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Guides wanted for pilot monitoring program for White Sturgeon

Photo caption: White sturgeon, in tank at UC Davis. Photo courtesy of Dennis Cocherell, UC Davis. Note: fish have orange flagging tape tied to their tails for identification purposes.

Sturgeon Fishing Guide Tagging Program RFP is posted on the PSMFC webpage here: https://www.psmfc.org/sturgeon-fishing-guide-tagging-program?pid=131

Application deadline: April 10th, 2024. Please email sturgeon@wildlife.ca.gov with any questions. Application: Click here.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is reaching out to request NCGASA’s input on contact information for sturgeon fishing guides that might be interested in working with CDFW on a pilot monitoring program for White Sturgeon. In collaboration with Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC), CDFW has secured temporary funding to re-design the mark-recapture survey for White Sturgeon, which will include two primary components:

  1. Setlines surveys that will serve as the foundation of our mark-recapture study. Surveys will be conducted during two sampling periods:
  1. a 32-day marking period in May-June (goal is to tag as many White sturgeon as possible) and
  2. a 32-day recapture period in August-September (goal is to recapture fish that were tagged in the marking period, as well as tag any unmarked fish that are caught)

Details: CDFW is looking to contract with 2-3 captains to conduct the setline work under the guidance of the Lead Scientist on board. CDFW is looking for experienced captains that have the skill, expertise, and vessel appropriate for deploying setlines (i.e., anchored longlines) from San Pablo Bay east to Rio Vista. The pay structure will be a daily rate for an 8-12 hour day. More details can be found in the Request for Proposal (RFP) posted on the PSMFC webpage here: https://www.psmfc.org/procurements. Instructions for submitting a proposal are contained within the RFP. Deadline for submission is April 10, 2024. CLICK HERE

  1. A sturgeon fishing guide marking program that will tag fish caught during charter trips using hook-and-line methods.

Details: CDFW is looking to collaborate with up to 8 Sturgeon fishing charter captains/guides for the purpose of tagging all released White Sturgeon caught during regularly scheduled charter fishing trips. This does not mean participating guides must only fish catch and release on charter trips, but that only released fish will receive a PIT tag. We plan to pay guides for their participation at a rate of $75 per tagged fish released, with a total cap at 1300 tags during the 2-month period (cumulatively across all participating guides). Data on harvested sturgeon already possessing a PIT tag may also be eligible for compensation. Participating guides will be provided with all tagging and scanning equipment and will be required to undergo Department training to ensure that safe fish handling and data collection/submission protocols are followed. Participating guides must also allow PSMFC/CDFW biologists to occasionally come out on trips to assist or observe sampling. The RFP for this program is still in the final stages of review, but will be posted here by early next week: https://www.psmfc.org/procurements. Application instructions are contained within the RFP. Deadline for submission is April 7, 2024.

CDFW’s priority is to establish a list of candidates for the setline survey, as that will require a strict 4-month commitment. Please visit the PSMFC webpage where the RFPs are posted.

Additionally, CDFW plans to host a public online information session where we will present details on the two projects and provide the opportunity for interested participants to ask questions. Meeting will be hosted on Tuesday, March 26 from 5:30-6:30 pm. Meeting details, including how to join the Zoom meeting, will be posted on the CDFW sturgeon webpage here: https://wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Fishes/Sturgeon

In summary, below are key dates/links:

CONTACT: Colby Hause
Sr. Environmental Scientist (Specialist)
Chinook Salmon Sportfish Coordinator
CDFW | Fisheries Branch
Colby.Hause@wildlife.ca.gov

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