August 1-2, 2003, Meeting Summary

Meeting of
August 1, 2003 (Friday)
10:00 a.m.

City Council Chambers
333 W. Ocean Boulevard
Long Beach

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.

    John Stroh of the Mosquito Vector Control Association reported that members of his association had recently met with DFG staff to discuss matters of mutual interest in wetland management, specifically in regard to mosquito control. He stated that the high likelihood of West Nile Virus (WNV) entering California calls for an increased awareness of these issues. He requested the Commission's support for the development of wetland BMPs between his association and the Department.

    Vice President Chrisman asked Mr. Stroh to explain the importance of controlling WNV.

    Mr. Stroh gave a brief summary of WNV in the United States and California, and stated that he was looking for support from the Commission to develop a long term management plan.

    John Carlson stated that the Department agreed with Mr. Stroh's comments and that it is aware of the different interests in wetlands management.

    Vice President Chrisman stated that he agreed with the importance of being aware of the public health implications involved in wetland management.

    Don Gomsi of the Coachilla Valley Mosquito and Vector Control requested a delay in the start of waterfowl hunting season until at least November 1, or even November 15 to assist in vector control. He noted that ducks are not yet present in Coachilla Valley until that date.

    James Saulnier of the Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control stated his support for Mr. Gomsi's request.

    Mike McCorkle spoke on the start of sea cucumber fishing season and the use of trawls in the Santa Barbara area, as well as describing the differences between sea cucumber fishing and finfish fishing. He stated that the sea cucumbers must be cleaned (gutted) right away to keep them from disintegrating, but that DFG wardens have told him this cleaning constitutes processing and is illegal. He then read Section 8031 of the Fish and Game Code, and requested this issue be clarified.

    Deputy Director Mastrup stated that the Department would look into this issue and report back to the Commission at the next meeting.

    Zeke Grader reported that they have begun to tackle the issue of universal interpretation of both codes and regulations for example, in the case of the sea cucumber, salmon trollers are allowed to clean their salmon at sea and that does not constitute "processing." He stated he would also like to find out why the confidential fish tickets are being shared with other law enforcement agencies, such as local police; and that he believed these things are not done out of malice by the wardens, but rather out of ignorance. He noted that perhaps changes in enforcement should bediscussed at Commission Marine Subcommittee meetings before being implemented.

    Florence Sloane spoke on recent changes that the California Legislature has made in regard to hunting dog field trials and game birds. She requested the Commission make changes to clarify ambiguities with the repeal of sections 3509 and 3510 of the Fish and Game Code.

    Deputy Director Mastrup stated that the Department has begun to look into the convoluted laws of field trials of hunting dogs and believes the Department has the staff available to work on this issue as an agenda item for the October meeting.

    Vice President Chrisman asked Ms. Sloane to provide a list of her requests to the Department.

    Lynn Corboz provided a handout to the Commissioners on cottontail rabbit control issues. She stated her retirement community has approximately 2000 rabbits which have caused great damage to their greenbelt and turf. She noted that because Mission Viejo has banned guns, they can't hunt the rabbits, and that repellants and fencing are very expensive. She requested the Commission approve cage trapping and special hunts with unlimited bag limits within their community.

    Deputy Director Mastrup suggested that cottontail rabbits be added to depredation list, and that the Department supports this move as it adds flexibility to solve many problems. The Commission directed its staff to evaluate the feasibility of establishing a special hunt pursuant to Section 325 of the Fish and Game Code.

    Gary Martinet spoke on the license appeal hearing for William Iverson. He stated that Mr. Iverson has been a nuisance for 20 years as well as having multiple convictions for poaching. He stated that he is not in support of an approval for any type of fishing license for Mr. Iverson.

    Jim Bassler spoke on the benefits of permit stacking in the nearshore fisheries and formally requested that the Department look into this possibility. He noted that it would put diversity back into the fishery that trip limits have taken out. He stated that he is willing to pay additional fees to cover the cost to the Department.

    Guy Grundmeier requested the transferability of permits because his boat is now worthless. He reported that two Senior Biologists had testified at a Sierra Club hearing and that he will send in the tape with a formal complaint. He stated that there are too many protected areas and there have been too many restrictive changes to the nearshore fishery. He also noted that he will appeal the location on his recent permits because the language was too difficult to understand.

    Chris Hoeflinger spoke on different conservation areas and asked why the Cowcod Conservation Area and the California Rockfish Conservation Area were not designated as "Marine Protected Areas." He stated that the regulatory language for rockfish in the Channel Islands is extremely confusing to the public.

    Fred Wendell explained the differences in several different protected areas and stated that Mr. Hoeflinger had raised valid questions but that there are limitations with the definitions of different protected areas.

