VIDEO and AGENDA ITEM. From the San Mateo County Parks Department agenda from Thursday, April 6th, 2023 at 4:00pm, in person only.
They will be going to hybrid by the next meeting.
“The delivery of smolt by the Department of Fish and Wildlife in 2023 usually the first or second week of May at Pillar Point on the Johnson Pier. It’s a great opportunity to bring the kids to see how this project works.”
TO: Parks and Recreation Commission
FROM: Nicholas J. Calderon, Parks Director
SUBJECT: Appropriation and Expenditure of Fish and Game Propagation Funds
RECOMMENDATION: Make a recommendation to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors to appropriate and spend $10,000 from the Fish and Game Propagation Fund’s FY 2023-24 Recommended Budget for the Coastside Fishing Club/Coastside Fishing Foundation’s Net Pen Program.
BACKGROUND: The Fish and Game Propagation Fund (“Fund”) is a special revenue fund that is maintained by the County Parks Department and comprised of revenue generated when individuals are fined for violating Sections 12009 and 13003 of the California Fish and Game Code while in San Mateo County.
Pursuant to Section 12009, “the money collected from any fine or forfeiture imposed or collected for the taking of abalone for any purpose other than for profit in violation of this article or any other provision of law shall be deposited” in the treasury of the county in which the violation occurs. Section 13003 states “[u]nless otherwise provided by law, all fines and forfeitures imposed or collected in any court of this state for violations of any of the provisions of this code or regulation made pursuant thereto, or any other law providing for the protection or preservation of birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, or amphibia, shall be deposited as soon as practicable after the receipt thereof with the county treasurer of the county in which the court is situated.” Section 13100 of the California Fish and Game Code states, “[t]he amounts paid to and retained in the county treasury pursuant to Sections 12009 and 13003 shall be deposited in a county fish and wildlife propagation fund and expended for the protection, conservation, propagation, and preservation of fish and wildlife, under the direction of the board of supervisors, pursuant to this chapter.” Pursuant to County Ordinance Code Section 2.63.020, the County Parks Commission is responsible for making recommendations to the Board of Supervisors regarding the expenditure of fish and game propagation funds. As of the end of Fiscal Year 2021-22, there was $65,356.58 in the Fund.
DISCUSSION: The Parks Department received two applications in January 2023 for Fish and Game Propagation funds. A summary of each application, as well as the Department’s recommended action for the Commission, are detailed below.
1. Steve Kennedy
The first application received is from Steve Kennedy, and seeks $5,000 to produce a 28-minute video that will “help citizens of Northern California prepare for, prevent and mitigate, the kind of deadly and environmentally destructive, suburban forest fires” experienced in recent years. According to the application, “[t]he video introduces students to at least six scientific principles of fish and wildlife conservation in a subtle and memorable way. The most important principle of fish and wildlife conservation lesson that is taught in the video, stems from the fact that California, was at one time rich with wildlife, which was unfortunately, sacrificed in the name of nation building.” According to Mr. Kennedy’s application, funds would be used to rent materials and equipment, cover transportation costs, pay a film festival entry fee, and pay administration and overhead expenses. However, Mr. Kennedy states that the script for the proposed video is subject to change up-to and during filming. As a result, the draft script could change to include principles, statements, and science not consistent with the Department’s values and standards. Thus, the Department recommends that Mr. Kennedy not be awarded funding at this time, and that instead he be asked to re-submit his application when the video is complete. If and when the Department—and this Commission—are able to confirm that all statements and principles in the final video are consistent with the Department’s values and standards, the Department would consider recommending an expenditure for the requested funds. Mr. Kennedy’s application and draft script are attached for the Commission’s review.
2. Coastside Fishing Club/Coastside Fishing Foundation Netpen Program
The second application received is from the Coastside Fishing Club/Coastside Fishing Foundation, and seeks $10,000 to fund the Net Pen Program.
To date, the Net Pen Program has acclimated approximately 5,450,800 Chinook salmon smolt in Pillar Point Harbor. According to the application “[t]he basic idea of acclimation is to save the 3″ to 4″ fish the hardships of low water, high temperature trips down the Feather and Sacramento River systems with all its predators, by truck, and then feed and acclimate them in the outer harbor for a week.
Salmon will return to the general areas (Pillar Point), after a couple years in the ocean to feed and ready themselves for their spawning journey back up the freshwater systems from which they came.”
In total, the 2023 release will cost $17,609 and acclimate approximately 750,000 Chinook salmon smolt in Pillar Point Harbor.
The applicant is requesting $10,000 to pay for fish vaccines, equipment rental, insurance, and administration.
Because the Net Pen Program advances the objective of the Fish and Game Fund by propagating Chinook salmon populations in San Mateo County and Northern California, the Department recommends that the requested funds be appropriated in the Fish and Game Propagation Fund’s FY 2023-24 Recommended Budget and an expenditure in the amount of $10,000 be made on or after July 1, 2023, to fund the Net Pen Program.
The Coastside Fishing Club/Coastside Fishing Foundation’s application is attached for the Commission’s review.
FISCAL IMPACT: Adequate funding exists within the Department’s Fish and Game Propagation Fund for this purpose, with no impact to the Department’s operating budget beyond administrative costs.
