(1) Existing law prohibits specified persons from taking salmon for commercial purposes unless the person has a commercial fishing salmon stamp affixed to that person’s commercial fishing license. Existing law requires the Department of Fish and Wildlife to issue a commercial fishing salmon stamp upon application for the stamp and payment of a base fee of $85. That base fee is required to be adjusted during specified commercial salmon seasons. However, existing law prohibits the total fees, as adjusted, from exceeding $260. Existing law requires the department to deposit revenues from this fee, funds received from other sources, as specified, and other specified revenues in the Commercial Salmon Stamp Dedicated Subaccount in the Fish and Game Preservation Fund, to be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for purposes relating to enhancement and
restoration of salmon. Existing law also authorizes up to 15% of funds expended from the subaccount for these purposes to be used for administrative costs. Existing law establishes the Commercial Salmon Trollers Advisory Committee, consisting of 6 members selected by the Director of Fish and Wildlife, as provided, to make recommendations on programs and a budget for the subaccount, and on specified revenue-raising measures. Existing law repeals these provisions as of January 1, 2019. A violation of any provision of the Fish and Game Code, or any rule, regulation, or order made or adopted under those provisions, is a misdemeanor, unless otherwise specified.
This bill would extend the operation of these provisions until January 1, 2029. By extending the operation of existing requirements, the violation of which would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) Existing law
prohibits the taking of anchovies for any purpose in Humboldt Bay, except that anchovies may be taken in specified areas of the bay for live bait between May 1 and December 1, and for dead bait between May 1 and August 31, by the operator of a vessel for use in his or her own fishing operation, except for incidental sales to local sport fishermen for bait. Existing law establishes a 15-ton limit on the total number of anchovies that may be taken between May 1 and August 31 of each year and a 15-ton limit between September 1 and December 1 of each year. Existing law requires an observer employed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife to inspect any bait operation and halt that operation if it cannot be conducted without adversely affecting the game species of the bay. Existing law requires the department to receive notification of a bait operation in the bay at least 12 hours before the operation commences. Existing law authorizes the Fish and Game Commission to adopt any other regulation it determines is
necessary to protect the Humboldt Bay anchovy resource.
This bill would permit taking of anchovies in Humboldt Bay between May 1 and December 1 without restrictions on area or use. Instead of 2 15-ton limits on the taking of anchovies in 2 separate periods, the bill would authorize not more than 60 tons of anchovies to be taken between May 1 and December 1 of each year. The bill would include, as part of the commission’s regulatory authority to protect anchovy in Humboldt Bay,
the authority to adopt a regulation that changes this permitted take amount based upon credible science. The bill would delete the above-described provisions regarding inspection and notification of bait operations. By changing the definition of a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(3) Existing law regulates the Dungeness crab fishery and, among other things, permits the Director of Fish and Wildlife to delay the opening of the fishery in specified situations and regulates the taking of Dungeness crab during those delays.
This bill would require the Department of Fish and Wildlife, on or before November 1, 2020, in consultation with the California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group and other stakeholders, to adopt regulations establishing criteria and protocols to evaluate and respond to potential risk of marine life entanglement, as prescribed. Upon the
effective date of these regulations, the bill would authorize the director to restrict the take of Dungeness crab pursuant to the criteria and protocols. Until those regulations become effective or until November 1, 2020, whichever is sooner, the bill would authorize the director to restrict the take of Dungeness crab in those areas where the Dungeness crab fishery is being conducted in a manner that poses a significant risk of marine life entanglement if the director makes a specified determination, in consultation with the working group, and after the director complies with specified procedures. The bill would require the director to expeditiously lift any restriction in waters if the director determines, in consultation with the working group, that the significant risk has abated in those waters. The bill would repeal these provisions on January 1, 2024. Because a violation of these provisions would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(4) Existing law requires any vessel using bottom trawl gear in state-managed halibut fisheries to possess a California halibut bottom trawl vessel permit issued by the Department of Fish and Wildlife that authorizes the use of trawl gear by that vessel for the take of California halibut. Existing law requires a permit to be issued annually, and, since the 2007–08 season, has required an applicant to have previously held a valid permit. Existing law prohibits the department from issuing a permit unless a vessel has landed a minimum of 200 pounds of California halibut in specified calendar years before 2005, as provided, as documented on fish landing receipts. Existing law only authorizes transfer of a permit to another vessel if the transfer occurs before the implementation of a restricted access program and either the originally permitted vessel was lost, stolen, destroyed, or suffered a major irreparable mechanical breakdown, or the permitholder
has died, is permanently disabled, or has retired, and, in the case of death, disability, or retirement, California halibut landings contributed significantly to the record and economic income derived from the vessel, as determined by regulations adopted by the Fish and Game Commission. Under existing law, these provisions will become inoperative upon the adoption by the commission of a halibut fishery management plan, as specified.
