May 7-8, 2003, Meeting Summary

Meeting of
May 7, 2003 (Wednesday)
10:00 a.m.

Riverside

ALL MEETINGS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

NOTE: Field Trip – The Commission Has Scheduled a Field Trip Leaving from the Riverside Airport at Approximately 10:00 a.m. to Observe Some Habitat Conservation Planning and Natural Communities Conservation Planning Work Being Done in Riverside County. The Public May Attend, But Must Provide Their Own Transportation. The Estimated Return Time to Riverside is 5:00 p.m.

The Commission and staff toured an approximate 10,000 acre tract proposed for purchase to provide permanent habitat protection for wildlife values, then toured the Department of Fish and Game's San Jacinto Wildlife Area.

Meeting of
May 8, 2003 (Thursday)
8:30 a.m.

Riverside Marriott
3400 Market Street
Riverside

ALL MEETINGS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

DISCUSSION ITEMS

  1. ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION.

    Commission accepted its Hearing Officer's proposed decisions on the following license and permit items from the Commission's May 8, 2003, Executive Session:

    QUY THANH CHUONG, APPROVED NEARSHORE FISHERY PERMIT.
    XUAN MUN LY, APPROVED NEARSHORE FISHERY PERMIT.
    SAU NGO, APPROVED NEARSHORE FISHERY PERMIT.
    SAU PHANG, APPROVED NEARSHORE FISHERY PERMIT.
    KIU SIN, APPROVED NEARSHORE FISHERY PERMIT.
    ANNA WONG, APPROVED NEARSHORE FISHERY PERMIT.
    LARRY WONG, APPROVED NEARSHORE FISHERY PERMIT.

  2. 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.

    Gordon Fox spoke about converting spot prawn trawl permits to trap permits to finish what was started with the prohibition on the use of trawls. He indicated that the industry is ready to help the process in any way possible.

    Deputy Director Mastrup said he would check with Marine Region staff to see what priority has been assigned to this matter. Mr. Mastrup appreciated Mr. Fox's offer of assistance and would get back to him promptly.

    Kevin Cooper, San Diego sport diver, requested an amendment of Section 630, Title 14, to allow the possession and transport of spear guns through the San Diego - La Jolla Ecological Reserve from the sand beach boat launch area to outside the Reserve for sportfishing purposes. He provided suggested wording to allow this activity.

    Deputy Director Mastrup indicated the Department is willing to look into this matter. He stated that if Section 630 of Title 14 is opened for other regulatory matters this change should not be a problem. He pointed out that it might have to wait for the normal sport fishing regulatory process if that section won't be open for other reasons.

    Juanita Dellomes spoke about the Fishing in the City Program in Los Angeles at Echo Lake. She expressed her concerns with a new organization that has interfered with the Department of Fish and Game's efforts. She indicated that this organization was not really interested in the welfare of the youth and did not provide equipment or other materials for the events.

    President Flores said the Commission fully supports the Fishing in the City Program.

    Bob Osborn stated that a sportfish landing has closed from lack of business due to cuts in fishing opportunities. He indicated there has been a new stock assessment made for bocaccio that may lead to the PFMC reassessing the OY for that fishery in June. He would like the Commission to make changes if the PFMC does so. He indicated that the science panel for the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary work group for the monitoring program reached consensus that it is not necessary to monitor pelagic fish species. He requested the Commission follow up on this issue. He indicated that he would like to see a workshop on recreational allocation of fish stocks.

    Virginia Handley related that she was concerned about live animal markets and their role in disease transmission. She also said she would like to see legislation to give Commission authority over frog jumping contests. She does not agree with the Department's position that bullfrogs, an exotic species, should be released into the wild after the frog jumping contests.

    Bob Strickland provided the Commission with a handout of Dr. Alec MacCall's report on bocaccio stock status. He stated that he would like the Commission to write a letter of support for early opening of the rockfish season to the PFMC.

    Vice President Chrisman asked if the STAR panel agrees with Dr. MacCall's report.
    Mr. Strickland did not know.
    Mr. Chrisman indicated that the PFMC would ask the same question.

