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NFC: Fw: Re: Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: 90-
You know I'm a fishy kind of guy. I'm forwarding it to the NFC.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Hagan Mark Civ AFFTC/EM" <mark.hagan at edwards_af.mil>
To: <KonSchmidt at msn_com>
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2001 11:44 AM
Subject: FW: Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: 90-
> Don't know if are interested or if the fish conservancy would be.
> But here is some fish news.
> [Federal Register: December 14, 2001 (Volume 66, Number 241)]
> [Proposed Rules]
> [Page 64793-64795]
> >From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
> DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
> National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
> 50 CFR Parts 223 and 224
> [Docket No. 011130289-1289-01; I.D. 111501C]
> Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: 90-Day Finding for
> a Petition to List North American Green Sturgeon as Threatened or
> Endangered under the Endangered Species Act
> AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and
> Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
> ACTION: Notice of petition finding; request for information and
> SUMMARY: NMFS announces a 90-day finding for a petition to list the
> North American green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) as a threatened
> or endangered species and to designate critical habitat under the
> Endangered Species Act (ESA). NMFS finds that the petition presents
> substantial scientific information indicating that the petitioned
> action may be warranted. NMFS will conduct a status review of the green
> sturgeon to determine if the petitioned action is warranted. To ensure
> that the review is comprehensive, NMFS is soliciting information and
> comments pertaining to this species, and seeks suggestions from the
> public for peer reviewers for the agency's review of the petitioned
> DATES: Information and comments on the action must be received by March
> 14, 2002.
> ADDRESSES: Requests for copies of the petition, and information and
> comments on this action should be submitted to the Assistant Regional
> Administrator, Protected Resources Division, NMFS, 501 West Ocean
> Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802-4213. The petition is available
> for public inspection by appointment, Monday through Friday, at the
> same address.
> FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Craig Wingert, NMFS, Southwest Region,
> (562) 980-4021 or David O'Brien, NMFS, Office of Protected Resources,
> (301) 713-1401.
> SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
> Section 4 (b)(3)(A) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) requires
> that NMFS make a finding as to whether a petition to list, delist, or
> reclassify a species presents substantial scientific or commercial
> information to indicate that the petitioned action may be warranted.
> NMFS' ESA implementing regulations (50 CFR 424.14) define ``substantial
> information'' as the amount of information that would lead a reasonable
> person to believe that the measure proposed in the petition may be
> warranted. In determining whether substantial information exists for a
> petition to list a species, NMFS takes into account several factors,
> including information submitted with and referenced in the petition and
> all other information readily available in NMFS files. To the maximum
> extent practicable, this finding is to be made within 90 days of the
> receipt of the petition, and the finding is to be published promptly in
> the Federal Register. If NMFS finds that a petition presents
> substantial information indicating that the requested action may be
> warranted, section 4 (b)(3)(B) of the ESA requires the Secretary of
> Commerce (Secretary) to conduct a status review of the species and make
> a finding as to whether the petitioned action is warranted within 1
> year of the receipt of the petition.
> Analysis of Petition
> On June 12, 2001, NMFS received a petition from the Environmental
> Protection Information Center, Center for Biological Diversity, and
> Waterkeepers Northern California regarding the North American green
> sturgeon. The petition requested that NMFS list the North American
> green sturgeon as either an endangered or threatened species under the
> ESA, and that it designate critical habitat for the species
> concurrently with any listing determination.
> The green sturgeon is a large, anadromous fish. In North America,
> the green sturgeon ranges from Alaska to
> [[Page 64794]]
> Mexico in marine waters and forages in estuaries and bays ranging from
> San Francisco Bay to British Columbia. The green sturgeon is recognized
> as a single species, but until recently, geographic variation in the
> species that could indicate the presence of subspecies or distinct
> populations had received little attention. Although Russian and Asian
> forms of the green sturgeon are morphologically similar to the North
> American form, Moyle et al. (1992) indicated the Russian and Asian
> forms likely belong to a different taxon. Birstein (1993), among
> others, recently demonstrated genetic differences between the Asian and
> North American forms, suggesting they are two distinct species. The
> green sturgeon has been aged to 42 years old, but this is probably an
> underestimate and ages of 60 to 70 are more likely. Males mature
> sexually sometime after they reach 120 cm, or approximately 17 years
> old. Females mature after attaining 145 cm, or approximately 21 years
> old and may return to spawn every 3 to 7 years. Males spawn more
> Sturgeon species worldwide have experienced population declines
> because they are a long-lived, late-maturing species that have low
> fecundity and spawn only periodically, a combination of traits that
> makes them particularly susceptible to over-fishing and habitat
> degradation (Musick, 1999). Spawning green sturgeon are highly
> vulnerable to over-fishing because they tend to hold in deep, cold
> pools in rivers, thus concentrating the spawning population. In a
> recent review paper, Musick et al. (2000) cited evidence that green
> sturgeon populations have declined by 88 percent throughout much of its
> range, and there appears to have been recent declines in green sturgeon
> in the Umpqua River in Oregon and the Fraser River in Canada. Each of
> the known or suspected spawning populations of green sturgeon presently
> contain at most a few hundred mature females (Musick et al., 2000).
> The current spawning range of green sturgeon in North America has
> contracted from its historic range, and they now spawn in only a
> limited number of large river systems. Green sturgeon historically
> spawned in the Eel, the South Fork Trinity, and the San Joaquin Rivers
> in California, but apparently no spawning occurs there currently. The
> only known remaining spawning populations of the North American green
> sturgeon are in the Sacramento and Klamath River basins in California,
> with more spawning apparently occurring in the Klamath River basin. It
> is also possible that spawning occurs in the Rogue River in Oregon
> since running-ripe adults and young of the year have been observed in
> the Rogue River, but exact spawning locations have not been confirmed.