Coastside Fishing Club Funding Application
Dear Parks Director Calderon,
This must be a difficult time to be the Director of San Mateo County Parks with all the weather caused issues. This request is not weather related. The San Mateo County Parks Department has offered partial funding to the Coastside Fishing Club/Coastside Fishing Foundation Netpen Program in the amount of $10,000 in the past. I’m asking that be continued and wondering if there is any paperwork needed other than this request. This request also falls into the San Mateo County Parks Department Goals, specifically Goal 3.
Goal 3 Advise the BOS regarding fish, game and wildlife policies and programs, and make recommendations to the BOS regarding the expenditure of fish and game propagation funds. (By law direction)
See also code section 13103(d) The rearing of netpen raised Chinook salmon is valuable to both the commercial and recreational fishermen in San Mateo County. It’s an event that brings positive news coverage to such a worthwhile event.
Fish from the hatcheries are pretreated to guard against the thiamine deficiency, encountered by some of the wild fish. Each fish has a coded wire tag inserted so that individual fish may be tracked back to this program.
Currently, Coastside Fishing Club is receiving 3 shipments of roughly 250,000 fish for a total of 750,000 Chinook salmon to release. This will be the 13th year Coastside Fishing Club and Coastside Fishing Foundation EIN is 47-1430762 has acclimated local salmon.
Our 2015 request: 2/15/15 To: San Mateo County Parks and Recreation Commission The Coastside Fishing Foundation is seeking funding from the San Mateo County Fish & Game Propagation fund to help support our on going Salmon Smolt Net Pen Acclimation Project.
Four years ago Coastside began an effort to enhance our ocean Salmon fishery by joining efforts with California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, to acclimate hatchery raised Chinook Salmon smolt in Pillar Point Harbor. We have completed 3 seasons, and acclimated approximately one million Chinook smolt. The basic idea of acclimation is to save the 3″ to 4″ fish the hardships of low water, high temperature trips down the Feather and Sacramento River systems with all it’s predators, by truck, and then feed and acclimate them in the outer harbor for a week. Salmon will return to the general areas (Pillar Point), after a couple years in the ocean to feed and ready themselves for their spawning journey back up the fresh water systems from which they came.
The entire process is very labor intensive, and we count on our many talented volunteers to help vaccinate, assemble the net pen, transfer back and forth from Johnson Pier to the outer harbor (4 round trips per season), feed monitor, disassemble, clean and store pen for the year.
Our first year fish did not cost us, as CDFW picked up the tab. Since then we have had expenses around ten cents per fish. $31,462.00 for 2015 fin-clipped, wire coded tagged smolt. Other expenses include vaccine, net pen up keep, and feed. We have been paying for this from club membership dues, annual fund raising dinner, and member donations.
As these sources begin to dwindle, we are looking at every and all avenues available to us. Our project seems to be just what section 13103(d) of the Fish & game code speaks to.
Net Pen Supervisors: Lead, Bruce MacKimmie (email@example.com), Rick Sturiza, (firstname.lastname@example.org), Doug Laughlin (email@example.com)
Project Goal: Improve the abundance of fall-run Chinook for recreational and commercial use in California waters. General Acclimation
Plan: Hatchery-raised fall run Chinook, provided by the CDFW from enhancement production, will be received at Pillar Point Harbor in San Mateo County and held for five to seven days in a floating net pen, moored in the outer harbor. Following acclimation, the smolt will be released into the Pacific Ocean. Timing and scope of the project will depend on deliveries from the Department. Coastside is currently receiving three deliveries, two weeks apart, of 160,000 smolt at a time. Current large-scale trucking and acclimation of salmon takes place in San Pablo Bay, with 12 to 16 million salmon smolt released annually.
The project seeks to supplement rather than supplant current acclimation activity. The project will provide currently absent redundancy in the necessary trucking and acclimation processes.
Species of Fish to be Acclimated: Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), Central Valley fall run Please let me know if this request is sufficient to implement this years funding or what else may be needed.
Regards, Tom Mattusch Coastside Fishing Foundation P O Box 5501 San Mateo, CA 94402 650.619.0459
The Coastside Fishing Foundation is a California not for profit (501c3) company founded in 2014 by members of the Coastside Fishing Club to further the interests of recreational anglers and boaters, primarily in the San Francisco coastal and bay waters. Its major project involves the net pen acclimation of hatchery Chinook salmon smolt in ocean water rather than releasing them in the Sacramento River, avoiding water quality issues, especially during drought conditions. The delivery of smolt by the Department of Fish and Wildlife in 2023 usually the first or second week of May at Pillar Point on the Johnson Pier. It’s a great opportunity to bring the kids to see how this project works.
You can read about the project or see the entire delivery and release schedule using the buttons below. The Foundation release a 750,000 salmon smolt during May 2022.
CFF also provides funds, gear and volunteers for Kids and Veteran’s fishing events, working with other groups that have similar objectives.
The Foundation is funded by public grants and private donations and support of other like minded conservation organizations.
The Foundation would like to express its thanks for the continued support of the San Mateo County Parks and Recreation Department and its Commissioners who have granted CFF funds to help continue the successful Smolt Acclimation Program.