Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish, 9490-9496 [2021-02989]

Download as PDF 9490 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 29 / Tuesday, February 16, 2021 / Notices activities that involve live black abalone. This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(c) of the ESA. NMFS will evaluate the application, associated documents, and comments submitted to determine whether the application meets the requirements of section 10(a) of the ESA and Federal regulations. The final permit decision 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. 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 parts 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 the application listed in this notice should set out the specific reasons why a hearing on the application would be appropriate (see ADDRESSES). Such hearings are held at the discretion of the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NMFS. Dated: February 9, 2021. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2021–02987 Filed 2–12–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [RTID 0648–XA873] Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice, receipt of 17 application permit renewals, 2 permit modifications, and 6 new permits. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received 25 scientific research permit application requests relating to Pacific salmon, steelhead, SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:04 Feb 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 green sturgeon, rockfish, and eulachon. 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 or fax number (see ADDRESSES) no later than 5 p.m. Pacific standard time on March 18, 2021. ADDRESSES: Because all West Coast NMFS offices are currently closed, all written comments on the applications should be sent to 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, fax: 503–230–5441, email: Robert.Clapp@noaa.gov). Permit application instructions are available from the address above, or online at https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Species Covered in This Notice Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha): Threatened Lower Columbia River (LCR); threatened Puget Sound (PS); threatened Snake River (SnkR) spring/summer-run; threatened SnkR fall-run; endangered Upper Columbia River (UCR) spring-run; threatened Upper Willamette River (UWR), threatened Central Valley spring-run (CVS); endangered Sacramento River (SacR) winter-run; threatened California Coastal (CC). Steelhead (O. mykiss): Threatened LCR; threatened Middle Columbia River (MCR); threatened PS; threatened SnkR; threatened UCR; threatened UWR; threatened Northern California (NC); threatened Central California Coast (CCC); threatened California Central Valley (CCV); threatened South-Central California Coast (S–CCC); endangered Southern California (SC). Chum salmon (O. keta): Threatened Hood Canal Summer-run (HCS), threatened Columbia River (CR). Coho salmon (O. kisutch): Threatened LCR; threatened Oregon Coast (OC) coho; threatened Southern Oregon/ Northern California Coast (SONCC), endangered Central California Coast (CCC). Sockeye salmon (O. nerka): Endangered SnkR. Eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus): Threatened southern (S). PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris): Threatened southern Distinct Population Segment (SDPS). Rockfish (Sebastes spp.): Endangered Puget Sound/Georgia Basin (PS/GB) bocaccio (Sebastes paucispinis); threatened PS/GB yelloweye rockfish (S. ruberrimus). Background 1415–5R The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Red Bluff Office is seeking to renew a permit that allows them to annually take juvenile and adult SacR winter-run and CVS Chinook salmon, adult and juvenile CCV steelhead, and egg, larval, and juvenile SDPS green sturgeon in the Sacramento River and in Clear and Battle Creeks in the Central Valley, California. This permit renewal would cover nine research projects carried out by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Red Bluff office. The names and purposes of the nine studies are: (1) Battle Creek Fish Community Structure Evaluation (Pre/Post-Restoration)—the primary goal of this study is to assess how fish community distribution changes in response to the restoration project. (2) Battle Creek Juvenile Salmonid Monitoring Project—the goal is to monitor annual juvenile production and develop production indices, assess restoration efforts, and gather information on the history and migration of juvenile salmonids. (3) Battle Creek Adult Salmonid Monitoring Project—the purpose is to monitor escapement, migration timing, and population distribution of adult spring run and steelhead. (4) Battle Creek emergence trapping—the purpose is to monitor fry emergence in conjunction with the Battle Creek winter-run Jumpstart Project and Reintroduction Program efforts. (5) Clear Creek Juvenile Salmonid Monitoring Project—the purpose is to monitor juvenile Chinook and steelhead production, size, condition, and environmental data with the goal of information restoration actions in Clear Creek. (6) Clear Creek Fish Restoration Program Monitoring— the purpose is to monitor restored stream channel form and function (i.e., improved water quality and quantity, reduced sedimentation, etc.). (7) Sacramento River Juvenile Fish Monitoring at Red Bluff Diversion Dam (RBDD)—the primary objectives of this project are to (a) obtain juvenile winter Chinook production indices and to correlate these indices with estimated escapement from adult estimates provided by the winter Chinook carcass survey, (b) define seasonal and temporal patterns of abundance of winter, spring, E:\FR\FM\16FEN1.SGM 16FEN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 29 / Tuesday, February 16, 2021 / Notices fall and late-fall run Chinook salmon and steelhead trout passing the RBDD, and (c) obtain relative abundance information for green sturgeon and lamprey to monitor trends in abundance. (8) Life History Studies on the Sacramento River SDPS green sturgeon—the goal is to identify spawning habitat and larval and monitor juvenile rearing and migration movements in the Sacramento River. (9) Sacramento River Winter Chinook Salmon Carcass Survey—the carcass survey would help managers estimate the annual abundance of winter Chinook salmon spawners. Estimates of abundance would be made for both hatchery- and natural-origin fish. The research, a whole, would benefit listed fish by adding greatly to a large number of datasets that managers use to help them survive and recover. Under the various studies, juvenile salmon would be observed via snorkel surveys and captured using backpack electrofishing, rotary screw traps, emergence traps, trammel nets, and beach seines. In addition, juvenile salmon would be handled (anesthetized, weighed, measured, and checked for marks or tags), and released. A subsample of captured those fish may be anesthetized, tissue sampled and passive integrated transponder (PIT)tagged prior to release. A small number of juvenile CVS Chinook and CCV steelhead (100 of each) would be sacrificed for otolith sampling and analysis. Adult salmon would be observed via snorkel surveys or spawning surveys and captured using beach seines and fish weirs. Tissues would be collected from any carcasses encountered during snorkel surveys. Juvenile green sturgeon would be captured (benthic trawls, trammel or gill nets), anesthetized, tissue sampled and tagged (PIT or acoustic). Larval green sturgeon would be captured using fyke nets. The same procedures described above would be performed on larvae captured with fyke nets (tagging would be dependent on size). Egg Mats would be used to sample green sturgeon larvae and eggs (eggs and larvae would be sacrificed). With the exception of the juvenile salmon otolith research (above), the researchers are not proposing to kill any of the fish being captured, but a small number of fish may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. 1440–3R The Interagency Ecological Program (IEP) is a consortium of nine state and Federal agencies that work in partnership with non-governmental organizations to provide ecological information and scientific leadership in VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:04 Feb 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 managing the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary. The IEP is seeking to renew a permit that allows them to annually take adult and juvenile SacR winter-run and CVS Chinook salmon, CV and CCC steelhead, and SDPS green sturgeon in the San Francisco Bay-Delta Region, California. This permit renewal includes eleven projects. The names and purposes of the 11 studies are: (1) The Adult Striped Bass Tagging Study—it is designed to quantify the population dynamics of Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis) in the San Francisco Estuary and thereby provide metrics to inform science-based resource management decisions. These metrics include relative and absolute abundance, harvest rate, mortality rate, individual growth rates, and large-scale movement/migration patterns. (2) The Fall Midwater Trawl Survey—the study is a fish monitoring survey that provides trends in abundance and distribution of pelagic fish in the upper San Francisco Estuary. (3) The adult Sturgeon Population Tagging Study is designed to quantify the population dynamics of white and green Sturgeon in the San Francisco Estuary and provide metrics to inform science-based resource management decisions. These metrics include relative and absolute abundance, harvest rates, mortality rates, and individual growth rates. (4) The Summer Tow-net Survey is a fish monitoring survey that provides trends in abundance and distribution of young pelagic fish in the upper San Francisco estuary. (5) The San Francisco Bay Study—its purpose is to determine the effects of freshwater outflow on the abundance and distribution of fish and mobile crustaceans in the San Francisco Estuary, primarily downstream of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. (6) The 20-mm Survey is designed to monitor post-larval and juvenile Delta Smelt distribution and relative abundance throughout their historical spring range in the upper San Francisco estuary. (7) The Yolo Bypass Fish Monitoring Program is a monitoring effort designed to help mangers understand fish and invertebrate use in the Yolo Bypass seasonal floodplain/tidal slough habitat. (8) The Zooplankton Study—its purpose is to estimate the abundance of zooplankton taxa and thereby help managers assess trends in fish food resources from the eastern San Pablo Bay area through the eastern Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh. The study is also intended to detect and monitor zooplankton recently introduced to the estuary and determine their effects on native species. (9) The Spring Kodiak PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 9491 Trawl Survey—its purpose is to determine the relative abundance and distribution of adult Delta Smelt in the San Francisco Bay area and identify the onset of spawning. (10) The Suisun Marsh Survey is designed to determine effects of the Suisun Marsh Salinity Control Gates operation (as well as other anthropogenic habitat changes) and monitor presence and abundance for juvenile striped bass, Chinook salmon, and other species of concern. (11) The Smelt Larva Survey is intended to provide near real-time distribution data for Longfin Smelt larvae in the upper San Francisco Estuary. The data generated from this study would be used to help improve the effectiveness of water operations, aquatic habitat restoration, and fish management practices. The research, as a whole, would benefit fish by adding greatly to the knowledge base that state, private, and Federal managers depend on to help them make decisions about the best ways in which resources can be allocated to help listed species recover. Under the various projects juvenile salmon would