November 3-8, 2023
Council Meeting Decision Summary Documents are highlights of significant decisions made at Council meetings. Fishery policy decisions made by the Council are formally transmitted to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) as recommendations and are not final until NMFS approval. Results of agenda items that do not reach a level of highlight significance are typically not described in the Decision Summary Document. For a more detailed account of Council meeting discussions, see the Council meeting record and transcripts.
Fishery Management Plan (FMP) Amendment 24: Southern Resident Killer Whale Chinook Threshold Clarifications – Final
The Council adopted changes to the Pacific Salmon Fishery Management Plan (FMP) under Amendment 24, which is focused on Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) Management Measures in Section 6.6.8. The purpose of the amendment is to clarify the technical process for reviewing updates to the models used to determine the Chinook abundance threshold and reporting to the Council any resulting change in the threshold. There are no proposed changes to policy, methodology, or analysis. Other minor edits are also included in the amendment language. The Council will transmit its recommendation to amend the FMP to NMFS for approval, along with the adopted changes described in supplemental (revised) Attachment 2 under this agenda item.
Final Methodology Review
- Consider improvement to methods used to model South of Falcon fisheries in Chinook Fishery Regulation Assessment Model. The Council approved the use of an updated approach used to develop inputs for fisheries south of Cape Falcon, Oregon. These updates are expected to provide improved performance when modeling south of Falcom fisheries in the Chinook Fishery Regulation Model.
- Consider technical modifications to the Sacramento River winter Chinook abundance forecast by examining whether an egg-to-fry covariate can improve forecast performance. The Council adopted the use of a new model beginning in 2024 to forecast the abundance of Sacramento River winter Chinook. Multiple models were evaluated including an array of Gaussian Process (GP) models using various predictor variables. The Council adopted the recommendation in the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) report to use model GP-1, which relies on parent spawners and river temperature as predictors. The Council also agreed with the SSC’s recommendation to re-assess the performance of the model every 3-5 years.
- Explore alternative forecast approaches for the Oregon Production Index Hatchery (OPIH) coho forecast. The Council adopted the use of a new model to forecast abundance of OPIH coho beginning in 2024. The Salmon Technical Team report and the SSC report also supported the use of this new model. This new modeling approach is a MAPE (mean absolute percent error)-weighted ARIMA-based (autoregressive integrated moving average) ensemble forecast. Jack returns, delayed smolt releases, and nine environmental covariates were considered for use in this multi-model approach to forecasting. The OPIH forecast is an aggregate forecast, and the Council agreed that evaluating the forecast performance of the individual components of this aggregate should also occur in the near future.
Final 2024 Preseason Management Schedule and 2024 Management Framework for California Chinook Fisheries
The Council agreed to hold the Council-hosted 2024 salmon public hearings in person for Washington and California, and online for Oregon. The in-person hearings are tentatively scheduled for March 25 in Westport, Washington and Santa Rosa, California. The online hearing for Oregon is tentatively scheduled for March 26.
The Council adopted the management framework for California Coastal (CC) Chinook described in D.4.a Supplemental National Marine Fisheries Service Report 1. CC Chinook are federally listed under the Endangered Species Act, and the age-4 component of the Klamath River fall Chinook stock is the proxy to measure impacts on CC Chinook. The impact limit on CC Chinook is 16 percent, which has been exceeded in recent years despite management efforts to temper the impacts. The management framework is intended to assure the conservation objectives for CC Chinook are met by implementing management tools consistent with the provisions of the Pacific Salmon Fishery Management Plan. The management framework will inform the preseason process for ocean salmon fisheries annually beginning in 2024. The framework is focused on the commercial troll ocean salmon fisheries off the coast of California and will include management tools such as trip limits (landing and possession limit) defined fishing periods, quick reporting, and inseason action. The performance of the framework will be assessed post season, and relevant information will be incorporated into the management decisions the following year.
National Marine Fisheries Report
The Council directed staff to respond to the Federal Register Notice regarding scoping for a marine mammal take reduction team (TRT) for humpback whale entanglement in the sablefish pot fishery. The TRT is being developed in response to a stipulated settlement outcome.
