Archive for September, 2015

Public Comment Deadline for the November 2015 Briefing Book

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Public Comment Deadline – November 2015 Advance Briefing Book

Public comment materials received BY 11:59 pm, Friday, October 16, 2015, will be mailed to Council members and appropriate advisory bodies prior to the November meeting. This is known as the “Advance Briefing Book Deadline.”

Supplemental Public Comment Deadline

Public comment materials received at the Council office after the October 16, 2015, 11:59 pm deadline, but BY 11:59 pm, Wednesday, November 4 will be included in the supplemental materials distributed to the Council on the first day of the November meeting. This is known as the “Supplemental Public Comment Deadline.”

See the Council’s Briefing Book Public Comment Deadlines webpage for complete details on how to submit comments.


Scientific and Statistical Committee’s Salmon Subcommittee, Salmon Technical Team, and Model Evaluation Workgroup to Hold a Joint Methodology Review Meeting

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

October 20-22, 2015

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council) Salmon Subcommittee of the Scientific and Statistical Committee will hold a joint methodology review meeting with the Salmon Technical Team and Model Evaluation Workgroup, which will be open to the public. The joint methodology review meeting will be held Tuesday, October 20, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, October 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday, October 22, from 9 a.m. to noon, or until business is completed. The meetings will be held at the Radisson Hotel Portland Airport, Portland, Oregon.

Meeting Purpose

The purpose of the methodology review meeting is to discuss and review proposed changes to analytical methods used in salmon management. Recommendations from the methodology review meeting will be presented at the November 13-19, 2015 Council meeting in Garden Grove, California where the Council is scheduled to take final action on the proposals. The following topics were adopted by the Council at their September 9-16, 2015 meeting in Sacramento, California for consideration at the methodology review meeting:

  • Update of the Chinook FRAM (Fishery Regulation Assessment Model) base period and associated base period algorithms.
  • Update documentation for Chinook FRAM.
  • Evaluation of Sacramento River winter Chinook contribution to ocean fisheries north and south of Point Sur.
  • Evaluation of a management line at Point Reyes for the Klamath Ocean Harvest Model, Sacramento Harvest Model, and Winter Run Harvest Model.

Additionally, the Council requested a review of the use of Sacramento River winter Chinook stock projections from jack returns as a management tool as was proposed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for 2015 fishery management.

Meeting Location

Radisson Hotel Portland Airport
Concourse Room
6233 NE 78th Ct.
Portland, Oregon, 97218
Driving Directions

The meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at 503-820-2425, at least five days prior to the meeting date.

For further information, please contact Mr. Mike Burner at (503) 820-2414; or toll free 1-866-806-7204, ext. 414.


2017 Council Meeting Schedule

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015


September 2015 Council Decision Summary Document Online

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

The Pacific Fishery Management Council met September 11-16, 2015 in Sacramento, California. The September 2015 Council Meeting Decision Summary Document highlights the significant decisions made during that meeting.


Updated September 21, 2015: NMFS Salmon Fishery Regulations Booklet Available Online

Monday, September 21st, 2015

NMFS has revised their “online” salmon fishery regulations booklet. This booklet provides fishermen with a quick reference guide to the Federal regulations governing commercial and recreational salmon fisheries in the exclusive economic zone (3-200 nautical miles off shore) off Washington, Oregon, and California. The booklet is available:

Please note fishermen are advised to stay informed of inseason changes to the regulations and to consult Federal and/or State fishery management agencies for current information for the areas in which they are or will be fishing. State regulations, which may differ from Federal regulations, are in effect in State territorial waters (0-3 nautical miles off shore).

Actual notice of inseason changes to the Federal regulations will be provided as follows:

  • Ocean salmon hotline at (800) 662-9825 or (206) 526-6667. Recorded messages summarize inseason changes to date
  • U.S. Coast Guard Notice to Mariners broadcasts. Announcements on Channel 16 VHF-FM and 2182 kHz designate the channel or frequency over which the Notice to Mariners will be immediately broadcast
  • Inseason changes to the Federal regulations are also published in the Federal Register
  • Announcements will be emailed to “Salmonlist” subscribers. Visit the “Signup for the Salmon Fishery Management Listserve” webpage to be added to that email list.