    Mr.  Hoeflinger clarified his question and Mr. Wendell responded that the Department will begin an analysis and that the regional working groups will address and evaluate these MLPA issues once there is budget resolution and funding available.

    Paul Weakland complimented Vice President Chrisman on his commitment to the State of California. He stated that fishermen still feel that there are hidden agendas within the Commission and that even though he attended the Marine Subcommittee meeting he was not given any additional information in regard to abalone issues.

    Vice President Chrisman reviewed the Commission's commitment to hold three special meetings to discuss the abalone plan (ARMP), but have not been able to schedule them due to budget and time constraints.

    Paul Weakland suggested that sport fishermen pay a landing tax to help support the management of that fishery.

  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.

    Paul Weakland asked why Executive Sessions are held in secret and why staff compensation is discussed at that time.

    Deputy Attorney General Cunningham clarified the statutes governing the Commission's Executive Sessions as well as providing a summary of the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, which allows for Executive Sessions.

  3. REQUEST FOR THE COMMISSION TO CONSIDER POSSIBLE EMERGENCY ACTION TO CONFORM STATE REGULATIONS WITH FEDERAL INSEASON CHANGES FOR THE 2003 SPORT GROUNDFISH REGULATIONS FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.

    Received the Department's recommendation; received public testimony. Commission approved the emergency action to conform with Federal Regulations.

  4. REQUEST OF VENTURA AND SANTA BARBARA COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN ASSOCIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT'S INTERPRETATION OF ALLOWING UNDERWATER FISH RECEIVERS TO BE STORED OVER THE SIDES OF VESSELS AT ANCHORAGES WITHIN THE NEW MPAs AT THE CHANNEL ISLANDS ON MULTIPLE DAY FISHING TRIPS, OR FOR THE COMMISSION TO CONSIDER AMENDING THE REGULATIONS TO ALLOW FOR THIS ACTIVITY.

    Received the Department's interpretation; received public testimony.
    Commission agreed that this activity is allowed under current regulations.

    1. REQUEST TO AMEND MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE AND THE DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME RE: CALIFORNIA CONDOR PROGRAM.

      Received the Department's recommendation; received public testimony. Commission approved the proposed amendments to the MOU.

    2. REQUEST TO AMEND MEMORANDUMS OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME AND TWO CONDOR BREEDING FACILITIES: LOS ANGELES ZOO AND ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF SAN DIEGO RE: CALIFORNIA CONDOR CAPTIVE BREEDING."

      Received the Department's recommendation; received public testimony. Commission approved the proposed amendments to the MOU.

  5. CONSIDERATION OF AMENDMENTS TO COMMISSION POLICIES RE: RETENTION OF COMMISSION RECORDS AND SEASON OPENING DATES.

    Received the Department's recommendations; received public testimony. Commission approved the proposed amendments.

  6. CONSIDERATION OF ADOPTION OF PROPOSED AMENDMENTS 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. Commission approved proposed amendments to include Option 2b.

  7. RECEIPT OF DEPARTMENT DRAFT MARKET SQUID FISHERY MANAGEMENT PLAN AND REQUEST TO PUBLISH NOTICE OF COMMISSION INTENT TO ADD SECTIONS 53.00, 53.01, 53.02, 53.03, 149.1, AND 149.2, TITLE 14, CCR, AND TO AMEND SECTIONS 149 AND 190, TITLE 14 CCR, RE: SQUID.

    Received the Department's draft FMP; received public testimony. Commission approved request to conduct two special meeting in Monterey and San Pedro, and consider adoption at its December 4-5, 2003, meeting.

OTHER

  1. RECEIPT OF DEPARTMENT LEGISLATIVE REPORT.

    No report provided.

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

      Deputy Director Mastrup reported that due to budget reductions everything will be "smaller and we will have less." The Department is responding to Department of Finance Budget Letters and how to redirect staff to meet its mandates.

    2. UPDATE ON MARINE LIFE PROTECTION ACT TIMELINE.

      Fred Wendell reported that everything is on hold because of budget constraints.

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

      Fred Wendell reported that the Department is working with many different public and private partners to begin developing and implementing a comprehensive monitoring plan for the Channel Islands. He explained that they have prioritized the monitoring area into the following general categories: intertidal zone, seabirds and marine mammal categories, with the highest priority being the shallow subtidal zone (nearshore environment). He stated that they are also considering diver surveys, nearshore surveys, trapping, and fixed gear surveys, many of which have already begun. He added that they anticipate having results that will benefit from a carefully crafted monitoring project.