Adopt Quillback Rebuilding Analyses, Catch-Only Projections, and Revised Projections
The Council adopted catch-only projections for chilipepper rockfish, yellowtail rockfish North of 40° 10’ N. latitude, vermilion rockfish South of 42° N. latitude, and revised projections for Dover sole and rex sole for use in 2025 and beyond. They also adopted projections from the 2023 Oregon black rockfish stock assessment (see Agenda Item E.5 Supplemental Revised Attachment 1), with GMT-recommended removal assumptions (Supplemental GMT Report 2).
The Council considered public comment on the 2021 quillback rockfish stock assessment and postponed adoption of the rebuilding analyses conducted in 2023 based on the assessment. The Council requested that the SSC review the comments submitted by Dr. Ray Hilborn and Dr. Mark Maunder regarding the 2021 stock assessment. The Council will consider the SSC recommendations of this special review at their March 2024 meeting in Fresno, California and will adopt harvest specifications at that time.
Final Inseason Adjustments for 2023 and 2024, Including 2024 Whiting Set-Asides
The Council recommended multiple commercial inseason adjustments for 2024 fisheries, as shown below.
Lingcod North of 42° N. lat.
- Limited Entry Fixed Gear (LEFG) north of 42° N. lat. 11,000lbs/2 months
- Open Access (OA) north of 42° N. lat.: 5,500 lbs/month
- LEFG north of 40° 10′ N. lat.: 3,000 lbs/2 months
- OA north of 40° 10′ N. lat.: 1,000 lbs/2 months
- LEFG south of 40° 10′ N. lat 3,500 lbs/2 months
- OA south of 40° 10′ N. lat.: 1,500 lbs/2 months
Bocaccio Rockfish South of 40° 10′ N. lat.
- LEFG south of 40° 10′ N. lat 8,000 lbs/2 months
- OA S of 40° 10′ N. lat.: 6,000 lbs/2 months
- LEFG 40° 10′ N. lat. to 34° 27′ N. lat.: 500 lbs/2 months
- OA 40° 10′ N. lat. to 34° 27′ N. lat.: 300 lbs/2 months
- LEFG south of 34° 27′ N. lat.: 3,000 lbs/2 months
- OA south of 34° 27′ N. lat.: 900 lbs/2 months
Additionally, the Council recommended decreasing the recreational longleader “Holloway gear” bag limit to 12 fish per angler per day off of Oregon.
Sablefish Gear Switching – Preliminary Preferred Alternative
The Council modified and selected as its preliminary preferred alternative (PPA), Alternative 2, which would create gear-specific quota pounds for sablefish north (any-gear and trawl-only QP). The major modification to the alternative would be to create a trigger such that the gear-specific QP would only be issued for years in which it is more likely that sablefish gear-switching might constrain attainment of the trawl sector allocation. The trigger would be an annual catch limit for northern sablefish below a certain level. The trigger level is to be determined but would be between 5,000 and 10,000 mt. Additionally, the trigger might also require that the average level of gear-switching in the previous three years be above 29 percent. The Council also selected QP Distribution Option 2 as a preliminary preferred alternative, which would result in a diminishment of the total amount of QP issued as any-gear QP, as those who qualify as legacy gear-switching participants divest themselves of QS. Finally, additional guidance was provided related to the process by which legacy participants would divest of QS and their legacy status eventually terminate. Left open was the question of whether QS accounts not owned by individuals (e.g. owned by non-profits) might or might not have their legacy status terminated over time.
Harvest Specifications and Management Measures for 2025-2026
The Council adopted final 2025-2026 overfishing limits (OFLs) and acceptable biological catches (ABCs), as provided in Table 1-1 (2025) and Table 1-2 (2026) in Agenda Item E.5 Supplemental Revised Attachment 1, except for the nearshore rockfish complexes North and South of 40° 10’ N. latitude. The nearshore rockfish complex values are a summary of component species, and because quillback rockfish in California did not have adopted OFLs and ABCs, the complex level totals remained incomplete and thus were not adopted under this agenda item. However, the nearshore rockfish complexes OFL, ABC, and annual catch limits (ACLs) for species except quillback rockfish, were later adopted under Agenda Item E.7.
