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Subject: CRS: Daily Summary - 3/19/99 - Longer Friday Version - Part 2 of 2
From: Steve Gutreuter <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 19 Mar 1999 13:23:31 -0600

text/plain (370 lines)

> Joint Salmon Hearing.  On Apr. 7, 1999, the Senate Committee on
> Appropriations? Subcommittee on Interior and the House Committee on
> Appropriations? Subcommittee on Interior have tentatively scheduled a
> joint field hearing in WA state on funding for salmon recovery programs.
> [Assoc Press]
> {Tribal Concerns for Hydroelectric Operations.  On Mar. 16, 1999, the
> Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission released a series of requests
> and suggestions for the Technical Management Team preparing a 1999 water
> management plan for the Columbia and Snake River drainage by Apr. 15,
> 1999.  Elements for modifying hydroelectric operations to benefit salmon
> and steelhead trout include reducing extreme fluctuations in water flow,
> spilling more water as opposed to passing it through turbines, and keeping
> more juvenile fish in the river rather than transporting them downstream
> by barge.}[Reuters]
> Salmon and Steelhead ESA Listing.  On Mar. 16, 1999, NMFS announced the
> {{listing of 8 populations of Pacific Northwest salmon and steelhead trout
> (Puget Sound chinook, lower Columbia River chinook, Lake Ozette sockeye,
> Hood Canal summer chum, lower Columbia River chum, mid-Columbia steelhead,
> upper Willamette River chinook, and upper Willamette River steelhead) as
> threatened under the Endangered Species Act and 1 population (upper
> Columbia River spring chinook) as endangered.}} In March 1998, a total of
> 11 populations were proposed for listing as threatened, with an additional
> 2 populations proposed for listing as endangered. {{Decisions on the 4
> populations not announced on Mar. 16 are anticipated within 6
> months.}}[Assoc Press]
> {Canadian Salmon Management.  On Mar. 12, 1999, Canadian Fisheries
> Minister David Anderson announced that, although salmon stock rebuilding
> efforts are beginning to show progress, Canadian salmon harvests might be
> restricted for the next 6 to 8 years to promote conservation and
> restoration of threatened coho salmon stocks.}[Portland Oregonian,
> Reuters]
> Yukon River Salmon Act Reauthorization.  On Mar. 11, 1999, the House
> Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans
> held a hearing on reauthorization of the Yukon River Salmon Act. [personal
> communication]
> B.C. Packers Sale.  In early March 1999, the Canadian Fishing Co.
> (Canfisco) announced that it had purchased the remaining fishing assets,
> including the operating assets of B.C. Packers Ltd., being sold by George
> Weston Ltd.  With the completion of this transaction, Canfisco will own
> about 25% of the vessels and licenses in the British Columbia seine fleet.
> Canfisco also acquires B.C. Packers? fish processing plants in AK.
> [National Post]
> Gasoline Spill.  On Mar. 4, 1999, an overturned tanker truck spilled about
> 5,000 gallons of gasoline into Beaver Creek, a tributary of the Warm
> Springs River, OR.  In addition to being a major spawning ground for wild
> chinook salmon, the spill occurred about 25 miles upstream of the U.S.