      Vice President Chrisman asked what is being done to develop a social- economic impact analysis and was told that a team was being assembled and will have more information in the future. Mr. Chrisman requested an ongoing report of the socioeconomic analysis as part of this item. He also reported that he had recently spoken to the head of NOAA Sanctuaries regarding the Channel Islands and stated that he was told that the Federal support and participation in this project will be there.

    4. UPDATE ON COHO RECOVERY PLANNING PROCESS.

      Deputy Director Mastrup reported that the Coho Recovery Team had provided a draft management plan to the Department, which will likely submit it to the Commission before the late August meeting.

      Joe Blum reported that the Recovery Team had a final recommendation meeting last week and that all of the items presented to the team passed, though he noted that not all of the controversial had been presented. He noted that this situation looks very positive as this is farther than they have ever come on these issues.

      Zeke Grader stated that it is critical that the plan begin to move ahead but that it won't mean anything if there is no money to implement it. He stated that the majority of money will come from the Federal level and he stressed that Department staff must aggressively go after that money.

    5. UPDATE ON CALIFORNIA INTEGRATED RECREATIONAL FISHERIES SURVEY.

      Marija Vojkovich reported that the Department had the money and it is ready to implement the plan. The Department has identified several deficiencies in prior data and has focused planning efforts for sampling in those areas. She reported that data collection and reporting will be done on a monthly basis, and that bycatch, groundfish and fishing effort will be the primary focus as will documenting actual total bycatch. She reported that in January the Department will begin contacting anglers to determine effort estimates and that it is currently testing different sampling pilot programs. She noted full program implementation by January 2004 and hopes to schedule a full presentation on the program at the Commission's November meeting. She then described the process that will be used to access anglers to determine their fishing habits.

      Bob Strickland asked the Department why a third copy could not be added to the back of fishing licenses to obtain personal information on anglers for survey purposes.

      Ms. Vojkovich responded that a small amount of funding was available to provide for this system of voluntary data input and is meant to be a stop-gap until a long term plan is in place.

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

        Commissioner Schuchat reported that the subcommittee met and discussed the squid FMP, the issue of fish receivers in the Channel Islands, as well as a plan to get the lobster restricted access program back on track. He noted that they heard a report on the current Maritech proposal and the Department's proposal on boat limits for Commercial Passenger Fishing Vessels. He added that the next meeting will be in Sacramento on August 21, 2003.

      2. WAFWA JULY 17-23, 2003 MEETING IN PORT ANGELES, WASHINGTON.

        Vice President Chrisman gave a brief history of the Association and reported that they had the opportunity to exchange ideas and information with Commissioners from other states and Canadian provinces. He stated that they discussed the impact of budget shortfalls on programs and hunting license reciprocity between Colorado and California. He explained that Colorado does not afford California hunters a license without having shown a hunter education course completion certificate and that California does not require this of Colorado hunters when they visit our state.

        Executive Director Treanor reported that since he has been attending these Association meetings, membership has gone from 15 members to 23 and now includes most states west of the Mississippi River. He reported that this year he Chaired the Legal Committee which includes Attorneys and Deputy Attorney Generals from all states. He noted that they also met with west coast states to discuss mutual issues like groundfish and MPAs.

    2. STAFF REPORTS.

      No report provided.

  4. RECEIPT OF FEDERAL AGENCIES INFORMATIONAL ITEMS.

    No report provided.

  5. RECEIPT OF LEGAL COUNSEL INFORMATIONAL ITEMS.

    No report provided.

  6. FIELD TRIP - TIME PERMITTING, THE COMMISSION WILL HAVE A FIELD TRIP TO THE CHINO AREA TO OBSERVE BURROWING OWL HABITAT. THE PUBLIC IS INVITED, BUT MUST PROVIDE ITS OWN TRANSPORTATION.

    Field trip was cancelled.

Meeting of
August 2, 2003 (Saturday)
8:30 a.m.

The Westin Long Beach
333 E. Ocean Boulevard
Long Beach

ALL MEETINGS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

DISCUSSION ITEMS

  1. ANNOUNCEMENT OF RESULTS FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION.

    Deputy Attorney General Cunningham reported that the Commission accepted its Hearing Officer's proposed decisions on the following license and permit items from the Commission's August 1, 2003 Executive Session:

    Frank Flores, Approved Squid Vessel Permit.
    Anthony Clarke, Approved Nearshore Fishery South-Central Coast Region Trap Endorsement.
    Michael Chapman, Denied Nearshore Fishery Permit.
    Robert Crooks, Denied Nearshore Fishery Permit.
    Tim Horner, Approved Nearshore Fishery Permit.
    Joseph Rubin, Denied Nearshore Fishery Permit.
    Tom Pearson, Approved Tier 2 Spot Prawn Trap Vessel Permit.
    David Shake, Approved, Tier 2 Spot Prawn Trap Vessel Permit.