California Large Mesh Drift Gillnet Fishery Management Final Preferred Alternatives

Monday, September 14th, 2015

At its September 2015 meeting the Council adopted the following final preferred alternatives for management of the California large mesh drift gillnet fishery. National Marine Fisheries Service will implement these measures in regulations with a desired implementation date of the beginning of the 2016/2017 fishing season.  For more information on this action and the alternatives see the Preliminary Draft Environmental Assessment.

High Priority Protected Species Hard Caps

For the California large-mesh drift net fishery the Council adopted two-year rolling hard caps for high priority protected species based on observed mortality / injury. When observer/monitoring coverage is less than 75% the caps are as follows:

High priority Protected Species Two-year hard caps based on observed mortality / injury
Fin whale 2
Humpback whale 2
Sperm whale 2
Leatherback sea turtle 2
Loggerhead sea turtle 2
Olive ridley sea turtle 2
Green turtle 2
Short-fin pilot whale C/O/W 4
Common bottlenose dolphin C/O/W 4
  • When observer coverage reaches 75% or higher the Council will revisit the above hard cap values
  • Hard caps are based on and aligned with the fishing season (May 1-January 31).
  • The fishery would automatically close when any cap is reached or exceeded
  • Hard caps assume 30% observer coverage and would be applied to any mortality / injury regardless of the time of year.
  • Caps would not change mid-season.
  • Caps are informed by incidental take statements (ITS) in relevant biological opinions or estimates of potential biological removal (PBR) for marine mammals but are not directly tied to them. Changes in ITS/PBR do not automatically require a change to caps. The Council has the ability to revisit caps at its discretion, but does not have to automatically revisit caps due to changes in ITS/PBR.

Performance Objectives for Non-ESA-listed Marine Mammals and Finfish

Non-ESA-listed marine mammals

Species Annual performance metrics based on estimated total mortality/serious injury extrapolated from observer data
Minke whale 5
Short beaked common dolphin 66
Long beaked common dolphin 24
Risso’s dolphin 7
California sea lion 97
Northern elephant seal 6
Northern right whale dolphin 11
Gray whale 5
Pacific white-sided dolphin 22


The performance metric in a single fishing season is a total finfish retention rate of 70% based on the following calculation: retained catch / (retained catch + dead and unknown discards).

For the following finfish species / species groups the annual performance objectives are based on estimated total encounters (all retained catch plus all bycatch):

Finfish Species Group Annual performance objectives based on average annual total estimated encounters
Billfish (other than swordfish) 26
Prohibited sharks (megamouth, basking, white) 2
Hammerhead sharks 4
Manta Ray 2

Fishery Monitoring

Maintain the 30% target observer coverage level at a minimum and/or require electronic monitoring (for the purpose of catch and bycatch accounting). Remove the unobservable vessel exemption. Achieve 100% monitoring by 2018.


September 2015 Council Meeting

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

September 9-16, 2015 Council Meeting

DoubleTree by Hilton Sacramento
2001 Point West Way
Sacramento, CA 95815
Phone: 916-929-8855 or 1-800-686-3775



Friday, September 11th, 2015

Cautionary Note — These preliminary motions do not represent the final official administrative record.  The motions and amendments contained in this blog are as projected on the screen at the Council meeting at the time of the Council vote and often use expedited language and references without the benefit of any final editing or proofing.  They may use short-hand language or abbreviations that may not be clear without the context of verbal comments and clarifications made during their development at the meeting, or may contain inadvertent transposition errors.  They have not been approved by the Council to represent the final official record of Council action.  The final official record will be posted on the Council website after the Council approves the full meeting record at a future Council meeting.


Scientific and Statistical Committee’s Groundfish Subcommittee Meeting Scheduled

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

September 28, 2015 through October 2, 2015

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Pacific Council) Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) Groundfish Subcommittee will hold a work session to review stock assessments for black rockfish off Oregon, new harvest specification projections for arrowtooth flounder, an updated rebuilding analysis for yelloweye rockfish, and a new proposed methodology for determining big skate harvest specifications. This meeting is open to the public.

