CDFW To Hold Public Workshop on Lead Bullet Ban Implementation

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold a public workshop Saturday, July 19 to discuss the implementation of the lead bullet ban. The workshop will be held at the Community Room at City Hall, 777 Cypress Ave. in Redding from 7-8:30p.m.

A CDFW representative will detail a proposed implementation plan, the PowerPoint is available on the CDFW website. Following the short presentation, interested parties can make comments and provide input that will help shape CDFW’s final recommendation to the Fish and Game Commission, which CDFW anticipates presenting at the Commission’s meeting in Sacramento in September.

Last year, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 711 requiring that the Commission adopt a regulation to ban lead ammunition in the state no later than July 1, 2015, with full implementation of the ban to occur no later than July 1, 2019. Governor Brown has directed CDFW and the Commission to work with all interested parties in order to produce a regulation that is least disruptive to the hunting community.

In order to determine what is least disruptive to hunters, CDFW has been reaching out to interested parties this year in a number of ways, including question and answer sessions at sportsmen’s shows, meetings with hunting organizations and now a series of public workshops throughout the state. A public workshop was held in Ventura in April and in Eureka in June. After Redding, planning is underway for workshops later this year in Rancho Cordova (Sacramento area), San Diego, Fresno and Riverside/San Bernardino. In addition, individuals and organizations may email comments to wildlifemgmt@wildlife.ca.gov (please use “Nonlead implementation” in the subject line) or mail hard copy correspondence to:

CDFW, Wildlife Branch
Attn: Nonlead implementation
1812 9th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

Media Contacts:
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944
Mishele Echelberger, CDFW Northern Region, (530) 225-2313

CDFW To Hold Public Workshop on Lead Bullet Ban Implementation

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) will hold a public workshop to discuss the implementation of the lead bullet ban. The workshop will be held at 911 San Pedro Street in Ventura on Tuesday, April 15 from 7-8:30p.m.

A CDFW representative will detail a proposed plan for implementation, the PowerPoint for which can be viewed on the CDFW website. Following the short presentation, interested parties can make comments and provide input. That input may help shape CDFW’s final recommendation to the Fish and Game Commission, which CDFW anticipates presenting to the Commission at the Wildlife Resources Committee meeting in Sacramento in September.

Last year, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 711 requiring that a regulation to ban lead ammunition in the state be established by the Commission no later than July 1, 2015, with full implementation to be effective no later than July 1, 2019. Governor Brown has directed CDFW and the Commission to work with all interested parties in order to produce a regulation that is least disruptive.

In order to determine what is least disruptive to hunters, CDFW has been reaching out to interested parties this year in a number of ways, including question and answer sessions at sportsmen’s shows, internal meetings with hunting organizations and now a series of public workshops throughout the state. After Ventura, planning is underway for workshops later this year in Eureka, Sacramento and San Diego.

Media Contacts:
Andrew Hughan, CDFW Communications, (916) 322-8944

Department of Fish and Wildlife Releases White Shark Status Review under the California Endangered Species Act

Media Contacts:
Michelle Horeczko, CDFW Marine Region, (562) 342-7198
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has released a full status review of the Northeast Pacific population of white shark under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).

The review document is available at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/news/pubnotice.

In completing the review, CDFW determined that the best scientific information available indicates the petitioned action is not warranted and recommends the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) not list the Northeast Pacific population of white shark as threatened or endangered under CESA.

At a future meeting, the Commission will make a final decision on whether or not to list the Northeast Pacific population of white shark as a threatened or endangered species under CESA.

Please check the Commission website at http://www.fgc.ca.gov for more information.

Recreational Ocean Salmon Season to Open South of Horse Mountain on April 5

Media Contacts:
Barry Miller, CDFW Marine Region, (707) 576-2860
Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (916) 323-1478Marine sports salmon fishing

The California Fish and Game Commission and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announce the recreational salmon season will open in ocean waters on Saturday, April 5, 2014, from Horse Mountain (40° 05’ 00” N. latitude) south to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Federal fishery biologists estimate roughly 934,000 fall-run Chinook salmon will be in California coastal waters through the summer. Though lower than last year’s estimate, there are still plenty of fish to allow for significant angling opportunities for salmon enthusiasts in all areas off California.