  2. RECEIPT OF PUBLIC TESTIMONY ON PROPOSED CHANGES IN THE 2003-2004 MIGRATORY GAME BIRD (WATERFOWL) REGULATIONS.

    Received the Department's recommendations; received public testimony. The adoption hearing is scheduled for August 29, 2003, in Santa Rosa.

  3. RECEIPT OF RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CHANGES IN THE 2004-2006 SPORT FISHING REGULATIONS.

    Received the Department's recommendations; received public recommendations.

  4. CONSIDERATION AND POSSIBLE ADOPTION OF PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO SECTIONS 120.7 AND 190(c), TITLE 14, CCR, RE: SEA URCHIN FISHING.

    Received Commission Staff's proposal; received public testimony.
    Commission approved proposed amendments.

  5. UPDATE ON PROPOSED OPTIONS FOR GROUNDFISH MANAGEMENT FOR 2004, 2005, AND 2006.

    Received the Department's report; received public testimony.

    1. RECEIPT OF PUBLIC TESTIMONY ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO SECTION 163, TITLE 14, CCR, RE: COMMERCIAL HERRING FISHERY.
    2. RECEIPT OF PUBLIC TESTIMONY ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO SECTION 164, TITLE 14, CCR, RE: HARVESTING OF HERRING EGGS ON KELP.
    Received the Department's proposal; received public testimony. Note: The adoption hearing for both (A) and (B) is scheduled for August 29, 2003, in Santa Rosa.

CONSENT CALENDAR - ALL APPROVED

  1. CONSIDERATION OF CERTIFICATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENT RE: UPLAND GAME BIRDS AND POSSIBLE ADOPTION OF PROPOSED CHANGES TO SECTION 300(a), TITLE 14, CCR, RE: RESIDENT UPLAND GAME BIRDS.

    Approved, no public testimony.

  2. REQUEST TO PUBLISH NOTICE OF COMMISSION INTENT TO AMEND SECTION 630, TITLE 14, CCR, RE: ECOLOGICAL RESERVES.

    Approved, no public testimony.

  3. REQUEST OF U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, PURSUANT TO SECTION 10680 OF THE FISH AND GAME CODE, FOR AUTHORIZATION TO ACQUIRE LANDS WITHIN THE APPROVED BOUNDARY OF THE GRASSLANDS WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA, EAST DIVISION (1,905.4 ACRE SNO-BIRD RANCH PROPERTY).

    Approved, no public testimony.

  4. REQUEST OF RUSSELL MOORE, KIRKLAND, WASHINGTON, ON BEHALF OF SEA WIND FISHERIES GROUP, LLC, FOR AN EXPERIMENTAL GEAR PERMIT TO TRAP DEEP WATER CRABS IN WATERS GREATER THAN 300 FATHOMS FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES.

    Approved, no public testimony.

  5. APPROVAL OF PRIVATE LANDS HABITAT ENHANCEMENT AND WILDLIFE AREA LICENSE (2003-2008) AND 2003-2004 MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR:
    1. MEISSNER RANCH, SHASTA COUNTY
    2. SANTA CATALINA ISLAND, LOS ANGELES COUNTY

    Approved, no public testimony.

  6. APPROVAL OF ANNUAL REPORT AND 2003-2004 PRIVATE LANDS HABITAT ENHANCEMENT AND WILDLIFE AREA PLANS FOR:
    1. CLOUD'S WARNER MOUNTAIN RANCH, MODOC COUNTY
    2. MUSTY BUCK, BUTTE AND TEHAMA COUNTIES
    3. PRATHER RANCH, SISKIYOU COUNTY
    4. RANCHO GARATE, LASSEN COUNTY
    5. SNOWSTORM RANCH, LASSEN COUNTY
    6. SOUTH KNOB RANCH, LASSEN COUNTY
    7. SUGARLOAF LAND & CATTLE CO., YUBA COUNTY
    8. TRIPLE B RANCH, SHASTA COUNTY

    Approved, no public testimony.

  7. DEPARTMENT REQUEST FOR AUTHORIZATION TO ACCEPT FEE TITLE
    TRANSFER OF 69 ± ACRES, ALAMEDA COUNTY, FOR MITIGATION FOR THE AIRPORT DEVELOPMENT PROJECT AT OAKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.

    Approved, no public testimony.

OTHER

  1. ANNOUNCEMENT OF FUTURE MEETINGS.