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Sea lamprey population to be controlled on six rivers and three river deltas

Lamprey rivers on lakeThe Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Management Cooperative (Cooperative) will be applying lampricides to portions of six tributaries and three delta areas of Lake Champlain during the months of September and October.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will be treating the Boquet, Ausable, Little Ausable, Salmon, and the Great Chazy rivers in New York and Lewis Creek in Vermont as part of the Cooperative’s long-term sea lamprey control program for Lake Champlain.  The Boquet, Ausable, and Salmon river deltas will also be treated in New York.  Treatments are scheduled to begin with the Boquet River on September 9th.  Treatment dates are always contingent on weather and may change with short notice.

While trout and salmon populations of the lake are the primary beneficiaries of these efforts, lake sturgeon, walleye, and many other species also benefit from sea lamprey control.  Sea lamprey control also generates economic activity by increasing angling opportunities and the time that boaters, anglers, and their families spend in the Lake Champlain area.

Annual sea lamprey assessments continue to show the success of the program where we recorded an average of 54 sea lamprey wounds per 100 lake trout and 15 per 100 Atlantic salmon in 2013.  This is down from a high of 99 for lake trout in 2007 and 79 for Atlantic salmon in 2003.  Several control initiatives are underway that will further reduce the sea lamprey population and reduce their impacts on Lake Champlain’s fish populations.

Larval sea lamprey live in rivers and on deltas for about four years before transforming to their parasitic phase and emigrating to Lake Champlain where their effect on the fishery becomes apparent.  One of the Cooperative’s Integrated Pest Management approaches is to apply selective pesticides (lampricides) to rivers and deltas in prescribed and precise concentrations.  The concentrations used are carefully chosen and monitored to ensure effective elimination of sea lamprey larvae and protection of non-target species.  TFM (3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol) will be applied in the rivers for 12-14 hours depending on environmental conditions.

A second lampricide, Bayluscide 20 percent Emulsifiable Concentrate, may be included in the application on the Boquet River.  The use of 1 percent Bayluscide with TFM reduces the amount of TFM needed by about 40 percent, resulting in a reduction of total lampricide applied and substantial cost savings.

Temporary water use advisories will be in effect for each of the treatments to minimize human exposure to affected waters.  Each state’s Department of Health recommends that the treated river and lake water not be used for drinking, swimming, fishing, irrigation, or livestock watering while the advisories are in effect.

The treatments and water use advisories will have no effect on most residents in the Champlain Basin.  Cooperative staff have identified all landowners with property in the affected areas.  A letter was sent to residents informing them of the planned treatment and asking them if they or their livestock use water from a surface supply that will be affected by the treatment.  Days before the treatments begin, another letter will be sent to inform residents of the impending treatment and to arrange any water usage accommodations.

Local television and radio stations will be provided with dates when advisories begin and expire. The treatment schedule is subject to change as weather conditions, stream flows, or logistical issues may arise during the treatments.  Residents will be kept apprised of any such changes through these media.  Communities and residents that utilize the following bodies of water should consult the advisory table.

Our toll-free number (1-888-596-0611) provides information on the treatment schedule for each of the treatments, progress reports, updates on treatments, and water use advisories.

Agency of Human Services and DCF seek public’s comments

The Governor’s Council on Pathways from Poverty, in collaboration with the Agency of Human Services and the Department for Children and Families is seeking public comments on ways the Agency of Human Services can improve the delivery of services to families with children served by the Department for Children and Families.

There are three ways to provide your comments:

Attend a Public Hearing:

Hearings will be held on two dates: Aug. 28 at 6 p.m. and Sept. 5 at 2 p.m. You can attend at any of the 13 Vermont Interactive Television sites located around the state. For a complete list of VIT sites go to http://www.vitlink.org/location or call (802) 728-1455.

Mail your comments:

You can mail your comments to the following address through September 30, 2014: Agency of Human Services, Secretary, 208 Hurricane Lane, Suite 103, Williston, VT 05495.

Complete an online survey:

Complete the survey (anonymously if you wish) at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/L3J2T56. The survey has the same key questions discussed below as well as space for additional comments.

Key Questions to Consider:

These questions are only intended to stimulate discussion. Feel free to raise your own questions and provide any suggestions.

How can DCF better serve Vermont families with children?

How can AHS and DCF avoid duplication of administrative functions and fragmentation of services for individuals and families?

Do AHS and DCF have the resources needed to be most effective? Are existing resources allocated properly? How could resources be better employed?

What is the most efficient use of state resources in serving families? For example, should divisions and/or functions be separate or integrated? How can communication within DCF be improved to better serve families?

How can DCF build stronger relationships between the families it serves and staff working with those families? For example, should enforcement capability be separated from day-to-day case management (that is, should sanction or removal powers be exercised by different people within the department)? Would that help or hinder the department?

Are there particular laws, rules, or policies that should be changed to improve outcomes for families? If so, what are they?

What is the agency or department doing well; are there existing areas of success the agency can and should build on?

The Governor’s Council on Pathways from Poverty is a 30-member advisory body. It is made up exclusively of volunteers, including advocates, direct service providers, housing and development experts and low-income Vermonters.
The Agency of Human Services includes several departments that work with low-income and vulnerable Vermonters including the Department for Children and Families.