Code Section Group

Fish and Game Code - FGC

DIVISION 2. DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE [700 - 1950]

  ( Heading of Division 2 amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 154, Sec. 21. )

CHAPTER 7.2. Trout Management [1725 - 1730]
  ( Chapter 7.2 added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 847. )

1725.
  

This act shall be known as the Trout and Steelhead Conservation and Management Planning Act of 1979.

(Added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 847.)

1726.
  

The Legislature hereby finds and declares that it is the policy of the state to do all of the following:

(a) Establish and maintain wild trout stocks, that, to the extent possible, should be native fish, in suitable waters of the state that are readily accessible to the general public as well as in those waters in remote areas.

(b) Establish angling regulations designed to maintain the wild trout fishery in those waters by natural reproduction.

(c) Discourage artificial planting of hatchery-raised hybrid and nonnative fish species in wild trout waters or in other areas that would adversely affect native aquatic and nonaquatic species.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 565, Sec. 6. (SB 1148) Effective January 1, 2013.)

1726.1.
  

The Legislature further finds and declares all of the following:

(a) Hatchery production and stocking of California’s waters started over 140 years ago and is an enduring part of California’s history and attempts to steward its natural resources.

(b) Sustainable and adaptive management provides and improves recreational angling opportunities while protecting and maintaining native and wild trout fisheries, other species, and their mutual habitat.

(c) Management of the genetic diversity of California’s native trout species is imperative.

(d) Habitat restoration and the protection of cold water ecosystems are both of utmost importance to maintaining healthy wild trout populations, ensuring and promoting angler opportunities, and the sustainability of the inland trout fishery.

(e) The department shall seek to provide and enhance diverse recreational angling opportunities in California.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 565, Sec. 7. (SB 1148) Effective January 1, 2013.)

1726.4.
  

(a) For the purposes of this chapter, “trout” includes steelhead trout.

(b) The department, in administering its existing wild trout program, shall maintain an inventory of all California trout streams and lakes to determine the most suitable angling regulations for each stream or lake. The department shall determine for each stream or lake whether it should be managed as a wild trout fishery, or whether its management should involve the temporary planting of native trout species to supplement wild trout populations that is consistent with this chapter. In maintaining the inventory, the department shall give priority to those streams and lakes that have the highest biological potential for producing sizeable wild trout, which are inhabited by rare species, or where the quality of the fishery is threatened or endangered and take into consideration public use. The biological and physical inventories prepared and maintained for each stream, stream system, or lake shall include an assessment of the resource status, threats to the continued well-being of the fishery resource, the potential for fishery resource development, and recommendations, including necessary changes in the allowed take of trout, for the development of each stream or lake to its full capacity as a fishery, consistent with this chapter.

(c) This section does not provide any public entity or private party with any new or additional authority to affect the management of, or access to, any private land without the written consent of the owner. Privately owned lakes and ponds not open to the use of the general public shall be subject to this section only with the written consent of the owner. This chapter shall not be construed as authorizing or requiring special treatment of adjacent land areas or requiring land use restrictions. It is the intent of the Legislature that this chapter should not diminish the existing authority of the department.

(d) The department shall make the inventory maintained pursuant to subdivision (b) publicly available on the department’s Internet Web site and the department shall continuously revise that inventory with the goal of reviewing every watershed once per decade.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 565, Sec. 8. (SB 1148) Effective January 1, 2013.)

1726.5.
  

The Legislature further finds and declares that activities and programs mandated by this chapter are a continuation and perpetuation of the department’s existing wild trout program and other programs, and as such they shall be funded from existing budgetary resources.

(Added by Stats. 1979, Ch. 847.)

1727.
  

(a) In order to provide for a diversity of available angling experiences throughout the state, it is the intent of the Legislature that the commission maintain the existing wild trout program, and as part of the program, develop additional wild trout waters in the more than 20,000 miles of trout streams and approximately 5,000 lakes containing trout in California.

(b) The department shall prepare a list of no less than 25 miles of stream or stream segments and at least one lake that it deems suitable for designation as wild trout waters. The department shall submit this list to the commission for its consideration at the regular October commission meeting.

(c) The commission may remove any stream or lake that it has designated as a wild trout fishery from the program at any time. If any of those waters are removed from the program, an equivalent amount of stream mileage or an equivalent size lake shall be added to the wild trout program.

(d) The department shall prepare and complete management plans for all wild trout waters not more than three years following their initial designation by the commission and update the management plan every five years following completion of the initial management plan.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 275, Sec. 4. (AB 1420) Effective January 1, 2014.)

1728.
  

(a) Every five years the department shall update the Strategic Plan for Trout Management published in November 2003 as necessary to guide the state’s trout management.

