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.
Jim Stengle spoke on a possible request from the Marin Municipal Water District to conduct a food habit study on wild turkeys, which would eliminate several hundred wild turkeys. He noted that some of this information may be rumor, but wanted to voice the concern of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
Deputy Director Mastrup explained that Marin County Water District has been concerned with the number of turkeys on District Lands and the resulting effects on watershed health and water quality. He noted that the Department is working with the District to address this problem but there has not been a formal permit request received at this time. He indicated that the Commission would soon receive a draft turkey management plan which will include options for dealing with areas where turkeys are not desirable. He noted that the Department would share with the Commission, any future permit requests having to do with turkey depredation .
Phil Martinelli indicated further concern on behalf of the California chapter of the NWTF, regarding wild turkeys on watershed land, especially with removing the turkeys by lethal means. He noted that NWTF supported the draft management plan that the Department had recently posted. He read a statement from the President of the NWTF California Chapter which indicated that NWTF was willing to fund the trapping and relocation all of the turkeys found to be a nuisance, at no cost to the water districts or the State of California.
Bob Strickland provided a letter to the Commission regarding his concern that commercial fisheries are not self sustaining, and that recreational fishermen do not want their recreational license money used to support those fisheries. He requested that the Department provide a breakdown of the cost of the fisheries including all money that recreational fishermen are contributing.
Tom Raftican supported Mr. Strickland's comments and indicated that the commercial squid fishery should be self supporting through permits of landing taxes as it is the largest fishery in the state. He indicated additional concerns with program funding allocation and suggested that the Department conduct an audit of fishery program expenses and publish those results for public review and comment; he noted that a formal letter of request would be forthcoming.
Karen Reyna commended the Commission on requesting additional information on the squid FMP at the last meeting, and thanked the Department for providing that information. She indicated that they are coordinating with a panel of scientists to provide additional squid fishery data to the Department. She stated that they are concerned with the squid FMP's problem statement, in that the goals and objectives do not match goals of Marine Life Management Act. She noted that at the last meeting, she had provided an informational packet on squid as forage, and would like to see a range of alternatives added to the plan based on this information. She noted that they will be submitting substantial comments at the upcoming special meetings. She questioned if adoption of the plan had indeed been delayed until the December meeting.
Executive Director Treanor confirmed that the adoption hearing had been extended until December.
Eric Mills commented that he believes wild turkeys are a non-native species. He indicated that he visits markets in China Town on a weekly basis and regularly sees prohibited turtles and bull frogs that are being mistreated and many are being dumped into the wild. He requested that the Commission consider a ban on the importation of turtles and bull frogs. He noted that there is a lake in Golden Gate Park that is inhabited by hundreds of African clawed frogs that are a huge problem to native species. He wants to know what the Department is going to do about the situation.
Paul Weakland provided the Commission with an article from Marine Management Newsletter on the abalone management plan. He commented that the Department and Commission had missed all of their deadlines and that none of the public comments from that last seven years on abalone had been addressed. He stated that the studies from Bodega Bay Marine lab on the subject are all skewed. He questioned when this issue would be resolved. He noted that the squid landings from last year brought in a lot of money which never seems to be enough.
Executive Director Treanor clarified that the special meetings on the Abalone Recovery and Management Plan are being scheduled and that the new deadline for consideration of adoption is set for the December meeting in Sacramento.
Craig Bell discussed the Butte Creek spring run salmon kill. He commented that PG&E could do more to manipulate water flows to improve and reduce water temperature which is the cause of the gill disease killing the spring run chinook salmon.
Deputy Director Mastrup responded that this is an ongoing problem as water management is very complicated in this state, and that they are currently discussing issue.