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  • National Park Service U. S. Department of the Interior Lake Superior Basin National Parks

    Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Natural Resources Management

    Emergency Prevention and Response Plan

    For Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia

    National Park System Units and the Grand Portage Indian

    Reservation within the Lake Superior Basin

    March 14, 2008

    E X P E R I E N C E Y O U R A M E R I C A

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    Table of Contents

    Note: Emergency issues and actions are highlighted (shaded) throughout this plan. Executive Summary ..........................................................................................................4 Introduction .......................................................................................................................6 Background..............................................................................................................6 Purpose and Scope of plan.......................................................................................8 Objectives and Strategies.........................................................................................8 Planning Assumptions ...........................................................................................10 Aquatic Invasive Species and the Great Lakes......................................................11 Situation Analysis.............................................................................................................13 Overall Situation ....................................................................................................13 Tribal and Park Resources at Risk.........................................................................14 Current Actions Underway ....................................................................................15 Vector Analysis.................................................................................................................17 Aquaculture............................................................................................................17 Ballast Water..........................................................................................................17 Commercial and Subsistence Fishing ....................................................................20 Movement/Migration of Fish and Wildlife............................................................21 NPS and Reservation Operations and Agency-controlled Activities ....................24 Water Based Recreation Activities ........................................................................28 Assessment of Risks to Tribal and Park Resources by Vector ..............................30 Authorities and Policies...................................................................................................34 Tribal Authorities...................................................................................................34 National Park Service Authorities and Policies .....................................................35 Collaborating Agencies..........................................................................................44 Actions to Protect Tribal and National Park Resources ..............................................45 Emergency Prevention Actions..............................................................................45 Non-Emergency Prevention Actions .....................................................................48 Monitoring and Detection Actions.........................................................................51 Response Actions...................................................................................................53 Long Term Rehabilitation......................................................................................59 Communications Strategy......................................................................................60 Evaluation and Measuring Success........................................................................65 Location-specific Considerations....................................................................................67 Apostle Islands National Lakeshore ......................................................................67 Grand Portage Indian Reservation and Grand Portage National Monument.........68 Isle Royale National Park ......................................................................................71 Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.......................................................................74 Safety Considerations ......................................................................................................78 NPS and GPIR Financial Considerations......................................................................79 Preparers and Reviewers ...............................................................................................82

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    References and Resources ...............................................................................................84 Glossary and Acronyms.........................................................................................85 VHSv Fact Sheet....................................................................................................88 VHSv Facts for the Public .....................................................................................93 VHSv Prevention Information Template ...............................................................95 Jurisdiction and Authorities ...................................................................................96 Wisconsin Boat and Gear Disinfection Protocol ...................................................98 Information on HACCP Plans .............................................................................105 Information for Collaboration on Ballast Water..................................................106 Great Lakes Organizations...................................................................................119 Roles, Responsibilities and Authorities for Aquatic Fish Health ........................126 Fish Species Occurring in Park and Reservation Waters.....................................134 Incident Complexity Guide..................................................................................136 Guidelines For Responding to Fish Kills ……………………………………... 139 Literature Cited ....................................................................................................146

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    Executive Summary

    Emergency Prevention and Response Plan

    for Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia National Park System Units and the Grand Portage Indian Reservation within the Lake Superior Basin

    What is VHSv? Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHSv)1 is a deadly fish virus that has been recently detected in lower Great Lakes’ freshwater fish. It has not yet been found in Lake Superior. VHSv can infect a wide range of fish species and has been the cause of large fish kills in other parts of the Great Lakes. Great Lakes fish have no exposure history to VHSv and, therefore, are especially susceptible to the disease. In fact, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, there has not been a virus in the past that has affected so many fish species from so many fish families in the Great Lakes. (Wisconsin DNR, 2007). VHSv does not pose a threat to human health. What resources are at risk? All waters within the Lake Superior basin are at immediate risk for VHSv introduction, including those of Isle Royale National Park, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, and the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Reservation, which contains the Grand Portage National Monument within its reservation boundaries. These parks contain some of the most productive fisheries in the basin and may include (at Isle Royale) unique morphotypes of lake trout (Goodier 1981, Burnham- Curtis 1996, Moore and Bronte 2001). VHSv can cause massive fish kills, catastrophically reducing important recreational opportunities, subsistence and commercial fish stocks; potentially destroying the morphotypes of lake trout at Isle Royale; and creating unpleasant conditions such as windrows of dead fish. What is the focus of this Plan? This plan is focused on (1) preventing contamination of the waters of the four units of the National Park System located in the Lake Superior basin and the Grand Portage Indian Reservation, (2) detecting the introduction of VHSv and (3) responding to VHSv detection and outbreaks. The plan will assist park and tribal managers, staff and cooperators in assessing the risk of VHSv introduction and, subsequently, planning and implementing the appropriate levels of prevention and monitoring actions for their area based upon that risk. The plan also provides a framework for response. Implementation of this plan will require close coordination with tribes; federal, state and provincial agencies and other organizations as they implement their own plans around the basin.

    1 Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) is the disease in fish caused by the Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia virus (VHSv).

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    What happens if we do nothing? There is the potential for catastrophic loss of species important for recreational, subsistence and commercial fishing opportunities, as well as potential impacts to prey species that c

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