Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish, 45192-45197 [2020-16176]

Download as PDF jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 45192 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 144 / Monday, July 27, 2020 / Notices collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, on or after the date of publication of this notice. We invite the general public and other Federal agencies to comment on proposed, and continuing information collections, which helps us assess the impact of our information collection requirements and minimize the public’s reporting burden. Public comments were previously requested via the Federal Register on March 27, 2020, during a 60-day comment period. This notice allows for an additional 30 days for public comments. Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Title: Emergency Commercial Salmon Landing Report. OMB Control Number: 0648–0433. Form Number(s): None. Type of Request: Regular submission (extension of a current information collection). Number of Respondents: 40. Average Hours per Response: 15 minutes. Total Annual Burden Hours: 10 hours. Needs and Uses: Ocean salmon fisheries conducted in the U.S. exclusive economic zone, 3–200 nautical miles off the West Coast states of Washington, Oregon, and California, are managed by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) under the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). Management measures for the ocean salmon fisheries are set annually, consistent with the Council’s Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The FMP provides a framework for managing the ocean salmon fisheries in a sustainable manner, as required under the MSA, through the use of conservation objectives, annual catch limits, and other reference points and status determination criteria described in the FMP. To meet these criteria, annual management measures, published in the Federal Register by NMFS, specify regulatory areas, catch restrictions, and landing restrictions based on the stock abundance forecasts. These catch and landing restrictions include area- and species-specific quotas for the commercial ocean salmon fishery, and generally require landings to be reported to the appropriate state agencies to allow for a timely and accurate accounting of the season’s catch (50 CFR 660.404 and 50 CFR 660.408(o)). The best available catch and effort data and projections are presented by the state VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:31 Jul 24, 2020 Jkt 250001 fishery managers in telephone conference calls involving the NMFS West Coast Regional Administrator and representatives of the Council. However, NMFS acknowledges that unsafe weather or mechanical problems could prevent commercial fishermen from making their landings at the times and places specified, and the MSA requires conservation and management measures to promote the safety of human life at sea. Therefore, the annual management measures will include provisions to exempt commercial salmon fishermen from compliance with the landing requirements when they experience unsafe weather conditions or mechanical problems at sea, so long as the appropriate notifications are made by, for example, at-sea radio and cellular telephone, and information on catch and other required information is given, under this collection of information. The annual management measures will specify the contents and procedure of the notifications, and the entities receiving the notifications (e.g., U.S. Coast Guard). Absent this requirement by the Council, the state reporting systems would not regularly collect this specific type of in-season radio report. These provisions, and this federal collection of information, promote safety at sea and provide practical utility for sustainably managing the fishery, and ensure regulatory consistency across each state by implementing the same requirements in the territorial waters off each state This information collection is intended to be general in scope by leaving the specifics of the notifications for annual determination, thus providing flexibility in responding to salmon management concerns in any given year. Affected Public: Business or other forprofit organizations (specifically, commercial salmon fishermen). Frequency: Reporting under this emergency provision is infrequent. Respondent’s Obligation: Mandatory in order to deviate from landing requirements due to unsafe weather or mechanical problems. Legal Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. This information collection request may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. Follow the instructions to view the Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB. Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be submitted within 30 days of the publication of this notice on the following website www.reginfo.gov/ public/do/PRAMain. Find this particular information collection by selecting ‘‘Currently under 30-day PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Review—Open for Public Comments’’ or by using the search function and entering either the title of the collection or the OMB Control Number 0648–0433. Sheleen Dumas, Department PRA Clearance Officer, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Commerce Department. [FR Doc. 2020–16241 Filed 7–24–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XA305] Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; applications for 17 permit renewals, 1 permit modification, and 2 new permits. AGENCY: Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received 20 scientific research permit application requests relating to Pacific salmon and steelhead, eulachon, and green sturgeon. The proposed research is intended to increase knowledge of species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to help guide management and conservation efforts. The applications may be viewed online at: https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov/preview/ preview_open_for_comment.cfm. DATES: Comments or requests for a public hearing on the applications must be received at the appropriate address (see ADDRESSES) no later than 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on August 26, 2020. ADDRESSES: Because all West Coast NMFS offices are currently closed, all written comments on the applications should be sent in by email to nmfs.wcrapps@noaa.gov (please include the permit number in the subject line of the email). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rob Clapp, Portland, OR (ph.: 503–231– 2314), email: Robert.Clapp@noaa.gov). Permit application instructions are available from the address above, or online at https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Species Covered in This Notice The following listed species are covered in this notice: Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha): Threatened Lower E:\FR\FM\27JYN1.SGM 27JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 144 / Monday, July 27, 2020 / Notices Columbia River (LCR); threatened Puget Sound (PS); threatened Snake River (SnkR) spring/summer-run; threatened Upper Willamette River (UWR); threatened California Coastal (CC); Threatened Central Valley spring-run (CVS); Endangered Sacramento River winter-run (SacR). Steelhead (O. mykiss): Threatened Middle Columbia River (MCR); Threatened LCR; Threatened UWR; threatened PS; threatened UCR; threatened Central California Coast (CCC); threatened California Central Valley (CCV); threatened Northern California (NC); threatened SouthCentral California Coast (SCCC); endangered Southern California (SC), Deschutes River steelhead non-essential population (NEP). Chum salmon (O. keta): Threatened Columbia River (CR). Coho salmon (O. kisutch): Threatened LCR; threatened Southern Oregon/ Northern California Coast (SONCC); threatened CCC. Eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus): Threatened southern (S). Green Sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris): Threatened southern (S). Authority Scientific research permits are issued in accordance with section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et. seq) and regulations governing listed fish and wildlife permits (50 CFR 222–226). NMFS issues permits based on findings that such permits: (1) Are applied for in good faith; (2) if granted and exercised, would not operate to the disadvantage of the listed species that are the subject of the permit; and (3) are consistent with the purposes and policy of section 2 of the ESA. The authority to take listed species is subject to conditions set forth in the permits. Anyone requesting a hearing on an application listed in this notice should set out the specific reasons why a hearing on that application would be appropriate (see ADDRESSES). Such hearings are held at the discretion of the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NMFS. Applications Received jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 1336–9R Port Blakely Tree Farms is seeking to renew for five years a permit that currently allows it to take juvenile UWR Chinook salmon, LCR Chinook salmon, LCR coho salmon, UWR steelhead and LCR steelhead in headwater streams in western Oregon and Washington. The purpose of the research is to evaluate factors limiting fish distribution and water quality in streams on land that VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:31 Jul 24, 2020 Jkt 250001 Port Blakely Tree Farms owns and manages. The research would benefit listed salmonids by producing data to be used in conserving the species and restoring critical habitat. Port Blakely Tree Farms proposes to capture (using backpack electrofishing and dipnetting), handle, and release juvenile fish. The researchers do not intend to kill any fish being captured but a small number may die as an unintended result of the research activities. 