management jurisdictions may include changes to yellow perch management,assessment and/or research. The Great Lakes Fishery Commission was established in 1955 by the Canadian-U.S. Convention on GreatLakes Fisheries. The commission coordinates fisheries research, controls the invasive sea lamprey, andfacilitates cooperative fishery management among the state, provincial, tribal, and federal managementagencies. The LMC is made up of a single representative from each of the managing jurisdictionsbordering Lake Michigan (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and the Chippewa-Ottawa ResourceAuthority). The committee uses a consensus approach to make science-based decisions on fishery andenvironmental management in Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes basin.

As promised, here is the registration information:

Registration (free) is required by March 15thfor all participants*(whether attending in-person or via the web) Register online: Register over the phone: 847-294-4134 Registrants for the webinar will receive URLinformation via email at a later date *Late registration will be available for a fee of $20.00USD for in-person attendees on the day of the meeting

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