be captured (via fyke nets, gill nets, midwater trawls, trammel nets, hoop nets, otter trawls, larval fish nets, zooplankton nets, Kodiak trawl nets, rotatory screw traps, and beach seine), handled, and released. A small subset of the juvenile fish would be captured, anesthetized, measured, weighed, tagged, tissue sampled, and released. Adult salmon would be captured (via fyke nets, midwater trawls, trammel nets, hoop nets, otter trawls, Kodiak trawl nets, and beach seines), handled, and released. A small subset of adult salmon would be captured, anesthetized, measured, weighed, tagged, tissue sampled and released. Under three of the projects (Studies 5, 7, and 9) some adiposeclipped, artificially propagated juvenile spring- and winter-run Chinook salmon would intentionally be sacrificed to collect coded wire tags (the data from which would be used for management purposes). In addition, adult green sturgeon would be captured (fyke net, trammel net, midwater trawl, otter trawl), handled, and released. A subset of juvenile and adult greens sturgeon would be captured, anesthetized, measured, weighed, tagged, tissue sampled, and released. With the exception of the directed mortality of adipose-clipped juvenile salmon (above), the researchers are not proposing to kill any of the fish being captured, but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. E:\FR\FM\16FEN1.SGM 16FEN1 9492 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 29 / Tuesday, February 16, 2021 / Notices 13675–3R The Fishery Foundation of California is seeking to renew a permit that currently allows them to annually take juvenile SacR winter-run and CVS Chinook salmon, juvenile CV steelhead, and juvenile SDPS green sturgeon in the Sacramento River, CA. Juvenile salmon and green sturgeon would be captured (via beach seines and fyke nets), handled, and released. The purpose of this research is to evaluate salmon presence and habitat in flood plain areas. The data generated from this research would benefit listed fish by helping managers design, implement, and manage riparian habitat sites along the Sacramento River for the purpose of helping anadromous salmonids recover. The researchers are not proposing to kill any of the fish being captured, but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 15486–3R West Fork Environmental is seeking to renew a previously held permit that in its new iteration would allow them to capture and handle juvenile UCR Chinook salmon, LCR Chinook salmon, UWR Chinook salmon, SnkR spr/sum Chinook, SnkR fall Chinook, PS Chinook salmon, LCR coho salmon, OC coho salmon, UCR steelhead, SnkR steelhead, MCR steelhead, LCR steelhead, UWR steelhead, and PS steelhead during the course of headwater stream surveys over wide parts of Oregon and Washington. The purpose of the research is to provide owners of industrial forest lands and state lands managers with accurate maps of where threatened and endangered salmonids are found. The work would benefit the salmon and steelhead by helping land managers plan and carry out their activities in ways that would have the smallest effect possible on the listed fish. The researchers would use backpack electrofishing equipment to capture the fish. After capture, the fish would be swiftly released without tagging or even handling more than is necessary to ensure that they have recovered from the effects of being captured. The West Fork Environmental researchers do not intend to kill any listed salmonids, but a small number may die as an unintended result of the activities. 15549–3R The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) is seeking a 5year permit to expand on and extend work previously conducted under other research permits (Permits 1532 and VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:04 Feb 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 15549–2R). The research would take place in Satus, Ahtanum, Naches, and Toppenish Creeks in Washington State. The researchers wish to take juvenile MCR steelhead during the course of research designed to determine the fishes’ freshwater movements and examine how those movements are affected by the area’s substantially altered hydrograph. They would also collect baseline information on stock status and yearly abundance and seek to determine whether repeat spawners from a kelt reconditioning program run by the Confederated Bands and Tribes of the Yakama Nation are successfully reproducing. The fish would be captured (via screw traps and backpack electrofishing equipment) and then be anesthetized and measured. Some would be tissuesampled for DNA and aging purposes and some would receive PIT tags. The information gathered would be used to determine the fishes’ movements and abundance and monitor the ongoing status of the various MCR steelhead populations in the Yakima River subbasin. The research would benefit the fish by helping managers determine the effectiveness of current recovery measures and design new ones where needed. The researchers do not plan to kill any of the fish being captured, but a few may die as an unintentional result of the research. 15611–3R The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking to renew a permit that allows it to take adult LCR Chinook salmon, LCR steelhead, LCR coho salmon, and CR chum salmon while operating a fish collection facility on the North Fork Toutle River in Washington State. The fish collection facility is located at river mile 47.5, approximately 1.3 miles (about 2.1 km) downstream from the Mount St. Helens Sediment Retention Structure. The purpose of the project is to trap and haul salmon and steelhead around the sediment retention structure. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife would also collect scientific information and tag a portion of the fish to monitor migration patterns and spawning success. The activities’ primary benefit would be to allow listed salmon and steelhead to spawn in historically accessible habitat upstream of the sediment retention structure. Also, researchers would collect information that would increase our understanding of the various species’ spawning habits. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife proposes to operate the trap several days a week during the species’ upstream PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 migration. Captured fish would be transported in a tanker truck and released upstream of the sediment retention structure. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife does not intend to kill any fish being captured but some may die as an unintentional result of the activities. 16274–2R The Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) is seeking to renew a permit that currently allows them to annually take adult and juvenile CCC Chinook, CCC steelhead, SONCC coho, and CCC coho salmon in Mendocino and Northern Sonoma Counties on Mendocino Redwood Company lands. Adult fish would be observed and tissue samples would be collected from carcasses found during spawning surveys. Juvenile salmon would be observed via snorkel surveys and captured (via backpack electrofishing and screw traps), anesthetized, weighed, measured, and released. A small subset of juvenile fish would be captured, marked (dye, elastomer, or fin clip), PIT-tagged, tissue sampled, and released. The purpose of the research is to assess juvenile and adult distribution and population structure in streams on MRC’s property. The data gathered in these studies would benefit listed fish by helping MRC better understand salmonid distribution, abundance, and habitat use in these areas—and thereby design and carry out their management activities in the most fish-friendly way possible. The researchers are not proposing to kill any of the fish being captured, but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. 16290–4R The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is seeking to renew permit that allows it to take juvenile UWR Chinook salmon, UWR steelhead, LCR Chinook salmon, LCR steelhead, LCR coho salmon, and CR chum salmon 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 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. Once the fish are captured, they would swiftly be counted, allowed to recover, and then E:\FR\FM\16FEN1.SGM 16FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 29 / Tuesday, February 16, 2021 / Notices released back to the sites of their capture. Researchers would avoid contact with adult fish at all times. If listed salmonids are captured during the research they would be released before processing any other fish. The researchers do not expect to kill any listed salmonids but a small number may die as an unintended result of the research activities. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 17077–3R The Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California at Davis, is seeking to renew a permit that currently allows them to annually take adult and juvenile SacR winter-run and CVS Chinook salmon, CCV steelhead and SDPS green sturgeon in the SacramentoSan Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh in the Central Valley, CA. The project specifically targets splittail and other native minnow populations, however ESA-listed species may be taken as well. Juvenile fish would be captured (via otter trawling, beach seining, and electrofishing), handled and released. Adult fish would also be captured (via otter trawling, beach seining), handled, and released. The purpose of this project is to better understand how physical habitats, flow, and other factors interact to maintain assemblages of native and non-native aquatic species in the upper San Francisco estuary. This study would benefit listed fish by providing knowledge about food webs and the habitats that support them. It would improve our ability to create and restore additional habitat and help managers anticipate the effects of drought, climate change, sea level rise, increased temperatures, and changing hydrologic conditions. The researchers are not proposing to kill any of the fish being captured, but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. 17219–3R NMFS’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Fisheries Ecology Division, is seeking to renew a permit that currently allows them to annually take juvenile and adult CCC, NC and S–CCC steelhead, and CCC and SONCC coho salmon in coastal streams throughout California. Juvenile fish would be captured (via screw trap, backpack electrofishing, beach seines, hook and line fishing, and hand- or dip nets), handled, and released. A subset of the captured fish would be anesthetized, sampled (collection of scales, fin clips, or stomach contents), marked or tagged (using fin clips, PIT tags, pop-off satellite tags, acoustic tags, or radio tags), and released. In limited cases, some juvenile steelhead would be VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:04 Feb 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 captured and euthanized for otolith ad contaminant analysis. Adult steelhead and coho would be observed via spawning surveys, and tissue samples would be collected from carcasses found during those surveys. Adult steelhead would be captured (at fish ladders and by hook-and-line angling), tagged, tissue sampled, and released. The purpose of this research is to support conservation and management of ESA-listed anadromous salmonids in California by directly addressing information needs that NMFS and other agencies identify for the benefit of the listed fish. This data collected would be used to elucidate population abundance and dynamics; evaluate factors affecting growth, survival, and life-histories; assess life-stage specific habitat use and movement; inform various types of models (e.g., population, life-cycle, bioenergetics, and habitat-use models); determine genetic structure within populations; evaluate the effects how activities such as water management and habitat restoration affect populations; and develop improved sampling and monitoring methods. With the exception of a small number of juvenile steelhead that would be sacrificed for otolith and contaminant research (above), the researchers are not proposing to kill any of the fish being captured, but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. 