Fish and Game Commission to discuss sheephead regulations and purple sea urchin take

SACRAMENTO—Members of California’s Fish and Game Commission will have a full agenda at their Feb. 6 meeting, the agency’s first of the year for 2019. Regulating the filleting of sheephead, updating changes on the recreational take of purple sea urchins and managing fisheries facing elevated levels of domoic acid are among the topics on the Fish and Game Commission’s Feb. 6 agenda.

Also on the agenda next month is the election of commission president and vice president; Eric Sklar is currently serving as the commission’s president, while the vice president seat is vacant. Anthony C. Williams, a recent appointee to the commission, is no longer on the dais; he will be recognized for his service shortly after the election of president and vice president.

Commissioners will be considering whether regulatory changes should be made concerning the filleting of sheephead on vessels at sea. Sheephead is one of a few fish species where filleting aboard a vessel at sea is not allowed.

The commission’s members will also be discussing whether to adopt possible changes to the recreational take of purple sea urchins. The commission adopted emergency regulations in April 2018 to increase the bag limit of the recreational purple sea urchin take along the Northern California coast.

California’s Fish and Game commissioners are also expected to take a stance on Japan’s decision to resume international whaling operations this year. Commissioners will discuss whether the agency would be for or against the decision and whether an official letter should be sent, on behalf of the commission, to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Also on the agenda are proposed changes to Klamath River Basin sportfishing and Central Valley salmon sportfishing, as well as a petition to determine whether the Klamath-Trinity river spring Chinook salmon should be listed as an endangered or threatened species.

The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. and take place in the auditorium of California Natural Resources Building, which is located at 1416 Ninth Street in Sacramento.

There are currently four commissioners sitting on the commission right now: Sklar, Jacque Hostler-Carmesin, Russell E. Burns and Peter S. Silva. Gov. Gavin Newsom will fill in the commission’s sole vacancy.

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