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THE FISH AND GAME COMMISSION
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State of California

THE FISH AND GAME COMMISSION

 

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City Hall
Hearing Room 1
1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 1st floor
Oakland

MEETING SUMMARY

DISCUSSION ITEMS
1.

PUBLIC FORUM

Walt Mansell requested expedited public access to newly acquired state land. He explained that access on these lands is often denied until management plans, personnel and budget issues are clarified.

Mike Tanaka provided a handout and indicated that recently the Department had designated Agua Hedionda Lagoon as “inland water” and has been issuing violations for the use of live bait. He explained that the lagoon has been fished as ocean water for halibut with live bait for 50 years. He requested clarification as the fresh water regulations do not address ocean fish.

John Ugoretz explained that if the lagoon is tidally influenced then it should be designated as ocean water. He stated that the Department would clarify and report back to the Commission.

Bob Strickland requested that the daily bag limit for surf perch south of San Francisco be increased by 5 fish at 10.5 inches, if the Department could not produce evidence that the fishery is in decline.

Deputy Director Mastrup stated that Department’s Marine Region staff would respond when they arrive.

Carter Fickes provided a handout requesting an exemption from Section 230 to allow bass tournament anglers to legally cull fish. He noted that Department staff indicated that there would be no resulting biological impact.

Gary Bradford supported Mr. Fickes’ request and invited the Commissioners to observe this technique at a local bass tournament.

President Kellogg indicated that he has supported this exemption for years and was thankful that it had been brought to the Commission’s attention.

Don Reighley read a letter from Melissa Fulton which described the positive economic impact bass tournaments bring to local communities. She supported Mr. Fickes’ request.

President Kellogg indicated that this request is listed on the current agenda as item 7(d) but requested that the Department make its report at this time.

Deputy Director Mastrup emphasized that the Department is supportive of bass tournaments, but explained that allowing tournament anglers to continue to fish after they have reached their 5 fish limit is currently illegal. He confirmed that there would be no biological impact on the fishery to allow culling during bass tournaments by amending Section 230.

The Commission, on a unanimous vote, authorized its staff to publish notice of the Commission’s intent to amend Section 230, to allow tournament fishermen to continue to fish during bass tournaments once they had five bass in their live well, but if they landed another fish they had to release one.

Executive Director Treanor indicated that consideration of adoption for this amendment will be scheduled for the Commission’s June 23-24, 2005, meeting in Bishop.

Steve Shimek commented that the MLPA process was “going great” as hundreds of stakeholders are participating, and all support increased funding for the Department to implement the resulting plan. He noted that the Assembly budget committee also supported the increase as long as the project stayed on schedule.

Erin Simmons indicated that The Ocean Conservancy also remains supportive of the MLPA process.

Jamie Ray requested the Department report on the current status of the proposed regulatory amendments regarding mammal trapping.

Deputy Director Mastrup responded that Department is in compliance with the existing statutes as the exam and study materials have been significantly improved. He explained that the Department is not the only entity to license trappers and will continue to honor such permits. He noted that the amendments, which the Department had submitted last year, have been indefinitely withdrawn as the Department lacks the necessary staff and funding to complete the environmental document.

Paul Weakland discussed a letter from Regional Manager Patty Wolf which stated that the draft abalone recovery and management plan would be submitted to the Commission for approval by the meeting today. He asked why the item was not included on the current agenda.

Executive Director Treanor responded that the Department was still redrafting the plan based on public comments and the Commission has not yet received the draft abalone recovery and management plan from the Department. He noted that the Commission was equally unhappy about the Department’s failure to submit work on time.

Virginia Handley reported that the Fund for Animals recently merged with the Humane Society of the United Sattes. She emphasized the need to revisit the exotic animal regulations given the recent tiger escape and chimp attack incidents. She also requested a ban on the importation of live turtles and frogs.

2.

ADOPTION/RATIFICATION OF COMMISSION FINDINGS, RE: REJECTION OF PETITION TO LIST THE TRICOLORED BLACKBIRD (Agelaius tricolor) AS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES.. (Commission Action Only. No Public Testimony.)

Commission ratified its findings of February 3, 2005, to reject the petition to list the tricolored blackbird as an endangered species.

3.

ADOPTION/RATIFICATION OF COMMISSION FINDINGS, RE: REJECTION OF PETITION TO LIST DE-LIST COHO SALMON (Oncorhynchus kisutch) SOUTH OF SAN FRANCISCO AS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES. (Commission Action Only. No Public Testimony.)

Commission ratified it findings of February 3, 2005, to reject the petition to de-list coho salmon south of San Francisco as an endangered species.

4.

PRESENTATION RE: U.C. BERKELEY'S WILD TURKEY STUDY/COLLECTION IN STATE PARKS.

Received Dr. Barrett’s presentation; received public testimony. Dr. Barrett will return to the Commission’s December 2005 meeting to provide the final results of his study.

5.