17351–2R The Green Diamond Resource Company is seeking to renew a permit that currently allows them to annually take juvenile and adult CC Chinook, SONCC coho, and NC steelhead on Green Diamond lands in the Chetco, Smith, Lower Klamath, Mad-Redwood, and Lower Eel watersheds in Northern California. Adult salmon would be observed during spawning surveys and tissue samples would be collected from carcasses found during those surveys. A small number of adult steelhead may also be captured during screw trapping. Juvenile salmon would be captured (via backpack electrofishing, snorkel surveys, and screw trapping), handled and released. A small subset of juvenile fish would be captured, anesthetized, marked, tagged, tissue sampled and released. The purpose of this research is to determine fish presence and distribution, monitor timing and abundance of out-migrating salmon, determine population estimates of summer rearing juveniles, and determine habitat use and relative number of spawning adults. The data from this research would be used to PO 00000 Frm 00017 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 9493 benefit listed fish by helping Green Diamond Resource Company minimize the effects that timber harvest activities on their land may have. The researchers are not proposing to kill any of the fish being captured, but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. 18696–5M The Idaho Power company is seeking to modify a 5-year permit that currently allows them to annually capture juvenile and adult SnkR fall Chinook salmon, SnkR spr/sum Chinook salmon, SnkR steelhead, and SnkR sockeye salmon while studying juvenile white sturgeon in and near Lower Granite Reservoir on the Snake River. The permit would be modified by combining it with a similar permit that Idaho Power holds (19846) that currently allows it to take those same species while studying bull trout in much the same area. The total action area of the two permits combined would extend from the confluence of the Snake and Grande Ronde Rivers up to the first of the Hells Canyon Complex of dams. The researchers would use small-mesh gill nets, benthic otter trawls, and hook-andline angling to capture the fish. The gill net fishing would take place at times (October and November) and in areas (the bottom of the reservoir) that have purposefully been chosen to have the least possible impact on listed fish. When the nets are pulled to the surface, listed species would immediately be released (including by cutting the net, if necessary) and allowed to return to the reservoir. The d-ring fishing would take place in June and July, but the same restrictions (immediately releasing listed fish, etc.) would still apply. The same is true for the otter trawls that would take place solely in July and the angling that would be performed from December-March. The research targets species that are not listed, but the research would benefit listed salmonids by generating information about the habitat conditions in the Snake River and by helping managers develop conservation plans for the species that inhabit it. The researchers are not proposing to kill any of the fish they capture, but a small number of individuals may be killed as an inadvertent result of the activities. 18908–2R The Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group (SFEG) is seeking to renew a permit that allows them to annually take juvenile PS Chinook salmon and PS steelhead while conducting research to monitor how fish use side-channel habitat in floodplain and tributaries of E:\FR\FM\16FEN1.SGM 16FEN1 9494 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 29 / Tuesday, February 16, 2021 / Notices the Skagit River in Washington. Fish would be captured by beach seine, handled (weighed, measured, and checked for marks or tags), and released. The purpose of the research is to assess juvenile salmonid habitat use and relative abundance in off-channel areas and thereby help improve efforts to increase access to off-channel areas and enhance rearing habitat quality in those areas. The SFEG would use the data to identify sites in need of restoration, target enhancement efforts, confirm post-project effectiveness, and guide future projects so that ongoing work can focus on appropriate areas and help create conditions that provide high quality rearing habitat. The project also aims to educate the public on the importance of floodplain habitat restoration for juvenile salmonids, and would contribute data to other regional research projects currently evaluating the role of off-channel habitats in salmonid growth and development. The researchers are not proposing to kill any fish they capture, but a small number of juvenile salmon and steelhead may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 19320–2R NMFS’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center is seeking to renew a permit that currently allows them to annually take listed salmonids while conducting research designed to: (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; (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. The renewed permit would allow the researchers to take juvenile and subadult CC Chinook, CVS Chinook, LCR Chinook, SacR winter-run Chinook, SnkR spr/sum Chinook, CCC coho, SONCC coho, CCV steelhead, CCC steelhead, and NC steelhead. This research would benefit listed fish by informing comprehensive lifecycle models that incorporate both freshwater and marine conditions and seek to account for the relationship between the two habitats. The data would also be used to identify and predict sources of salmon mortality at sea and thereby help managers develop indices of VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:04 Feb 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 salmonid survival in the marine environment. Listed fish would be captured primarily via surface trawling, however beach seining would be used occasionally as would hook-and-line microtrolling. Subadult salmonids (i.e., fish larger than 250 mm) that survive capture would have fin tissue and scale samples taken, and then be released. During the trawling operations, any subadult salmonids that do not survive capture, and all juvenile salmonids (i.e., fish larger than 80 mm but less than 250 mm) would be lethally sampled (sacrificed) in order to collect (1) otoliths for age and growth studies; (2) coded wire tags for origin and age of hatchery fish; (3) muscle tissue for stable isotopes and/or lipid assays; (4) stomachs and contents for diet studies; and (5) other tissues including the heart, liver, intestines, pyloric caeca, and kidney for special studies upon request. For the other types of capture, some of the fish may be tissue sampled, tagged, and released (particularly adults), though some juveniles would still be lethally sampled for the reasons just described. In all cases, whenever a fish dies simply as a result of being captured, that fish would be used in place of an intentional mortality (that is, instead of a fish that would otherwise be sacrificed). 19738–2R The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking to renew a permit that allows them to annually take juvenile PS Chinook salmon and PS steelhead while conducting research in headwater streams on DNR-managed lands that drain into Puget Sound. Juvenile fish would be detected via backpack electrofishing encounters (considered a capture event for this method) and, if stunned, would be netted (dip net) and released in a low gradient stream segment or pool and allowed to recover. The purpose of this research is to determine fish presence in small streams on state-managed lands to ensure that those streams are appropriately typed, adequately protected with riparian management zones (RMZs), and adequately restored (e.g., via removal of man-made structures that limit or restrict fish passage to upstream habitat). Data generated by this proposal would benefit listed fish by informing land management decision-making (e.g., RMZ width, culvert replacement/ sizing), and it would also be submitted to DNR Forest Practices division to improve the existing stream type geographic information systems database. The researchers are not PO 00000 Frm 00018 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 proposing to kill any fish captured, but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. 19741–2R The Yakama Nation is seeking a 5year permit to annually take juvenile, natural MCR steelhead during the course of a research project designed to assess their current abundance in the Rock Creek watershed in south central Washington. Under the permit, the researchers would employ backpack electrofishing to capture a number of juvenile MCR steelhead. Some of those fish would be tagged with PIT-tags, and some would be tissue-sampled, but most would simply be handled and released. The researchers would work primarily in five reference areas (reaches) and they would use mark/recapture techniques to study juvenile development and movement in Rock Creek. They would also conduct some boat electrofishing in the inundated pool downstream from the research area in Rock Creek—primarily to look at predator abundance. In addition, the researchers would take tissue samples from dead adults during spawning ground surveys. The purpose of the research is to assess the current distribution and relative abundance of MCR steelhead in selected portions of Rock Creek. That information would be integrated with information being collected on other ecological parameters and the researches would use that information as a whole to determine species status in the system and evaluate the effectiveness of several habitat restoration actions that have been going on there for a number of years. This research would benefit listed steelhead in that it would be used by fish managers such as the Rock Creek Subbasin Recovery Planning Group to prioritize to plan restoration, protection, and recovery actions for Rock Creek steelhead. 22482–2R NMFS’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) is seeking to renew for 5 years a permit that currently allows them to take juvenile LCR, SnkR fallrun, UCR spring-run, and UWR Chinook salmon; CR chum salmon; LCR coho salmon; SnkR sockeye salmon; and LCR, MCR, SnkR basin, UCR, and UWR steelhead. The purpose of the study is to measure contaminant levels in resident sculpin in the lower Willamette River (Oregon) near a Superfund site with high levels of pollutants. The target species for sampling, prickly sculpin, is benthic-feeding and has a small home range, thus contaminant analysis of its tissues reflects environmental E:\FR\FM\16FEN1.SGM 16FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 29 / Tuesday, February 16, 2021 / Notices conditions at a localized area. Listed salmonids could be unintentionally captured during sampling activities. The study results would support an ongoing Natural Resource Damage Assessment, the purpose of which is to document and quantify injuries to natural resources resulting from exposure to hazardous substances. The proposed research study would benefit listed species by improving managers’ understanding of the extent of contamination in the studied habitats and informing habitat restoration activities. The researchers propose to collect fish between river miles 2 and 11 of the Willamette River, and at appropriate reference sites nearby in the Lower Willamette River. The researchers would conduct sampling from August through October. The researchers would use vinyl-coated wire shrimp traps with 1.0 cm x 0.5 cm openings and baited with canned meat and bait scent. Any listed salmonids that are unintentionally captured would be transferred to buckets of aerated water, identified, counted, checked for fin clips, passive integrated transponder, and coded wire tags, and then swiftly released near the site of capture. khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES 23029–2R The NWFSC is seeking to renew a permit that allows them to annually take juvenile PS/GB bocaccio rockfish and yelloweye rockfish, juvenile PS steelhead, and juvenile and adult PS Chinook salmon and SDPS eulachon in several river estuaries and bays of South Puget Sound, Washington. Fish would be captured via beach seine or otter trawl, handled (identified, measured, checked for marks or tags), and released. The goal of this research is to sample juvenile English sole and juvenile starry flounder and use the study results to support an ongoing Natural Resource Damage Assessment—the purpose of which is to document and quantify injuries to natural resources resulting from exposure to hazardous substances. The proposed research study would benefit listed species by improving managers’ understanding of the extent of contamination in the studied habitats and helping inform habitat restoration activities. The researchers are not targeting any ESA-listed fish for capture as part of this research, but juveniles and adults may be unintentionally captured. The work would benefit listed species by helping guide habitat restoration activities in the Puget Sound. The researchers are also not proposing to kill any ESA-listed fish, but a small number may be killed VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:04 Feb 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 as an inadvertent result of these activities. 