The Council also adopted default harvest control rules for the ABC/ACLs, except for the three species listed below, as recommended by the GMT (Table 1; Supplemental GMT Report 2).
- Rex sole: Alternative 1, ACL = ABC with P* = 0.45
- Shortspine thornyhead: Alternative 1, ACL < ABC with P* = 0.45 and 40-10 adjustment applied
- Dover sole: Alternative 1, ACL = ABC with P* = 0.45.
|Stock||Default HCR||Alternative 1|
|Rex Sole||ACL = ABC P* 0.40||ACL = ABC P* 0.45|
|Shortspine thornyhead||ACL < ABC P* 0.40, 40 10 HCR applied||ACL < ABC P* 0.45 , 40 10 HRC applied|
|Dover Sole||ACL = 50,000 mt||ACL = ABC P*0.45|
The Council adopted a method for apportionment of the shortspine thornyhead ACLs to the areas North and South of 34° 27’ N. latitude using a 5-year rolling average of biomass observed by the NMFS Northwest Fisheries Science Center’s (NWFSC) West Coast Groundfish Bottom Trawl (WCGBT) survey (see Option 1, Supplemental GMT Report 1).
The Council did not adopt a range of rebuilding specifications for quillback rockfish off California under this agenda item, but further discussed the topic under Agenda Item E.7 and adopted a range of values to be used for overwinter analysis of groundfish harvest specifications.
Preliminary Exempted Fishing Permits for 2025-2026
The Council approved for public review two EFPs proposed for 2025-2026, both of which would be renewals of 2023-2024 EFPs. The first is a CDFW proposal for collecting fishery-dependent biological data for cowcod caught in the recreational fishery. For the 2025-2026 biennium, this EFP would add collection of quillback and yelloweye rockfishes. The second EFP is a West Coast Seafood Processors and Oregon Trawl Commission proposal that would collect information on the nature and extent of bycatch of salmon and other species of concern while conducting a midwater trawl fishery targeting widow, yellowtail, chilipepper, and other rockfish species without existing gear/time/area restrictions. It also provides exemptions to requirements for the use of selective flatfish trawl gear and the prohibition on the use of small footrope trawl gear other than selective flatfish trawl gear in certain areas between 42° N. lat. and 40° 10’ N. lat. In addition, the Council received notification that the 2023-2024 yellowtail rockfish jig fishing EFP will not be continued for 2024.
Harvest Specifications and Management Measures for 2025-2026
Under this agenda item, the Council adopted final 2025-2026 overfishing limits (OFLs) and acceptable biological catches (ABCs), as provided in Table 1-1 (2025) and Table 1-2 (2026) in Agenda Item E.5 Supplemental Revised Attachment 1, for the nearshore rockfish complexes North and South of 40° 10’ N. latitude, except quillback rockfish. The nearshore rockfish complex values are a summary of component species, including quillback rockfish in California which did not have adopted OFLs and ABCs under Agenda Item E.5. Additionally, the Council removed quillback rockfish off California from the nearshore rockfish complexes. Thus, 2025-2026 harvest specifications for the remaining nearshore rockfish component species in the complexes were adopted under Agenda Item E.7.
A range of 2025-2026 OFL, ABC, and ACL values were adopted for quillback rockfish in California for overwinter analysis of groundfish harvest specifications by the GMT, from an OFL of 1.52 mt and ABC Rule 1.3 mt (Table 5 and 4, Agenda Item E.2, Attachment 1) to an OFL of 8.41 mt and ABC=ACL 5.06 mt (Agenda Item E.2.a, Supplemental CDFW Report 2). This would provide the lower and upper range of 2025 harvest specifications for analysis.
The Council also removed Alternative 1, P* 0.40, ABC=ACL for sablefish from consideration. The only harvest control rule to be considered during the overwinter analysis is the default P*0.45, ABC=ACL.