    Mr. Strickland indicated that he didn't know what the increased OY might be. Mr. Strickland stated that the June 16-20 PMFC meeting conflicts with June 19-20 Commission meeting and indicated there is also a conflict with the August meetings of the PFMC and the Commission. He asked if the Commission can change the agenda for the June meeting to move marine items to the early August meeting so there would not be a conflict.

    Deputy Director Mastrup said there is good news about bocaccio, as there are several strong age classes coming in to play. He stated that it is not clear what the outcomes will be as far as increased fishing opportunity. He indicated that the latest view is that bocaccio stock assessments may come in between 6 and 10 percent of the unfished biomass, up from earlier estimates of 4 percent. He stated that the PFMC may have a better picture by their June meeting.

    Mr. Chrisman stated that he would like a report on the age structure of the increased bocaccio biomass and how that would translate to increased fishing opportunities and harvest at the next Marine Subcommittee meeting.

    Chris Hoeflinger said bocaccio in southern California are the driving factor for the fishing closures and we need age/year class information to model the fishery. Twenty tons have been allowed for the fishery, but none for research. Channel Island reserves prohibit possession of fish in a reserve unless the fish are on the boat, but fishermen need authority to put their catch over the side or in a receiver for species such as crabs, lobster and live fish. They also need to store the catch while they continue fishing on multi-day trips. The new laws force them to anchor in unsafe locations because they cannot have their catch in the water. Because of this the reserve regulations prevent them from safely anchoring.

    Vice President Chrisman replied that the Commission and the Department would take a close look at that.

    Paul Weakland asked for an explanation on where the missing Commissioners were. California history shows that in 1801 Russians had sea otter hunting expeditions and sea otters did not roam up and down the coast. There are no otter remains in Indian middens and no indication that Native Americans used sea otters. Recent sea otter deaths appear related to pollution and sea otters don't belong here. The FWS admitted failure of sea otter transplants and sea otter research is now just a ploy for more grant money and no more grants should be issued. If trawling is so bad, why do we allow sea cucumber trawling without restriction and why are they allowed to retain halibut bycatch? The abalone document is not done but the Department is moving forward with sea urchin regulations. And as for staff compensation no one believes fish and game staff is earning their money now, let alone should they be rewarded for secret activity without the public present.

    Karen Reyna said there is good news in San Francisco where the Board of Supervisors has passed resolutions on Chilean sea bass and seafood labeling. While not binding the resolutions raise public awareness about where and how seafood is caught. Her organization supports conversion to spot prawn traps for former trawlers and bocaccio stock assessment should be looked at closely before making changes to the sport fishing regulations.

    Leslie Purcell said she would like to see the Ballona Creek wetlands area saved.

  3. 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. Received public testimony.

  4. DEPARTMENT'S ANNUAL REVIEW OF COMMISSION POLICIES AND REPORT TO COMMISSION REGARDING COMPLIANCE.

    Deputy Director Mastrup provided a report on a portion of the policies and a commitment to provide reports on a continuing basis until complete. Received public testimony.

  5. CONSIDERATION OF FINAL CERTIFICATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENTS, ADOPTION OF FINDINGS AND PROPOSED PROJECT (OR ALTERNATIVES) AND ADOPTION OF TAG QUOTA CHANGES, CLARIFICATIONS AND URGENCY CHANGES FOR THE 2003-2004 MAMMAL HUNTING AND TRAPPING REGULATIONS.

    Received the Department's recommendation; received public testimony; Commission certified the environmental documents and adopted proposed changes.

  6. RECEIPT OF PUBLIC TESTIMONY ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO SECTION 671.1(a) (9), TITLE 14, CCR, RE: TRANSGENIC FISH.

    Received the Department's recommendation; received public testimony.

  7. RECEIPT OF PUBLIC TESTIMONY ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO SECTIONS 52.10, 150.06 AND 150.16, TITLE 14, CCR, RE: NEARSHORE REGIONAL TOTAL ALLOWABLE CATCHES, TRIP LIMITS AND WEEKDAY CLOSURES.