> Fish and Wildlife Service?s Warm Springs Hatchery.  To avoid a fish kill
> at the hatchery, FWS officials released 750,000 yearling chinook to swim
> downstream, and transferred another 830,000 sub-yearling spring chinook to
> a state hatchery.  Effects of the spill on wild spring chinook and bull
> trout are unknown. [Portland Oregonian]
> Steelhead Lawsuit.  On Mar. 3, 1999, a coalition of sport anglers and
> environmentalists filed suit in U.S. District Court (San Francisco, CA),
> seeking to force NMFS to list southern OR and northern CA steelhead trout
> as a threatened species.  NMFS decided not to list this population because
> of recovery efforts underway by OR and CA. [Contra Costa Times, Assoc
> Press]
> Headwaters Forest Agreement.  On Mar. 2, 1999, Pacific Lumber, the state
> of CA,  and the U.S. Government reached agreement on a $480 million plan
> ($250 million in federal funds) to preserve habitat in the Headwaters
> Forest, CA.  This agreement provides for government purchase of 7,500
> acres of redwood forest and commits Pacific Lumber to compliance with
> terms of a habitat conservation plan when logging 210,000 acres of nearby
> land.  Together, these achievements promote healthy streamside habitat and
> protect coho salmon from sediment damage by prohibiting logging in stream
> buffer zones and areas prone to landslides. [NOAA press release, Dept. of
> the Interior press release]
> Atlantic Salmon Threat?  On Mar. 1, 1999, the AK Dept. of Fish and Game
> (ADF&G) released a 9-page white paper on Atlantic salmon outlining
> concerns over the potential harmful effects of non-native Atlantic salmon
> on wild salmon stocks.  AK officials expressed concern over the possible
> lifting of the moratorium on expanding salmon farms into northern British
> Columbia.  ADF&G?s white paper includes several recommendations for
> reducing the threat to wild salmon from Atlantic salmon farming. [ADF&G
> press release]
> Battle Creek Dam Decommissioning.  In late February 1999, the Pacific Gas
> and Electric Company, NMFS, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Bureau of
> Reclamation, and CA Dept. of Fish and Game agreed in principle to pursue a
> project in the Battle Creek watershed in Shasta and Tehama Counties, CA.
> The proposed project includes decommissioning 5 diversion dams and
> transferring their water rights to instream use as well as screenign and
> enlarging ladders at 3 other diversion dams.  This project anticipates
> restoring 42 miles of chinook salmon and steelhead trout habitat.
> [Environment News Service]
> Grand Coulee Dam Study.  In late February 1999, the World Commission on
> Dams, meeting in Capetown, South Africa, decided to include Grand Coulee
> Dam on the Columbia River in an independent study, due to be completed in
> June 2000, of 10 major world dams for impacts on people, the environment,
> and economies as well as impacts on sustainable development. [Environment
> News Service]
> Pesticides and Salmon.  On Feb. 24, 1999, a coalition of environmental
> organizations, the Oregon Pesticide Education Network, released {{a report
> ? -- reviewing}}recent
> scientific literature and concluding that even minute amounts of some
> pesticides in waterways can disrupt the life cycle of salmon by harming
> immune systems, altering reproductive systems, and disrupting a juvenile
> salmon?s ability to swim.  The coalition seeks to encourage passage of
> legislation similar to CA?s pesticide reporting program. [Portland
> Oregonian]
> Pacific Salmon Treaty.  On Feb. 23, 1999, AK Governor Tony Knowles and WA
> Governor Gary Locke announced that they are optimistic over renegotiating
> a Pacific Salmon Treaty with Canada and are desirous of breaking the
> logjam that has impeded negotiations.  In late February 1999, Clinton
> Administration officials were reported as planning to name a new mediator
> for Treaty negotiations by late April 1999. [Portland Oregonian, MSNBC,
> Canadian Press]
> Canadian Export of Salmon to Australia.  On Feb. 23, 1999, the World Trade
> Organization?s appointed Arbitrator reported a decision that the
> reasonable period of time for implementing Dispute Settlement Board
> recommendations allowing entry of Canadian salmon into Australia was 8
> months, or by July 6, 1999. [personal communication]
> WA Salmon Management.  On Feb. 23, 1999, Snohomish County officials
> released details of a plan to protect and restore chinook salmon spawning
> grounds.  The plan, part of a joint effort with King and Pierce Counties
> emphasizing preservation of existing habitat and restoration of damaged
> habitat,  outlines more than 60 projects to be conducted in the next 2
> years.  The County Council is scheduled to vote on the plan on Mar. 1,
> 1999.  Twelve other Puget Sound counties are expected to also submit
> recovery plans to NMFS by Mar. 15, 1999.  In late February 1999, Seattle
> officials estimated that $255 million will need to be expended over 50
> years to restore chinook salmon and their habitat in the city and along
> river?s supplying the city?s water and power.  On Mar. 1, 1999, Bellevue
> City Council approved $3.2 million in conservation measures to benefit
> chinook salmon.  Elements include reductions in water use, increased
> development setbacks from rivers and streams, and habitat restoration
> activities.  On Mar. 2, 1999, NMFS and FWS officials were reported to have
> agreed in principle to write regulations for new species listings that
> would authorize local salmon and trout conservation programs meeting
> federal standards.  Negotiations were to begin on Mar. 3, 1999, on
> regulations to establish standards for federal approval of state programs.