The Council adopted a range of management measures for over-winter analysis recommended by the Groundfish Management Team (GMT) in their supplemental report 2, supplemental report 3, and supplemental report 4; the Tribes in Tribal report 1, and the Groundfish Advisory Subpanel (GAP) in supplemental report 1. The range of management measures include, but are not limited to, time/area closures, bag and trip limits, and allocation considerations designed to achieve, but not exceed ACLs. The Council also reaffirmed inclusion of waypoint corrections as detailed in California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Supplemental Report 1, September 2023 for analysis.
The Council also included several new management measures for analysis:
- Development of an open access fishery registration or permit (see NMFS Report 1).
- Descending device possession requirement for recreational anglers when fishing for groundfish in Federal waters (see GMT Report 4 under 19b).
- Aligning the electronic monitoring discard species list in regulation with the list that was in the vessel monitoring plan for the exempted fishing permit.
- Revisions to Federal sorting requirements to require that all rockfish be sorted to species (see Supplemental WDFW Report 1).
Phase 2 Stock Definitions – Planning
The Council adopted a schedule and workplan, as shown in Agenda Item E.8, Attachment 1, for Phase 2 Stock Definitions. Phase 2 will address three overarching aspects: 1) define stocks of the Council’s managed groundfish species not defined as part of Phase I; 2) revise stock complexes; and 3) consider delegating aspects of a stock’s management to states or removing the stock from the FMP. Work will initiate this winter on multiple preparatory items to inform the Council for scoping Phase 2 in September 2024.
Final Inseason Adjustments for 2023 and 2024
The Council adopted inseason adjustment recommendations for 2024 as shown below (detailed in E.9.a, Supplemental GMT Report 1, November 2023) for limited entry and open access groundfish fisheries.
The Council recommended adjusting the shoreward boundary of the RCA from 42° N. lat.to 36° N. lat. to the inner boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zone (i.e., the state waters seaward boundary of California)
Minor Shelf Rockfish LE/OA 42° N. lat. to 36° N. lat.
- LEFG north of 40° 10′ N. lat.: 800 lbs/month
- OA north of 40° 10′ N. lat.: 600 lbs/month
- LEFG 40° 10′ – 36° N. lat.: 6,000 lbs/2 months
- OA 40° 10′ – 36° N. lat.: 3,000 lbs/2 months
Lingcod LE/OA South of 42° N. lat. to 36° N. lat.
- LEFG Lingcod trip limit: 0 lbs./ 2 months between 42° – 36° N. lat. inside the Non-Trawl RCA.
- OA Lingcod trip limit: 0 lbs./ month between 42° – 36° N. lat. shoreward of the Non-Trawl RCA.
- LEFG/OA Lingcod status quo trip limits seaward of the Non-Trawl RCA.
- LEFG 42° -40° 10’ N. lat. 2,000 lbs/2 months
- OA 42° -40° 10’ N. lat: 1,000 lbs/month
- LEFG 40° 10′ – 36° N. lat.: 1,600 lbs/2 months
- OA 40° 10′ – 36° N. lat.: 700 lbs/month
Other Flatfish LE/OA South of 42° N. lat. to 36° N. lat.
- LEFG/OA other flatfish trip limit: 0 lbs./month inside the Non-Trawl RCA.
- LEFG/OA other flatfish trip limit seaward of the Non-Trawl RCA.
- LEFG 42° -40° 10’ N. lat. 10,000 lbs/month
- OA 42° -40° 10’ N. lat: 5,000 lbs/month
- LEFG 40° 10′ – 36° N. lat.: 10,000 lbs/month
- OA 40° 10′ – 36° N. lat.: 5,000 lbs/month
Minor Nearshore Rockfish LE/OA 42° N. lat. to 36° N. lat.
