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    Gaines Report — California Fish and Game Commission Update — June 2020

    This Gaines & Associates “California Fish and Game Commission Update” is intended to provide our clients with the status of items of concern currently in front of the California Fish and Game Commission – including what to expect at this week’s webinar and teleconference meeting of the Commission, and a recap of what took place at the Commission’s April 2020 meeting.

    This “Gaines Report” is client privileged and provided as a service to clients of Gaines & Associates.

    For more information on any of the issues below, or more detail on our efforts to protect and promote our client’s interests, please contact us at [email protected]

    CALIFORNIA FISH & GAME COMMISSION – June 2020 Meeting Agenda

    The June 2020 meeting of the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) is a two-day meeting teleconference scheduled for Wednesday, June 24th, and Thursday, June 25th
    .
    To listen to the audio only, visit FGC Home Page and click on “Live Stream of Commission Meetings”

    For instructions on how to provide public comment during the meeting visit FGC Mtg – Public Comment

    Although the June 2020 webinar and teleconference meeting of the Fish and Game Commission is a two-day meeting, the first day (Wednesday, June 24) is dedicated to marine fishery related issues. As such, this Gaines Report will focus on day two, Thursday, June 25th.

    All agenda items of interest and concern to clients of Gaines & Associates are highlighted below.

    For more information on any of the issues below, or more detail on our efforts to protect andpromote our client’s interests, please contact us at [email protected]

    All agenda items of interest and concern to clients of Gaines & Associates are highlighted below:

    To view the full agenda, click FGC – June 2020 Mtg Agenda

    Thursday, June 25, 2020 – 9:00 AM

    Agenda Item 19 – Annual and Five-Year PLM Licenses and Plans (Consent Calendar) Under this agenda item, the Commission will consider approving or amending annual and fiveyear private lands wildlife habitat enhancement and management (PLM) plan renewals and licenses for 49 properties, including:

    • New five-year PLM plans and 2020-2024 licenses for 13 properties continuing their participation in the PLM program
    • Annual PLM plans and 2020/2021 licenses for 35 properties
    • A correction to the 2020/2021 proposed seasons for one property’s annual plan (approved at the April 2020 Commission meeting with incorrect seasons)

    The Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (DFW) PLM program provides incentives for landholders to manage their property for the benefit of wildlife in exchange for hunting tags or extended seasons (a.k.a. “harvest program”). In return, the landholder must prepare a biologically-sound wildlife management plan and complete specific wildlife habitat improvements on the PLM property. There are generally three types of actions associated with the PLM program: (1) an initial five-year PLM license; (2) an annual list of PLM seasons, harvests, and habitat improvements; and (3) a “new” five-year PLM license renewal. Conditions are unique to each participant’s property.

    To review the complete Commission staff summary for agenda item 19 – including detail on each of the properties under consideration, click FGC Staff Summary – PLM Licenses/Plans

    Agenda Item 23 – Duck Stamps (Consent Calendar)

    Under this agenda item, the Commission will consider approving proposed projects for Duck Stamp Account funds in FY 2020/2021.

    The California Fish and Game Code requires that the Fish and Game Commission approve projects funded via the dedicated Duck Stamp Account – the account that holds the revenues generated via the annual sale of our state duck stamp. Pursuant to code, funds deposited into this account can only be used for projects or endowments which protect, preserve, restore, enhance, and develop migratory waterfowl breeding and wintering habitat, evaluate habitat projects, and conduct waterfowl resource assessments and other waterfowl related research.

    DFW annually requests proposals for projects that meet the statutory goals of the Duck Stamp Account. Projects submitted are reviewed by DFW, and the DFW Duck Stamp Advisory Committee prior to being submitted to the Commission. For FY 2020/2021, spending authority for the fund is $2,500,000. At this meeting, DFW will bring forth a total of 10 projects for Commission consideration – including a $139,037 mandatory allocation to Canada for the purposes of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, and the following three new projects totaling $2,040,000:

    • Pintail Harvest Strategy Analysis and Review – $150,000
    • Butte Valley Wildlife Area – Solar Array Project – $890,000
    • Yolo Basin Wildlife Area – Green’s Lake Water Conveyance Improvement – $1,000,000