> {On Mar. 15 1999, the WA state Senate passed 4 bills related to salmon
> recovery and sent them to the state House for consideration.  These
> measures 1) require the governor to file a salmon recovery strategy with
> NMFS by Sept. 1, 2) create a 3-member board to control salmon recovery
> spending, 3) create a non-profit Puget Sound Foundation to manage
> privately contributed salmon restoration funds, and 4) authorize special
> license plates for salmon recovery.  In mid-March 1999, the WA Interagency
> Committee for Outdoor Recreation announced grant awards to 8 counties for
> 11 projects -- 9 of which benefit salmon -- under a pilot Riparian Habitat
> Program.  With matching funds, project funding totals about $5.6 million
> and will be used to purchase conservation easements.} [Seattle Herald,
> Seattle Times, Portland Oregonian]
> Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund.  On Feb. 22, 1999, the Governors of
> AK, WA, and OR met with Vice President Gore to discuss the proposed $100
> million Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund, expressing concern that
> states control how the funds are spent.  The governors reportedly told
> Clinton Administration officials that they seek $200 million from the
> federal government for a West Coast salmon initiative. [MSNBC, Portland
> Oregonian]
> Cook Inlet Salmon Management.  On Feb. 22, 1999, the AK Board of Fisheries
> revised the Upper Cook Inlet Salmon Management Plan to remove language
> providing a that late-run Kenai River sockeye salmon would be managed
> primarily for commercial fishing and that late-run Kenai River king salmon
> would be managed primarily for sport fishing.  The Board?s intent is to
> have specific management objectives included in subplans for individual
> fisheries. [Anchorage Daily News, MSNBC]
> {ME Salmon Proposal.  On Apr. 14, 1999, the ME Dept. of Marine Resources
> will hold a public hearing in Mount Desert on a proposal, including a
> 10-year lease, by Atlantic Salmon of Maine LLC of Fairfield, to rear
> 500,000 Atlantic salmon in 16 pens on a 15-acre tract off Bartlett
> Island.}[Bangor Daily News]
> {Improved Catfish.  On Mar. 11, 1999, officials of the Thad Cochran
> National Warmwater Aquaculture Center, Stoneville, MS, announced that a
> genetically engineered catfish, designated USDA 103, could be certified
> for release and available for distribution to catfish growers as early as
> January 2000.  USDA 103 is reported to grow about 25% faster than most
> catfish strains, using feed more efficiently.}[Assoc Press]
> ANS Conference.  On April 26-30, 1999, the 9th International Zebra Mussel
> and Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) Conference is scheduled to convene in
> Duluth, MN.  The Conference will focus on ANS policy issues as well as
> research reports on biology, ecology, control, management, and impacts of
> ANS. [MN Sea Grant Program press release]
> Animal Waste.  On Mar. 9, 1999, Vice President Al Gore announced a
> comprehensive federal strategy, Unified National Strategy for Animal
> Feeding Operations, to improve river, lake, and coastal water quality
> harmed by runoff from large livestock operations.  Developed by the U.S.
> Dept. of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency, this
> strategy sets an objective of developing and implementing Comprehensive
> Nutrient Management Plans for all animal feeding operations by 2009, with
> mandatory requirements for large operations and voluntary programs for
> smaller ones. [Environment News Service]
> Atlantic Salmon.  On Mar. 8-9, 1999, the Atlantic Salmon Authority has
> scheduled public hearings in Machias and Sidney on proposals to ban salmon
> fishing on 7 ME rivers plus 2 tributaries of the Penobscot River and 2
> tributaries of the Kennebec River for 5 years. [Fed. Register, Defenders
> of Wildlife press release, Bangor Daily News]
> FWS FY2000 Budget.  On Mar. 4, 1999, the House Resources Subcommittee on
> Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans held an oversight hearing on
> the FY 2000 budget request of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
> [personal communication]
> Moratorium on Road-Building.  On Mar. 4, 1999, the House Resources
> Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health held an oversight hearing on the
> U.S. Forest Service moratorium on road building in certain national forest
> areas and on the status of the long-term transportation policy that the
> Forest Service plans to develop during the freeze. [personal
> communication, Trout Unlimited press release]
> St. Lawrence River Mercury Contamination.  On Feb. 25, 1999, Health
> Canada, the Quebec Dept. Of Health, and the Montreal regional health board
> released results of a 5-year, C$1 million study indicating that levels of
> mercury and other contaminants such as PCBs and DDT in the bodies of
> Montreal-area fishermen were much lower than previously measured.
