BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 1201


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          Date of Hearing:  May 6, 2015


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


          AB  
          1201 (Salas) - As Amended April 22, 2015


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  NoReimbursable:  No


          SUMMARY:


          This bill requires the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), by  
          June 30, 2016, to develop and initiate a science-based approach  
          to help address predation by nonnative species upon Delta  
          species listed as threatened or endangered under the California  








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          Endangered Species Act (CESA).  


          FISCAL EFFECT:


          1)Unknown significant increased costs for DFW to implement the  
            science-based approach in the Delta likely in the millions of  
            dollars (GF or special fund).


            A study published in 2013, Effects of Fish Predation on  
            Salmonids in the Sacramento River-San Joaquin Delta and  
            Associated Ecosystem indicates costs for eradication efforts  
            range from $1 million to tens of millions depending on the  
            approach implemented.


          2)Increased administrative costs to DFW to develop the approach  
            in the $150,000 to $250,000 range (GF or special fund).


          COMMENTS:


          1)Purpose.  According to the author, promoting the long-term  
            ecological health of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and its  
            native species are critical to ensuring a reliable and  
            sustainable water supply for all Californians. This bill helps  
            to achieve that by requiring DFW to develop a science-based  
            approach to predation of listed species by non-native species  
            in the Delta. 



          2)Background.  The striped bass is a nonnative sportfish that  
            predates on the Delta Smelt, a fish listed under CESA.   
            Existing law prohibits striped bass from being transported or  
            carried out of or into California except striped bass taken  








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            from the Colorado River by licenses sportfishers.  
            
            The Fish and Game Commission sets seasons, bag limits and size  
            limits for take of striped bass.  Current regulations  
            establish a statewide limit of 2 fish, 18 inches minimum in  
            length, except in the Colorado River District, the Southern  
            District and certain lakes, where the limit is 10 fish with no  
            minimum size restriction.
            


            Delta Smelt are protected under CESA and take of this fish is  
            limited to incidental take associated with a lawful activity  
            and fully mitigated.  


          3)The Great Fish Debate.  Past efforts to address nonnative  
            species that predate on native species were primarily focused  
            on striped bass.  Water agencies, particularly in the San  
            Joaquin Valley, contend striped bass are the primary cause of  
            the decline of delta smelt and other pelagic (the water zone  
            in which fish species live) species rather than the lack of  
            instream flows in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers.  


            Others, including environmentalist and fishers associations,  
            disagree citing the lack of instream flows and a loss of  
            habitat as primary stressors on those endangered fish species  
            in the Delta. 


            


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











                                                                    AB 1201


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