BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                      AB 1201

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          1201 (Salas)

          As Amended  June 2, 2015

          Majority vote

          |Committee       |Votes |Ayes                 |Noes                 |
          |                |      |                     |                     |
          |                |      |                     |                     |
          |Water           |15-0  |Levine, Bigelow,     |                     |
          |                |      |Dababneh, Dahle,     |                     |
          |                |      |Dodd, Beth Gaines,   |                     |
          |                |      |Cristina Garcia,     |                     |
          |                |      |Gomez, Harper,       |                     |
          |                |      |Lopez, Mathis,       |                     |
          |                |      |Medina, Rendon,      |                     |
          |                |      |Salas, Williams      |                     |
          |                |      |                     |                     |
          |Appropriations  |16-1  |Gomez, Bigelow,      |Eggman               |
          |                |      |Bonta, Calderon,     |                     |
          |                |      |Chang, Daly,         |                     |
          |                |      |Gallagher, Eduardo   |                     |
          |                |      |Garcia, Gordon,      |                     |
          |                |      |Holden, Jones,       |                     |
          |                |      |Quirk, Rendon,       |                     |
          |                |      |Wagner, Weber, Wood  |                     |
          |                |      |                     |                     |
          |                |      |                     |                     |


                                                                      AB 1201

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          SUMMARY:  Requires the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) to  
          develop a science-based approach that helps address predation by  
          non-native species on Delta species.  Specifically, this bill:  

          1)Makes findings related to the decline of native fish species in  
            the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) and the potential for  
            predation by nonnative species on those at-risk fish species.

          2)Requires DFW, by June 30, 2016, to develop a science-based  
            approach that helps address predation by non-native species upon  
            species in the Delta listed as threatened and endangered under  
            the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).

          3)Provides that DFW shall not implement the science-based approach  
            developed as described in 2), above, unless the Legislature  
            appropriates funds to implement the science-based approach.

          EXISTING LAW:  

          1)Recognizes striped bass as a nonnative introduced sportfish.
          2)Prohibits striped bass from being transported or carried out of  
            or into California except striped bass taken from the Colorado  
            River by sportfishing licensees.  Allows striped bass legally  
            taken in another state that permits the sale of striped bass to  
            be imported into the state subject to Fish and Game Commission  
            (FGC) regulations. 

          3)Prohibits striped bass from being possessed aboard a commercial  
            fishing vessel, or by a commercial fisherman, and prohibits  
            striped bass from being taken by any kind of net.  Allows  
            striped bass to be sold or offered for sale only by an  


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            aquaculturalist, or if it was taken legally in another state.

          4)The FGC by regulation sets seasons, bag limits and size limits  
            for take of striped bass.  Current regulations establish a  
            statewide limit of two 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  

          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  

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

            Unknown cost pressures.

          2)Increased administrative costs to DFW to develop the approach in  
            the $150,000 to $250,000 range;

          COMMENTS:  This bill requires DFW, by June 30, 2016, to develop a  
          science-based approach that helps address predation by non-native  
          species upon listed Delta species but prohibits implementation of  
          the approach unless the Legislature appropriates funds for that  

          The author states that promoting the long-term ecological health  


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          of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and its native species are  
          critical to ensuring a reliable and sustainable water supply for  
          all Californians and that 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. 

          Most past efforts that focused on nonnative species that could  
          predate on at-risk native fish species in the Delta and rivers  
          tributary to the Delta were focused on striped bass.  Water  
          agencies, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley, have claimed  
          striped bass are a primary cause of the decline of delta smelt and  
          other pelagic species and not lack of instream flows in the  
          Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers.  Other stakeholders have  
          disagreed citing a lack of instream flows and a loss of habitat as  
          primary stressors on those species. 

          Prior Legislative efforts with respect to striped bass and  
          stressors on native fishes did not pass the Legislature.  Those  
          efforts include AB 1253 (Fuller), as introduced in 2009, which  
          would have removed the existing restrictions on the commercial  
          possession or sale of striped bass, and on the taking of striped  
          bass with nets; and, AB 2336 (Fuller), introduced in 2010, which  
          would have required the Delta Stewardship Council Independent  
          Science Board to conduct an assessment of other stressors on  
          populations of native species in the Delta.    

          Supporters state that in a healthy Delta there should be the  
          ability to deliver reliable water supplies, sustain native  
          species, and accommodate a variety of recreational activities.   
          Supporters add that, today, however, the Delta ecosystem is in  
          severe distress and there is no major stressor facing the Delta  
          ecosystem that can be ignored.  Supporters state that this bill  
          aligns with broader efforts to base management decisions in the  
          Delta on science and places the responsibility on the appropriate  
          state agency to manage a statewide problem.


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          Opponents state that the impacts to the estuary that occur due to  
          exporting vast amounts of water primarily by the State and Federal  
          Water Projects have been found to be the fundamental cause for  
          fishery declines according to the best available peer reviewed  
          science.  Opponents argue there has not been enough funding  
          dedicated to correct these impacts while peer reviewed science on  
          predation in the Estuary has relegated predation to be the least  
          important stressor on fisheries and one that does not have an  
          impact on the system's ecology or fish at a population level.

          Analysis Prepared by:                                               
                          Tina Leahy / W., P., & W. / (916) 319-2096  FN: