BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 165
                                                                  Page  1

          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS
          AB 165 (Beth Gaines)
          As Amended  July 8, 2013
          Majority vote
           
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          |ASSEMBLY:  |76-0 |(May 9, 2013)   |SENATE: |37-0 |(August 19,    |
          |           |     |                |        |     |2013)          |
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           Original Committee Reference:    W., P. & W.  

           SUMMARY  :  Repeals the statutory prohibition on sale or purchase  
          of crayfish taken from the Lake Tahoe Basin.

           The Senate amendments  rephrase legislative intent language  
          included in the Assembly version to:

          1)Require that any allowance for commercial taking of crayfish  
            in Lake Tahoe or the Lake Tahoe Basin be for the primary  
            purpose of population reduction and control of the signal  
            crayfish, an invasive species, and to allow commercial taking  
            of the crayfish only to the extent that such taking is  
            consistent with state goals for management of invasive species  
            and other environmental standards.

          2)Require that the taking be allowed only to the extent it is  
            consistent with an environmental analysis conducted by the  
            Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) or another appropriate  
            lead agency for each proposed individual harvest operation.

           EXISTING LAW  : 

          1)Prohibits the sale or purchase of crayfish taken from Lake  
            Tahoe or the Lake Tahoe Basin.

          2)Requires commercial fishing licenses, crayfish permits, and  
            commercial fishing vessel registration for commercial crayfish  
            harvest operations.  Limits the size of crayfish traps to  
            three feet in greatest dimension and requires the immediate  
            return of other species taken in crayfish traps.

          3)Confers authority to the Fish and Game Commission to set  
            regulations for the take and possession of crayfish and to  
            prohibit the use of crayfish traps that will injure fish or  








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            create unnecessarily large amounts of bycatch.

          4)Prohibits by regulation the take of crayfish for commercial  
            purposes from all lakes and reservoirs, and limits take in  
            certain California counties, including Placer and El Dorado  
            Counties, to areas west of Highway 49.  Requires that crayfish  
            legally caught under a commercial license be used only for  
            human consumption or for aquaculture.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee:

          1)One-time costs of $31,000 to the Fish and Game Preservation  
            Fund (special) to the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW)  
            and the Fish and Game Commission (FGC) for California  
            Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) costs and regulation  
            development.

          2)Ongoing costs of approximately $18,000 from the Fish and Game  
            Preservation Fund (special) for increased enforcement and  
            fishery monitoring.

           COMMENTS  :  The Senate amendments essentially rephrase language  
          that was included in the Assembly version in the form of  
          legislative intent, and instead state these conditions as  
          requirements.  Specifically, commercial take of crayfish in Lake  
          Tahoe would be allowed for the primary purpose of population  
          reduction and control of the crayfish, and allowed only to the  
          extent that the commercial take is consistent with state goals  
          for management of invasive species and other environmental  
          standards.  The Senate amendments also clarify that any  
          allowance for commercial take must be consistent with  
          environmental analysis conducted by TRPA or another appropriate  
          lead agency for each proposed individual harvest operation.

          The signal crayfish was first introduced into the waters of Lake  
          Tahoe in the early 1900s.  Current population estimates for the  
          lake range from 240 to 280 million crayfish.  Crayfish are a  
          major food source for other non-native fish species, such as  
          largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and bluegill, and contribute to  
          the population growth of these species.  Crayfish also excrete  
          nitrogen and phosphorus which stimulate algae production and  
          contribute to degradation of the water clarity of the lake.  The  
          State of Nevada lifted their ban on commercial take of crayfish  
          in Lake Tahoe in 2011.  The author of this bill believes it will  








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          help control Lake Tahoe's invasive crayfish population and also  
          provide economic benefits for the region.  TRPA, the bi-state  
          planning and regulatory agency with jurisdiction over the Lake  
          Tahoe region, supports lifting the ban on commercial harvest  
          which may allow for control of this species by engaging the  
          private sector to accomplish what otherwise would be impossible  
          given limited public funding for invasive species control.

          Passage of this bill does not by itself authorize commercial  
          crayfish harvesting in Lake Tahoe, which would be dependent on  
          regulatory action by the FGC.       


           Analysis Prepared by  :    Diane Colborn / W., P. & W. / (916)  
          319-2096 


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