- LEFG 42°-40° 10’ N. lat.: 0 lbs/2 months
- OA 42° -40° 10’ N. lat.: 0 lbs/2 months
- LEFG 40° 10’ to 36° N. lat.: 0 lbs/2 months
- OA 40° 10’ to 36° N. lat.: 0 lbs/2 months
Cabezon LE/OA 42° N. lat. to 36° N. lat.: 0 lbs./ 2 months
Quillback Rockfish LE/OA South of 42° N. lat.: No Retention in Federal waters off California in all commercial groundfish fisheries for 2024
The Council also recommended implementation of the following bathymetry lines (Agenda Item E.9.a, Supplemental GMT Report 2, November 2023)
- 100 and 150 fm lines for non-trawl commercial fisheries around Santa Barbara Island, San Nicolas Island, Tanner Bank, and Cortes Bank.
- 50 fm line for recreational fisheries around Santa Barbara Island, San Nicolas Island, Tanner Bank, and Cortes Bank
Highly Migratory Species Management
Highly Migratory Species Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Amendment – Final
The Council adopted the proposed EFH modifications contained in F.2, Attachment 2 and F.2, Supplemental Revised Attachment 3 as final. These include updated life history summaries, modified spatial extent of HMS EFH, updated Research and Information Needs, and other minor updates. Council staff will compile the documents into a transmittal package to NMFS for Secretarial approval.
Highly Migratory Species Roadmap Workshop
The Council adopted the following goals for the HMS Roadmap:
- Support innovation and development of multi-species fishing practices which catch swordfish along with a suite of other commercially valuable species (e.g., those in the DGN fishery) to meet the demand for a fresh high-quality product with locally-caught (within the West Coast Exclusive Economic Zone) domestic production.
- Limit unmarketable, prohibited, and protected species bycatch in HMS fisheries to a predefined acceptable level relative to market species production through mitigation, gear innovation, and accountability measures, where necessary.
- Support the economic viability of domestic West Coast fisheries that harvest swordfish and other HMS by promoting a wide range of harvest methods, giving due consideration to traditional participants, and increasing future participation.
- Promote climate-ready HMS fisheries by supporting resilience in fishery operations and fishing communities, flexibility in management approaches, and consideration of climate impacts of fishing operations.
The Council noted that these goals could be further refined based on input received at the November Council meeting and additional HMS Management Team (HMSMT) and HMS Advisory Subpanel (HMSAS) discussion.
The Council directed the HMSMT and HMSAS to continue work on the design of a workshop to further Roadmap goals and report back in March 2024. As part of workshop design, it endorsed the recommendation that the Council should contract with a facilitator.
Pacific Halibut Management
2024 Catch Sharing Plan and Regulations – Final
In summary, the Council adopted the 2024 Area 2A Pacific halibut fisheries season structures for Oregon, Washington, and California sport fisheries and the 2024 directed commercial Pacific halibut fishery. Additional changes to the Catch Sharing Plan (CSP) included minor updates and clarifications throughout the CSP, and the inclusion of an inseason process to provide more sharing on the Area 2A non-treaty sport allocation. The Council made no changes to the fixed allocations assigned to the sport fishery for each state. The Council did agree to continue work on the three regulatory items and on the inseason flexibility process as described below.
The Council adopted new language for the CSP that will provide for more flexibility for sharing sport quota between states inseason as described as follows:
At the earliest time possible, a state can notify NMFS of the amount (in pounds of halibut) of their (Area 2A non-tribal) sport allocation that is projected to be unused after accounting for state management objectives. This projected amount could be made available to the other state(s) for the remainder of the calendar year. NMFS would reapportion the amount of net pounds available equally to each of the two states receiving the additional pounds. If the state eligible to receive the additional pounds declines all or part of the additional pounds, the remainder would go to the other state. NMFS will announce any such reapportionment as soon as possible in the Federal Register and concurrent publication on the hotline, consistent with language described in Section 6.8 of the CSP.
On or around August 15, Council staff will facilitate a discussion between the three states and NMFS to share catch updates and inseason fishery information which could provide insight to any excess that could potentially be available for the remainder of current season. Request that Council staff work with the state agencies and NMFS to finalize the catch sharing plan language for transmittal.