The daily bag limit will remain at two Chinook salmon but the Commission recently took action to change the salmon possession limit. Two daily bag limits are now allowed in possession when on land; however, when on a vessel in ocean waters, no person shall possess or bring ashore more than one daily bag limit.

The minimum size limit is 20 inches total length between Horse Mountain and Point Arena (38° 57’ 30” N. latitude). For areas south of Point Arena, the minimum size limit is 24 inches total length. For anglers fishing north of Point Conception (34° 27’ 00” N. latitude), no more than two single-point, single-shank barbless hooks shall be used and no more than one rod per angler when fishing for salmon or fishing from a boat with salmon on board. In addition, barbless circle hooks are required when fishing with bait by any means other than trolling. The retention of coho salmon is prohibited in all ocean fisheries. For complete ocean salmon regulations in effect during April, please visit CDFW’s ocean salmon webpage at www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/oceansalmon.asp or call the Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline at (707) 576-3429.

Final 2014 ocean salmon regulations will be decided next month by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) during their April 4-10 meeting in Vancouver, Wash. and by the Commission at their April 16-17 meeting in Ventura. Final sport regulations will be published in the CDFW 2014 Supplemental Fishing Regulations booklet available in May at www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations.

Three alternatives are being considered for California’s recreational ocean salmon seasons that will begin on or after May 1. The public is encouraged to comment on any of the proposed alternatives, which can be found at the PFMC website at www.pcouncil.org.

Fish and Game Commission Acts to Protect Red Abalone on California’s North Coast

Media Contact:
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 654-9937
Public Contact:
Craig Shuman, Marine Regional Manager, (805) 568-1246

The California Fish and Game Commission yesterday took action to modify abalone fishery regulations along the northern California coast. Specifically, the Commission voted to reduce the annual limit to 18 abalone (previously 24), with no more than nine taken from Sonoma and Marin counties. Other changes to abalone regulations included a coast-wide start time for the fishing day of 8 a.m. and a closure at Ft. Ross in Sonoma County. The changes are expected to go into effect for the 2014 abalone season.

“The new management measures we’ve adopted today will help ensure that the red abalone remains abundant on the North Coast and the popular recreational fishery there continues to thrive,” said Commission President Michael Sutton. “Our job is to keep wildlife populations in California healthy and not wait for a crisis to take action.”

Northern California red abalone are managed adaptively by the Commission, using traditional management measures coupled with fishery independent surveys to maintain the catch at sustainable levels, as prescribed by the Abalone Recovery and Management Plan (ARMP). Ongoing data surveys by the Department of Fish and Wildlife detected the effects of a recent abalone die-off along the Sonoma coast. The declines in abalone density triggered the changes to management measures, because the densities dropped below levels that are prescribed in the ARMP for management action. The new regulations are intended to provide an opportunity for abalone populations in Sonoma and Marin to increase, and to help Mendocino County maintain a productive fishery. The set start time for the fishing day will also aid enforcement.

CDFW Invites Public Comment on White Shark CESA Candidacy

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is accepting comments on whether the Northeastern Pacific population of white shark should be listed as a threatened or endangered species pursuant to the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).

The white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) is a globally distributed species found primarily in temperate seas. They are large apex predators that can be found in a wide variety of environments from the intertidal zone and the continental shelf to deep offshore areas. The Northeastern Pacific white shark population’s full range extends from Mexico north to the Bering Sea and west to Hawaii.

The Fish and Game Commission received a petition to list white shark as either threatened or endangered pursuant to CESA in August 2012. The Commission’s decision to accept the petition and declare white shark a candidate species took effect March 1, 2013.

CDFW is conducting an in-depth status review to provide the Commission with information to aid in its decision whether to list the species. The status review is slated for completion by March 2014. As part of the status review process, CDFW is soliciting information that will inform CDFW  and the Commission on white shark status, including potential habitat destruction or modification, overexploitation, predation, competition, disease or other natural occurrences or human related activities that may affect the status of white shark.