> Environmentalists disputed the study results, and pointed to contradictory
> results of a study published in the August 1998 issue of the journal
> NeuroToxicology. [Montreal Gazette, Canadian Press]
> ME Elver Fishery.  On Feb. 25, 1999, the ME Legislature?s Marine Resources
> Committee voted unanimously to support an emergency bill to reduce the
> number of fyke nets used in the elver fishery by 70% or more and issue 64%
> fewer elver fishing licenses.  This emergency measure passed the House on
> Mar. 4, 1999, and the Senate on Mar. 9, 1999.  Gov. King is expected to
> sign the measure on Mar. 11, 1999. [Bangor Daily News, Assoc Press]
> Pfiesteria?  On Feb. 24, 1999, scientists reported that non-toxic forms of
> Pfiesteria had been identified in MD?s St. Martin and Big Annemessex
> Rivers.  On Mar. 1, 1999, NC Governor Jim Hunt and Secretary of
> Agriculture Dan Glickman signed an agreement to provide as much as $275
> million in state and federal funds to NC farmers enrolling in the
> Conservation Reserve program.  These farmers will plant grass and hardwood
> trees on as much as 100,000 acres of land in the Neuse, Tar-Pamlico, and
> Chowan River basins to improve water quality in the Albemarle-Pamlico
> estuary. [Reuters, Raleigh News & Observer, Washington Post]
> {North Pacific Gray Whales.  On Mar. 16-17, 1999, U.S. and Mexican
> scientists met at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory to review gray
> whale research, and released estimates that the North Pacific gray whale
> population was about 26,600 animals -- a substantial increase from the
> 22,200 animals estimated in 1995-96 surveys.}[San Jose Mercury News]
> {North Atlantic Right Whales.  On Mar. 16, 1999, a report by scientists
> from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Univ. of MA was
> published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
> indicating that North Atlantic right whales are dying at a faster rate
> (about 7% of the population each year) than they can reproduce, bringing
> the population closer to extinction.}[Canadian Press]
> {Ocean Futures.  On Mar. 16, 1999, officials of the Free Willy Foundation
> and the Jean-Michel Cousteau Institute of Santa Barbara, CA announced
> their merger as a new entity to be known as Ocean Futures.  The merged
> entity will focus on educating about ocean pollution, and fostering a
> conservation ethic.  In addition the group will use the Internet to
> communicate updates on Keiko.}[Portland Oregonian]
> {FL Manatees.  On Mar. 13, 1999, FL volunteers counted 2,353 manatees,
> including 1,397 on FL?s west coast -- significantly more than the FL total
> of 1,873 animals that was counted in January 1999.}[Naples Daily News]
> Monterey Bay War Games.  On Mar. 11, 1999, the CA Coastal Commission
> unanimously rejected a Navy and Marine Corps report suggesting that gray
> whales and sea otters in Monterey Bay would not be affected by major
> military exercises, part of the Urban Warrior Advanced Warfighting
> Experiment, involving a 250-Marine beach landing in Monterey on Mar. 13,
> 1999.  The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, NMFS, and the U.S. Fish
> and Wildlife Service had granted approval to the military.  {{In response,
> the military dropped plans for the beach landing.}}[Assoc Press, San Jose
> Mercury News]
> Iceland and Commercial Whaling.  On Mar. 10, 1999, Iceland?s parliament
> voted 37-7 to approve a resolution calling on the Icelandic government to
> make all necessary preparations to resume commercial whaling as soon as
> possible, or at least by Dec. 31, 2000. [High North Alliance News, Assoc
> Press]
> {Caribbean Humpback Whale Kill.  On Mar. 6, 1999, British tourists
> witnessed whalers off Mustique, in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines,
> harpoon a humpback whale calf and subsequently harpoon and kill the calf?s
> mother.  Killing of suckling calves or females accompanied by a calf is
> reported as contrary to International Whaling Convention standards.  St.