23649–2M Mount Hood Environmental is seeking to modify a 5-year permit that currently allows them to annually take juvenile MCR steelhead from a nonessential experimental population (NEP) in the Crooked River (Deschutes River watershed) in central Oregon. They are seeking to modify the permit by slightly increasing the take they are allotted, and the reason for this request is that new information has come to light indicating that there may be more steelhead present in the action area than previously believed. 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. As noted above, the MCR steelhead that currently occupy the action area are technically part of an NEP. Taking members of this population for scientific purposes is permitted by regulation at 50 CFR 223.301 but, for the sake of analysis, they are considered part of the listed MCR steelhead DPS. The reason for that is that the NEP will expire on January 15, 2025—at which point the population will simply be considered part of the MCR steelhead DPS (although it should be noted the NEP abundance is not currently counted along with the rest of the DPS). The proposed work would 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 Permit 24151 The U.S. Forest Service is seeking a 5year permit that would allow them to take juvenile OC coho salmon during the course of research intended to help managers understand how juvenile coho salmon continue to thrive in a coastal lake currently containing resident populations of trophy predatory fishes (Tahkenitch Lake, Oregon). The researchers would use beach seines, PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 9495 minnow traps, and backpack electrofishing to capture fish in the tributaries to the lake and boat seines, beach seines, and hook-and-line fishing with barbless hooks in the lake and along the lake margins. The purpose of the research is to document coho salmon habitat shifts (seasonal and otherwise) and determine when and where predation by bass is occurring. The captured fish would be sedated and then weighed and measured. The fish would then be allowed to recover and be released back to the sites of their capture. The proposed work would benefit the species by helping managers better understand species interaction in critical coastal lake habitat and thereby help them take measures to promote coho salmon recovery. The researchers do not intend to kill any of the fish being captured, but a small number may die as an inadvertent result of the proposed activities. 24255 The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Fish Restoration Program, is seeking a new 5-year permit that would allow them to annually take juvenile and adult SacR winter-run and CVS Chinook salmon, CCV steelhead, and SDPS green sturgeon in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta including Suisun Marsh and Grizzly Bay. Adult fish would be captured (via otter trawl, lampara seine), handled, and released. Juvenile fish could be captured (via beach seine, otter trawl, lampara seine, zooplankton net, backpack electrofishing) handled, and released. The purpose of this research is to monitor food web dynamics and fish populations before and after restoration and among reference, restored, and prerestoration sites. This data would be used to assess the effectiveness of habitat restoration with regard to native fish populations and would therefore benefit listed fish by helping improve such restoration activities. The researchers are not proposing to kill any of the fish being captured, but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. 24367 NMFS’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center is seeking a permit that would allow them to annually take juvenile PS Chinook salmon, PS steelhead, and HC summer-run chum salmon in nearshore areas of the San Juan Islands, Whidbey Island, and in the Central and Southern Puget Sound, Washington. Fish would be captured by lampara seines, handled (weighed, measured, and checked for marks or tags), and released. A subset of juvenile PS Chinook salmon and HC E:\FR\FM\16FEN1.SGM 16FEN1 9496 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 29 / Tuesday, February 16, 2021 / Notices khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES chum would be intentionally lethally taken (sacrificed) for stable isotope analysis. The purposes of the research are (1) to evaluate how shoreline restoration affects subtidal use of nearshore habitats by fishes—namely salmonids and forage fish, in Puget Sound; and (2) assess the role landscape context (particularly shoreline armoring) plays in influencing these relationships. Data would be used to establish relationships between nearshore subtidal fish abundance and the degree of shoreline development, and fish habitat use data would be incorporated into the existing Beach Strategies database to further inform restoration decisions (and thereby benefit the listed fish). The researchers are proposing to kill a small subset of juvenile ESA-listed PS Chinook salmon and Hood Canal chum salmon captured, and a small number of juveniles of all species may be killed as an inadvertent result of sampling activities. 25409 Researchers from Oregon State University are seeking a 5-year permit that would allow them to document changes in fish community composition, macroinvertebrate community composition, and water quality that result from maintenance activities in agricultural channels. The project comes in response to Oregon State legislation (HB 2437 section 10), and is designed to help managers understand how cleaning and maintenance activities in agricultural ditches affect the ecosystems in those ditches. The researchers would capture fish by electrofishing, minnow traps, and seine nets in 50-meter, closed-off (with mesh block nets) channel sections. Minnow traps would be deployed the afternoon before the sampling day and be checked the following morning before the next capture method is deployed. Seine netting would be used when the site is safely accessible to capture animals that are not easily caught (too large) in minnow traps. Electrofishing would be used after both other methods are completed and would be conducted in a one-pass collecting event. Once collected, the fish would be housed in aerated containers, weighed, measured, and then released back to the sites of their capture. The research would benefit the listed species by helping mangers understand how a common agricultural practices—ditch cleaning and maintenance—affects them and the habitats upon which they depend. The researchers do not intend to kill any of the fish being captured, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the activities. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:04 Feb 12, 2021 Jkt 253001 25463 The Moss Landing Marine Lab is seeing a new 5-year permit that would allow them to annually take adult and juvenile SacR winter-run, CVS, and CC Chinook salmon; SONCC and CCC coho salmon; CCV, CCC, NC, S–CCC and SC steelhead; and SDPS steelhead throughout California. Fish would be captured (via electrofishing, hook-andline angling, otter trawls, cast nets, beach seines, gill nets, and minnow traps), handled, and released. The Moss Landing Marine Laboratories’ Marine Pollution Studies Lab is a primary contributor to the California State Water Board’s Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program’s Bioaccumulation Oversight Group. Results from these efforts in streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, bays, harbors, and coastal water bodies in California would be used to (1) measure contaminant levels in fish and shellfish over time to track temporal trends and evaluate the effectiveness of management efforts; (2) help managers evaluate contaminant spatial patterns; (3) perform Clean Water Act assessments; and (4) create and update human health advisories and assessments. Fish sampling would occur in California’s anadromous and nonanadromous water bodies (streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, bays, harbors, and coastal) using various methods of take that would be variably employed to minimize risk to (non-targeted) listed species. Tissue samples would be analyzed for contaminants such as (but not limited to) mercury, metals, selenium, PCBs, legacy pesticides, and contaminants of emerging concern. The research would benefit listed fish by helping managers keep track of contaminants throughout the state and develop response plans accordingly. The researchers are not proposing to kill any of the listed fish being captured, but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. 25466 Tim Salamunovich, Senior Fish Biologist for TRPA Fish Biologists, is seeing a new 5-year permit that would allow him to annually take juvenile and adult steelhead in Ulatis Project Flood Control channels in (mainly) channelized portions of Ulatis, New Alamo, Sweeney, Gibson, Canyon, Horse, and McCune creeks in the Lower Sacramento River, CA. Fish would be captured via backpack electrofishing, anesthetized, measured, weighed, tissue sampled, and released. The purpose of this research is to assess fish population responses to managed flows by PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 collecting biological data (lengths, weights, and counts) on the fish populations in order to monitor their distribution and diversity as well as their overall condition and health. The data from this research would be used to update information on the distribution, relative abundance, diversity, and health of fish in Ulatis Project stream channels and would therefore benefit the fish by helping managers operate the channels in as fish-friendly a manner as possible. The researchers are not proposing to kill any of the fish being captured, but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities. 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 parts 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 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: February 9, 2021. Angela Somma, Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2021–02989 Filed 2–12–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\16FEN1.SGM 16FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 29 (Tuesday, February 16, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 9490-9496]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-02989]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

