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Subject: CRS: Daily Summary - 3/12/99 - 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, 12 Mar 1999 14:20:15 -0600

text/plain (435 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]
> {{Salmon and Steelhead ESA Listing.  On Mar. 16, 1999, NMFS is
> expected to announce the listing of 9 populations of Pacific Northwest
> salmon
> and steelhead trout as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.  In
> March 1998, a total of 11 populations were proposed for listing as
> threatened,
> with an additional 2 populations proposed for listing as
> endangered.}}[Assoc
> Press]
> Yukon River Salmon Act Reauthorization.  On Mar. 11, 1999, the House
> Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans
> has scheduled 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.
> County officials, in mid-February 1999, wrote to WA state officials asking
> for
> $100 million to pay for stream restoration, sewer and stormwater
> improvements, and land purchases.  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. [Seattle
> Herald,
> Seattle Times]
> 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. 17, 1999, the AK Board of
> Fisheries began 2 weeks of meetings in Soldotna to consider revisions to
> management measures for Cook Inlet salmon fisheries for the 1999 season.
> Beginning with 4 days of public comment, significant controversy surrounds
> the allocation of sockeye salmon harvest between sport and commercial
> fishermen.  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]
> 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 has
> scheduled 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 was scheduled to hold 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]
> Pfiesteria?  Feb. 19, 1999 was the deadline for the NC Division of Water
> Quality to respond to Environmental Protection Agency concerns that NC's
> Neuse River cleanup plan was deficient.  While the plan seeks to reduce
> nitrogen pollution by 30% in the Neuse River, EPA raised concerns that are
> likely to require NC to impose additional restrictions of nitrogen
> pollution to
> reach its 30% objective.  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]
> Ontario Leech Ban.  On Feb. 18, 1999, MN Governor Jesse Ventura
> telephoned U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky, claiming that
> new
> Ontario fishing regulations were punitive and harmful to MN-based anglers
> and
> the state's tourism industry, possibly violating free trade agreements
> including
> NAFTA.[Duluth News-Tribune]
> ME Elver Fishery.  On Feb. 16, 1999, the ME Legislature's Marine
> Resources Committee held a public hearing on 11 proposals related to
> managing the elver fishery.  A Committee work session on the proposals was
> scheduled for Feb. 18, 1999.  Proposals range from prohibitions on fishing
> for
> elvers altogether to river-specific limitations on fishing, including
> limited entry,
> license limitation, and gear restrictions.  A state proposal would
> eliminate a
> fyke net fishery in 5 years, while an industry proposal would maintain the
> fyke
> net fishery but establish a moratorium on new licenses coupled with gear
> restrictions and other limitations.  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 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]
> Lake Ontario Cormorant Management.  In mid-February 1999, NY Dept. of
> Environmental Conservation managers conducted a public survey on 4
> alternatives for managing Lake Ontario cormorant colonies to potentially
> benefit smallmouth bass fishing.  Alternatives ranged from restricting
> colony
> expansion to aggressive use of lethal and non-lethal methods to quickly
> reduce cormorant numbers to some target level. [Syracuse Herald-American]
> Hudson River Striped Bass.  In mid-February 1999, NY Dept. of
> Environmental Conservation scientists announced that polychlorinated
> biphenyl (PCB) contamination in lower Hudson River striped bass had been
> measured at levels low enough to consider allowing these fish to be eaten,
> for
> the first time since human consumption was banned in 1976.  Fish fillets,
> collected in spring 1997 south of Poughkeepsie, averaged 1.06 parts per
> million (PPM) PCBs -- about half the federal limit of 2 ppm -- with only
> 3.3% of
> the samples exceeding the federal limit.  However, striped bass further
> upstream and other fish species (largemouth bass, catfish, eels) still
> exceed
> the federal limit for PCBs. [New York Times, Albany Times Union]
> {{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.}}[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]
> 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. [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]
> FL Manatees.  On Feb. 19, 1999, Tampa Bay's Manatee Awareness
> Coalition is scheduled to begin a 3-year Manatee Watch campaign,
> cosponsored by Tampa Bay Watch and the FL Marine Research Institute and
> intended to inform boaters of manatee habitat in Tampa Bay and reduce
> manatee deaths from boat collisions.  The Coalition is proposing new
> manatee
> protection zones to keep manatees and speeding boats apart. [Fort
> Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Naples Daily
> News]
> Mexican Whale/Sea Lion Mortalities.  On Feb. 18, 1999, Mexican
> television reported that 3 adult gray whales had died of unknown causes at
> the
> Magdalena Bay breeding lagoon in northwestern Mexico.  In addition, 2
> other
> gray whales were reported dead earlier this year on the coast of western
> Sinaloa state.  These mortalities were reported as exceeding normal
> conditions.  Also, gray whales were reported to have arrived a month later
> than
> usual at their breeding lagoons, with reports of migration taking them
> much
> further south than usual.  On Feb. 20, 1999, the Group of 100 (a Mexico
> City
> environmental organization) called on the Mexican government to
> investigate
> the recent epidemic of gray whale deaths, suggesting that the
> cyanide-based
> fluorescent dye NK-19 used by drug smugglers or pollution from mining
> operations may be responsible for the whale deaths.  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
> at least 50 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.}[CNN, Contra Costa Times, BBC
> News, Reuters, Chicago Tribune, Assoc Press]
> Large Whale Protection.  On Feb. 16, 1999, NMFS published final
> regulations in the Federal Register to implement a large whale (i.e.,
> right,
> humpback, fin, and minke whales) take reduction plan.  These regulations
> close whale habitat to some types of fishing gear when whales are present,
> prohibit certain fishing practices that increase the risk of whale
> entanglement,
> fund gear research to develop fishing gear less likely to entangle whales,
> conduct outreach to inform fishermen of entanglement problems, and operate
> a Whale Disentanglement Network to locate and disentangle whales caught in
> fishing gear. [Fed. Register, NOAA press release, Bangor Daily News]
> 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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