    Received the Department's recommendation; received public testimony.

CONSENT CALENDAR - ALL APPROVED

  1. REQUEST FOR AUTHORIZATION TO PUBLISH NOTICE OF INTENT TO CONSIDER URGENCY AND CLARIFICATION CHANGES IN THE 2003-2004 RESIDENT AND MIGRATORY UPLAND GAME BIRD AND MIGRATORY NONGAME BIRD (AMERICAN CROWS ONLY) REGULATIONS. (Note: By statute, public recommendations for changes in the Resident and Migratory Upland Game Bird and Migratory Nongame Bird (American Crows only) Regulations are considered only in even-numbered years. Therefore, no public recommendations will be received this year. In odd-numbered years, the Department of Fish and Game only recommends permit quota changes or urgency changes to the regulations. The Department is preparing environmental documents for its no-change recommendation and will be circulating those documents for public review. The Commission will receive public testimony on those documents at its June 20, 2003, meeting and will consider certification of the environmental documents and adoption of any regulations at its August 2, 2003 meeting.)

    Approved; no public testimony.

  2. REQUEST FOR AUTHORIZATION TO PUBLISH NOTICE OF INTENT TO AMEND SECTIONS 550-552, TITLE 14, CCR, RE: STATE AND FEDERAL WILDLIFE AREAS. (Note: The Commission will receive public testimony on the proposed regulations at its June 20, 2003, meeting and will consider adoption at its August 2, 2003, meeting in Long Beach.)

    Approved; no public testimony.

  3. COMMISSION STAFF REQUEST FOR AUTHORIZATION TO PUBLISH NOTICE OF INTENT TO AMEND SECTION 120.7, TITLE 14, CCR, RE: SEA URCHIN FISHING.

    Approved; received public testimony.

  4. CONSIDERATION OF ADOPTION OF PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO SECTION 1.74, TITLE 14, CCR, RE: MANDATORY RETURN OF STEELHEAD REPORT CARD.

    Approved; received public testimony.

  5. CONSIDERATION OF ADOPTION OF PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO SECTION 7.00, TITLE 14, CCR, RE: TO ALLOW SPORT FISHING FOR HATCHERY COHO SALMON IN LAKE OROVILLE, BUTTE COUNTY.

    Approved; received public testimony.

  6. CONFIRMATION OF EMERGENCY ACTION TO ADD SECTION 749.2, TITLE 14, CCR, RE: INCIDENTAL TAKE OF XANTUS'S MURRELET DURING CANDIDACY PERIOD.

    Approved; no public testimony.

  7. REQUEST OF JON GUENTHER TO AMEND HIS RESIDENT RESTRICTED SPECIES EXHIBITING PERMIT TO AUTHORIZE THE USE OF A SAKER FALCON FOR NUISANCE BIRD ABATEMENT.

    Approved; no public testimony.

  8. APPROVAL OF PRIVATE LANDS HABITAT ENHANCEMENT AND WILDLIFE AREA LICENSE (2003-2008) AND 2003-2004 MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR:
    (A) EDEN VALLEY RANCH, MENDOCINO COUNTY
    (B) MILLER-ERIKSEN RANCH, MENDOCINO COUNTY

    Approved; no public testimony.