[RTID 0648-XA873]


Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

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

ACTION: Notice, receipt of 17 application permit renewals, 2 permit 
modifications, and 6 new permits.

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SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received 25 scientific 
research permit application requests relating to Pacific salmon, 
steelhead, green sturgeon, rockfish, and eulachon. 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 or fax number (see 
ADDRESSES) no later than 5 p.m. Pacific standard time on March 18, 
2021.

ADDRESSES: Because all West Coast NMFS offices are currently closed, 
all written comments on the applications should be sent to 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, fax: 503-230-5441, 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

    Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha): Threatened Lower 
Columbia River (LCR); threatened Puget Sound (PS); threatened Snake 
River (SnkR) spring/summer-run; threatened SnkR fall-run; endangered 
Upper Columbia River (UCR) spring-run; threatened Upper Willamette 
River (UWR), threatened Central Valley spring-run (CVS); endangered 
Sacramento River (SacR) winter-run; threatened California Coastal (CC).
    Steelhead (O. mykiss): Threatened LCR; threatened Middle Columbia 
River (MCR); threatened PS; threatened SnkR; threatened UCR; threatened 
UWR; threatened Northern California (NC); threatened Central California 
Coast (CCC); threatened California Central Valley (CCV); threatened 
South-Central California Coast (S-CCC); endangered Southern California 
(SC).
    Chum salmon (O. keta): Threatened Hood Canal Summer-run (HCS), 
threatened Columbia River (CR).
    Coho salmon (O. kisutch): Threatened LCR; threatened Oregon Coast 
(OC) coho; threatened Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast 
(SONCC), endangered Central California Coast (CCC).
    Sockeye salmon (O. nerka): Endangered SnkR.
    Eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus): Threatened southern (S).
    Green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris): Threatened southern 
Distinct Population Segment (SDPS).
    Rockfish (Sebastes spp.): Endangered Puget Sound/Georgia Basin (PS/
GB) bocaccio (Sebastes paucispinis); threatened PS/GB yelloweye 
rockfish (S. ruberrimus).

Background

1415-5R

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Red Bluff Office is seeking to 
renew a permit that allows them to annually take juvenile and adult 
SacR winter-run and CVS Chinook salmon, adult and juvenile CCV 
steelhead, and egg, larval, and juvenile SDPS green sturgeon in the 
Sacramento River and in Clear and Battle Creeks in the Central Valley, 
California. This permit renewal would cover nine research projects 
carried out by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Red Bluff office. The 
names and purposes of the nine studies are: (1) Battle Creek Fish 
Community Structure Evaluation (Pre/Post-Restoration)--the primary goal 
of this study is to assess how fish community distribution changes in 
response to the restoration project. (2) Battle Creek Juvenile Salmonid 
Monitoring Project--the goal is to monitor annual juvenile production 
and develop production indices, assess restoration efforts, and gather 
information on the history and migration of juvenile salmonids. (3) 
Battle Creek Adult Salmonid Monitoring Project--the purpose is to 
monitor escapement, migration timing, and population distribution of 
adult spring run and steelhead. (4) Battle Creek emergence trapping--
the purpose is to monitor fry emergence in conjunction with the Battle 
Creek winter-run Jumpstart Project and Reintroduction Program efforts. 
(5) Clear Creek Juvenile Salmonid Monitoring Project--the purpose is to 
monitor juvenile Chinook and steelhead production, size, condition, and 
environmental data with the goal of information restoration actions in 
Clear Creek. (6) Clear Creek Fish Restoration Program Monitoring--the 
purpose is to monitor restored stream channel form and function (i.e., 
improved water quality and quantity, reduced sedimentation, etc.). (7) 
Sacramento River Juvenile Fish Monitoring at Red Bluff Diversion Dam 
(RBDD)--the primary objectives of this project are to (a) obtain 
juvenile winter Chinook production indices and to correlate these 
indices with estimated escapement from adult estimates provided by the 
winter Chinook carcass survey, (b) define seasonal and temporal 
patterns of abundance of winter, spring,

[[Page 9491]]

fall and late-fall run Chinook salmon and steelhead trout passing the 
RBDD, and (c) obtain relative abundance information for green sturgeon 
and lamprey to monitor trends in abundance. (8) Life History Studies on 
the Sacramento River SDPS green sturgeon--the goal is to identify 
spawning habitat and larval and monitor juvenile rearing and migration 
movements in the Sacramento River. (9) Sacramento River Winter Chinook 
Salmon Carcass Survey--the carcass survey would help managers estimate 
the annual abundance of winter Chinook salmon spawners. Estimates of 
abundance would be made for both hatchery- and natural-origin fish. The 
research, a whole, would benefit listed fish by adding greatly to a 
large number of datasets that managers use to help them survive and 
recover.
    Under the various studies, juvenile salmon would be observed via 
snorkel surveys and captured using backpack electrofishing, rotary 
screw traps, emergence traps, trammel nets, and beach seines. In 
addition, juvenile salmon would be handled (anesthetized, weighed, 
measured, and checked for marks or tags), and released. A subsample of 
captured those fish may be anesthetized, tissue sampled and passive 
integrated transponder (PIT)-tagged prior to release. A small number of 
juvenile CVS Chinook and CCV steelhead (100 of each) would be 
sacrificed for otolith sampling and analysis. Adult salmon would be 
observed via snorkel surveys or spawning surveys and captured using 
beach seines and fish weirs. Tissues would be collected from any 
carcasses encountered during snorkel surveys. Juvenile green sturgeon 
would be captured (benthic trawls, trammel or gill nets), anesthetized, 
tissue sampled and tagged (PIT or acoustic). Larval green sturgeon 
would be captured using fyke nets. The same procedures described above 
would be performed on larvae captured with fyke nets (tagging would be 
dependent on size). Egg Mats would be used to sample green sturgeon 
larvae and eggs (eggs and larvae would be sacrificed). With the 
exception of the juvenile salmon otolith research (above), the 
researchers are not proposing to kill any of the fish being captured, 
but a small number of fish may be killed as an inadvertent result of 
these activities.

1440-3R

    The Interagency Ecological Program (IEP) is a consortium of nine 
state and Federal agencies that work in partnership with non-
governmental organizations to provide ecological information and 
scientific leadership in managing the San Francisco Bay-Delta estuary. 
The IEP is seeking to renew a permit that allows them to annually take 
adult and juvenile SacR winter-run and CVS Chinook salmon, CV and CCC 
steelhead, and SDPS green sturgeon in the San Francisco Bay-Delta 
Region, California. This permit renewal includes eleven projects.
    The names and purposes of the 11 studies are: (1) The Adult Striped 
Bass Tagging Study--it is designed to quantify the population dynamics 
of Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis) in the San Francisco Estuary and 
thereby provide metrics to inform science-based resource management 
decisions. These metrics include relative and absolute abundance, 
harvest rate, mortality rate, individual growth rates, and large-scale 
movement/migration patterns. (2) The Fall Midwater Trawl Survey--the 
study is a fish monitoring survey that provides trends in abundance and 
distribution of pelagic fish in the upper San Francisco Estuary. (3) 
The adult Sturgeon Population Tagging Study is designed to quantify the 
population dynamics of white and green Sturgeon in the San Francisco 
Estuary and provide metrics to inform science-based resource management 
decisions. These metrics include relative and absolute abundance, 
harvest rates, mortality rates, and individual growth rates. (4) The 
Summer Tow-net Survey is a fish monitoring survey that provides trends 
in abundance and distribution of young pelagic fish in the upper San 
Francisco estuary. (5) The San Francisco Bay Study--its purpose is to 
determine the effects of freshwater outflow on the abundance and 
distribution of fish and mobile crustaceans in the San Francisco 
Estuary, primarily downstream of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. (6) 
The 20-mm Survey is designed to monitor post-larval and juvenile Delta 
Smelt distribution and relative abundance throughout their historical 
spring range in the upper San Francisco estuary. (7) The Yolo Bypass 
Fish Monitoring Program is a monitoring effort designed to help mangers 
understand fish and invertebrate use in the Yolo Bypass seasonal 
floodplain/tidal slough habitat. (8) The Zooplankton Study--its purpose 
is to estimate the abundance of zooplankton taxa and thereby help 
managers assess trends in fish food resources from the eastern San 
Pablo Bay area through the eastern Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and 
Suisun Marsh. The study is also intended to detect and monitor 
zooplankton recently introduced to the estuary and determine their 
effects on native species. (9) The Spring Kodiak Trawl Survey--its 
purpose is to determine the relative abundance and distribution of 
adult Delta Smelt in the San Francisco Bay area and identify the onset 
of spawning. (10) The Suisun Marsh Survey is designed to determine 
effects of the Suisun Marsh Salinity Control Gates operation (as well 
as other anthropogenic habitat changes) and monitor presence and 
abundance for juvenile striped bass, Chinook salmon, and other species 
of concern. (11) The Smelt Larva Survey is intended to provide near 
real-time distribution data for Longfin Smelt larvae in the upper San 
Francisco Estuary. The data generated from this study would be used to 
help improve the effectiveness of water operations, aquatic habitat 
restoration, and fish management practices. The research, as a whole, 
would benefit fish by adding greatly to the knowledge base that state, 
private, and Federal managers depend on to help them make decisions 
about the best ways in which resources can be allocated to help listed 
species recover.
    Under the various projects juvenile salmon would be captured (via 
fyke nets, gill nets, midwater trawls, trammel nets, hoop nets, otter 
trawls, larval fish nets, zooplankton nets, Kodiak trawl nets, rotatory 
screw traps, and beach seine), handled, and released. A small subset of 
the juvenile fish would be captured, anesthetized, measured, weighed, 
tagged, tissue sampled, and released. Adult salmon would be captured 
(via fyke nets, midwater trawls, trammel nets, hoop nets, otter trawls, 
Kodiak trawl nets, and beach seines), handled, and released. A small 
subset of adult salmon would be captured, anesthetized, measured, 
weighed, tagged, tissue sampled and released. Under three of the 
projects (Studies 5, 7, and 9) some adipose-clipped, artificially 
propagated juvenile spring- and winter-run Chinook salmon would 
intentionally be sacrificed to collect coded wire tags (the data from 
which would be used for management purposes). In addition, adult green 
sturgeon would be captured (fyke net, trammel net, midwater trawl, 
otter trawl), handled, and released. A subset of juvenile and adult 
greens sturgeon would be captured, anesthetized, measured, weighed, 
tagged, tissue sampled, and released. With the exception of the 
directed mortality of adipose-clipped juvenile salmon (above), the 
researchers are not proposing to kill any of the fish being captured, 
but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent result 
of these activities.

