Tag Archives: Annual Meeting

From the Blake to the Drake

Chicago, Illinois

Evidently there are two “Great Lakes” Commissions. One is the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC). Did you know about that one? Hehe. The other is the Great Lakes Commission, which promotes the integrated and comprehensive development, use, and conservation of water resources (though they address fisheries issues, too!). Well, the Great Lakes Commission celebrated its 60th anniversary this week in Chicago, Illinois. The Commission invited the GLFC Commissioners and Secretariat to join the celebrations and participate in joint discussions with a focus on invasive species, nutrient reduction, and waterfront revitalization. The Great Lakes Commission sponsored a reception at the Shedd Aquarium that evening with excellent food and wonderful company. I had a blast connecting with members from BOTE and SLRB and some of the Commissioners.


Our meeting room at the Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago, Illinois. Photo credit: Molly J. Good


Bob Hecky (Canadian Commissioner) and Dr. Bill Taylor (U.S. Alternate Commissioner) discuss something important. Photo credit: Molly J. Good

The GLFC held a separate Executive Meeting on the second day of anniversary meeting. There, we discussed a few more loose ends from our Executive Meeting in June regarding the strategic evaluation of the GLFC vision. This project is coming to a close.


A beautiful photo of the downtown skyline from the Shedd Aquarium. Photo credit: Molly J. Good

LESSON #27: It is not easy to have a conference call on a party bus.

LESSON #28: If you are in a party bus and you look hard enough, you will find beer.

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My Moment

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Annual Meeting

This was a good Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC) Annual Meeting for me. For a couple of reasons…

At the Executive Meeting session of the Annual Meeting, I provided some materials for and made a presentation to the Commissioners (eek!) and Secretariat detailing the work that was completed during our GLFC Retreat in April. I plan to write up the retreat materials and major findings into a manuscript for the GLFC to have and include in its progress report.

commissioners table presentation - t. lawrence (7)

The Commissioner’s Table at the GLFC Annual Meeting Plenary Session. (From L to R) Tom Melius, Trevor Swerdfager, Bill Taylor, Don Pereira, Bob Hecky, Tracey Mill, Doug Stang, and Jim McCain. Dave Ullrich, not pictured. Photo credit: Nick Ebinger

In other news, over the last year, Bob Lambe, Dr. Bill Taylor, and I have been working on the development of an endowment to create a fellowship for a graduate student working on fisheries research in the Great Lakes Basin. This endowment was intended to be supported jointly by the GLFC and the Graduate School at Michigan State University. Because the paperwork for this endowment was finalized just before the Annual Meeting, Dr. Karen Klomparens, the Dean of the Graduate School at Michigan State University, was invited to announce this endowment and fellowship at the Annual Meeting Luncheon. As Dr. Karen Klomparens finish her comments, she mentioned that the first recipient of this fellowship had already been selected. Uh, cue confusion on my part because no one had told me about a fellowship recipient – and I wrote the fellowship language! Dr. Karen Klomparens continued with her closing comments, and announced that I would be the first recipient of the William W. Taylor and Henry A. Regier Great Lakes Fisheries Graduate Fellowship. Needless to say, I had a great night of celebrating with the GLFC at The B.O.B. (The Big Old Building) in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

LESSON #20: Persistence pays off.

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Charter Fishing with the Commission

Grand Haven, Michigan

To kickoff this year’s Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC) Annual Meeting, I organized a charter fishing trip in Lake Michigan for GLFC Commissioners and Secretariat members. This trip was intended to be a fun outing, but also an opportunity for people to connect and network. Thus, a group of us arrived in Grand Haven, Michigan for dinner at Jack’s Waterfront Bistro and Bar on Tuesday, June 9, 2015.

Early on Wednesday morning, I drove to Grand Isle Marina in Grand Haven, Michigan to help out with charter boat assignments. We reserved five boats for a total of twenty-five fishers. As I mentioned, these fishers were either Commissioners, Secretariat members, or individuals we invited in order to build the GLFC network.