Data and other information may be submitted by mail to this address:

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Marine Region
Attn: White Shark Status Report
4665 Lampson Avenue, Suite C
Los Alamitos, CA 90720

Comments may also be sent via email to: whiteshark@wildlife.ca.gov

Information on white shark and CDFW’s CESA evaluation can be found at:

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/whiteshark.asp#cesa

Contact:
Michelle Horeczko, Marine Region, (562) 342-7198

Mike Taugher, CDFW Communications, (916) 591-0140

Fish and Game Commission to Adopt 2013 Salmon Regulations

Media Contacts:
Harry Morse, CDFW Communications, (916) 323-1478
Adrianna Shea, FGC Deputy Director, (916) 508-5262

The California Fish and Game Commission (FGC) will consider recreational salmon season regulations for 2013 at its meeting Wednesday in Santa Rosa.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Last week, the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) approved recreational and commercial ocean salmon seasons for federal waters off the California, Oregon and Washington coasts. On Wednesday, the FGC is expected to set regulations for salmon fishing in rivers and in the state’s ocean waters, within three miles of shore.

Fishery biologists predict robust numbers of Klamath and Sacramento River fall-run Chinook off California’s coast, providing substantial fishing opportunity for 2013. However, fishing effort still must be constrained to protect vulnerable salmon populations, such as endangered Sacramento River winter-run Chinook.

To protect winter-run Chinook, the PFMC closed fishing off much of the California coast on Mondays and Tuesdays, from June 1 to July 9.

“California anglers can look forward to potentially excellent ocean salmon fishing,” said Marci Yaremko, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) representative on the PFMC. “The projected abundance of key stocks is well above the low levels we’ve seen in recent years.”

Salmon seasons are set largely based on forecasts of ocean salmon abundance. The forecasts this year indicate enough salmon for good fishing. Specifically, the forecast for adult Sacramento River fall-run Chinook in the ocean is 834,000, well above the target range for optimal spawner returns of 122,000 to 180,000 fish. The forecast for Klamath River fall-run Chinook is 727,600, the third highest on record.

Summary of PFMC Ocean Season:

The FGC will be considering recent federal actions on salmon when it makes its decision on ocean salmon seasons in state waters. On April 11, the PFMC set recreational salmon fisheries in federal waters from the Oregon-California border to Horse Mountain in Humboldt County to run from May 1 through September 8. In the Shelter Cove and Fort Bragg areas, the season opened April 6 and will continue through November 10. The minimum size limit in these ports north of Point Arena will be 20 inches the entire season.

Between Point Arena and Pigeon Point, in the San Francisco area, the PFMC set the season to be open seven days per week through November 10, except from June 1 through July 9, when Mondays and Tuesdays will be closed to salmon fishing. The minimum size limit is 24 inches through the end of July, and 20 inches thereafter.

For the areas south of Pigeon Point to the U.S-Mexico border, including Monterey Bay, salmon fishing will continue seven days per week through October 6, except from June 1 through July 9, when Mondays and Tuesdays will be closed to salmon fishing.  The minimum size limit will remain 24 inches throughout the season.

The ocean bag and possession limit in California is two salmon of any species except coho.  For complete California ocean salmon regulations, please visit the ocean salmon web page at: www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/oceansalmon.asp or call the Ocean Salmon Regulations Hotline (707) 576-3429.

The FGC meeting is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at the Flamingo Conference Resort & Spa, 2777 Fourth St., Santa Rosa.

California Creates a Globally Significant Network of Marine Protected Areas

California recently completed an historic overhaul of how it manages its coastal waters by revising and expanding its system of marine protected areas (MPAs). This system of MPAs is the largest scientifically based network in the U.S. and second largest in the world. How California accomplished this consequential achievement is the subject of a March special issue of the journal Ocean and Coastal Management released last month. Articles analyze the challenges, achievements and lessons learned in the public MPA planning processes.

