Lake Superior Fisheries Management Plan

Planning process

The cornerstone of the Lake Superior planning process has been citizen participation. When the 1995 LSMP was developed, a group of interested citizens, the Lake Superior Advisory Group (LSAG), was formed and was instrumental in developing the plan. That group was reassembled in late 2004 to assist with drafting the 2005 LSMP. In 2005 there were 21 members that formed the LSAG. Members of the LSAG represent fishing organizations, environmental groups, Indian bands, commercial fishing interests, local governments and individual anglers interested in fisheries management in Minnesota's portion of Lake Superior.

The Lake Superior Fisheries Conference was open to all citizens interested in Lake Superior Fisheries management and held on December 4, 2004. The goal of the conference was to provide information on Lake Superior Fisheries management to interested citizens, and to identify major issues for the MNDNR and the LSAG to address in the revised LSMP. During the conference MNDNR biologists and invited scientists addressed various aspects of fisheries management in Lake Superior through a variety of brief presentations. Citizens engaged in two one-hour breakout sessions where they discussed and identified important issues they felt the MNDNR and the LSAG should address in the revised plan. After the conference, issues identified by the participants were summarized and prioritized based on topic areas.

Lake Superior Management Plan conference 2004
Ron Payer addressed the group of interested participants at Lake Superior fisheries conference kicking off the process of revising the Fisheries Management Plan for the Minnesota Waters of Lake Superior.

Six meeting were held with the LSAG over a 6-month period where brief presentations were made, and discussions took place among the members that focused on the major issues identified by citizens at the Lake Superior Fisheries Conference. Members were asked to provide written input from their organizations on the various issues discussed, and share that input with the LSAG. All input on each issue was compiled and distributed to all groups involved, including personnel in the Section of Fisheries.

Comments and input from the LSAG varied considerably, with some areas of common agreement and other areas where little or no agreement was apparent. After all the issues had been discussed by the LSAG, each organization's comments were recorded and summarized. The comment summaries were used by fishery managers and biologists that met to compile a set of recommendations to address the various issues raised by the citizens and discussed by the LSAG. These recommendations were crafted into a revised draft LSMP and reviewed by regional and central office fisheries staff. The draft LSMP was distributed to the LSAG for comment and discussion. Comments received from the LSAG were reviewed and modifications to the draft LSMP were made. The draft LSMP was then distributed to the general public by mail and web posting for comment and review. Three "Open House" meetings were held to distribute, discuss and get feedback on the draft LSMP from other citizens. The meetings were held in St. Paul, Schroeder, and Duluth. Comments received from the general public on the draft plan were carefully considered as the final plan was written. A written summary of comments from the public review period is posted here.