The SSC’s Groundfish Subcommittee will be held beginning at 8:30 a.m., Monday, September 28, 2015. The meeting will continue on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 beginning at 8:30 a.m. through Thursday, October 1, 2015. The meeting may continue on Friday, October 2 at 8:30 a.m. if needed to complete the subcommittee’s business. The meeting will end at 5:30 p.m. each day, or as necessary to complete business.

Purpose of the Meeting

The purpose of the SSC’s Groundfish Subcommittee meeting is to review draft 2015 stock assessment documents and any other pertinent information for new full stock assessment of black rockfish off Oregon, work with the Stock Assessment Teams to make necessary revisions, and produce a report for use by the Pacific Council family and other interested persons for developing management recommendations for fisheries in 2017 and beyond. Additionally, the SSC Groundfish Subcommittee will review an updated yelloweye rockfish rebuilding analysis, review new overfishing limit (OFL) projections for arrowtooth flounder, and review new methodology for determining a big skate OFL. No management actions will be decided by the SSC Groundfish Subcommittee. The subcommittee’s role will be development of recommendations and reports for consideration by the SSC and the Pacific Council at its November meeting in Garden Grove, California.

Meeting Location

The SSC Groundfish Subcommittee will meet in Seattle, Washington at the following location:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Western Regional Center’s Sand Point Facility
Building 4, Traynor Room 2076 (September 28-October 1)
Building 4, Observer Training Room 1055 (October 2, if needed)
7600 Sand Point Way N.E.,
Seattle, WA 98115‑6349
Telephone: 206-526-4000
Driving Directions

All visitors to the National Marine Fisheries Service Western Regional Center’s Sand Point facility should bring one of the following forms of identification:

  • Enhanced Driver’s License from the states of Washington, Minnesota, and New York
  • U.S. Passport
  • U.S. Passport Card
  • U.S. Department of Defense CAC
  • U.S. Federal agency HSPD-12 compliant ID cards
  • U.S. Veterans ID
  • U.S. Military Dependent’s ID Card
  • U.S. Trusted Traveler Card – Global Entry, SENTRI, or NEXUS
  • U.S. Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC)
  • State-issued Real ID Compliant Driver’s Licenses and Identification Cards.

Visitors who are foreign nationals (defined as a person who is not a citizen or national of the United States) will require additional security clearance to access the Western Regional Center’s Sand Point facility. Foreign national visitors should contact Dr. Martin Dorn at 206-526-6548 at least two weeks prior to the meeting date to initiate the security clearance process.

For Further Information

This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities.  Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at 503-820-2425 at least five days prior to the meeting date.

For further information about the work session, please contact Mr. John DeVore at 503-820-2280, ext. 413; toll free 1-866-806-7204.


Groundfish Management Team to Conduct a Work Session

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Pacific Council) Groundfish Management Team (GMT) will hold a week-long (October 5-9, 2015) work session that is open to the public. The GMT meeting will be held Monday, October 5 at 1 p.m. until business for the day is completed. The GMT meeting will reconvene Tuesday, October 6 through Friday, October 9 from 8:30 a.m. until business for each day has been completed.

New! Agenda

Purpose of the Meeting

The primary purpose of the GMT working meeting is to develop recommendations for consideration by the Pacific Council at its November 13-19, 2015 meeting in Garden Grove, California. Specific agenda topics include the development of the 2017-2018 harvest specifications and management measures including stock assessments and rebuilding analyses. The GMT may also address other groundfish agenda items scheduled for the November Council meeting. No management actions will be decided by the GMT. Public comment will be accommodated if time allows, at the discretion of the GMT Chair. A detailed agenda will be available on this webpage the week of September 21.

Meeting Location

The work session will be held at the following location:

Pacific Council Office
Large Conference Room
7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 101
Portland, OR 97220
Driving Directions

For further information

This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Mr. Kris Kleinschmidt at 503-820-2425 at least five days prior to the meeting date.

For further information about the work session, please contact Ms. Kelly Ames at 503-820-2426; toll-free 1-866-806-7204.