13791–7R The Lodi office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is seeking to renew for five years a permit that allows them to annually take adult and juvenile SacR winter-run Chinook salmon, CVS Chinook salmon, CCV steelhead, and Southern DPS green sturgeon while conducting research at long-term monitoring sites in the Sacramento River, San Joaquin River, San Joaquin Delta, San Pablo Bay, San Francisco Bay, Suisun Bay, and the Cache Slough complex in the California Central Valley as well as the San Joaquin Valley and San Francisco Estuary in California. Fish would be captured (Kodiak trawl, midwater trawl, beach seine, zooplankton net, larval net, gillnet, fyke net, purse seine, light trap, and boat electrofishing), handled (weighed, measured, and checked for marks or tags), and released. A subsample of adult and juvenile fish from any of the stated species would be marked, tagged, and/or sampled for biological tissue. Subsamples of hatchery-origin juvenile Sacramento River winter-run and Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon and larval southern DPS green sturgeon will be lethally sampled for coded wire tag collection or larval fish species identification, respectively. The purpose of the research is to collect scientific data to evaluate and monitor: (1) Abundance, temporal and spatial distribution, and survival of salmonids and other fishes in the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and San Francisco Estuary; (2) occurrence and habitat use of fishes within the Liberty Island and Cache Slough Complex; (3) relative gear efficiency for all Interagency Ecological Program fish survey nets; (4) juvenile Chinook Salmon littoral habitat use in the Delta; (5) abundance and distribution of Delta Smelt; (6) length-atdate race criteria of winter-run sized and larger Chinook Salmon; (7) winterand spring-run sized Chinook Salmon floodplain usage in the Yolo Bypass; and (8) salmonid genetics. The resulting data would be used to quantify the timing, distribution, and survival of salmon and steelhead migrating through the Delta. This information is PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45193 imperative to understanding the complex interactions among water operations, abiotic and biotic conditions in the Delta, and population dynamics of species of management concern. The researchers are proposing to kill a subset of larval and hatchery-origin juvenile ESA-listed fish and, though it is not intended, a small number of juveniles and adults of all salmon and steelhead species may also be killed as an inadvertent result of the proposed sampling activities. 14516–3R San Jose State University is seeking to renew for five years a permit that currently allows them to annually take juvenile and adult CCC coho salmon and steelhead while conducting research in Gazos Creek, Waddell Creek, Scott Creek, Pescadero Creek Lagoon, and San Gregorio Lagoon on the central coast of California. Fish would be captured (by using beach seines and backpack electrofishing), handled (weighed, measured, and checked for marks or tags), and released. A subsample of juvenile and all adult fish from both species would be marked and/or sampled for biological tissues. Carcasses would also be measured and sampled for biological tissues during spawning surveys. The purpose of the research is to continue monitoring coho salmon and steelhead year-to-year abundance, habitat utilization patterns, growth rates, and relative abundance among rearing life-history patterns. The resulting data would be used to guide management actions (including hatchery smolts releases) and help evaluate the relative importance of habitat types and how the interaction between coho salmon and steelhead affects juvenile rearing. The researchers are not proposing to kill any fish, but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. 14808–5R The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is seeking to renew for five years a permit that currently allows them to annually take juvenile and adult SacR winter-run Chinook salmon, CVS Chinook salmon, CCV steelhead, and southern DPS green sturgeon while conducting research in the Sacramento River in the California Central Valley. Fish would be captured (by using rotary screw traps, fyke traps, and beach seines), handled (weighed, measured, and checked for marks or tags), and released. The majority of the juvenile and adult fish from all species would be marked and/or sampled for biological tissues and a subsample E:\FR\FM\27JYN1.SGM 27JYN1 45194 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 144 / Monday, July 27, 2020 / Notices jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES would be anesthetized and tagged (PIT, elastomer, or acoustic tag). A further a subsample of hatchery-origin juvenile SacR Chinook salmon would be intentionally lethally taken for coded wire tag recovery. Juvenile and adult Chinook salmon and steelhead from species would also be observed through snorkel and video/DIDSON surveys. The purpose of the research is to monitor— in real time—juvenile salmonids outmigration. It is also intended to evaluate how environmental conditions affect downstream juvenile movement, estimate steelhead population abundance, trends, and spatial distribution in the Central Valley, and document spawning activity and relative abundance of juvenile salmonids in recently restored habitat. The resulting data would be used to help manage downstream gates and water intakes in ways designed to reduce juvenile entrainment. The data would also be used to help managers develop recommendations for steelhead monitoring programs in support of species recovery and evaluate restoration project outcomes. The researchers are proposing to kill a subset of hatchery-origin juvenile ESA-listed fish captured, and a small number of juveniles of all species may be killed as an inadvertent result of sampling activities. The researchers are not proposing to kill any adult fish, but a small number may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. 15215–2R The CDFW is seeking to renew for five years a permit that currently allows them to annually take juvenile and adult SacR winter-run Chinook salmon, CCC coho salmon, and SC steelhead anywhere in the State of California and its waters. This permit only allows the CDFW researchers to take dead or moribund fish in the event of an observed fish die-off. Dead or moribund fish found during such an event would be collected and tissue-sampled. Animals determined to be moribund due to such an event would be collected by hand- or dip-net and euthanized before being tissue-sampled. The collected tissue samples would be evaluated for pathogens, immunological response, or DNA testing. The purpose of the research is to understand the role of disease when fish die-off events occur. Data identifying die-off causes would be used to inform fishery and water resource management in ways designed to help avoid future such events. The researchers are not proposing to capture or kill any healthy live fish; only dead fish and those that CDFW pathologists or veterinarians VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:31 Jul 24, 2020 Jkt 250001 determine are severely compromised and unlikely to survive would be taken. 15390–2R The Resource Conservation District (RCD) of the Santa Monica Mountains is seeking to renew for five years a permit that currently allows them to annually take juvenile and adult SC steelhead in Topanga Creek and Malibu Creek in Los Angeles County, California. Fish would be captured (by using backpack electrofishing, fyke traps, and minnow traps), handled (weighed, measured, and checked for marks or tags), and released. A subsample of juveniles would be anesthetized, PIT-tagged, and sampled for biological tissues or stomach contents. The purpose of the research is to document the status of the population of Southern California steelhead in the coastal creeks of Santa Monica Bay, understand outmigration patterns, identify habitat constraints and restoration opportunities, and identify pathogens or diseases related to fish dieoff events. The resulting data would be used to evaluate smolt production, recruitment, and seasonal habitat use in Topanga Creek and assess the contribution of various pathogens and diseases to mortality in Malibu creek. The researchers are not proposing to kill any fish, but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. 16122–3R The Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT) are seeking to renew for five years a permit that currently allows them to take juvenile UCR steelhead in the Okanogan River, Washington. The purpose of the research is to monitor steelhead populations in the basin. The researchers are seeking to estimate natural production and productivity and calculate annual population estimates, egg-to-emigrant survival, and emigrantto-adult survival rates. The population estimates would be used to evaluate the effects of supplementation programs in the Okanogan River Basin and provide mangers with the data they need to determine spawning success. The research would benefit the fish by giving state and Federal managers information on UCR steelhead status and the degree to which they are being affected by supplementation programs in the area. The fish would be captured at screw trapping sites on the Okanogan River. All captured fish would be identified and checked for marks and tags. A subsample of selected fish would be measured and weighed before being released back into the Okanogan River. A further subsample would be marked with a brown dye, released upstream of PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 the screw traps, and recaptured for the purpose of determining trap efficiency. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed salmonids, but a small number may die as an unintended result of the activities. 16290–4R The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is seeking to renew for five years a permit that currently authorizes them to take listed salmonids while conducting research on the Oregon Chub. The purpose of the research is to study the distribution, abundance, and factors limiting the recovery of Oregon chub. The ODFW would capture, handle, and release juvenile UWR Chinook salmon, UWR steelhead, LCR Chinook salmon, LCR steelhead, LCR coho salmon, and CR chum salmon while conducting the research. The Oregon chub is endemic to the Willamette Valley of Oregon and the habitats it depends on are important to salmonids. Research on the Oregon chub would benefit listed salmonids by helping managers recover habitats that the species share. The ODFW researchers would use boat electrofishing equipment, minnow traps, beach seines, dip nets, hoop nets, and fyke nets to capture juvenile fish. Researchers would avoid contact with adult fish. If listed salmonids are captured during the research they would be released immediately. The researchers do not expect to kill any listed salmonids but a small number may die as an unintended result of the research activities. 