    To review the complete Commission staff summary for agenda item 23 – including detail on all of the projects brought forth by DFW for Commission consideration, click FGC Staff Summary – Duck Stamp Account

    Agenda Item 25 – Wildlife Resources Committee

    (A) May 14, 2020 Meeting Summary
    (B) Work Plan Development

    I. Update on work plan
    II. Discuss and consider approving new topics

    Under this item Commission staff Wildlife Advisor Ari Cornman will provide the Commission with a review of the Wildlife Resources Committee (WRC) meeting held via webinar and teleconference on May 14, 2020. Mr. Cornman will note that the May 14th meeting of the WRC covered the following subject areas:

    • Initial vetting of possible regulation changes in 2021 for:
    o Mammal hunting
    o Waterfowl hunting
    o Central Valley sport fishing
    o Klamath River Basin sport fishing
    o Inland sport fishing
    • An update on the stakeholder engagement process for the bullfrogs and nonnative turtles project.

    Given that topics covered at the May 14th meeting were at the initial vetting or update stage, Mr. Cornman will not bring forward any WRC recommendations for Commission consideration at this time.

    Mr. Cornman should then state that no new topics have been identified for referral to WRC. He should then note that WRC is requesting the Commission approve a revised timeline for the stakeholder engagement process for bullfrogs and nonnative turtles project, and that the revised timeline is included in the Commission’s meeting binder.

    The next meeting of the WRC is scheduled for September 17, 2020 in Sacramento.

    To review the complete Commission staff summary for agenda item 25 – including the documents from the May 14, 2020 WRC meeting, click FGC Staff Summary – WRC Agenda Item 26 – Simplification of Statewide Inland Fishing

    Under this item, DFW will bring forth their request for the Commission to authorize publication of notice of intent to amend/simplify statewide inland sport fishing regulations.

    In response to concerns from anglers regarding the complexity of freshwater sport fishing regulations, DFW is bringing forth sweeping proposed regulation changes intended to increase regulatory consistency statewide, reduce complexity of inland sport fishing regulations, and remove regulations that are no longer biologically justifiable.

    Major proposed changes under consideration include:
    • Separate regulations for inland trout (non-anadromous waters) from those for steelhead and salmon (anadromous waters) to help provide clarity to anglers
    • Replacing district regulations with statewide regulations separated for trout
    • Standardizing and consolidating “special fishing” regulations Regulations used to manage trout populations in California to be addressed under this proposal include:
    • Seasons (specified dates for opening and closing)
    • Bag and possession limits
    • Size limits
    • Gear and bait restrictions

    Under this effort, DFW designed a framework for the simplification based on a “menu” concept, where one of several predefined season and bag limit combinations would be chosen for specific waterways. The menu framework on which these proposed regulations are based was endorsed by the Commission at their February 2019 meeting, following a WRC recommendation. The proposal was further vetted at the January 16, 2020 WRC meeting in Long Beach and the March 5, 2020 WRC webinar/teleconference meeting.

    To review the complete Commission staff summary for agenda item 26 – including proposed regulatory text changes, click FGC Staff Summary – Simplify Statewide Fishing

    Agenda Item 32 – Wildlife and Inland Fisheries Items of Interest from Previous Meetings Coyotes in California’s urban areas have become a source of human-wildlife conflict that is primarily addressed by local government agencies. After several commenters brought forth concerns at WRC’s January 2020 meeting in Long Beach, WRC recommended that the Commission host open discussions on steps that can be taken to address the conflicts. The Commission approved the WRC recommendation at their February 2020 meeting and scheduled the discussion of this topic for their June 2020 meeting based on its originally planned location in southern California. Due to a variety of factors, Commission staff is recommending that this item be postponed to a future meeting.

    CALIFORNIA FISH & GAME COMMISSION – April 2020 Meeting Recap

    The April 2020 meeting of the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) was a twoday meeting held via webinar and teleconference on April 15th and 16th
    .
    To view the full agenda, click FGC – April 2020 Mtg Agenda Wednesday, April 15, 2020 – 10:00 AM

    The April 15, 2020 meeting of the Commission was held via webinar and teleconference and gaveled open by Commission President Eric Sklar with all five Commissioners present.

    Click on the link below to read the full report:

    Gaines Report — California Fish and Game Commission Update — June 2020

     

     

    Gaines Report


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