Some of the fishers assembling at Grand Isle Marina in Grand Haven, Michigan. (From L to R) Bob Lambe, Don Pereira, Bill Demmer (Demmer Corporation), and Fred Posten (MSU). Photo credit: Molly J. Good

I was assigned to Captain Rob Tabiadon’s charter, Tab’s Sportfishing Charters, with Don Pereira (U.S. Commissioner), Dr. Jim Diana (University of Michigan, Dr. Andrew Muir (GLFC), and Dr. Mike Siefkes (GLFC). When you fish out of Grand Haven, it takes some time to move the charter boat from Grand Isle Marine, through the channel, out into Lake Michigan. Let me set the stage: there is fog everywhere. Deep fog. So, about ten minutes into our trip, Tab’s gets lost. Our progress was looking really grim, until Don pulled out “GoogleMaps” on his iPhone! With Don’s help, Tab’s was finally able to get us into the lake! Three hours and three fish later, we headed back to the marina (no fog this time, so our trip was easy).


Don Pereira helping Captain Ron Tabiadon steer us out of the channel. Photo credit: Molly J. Good

All five boats came back with a serious haul of fish.


My first and only catch of the day, a nice Chinook or King salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Photo credit: Andrew Muir


Andrew Muir reeling in a Chinook salmon. Photo credit: Molly J. Good


Mike Siefkes posing with his lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush). Photo credit: Molly J. Good


A treasured photo – me with my two mentors, Dr. Bill Taylor (L) and Bob Lambe (R). Photo credit: Ted Lawrence


Mentors in action. Photo credit: Molly J. Good


Perhaps a gruesome photo to some of you, but this was just a part of our damage between five charter boats. Photo credit: Molly J. Good

2015 Annual Fishing Crew - T. Lawrence

The fishing crew! Photo credit: Ted Lawrence

After cleaning and processing the fish, and taking a few group pictures, we headed to Old Boys’ Brewhouse in Spring Lake, Michigan. There, we had an incredible feast of cooked fish, coleslaw, French fries, onion rings, and other goodies.


When there is food around, I am unaware of the camera. Photo credit: Ted Lawrence

After our lunch, I drove Bob Lambe (GLFC) and Dr. Bill Taylor (MSU) to our hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan to prepare for the Annual Meeting. Talk about some precious cargo.

LESSON #20: Boat captains can get lost, too.

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Progress at the Palmer House

Chicago, Illinois

Annual Meeting

Each summer, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC) holds its Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting is probably the highlight of the GLFC meeting schedule because it showcases the successes and progress the GLFC has made over the past year. Thus, the Annual Meeting is full of back-to-back presentations detailing a variety of topics, mainly completed projects, interesting and relevant research project results, and innovative ideas and concepts for future research projects.

There is usually an Executive Meeting and Luncheon at each Annual Meeting. The Executive Meeting is normally open to Commissioners and Secretariat members only, though I was able to attend (because of my Fenske Fellow status, I have received admittance into many of these private meetings!). During this meeting, the Secretariat members give brief presentations on the status of each of the programs they manage to the Commissioners. For example, Dr. Marc Gaden (Communications Director and Legislative Liaison) gave a presentation on outreach and education events sponsored by the GLFC in the past year. Dr. John Dettmers (Director of Fisheries Management) gave a presentation on the status of the GLFC Fishery Research Program.

The Palmer House Hilton Chicago is breathtaking! While I was there, I used my time at the Annual Meeting to meet individually with Bob Lambe (GLFC) and Dr. Bill Taylor (MSU) to discuss my experiences with the GLFC thus far. I expressed to them that my involvement in meetings such as this one has helped me gain a better understanding of the structure and function of the Commission. One of the highlights of this trip was a special reception at the Shedd Aquarium in downtown Chicago, Illinois. I had a wonderful evening eating good food and watching the dolphins swim.

Palmer House Hilton

Beautiful view of the ceiling in the Palmer House Hilton lobby. Photo credit: Molly J. Good


The dolphin pool at the Shedd Aquarium at night. Photo credit: Molly J. Good

My status as Fenske Fellow does not officially begin until September of this year. Therefore, I have been grateful for the opportunities to learn about the GLFC through observation and active participation in these meetings. I am looking forward to developing the relationships I have made with the GLFC Secretariat, U.S. and Canadian Commissioners, and the Law Enforcement Committee.

LESSON #5: It is important to ask questions, because that is how you learn. It also helps in making new connections.

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