16417–3M The Santa Clara Valley Water District is seeking to modify a permit that allows them to annually take juvenile and adult CCC steelhead and juvenile SCCC steelhead in the Guadalupe River, Coyote Creek, and Stevens Creek Watershed (Guadalupe Creek, Alamitos Creek, Calero Creek, Los Gatos Creek, Guadalupe River, Stevens Creek, Coyote Creek, and Upper Penitencia Creek), Pajaro Watershed (Pacheco Creek, Cedar Creek, North Fork Pacheco Creek, Middle Fork Pacheco Creek, South Fork Pacheco Creek, Hagerman Canyon, Uvas Creek, LLagas Creek, Bodfish Creek, Little Arthur Creek, Tar Creek, and Solis Creek), and Lake Almaden in North Santa Clara County, California. In addition to the currently authorized take, the applicants are requesting additional take of juvenile CCCC steelhead and juvenile SCCC steelhead. Fish would be captured (by using backpack electrofishing, boat electrofishing, and beach seines), handled (weighed, measured, and E:\FR\FM\27JYN1.SGM 27JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 144 / Monday, July 27, 2020 / Notices checked for marks or tags), and released. A subsample of juveniles would be anesthetized, PIT-tagged, and sampled for biological tissues. No additional take is being requested for adult fish. The purpose of the research is to collect data on steelhead distribution, habitat use, survival rates, and movements. The resulting data would be used to fill knowledge gaps regarding steelhead distribution and relative abundance in Santa Clara County and help better align water district operations and fisheries management. The researchers are not proposing to kill any fish, but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 17063–3R The U.S. Forest Service is seeking to renew for five years a permit that currently allows them to annually take juvenile SONCC coho salmon, NC steelhead, and CC Chinook salmon in the Mad River, Lower Eel River, Van Duzen River, and Weaver Creek drainage in the Mad-Redwood, Lower Eel, and Trinity River sub-basins of coastal Northern California. Fish would be captured (by using backpack electrofishing), handled (anesthetized, weighed, measured, and checked for marks or tags), and released. A subsample of SONCC coho would be PIT-tagged. The purpose of the research is to continue building long-term physical and biological data sets that would be used to develop an individualbased model of anadromous salmonids in Weaver Creek and monitor the distribution of non-native speckled dace in the Mad River and Eel River drainages. The resulting data would be used to assess the effectiveness of habitat restoration projects completed in recent years and study why speckled dace have not expanded their range in the Eel River. The researchers are not proposing to kill any fish, but a small number of individuals may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. 17272–2R The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking to renew for five years a permit that currently allows them to annually take juvenile and adult SONCC coho salmon in the mainstem Klamath River in Northern California. Adult fish would be observed during spawning surveys, and tissue samples would be collected from spawned adult carcasses. Juvenile fish would be captured (by using rotary screw traps, fyke traps, and beach seines), handled (weighed, measured, and checked for marks or tags), and released. The purpose of the research is to assess population status, health, habitat use, and mechanisms VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:31 Jul 24, 2020 Jkt 250001 influencing disease in fish populations of the Klamath River Basin. The resulting data would be used to help managers understand the effects of flow and temperature conditions and timing on disease, the importance of specific habitats to aquatic species, the response of aquatic habitats to restoration actions, and how aquatic habitat is affected by human interaction. The researchers are not proposing to kill any fish, but a small number of juvenile fish may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. 17867–2R The Humboldt Redwood Company (HRC) is seeking to renew for five years a permit that currently allows them to annually take juvenile and adult SONCC coho salmon, NC steelhead, and CCC Chinook salmon in the Lower Eel River, Van Duzen River, Freshwater Creek, Elk River, Mattole River, and Bear River in Humboldt County, California. Adult and juvenile fish would be observed via snorkel survey, and a subset of juvenile SONCC coho and NC steelhead would be captured (by using backpack electrofishing), handled (weighed, measured, and checked for marks or tags), and released. The purpose of the research is to determine the occurrence, distribution, population abundance, and habitat conditions of listed salmonids on HRC lands. The resulting data would be used to monitor, protect, restore and enhance the anadromous fishery resources in watersheds owned by HRC. The researchers are not proposing to kill any fish, but a small number of juvenile fish may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. 17877–3R The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is seeking to renew a permit that allows them to annually take juvenile and adult SONCC Coast coho salmon in the Trinity River and its tributaries in Trinity and Humboldt counties, California. Adult fish would be observed via snorkel surveys or spawning surveys, and tissue samples would be collected from carcasses found during spawning surveys. A small number of adults would be captured (by using barbless hook and line angling) when the researchers engage in sampling that targets invasive brown trout. Any listed fish caught in this manner would immediately be released. Juvenile coho salmon would also be observed via snorkel surveys and a subset would be captured (by using rotary screw traps, boat electrofishing, fyke traps, minnow traps, beach seines, and hand-netting during snorkel surveys), handled (anesthetized, PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 45195 weighed, measured, and checked for marks or tags), and released. A subsample of captured fish would be anesthetized and PIT-tagged prior to release. The purpose of the research is to assess juvenile salmonid abundance, run timing, length, weight, condition, health, habitat utilization, movement patterns, and growth, as well as to estimate the natural mainstem Trinity River spawning escapement and investigate the potential impacts of predation and competition by invasive brown trout. The resulting data would be used to (a) determine the relative value of habitat and its use where restoration projects are considered, (b) support development of a salmon production model for use in restoration planning, and (c) evaluate restoration effectiveness to determine if expected habitat improvements are being realized. The researchers are not proposing to kill any fish, but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. Permit 18921–2R The Samish Indian Nation Department of Natural Resources (SINDNR) is seeking to renew for five years a research permit that currently allows it to annually take juvenile PS Chinook salmon and PS steelhead. The SINDNR research may also cause them to take adult S eulachon, for which there are currently no ESA take prohibitions. The sampling would take place in the marine waters adjacent to Cypress Island (of the San Juan Island archipelago) in Secret Harbor (Skagit County, WA). Secret Harbor restoration (2008–2018) involved the restoration of an agricultural field to its historical form by breaching an existing tidal dike, restoring tidal exchange and freshwater stream connectivity to the area, and replacing invasive plant species with native vegetation. The restored estuary and salt marsh habitats are expected to enhance and improve structural habitat complexity and potentially support a greater diversity of species. The purpose of the study is to determine fish presence both within and around the Secret Harbor estuary restoration site to continue studying the effectiveness of the restoration efforts. This research would benefit the affected species by informing future restoration designs and providing data to support future enhancement projects. The SINDAR proposes to capture fish by using beach seines during year-round monthly sampling events. Fish would be captured, identified to species, measured, and released. The researchers do not propose to kill any of the listed fish being captured, but a small number E:\FR\FM\27JYN1.SGM 27JYN1 45196 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 144 / Monday, July 27, 2020 / Notices may die as an unintended result of the activities. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 18937–3R The Scripps Institute of Oceanography is seeking to renew a permit that allows them to annually take juvenile and adult CC Chinook salmon, CCC coho salmon, and CCC steelhead in tributaries of the Russian River in Mendocino and Sonoma counties, California. Adult fish would be observed via snorkel surveys or spawning surveys, and tissue samples would be collected from carcasses found during spawning surveys. If any adults were to be unintentionally captured in juvenile sampling gear, they would immediately be released. Juvenile fish would also be observed via snorkel surveys and a subset would be captured (by using backpack electrofishing, handor dip-nets, funnel/pipe traps, and minnow traps), handled (anesthetized, weighed, measured, and checked for marks or tags), and released. A subsample would be anesthetized and PIT-tagged, have tissue samples taken, or have stomach contents sampled (nonlethally). The purpose of the research is to estimate salmonid population metrics such as abundance, survival, growth, and spatial distribution of multiple life stages in the Russian River watershed. The resulting data would be used to provide resource agencies with information relating to population metrics and thereby help them plan recovery actions such as hatchery releases, habitat enhancement projects, and stream flow improvement projects. The researchers are not proposing to kill any fish, but a small number of juveniles and post-spawn steelhead (kelts) may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. 19121–2R The U.S. Geological Survey is seeking to renew a permit that allows them to annually take juvenile and adult SacR winter-run Chinook salmon, CVS spring-run Chinook salmon, CVS steelhead, and adult southern DPS green sturgeon in the north San Francisco Bay Delta (including the general Cache Slough complex, Little Holland Tract, and the Sacramento Deep Water Shipping Channel) downstream to the upper San Francisco Estuary in the vicinity of Suisun Bay in the San Francisco Estuary and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California. Salmonids would be captured (by using boat electrofishing, fyke nets, gill nets, zooplankton nets, midwater trawls, otter trawls, and beach seines), handled (weighed, measured, and checked for marks or tags), and released. Any green VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:31 Jul 24, 2020 Jkt 250001 sturgeon adults captured as a result of longline sampling would be anesthetized, PIT-tagged, and would be sampled for biological tissues prior to release. The purpose of this research is to study how physical and biological factors relate to fish assemblages and populations—particularly with regard to the distribution of delta smelt in tidal wetlands in the San Francisco Estuary and Delta. The resulting data would be used to address potential benefits of habitat restoration, specifically by identifying habitat characteristics in restored sites that are associated with plankton production sufficient to establish a food web supporting native fish populations. The data would also help researchers develop new research tools for studying delta smelt. The researchers are not proposing to kill any ESA-listed fish, but a small number of adult and juvenile fish may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. In addition, a small number of juvenile non-ESA listed (i.e., fall-run) Chinook salmon would also be intentionally sacrificed for stomach contents analysis, and a small number of juvenile CVS spring-run Chinook salmon may be killed as part of this effort in the unlikely event that they are misidentified. 