What is the (FAC) Fisheries Advisory Council?
The goals of the Fisheries Advisory Council (FAC) are to:
- Improve communication between the public and both the Inland and Marine Fisheries Divisions of DEEP;
- delineate issues and problems that affect all users of marine and inland fisheries resources;
- advise both the Inland and Marine Fisheries Divisions in developing solutions to problems and approaches to issues;
- provide oversight advice to both the Inland and Marine Fisheries Division on budgetary matters;
- and advocate for fish and fisheries issues.
Members of the Fisheries Advisory Council represent DEEP, organizations and individuals.
Last night we held our quarterly meeting and here is the rundown:
- Inland Fisheries and Marine Fisheries are now one, “The Fisheries Division” due to budget constraints/retirements.
- Fishing Expo in Hartford will be held March 31 – April 2. Awards ceremony is still in question due to conference rooms not being available during the expo.
- Threats to CT SEA Grant funds – NOAA is facing funding cuts which means cuts to Connecticut Sea Grant funding. The Connecticut legislative delegation is very supportive of Sea Grant and will oppose these cuts.
- Connecticut applies a tax to motor fuel. If you used more than 200 gallons of gasoline or diesel fuel during last year for recreational boating, you may apply for a partial refund of that tax before May 31stof this year. Print the form (AU-724) at the Department of Revenue Services’ website at http://www.ct.gov/drs/cwp/view.asp?a=1509&q=449724#mvftr.
- DEEP/BNR may be in the black by the end of the fiscal year so they may have some flexibility.
- There are a number of programs that will be put on seasonal staff.
- Increases in capital budget that has provided an opportunity to purchase equipment. No capital budget for this year yet.
- BNR has been asked to plan for more than an 800K cut for the next fiscal year.
- Status quo in federal funds.
- FAC provided testimony in support of SB 831 – An Act Concerning Sport Fishing Licenses for Age 65 and Older Anglers
- There were no verbal testimonies in opposition but there were a few written testimonies in opposition.
- HB 5858 An Act Authorizing Lifetime Hunting and Fishing Licenses – no testimony submitted.
INLAND FISHERIES REPORT
- Approximately 532,700 catchable size trout were produced and are available for pre-season and in-season stocking in 2017. Rainbows 10-12” (154,000), greater than 12” (35,000), Brookies 10-12” (82,000), Browns 10-12” (220,000), greater than 12” (15,000), Tigers 10-12” (4,000), “Survivor” Browns 7-9” (20,000), “Survivor” Browns 14-16” (1,500) and Surplus Broodstock 1-3 pound fish (1,200). Those along with 375,000 trout, atlantic salmon and kokanee fry and smolts.
- 21 new CARE instructors were recruited, trained and certified on February 25 (including a few of Fishing CT admin, Shannon Mallette, James Mercier and Scott Garland). The next opportunity for CARE certification is on June 24, 2017. The CARE program is paid for 75% by the Sport Fish Restoration Program with the state being responsible for the remaining 25%. The unique setup of this program means the state virtually pays nothing. Instructor volunteer hours are documented and matched for Federal funding. In essence, the state gets paid for the instructors volunteered time. Knowledgeable and passionate candidates interested in joining the program should contact Tom Bourret or Justin Wiggins at 860-663-1656 or Thomas.firstname.lastname@example.org
MARINE FISHERIES REPORT
- Will be facing major management changes for Tautog in 2018
- Saltwater fisheries resource maps are in the process of an update
Marine anglers are encouraged to participate in the (VAS) Volunteer Angler Survey through the (ACCSP). The Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program is the principal source of dependable and timely marine fishery statistics for Atlantic coast fisheries. http://accsp.org/