(b) The Strategic Plan for Trout Management shall be intended to ensure all of the following:

(1) Thriving and self-sustaining, wild and native trout populations throughout their historic ranges.

(2) Providing and improving angling opportunities for wild and native trout and other trout.

(3) Providing for the conservation of wild and native trout.

(4) Environmental sustainability and overall ecosystem and watershed health.

(c) The Strategic Plan for Trout Management shall be guided by all of the following considerations:

(1) Adaptively managing trout populations, including, but not limited to, stocking practices, to establish thriving and self-sustaining native and wild trout fisheries in wild trout waters and, where possible, in other waters.

(2) Increasing angler satisfaction.

(3) Ensuring appropriate age distribution of wild trout when appropriate.

(4) Establishing ecologically and environmentally sustainable hatchery and stocking practices for native trout, including, but not limited to, the following:

(A) Hatchery and stocking practices consistent with this chapter.

(B) Stocking plans shall include consideration of angler satisfaction and public use of, and access to, the waters for angling. This may include, but is not limited to, harvest and catch rates, including, but not limited to, trophy catch rates, the potential for high angler satisfaction, and where appropriate, put and grow stocking.

(C) Native trout shall be preferentially stocked when stocking is employed.

(D) Designing stocking plans to maintain and optimize the genetic diversity of trout populations and to be consistent with the direction provided by the strategic trout management team.

(E) Stocking plans for species listed in Section 7261 shall not exceed the documented biological carrying capacity of the water or ecosystem.

(5) Integrating stakeholder involvement into the planning process.

(6) Monitoring and evaluating management processes through angler surveys, public meetings coordinated with county fish and game commissions, or by other means.

(d) The department shall prepare and complete trout management plans consistent with the Strategic Plan for Trout Management for all wild trout waters not more than three years following their initial designation by the commission. The department shall update the management plan every five years or as necessary following completion of the initial management plan. The department shall prepare trout management plans for other waters consistent with the Strategic Plan for Trout Management as appropriate.

(e) Before implementation, the Strategic Plan for Trout Management produced by the department shall be reviewed by the strategic trout management team, the hatchery operations committee, and an ad hoc peer review committee convened by the department to ensure compliance with sound management practices, improved genetic diversity, and use of the best available scientific information.

(f) The Strategic Plan for Trout Management and plans completed pursuant to subdivision (d) shall be publicly available on the department’s Internet Web site.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 565, Sec. 11. (SB 1148) Effective January 1, 2013.)

1729.
  

(a) The department shall give priority to stocking native hatchery-produced species in California’s waters, where stocking is determined to be appropriate by the department. Stocking of hatchery-produced fish is not appropriate in all of California’s waters, including, but not limited to, stocking in California’s waters that would adversely affect species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. Sec. 1531 et seq.) or the California Endangered Species Act (Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 2050) of Division 3).

(b) Hatchery-produced trout shall be stocked to support sustainable angling recreation and promote angler access to trout fishing, including, but not limited to, urban fisheries.

(c) The department may provide outreach and educational materials to all anglers to promote awareness of environmental sustainability, ecosystem health, fish genetics, angling opportunities, and fish population management.

(d) Educational programs utilizing the hatcheries shall be encouraged.

(e) The department shall ensure that all trout stocked in waters of the state for recreational purposes are unable to reproduce through triploidy or other means, with the exception of fish planted into brood stock lakes, surplus brood stock planted according to fishery management decisions, fish planted to supplement waters that the department has determined to be genetically isolated from native fish populations, and native trout species produced for recovery and restoration within their native range.

(f) The department may develop, conduct, and respond to regular angler preference and satisfaction surveys. This is not a substitute for a preferred scientific data collection and monitoring program that would facilitate adaptive management of California’s inland trout fisheries.

(g) The department shall review angling regulations periodically and adjust those regulations to ensure consistency with the strategic plan described in Section 1728.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 565, Sec. 12. (SB 1148) Effective January 1, 2013.)

1730.
  

(a) By January 1, 2014, the department shall form an intradepartmental strategic trout management team to provide direction and oversee trout management statewide. Working under the framework of the Strategic Plan for Trout Management, the strategic trout management team shall direct and implement focused management and monitoring efforts for trout at the watershed level, in cooperation with local stakeholders.

(b) The strategic trout management team shall be responsible for developing basin management plans that are conservation based and are consistent throughout California for inland watersheds.

(c) The basin plans in subdivision (b) shall be reviewed by an ad hoc peer review committee, which may be convened under the guidance of the department’s Science Institute to ensure compliance with sound management practices and utilization of the best available scientific information.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 565, Sec. 13. (SB 1148) Effective January 1, 2013.)

FGCFish and Game Code - FGC