19320–2R NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center is seeking to renew for five years a permit that currently allows them to take juveniles and sub-adults from 10 species of listed salmonids: CC Chinook salmon, CVS Chinook salmon, LCR Chinook salmon, SacR winter-run Chinook salmon, SR spring/summer Chinook salmon, CCC coho salmon, SONCC coho salmon, CVS steelhead, CCC steelhead, and NC steelhead. The fish would primarily be captured by surface trawling, however beach seining may also occasionally be used. Subadult salmonids (i.e., all salmon larger than 250 mm) that survive capture would have fin tissue and scale samples taken and then be released. All subadult salmonids that do not survive capture and all captured juvenile salmonids (i.e., fish larger than 80 mm but less than 250 mm) would be lethally sampled (i.e., intentional directed mortality) in order to collect: (1) Otoliths for age and growth studies; (2) coded wire tags for origin and age (hatchery fish); (3) muscle tissues for stable isotopes and/or lipid assays; (4) stomachs and contents for diet studies; and (5) other tissues including the heart, liver, intestines, and kidney for special studies upon request. The research is intended to generate a great deal of information. It is PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 designed to help scientists and managers: (1) Determine the interannual and seasonal variability in growth, feeding, and energy status among juvenile salmonids in the coastal ocean off northern and central California as well as southern Oregon; (2) determine migration paths and spatial distribution among genetically distinct salmonid stocks during their early ocean residence; (3) characterize the biological and physical oceanographic features associated with juvenile salmon ocean habitat from the shore to the continental shelf break; (4) identify potential links between coastal geography, oceanographic features, and salmon distribution patterns; and (5) identify and test ecological indices for salmon survival. This research would benefit listed fish by informing comprehensive lifecycle models that incorporate both freshwater and marine conditions and recognize the relationship between the two habitats. It would also identify and predict sources of salmon mortality at sea and thereby help managers develop indices of salmonid survival in the marine environment. 19437–2R The University of California at Davis is seeking to renew for five years a permit that currently allows them to annually take juvenile and adult SacR winter-run Chinook salmon, CVS Chinook salmon, CCV steelhead, and southern DPS green sturgeon in the Cache-Lindsey complex, Sherman Lake complex, and Suisun Marsh in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Estuary, California. Fish would be captured (by using boat electrofishing, otter trawls, and beach seines), handled (weigh, measure, and check for marks or tags), and released. Green sturgeon adults will also be scanned for PIT tags and may be sampled for biological tissues before being released release. The purpose of this research is to develop better understanding of how physical and biological habitat features (such as flow and other factors) interact to maintain assemblages of native and non-native species in the upper San Francisco Estuary—particularly in shallow water and marsh habitat. The resulting data would be used to help managers (a) understand how fishes commonly inhabiting Suisun Marsh use the Sacramento River corridor to access habitats in other parts of the estuary, (b) model fish abundance, (c) guide restoration projects to support native fishes, and (d) evaluate the response of the Delta ecosystem to drought. The researchers are not proposing to kill any E:\FR\FM\27JYN1.SGM 27JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 144 / Monday, July 27, 2020 / Notices fish, but a small number of juvenile salmon and steelhead may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with NOTICES 23649 Mount Hood Environmental is seeking a five-year permit that would allow them to annually take juvenile MCR steelhead from a non-essential experimental population in the Crooked River (Deschutes River watershed) in central Oregon. The researchers would use backpack electrofishing units and screw traps to capture the fish which would then be measured, weighed, checked for marks and tags, allowed to recover, and released back to the river. A subsample of the captured fish may also be tissue-sampled for genetic assays. The purpose of the research is to establish baseline population information (presence, abundance, density, etc.) on MCR steelhead and native redband trout in the vicinity of Bowman Dam, on the Crooked River. The work will benefit the species by helping managers maintain and operate Bowman Dam (and a possible new hydroelectric turbine proposed for construction there) in the most fishfriendly manner possible. The researchers do not intend to kill any of the fish being captured, but a small number may die as an unintended result of the activities. 23843 The Skagit River System Cooperative (SRSC) is seeking a five-year permit to capture juvenile PS Chinook salmon and PS steelhead in the Skagit River floodplain between river miles 54 and 79 (Skagit County, WA). The purpose of the study is to evaluate a restoration action designed to reconnect 1,700 acres (about 6.88 km2) of Skagit River floodplain (Barnaby Slough) by monitoring its effect upon salmonid densities and productivity. Barnaby Slough was used as a rearing pond for hatchery steelhead by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife from the 1960’s until 2007 and includes three dams, numerous dikes, and a smaller enclosed rearing pond. These features modify flow conditions and block fish passage to the slough and are slated for removal and restoration. This study will employ a Before-After-Control-Impact design with two years of pre-project and three years of post-project monitoring to evaluate fish and habitat relationships. This research would benefit the affected species by informing future restoration designs as well as providing impetus for future enhancement projects. The SRSC proposes to capture fish using fenceweir smolt traps and backpack and boat electrofishing equipment. Fish would be VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:31 Jul 24, 2020 Jkt 250001 captured, identified to species, measured, fin clipped (caudal fin), dyed, and released. Observational methods such as snorkel and redd surveys would be used to inform and supplement the above methods. The researchers do not propose to kill any of the listed fish being captured, but a small number may die as an unintended result of the activities. This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(c) of the ESA. NMFS will evaluate the applications, associated documents, and comments submitted to determine whether the applications meet the requirements of section 10(a) of the ESA and Federal regulations. The final permit decisions will not be made until after the end of the 30-day comment period. NMFS will publish notice of its final action in the Federal Register. Dated: July 21, 2020. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2020–16176 Filed 7–24–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XA296] Caribbean Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of public meeting. AGENCY: The Caribbean Fishery Management Council (CFMC) will hold the 170th public meeting (virtual) to address the items contained in the tentative agenda included in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. DATES: The 170th CFMC virtual public meeting will be held on August 11, 2020, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on August 12, 2020, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The meeting will be at Eastern Daylight Time. ADDRESSES: You may join the 170th CFMC virtual public meeting via GoToMeeting, from a computer, tablet or smartphone by entering the following address: SUMMARY: 45197 https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/ 440034621 You can also dial in using your phone. United States: +1 (872) 240–3412 Access Code: 440–034–621 Get the app now and be ready when the first meeting starts: https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/ 440034621 Wednesday, August 12, 2020, 9 a.m.— 12:30 p.m. (GMT–04:00) Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/ 972849573 You can also dial in using your phone. United States: +1 (872) 240–3212 Access Code: 972–849–573 Get the app now and be ready when the first meeting starts: https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/ 972849573 In case there are problems with GoToMeeting, and we cannot reconnect via GoToMeeting, the meeting will continue via Google Meet. Tuesday, August 11, 2020, 9 a.m.–4 p.m., Atlantic Standard Time Join with Google Meet meet.google.com/gbs-xeaw-zzq Wednesday, August 12, 2020, 9 a.m.– 12:30 p.m. Atlantic Standard Time— Puerto Rico Join with Google Meet meet.google.com/nvm-nkcp-jmf FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Miguel Rolo´n, Executive Director, Caribbean Fishery Management Council, 270 Mun˜oz Rivera Avenue, Suite 401, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00918–1903, telephone: (787) 398–3717. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The following items included in the tentative agenda will be discussed: August 11, 2020, 9 a.m.—11 a.m. —Call to Order —Roll Call —Swearing of New Council Members —Election of Officers —Adoption of Agenda —Consideration of 169th Council Meeting Verbatim Transcriptions —Executive Director’s Report August 11, 2020, 11 a.m.–11:10 a.m. —Break Tuesday, August 11, 2020, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. (GMT–04:00) August 11, 2020, 11:10 a.m.–12 p.m. —Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) Report on July 27–28, 2020, Meeting– Richard Appeldoorn Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. August 11, 2020, 12 p.m.–1 p.m. —Lunch Break PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\27JYN1.SGM 27JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 144 (Monday, July 27, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 45192-45197]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-16176]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[RTID 0648-XA305]


Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice; applications for 17 permit renewals, 1 permit 
modification, and 2 new permits.

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SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received 20 scientific 
research permit application requests relating to Pacific salmon and 
steelhead, eulachon, and green sturgeon. The proposed research is 
intended to increase knowledge of species listed under the Endangered 
Species Act (ESA) and to help guide management and conservation 
efforts. The applications may be viewed online at: https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov/preview/preview_open_for_comment.cfm.

DATES: Comments or requests for a public hearing on the applications 
must be received at the appropriate address (see ADDRESSES) no later 
than 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on August 26, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Because all West Coast NMFS offices are currently closed, 
all written comments on the applications should be sent in by email to 
[email protected] (please include the permit number in the subject 
line of the email).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rob Clapp, Portland, OR (ph.: 503-231-
2314), email: [email protected]). Permit application instructions 
are available from the address above, or online at https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Species Covered in This Notice

    The following listed species are covered in this notice:
    Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha): Threatened Lower

[[Page 45193]]

Columbia River (LCR); threatened Puget Sound (PS); threatened Snake 
River (SnkR) spring/summer-run; threatened Upper Willamette River 
(UWR); threatened California Coastal (CC); Threatened Central Valley 
spring-run (CVS); Endangered Sacramento River winter-run (SacR).
    Steelhead (O. mykiss): Threatened Middle Columbia River (MCR); 
Threatened LCR; Threatened UWR; threatened PS; threatened UCR; 
threatened Central California Coast (CCC); threatened California 
Central Valley (CCV); threatened Northern California (NC); threatened 
South-Central California Coast (SCCC); endangered Southern California 
(SC), Deschutes River steelhead non-essential population (NEP).
    Chum salmon (O. keta): Threatened Columbia River (CR).
    Coho salmon (O. kisutch): Threatened LCR; threatened Southern 
Oregon/Northern California Coast (SONCC); threatened CCC.
    Eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus): Threatened southern (S).
    Green Sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris): Threatened southern (S).

Authority

    Scientific research permits are issued in accordance with section 
10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et. seq) and regulations 
governing listed fish and wildlife permits (50 CFR 222-226). NMFS 
issues permits based on findings that such permits: (1) Are applied for 
in good faith; (2) if granted and exercised, would not operate to the 
disadvantage of the listed species that are the subject of the permit; 
and (3) are consistent with the purposes and policy of section 2 of the 
ESA. The authority to take listed species is subject to conditions set 
forth in the permits.
    Anyone requesting a hearing on an application listed in this notice 
should set out the specific reasons why a hearing on that application 
would be appropriate (see ADDRESSES). Such hearings are held at the 
discretion of the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NMFS.

Applications Received

1336-9R

    Port Blakely Tree Farms is seeking to renew for five years a permit 
that currently allows it to take juvenile UWR Chinook salmon, LCR 
Chinook salmon, LCR coho salmon, UWR steelhead and LCR steelhead in 
headwater streams in western Oregon and Washington. The purpose of the 
research is to evaluate factors limiting fish distribution and water 
quality in streams on land that Port Blakely Tree Farms owns and 
manages. The research would benefit listed salmonids by producing data 
to be used in conserving the species and restoring critical habitat. 
Port Blakely Tree Farms proposes to capture (using backpack 
electrofishing and dipnetting), handle, and release juvenile fish. The 
researchers do not intend to kill any fish being captured but a small 
number may die as an unintended result of the research activities.

13791-7R

    The Lodi office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is 
seeking to renew for five years a permit that allows them to annually 
take adult and juvenile SacR winter-run Chinook salmon, CVS Chinook 
salmon, CCV steelhead, and Southern DPS green sturgeon while conducting 
research at long-term monitoring sites in the Sacramento River, San 
Joaquin River, San Joaquin Delta, San Pablo Bay, San Francisco Bay, 
Suisun Bay, and the Cache Slough complex in the California Central 
Valley as well as the San Joaquin Valley and San Francisco Estuary in 
California. Fish would be captured (Kodiak trawl, midwater trawl, beach 
seine, zooplankton net, larval net, gillnet, fyke net, purse seine, 
light trap, and boat electrofishing), handled (weighed, measured, and 
checked for marks or tags), and released. A subsample of adult and 
juvenile fish from any of the stated species would be marked, tagged, 
and/or sampled for biological tissue. Subsamples of hatchery-origin 
juvenile Sacramento River winter-run and Central Valley spring-run 
Chinook salmon and larval southern DPS green sturgeon will be lethally 
sampled for coded wire tag collection or larval fish species 
identification, respectively. The purpose of the research is to collect 
scientific data to evaluate and monitor: (1) Abundance, temporal and 
spatial distribution, and survival of salmonids and other fishes in the 
Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and San Francisco Estuary; (2) 
occurrence and habitat use of fishes within the Liberty Island and 
Cache Slough Complex; (3) relative gear efficiency for all Interagency 
Ecological Program fish survey nets; (4) juvenile Chinook Salmon 
littoral habitat use in the Delta; (5) abundance and distribution of 
Delta Smelt; (6) length-at-date race criteria of winter-run sized and 
larger Chinook Salmon; (7) winter- and spring-run sized Chinook Salmon 
floodplain usage in the Yolo Bypass; and (8) salmonid genetics. The 
resulting data would be used to quantify the timing, distribution, and 
survival of salmon and steelhead migrating through the Delta. This 
information is imperative to understanding the complex interactions 
among water operations, abiotic and biotic conditions in the Delta, and 
population dynamics of species of management concern. The researchers 
are proposing to kill a subset of larval and hatchery-origin juvenile 
ESA-listed fish and, though it is not intended, a small number of 
juveniles and adults of all salmon and steelhead species may also be 
killed as an inadvertent result of the proposed sampling activities.

