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RESOLUTION AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

SENATE RESOLUTION

State of Vermont

Senate Chamber

Montpelier, Vermont

Senate Resolution


   By Senator Giard,

     S.R. 20.  Senate resolution relating to supporting the importance of fishing in Lake Champlain and the urgency of eliminating sea lampreys and cormorants from the lake.

Whereas, sea lampreys pose a grave threat to the integrity of Lake Champlain and its fishing industry, and

Whereas, despite the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s best efforts to eliminate sea lampreys from the lake, the threat they now pose has risen to an emergency situation, and

Whereas, according to an authoritative 2001 study, the sport contributed $111,000,000.00 directly to the state’s economy, and

Whereas, the number of fishing licenses sold annually in the state declined from 56,495 in 1987 to 42,469 in 2006, and this precipitous decline can in part be attributed to the large increase in the presence of lamprey and cormorants in Lake Champlain, and   

Whereas, according to the Lake Champlain Basin Program’s 2003 report entitled “Opportunities for Action,” the Lake Champlain basin’s portion of the Vermont tourism economy is valued at $2.7 billion, and

Whereas, the Department continues to treat infested tributaries at the maximum legally allowable rate, but the lampreys’ hit-rate on fish remains higher than expected, and

Whereas, similarly the double-crested cormorant population is a serious threat to the health of the islands and shoreline of the lake, and

Whereas, the density of these birds and their nesting habitats have deforested certain of the lake’s islands in their entirety, and

Whereas, the cormorants’ waste stream presents a significant phosphate loading problem into the lake, and it may even carry the viral infection known as VHS, which is the most dangerous infectious disease threat confronting fish species in the entire Lake Champlain basin, and

Whereas, VHS is already infecting lakes in western New York state, and it is urgent to prevent any VHS infection in Lake Champlain, and

Whereas, threats to Lake Champlain’s economy, and its fishing industry, demand timely action, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate:

Resolved:  That the Senate of the State of Vermont urges the Agency of Natural Resources and the Department of Fish and Wildlife to proceed to eliminate threats posed by sea lampreys and double-crested cormorants, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Senate of the State of Vermont urges the Agency of Natural Resources and the Department of Fish and Wildlife to proceed with the greatest possible effort to eliminate any and all threats of sea lampreys and double-crested cormorants, and be it further

Resolved:  That the Secretary of the Senate be directed to send a copy of this resolution to George Crombie, Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources, to Brad Wright, clean and clear specialist at the agency, and to Wayne Laroche, Commissioner of Fish and Wildlife.

 


 



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us