[[Page 9492]]

13675-3R

    The Fishery Foundation of California is seeking to renew a permit 
that currently allows them to annually take juvenile SacR winter-run 
and CVS Chinook salmon, juvenile CV steelhead, and juvenile SDPS green 
sturgeon in the Sacramento River, CA. Juvenile salmon and green 
sturgeon would be captured (via beach seines and fyke nets), handled, 
and released. The purpose of this research is to evaluate salmon 
presence and habitat in flood plain areas. The data generated from this 
research would benefit listed fish by helping managers design, 
implement, and manage riparian habitat sites along the Sacramento River 
for the purpose of helping anadromous salmonids recover. The 
researchers are not proposing to kill any of the fish being captured, 
but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent result 
of these activities.

15486-3R

    West Fork Environmental is seeking to renew a previously held 
permit that in its new iteration would allow them to capture and handle 
juvenile UCR Chinook salmon, LCR Chinook salmon, UWR Chinook salmon, 
SnkR spr/sum Chinook, SnkR fall Chinook, PS Chinook salmon, LCR coho 
salmon, OC coho salmon, UCR steelhead, SnkR steelhead, MCR steelhead, 
LCR steelhead, UWR steelhead, and PS steelhead during the course of 
headwater stream surveys over wide parts of Oregon and Washington. The 
purpose of the research is to provide owners of industrial forest lands 
and state lands managers with accurate maps of where threatened and 
endangered salmonids are found. The work would benefit the salmon and 
steelhead by helping land managers plan and carry out their activities 
in ways that would have the smallest effect possible on the listed 
fish. The researchers would use backpack electrofishing equipment to 
capture the fish. After capture, the fish would be swiftly released 
without tagging or even handling more than is necessary to ensure that 
they have recovered from the effects of being captured. The West Fork 
Environmental researchers do not intend to kill any listed salmonids, 
but a small number may die as an unintended result of the activities.

15549-3R

    The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) is seeking 
a 5-year permit to expand on and extend work previously conducted under 
other research permits (Permits 1532 and 15549-2R). The research would 
take place in Satus, Ahtanum, Naches, and Toppenish Creeks in 
Washington State. The researchers wish to take juvenile MCR steelhead 
during the course of research designed to determine the fishes' 
freshwater movements and examine how those movements are affected by 
the area's substantially altered hydrograph. They would also collect 
baseline information on stock status and yearly abundance and seek to 
determine whether repeat spawners from a kelt reconditioning program 
run by the Confederated Bands and Tribes of the Yakama Nation are 
successfully reproducing.
    The fish would be captured (via screw traps and backpack 
electrofishing equipment) and then be anesthetized and measured. Some 
would be tissue-sampled for DNA and aging purposes and some would 
receive PIT tags. The information gathered would be used to determine 
the fishes' movements and abundance and monitor the ongoing status of 
the various MCR steelhead populations in the Yakima River subbasin. The 
research would benefit the fish by helping managers determine the 
effectiveness of current recovery measures and design new ones where 
needed. The researchers do not plan to kill any of the fish being 
captured, but a few may die as an unintentional result of the research.

15611-3R

    The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking to renew 
a permit that allows it to take adult LCR Chinook salmon, LCR 
steelhead, LCR coho salmon, and CR chum salmon while operating a fish 
collection facility on the North Fork Toutle River in Washington State. 
The fish collection facility is located at river mile 47.5, 
approximately 1.3 miles (about 2.1 km) downstream from the Mount St. 
Helens Sediment Retention Structure. The purpose of the project is to 
trap and haul salmon and steelhead around the sediment retention 
structure. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife would also 
collect scientific information and tag a portion of the fish to monitor 
migration patterns and spawning success. The activities' primary 
benefit would be to allow listed salmon and steelhead to spawn in 
historically accessible habitat upstream of the sediment retention 
structure. Also, researchers would collect information that would 
increase our understanding of the various species' spawning habits. The 
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife proposes to operate the trap 
several days a week during the species' upstream migration. Captured 
fish would be transported in a tanker truck and released upstream of 
the sediment retention structure. The Washington Department of Fish and 
Wildlife does not intend to kill any fish being captured but some may 
die as an unintentional result of the activities.

16274-2R

    The Mendocino Redwood Company (MRC) is seeking to renew a permit 
that currently allows them to annually take adult and juvenile CCC 
Chinook, CCC steelhead, SONCC coho, and CCC coho salmon in Mendocino 
and Northern Sonoma Counties on Mendocino Redwood Company lands. Adult 
fish would be observed and tissue samples would be collected from 
carcasses found during spawning surveys. Juvenile salmon would be 
observed via snorkel surveys and captured (via backpack electrofishing 
and screw traps), anesthetized, weighed, measured, and released. A 
small subset of juvenile fish would be captured, marked (dye, 
elastomer, or fin clip), PIT-tagged, tissue sampled, and released. The 
purpose of the research is to assess juvenile and adult distribution 
and population structure in streams on MRC's property. The data 
gathered in these studies would benefit listed fish by helping MRC 
better understand salmonid distribution, abundance, and habitat use in 
these areas--and thereby design and carry out their management 
activities in the most fish-friendly way possible. The researchers are 
not proposing to kill any of the fish being captured, but a small 
number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent result of these 
activities.

16290-4R

    The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is seeking to 
renew permit that allows it to take juvenile UWR Chinook salmon, UWR 
steelhead, LCR Chinook salmon, LCR steelhead, LCR coho salmon, and CR 
chum salmon 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 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. Once the fish are captured, they would swiftly 
be counted, allowed to recover, and then

[[Page 9493]]

released back to the sites of their capture. Researchers would avoid 
contact with adult fish at all times. If listed salmonids are captured 
during the research they would be released before processing any other 
fish. The researchers do not expect to kill any listed salmonids but a 
small number may die as an unintended result of the research 
activities.

17077-3R

    The Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California 
at Davis, is seeking to renew a permit that currently allows them to 
annually take adult and juvenile SacR winter-run and CVS Chinook 
salmon, CCV steelhead and SDPS green sturgeon in the Sacramento-San 
Joaquin Delta and Suisun Marsh in the Central Valley, CA. The project 
specifically targets splittail and other native minnow populations, 
however ESA-listed species may be taken as well. Juvenile fish would be 
captured (via otter trawling, beach seining, and electrofishing), 
handled and released. Adult fish would also be captured (via otter 
trawling, beach seining), handled, and released. The purpose of this 
project is to better understand how physical habitats, flow, and other 
factors interact to maintain assemblages of native and non-native 
aquatic species in the upper San Francisco estuary. This study would 
benefit listed fish by providing knowledge about food webs and the 
habitats that support them. It would improve our ability to create and 
restore additional habitat and help managers anticipate the effects of 
drought, climate change, sea level rise, increased temperatures, and 
changing hydrologic conditions. The researchers are not proposing to 
kill any of the fish being captured, but a small number of juveniles 
may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities.

17219-3R

    NMFS's Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Fisheries Ecology 
Division, is seeking to renew a permit that currently allows them to 
annually take juvenile and adult CCC, NC and S-CCC steelhead, and CCC 
and SONCC coho salmon in coastal streams throughout California. 
Juvenile fish would be captured (via screw trap, backpack 
electrofishing, beach seines, hook and line fishing, and hand- or dip 
nets), handled, and released. A subset of the captured fish would be 
anesthetized, sampled (collection of scales, fin clips, or stomach 
contents), marked or tagged (using fin clips, PIT tags, pop-off 
satellite tags, acoustic tags, or radio tags), and released. In limited 
cases, some juvenile steelhead would be captured and euthanized for 
otolith ad contaminant analysis. Adult steelhead and coho would be 
observed via spawning surveys, and tissue samples would be collected 
from carcasses found during those surveys. Adult steelhead would be 
captured (at fish ladders and by hook-and-line angling), tagged, tissue 
sampled, and released.
    The purpose of this research is to support conservation and 
management of ESA-listed anadromous salmonids in California by directly 
addressing information needs that NMFS and other agencies identify for 
the benefit of the listed fish. This data collected would be used to 
elucidate population abundance and dynamics; evaluate factors affecting 
growth, survival, and life-histories; assess life-stage specific 
habitat use and movement; inform various types of models (e.g., 
population, life-cycle, bioenergetics, and habitat-use models); 
determine genetic structure within populations; evaluate the effects 
how activities such as water management and habitat restoration affect 
populations; and develop improved sampling and monitoring methods. With 
the exception of a small number of juvenile steelhead that would be 
sacrificed for otolith and contaminant research (above), the 
researchers are not proposing to kill any of the fish being captured, 
but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent result 
of these activities.