  9. APPROVAL OF ANNUAL REPORT AND 2003-2004 PRIVATE LANDS HABITAT ENHANCEMENT AND WILDLIFE AREA PLANS FOR:

    1. ALAMO RANCH, SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY
    2. AVENALES RANCH, SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY
    3. CARLEY RANCH, MENDOCINO COUNTY
    4. CHRISTENSEN RANCH, MENDOCINO COUNTY
    5. CLARK AND WHITE RANCH, SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY
    6. (LARKS VALLEY - RED ROCK, LASSEN COUNTY
    7. DOW CHIMINEAS RANCH, SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY
    8. FIVE DOT RANCH-AVILA UNIT, LASSEN COUNTY
    9. FIVE DOT RANCH - WILLOW CREEK UNIT, LASSEN COUNTY
    10. FOWLER RANCH, LAKE COUNTY
    11. GABILAN RANCH, MONTEREY COUNTY
    12. LOOKOUT RANCH, MODOC COUNTY
    13. MARTIN RANCH, MENDOCINO COUNTY
    14. POTTER VALLEY WMA, MENDOCINO COUNTY
    15. R MOUNTAIN RANCH, MENDOCINO COUNTY
    16. ROBINSON CREEK RANCH, MENDOCINO COUNTY
    17. SCHNEIDER RANCH, MENDOCINO COUNTY
    18. SEVEN SPRINGS RANCH, MENDOCINO COUNTY
    19. SHAMROCK RANCH, MENDOCINO COUNTY
    20. SUMMER CAMP, MENDOCINO COUNTY
    21. TOMS CREEK RANCH, MODOC COUNTY
    22. WORK RANCH, MONTEREY COUNTY

    Approved; no public testimony.
  10. DEPARTMENT REQUEST FOR AUTHORIZATION TO ACCEPT FEE TITLE OF 640 ± ACRES, IMPERIAL COUNTY, FROM NORTH BAJA PIPELINE FOR MITIGATION PURPOSES.

    Approved; no public testimony.

  11. REQUEST OF TODD CLAY, NORTHERN PACIFIC, LLC, KIRKLAND, WASHINGTON, FOR MODIFICATION OF CONDITIONS OF THEIR EXPERIMENTAL GEAR PERMIT X-1861 TO TAKE TANNER CRABS AND OTHER DEEP WATER CRABS.

    Approved; no public testimony.

  12. APPROVAL OF MINUTES.

    Approved; no public testimony.

OTHER

  1. RECEIPT OF DEPARTMENT LEGISLATIVE REPORT.

    No report provided.

  2. RECEIPT OF DEPARTMENT INFORMATIONAL ITEMS
    1. UPDATE ON DEPARTMENT'S BUDGET.

      No report provided.

    2. UPDATE ON MARINE LIFE PROTECTION ACT TIMELINE.

      Received written update; received public testimony.

    3. UPDATE ON DEPARTMENT MONITORING PLAN FOR THE CHANNEL ISLANDS MPAS.

      Received written update; received public testimony.

    4. UPDATE ON MEETING SCHEDULE FOR ABALONE RECOVERY AND MANAGEMENT PLAN.

      Received written update; received public testimony.

    5. UPDATE ON COHO RECOVERY PLANNING PROCESS.

      No report provided; Commission requested an oral report at its June 19-20 meeting.

  3. RECEIPT OF COMMISSION INFORMATIONAL ITEMS.
    1. SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS.
      1. MARINE SUBCOMMITTEE.

        Commissioner Chrisman reported on the Marine Subcommittee meeting held on May 1, 2003, in Sacramento and attended by Commissioners Chrisman and Schuchat. Agenda topics covered were: Discussion Re: National Marine Sanctuaries and Their Management; Update on Fishery Data Collection Program and Available Funding; Discussion of Proposed Changes to Sections 52.10, 150.06 and 150.16, Title 14, CCR, Re: Nearshore Regional Total Allowable Catches, Trip Limits and Weekday Closures for Cabezon, Greenling and Sheephead; Discussion of Proposed Marine Legislation; Update on Marine Regulatory Priorities; Update on Herring Resource; Update on Channel Islands Monitoring Program. The next Marine Subcommittee meeting is scheduled for May 30, 2003, in Los Alamitos.

    2. STAFF REPORTS
      1. RAPT UPDATE.

        No report given.

  4. RECEIPT OF FEDERAL AGENCIES INFORMATIONAL ITEMS.

    No items given.

  5. RECEIPT OF LEGAL COUNSEL INFORMATIONAL ITEMS.

    No items given.

  6. ANNOUNCEMENT OF FUTURE MEETINGS.