The Council agreed also to continue work on the regulatory items that would require Vessel Monitoring Systems and seas bird avoidance gear for participants in the non-tribal directed fishery, and changes to fish ticket reporting as described in G.1, Supplemental Attachment 6.
The Council decided to make no changes to the percentage of Area 2A non-tribal sport fishery allocation assigned to each state. The Council-adopted changes to the CSP for the 2024 sport season structures were generally consistent with those recommended by each state and are described in Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Report 1, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Supplemental Report 2, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Supplemental Report 1.
WASHINGTON SPORT –the Council did not change the allocation assigned to this fishery. The Council-adopted changes include season structures in the Puget Sound and North Coast subareas that will be contingent on the 2024 Fishery Constant Exploitable Yield (FCEY) for Area 2A, and additional changes described below.
- Puget Sound Subarea: If the 2024 FCEY is at least 1.3 million pounds, then open in April seven days per week through June; if the 2024 FCEY is below 1.3 million pounds, then open in April five days per week through June.
a. Proposed season dates for Puget Sound Subarea Marine Areas 5, 6 – 10:
FCEY ≥ 1.3 million pounds: Open April 4 through June 30, seven days per week. If quota remains after June 30, open up to seven days per week in August and September.
FCEY < 1.3 million pounds: Open April 4, five days per week, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, through June 30. If quota remains after June 30, open up to seven days per week in August and September.
b. Marine Areas 11-13 are closed.
c. Marine Areas 5: It is permissible for halibut anglers to retain lingcod and Pacific cod caught while fishing for halibut in waters deeper than 120 feet on days that halibut and lingcod is open.
d. Marine Areas 6 – 10: It is unlawful for halibut anglers to retain lingcod and Pacific cod caught while fishing for halibut in waters deeper than 120 feet on days that halibut fishing is open.
e. Marine Areas 1-10: Daily bag limit of one halibut per angler, with no minimum size limit. Annual limit (TBD). All catch must be recorded on WDFW catch record card. Possession limits remain the same.
- North Coast Subarea: If the 2024 FCEY is at least 1.3 million pounds then open in May three days per week, Thursday through Saturday and open in June four days per week, Thursday through Sunday, or if the 2024 FCEY is below 1.3 million pounds, then open in May two days per week, Thursday, and Saturday and in June up to four days per week, Thursday through Sunday.
a. Proposed season dates for North Coast Marine Areas 3 and 4:
FCEY ≥ 1.3 million pounds: Open May 2 through May 18, three days per week, Thursday through Saturday. Memorial Day weekend: open Friday and Sunday, May 24 and 26. May 30 through June 30, open four days per week, Thursday through Sunday.
If quota remains after June 30, open up to seven days per week in August and September.
FCEY < 1.3 million pounds: Open May 2 through May 20, two days per week, Thursday, and Saturday. Memorial Day weekend, open Friday and Sunday, May 24 and 26. May 30 through June 30, open four days per week, Thursday through Sunday. If quota remains after June 30, then open up to seven days per week in August and September.
- South Coast subarea: Open in May up to three days per week, Thursday, Sunday, and Tuesday, and if sufficient quota remains, open eight days in June.
a. Proposed season dates for South Coast Marine Area 2:
Open May 2 through May 30, three days per week, Thursday, Sunday, and Tuesday. Memorial Day weekend: open Thursday, May 23. If sufficient quota remains, open June 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27, 30. If quota remains after June 30, open up to seven days per week in August and September.
- Columbia River Subarea: Open in May and June up to three days per week, Thursday, Sunday, and Tuesday.
a. Proposed season dates for Columbia River Marine Area 1:
Open May 2 through May 21, three days per week, Thursday, Sunday, and Tuesday. Memorial Day weekend: open Thursday, May 23 and Sunday, May 26. May 30 through June 30, open three days per week, Thursday, Sunday, and Tuesday. If quota remains after June 30, open up to seven days per week in August and September.
