BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 165
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          Date of Hearing:   May 1, 2013

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

               AB 165 (Beth Gaines) - As Introduced:   January 23, 2013

          Policy Committee:                              Natural  
          ResourcesVote:15-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:              

           SUMMARY  

          This bill repeals the ban on the sale and purchase of crayfish  
          from Lake Tahoe or the Lake Tahoe Basin and requires the Fish  
          and Game Commission (commission) to ensure any regulations  
          permitting the commercial taking of crayfish are consistent with  
          the Lake Tahoe Region Aquatic Invasive Species Management Plan.

          This bill states legislative intent that the primary purpose of  
          taking of crayfish for commercial purposes in Lake Tahoe or in  
          the Lake Tahoe Basin is population reduction and control of the  
          signal crayfish, an invasive species.

           FISCAL EFFECT

           To the extent the commission decides to permit commercial  
          crayfish fishing:
           
           1)Minor one-time costs in the $30,000 range for the department  
            of Fish and Wildlife to develop the CEQA document and  
            regulatory changes necessary to establish a commercial  
            crayfish fishery.  

          2)Minor on-going costs of approximately $25,000 for tracking the  
            impact of commercial fishing on the crayfish population and  
            increased warden patrols of Lake Tahoe. 

          The costs are recoverable through fees on annual commercial  
          permits.   The State of Nevada currently allows commercial  
          permits and charges $500 annually. The Department assumes that  
          initially eight commercial fishing companies would apply for  
          permits based on information from Nevada.   








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          In order to cover all commission and department costs initial  
          permits could exceed $7,000 if the one-time CEQA compliance cost  
          is factored in.   Fees that do not recover CEQA costs but  
          provide enough funding for the on-going costs would be a little  
          over $3,000 per year.

          If the commission chose not to propose fees sufficient to cover  
          costs, the department would have to absorb any one-time and  
          ongoing costs that are not recovered through the fee.   

           



          COMMENTS  

           1)Purpose and Background.    The author intends to control  
            invasive species and provide regional business opportunities  
            in the Lake Tahoe Basin.  Nevada allows commercial harvesting  
            of crayfish from Lake Tahoe. 
             
             The signal crayfish is a thoroughly established nonnative  
            species to Lake Tahoe region.  The crayfish was intentionally  
            introduced to the lake and region in the 1800s as a food  
            source, both for people and for introduced fish species.  The  
            crayfish did well in their new home: today, there are an  
            estimated 220 million crayfish in Lake Tahoe.  

            Crayfish are a critical part of Lake Tahoe's ecosystem, though  
            of questionable value.  They provide food to fish species,  
            including invasive bass.  They also contribute to algae  
            production near shore, which diminishes Lake Tahoe's clarity.   
            Reduction of crayfish number, or their eradication, may have a  
            significant effect on the lakes' plant and animal life and  
            aesthetic quality.

           2)Previous legislation,  AB 2504 (Beth Gaines) was similar to  
            this measure and passed off of this committee's Suspense File  
            before being moved to the Assembly Inactive File.



           Analysis Prepared by  :    Jennifer Galehouse / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081 








                                                                  AB 165
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