Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12PAGE 5 MAZINA’IGAN SPRING 2017 • GREAT LAKES • Food web makeover continues on warming Great Lakes Duluth, Minn.—Six research entities from five Great Lakes states and the Province of Ontario recently collaborated on a project to collect sediment samples from throughout the Great Lakes. Scientists examined samples for plankton and compared the findings to temperature data obtained from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Environment Canada. Plankton leave behind an identifiable ‘frustule’ made of silica (like a shell). Frustules collect on the lakebed, along with other sediment, in layers that build up over time. This research looked at the type and number of each plankton frustule in distinct sediment layers overtimeandcompared them to the temperature data available for the same time period. T h e r e s e a r c h showed recent atmo- spheric warming had an effect on the number and abundance of different planktons in Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes. Most notably, a smaller type of plankton is doing better and is more abundant, whereas a larger type of plankton is doing worse and is less abundant. Additionally, the researchers noted that many changes are associated with warming water including: duration and extent of open water and ice cover, changes in light and nutrients, and changes in stratification and mixing strength (i.e. where the warm water is in relation to the shoreline and the surface of the lake). Will fish that feed upon the plankton be able to tolerate these changes? Only with time and observation will an answer be found. Planktons, microscopic plants and animals that swim in water, are important food items for small fish.The abundance of any given type (or species) of plankton is dependent on the conditions in which it lives such as water temperature. So, just like you won’t find many Gold Fish living in Gichigami because it’s too cold; you also won’t find certain plankton in the lake for the same reason. Nevertheless, small changes due to small increases in temperature over the past 30-50 years have taken place in the Big Lake and these changes have benefited some plankton and harmed others. Researchorganizationsintherecentstudyinclude:NaturalResourcesResearch Institute, University of Minnesota Duluth; John Carroll University, University Heights, Ohio; Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas;UniversityofWisconsinOshkosh;NationalOceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Great Lakes Environ- mentalResearchLaboratory,AnnArbor,Michigan;Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance Division, Environ- ment and Climate Change Canada, Burlington, Ontario. To read more on what researchers found visit http:// By Bill Mattes, Great Lakes Section Leader Average surface water temperature (degrees Celsius) during July-September at the NOAA Mid Lake Superior data buoy which is 60 nautical miles North- Northeast of Hancock, Michigan in the 1842 Treaty ceded area. Data show a slight increase in temperature over the past 31 years. ( page.php?station=45001). Cyclotella are the group of plankton that are benefiting from warmer Lake Superior waters. (http:// news_images/1567_2.jpg). Whitefish dinner In partnership with Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and tribal fishermen, GLIFWC is studying the diets of Lake Supe- rior whitefish to pinpoint their primary food sources. Baseline data on whitefish (adika- meg)dietswillhelpbiologistsbetterevaluate the impact of invasive species on the fishery. Significant disruptions in the food webs of other Great Lakes are attributed to quagga and zebra mussels, aquatic invasive organ- isms that originate from the Black Sea region of Eurasia. Over the coming years GLIFWC researchersplantoanalyzewhitefishstomach samples provided by tribal fishermen on an annual basis. Lake whitefish are a cold-water staple for both commercial and home-use harvesters. GLIFWC Fisheries Technician Ronnie Parisien examines the contents of a whitefish stomach containing critters like clams, mysis (opossum shrimp) and blood-worms (an insect larvae) as Karen Anderson records the findings. Anderson and Patrick LaPointe, KBIC natural resources department, joined Parisien at the GLIFWC laboratory in early December. (CO Rasmussen photo) Share your thoughts,vision for Great Lakes The public is invited to submit comments and concerns about the Great Lakes through public meetings and online submissions through March. Under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) between the United States and Canada (the “Parties”), the Parties are required to provide to the public a Progress Report every three years. This report should provide updates on the actions that the Parties have taken to implement the GLWQA and where they are in meeting their obligations and commitments under the Agreement. The first Progress Report of the Parties under the updated Agreement was released in 2016, and can be found at wp-content/uploads/2016/09/PRP-160927-EN.pdf. In response to each Progress Report of the Parties, the GLWQA requires the International Joint Commission (IJC) to assess the report and the Parties’ progress on meeting their obligations. The IJC is an independent binational organization created by Canada and the United States under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909. The GLWQA gives the IJC a role in assessing progress, engaging the public, and providing scientific and policy advice to help the Parties restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes. The IJC has just released its draft of the Triennial Assessment of Progress (TAP) on Great Lakes Water Quality in response to the 2016ProgressReportofthePartiesandisrequestingpubliccomment on its assessment of the Parties’report. The draft report assesses the extent to which programs and activities of the Parties are achieving GLWQAobjectives based on a review of the IJC, as well as a review oftheParties’ProgressReport.PubliccommentsontheIJC’sassess- ment will be compiled and added to the final assessment. The public can provide comments at a series of public meetings or through an online portal. Public comments are essential because they increase both governments’ accountability to its citizens by By Jennifer Ballinger, GLIFWC Outreach Specialist providing a communication mechanism that addresses perception of how well the GLWQA is being implemented. The IJC is particularly interested in comments relating to: • personal, cultural, ecological, spiritual, and economic values that make the Great Lakes important to you and the value of lake protection and restoration; • a nearshore restoration framework and identification of science and action priorities to incorporate into Lakewide Action and Management Plans; • emerging chemicals of mutual concern; GLWQA public meetings: March 21, 2017: Detroit, Michigan & Toledo, Ohio March 22, 2017: Sarnia, Ontario March 28, 2017: Buffalo, New York March 29, 2017: St. Catharines, Ontario Meeting details will be posted on and the IJC Facebook page. (See Public comments welcomed, page 10)