14516-3R

    San Jose State University is seeking to renew for five years a 
permit that currently allows them to annually take juvenile and adult 
CCC coho salmon and steelhead while conducting research in Gazos Creek, 
Waddell Creek, Scott Creek, Pescadero Creek Lagoon, and San Gregorio 
Lagoon on the central coast of California. Fish would be captured (by 
using beach seines and backpack electrofishing), handled (weighed, 
measured, and checked for marks or tags), and released. A subsample of 
juvenile and all adult fish from both species would be marked and/or 
sampled for biological tissues. Carcasses would also be measured and 
sampled for biological tissues during spawning surveys. The purpose of 
the research is to continue monitoring coho salmon and steelhead year-
to-year abundance, habitat utilization patterns, growth rates, and 
relative abundance among rearing life-history patterns. The resulting 
data would be used to guide management actions (including hatchery 
smolts releases) and help evaluate the relative importance of habitat 
types and how the interaction between coho salmon and steelhead affects 
juvenile rearing. The researchers are not proposing to kill any fish, 
but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent result 
of these activities.

14808-5R

    The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is seeking to 
renew for five years a permit that currently allows them to annually 
take juvenile and adult SacR winter-run Chinook salmon, CVS Chinook 
salmon, CCV steelhead, and southern DPS green sturgeon while conducting 
research in the Sacramento River in the California Central Valley. Fish 
would be captured (by using rotary screw traps, fyke traps, and beach 
seines), handled (weighed, measured, and checked for marks or tags), 
and released. The majority of the juvenile and adult fish from all 
species would be marked and/or sampled for biological tissues and a 
subsample

[[Page 45194]]

would be anesthetized and tagged (PIT, elastomer, or acoustic tag). A 
further a subsample of hatchery-origin juvenile SacR Chinook salmon 
would be intentionally lethally taken for coded wire tag recovery. 
Juvenile and adult Chinook salmon and steelhead from species would also 
be observed through snorkel and video/DIDSON surveys. The purpose of 
the research is to monitor--in real time--juvenile salmonids 
outmigration. It is also intended to evaluate how environmental 
conditions affect downstream juvenile movement, estimate steelhead 
population abundance, trends, and spatial distribution in the Central 
Valley, and document spawning activity and relative abundance of 
juvenile salmonids in recently restored habitat. The resulting data 
would be used to help manage downstream gates and water intakes in ways 
designed to reduce juvenile entrainment. The data would also be used to 
help managers develop recommendations for steelhead monitoring programs 
in support of species recovery and evaluate restoration project 
outcomes. The researchers are proposing to kill a subset of hatchery-
origin juvenile ESA-listed fish captured, and a small number of 
juveniles of all species may be killed as an inadvertent result of 
sampling activities. The researchers are not proposing to kill any 
adult fish, but a small number may be killed as an inadvertent result 
of these activities.

15215-2R

    The CDFW is seeking to renew for five years a permit that currently 
allows them to annually take juvenile and adult SacR winter-run Chinook 
salmon, CCC coho salmon, and SC steelhead anywhere in the State of 
California and its waters. This permit only allows the CDFW researchers 
to take dead or moribund fish in the event of an observed fish die-off. 
Dead or moribund fish found during such an event would be collected and 
tissue-sampled. Animals determined to be moribund due to such an event 
would be collected by hand- or dip-net and euthanized before being 
tissue-sampled. The collected tissue samples would be evaluated for 
pathogens, immunological response, or DNA testing. The purpose of the 
research is to understand the role of disease when fish die-off events 
occur. Data identifying die-off causes would be used to inform fishery 
and water resource management in ways designed to help avoid future 
such events. The researchers are not proposing to capture or kill any 
healthy live fish; only dead fish and those that CDFW pathologists or 
veterinarians determine are severely compromised and unlikely to 
survive would be taken.

15390-2R

    The Resource Conservation District (RCD) of the Santa Monica 
Mountains is seeking to renew for five years a permit that currently 
allows them to annually take juvenile and adult SC steelhead in Topanga 
Creek and Malibu Creek in Los Angeles County, California. Fish would be 
captured (by using backpack electrofishing, fyke traps, and minnow 
traps), handled (weighed, measured, and checked for marks or tags), and 
released. A subsample of juveniles would be anesthetized, PIT-tagged, 
and sampled for biological tissues or stomach contents. The purpose of 
the research is to document the status of the population of Southern 
California steelhead in the coastal creeks of Santa Monica Bay, 
understand outmigration patterns, identify habitat constraints and 
restoration opportunities, and identify pathogens or diseases related 
to fish die-off events. The resulting data would be used to evaluate 
smolt production, recruitment, and seasonal habitat use in Topanga 
Creek and assess the contribution of various pathogens and diseases to 
mortality in Malibu creek. The researchers are not proposing to kill 
any fish, but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an 
inadvertent result of these activities.

16122-3R

    The Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT) are seeking to renew for 
five years a permit that currently allows them to take juvenile UCR 
steelhead in the Okanogan River, Washington. The purpose of the 
research is to monitor steelhead populations in the basin. The 
researchers are seeking to estimate natural production and productivity 
and calculate annual population estimates, egg-to-emigrant survival, 
and emigrant-to-adult survival rates. The population estimates would be 
used to evaluate the effects of supplementation programs in the 
Okanogan River Basin and provide mangers with the data they need to 
determine spawning success. The research would benefit the fish by 
giving state and Federal managers information on UCR steelhead status 
and the degree to which they are being affected by supplementation 
programs in the area. The fish would be captured at screw trapping 
sites on the Okanogan River. All captured fish would be identified and 
checked for marks and tags. A subsample of selected fish would be 
measured and weighed before being released back into the Okanogan 
River. A further subsample would be marked with a brown dye, released 
upstream of the screw traps, and recaptured for the purpose of 
determining trap efficiency. The researchers do not intend to kill any 
listed salmonids, but a small number may die as an unintended result of 
the activities.

16290-4R

    The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is seeking to 
renew for five years a permit that currently authorizes them to take 
listed salmonids while conducting research on the Oregon Chub. The 
purpose of the research is to study the distribution, abundance, and 
factors limiting the recovery of Oregon chub. The ODFW would capture, 
handle, and release juvenile UWR Chinook salmon, UWR steelhead, LCR 
Chinook salmon, LCR steelhead, LCR coho salmon, and CR chum salmon 
while conducting the research. The Oregon chub is endemic to the 
Willamette Valley of Oregon and the habitats it depends on are 
important to salmonids. Research on the Oregon chub would benefit 
listed salmonids by helping managers recover habitats that the species 
share. The ODFW researchers would use boat electrofishing equipment, 
minnow traps, beach seines, dip nets, hoop nets, and fyke nets to 
capture juvenile fish. Researchers would avoid contact with adult fish. 
If listed salmonids are captured during the research they would be 
released immediately. The researchers do not expect to kill any listed 
salmonids but a small number may die as an unintended result of the 
research activities.

16417-3M

    The Santa Clara Valley Water District is seeking to modify a permit 
that allows them to annually take juvenile and adult CCC steelhead and 
juvenile SCCC steelhead in the Guadalupe River, Coyote Creek, and 
Stevens Creek Watershed (Guadalupe Creek, Alamitos Creek, Calero Creek, 
Los Gatos Creek, Guadalupe River, Stevens Creek, Coyote Creek, and 
Upper Penitencia Creek), Pajaro Watershed (Pacheco Creek, Cedar Creek, 
North Fork Pacheco Creek, Middle Fork Pacheco Creek, South Fork Pacheco 
Creek, Hagerman Canyon, Uvas Creek, LLagas Creek, Bodfish Creek, Little 
Arthur Creek, Tar Creek, and Solis Creek), and Lake Almaden in North 
Santa Clara County, California. In addition to the currently authorized 
take, the applicants are requesting additional take of juvenile CCCC 
steelhead and juvenile SCCC steelhead. Fish would be captured (by using 
backpack electrofishing, boat electrofishing, and beach seines), 
handled (weighed, measured, and

[[Page 45195]]

checked for marks or tags), and released. A subsample of juveniles 
would be anesthetized, PIT-tagged, and sampled for biological tissues. 
No additional take is being requested for adult fish. The purpose of 
the research is to collect data on steelhead distribution, habitat use, 
survival rates, and movements. The resulting data would be used to fill 
knowledge gaps regarding steelhead distribution and relative abundance 
in Santa Clara County and help better align water district operations 
and fisheries management. The researchers are not proposing to kill any 
fish, but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent 
result of these activities.

