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April 3-4, 2003, Meeting Summary

Meeting of 
April 3, 2003 (Thursday)
10:00 a.m.

Board of Supervisors Chambers
Administation Building
2800 W Burrel
Visalia

ALL MEETINGS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

DISCUSSION ITEMS

  1. PUBLIC FORUM - Any member of the public may address and/or ask questions of the Commission relating to the implementation of its policies or any other matter within the jurisdiction of the Commission. As a general rule, action cannot be taken on issues not listed on the agenda. Staff will normally be requested to follow up on such items at the discretion of the Commission.

    Paul Strasser provided comments that the whitefish closure during the rockfish closure does not make any sense and requested that the fishery be reopened because in his experience they don't have a bycatch of rockfish.

    Chris Hoeflinger provided comments on the nearshore fishery and objected to the Department of Fish and Game's proposed procedure for amending sections 52.10, 150.06 and 150.16, Title 14, CCR, on the basis that it violates the procedures for amending these sections as set forth in the Nearshore Fishery Management Plan, which was recently adopted by the Commission. He commented that trip limits have expired and that it is important to have them and suggested reconvening the Nearshore Fishery Advisory Committee to develop additional options that better meet the goals of the NFMP.

    Chris Miller commented on the Marine Region's priority issues, the lobster management plan may be awhile, and requested the Commission consider writing a letter to the Coastal Commission regarding review and comment on any plans affecting eel grass meadows for protection of lobster rearing habitat.

    Fred Wendell pointed out that the Department has the opportunity to review the beach replenishment documents now, and suggested working with the Marine Region instead of sending a letter to the Coastal Commission.

    Harry Liquornik recommended amendments to the Master Plan: when advisory panels are involved in the development of FMP's or Plan amendments the advisory panels should be directly involved in the development of alternatives for the FMP; the Preferred Alternative should continue to be developed in any manner the Department sees fit; advisory panel comments should go to the Peer review as a whole along with any summaries of comments; the advisory panels should also be involved with FMP revisions based on peer review comments; and at least one Commission hearing to determine adequacy of Draft FMP or plan amendment to trigger the Peer review process.

    Bob Strickland provided comments on the boat bag limits and the recent constituent meeting. He suggested a word change from passengers to licensees which would allow the crew to also take fish.

    Marci Yaremko provided a followup on the committee meeting that is working on the boat bag limit process and will report to the Commission in August.

    Paul Weakland commented that the Department destroys records after four years, which is a bureaucratic double shuffle. He also commented on the State's budgetary crisis.

    Zeke Grader commented on the nearshore fishery permit appeal issue and how some fishermen who have a long history of fishing don't qualify for permits and recommended that the long history of a fisherman in a fishery should be taken into consideration when approving/denying permits.

  2. COMMISSION STATUS REPORT ON IMPLEMENTATION OF ITS STRATEGIC PLAN.

    Commissioner Chrisman reported that this item is kept on the agenda to provide the public an opportunity to comment on its Strategic Plan. He reviewed the development of the Strategic Plan and indicated that a formal review process would be commencing sometime this year, as needed to look for a funding source. He encouraged the public to submit comments and/or suggestions. Received public testimony.

  3. CONSIDERATION OF ADOPTION OF AMENDMENT TO COMMISSION POLICY ON WILD TROUT WATERS TO CREATE A HERITAGE TROUT ANGLER RECOGNITION CERTIFICATE.

    Received the Department's recommendation; received public testimony; Commission approved amending the Commission policy on Wild Trout Waters to create a Heritage Trout Angler Recognition Certificate.

  4. CONSIDERATION OF ADOPTION OF COMMISSION BUDGET POLICY STATEMENT TO MAINTAIN FULL FUNDING OF THE SIERRA NEVADA BIGHORN SHEEP RECOVERY PROGRAM.

    Commission declared its full support of the Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Recovery Program and pledged its full support to maintain adequate funding of the recovery program until the status of the SNBS population stabilizes.

OTHER

  1. RECEIPT OF DEPARTMENT LEGISLATIVE REPORT.

    Deputy Director Mastrup provided a brief summary of legislative actions taken to date and the Department's written report, including the list of priority bills. President Flores provided an update on AB 1190 and AB 342. Received public testimony. The Commission affirmed its approval of the letters sent in opposition of AB 342 and AB 1190.

  2. (A) UPDATE ON DEPARTMENT'S BUDGET.