> The contraction in spawning range, and the reduction in the number and
> size of green sturgeon spawning populations, could represent a
> significant reduction in the spawning area and potential for the
> species. Since North American green sturgeon spawning is limited to low
> numbers of spawners in a very few rivers, they are vulnerable to local
> changes in flow and temperature resulting from water diversions,
> increased sedimentation, entrainment in pumping facilities, and
> contaminant loading.
> The green sturgeon in North America may face ongoing threats from
> the loss and/or degradation of habitat, particularly in those river
> systems where they are known or thought to spawn (e.g. Klamath and
> Sacramento River basins), and impacts to the species from harvest in
> sport fisheries or as bycatch in other fisheries (e.g. white sturgeon
> fishery). Specific concerns regarding habitat loss and degradation
> cited by the petitioners include the construction of dams and operation
> of large scale water projects in the Sacramento and Klamath Rivers and
> other coastal systems, and logging agriculture, mining, road
> construction and urban development in coastal watersheds. Some
> fisheries that occur in coastal Washington and the Columbia River that
> target white sturgeon or salmon take green sturgeon as bycatch. Some of
> this bycatch is in areas where green sturgeon spawning does not occur,
> suggesting that green sturgeon harvest in some areas is supported by
> the limited number of known spawning populations (e.g., Klamath and
> Sacramento River basins).
> Petition Finding
> Given documented declines in abundance and contraction of spawning
> range, and the possibility of ongoing threats, NMFS has determined that
> the petition presents substantial information that listing green
> sturgeon in North America under the ESA may be warranted. Accordingly,
> NMFS will initiate a status review of the North American green
> sturgeon. In accordance with section 4 (b)(3)(B) of the ESA, the
> Secretary will make his determination whether the petitioned action is
> warranted within 12 months from the date the petition was received
> (June 12, 2001) following completion of an ESA status review.
> Listing Factors and Basis for Determination
> Under section 4 (a)(1) of the ESA, a species may be determined to
> be threatened or endangered based on any of the following factors: (1)
> The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of
> its habitat or range; (2) overutilization for commercial, recreational,
> scientific, or educational purposes; (3) disease or predation; (4)
> inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (5) other natural or
> manmade factors affecting its continuing existence. Listing
> determinations are based solely on the best available scientific and
> commercial data after taking into account any efforts being made by any
> state or foreign nation to protect the species.
> Information Solicited
> To ensure that North American green sturgeon status review is
> complete and is based on the best available scientific and commercial
> data, NMFS is soliciting information and comments on this species. NMFS
> specifically requests the following information: (1) Biological or
> other relevant data that may help identify distinct population segments
> of this species (e.g., age structure, genetics, migratory patterns,
> morphology); (2) the range, distribution, habitat use and abundance of
> this species, including information on the spawning populations of the
> species; (3) current or planned activities and their possible impact on
> this species (e.g., harvest impacts, habitat impacting activities or
> actions); (4) efforts being made to protect this species in California,
> Oregon, Washington and Canada.
> Critical Habitat
> NMFS is also requesting information on areas that may qualify for
> critical habitat for the North American green sturgeon. Areas that
> include the physical and biological features essential to the
> conservation of the species should be identified. Essential features
> include, but are not limited to: (1) space for individual and
> population growth and for normal behavior; (2) food, water, air, light,
> minerals, or other nutritional or physiological requirements; (3) cover
> or shelter; (4) sites for reproduction and development of offspring;
> and (5) habitats that are protected from disturbance or are
> representative of the historical, geographical and ecological
> distributions of the species (50 CFR 424.12).
> For areas potentially qualifying as critical habitat, NMFS requests
> information describing (1) the activities
> [[Page 64795]]
> that affect the areas or could be affected by the designation, and (2)
> the economic costs and benefits of additional requirements of
> management measures likely to result from the designation.
> Peer Review
> On July 1, 1994, NMFS, jointly with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
> Service, published a series of policies regarding listings under the
> ESA, including a policy for peer review of scientific data (59 FR
> 34270). The intent of the peer review policy is to ensure that listings
> are based on the best scientific and commercial data available. NMFS is
> soliciting the names of recognized experts in the field that could take
> part in the peer review process for this status review. Independent
> peer reviewers will be selected from the academic and scientific
> community, tribal and other Native American groups, Federal and state
> agencies, the private sector, and public interest groups.
> References Cited
> Birstein, V.J. 1993. Is Acipencer medirostris one or two species?
> The Sturgeon Quarterly 1(2):8 (1993).
> Moyle, P.B., P.J. Foley and R.M. Yoshiyama. 1992. Status of green
> sturgeon, Acipencer medirostris, in California. Final Report submitted
> to National Marine Fisheries Service, Terminal Island, CA.
> Musick, J.A., M.M. Harbin, S.A. Berkeley, G.H. Burgess, A.M.
> Eklund, L. Findley, R.G. Gilmore, J.T. Golden, D.S. Ha, G.R. Huntsman,
> J.C. McGovern, S.J. Parker, S.G. Poss, E. Sala, T.W. Schmidt, G.R.
> Sedberry, H. Weeks, and S.G. Wright. 2000. Marine, Estuarine, and
> Diadromous Fish Stocks at Risk of Extinction in North America
> (Exclusive of Pacific Salmonids). Fisheries 25(11): 6-30.
> Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.
> Dated: December 10, 2001.
> William T. Hogarth,
> Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries
> [FR Doc. 01-30930 Filed 12-13-01; 8:45 am]
> BILLING CODE 3510-22-S