(a) Notwithstanding Section 13001, 331/3 percent of all sport fishing license fees collected pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 7145) of Chapter 1 of Part 2 of Division 6, except license fees collected pursuant to Section 7149.8, shall be deposited into the Hatchery and Inland Fisheries Fund, which is hereby established in the State Treasury. Moneys in the fund may be expended, consistent with the Strategic Plan for Trout Management and Chapter 7.2 (commencing with Section 1725) of Division 2, and, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to support programs of the department related to management, maintenance, and capital improvement of California’s fish hatcheries, the Heritage and Wild Trout program, and enforcement activities related thereto, and to support other activities eligible to be funded from revenue generated by sport fishing license fees.
(b) The department shall use sport fishing license fees collected and subject to appropriation pursuant to subdivision (a) for the following purposes:
(1) For the department’s attainment of a state hatchery production goal of 2.75 pounds of released trout per sport fishing license sold in the calendar year ending two and one-half years earlier, based on the sales of the following types of sport fishing licenses: resident; lifetime; nonresident year; nonresident, 10-day; 2-day; 1-day; and reduced fee. The predominant number of released fish shall be of catchable size or larger. The department shall attain this goal in compliance with Fish and Game Commission trout policies concerning catchable-sized trout stocking, the Strategic Plan for Trout Management, and Chapter 7.2 (commencing with Section 1725) of Division 2.
(2) To the Heritage and Wild Trout Program, at least two million dollars ($2,000,000), for the following purposes:
(A) At least seven new permanent positions for the Heritage and Wild Trout Program.
(B) Permanent positions and seasonal aides in each region of the state as necessary to contribute to the objectives of this section, the objectives of the Strategic Plan for Trout Management pursuant to Section 1728, and other activities necessary to the program.
(C) The development of trout management plans pursuant to Chapter 7.2 (commencing with Section 1725) of Division 2.
(D) The department may expend up to 25 percent of the funds made available to the Heritage and Wild Trout Program for watershed restoration projects, resource assessment, or scientific inquiry. The department may enter into contracts with qualified entities including local governments, special districts, tribes, and nonprofit organizations for the purposes of this subparagraph.
(3) For the development of the department’s Strategic Plan for Trout Management pursuant to Section 1728.
(4) The department shall ensure that the numbers of native California trout, as defined in Section 7261, produced are sufficient to equal or exceed 25 percent of the numbers of trout produced by the state fish hatcheries to comply with paragraph (1). The native trout produced in accordance with this paragraph shall support department efforts to protect and restore cold water ecosystems, maintain biological diversity, and provide diverse angling opportunities. Coastal rainbow trout/steelhead produced for anadromous mitigation purposes shall be excluded from contributing to the native trout production goals required by this paragraph. Coastal rainbow trout/steelhead propagated for purposes other than anadromous mitigation and released into their source watersheds may be counted toward the 25 percent native trout production goal. Native trout produced shall be naturally indigenous stocks from their original source watersheds. The department may release native trout produced into watersheds other than their original source watershed only if the released trout will cause no harm to other native trout or other biota in their original watersheds.
(5) The department may hire additional staff for state fish hatcheries, in order to comply with this subdivision.
(c) The department may allocate any funds under this section, not necessary to maintain the minimums specified in paragraphs (1) and (4) of subdivision (b), and after the expenditure in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), to the Fish and Game Preservation Fund.
(d) The department may utilize federal funds to meet the funding formula specified in subdivision (a) if those funds are otherwise legally available for this purpose.
(e) A portion of the moneys subject to appropriation pursuant to subdivision (a) may be used for the purpose of obtaining scientifically valid genetic determinations of California native trout stocks, consistent with the department’s Strategic Plan for Trout Management.
(f) On an annual basis, the department shall invest in hatchery facility improvements and rehabilitation to ensure progress towards achievement of the hatchery fish production targets established pursuant to this section.
(g) Beginning January 1, 2015, the department may obtain hatchery-produced fish from any California-based hatchery if all of the following criteria are satisfied:
(1) The goal specified in subdivision (b) is unmet.
(2) The department, following an inspection, determines that the California hatchery is in compliance with operations, management, and monitoring standards that are as stringent as those in effect at state hatcheries, in order to minimize the risk of the spread of disease or invasive species into inland state waters and fisheries.
(3) The cost per fish or per pound of fish provided by the California hatchery shall not exceed the cost to the department of state hatchery fish calculated equivalently and including transportation costs.
(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 26, Sec. 36. (SB 92) Effective June 27, 2017.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018