    Deputy Director Mastrup reported on the Department's 2003-04 budget; that budget negotiations are continuing and that it could be worse than expected. President Flores commented that the Commission's Budget Subcommittee would be requesting assistance from the Legislature.

    (B) UPDATE ON MARINE LIFE PROTECTION ACT TIMELINE.

    Fred Wendell reported that the Department has delayed the next round of regional advisory committee meetings due to budget constraints. Received public testimony.

    (C) UPDATE ON DEPARTMENT MONITORING PLAN FOR THE CHANNEL ISLANDS MPAS.

    Fred Wendell provided a brief overview, summarized the March workshop, and the item will be reviewed at the next Marine Subcommittee meeting scheduled for May 1, 2003, in Sacramento. Received public testimony.

    (D) UPDATE ON MEETING SCHEDULE FOR ABALONE RECOVERY AND MANAGEMENT PLAN.

    Fred Wendell described the Department's proposed schedule for a May, June and August meetings and possibly a meeting in the Fort Bragg area. Received public testimony.

    (E) UPDATE ON COHO RECOVERY PLANNING PROCESS.

    Deputy Director Mastrup reported that the recovery planning process is in full gear, all watersheds are being reviewed, two subcommittees have been formed and are moving forward, and the group was very committed to the process. He reviewed the timeline: two meetings in April; working on watershed review in May; and a report to the Commission at its June meeting. Received public testimony.

  3. RECEIPT OF COMMISSION INFORMATIONAL ITEMS.

    (A) SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS.

    I.  MARINE SUBCOMMITTEE.

    Commissioner Chrisman reported on the Marine Subcommittee meeting held on March 18, 2003, in Sacramento and attended by Commissioners Chrisman and Schuchat. Agenda topics covered were: Marine Region's rulemaking priorities for 2003; National Marine Sanctuaries efforts for regulatory authority for fishery management within the Sanctuaries; Commission/PFMC coordination on nearshore and MPAs; marine sport fishing regulation proposals for 2004/05; Nearshore Phase II Management Options; update on Nearshore Restricted Access Permit implementation and appeals; ocean salmon regulations; RAPT update of priorities; Dungeness crab trap destruct device regulations to extend sunset date; amendment of the MLMA Master Plan; and the Abalone Recovery and Management Plan's hearing schedule. The next Marine Subcommittee meeting is scheduled for May 1, 2003, in Sacramento.

    II. AL TAUCHER POLICY ADVISORY COMMITTEE.

    President Flores reported on the Al Taucher Policy Advisory Committee held on March 20, 2003, at the Fresno County Sportsman's Lodge in Fresno and attended by Commissioners Chrisman and Flores. Agenda topics covered were: report from Private Lands/Public Access Working Group; presentation on the American Hunting Heritage Association; report from Legislative Working Group; Department update on Legislative issues; report from Working Group Monitoring Department's Implementation of Commission Policy on "Multiple Use of Lands Administered by the DFG"; report on Department budget and potential impacts on hunting/fishing activities; report on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's proposed regulations regarding captive-reared mallards; Department presentation on land acquisitions and preserving hunting and sport fishing opportunities; presentation by Sierra Foothill Conservancy regarding management of their lands; Department presentation on the Carrizo Plains Ecological Reserve; and Department updates on Chronic Wasting Disease and Newcastle Disease.

    (B) STAFF REPORTS.

    I.  RAPT UPDATE.

    There was no report; received public testimony.

  4. RECEIPT OF FEDERAL AGENCIES INFORMATIONAL ITEMS.

    Joe Blum provided a brief update on the following: coho salmon recovery team two day meeting scheduled for July; reviewing listing of all salmonids on the west coast; MRFSS report and funding allotments; and requested the Commission invite Rod McInnis to the May 1 Marine Subcommittee meeting. Received public testimony.

  5. RECEIPT OF LEGAL COUNSEL INFORMATIONAL ITEMS.

    Deputy Attorney General Cunningham briefly reviewed recent changes to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act and indicated he would provide copies to the Commissioners and a detailed report at the next meeting.

  6. FIELD TRIP - AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE MEETING, THE COMMISSION WILL HAVE A FIELD TRIP TO SOUTHERN TULARE COUNTY TO OBSERVE SOME WETLAND ENHANCEMENT PROJECTS AND THEIR RESULTS. THE PUBLIC MAY ATTEND, BUT MUST PROVIDE OWN TRANSPORTATION.

    Commission took a field trip to southern Tulare County to observe wetland enhancement projects.