Under a mandate from the state’s 1999 Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA), California’s network of MPAs designated by the California Fish and Game Commission have greatly increased the proportion of state waters protected. The resulting network designates approximately 9.4 percent of state waters as “no-take” MPAs, and about 16 percent of state waters are now under some form of protection, which is a dramatic increase in coverage. Informed by science and crafted with significant stakeholder involvement, California’s new network of 124 designated areas (including 119 MPAs and five recreational management areas, all managed within the network)  replaced 63 existing MPAs that were mostly small (covering just 2.7 percent of state waters, with less than ¼ percent in no-take MPAs) and considered ineffective. The area covered by the MPAs represents approximately 60 percent of all no-take MPAs within the waters of the 48 contiguous U.S. states. Planning for this network of MPAs yields important lessons for other planning efforts globally.

The special issue of Ocean and Coastal Management includes nine articles by key participants from the MLPA Initiative, an innovative public-private partnership between the California Natural Resources Agency, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation. The Initiative was tasked with helping the state redesign its MPAs in conjunction with stakeholders, scientists, experts, resource managers, policy-makers and the public. The articles have now been made available for free download at the journal website.

“This special issue provides an important record of the MLPA Initiative’s work and how California conducted public processes to design an improved system of MPAs and therefore provides important lessons that can inform other similar efforts,” said Mary Gleason, senior scientist at The Nature Conservancy.

“The network of MPAs was designed by stakeholders with guidance from scientists, managing agencies, experts, members of the public and policy-makers, to meet the six goals of the MLPA, while also allowing for human uses of marine resources – understandably a complicated task that involved tradeoffs and compromises but with the vision that the MPA network will provide long-term benefits to California and our marine environment,” said Ken Wiseman, executive director of the MLPA Initiative.

Informed by scientific guidance intended to increase benefits and ecological connections among individual MPAs, this improved network is also globally significant.

“Completing the nation’s first statewide open coast system of marine protected areas strengthens California’s ongoing commitment to conserve marine life for future generations,” said Charlton H. Bonham, director of the Department of Fish and Wildlife. “This statewide system will also benefit fish and fishermen in California for generations to come. And, the science shows that by protecting sensitive ocean and coastal habitats, marine life flourishes and in turn, creates a healthier system overall.”

The California Fish and Game Commission, the decision-making authority under the MLPA, acted on the basis of recommendations delivered by the MLPA Initiative, which conducted four regional public planning processes between 2005 and 2011. California’s MLPA calls for redesigning the state’s existing MPAs to meet specific goals to increase coherence and effectiveness in protecting the state’s marine life, habitats, ecosystems and natural heritage as well as to improve recreational, educational and study opportunities provided by marine ecosystems subject to minimal human disturbance.

Critical to successfully completing the new MPA network planning processes were some distinctive elements that are highlighted in the special issue, including:

  • Certain enabling conditions were in place in California to support the public MPA network planning: a legislative act, political support and sufficient funding to support a multi-year effort.
  • The MLPA Initiative was a public-private partnership structured through formal agreements and charged with working with stakeholders, scientists, experts, resource managers, policy-makers and the public to develop recommendations for an improved network of MPAs.
  • The MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Force (BRTF), composed of experienced policy makers, provided oversight to the process and forwarded final recommendations to the California Fish and Game Commission. The BRTF played a crucial role in managing complex and contentious issues, balancing tradeoffs and maintaining momentum toward completing the planning processes.
  • The MLPA Master Plan Science Advisory Team provided robust scientific guidance and assessment, including developing simple guidelines for MPA network design based on ecological principles intended to support achieving the six MLPA goals. Marine scientists from many institutions participated in the planning process, including researchers from the University of California campuses at Davis, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz and Ecotrust who developed mathematical models to project the fisheries costs and benefits, in terms of both economics and conservation, of the proposed MPAs. Contract technical support provided additional science capacity and developed new interactive, spatially explicit decision support tools, including MarineMap.
  • The MLPA Initiative overcame some of the challenges of prior statewide planning efforts, unsuccessful in part due to the size and complexity of California’s coast, by sequencing the work of the MLPA Initiative into four coastal regions which allowed planning and stakeholder engagement at more appropriate scales.
  • The MLPA Initiative was controversial and confronted a variety of political and legal challenges. Some fishing interests strongly opposed the process and viewed MPAs, which in part limit fishing in specific areas, as unnecessary for fisheries already subject to other regulations. Other stakeholders judged the redesigned and adopted MPAs as insufficient to meet the ecosystem protection goals of the MLPA.
  • An important challenge to adaptively managing MPAs over the long-term will be to demonstrate success in meeting the goals of the MLPA, including rebuilding or sustaining marine life populations.

