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Schooling Future Fisheries Leaders

Fisheries old-timer Stuart Sievertson and fisheries youngster, Brandon Schroeder, swap tales with Marty Kovarik at a recent Great Lakes Fisheries Leadership Institute meeting

Fisheries old-timer Stuart Sievertson (right) and fisheries youngster, Brandon Schroeder (left), swap tales with Marty Kovarik at a recent Great Lakes Fisheries Leadership Institute meeting

Sport and commercial fishermen, fisheries managers, and scientists from around Lake Superior gathered in Ashland, WI, on January 24 to provide interested citizens with the knowledge they need to become effective leaders on fishery issues.

The knowledge required can seem as deep as the lake itself. In the day-long seminar, people from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota examined the status of the fishery today, how it has changed in recent decades, the complex effects wrought by invasive species, and the equally complex web of interlocking agencies and institutions that work together to manage the lake's fisheries.

A group discussion in the afternoon focused on ways to increase citizens' awareness of Lake Superior fishery management issues. Increasing communication and outreach on the science of Lake Superior's fishery management was identified as an important means of achieving that goal.

Workshop attendees included tribal members, commercial fishermen, outdoor writers, charter captains and recreational anglers. They ranked the speakers and the overall meeting as "excellent."

The workshop was part of the Great Lakes Fisheries Leadership Institute, a program sponsored by the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network and several federal partners with funding from the National Sea Grant College Program. Similar workshops have been held for each of the Great Lakes and for each state in the Great Lakes basin.

"The institute is designed to give participants the knowledge they need to be effective stewards of the fishery," said Jeff Gunderson, Minnesota Sea Grant fisheries and aquaculture specialist. "We want to empower the public to interact effectively with Great Lakes fisheries management organizations. To do that, they need to be well-informed about the science and biology of the issues, and they need to understand the relationships among the managing institutions. They need to know who to talk to."

Another Great Lakes Fisheries Leadership Institute meeting to discuss issues specific to Minnesota will be held. For more information, please contact Jeff Gunderson at (218) 726-8715 or jgunder1@umn.edu.


By Sea Grant Staff
February 2004

Return to February 2004 Seiche



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