MENDOCINO Co., 4/14/20 — The California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) has rescheduled an emergency meeting concerning statewide fishing regulations during the pandemic, originally planned for April 9, to Wednesday, April 15 in order to allow a higher volume of call-in comments from the public. The agency is considering potentially changing the start dates of various fishing seasons, in part due to requests from three specific counties, but California Governor Gavin Newsom and agency officials have emphasized that the goal is not to ban fishing entirely during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The rescheduled emergency meeting is now scheduled for April 15 at 10 a.m., and will cover potential changes related to the pandemic, in part due to requests from local officials Inyo, Mono, and Alpine counties due to concerns about crowded fishing areas — however, a ban on fishing is not being proposed. The CDFW has issued a fact sheet about the emergency meeting, and the full agenda found be found here. You will be able to watch via livestream, or submit public comment via telephone — full details found here. You can also submit public comment via to [email protected]. The meeting will continue on Thursday, April 16.
Here’s the announcement from CDFW. The original article concerning the April 7 meeting can be found below.
The California Fish and Game Commission has revised the agenda for its upcoming meeting, which will be held remotely April 15 and 16.
On Wednesday, April 15, the Commission will deal with one issue only – the ability for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) to delay, suspend or restrict sport or recreational fishing if the director of CDFW, in consultation with the president of the Commission, finds that such action is necessary to protect against the threat from COVID-19 based on state, federal, local, and tribal public health guidance and public safety needs.
This emergency proposal is based on requests from three counties, is designed to be responsive to local county level needs, and, if approved by the Commission, will expire May 31, 2020.
On Thursday, April 16, the Commission will complete the remaining items on the revised agenda.
When: Wednesday, April 15, 2020 beginning at 10 a.m.; Thursday, April 16, 2020 beginning at 9 a.m.
Where: Via teleconference. How to join.
More: The meeting agenda and documents are available on the Commission’s website at fgc.ca.gov/Meetings/2020 (under April 15-16, 2020).
On April 11, CDFW released this Fact Sheet about Wednesday’s decision.
MENDOCINO Co., 4/9/20 — The California Department of Fish & Wildlife has postponed an online meeting which was to be focused on possible changes to fishing regulations, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The meeting had been scheduled for this morning, but due to a high volume of calls and interest from the public as the meeting began it had to be rescheduled.
The agency issued a press release today stating that the meeting has been “delayed until next week,” to allow time for adequate public comment and to set up remote participation to allow for more people. Governor Gavin Newsom also addressed the public concern over potential changes to fishing regulations today during today’s update on COVID-19, noting the state contains internationally renowned fishing areas and that he recognized the importance of fishing to many residents, and that the aim of any changes would not be to shut down fishing in the state.
The meeting details will be posted to the Commission’s website and sent out via listserv when it is rescheduled. You can submit public comment to [email protected]. Newsom’s remarks from today can be viewed here, and here’s the announcement from CDFW:
Today’s emergency meeting of the Fish and Game Commission is being rescheduled. While the time and platform has yet to be determined, it will be delayed until next week.
Commission President Eric Sklar and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director Charlton H. Bonham made the following joint statement:
“We are very appreciative of the passion we heard from those that were able to join this morning’s call. It is clear that the call volume was overwhelming and the technology wasn’t ready. We acknowledge that this is a challenge as we attempt to navigate new technology for meetings. We are frustrated by what happened today and are looking for a remedy now. We understand that many members of the public and media were unable to join the call and because we also understand the importance to many of you, we need to ensure that you have an opportunity to provide input.
“We want to make sure you know that we have received a great deal of input from counties and tribes, and we are grateful for that. You can always make comment for the record at [email protected].
“We also want to make it crystal clear that today’s proposed decision was not about banning fishing statewide or locally. We are not contemplating statewide closure. The decision is to help prepare us to work with counties and tribes to make those decisions based on their requests. We are working on a tailored and surgical approach based on local needs and knowledge. We have already received some of these requests. Today’s proposed action was an effort to become more nimble and ready to react when asked by a local entity to act.”
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission was set to discuss whether or not to temporarily grant authority to CDFW to decide whether to delay, restrict, or suspend sport or recreational fishing in order to prevent and mitigate public health risks that may arise when people travel for fishing trips or congregate while participating in available fishing opportunities. CDFW and the Commission have received requests from county representatives and local health authorities requesting delays to sport or recreational fish openers such as the Eastern Sierra trout opener scheduled for April 25, 2020. Because of overwhelming call volume, the call will be rescheduled.CDFW