At a Council meeting, a group of people in professional dress sit around a u-shaped table in a hotel ballroom

Council meetings

Council meetings are the heart of the Federal fisheries management process. They are where ideas develop into management decisions, and where recommendations are forwarded to National Marine Fisheries Service.

The Council meets five times a year, usually in March, April, June, September, and November. Most Council meetings take six days, with individual advisory body meetings during the course of the week. Meetings are usually held in large cities where there is adequate meeting space and airport connections.

All meetings are open to the public, except for a short closed Council session when the Council deals with personnel and litigation issues. Meetings are streamed online to increase public access.

Summary minutes are created for each Council meeting, and are available to the public. In addition, a complete audio record of each meeting are available from our recorder, Craig Hess, Martin Enterprises at (360) 749-4038.

Recent Briefing Books

  • No current items

Upcoming Council Meeting

June Council meeting

Jun 21–27, 2023

Vancouver, WA

Hilton Vancouver Washington 301 W. Sixth Street Vancouver, WA 98660 USA Phone: 360-993-4500

Previous Council Meeting

April Council meeting

Apr 1–7, 2023

Foster City, CA

Crowne Plaza - Foster City Hotel 1221 Chess Drive, Foster City, CA 94404 Phone: 650-570-5700

Briefing Books

The Briefing Book contains background summaries for each agenda item, reports and materials, public comment, and other materials to facilitate Council meetings.

Council members, staff, and chairs of advisory bodies and committees receive a copy of the Briefing Book. Briefing Book materials are available on our Briefing Book page about two weeks before Council meetings. They are also available through our Dropbox distribution list, where Briefing Book items are automatically downloaded to your device once they are available.

Hard copies of all briefing book materials except for public comments (which are only provided electronically) are set out on a table that is usually located in the hall outside the Council meeting chamber.

How can I access the Briefing Book?

  • You can view the current and past Briefing Books by visiting our Briefing Book page.
  • You can access Briefing Book items via our Dropbox distribution method. To subscribe, contact Kris Kleinschmidt. You will need to either have an existing Dropbox account, or sign up for a free one at:
  • Once at the meeting, you can find hard copies of the Briefing Book materials (excluding public comment) on the back table.

Public Comments

All public comment is done through the Council’s E-Portal page. There are two public comment deadlines for comments included in the Briefing Book. The first (and main) deadline is approximately two and a half weeks before the Council meeting. Public comments that are supplied before this deadline are posted to the E-Portal page in conjunction with the advanced Briefing Book on the Council’s Briefing Book page.

The second deadline; known as the supplemental public comment deadline, opens after the Advanced Public Comment deadline closes, and remains open until approximately four business days prior to the start of the Council Meeting. Public comments provided by this deadline are posted to the E-Portal page immediately upon review.

Written Public Comments at Council Meetings

After the supplemental comment period, public comments will only be accepted at the relevant Council meeting and must be in support of oral testimony. Such comments must be brought in person to the Secretariat in a digitally format (on a thumb drive, emailed etc.) no later than 5:00 pm the day before the corresponding agenda item is on the Council’s agenda. Comments received by 5 pm will be uploaded by staff to the Council’s E-Portal shortly thereafter.  Any written comments received after that time will be uploaded the following day after 5 pm.

The Council and its advisory bodies may not have time to thoroughly review written comments submitted at the meeting. The Council will not pay for comments transmitted to the meeting hotel. Written comments that are not in support of oral testimony will need to be resubmitted during an open comment period for a future Council meeting.

Submitting PowerPoint Presentations or Videos

If your comments contain a PowerPoint presentation or video, they must be turned in no later than 5 pm the day before the corresponding agenda item is scheduled. PowerPoints and videos must be sent to: Please see the policy on submitting electronic slides at the Council meetings for full direction, expectations, and available equipment. See our fact sheet on how to design an effective PowerPoint presentation.