The nearshore fishery will be open Monday through Wednesday following the opening of the all-depth fishery, until the nearshore allocation is taken or September 30, whichever is earlier. On days when the all-depth halibut fishery is closed, taking, retaining, possessing, or landing halibut on groundfish trips is only allowed in the nearshore area.
OREGON SPORT – the Council did not change the allocation assigned to this fishery. The Council-adopted changes for Oregon sport halibut fisheries included only one change in the Central Oregon subarea. ODFW voiced support for the Council-adopted changes to the Columbia River Subarea which is co-managed by WDFW and ODFW.
- Oregon Central Coast Subarea: Oregon Central Coast Spring All-depth Back-up dates may be established every week, except week(s) may be skipped to avoid adverse tidal conditions. The potential Back-up dates will be identified preseason.
CALIFORNIA SPORT – the Council did not change the allocation assigned to this fishery. The Council-adopted changes for California sport halibut fisheries included establishing a new management line at Point Arean to create two subareas for California, along with criteria and management framework for the newly established subarea south of Point Arena.
- Establish two subareas for the California recreational fishery by creating a management line at Point Arena (38° 57.5’ N. lat.). The area between the OR/CA border (42° N. lat.) and Pt. Arena would be called the Northern California subarea. The area south of Pt. Arena would be called the South of Pt. Arena subarea.
- The South of Point Arena subarea will be open May 1 through December 31, or until the assigned pounds for that subarea have been reached, whichever is earlier. All other management objectives, landing restrictions, etc. would be consistent with those as described for the California recreational fishery in the current CSP.
The season structure adopted for the 2024 directed commercial fishery is generally consistent with the recommendation in the Groundfish Advisory Panel Supplemental Report 1
The 2024 season will consist of a series of three-day openings, each beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday ending at 6 p.m. on the Thursday of that week. The first opening would be on the fourth Tuesday in June, the second opening would be two weeks after the first opener and the third opening would be no earlier than three weeks after the second opener. Subsequent openings would occur as soon as possible. Notice of the dates for the first two openers would be announced in the Federal Register prior to the start of the season.
The Council directed Council staff to send the Council comment letter on the Draft Oregon Wind Energy Areas to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and to Oregon Governor Tina Kotek. The Council also encouraged the Marine Planning Committee (MPC) to be alert for upcoming comment opportunities on offshore wind energy activities and NOAA Aquaculture Opportunity Areas, and to develop response letters as appropriate. The Council also asked that NMFS keep the Council informed on progress related to an evaluation of uncertainties and impacts to NOAA scientific surveys resulting from offshore wind energy development on the southern Oregon/northern California region. In relation to the Council’s expressed desire for a long term, coast wide cumulative impacts evaluation, the Council supported the MPC’s recommendation to generate key questions and bring those back at a future Council meeting.
The Council adopted the following:
- Calendar Year 2024 Provisional Budget of $6,180,145 for use beginning January 1.
- An initial set of Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) proposals as identified in Agenda Item C.4, Supplemental Attachment 1 with the following additions: 1) Halibut Catch Sharing Plan/Allocations, 2) Mackerel Harvest Framework and 3) explore the nexus between the Habitat and Marine Planning Committees for work that would be consistent with IRA objectives. These proposal topics will be further refined prior to January 31.
- Committee of the Whole agenda with the additional staff work products as identified in the Budget Committee Report and discussion of the IRA proposals.
- Schedule a Spring Budget Committee meeting to discuss budget changes that are a result of the funded IRA projects.
Membership Appointments and Council Operating Procedures (COP)
The Council roster was updated as follows:
- Lieutenant Todd Van Epps replaced Lieutenant Scott Cohen as CDFW’s designee to the Council’s Enforcement Consultants
The Council made the following Advisory Body appointments:
- Mr. Andy Martin to the Oregon Charter Boat Operator position on the Groundfish Advisory Subpanel
- Mr. Calvin Frank to the Tribal position on the Salmon Advisory Subpanel
- Ecosystem Advisory Subpanel – Washington At-Large – 1 Position
- Salmon Advisory Subpanel – Oregon Troll – 1 Position