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