At its April meeting the California Fish and Game Commission acted on several issues affecting California’s natural resources. The following are just a few items of interest from the meeting held in Monterey and Trinidad, with an option for the public to join via Zoom.
The Commission adopted a regulation prohibiting the use of hydraulic pumps to take clams, sand crabs and shrimp. This regulation was previously adopted as a temporary, emergency regulation and is now adopted through the standard rulemaking process.
The Commission adopted the Pink (Ocean) Shrimp Fishery Management Plan, consistent with the Marine Life Management Act. The plan’s provisions align California’s pink shrimp management with that of Oregon and Washington, and puts the commercial pink shrimp trawl fishery on the path to be the first state-managed fishery in California with a Marine Stewardship Council sustainability certification.
The Commission determined that listing southern California steelhead as threatened or endangered under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) may be warranted. This action commences a one-year status review to be completed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), during which southern California steelhead is protected as a candidate species. However, the Commission also voted to allow take of southern California steelhead under certain circumstances for projects that serve an immediate need and provide flood protection, public safety (including highways), or water supply or water treatment.
The Commission voted unanimously to deny the petition requesting to ban bear hunting in California until three conditions were met, including conducting an empirical study to determine the state’s black bear population.
This was the first Commission meeting held since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic with options for both in-person and virtual attendance. At the meeting in Monterey, Commission President Samantha Murray, Vice President Erika Zavaleta and Commissioner Eric Sklar were present. Commissioner Jacque Hostler-Carmesin attended from a second public location in Trinidad, California. There is one vacant position on the Commission.
The agenda for this meeting along with supporting information is available on the Commission website. The next meeting of the full Commission is scheduled for June 15-16, 2022. Visit the Commission website for details.
The California Fish and Game Commission was one of the first wildlife conservation agencies in the United States, predating even the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries. There is often confusion about the distinction between the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Commission. In the most basic terms, CDFW implements and enforces the regulations set by the Commission, as well as provides biological data and expertise to inform the Commission’s decision-making process.