17063-3R

    The U.S. Forest Service is seeking to renew for five years a permit 
that currently allows them to annually take juvenile SONCC coho salmon, 
NC steelhead, and CC Chinook salmon in the Mad River, Lower Eel River, 
Van Duzen River, and Weaver Creek drainage in the Mad-Redwood, Lower 
Eel, and Trinity River sub-basins of coastal Northern California. Fish 
would be captured (by using backpack electrofishing), handled 
(anesthetized, weighed, measured, and checked for marks or tags), and 
released. A subsample of SONCC coho would be PIT-tagged. The purpose of 
the research is to continue building long-term physical and biological 
data sets that would be used to develop an individual-based model of 
anadromous salmonids in Weaver Creek and monitor the distribution of 
non-native speckled dace in the Mad River and Eel River drainages. The 
resulting data would be used to assess the effectiveness of habitat 
restoration projects completed in recent years and study why speckled 
dace have not expanded their range in the Eel River. The researchers 
are not proposing to kill any fish, but a small number of individuals 
may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities.

17272-2R

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking to renew for five 
years a permit that currently allows them to annually take juvenile and 
adult SONCC coho salmon in the mainstem Klamath River in Northern 
California. Adult fish would be observed during spawning surveys, and 
tissue samples would be collected from spawned adult carcasses. 
Juvenile fish would be captured (by using rotary screw traps, fyke 
traps, and beach seines), handled (weighed, measured, and checked for 
marks or tags), and released. The purpose of the research is to assess 
population status, health, habitat use, and mechanisms influencing 
disease in fish populations of the Klamath River Basin. The resulting 
data would be used to help managers understand the effects of flow and 
temperature conditions and timing on disease, the importance of 
specific habitats to aquatic species, the response of aquatic habitats 
to restoration actions, and how aquatic habitat is affected by human 
interaction. The researchers are not proposing to kill any fish, but a 
small number of juvenile fish may be killed as an inadvertent result of 
these activities.

17867-2R

    The Humboldt Redwood Company (HRC) is seeking to renew for five 
years a permit that currently allows them to annually take juvenile and 
adult SONCC coho salmon, NC steelhead, and CCC Chinook salmon in the 
Lower Eel River, Van Duzen River, Freshwater Creek, Elk River, Mattole 
River, and Bear River in Humboldt County, California. Adult and 
juvenile fish would be observed via snorkel survey, and a subset of 
juvenile SONCC coho and NC steelhead would be captured (by using 
backpack electrofishing), handled (weighed, measured, and checked for 
marks or tags), and released. The purpose of the research is to 
determine the occurrence, distribution, population abundance, and 
habitat conditions of listed salmonids on HRC lands. The resulting data 
would be used to monitor, protect, restore and enhance the anadromous 
fishery resources in watersheds owned by HRC. The researchers are not 
proposing to kill any fish, but a small number of juvenile fish may be 
killed as an inadvertent result of these activities.

17877-3R

    The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is seeking to renew a permit that 
allows them to annually take juvenile and adult SONCC Coast coho salmon 
in the Trinity River and its tributaries in Trinity and Humboldt 
counties, California. Adult fish would be observed via snorkel surveys 
or spawning surveys, and tissue samples would be collected from 
carcasses found during spawning surveys. A small number of adults would 
be captured (by using barbless hook and line angling) when the 
researchers engage in sampling that targets invasive brown trout. Any 
listed fish caught in this manner would immediately be released. 
Juvenile coho salmon would also be observed via snorkel surveys and a 
subset would be captured (by using rotary screw traps, boat 
electrofishing, fyke traps, minnow traps, beach seines, and hand-
netting during snorkel surveys), handled (anesthetized, weighed, 
measured, and checked for marks or tags), and released. A subsample of 
captured fish would be anesthetized and PIT-tagged prior to release. 
The purpose of the research is to assess juvenile salmonid abundance, 
run timing, length, weight, condition, health, habitat utilization, 
movement patterns, and growth, as well as to estimate the natural 
mainstem Trinity River spawning escapement and investigate the 
potential impacts of predation and competition by invasive brown trout. 
The resulting data would be used to (a) determine the relative value of 
habitat and its use where restoration projects are considered, (b) 
support development of a salmon production model for use in restoration 
planning, and (c) evaluate restoration effectiveness to determine if 
expected habitat improvements are being realized. The researchers are 
not proposing to kill any fish, but a small number of juveniles may be 
killed as an inadvertent result of these activities.

Permit 18921-2R

    The Samish Indian Nation Department of Natural Resources (SINDNR) 
is seeking to renew for five years a research permit that currently 
allows it to annually take juvenile PS Chinook salmon and PS steelhead. 
The SINDNR research may also cause them to take adult S eulachon, for 
which there are currently no ESA take prohibitions. The sampling would 
take place in the marine waters adjacent to Cypress Island (of the San 
Juan Island archipelago) in Secret Harbor (Skagit County, WA). Secret 
Harbor restoration (2008-2018) involved the restoration of an 
agricultural field to its historical form by breaching an existing 
tidal dike, restoring tidal exchange and freshwater stream connectivity 
to the area, and replacing invasive plant species with native 
vegetation. The restored estuary and salt marsh habitats are expected 
to enhance and improve structural habitat complexity and potentially 
support a greater diversity of species. The purpose of the study is to 
determine fish presence both within and around the Secret Harbor 
estuary restoration site to continue studying the effectiveness of the 
restoration efforts. This research would benefit the affected species 
by informing future restoration designs and providing data to support 
future enhancement projects. The SINDAR proposes to capture fish by 
using beach seines during year-round monthly sampling events. Fish 
would be captured, identified to species, measured, and released. The 
researchers do not propose to kill any of the listed fish being 
captured, but a small number

[[Page 45196]]

may die as an unintended result of the activities.

18937-3R

    The Scripps Institute of Oceanography is seeking to renew a permit 
that allows them to annually take juvenile and adult CC Chinook salmon, 
CCC coho salmon, and CCC steelhead in tributaries of the Russian River 
in Mendocino and Sonoma counties, California. Adult fish would be 
observed via snorkel surveys or spawning surveys, and tissue samples 
would be collected from carcasses found during spawning surveys. If any 
adults were to be unintentionally captured in juvenile sampling gear, 
they would immediately be released. Juvenile fish would also be 
observed via snorkel surveys and a subset would be captured (by using 
backpack electrofishing, hand- or dip-nets, funnel/pipe traps, and 
minnow traps), handled (anesthetized, weighed, measured, and checked 
for marks or tags), and released. A subsample would be anesthetized and 
PIT-tagged, have tissue samples taken, or have stomach contents sampled 
(non-lethally). The purpose of the research is to estimate salmonid 
population metrics such as abundance, survival, growth, and spatial 
distribution of multiple life stages in the Russian River watershed. 
The resulting data would be used to provide resource agencies with 
information relating to population metrics and thereby help them plan 
recovery actions such as hatchery releases, habitat enhancement 
projects, and stream flow improvement projects. The researchers are not 
proposing to kill any fish, but a small number of juveniles and post-
spawn steelhead (kelts) may be killed as an inadvertent result of these 
activities.