This bill would repeal the above-described provisions conditioning issuance of a permit on landings in calendar years before 2005. The bill would repeal both of the above-described limitations on the circumstances under which a transfer may be authorized, and would authorize the department, rather than the commission, before the implementation of a restricted access program, to consider a request to transfer a permit to another
vessel owned by the permitholder or to another person, as provided, without regard to either of those limitations. The bill would authorize an applicant who is denied a transfer of a permit to appeal the denial in writing to the commission within 60 days from the date of the department’s decision.
(5) Existing law designates a specified area as the California halibut trawl grounds and regulates trawl net fishing within the trawl grounds. Existing law specifies trawl net fishing season in the trawl grounds. Existing law authorizes the Director of Fish and Wildlife to close the trawl grounds, or portions of the trawl grounds, to trawl net fishing or restrict the nets that may be used in the trawl grounds, or portions of the trawl grounds, if the director determines that the California halibut resource, or
existing fishing operations, are in danger of irreparable injury, as provided. Existing law closes specified areas in the trawl grounds to trawl gear, and closes other specified areas unless the Fish and Game Commission finds that a bottom trawl fishery for halibut minimizes bycatch, is likely not damaging sea floor habitat, is not adversely affecting ecosystem health, and is not impeding reasonable restoration of kelp, coral, or other biogenic habitats. Existing law requires the commission to close additional areas in the trawl grounds if it makes certain findings pursuant to a mandatory triennial review.
This bill would designate 2 additional areas as California halibut trawl grounds: an area of the ocean waters of Monterey Bay, as described, and an area of ocean waters offshore of Port San Luis, as described. However, under the bill, those additional areas would remain closed to trawling until the commission determines that trawling in those areas is consistent
with the above-described provisions. The bill would also provide that trawl fishing gear may only be deployed in those additional areas between sunrise and sunset. By changing the definition of a crime and creating new crimes, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The bill authorize the commission to reduce the length of the open season or hours of operation specified in statute and to modify specified statutory requirements applicable to the use of trawl nets in the California halibut trawl grounds to make those requirements more restrictive.
(6) Existing law authorizes the Department of Fish and Wildlife, in consultation with the Dungeness crab task force, to develop regulations as necessary to provide for the retrieval of lost or abandoned commercial crab traps. Existing law
requires the department, as part of those regulations, to establish a retrieval permit program that grants a person who obtains a retrieval permit the authority to retrieve during the closed season of the Dungeness crab commercial fishery lost or abandoned Dungeness crab traps belonging to another person and to receive compensation for that retrieval on a per trap basis. Existing law requires the department to establish a fee to be charged to a Dungeness crab vessel permitholder for each trap belonging to the permitholder that is retrieved through the program. Existing law prohibits the department from renewing a Dungeness crab vessel permit until any fee imposed pursuant to the program has been paid. Existing law provides that these provisions shall become inoperative on April 1, 2019, and, as of January 1, 2020, are repealed.
This bill would revise and recast these provisions. The bill would require the department, in consultation with the Dungeness crab task
force, to establish a retrieval program to provide for the retrieval of lost or abandoned commercial Dungeness crab traps by June 30, 2019. The bill would require, as part of the program, the department to establish a retrieval permit similar to the one described above, but would require the payment of a permit fee to obtain a retrieval permit and would provide that any Dungeness crab trap retrieved under the authority of a retrieval permit would become the property of the retrieval permitholder. The bill would require a retrieval permitholder to notify the former trap owner of the retrieval of a Dungeness crab trap and to offer to sell the trap to the former owner for a reasonable recovery fee. The bill would require the department to impose per-trap fees
on any former owner who refuses to pay the recovery fee to the retrieval permitholder. The bill would require the department to set the rate of these fees at a level sufficient to recover any costs to the department from handling noncompliance with the gear retrieval program and to reimburse the retrieval permitholder, as provided, and would require the department, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to use the proceeds of these fees for those purposes. The bill would authorize, rather than require, the department to deny an application for renewal or
transfer of a Dungeness crab vessel permit until the applicant pays any fees imposed for failure to pay a recovery fee to a retrieval permitholder. The bill would make the revised provisions inoperative on April 1, 2029. By extending the operation of existing requirements, the violation of which would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(7) Existing law requires every trap or string of traps in state waters to be marked with a buoy.
This bill would require the Department of Fish and Wildlife, by January 1, 2020, to implement regulations requiring standardized gear marking for those fisheries in which the department
determines it is appropriate. The bill would require the department to establish a gear marking fee for each fishery requiring standardized gear marking and to set and adjust each fee in an amount to fully recover, but not exceed, all reasonable administrative and implementation costs of the department relating to the gear marking requirement. Because a violation of these regulations would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(8) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.