Article 1. Citation And Legislative Findings of California Fish And Game Code >> Division 6. >> Part 1. >> Chapter 8. >> Article 1.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Salmon,
Steelhead Trout, and Anadromous Fisheries Program Act.
The Legislature, for purposes of this chapter, finds as
(a) According to the department, the natural production of salmon
and steelhead trout in California has declined to approximately
1,000,000 adult chinook or king salmon, 100,000 coho or silver
salmon, and 150,000 steelhead trout.
(b) The naturally spawning salmon and steelhead trout resources of
the state have declined dramatically within the past four decades,
primarily as a result of lost stream habitat on many streams in the
(c) Much of the loss of salmon and steelhead trout and anadromous
fish in the state has occurred in the central valley.
(d) Protection of, and an increase in, the naturally spawning
salmon and steelhead trout resources of the state would provide a
valuable public resource to the residents, a large statewide economic
benefit, and would, in addition, provide employment opportunities
not otherwise available to the citizens of this state, particularly
in rural areas of present underemployment.
(e) Proper salmon and steelhead trout resource management requires
maintaining adequate levels of natural, as compared to hatchery,
spawning and rearing.
(f) Reliance upon hatchery production of salmon and steelhead
trout in California is at or near the maximum percentage that it
should occupy in the mix of natural and artificial hatchery
production in the state. Hatchery production may be an appropriate
means of protecting and increasing salmon and steelhead in specific
situations; however, when both are feasible alternatives, preference
shall be given to natural production.
(g) The protection of, and increase in, the naturally spawning
salmon and steelhead trout of the state must be accomplished
primarily through the improvement of stream habitat.
(h) Funds provided by the Legislature since 1978 to further the
protection and increase of the fisheries of the state have been
administered by the department in a successful program of contracts
with local government and nonprofit agencies and private groups in
ways that have attracted substantial citizen effort.
(i) The department's contract program has demonstrated that
California has a large and enthusiastic corps of citizens that are
eager to further the restoration of the stream and fishery resources
of this state and that are willing to provide significant amounts of
time and labor to that purpose.
(j) There is need for a comprehensive salmon, steelhead trout, and
anadromous fisheries plan, program, and state government
organization to guide the state's efforts to protect and increase the
naturally spawning salmon, steelhead trout, and anadromous fishery
resources of the state.
The Legislature, for purposes of this chapter, declares as
(a) It is the policy of the state to significantly increase the
natural production of salmon and steelhead trout by the end of this
century. The department shall develop a plan and a program that
strives to double the current natural production of salmon and
steelhead trout resources.
(b) It is the policy of the state to recognize and encourage the
participation of the public in privately and publicly funded
mitigation, restoration, and enhancement programs in order to protect
and increase naturally spawning salmon and steelhead trout
(c) It is the policy of the state that existing natural salmon and
steelhead trout habitat shall not be diminished further without
offsetting the impacts of the lost habitat.
It is the policy of the state and the department to encourage
nonprofit salmon release and return operations subject to this code
operated by, or on behalf of, licensed commercial salmon fishermen
for the purpose of enhancing California's salmon populations and
increasing the salmon harvest by commercial and recreational
fishermen. The department shall, to the extent that funds and
personnel are available, cooperate with fishing organizations in the
siting and establishment of those operations to ensure the protection
of natural spawning stocks of native salmon. The organizations
conducting the operations may receive salmon eggs and juvenile salmon
for the purposes of the operation, and, where appropriate, shall
have priority to receive salmon eggs and juvenile salmon for those
purposes after the needs of habitat mitigation efforts, and state
hatcheries are met.
The department shall encourage other nonprofit hatcheries
and nonprofit artificial propagation operations, operated by, or on
behalf of, licensed fishermen, for the purpose of rebuilding or
enhancing marine fish populations, including, but not limited to,
those for Dungeness crab, sea urchin, and California halibut,
consistent with the protection of these species in the wild, in order
to provide sustainable marine fish populations for harvest by
commercial and recreational fishermen. The department shall, to the
extent funds and personnel are available, cooperate with these
nonprofit hatcheries and nonprofit artificial propagation operations
in determining the feasibility, siting, and establishment of those
activities and sharing technical information to ensure the protection
of the marine environment.