19121-2R

    The U.S. Geological Survey is seeking to renew a permit that allows 
them to annually take juvenile and adult SacR winter-run Chinook 
salmon, CVS spring-run Chinook salmon, CVS steelhead, and adult 
southern DPS green sturgeon in the north San Francisco Bay Delta 
(including the general Cache Slough complex, Little Holland Tract, and 
the Sacramento Deep Water Shipping Channel) downstream to the upper San 
Francisco Estuary in the vicinity of Suisun Bay in the San Francisco 
Estuary and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, California. Salmonids would 
be captured (by using boat electrofishing, fyke nets, gill nets, 
zooplankton nets, midwater trawls, otter trawls, and beach seines), 
handled (weighed, measured, and checked for marks or tags), and 
released. Any green sturgeon adults captured as a result of longline 
sampling would be anesthetized, PIT-tagged, and would be sampled for 
biological tissues prior to release. The purpose of this research is to 
study how physical and biological factors relate to fish assemblages 
and populations--particularly with regard to the distribution of delta 
smelt in tidal wetlands in the San Francisco Estuary and Delta. The 
resulting data would be used to address potential benefits of habitat 
restoration, specifically by identifying habitat characteristics in 
restored sites that are associated with plankton production sufficient 
to establish a food web supporting native fish populations. The data 
would also help researchers develop new research tools for studying 
delta smelt. The researchers are not proposing to kill any ESA-listed 
fish, but a small number of adult and juvenile fish may be killed as an 
inadvertent result of these activities. In addition, a small number of 
juvenile non-ESA listed (i.e., fall-run) Chinook salmon would also be 
intentionally sacrificed for stomach contents analysis, and a small 
number of juvenile CVS spring-run Chinook salmon may be killed as part 
of this effort in the unlikely event that they are misidentified.

19320-2R

    NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center is seeking to renew for 
five years a permit that currently allows them to take juveniles and 
sub-adults from 10 species of listed salmonids: CC Chinook salmon, CVS 
Chinook salmon, LCR Chinook salmon, SacR winter-run Chinook salmon, SR 
spring/summer Chinook salmon, CCC coho salmon, SONCC coho salmon, CVS 
steelhead, CCC steelhead, and NC steelhead. The fish would primarily be 
captured by surface trawling, however beach seining may also 
occasionally be used. Sub-adult salmonids (i.e., all salmon larger than 
250 mm) that survive capture would have fin tissue and scale samples 
taken and then be released. All sub-adult salmonids that do not survive 
capture and all captured juvenile salmonids (i.e., fish larger than 80 
mm but less than 250 mm) would be lethally sampled (i.e., intentional 
directed mortality) in order to collect: (1) Otoliths for age and 
growth studies; (2) coded wire tags for origin and age (hatchery fish); 
(3) muscle tissues for stable isotopes and/or lipid assays; (4) 
stomachs and contents for diet studies; and (5) other tissues including 
the heart, liver, intestines, and kidney for special studies upon 
request.
    The research is intended to generate a great deal of information. 
It is designed to help scientists and managers: (1) Determine the 
inter-annual and seasonal variability in growth, feeding, and energy 
status among juvenile salmonids in the coastal ocean off northern and 
central California as well as southern Oregon; (2) determine migration 
paths and spatial distribution among genetically distinct salmonid 
stocks during their early ocean residence; (3) characterize the 
biological and physical oceanographic features associated with juvenile 
salmon ocean habitat from the shore to the continental shelf break; (4) 
identify potential links between coastal geography, oceanographic 
features, and salmon distribution patterns; and (5) identify and test 
ecological indices for salmon survival. This research would benefit 
listed fish by informing comprehensive lifecycle models that 
incorporate both freshwater and marine conditions and recognize the 
relationship between the two habitats. It would also identify and 
predict sources of salmon mortality at sea and thereby help managers 
develop indices of salmonid survival in the marine environment.

19437-2R

    The University of California at Davis is seeking to renew for five 
years a permit that currently allows them to annually take juvenile and 
adult SacR winter-run Chinook salmon, CVS Chinook salmon, CCV 
steelhead, and southern DPS green sturgeon in the Cache-Lindsey 
complex, Sherman Lake complex, and Suisun Marsh in the Sacramento-San 
Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Estuary, California. Fish would be 
captured (by using boat electrofishing, otter trawls, and beach 
seines), handled (weigh, measure, and check for marks or tags), and 
released. Green sturgeon adults will also be scanned for PIT tags and 
may be sampled for biological tissues before being released release. 
The purpose of this research is to develop better understanding of how 
physical and biological habitat features (such as flow and other 
factors) interact to maintain assemblages of native and non-native 
species in the upper San Francisco Estuary--particularly in shallow 
water and marsh habitat. The resulting data would be used to help 
managers (a) understand how fishes commonly inhabiting Suisun Marsh use 
the Sacramento River corridor to access habitats in other parts of the 
estuary, (b) model fish abundance, (c) guide restoration projects to 
support native fishes, and (d) evaluate the response of the Delta 
ecosystem to drought. The researchers are not proposing to kill any

[[Page 45197]]

fish, but a small number of juvenile salmon and steelhead may be killed 
as an inadvertent result of these activities.

23649

    Mount Hood Environmental is seeking a five-year permit that would 
allow them to annually take juvenile MCR steelhead from a non-essential 
experimental population in the Crooked River (Deschutes River 
watershed) in central Oregon. The researchers would use backpack 
electrofishing units and screw traps to capture the fish which would 
then be measured, weighed, checked for marks and tags, allowed to 
recover, and released back to the river. A subsample of the captured 
fish may also be tissue-sampled for genetic assays. The purpose of the 
research is to establish baseline population information (presence, 
abundance, density, etc.) on MCR steelhead and native redband trout in 
the vicinity of Bowman Dam, on the Crooked River. The work will benefit 
the species by helping managers maintain and operate Bowman Dam (and a 
possible new hydroelectric turbine proposed for construction there) in 
the most fish-friendly manner possible. The researchers do not intend 
to kill any of the fish being captured, but a small number may die as 
an unintended result of the activities.

23843

    The Skagit River System Cooperative (SRSC) is seeking a five-year 
permit to capture juvenile PS Chinook salmon and PS steelhead in the 
Skagit River floodplain between river miles 54 and 79 (Skagit County, 
WA). The purpose of the study is to evaluate a restoration action 
designed to reconnect 1,700 acres (about 6.88 km\2\) of Skagit River 
floodplain (Barnaby Slough) by monitoring its effect upon salmonid 
densities and productivity. Barnaby Slough was used as a rearing pond 
for hatchery steelhead by the Washington Department of Fish and 
Wildlife from the 1960's until 2007 and includes three dams, numerous 
dikes, and a smaller enclosed rearing pond. These features modify flow 
conditions and block fish passage to the slough and are slated for 
removal and restoration. This study will employ a Before-After-Control-
Impact design with two years of pre-project and three years of post-
project monitoring to evaluate fish and habitat relationships. This 
research would benefit the affected species by informing future 
restoration designs as well as providing impetus for future enhancement 
projects. The SRSC proposes to capture fish using fence-weir smolt 
traps and backpack and boat electrofishing equipment. Fish would be 
captured, identified to species, measured, fin clipped (caudal fin), 
dyed, and released. Observational methods such as snorkel and redd 
surveys would be used to inform and supplement the above methods. The 
researchers do not propose to kill any of the listed fish being 
captured, but a small number may die as an unintended result of the 
activities.
    This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(c) of the ESA. NMFS 
will evaluate the applications, associated documents, and comments 
submitted to determine whether the applications meet the requirements 
of section 10(a) of the ESA and Federal regulations. The final permit 
decisions will not be made until after the end of the 30-day comment 
period. NMFS will publish notice of its final action in the Federal 
Register.

    Dated: July 21, 2020.
Angela Somma,
Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, 
National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-16176 Filed 7-24-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P