California Fish and Game Commission Holds Hybrid Meeting
At its August 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 this month’s meeting held in Fortuna, Seal Beach and La Jolla with an option for the public to join via Zoom.
The Commission adopted regulations that will add all special hunts to the Automatic License Data System (ALDS). The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) uses draws for issuing almost all hunting permits, with most opportunities having transitioned from an antiquated “special hunts system” to ALDS. This adoption will now add special hunts to the ALDS system providing one-stop shopping for customers and authorize CDFW to accommodate additional hunting draws.
Due to the upcoming removal of four dams on the main stem of the Klamath River (J.C. Boyle, Copco 1, Copco 2 and Iron Gate) the Commission took the first step in considering options for sport fishing opportunities in the upper Klamath River Basin during the deconstruction project. The draft proposed regulations take into account deconstruction activities, restoration processes, public health and safety, sustainable fishery needs, anticipated ecological conditions, and impacts to fishery resources during recovery and repopulation. CDFW’s objective is for populations of anadromous and non-anadromous fish to reach levels that will allow long-term, sustainable fisheries as quickly as possible.
The Commission adopted regulations to allow limited commercial take of Pacific herring via small-scale lampara gear by Humboldt Bay herring permit holders.
The Commission received CDFW’s White Seabass Fishery Management Plan 2021–2022 Annual Review report and concurred that the management triggers were not met. Discussion focused on integrating new research and the need to begin work to update the management plan.
Commissioner Anthony Williams, who served on the Commission previously from June 2015 to January 2019 and was reappointed in October 2022, resigned in July. This was his last meeting.
“The combination of serious family obligations and my ongoing work have made it difficult to give the Commission’s work the attention it deserves,” Commissioner Williams said about his departure. “I did very much enjoy being (back!) on the Commission and getting the chance to work with fellow commissioners (again!).”
Commission President Eric Sklar was in Fortuna for the meeting. Commissioner Samantha Murray participated from La Jolla and Commissioner Anthony Williams participated from Seal Beach. Vice President Erika Zavaleta and Commissioner Jacque Hostler-Carmesin were absent both days.
The agenda for this meeting, along with supporting information, is available on the Commission website. Archived video of past Commission meetings is available online. The next meeting of the full Commission is scheduled for October 11-12, 2023 in the San Jose area and via Zoom.
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 212-7352
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.