“Science dictated the establishment of these MPAs, and their success will be reflected in data acquired through cost-effective monitoring. We are confident that monitoring will show the same results as elsewhere in the oceans: MPAs work.” said Mike Weber, program officer with the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation.

Design of the MPA network aimed to meet science and design feasibility guidelines to help achieve the identified goals; final decisions in each region necessarily reflected tradeoffs needed to garner public acceptance and support for implementing the MPAs. California is developing mechanisms for assessing the effectiveness of the MPA network in the coming years, including establishing the MPA Monitoring Enterprise and a process for periodic review and adaptive management of MPAs. The first periodic review will take place in 2013 for the central coast, affording the first opportunity to test the adaptive management aspect of the MLPA.

“This first-of-its-kind network of MPAs in the United States shows how citizens can work with their government to apply the best of science to create a lasting ocean legacy for future generations,” observed Meg Caldwell, executive director of the Center for Ocean Solutions at Stanford University in California.

CONTACTS:
Jordan Traverso, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
(916) 654-9937
Jordan.Traverso@wildlife.ca.gov

Links:

Ocean and Coastal Management special issue – http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09645691/74

California’s Marine Protected Areas  – www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/mpa

Center for Ocean Solutions – www.centerforoceansolutions.org

California Natural Resources Agency – www.resources.ca.gov

California Department of Fish and Wildlife – www.dfg.ca.gov

California Fish and Game Commission – www.fgc.ca.gov

Resources Legacy Fund Foundation – www.resourceslegacyfund.org/rlff.html

logos-1

 

CDFW to Host Public Meeting on Salmon

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) invites the public to attend its upcoming annual salmon status update and outlook meeting. Possible seasons for 2013 California ocean and river salmon fisheries will be discussed.

This year’s meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sonoma County Water Agency, 404 Aviation Blvd. in Santa Rosa.

The meeting will provide the latest information on California salmon escapement in 2012 and the outlook for sport and commercial ocean salmon fisheries during the coming season. The public is encouraged to provide input to a panel of California salmon scientists, managers and representatives, many of whom will be directly involved in the upcoming Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) meetings in March and April.

Salmon fishing seasons are developed through a collaborative regulatory process involving the PFMC, the California Fish and Game Commission and the National Marine Fisheries Service. The input will help California representatives negotiate a broad range of season alternatives during the PFMC March 6-11 meeting in Tacoma, Wash.

The 2013 Salmon Information Meeting marks the beginning of the two-month long public management and regulatory process used to establish this year’s sport and commercial ocean salmon fishing seasons. A list of additional meetings and other opportunities for public comment is available on the ocean salmon webpage, http://www.dfg.ca.gov/marine/salmonpreseason.asp.

The meeting agenda and handouts will also be posted online as soon as they are finalized.

Media Contacts:
James Phillips, DFG Marine Region, (707) 576-2375
Andrew Hughan, DFG Communications, (916) 322-8944

121105-AJH-3656

Evaluation of Petition to List White Shark as Listed Species Available

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has released a staff evaluation of a petition to list the Northeast Pacific population of white sharks as a threatened or endangered species under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).

The evaluation document is available at http://dfg.ca.gov/news/pubnotice/.

In completing the petition evaluation, CDFW determined there is sufficient scientific information to indicate that the petition action may be warranted, and recommends the petition be accepted and considered by the California Fish and Game Commission.

At its next meeting, the Commission may take action on whether or not to accept the petition and declare the white shark as a candidate for future threatened or endangered species status. If the petition is accepted, this will start a one-year status review before decision on listing is made. The Commission meeting will be held on Feb. 6, 2013, in the Natural Resources Building, First Floor Auditorium, 1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento.

Please check the Commission website www.fgc.ca.gov for more information.

 

Media Contacts:
Adrianna Shea, CA Fish and Game Commission, (916) 508-5262
Mike Taugher, CDFW Communications Director, (916) 591-0140

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,530 other followers