17351-2R

    The Green Diamond Resource Company is seeking to renew a permit 
that currently allows them to annually take juvenile and adult CC 
Chinook, SONCC coho, and NC steelhead on Green Diamond lands in the 
Chetco, Smith, Lower Klamath, Mad-Redwood, and Lower Eel watersheds in 
Northern California. Adult salmon would be observed during spawning 
surveys and tissue samples would be collected from carcasses found 
during those surveys. A small number of adult steelhead may also be 
captured during screw trapping. Juvenile salmon would be captured (via 
backpack electrofishing, snorkel surveys, and screw trapping), handled 
and released. A small subset of juvenile fish would be captured, 
anesthetized, marked, tagged, tissue sampled and released.
    The purpose of this research is to determine fish presence and 
distribution, monitor timing and abundance of out-migrating salmon, 
determine population estimates of summer rearing juveniles, and 
determine habitat use and relative number of spawning adults. The data 
from this research would be used to benefit listed fish by helping 
Green Diamond Resource Company minimize the effects that timber harvest 
activities on their land may have. The researchers are not proposing to 
kill any of the fish being captured, but a small number of juveniles 
may be killed as an inadvertent result of these activities.

18696-5M

    The Idaho Power company is seeking to modify a 5-year permit that 
currently allows them to annually capture juvenile and adult SnkR fall 
Chinook salmon, SnkR spr/sum Chinook salmon, SnkR steelhead, and SnkR 
sockeye salmon while studying juvenile white sturgeon in and near Lower 
Granite Reservoir on the Snake River. The permit would be modified by 
combining it with a similar permit that Idaho Power holds (19846) that 
currently allows it to take those same species while studying bull 
trout in much the same area. The total action area of the two permits 
combined would extend from the confluence of the Snake and Grande Ronde 
Rivers up to the first of the Hells Canyon Complex of dams. The 
researchers would use small-mesh gill nets, benthic otter trawls, and 
hook-and-line angling to capture the fish. The gill net fishing would 
take place at times (October and November) and in areas (the bottom of 
the reservoir) that have purposefully been chosen to have the least 
possible impact on listed fish. When the nets are pulled to the 
surface, listed species would immediately be released (including by 
cutting the net, if necessary) and allowed to return to the reservoir. 
The d-ring fishing would take place in June and July, but the same 
restrictions (immediately releasing listed fish, etc.) would still 
apply. The same is true for the otter trawls that would take place 
solely in July and the angling that would be performed from December-
March.
    The research targets species that are not listed, but the research 
would benefit listed salmonids by generating information about the 
habitat conditions in the Snake River and by helping managers develop 
conservation plans for the species that inhabit it. The researchers are 
not proposing to kill any of the fish they capture, but a small number 
of individuals may be killed as an inadvertent result of the 
activities.

18908-2R

    The Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group (SFEG) is seeking to renew a 
permit that allows them to annually take juvenile PS Chinook salmon and 
PS steelhead while conducting research to monitor how fish use side-
channel habitat in floodplain and tributaries of

[[Page 9494]]

the Skagit River in Washington. Fish would be captured by beach seine, 
handled (weighed, measured, and checked for marks or tags), and 
released. The purpose of the research is to assess juvenile salmonid 
habitat use and relative abundance in off-channel areas and thereby 
help improve efforts to increase access to off-channel areas and 
enhance rearing habitat quality in those areas. The SFEG would use the 
data to identify sites in need of restoration, target enhancement 
efforts, confirm post-project effectiveness, and guide future projects 
so that ongoing work can focus on appropriate areas and help create 
conditions that provide high quality rearing habitat. The project also 
aims to educate the public on the importance of floodplain habitat 
restoration for juvenile salmonids, and would contribute data to other 
regional research projects currently evaluating the role of off-channel 
habitats in salmonid growth and development. The researchers are not 
proposing to kill any fish they capture, but a small number of juvenile 
salmon and steelhead may be killed as an inadvertent result of these 
activities.

19320-2R

    NMFS's Southwest Fisheries Science Center is seeking to renew a 
permit that currently allows them to annually take listed salmonids 
while conducting research designed to: (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; (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. The renewed permit would allow the researchers to take 
juvenile and subadult CC Chinook, CVS Chinook, LCR Chinook, SacR 
winter-run Chinook, SnkR spr/sum Chinook, CCC coho, SONCC coho, CCV 
steelhead, CCC steelhead, and NC steelhead.
    This research would benefit listed fish by informing comprehensive 
lifecycle models that incorporate both freshwater and marine conditions 
and seek to account for the relationship between the two habitats. The 
data would also be used to identify and predict sources of salmon 
mortality at sea and thereby help managers develop indices of salmonid 
survival in the marine environment. Listed fish would be captured 
primarily via surface trawling, however beach seining would be used 
occasionally as would hook-and-line microtrolling. Subadult salmonids 
(i.e., fish larger than 250 mm) that survive capture would have fin 
tissue and scale samples taken, and then be released. During the 
trawling operations, any subadult salmonids that do not survive 
capture, and all juvenile salmonids (i.e., fish larger than 80 mm but 
less than 250 mm) would be lethally sampled (sacrificed) in order to 
collect (1) otoliths for age and growth studies; (2) coded wire tags 
for origin and age of hatchery fish; (3) muscle tissue for stable 
isotopes and/or lipid assays; (4) stomachs and contents for diet 
studies; and (5) other tissues including the heart, liver, intestines, 
pyloric caeca, and kidney for special studies upon request. For the 
other types of capture, some of the fish may be tissue sampled, tagged, 
and released (particularly adults), though some juveniles would still 
be lethally sampled for the reasons just described. In all cases, 
whenever a fish dies simply as a result of being captured, that fish 
would be used in place of an intentional mortality (that is, instead of 
a fish that would otherwise be sacrificed).

19738-2R

    The Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking to 
renew a permit that allows them to annually take juvenile PS Chinook 
salmon and PS steelhead while conducting research in headwater streams 
on DNR-managed lands that drain into Puget Sound. Juvenile fish would 
be detected via backpack electrofishing encounters (considered a 
capture event for this method) and, if stunned, would be netted (dip 
net) and released in a low gradient stream segment or pool and allowed 
to recover. The purpose of this research is to determine fish presence 
in small streams on state-managed lands to ensure that those streams 
are appropriately typed, adequately protected with riparian management 
zones (RMZs), and adequately restored (e.g., via removal of man-made 
structures that limit or restrict fish passage to upstream habitat). 
Data generated by this proposal would benefit listed fish by informing 
land management decision-making (e.g., RMZ width, culvert replacement/
sizing), and it would also be submitted to DNR Forest Practices 
division to improve the existing stream type geographic information 
systems database. The researchers are not proposing to kill any fish 
captured, but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an 
inadvertent result of these activities.

19741-2R

    The Yakama Nation is seeking a 5-year permit to annually take 
juvenile, natural MCR steelhead during the course of a research project 
designed to assess their current abundance in the Rock Creek watershed 
in south central Washington. Under the permit, the researchers would 
employ backpack electrofishing to capture a number of juvenile MCR 
steelhead. Some of those fish would be tagged with PIT-tags, and some 
would be tissue-sampled, but most would simply be handled and released. 
The researchers would work primarily in five reference areas (reaches) 
and they would use mark/recapture techniques to study juvenile 
development and movement in Rock Creek. They would also conduct some 
boat electrofishing in the inundated pool downstream from the research 
area in Rock Creek--primarily to look at predator abundance. In 
addition, the researchers would take tissue samples from dead adults 
during spawning ground surveys. The purpose of the research is to 
assess the current distribution and relative abundance of MCR steelhead 
in selected portions of Rock Creek. That information would be 
integrated with information being collected on other ecological 
parameters and the researches would use that information as a whole to 
determine species status in the system and evaluate the effectiveness 
of several habitat restoration actions that have been going on there 
for a number of years. This research would benefit listed steelhead in 
that it would be used by fish managers such as the Rock Creek Subbasin 
Recovery Planning Group to prioritize to plan restoration, protection, 
and recovery actions for Rock Creek steelhead.

22482-2R

    NMFS's Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) is seeking to 
renew for 5 years a permit that currently allows them to take juvenile 
LCR, SnkR fall-run, UCR spring-run, and UWR Chinook salmon; CR chum 
salmon; LCR coho salmon; SnkR sockeye salmon; and LCR, MCR, SnkR basin, 
UCR, and UWR steelhead. The purpose of the study is to measure 
contaminant levels in resident sculpin in the lower Willamette River 
(Oregon) near a Superfund site with high levels of pollutants. The 
target species for sampling, prickly sculpin, is benthic-feeding and 
has a small home range, thus contaminant analysis of its tissues 
reflects environmental

[[Page 9495]]

conditions at a localized area. Listed salmonids could be 
unintentionally captured during sampling activities. The study results 
would support an ongoing Natural Resource Damage Assessment, the 
purpose of which is to document and quantify injuries to natural 
resources resulting from exposure to hazardous substances. The proposed 
research study would benefit listed species by improving managers' 
understanding of the extent of contamination in the studied habitats 
and informing habitat restoration activities.
    The researchers propose to collect fish between river miles 2 and 
11 of the Willamette River, and at appropriate reference sites nearby 
in the Lower Willamette River. The researchers would conduct sampling 
from August through October. The researchers would use vinyl-coated 
wire shrimp traps with 1.0 cm x 0.5 cm openings and baited with canned 
meat and bait scent. Any listed salmonids that are unintentionally 
captured would be transferred to buckets of aerated water, identified, 
counted, checked for fin clips, passive integrated transponder, and 
coded wire tags, and then swiftly released near the site of capture.

