At its recent 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 Kings Beach, Lake Tahoe with an option for the public to join via Zoom.
Newly appointed Commissioner Anthony Williams rejoined the dais at this Commission meeting. Williams served as commissioner from 2015 to 2019.
Regarding whether to list western Joshua tree as threatened under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA), after extensive deliberation the Commission continued the agenda item to its February 2023 meeting, keeping the public record open for the specific purpose of continued input from tribal governments.
At the Commission’s request the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) committed to co-hosting with local tribes an emergency summit regarding actions, environmental concerns and tribal needs related to Clear Lake hitch conservation efforts.
For the 50th consecutive year, the Commission designated one lake and more than 25 miles of stream as heritage and wild trout waters, celebrating two of the state’s many scenic trout fisheries. This year the Commission accepted the CDFW recommendation to designate approximately 30 miles of the North Fork Mokelumne River that supports a robust trout fishery comprised of coastal rainbow trout, brook trout and brown trout, and Silver Lake, a remote lake in Tulare County, which contains a heritage population of Little Kern golden trout.
The Commission adopted a 90-day extension of emergency regulations for conditional take of southern California steelhead after approving CDFW’s request for a six-month extension to deliver its one-year status review report on the petition to list the species under CESA.
The Commission approved an application for an experimental fishing permit to test the feasibility of capturing king crab and other deepwater crab species using crab pots (traps).
The Commission adopted emergency regulations to amend and clarify hoop net regulations in order to minimize entanglement risk of federally protected species and to expand the current identification requirement in effect south of Pt. Arguello, Santa Barbara County, to apply statewide.
The Commission authorized notice of intent to amend regulations to enable CDFW to accept electronic display of licenses on a CDFW mobile application.
The Full Commission – President Samantha Murray, Vice President Erika Zavaleta, Commissioners Jacque Hostler-Carmesin, Eric Sklar and Anthony Williams – was present.
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 Dec. 14-15, 2022 in the San Diego area.
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.