Hot topics blog

NMFS Public Notice: Notice of Swordfish Drift Gillnet Directed Fishing Closure

Friday, July 25th, 2014

This notice announces that, through rulemaking in the Federal Register, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is closing the Pacific Loggerhead Conservation Area, prohibiting fishing with large-mesh drift gillnet (DGN) gear (>14 inches mesh) off the coast of southern California east of 120º west meridian through August 31, 2014.

For information, please contact: Mr. Craig Heberer, NOAA Fisheries, (760) 431-9400, ext. 303.

Comment Period Extended to August 19th for the Corps’ Double-crested Cormorant Draft EIS

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

The Corps is extending the deadline to submit comments on the Double-crested Cormorant Management Plan to Reduce Predation of Juvenile Salmonids in the Columbia River Estuary.  The comment period is extended by 15 days and will now close on August 19th, 2014.

During the extension period, the Corps will be hosting an additional evening webinar August 14th from 6:30-8:00pm. For webinar connection information, visit and click on the Public Meeting section.

See the original blog post from June 12, 2014 for complete DEIS details and more information.

Request for nominations to the Highly Migratory Species Advisory Subpanel and the Coastal Pelagic Species Advisory Subpanel

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

The Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) is requesting nominations of qualified candidates to fill a vacant processor (south of Cape Mendocino) seat on its Highly Migratory Species Advisory Subpanel (HMSAS) as well as a vacancy to the California sport/charter seat on its Coastal Pelagic Species Advisory Subpanel (CPSAS). Both positions are for the remainder of the 2013-2015 advisory body term. To ensure consideration, nominations should be received at the Council office no later than Friday, August 15, 2014.

Please visit the Council’s “Current Advisory Body Vacancies” webpage to get the full vacancy announcements and instructions on how to submit nominations.

Solicitation Notice for EFPs for Swordfish and other highly migratory species

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

The Council is soliciting applications for an Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) to test alternative gear as a substitute to the large mesh gillnet gear currently used to target healthy highly migratory species (HMS), or to test new approaches or methods for using large mesh gillnets to fish with a significant reduction in bycatch. Download the full solicitation letter that describes the purpose, process, and evaluation critieria.

The Council announces a deadline of 11:59 p.m., Pacific Time, August 17, 2014, to submit EFP proposals to the Council office, addressed as follows:

By mail:
Dr. Donald O. McIsaac, Executive Director
Attn: HMS EFP Proposal
Pacific Fishery Management Council
7700 NE Ambassador Pl. Suite, 101
Portland, OR 97220

By fax: 503-820-2299

By email: or

On envelope, fax cover sheet, or email subject line, please enter “Attn: HMS EFP Proposal.” In the event an EFP proposal does not meet the above deadline, it does not necessarily mean the Council will not consider the proposal; however, lack of inclusion in the advance Briefing Book for the September Council meeting may mean no advisory review and dramatically reduced chance of the Council advancing the proposal to the next step.

Should you have any questions on this matter, please contact Dr. Kit Dahl at or telephone: 503-820-2422.

June 2014 Council Decision Summary Document Online

Monday, June 30th, 2014

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met June 20-25, 2014 in Garden Grove, California. The June 2014 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document summarizes the decisions made during that meeting.

Public Notice: US Army Corps of Engineers releases Draft EIS “Double-crested cormorant plan to reduce predation of juvenile salmonids in the Columbia River Estuary”

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

The US Army Corps of Engineers has released the Draft Environmental Impact Statement: “Double-crested Cormorant Management Plan to Reduce Predation of Juvenile Salmonids in the Columbia River Estuary”. See the Corps website to get the draft document and the public hearings schedule;

Comment timeframe: Comments on the draft EIS will be accepted for 45 days from publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The comment period has been extended, and will close August 19, 2014.

How to comment: In your comments, please refer to the public notice number (CENWP-PM-E-14-08), title and date. Written comments may be sent electronically to or by traditional mail to:

Sondra Ruckwardt
U.S. Army Corps of Engineer District, Portland
Attn: CENWP-PM-E / Double-crested Cormorant draft EIS
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, OR 97208-2946

This information posted as a courtesy to the US Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District.

June 2014 Briefing Book Available Online

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

The Briefing Book for the June 2014 Council meeting has been posted to the Council’s website on the “Briefing Book” webpage. The Briefing Book contains “situation summaries” (brief summaries that provide background for each agenda item), reports and materials for each agenda item, and written public comment. Advisory body and committee agendas and memos are also available.

Materials for June 11 Legislative Committee Meeting

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

The Council’s Legislative Committee is holding a webinar on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. in order to discuss legislation related to reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). The webinar is open to the public.

A proposed agenda, along with webinar materials, and a webinar user guide is now available for the Legislative Committee’s June 11, 2014 webinar. (more…)

Council Requests Comments on its Public Review Draft of the Pacific Coast Groundfish Limited Entry Fixed Gear Sablefish Permit Stacking Program Review

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

The Council has released its latest draft assessment of the sablefish permit stacking program for public review.  While not fully complete, the release of this draft document prior to the June briefing book distribution has been made to allow for more thorough review and timely comments by managers of and stakeholders in the sablefish fishery.

The preliminary assessment of the sablefish permit stacking program indicates it has substantially met most of the objectives intended by the Council when it was approved in 2000.  The review has also identified several questions for which the drafting team hopes constituents of the program may be able to shed some light on with their comments (see Section 5.2).

The Council is scheduled to consider final approval of the review on Monday, June 23rd, at its meeting in Garden Grove, California.  The public comment deadline for the Council’s June briefing book is May 23rd.  The deadline for supplemental comments (those distributed on the first day of the June Council meeting) is June 13. The drafting team for the review will continue to work toward completion of the assessment for the June meeting. To submit comment, you may email them to; or you may send or fax to the Council office (see addresses).

For further information or questions, refer to the Council’s April 2014 briefing book archive for Agenda Item C.6 or contact Mr. Jim Seger or Dr. John Coon of the Council staff.

April 2014 Council Decision Summary Document Online

Monday, April 14th, 2014

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met April 5-10, 2014 in Vancouver, Washington, USA. The April 2014 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document summarizes the decisions made during that meeting.