23029-2R

    The NWFSC is seeking to renew a permit that allows them to annually 
take juvenile PS/GB bocaccio rockfish and yelloweye rockfish, juvenile 
PS steelhead, and juvenile and adult PS Chinook salmon and SDPS 
eulachon in several river estuaries and bays of South Puget Sound, 
Washington. Fish would be captured via beach seine or otter trawl, 
handled (identified, measured, checked for marks or tags), and 
released. The goal of this research is to sample juvenile English sole 
and juvenile starry flounder and use the study results to support an 
ongoing Natural Resource Damage Assessment--the purpose of which is to 
document and quantify injuries to natural resources resulting from 
exposure to hazardous substances. The proposed research study would 
benefit listed species by improving managers' understanding of the 
extent of contamination in the studied habitats and helping inform 
habitat restoration activities.
    The researchers are not targeting any ESA-listed fish for capture 
as part of this research, but juveniles and adults may be 
unintentionally captured. The work would benefit listed species by 
helping guide habitat restoration activities in the Puget Sound. The 
researchers are also not proposing to kill any ESA-listed fish, but a 
small number may be killed as an inadvertent result of these 
activities.

23649-2M

    Mount Hood Environmental is seeking to modify a 5-year permit that 
currently allows them to annually take juvenile MCR steelhead from a 
non-essential experimental population (NEP) in the Crooked River 
(Deschutes River watershed) in central Oregon. They are seeking to 
modify the permit by slightly increasing the take they are allotted, 
and the reason for this request is that new information has come to 
light indicating that there may be more steelhead present in the action 
area than previously believed. 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.
    As noted above, the MCR steelhead that currently occupy the action 
area are technically part of an NEP. Taking members of this population 
for scientific purposes is permitted by regulation at 50 CFR 223.301 
but, for the sake of analysis, they are considered part of the listed 
MCR steelhead DPS. The reason for that is that the NEP will expire on 
January 15, 2025--at which point the population will simply be 
considered part of the MCR steelhead DPS (although it should be noted 
the NEP abundance is not currently counted along with the rest of the 
DPS). The proposed work would 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

Permit 24151

    The U.S. Forest Service is seeking a 5-year permit that would allow 
them to take juvenile OC coho salmon during the course of research 
intended to help managers understand how juvenile coho salmon continue 
to thrive in a coastal lake currently containing resident populations 
of trophy predatory fishes (Tahkenitch Lake, Oregon). The researchers 
would use beach seines, minnow traps, and backpack electrofishing to 
capture fish in the tributaries to the lake and boat seines, beach 
seines, and hook-and-line fishing with barbless hooks in the lake and 
along the lake margins. The purpose of the research is to document coho 
salmon habitat shifts (seasonal and otherwise) and determine when and 
where predation by bass is occurring. The captured fish would be 
sedated and then weighed and measured. The fish would then be allowed 
to recover and be released back to the sites of their capture. The 
proposed work would benefit the species by helping managers better 
understand species interaction in critical coastal lake habitat and 
thereby help them take measures to promote coho salmon recovery. The 
researchers do not intend to kill any of the fish being captured, but a 
small number may die as an inadvertent result of the proposed 
activities.

24255

    The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Fish Restoration 
Program, is seeking a new 5-year permit that would allow them to 
annually take juvenile and adult SacR winter-run and CVS Chinook 
salmon, CCV steelhead, and SDPS green sturgeon in the Sacramento-San 
Joaquin Delta including Suisun Marsh and Grizzly Bay. Adult fish would 
be captured (via otter trawl, lampara seine), handled, and released. 
Juvenile fish could be captured (via beach seine, otter trawl, lampara 
seine, zooplankton net, backpack electrofishing) handled, and released. 
The purpose of this research is to monitor food web dynamics and fish 
populations before and after restoration and among reference, restored, 
and pre-restoration sites. This data would be used to assess the 
effectiveness of habitat restoration with regard to native fish 
populations and would therefore benefit listed fish by helping improve 
such restoration activities. The researchers are not proposing to kill 
any of the fish being captured, but a small number of juveniles may be 
killed as an inadvertent result of these activities.

24367

    NMFS's Northwest Fisheries Science Center is seeking a permit that 
would allow them to annually take juvenile PS Chinook salmon, PS 
steelhead, and HC summer-run chum salmon in nearshore areas of the San 
Juan Islands, Whidbey Island, and in the Central and Southern Puget 
Sound, Washington. Fish would be captured by lampara seines, handled 
(weighed, measured, and checked for marks or tags), and released. A 
subset of juvenile PS Chinook salmon and HC

[[Page 9496]]

chum would be intentionally lethally taken (sacrificed) for stable 
isotope analysis. The purposes of the research are (1) to evaluate how 
shoreline restoration affects subtidal use of nearshore habitats by 
fishes--namely salmonids and forage fish, in Puget Sound; and (2) 
assess the role landscape context (particularly shoreline armoring) 
plays in influencing these relationships. Data would be used to 
establish relationships between nearshore subtidal fish abundance and 
the degree of shoreline development, and fish habitat use data would be 
incorporated into the existing Beach Strategies database to further 
inform restoration decisions (and thereby benefit the listed fish). The 
researchers are proposing to kill a small subset of juvenile ESA-listed 
PS Chinook salmon and Hood Canal chum salmon captured, and a small 
number of juveniles of all species may be killed as an inadvertent 
result of sampling activities.

25409

    Researchers from Oregon State University are seeking a 5-year 
permit that would allow them to document changes in fish community 
composition, macroinvertebrate community composition, and water quality 
that result from maintenance activities in agricultural channels. The 
project comes in response to Oregon State legislation (HB 2437 section 
10), and is designed to help managers understand how cleaning and 
maintenance activities in agricultural ditches affect the ecosystems in 
those ditches. The researchers would capture fish by electrofishing, 
minnow traps, and seine nets in 50-meter, closed-off (with mesh block 
nets) channel sections. Minnow traps would be deployed the afternoon 
before the sampling day and be checked the following morning before the 
next capture method is deployed. Seine netting would be used when the 
site is safely accessible to capture animals that are not easily caught 
(too large) in minnow traps. Electrofishing would be used after both 
other methods are completed and would be conducted in a one-pass 
collecting event. Once collected, the fish would be housed in aerated 
containers, weighed, measured, and then released back to the sites of 
their capture. The research would benefit the listed species by helping 
mangers understand how a common agricultural practices--ditch cleaning 
and maintenance--affects them and the habitats upon which they depend. 
The researchers do not intend to kill any of the fish being captured, 
but some may die as an inadvertent result of the activities.

25463

    The Moss Landing Marine Lab is seeing a new 5-year permit that 
would allow them to annually take adult and juvenile SacR winter-run, 
CVS, and CC Chinook salmon; SONCC and CCC coho salmon; CCV, CCC, NC, S-
CCC and SC steelhead; and SDPS steelhead throughout California. Fish 
would be captured (via electrofishing, hook-and-line angling, otter 
trawls, cast nets, beach seines, gill nets, and minnow traps), handled, 
and released. The Moss Landing Marine Laboratories' Marine Pollution 
Studies Lab is a primary contributor to the California State Water 
Board's Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program's Bioaccumulation 
Oversight Group. Results from these efforts in streams, rivers, lakes, 
reservoirs, bays, harbors, and coastal water bodies in California would 
be used to (1) measure contaminant levels in fish and shellfish over 
time to track temporal trends and evaluate the effectiveness of 
management efforts; (2) help managers evaluate contaminant spatial 
patterns; (3) perform Clean Water Act assessments; and (4) create and 
update human health advisories and assessments. Fish sampling would 
occur in California's anadromous and non-anadromous water bodies 
(streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, bays, harbors, and coastal) using 
various methods of take that would be variably employed to minimize 
risk to (non-targeted) listed species. Tissue samples would be analyzed 
for contaminants such as (but not limited to) mercury, metals, 
selenium, PCBs, legacy pesticides, and contaminants of emerging 
concern. The research would benefit listed fish by helping managers 
keep track of contaminants throughout the state and develop response 
plans accordingly. The researchers are not proposing to kill any of the 
listed fish being captured, but a small number of juveniles may be 
killed as an inadvertent result of these activities.

25466

    Tim Salamunovich, Senior Fish Biologist for TRPA Fish Biologists, 
is seeing a new 5-year permit that would allow him to annually take 
juvenile and adult steelhead in Ulatis Project Flood Control channels 
in (mainly) channelized portions of Ulatis, New Alamo, Sweeney, Gibson, 
Canyon, Horse, and McCune creeks in the Lower Sacramento River, CA. 
Fish would be captured via backpack electrofishing, anesthetized, 
measured, weighed, tissue sampled, and released. The purpose of this 
research is to assess fish population responses to managed flows by 
collecting biological data (lengths, weights, and counts) on the fish 
populations in order to monitor their distribution and diversity as 
well as their overall condition and health. The data from this research 
would be used to update information on the distribution, relative 
abundance, diversity, and health of fish in Ulatis Project stream 
channels and would therefore benefit the fish by helping managers 
operate the channels in as fish-friendly a manner as possible. The 
researchers are not proposing to kill any of the fish being captured, 
but a small number of juveniles may be killed as an inadvertent result 
of these activities.

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 parts 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

    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: February 9, 2021.
Angela Somma,
Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, 
National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-02989 Filed 2-12-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P