RECEIPT OF DEPARTMENT REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON ITS REVIEW OF THE FOLLOWING COMMISSION POLICIES: 

  (A) WETLAND RESOURCES
  (B) DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME RECOMMENDED WETLAND DEFINITION, MITIGATION STRATEGIES, AND HABITAT VALUE ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY
  (C) WETLAND DEFINITION
  (D) RETENTION OF WETLAND ACREAGE AND HABITAT VALUES
  (E) FISH AND GAME COMMISSION COMMENT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME ON THE WETLAND POLICY IMPLEMENTATION PROPOSAL
  Received Department’s report and recommendations for no changes in the policy; no public testimony.
OTHER
6.

RECEIPT OF DEPARTMENT LEGISLATIVE REPORT.

Received Department’s report on March 18; received public testimony.

Commissioners unanimously approved adding to the agenda consideration of Commission’s position on AB 1033. Commission approved a Support position for the legislation on a 2-1 vote with one abstention.

7. RECEIPT OF DEPARTMENT INFORMATIONAL ITEMS
  (A)

UPDATE ON DEPARTMENT'S BUDGET.

Deputy Director Mastrup reported that after recent legislative budget subcommittee hearings, it is widely recognized that the Department is under-funded and needs assistance.

Chief Deputy Director Stein discussed the possibility of submitting a program fee restructuring plan for the streambed alteration program.

Commissioner Hattoy indicated his willingness to contact members of the Legislature to assist with funding issues for the Department.

Executive Director Treanor pointed out that the Commission had offered its assistance over the years, but the Department had been reluctant to accept the offers. He encouraged the Department to utilize the Commissioners expertise and contacts.

  (B)

UPDATE ON MLPA.

John Ugoretz indicated that the Blue Ribbon Task Force met in Monterey in February and will continue to receive comments on the revised draft of the master plan framework until March 25th. He reported that the draft plan will be provided to the Commission at a special meeting in May.

Executive Director Treanor commented that at the request of the Blue Ribbon Task Force, the special meeting had been scheduled for May 23 in Sacramento.

Vice President Flores emphasized the need for continued involvement and updates on the MLPA process. He indicated concern regarding the perception that the Commission is simply a “rubber stamp” for the MLPA Plan.

The Commission requested that, if possible, it would like the Chairperson of the Blue Ribbon Task Force to attend its next meeting to provide an update on its process.

  (C)

UPDATE ON DEPARTMENT MONITORING PLAN FOR THE CHANNEL ISLANDS MPAS, INCLUDING SOCIO-ECONOMIC STUDIES.

John Ugoretz summarized the current monitoring efforts at the Channel Islands. He reported that overall funding has decreased this year, but monitoring efforts should remain at similar levels due to increased funding to the NPS. He indicated that Chris La Franke has been contracted to examine the socioeconomic impacts of the MPAs. He indicated that the Department would provide an update of the mid-year surveys at the Commission’s August meeting.

 

  (D)

UPDATE ON THE STATEMENT RE: CULLING OF BASS IN THE 2005 SPORT FISHING REGULATION BOOKLET.

See agenda item #1.

8. RECEIPT OF COMMISSION INFORMATIONAL ITEMS.
  (A)

SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS.
I. MARINE SUBCOMMITTEE.
No report.

II. AL TAUCHER POLICY ADVISORY COMMITTEE.
Vice President Flores reported that the ATPAC met on March 10th in Sacramento to restructure the committee for increased productivity. He noted that the committee unanimously recommended that the Commission take formal positions on three pieces of legislation.

Phil Martinelli provided a handout from the ATPAC recommending that the Commission take positions on three bills of interest. He discussed the legislation and indicated that the ATPAC recommended Oppose for AB 996 and Support for SB 1028 and SB 1029.

The Commission unanimously adopted the recommendations of the ATPAC.

  (B) STAFF REPORTS.
No report.
9.

RECEIPT OF FEDERAL AGENCIES INFORMATIONAL ITEMS.

No report.

10.

RECEIPT OF LEGAL COUNSEL INFORMATIONAL ITEMS.

No report.


EXECUTIVE SESSION
  (NOT OPEN TO PUBLIC)

PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY OF GOVERNMENT CODE SECTION 11126(a)(1) and (e)(1), AND SECTION 309 OF THE FISH AND GAME CODE, THE COMMISSION WILL MEET IN CLOSED EXECUTIVE SESSION.  THE PURPOSE OF THIS EXECUTIVE SESSION IS TO CONSIDER:
A. PENDING LITIGATION TO WHICH THE COMMISSION IS A PARTY:
  I.

VENTURA COUNTY COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN'S ASSOCIATION, ET AL., vs. CALIFORNIA FISH AND GAME COMMISSION RE: CHANNEL ISLANDS MPAS.

  II. SANFORD WINSTON, ET AL., vs. CALIFORNIA FISH AND GAME COMMISSION RE: SPOT PRAWN TRAWL.
B.
POSSIBLE LITIGATION INVOLVING THE COMMISSION.
C. STAFF PERFORMANCE AND COMPENSATION.