> Vincent, an International Whaling Commission member, is allowed to kill 2
> humpback whales each year for non-commercial use.}[BBC News]
> Cook Inlet Beluga Whales.  On Mar. 3, 1999, a coalition of conservation
> groups and a former whale hunter filed a 40-page petition with NMFS asking
> that Cook Inlet beluga whales be listed under the Endangered Species Act
> as an endangered species. [Anchorage Daily News]
> Canadian Sealing.  On Mar. 3, 1999, seven sealers appeared in court in
> Gander, Newfoundland, on charges that they sealed in a whelping patch or
> pupping area in 1998.  An additional 7 sealers are scheduled to appear in
> court on various charges in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, on Mar. 22, 1999.
> Sealers are being prosecuted by the Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans for
> sealing activities captured on videotape by animal rights activists. {{In
> early March 1999, Newfoundland Fisheries Minister John Efford released a
> video showing thousands of dead, gutted cod, blaming harp seals for the
> mortality and calling for an increased harp seal quota.  On Mar. 18, 1999,
> animal protection activists responded, releasing two reports suggesting
> that cold water may have killed the cod, which were then gutted by birds
> seeking cod livers.}}[Canadian Press]
> APHIS Proposed Regulations.  On Feb. 23, 1999, the Animal and Plant Health
> Inspection Service (APHIS) published proposed Animal Welfare Act
> regulations concerning the humane handling, care, treatment, and
> transportation of marine mammals in captivity.  The proposed regulations
> were developed by developed by the Marine Mammal Negotiated Rulemaking
> Advisory Committee in a series of meetings beginning in September 1995 and
> continuing through July 1996.  Public comment on the proposed regulations
> is being taken through Apr. 26, 1999. [Fed. Register]
> La Jolla Children?s Pool.  On Feb. 22, 1999, NMFS published notice that
> the City of San Diego's Parks and Recreation Department is seeking
> authorization to disturb a colony of harbor seals to reclaim and renovate
> La Jolla?s Children?s Pool swimming area.  This pool has been closed to
> swimming since September 1997, when contamination by seal feces made the
> pool unsafe.  Public comment on permit authorization will be accepted
> through Mar. 24, 1999. [Sacramento Bee, NOAA press release]
> Mexican Whale/Sea Lion Mortalities.  On Feb. 22, 1999, the Contra Costa
> Times reported the Mexican news agency as saying that fishermen had found
> 9 gray whales dead in recent weeks in Magdalena Bay.  On Feb. 24, 1999,
> Mexican officials were reporting 6 dead gray whales (2 adults and 4
> calves) in Magdalena Bay, with all deaths due to natural causes.  On Feb.
> 26, 1999, Mexican authorities reported that as many as 16 gray whales have
> died along the northwestern Mexican coast since January 1999, including 4
> in Magdalena Bay.  On Feb. 28, 1999, Mexican scientists reported that the
> decomposing bodies of 180 sea lions had been found in the northern Gulf of
> California in mid-February 1999.  In addition, a 17th gray whale mortality
> was reported in Sinaloa state.  On Mar. 1, 1999, gray whale mortality was
> reported as 20 animals -- 7 in the Gulf of California and 13 in breeding
> lagoons on Baja California?s west coast.  On Mar. 10, 1999, Greenpeace
> {{and four other U.S. and Mexican}}environmental organizations filed a
> criminal complaint with Mexico?s attorney general, accusing the Mexican
> Government of not enforcing environmental measures thus allowing
> concentrated brine discharges from a Mexican-Japanese joint venture salt
> company to damage a Baja California reserve and its gray whales and sea
> turtles. {On Mar. 12, 1999, the Mexico?s Group of 100 announced that 50
> dead gray whales had been found near Baja California, with 18 dead whales
> in the Ojo de Liebre and Guerrero Negro lagoons.  The cause of whales?
> deaths has not been determined.}[CNN, Contra Costa Times, BBC News,
> Reuters, Chicago Tribune, Assoc Press]
> Items in this summary are excerpted from a variety of information sources.
> The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is not responsible for the
> accuracy of the various news items.

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