[Federal Register: August 5, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 151)]
[Page 45470-45471]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

[[Page 45470]]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R8-MB-2008-N0153; 80213-9410-0000-7B]

Federal Sport Fish Restoration; California Department of Fish and 
Game Fish Hatchery and Stocking Program

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of intent to prepare a joint environmental impact 
statement/ environmental impact report (EIS/EIR); announcement of 
public scoping meetings.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), intend to serve 
as the lead agency, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) of 1969, as amended, in the preparation of a joint EIS/EIR for 
the California Department of Fish and Game's (CDFG) Fish Hatchery and 
Stocking Program (Program). Under the Sport Fish Restoration Act 
(SFRA), FWS currently proposes to fund actions associated with the 
operation of CDFG's 13 trout hatcheries (listed below) and the Mad 
River anadromous fish hatchery, including stocking from those 14 
hatcheries. The Federal action would not include funding CDFG's private 
stocking permit program. The CDFG will serve as the lead agency under 
the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) analyzing the 
hatcheries' operations funded by the SFRA, as well as CDFG's entire 
fish hatchery program. This notice announces two public scoping 
meetings on our intended actions.

DATES: Two public scoping meetings will be held to solicit public input 
on the alternatives, concerns, and issues to be addressed in the EIS/
EIR. The meeting dates are:
    1. Monday, September 8, 2008, from 4 to 6:30 p.m., Sacramento, 
    2. Thursday, September 11, 2008, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Carson, 

ADDRESSES: The public scoping meeting locations are:
    1. Sacramento--Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, Main Floor, 828 I 
Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.
    2. Carson--Carson Community Center, First Floor, Adult Activities 
Room, 3 Civic Plaza Drive, Carson, CA 90745.
    Send comments on the scope of the EIS/EIR to Ms. Jill Wright, Fish 
and Wildlife Service, 2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-2606, Sacramento, CA 
95825; via e-mail to dfghatcheryeir@dfg.ca.gov; or via fax to (916) 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Jill Wright, (916) 978-6182.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FWS intends to serve as the lead agency in 
the preparation of a joint EIS/EIR for CDFG's Program. Under the SFRA, 
FWS has the authority to approve grants and provide Federal funds to 
support actions associated with the Program. FWS currently proposes to 
fund the 13 trout hatcheries (listed below) and the Mad River 
anadromous fish hatchery. The combined EIS/EIR document will provide 
NEPA compliance for the FWS's discretionary action regarding the 
issuance of Federal funds under the SFRA to support these hatchery 
operations, including stocking, which provides freshwater angling 
opportunities and recreation throughout the State. The Federal action 
does not include funding CDFG's private stocking permit program.
    The CDFG will serve as the lead agency under the California 
Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) analyzing the hatcheries' operations 
funded by the SFRA, as well as its entire CDFG fish hatchery program. 
The purpose of CDFG's Program is to implement the requirements of AB 7 
(2005), which requires certain production amounts of trout from CDFG 
hatcheries, as well as to comply with a court order regarding the 
adequacy of environmental review of CDFG's continuing hatcheries 
program, which stocks various trout species, one species of char, and 
anadromous fish species in the inland waters of California.
    The CDFG has been rearing and stocking fish in the inland waters of 
California since the late 1800s, when the State of California enacted 
legislation to restore and preserve fish in State waters. This 
legislation called for the newly formed California State Fish and Game 
Commission, to establish ``fish breederies'' to stock and supply 
streams, lakes, and bays with both foreign and domestic fish. Since 
that time in the late 1800s, the CDFG has continued that mandate by 
rearing and stocking both inland and anadromous species of fish reared 
at 21 hatcheries and planting bases located throughout the State.
    The CDFG is proposing to continue this objective of stocking 
hatchery-reared inland and anadromous fish for the recreational use of 
anglers, per the requirements of AB 7 and subject to the mandates of 
the court order, while balancing the interaction between hatchery-
stocked fish and threatened and endangered species, and other 
environmental effects. Hatchery operations and stocking activities 
associated with the CDFG's inland water hatchery program will be 
evaluated for their effects on the environment, including potential 
impacts to native species, such as native amphibians, which have 
recently experienced a decline within the State of California.
    The CDFG will also evaluate its issuance of stocking permits to 
private parties seeking to stock fish in California's inland waters. 
However, activities associated with CDFG's permitting of private 
stocking are not eligible for Federal funding under the SFRA and are 
not within the scope of the NEPA action.
    The CDFG currently operates 13 trout hatcheries and 8 anadromous 
fish hatcheries throughout the State, rearing 5 trout species and 3 
salmon species. The trout species include rainbow, brown, brook, 
cutthroat, and golden. The salmon species include Chinook, Coho, and 
Kokanee. Operations associated with 1 anadromous (Mad River) and all 13 
trout hatcheries are eligible for SFRA grants from FWS.
    The trout hatcheries are:

Mount Shasta (Siskiyou County), 3 North Old Stage Road, Mt. 
Shasta, CA 96067.
Darrah Springs (Tehama County), 29661 Wildcat Road, Paynes Creek, CA 
Crystal Lake (Shasta County), 40158 Baum Lake Road, Cassel, CA 96016.
American River (Sacramento County), 2001 Nimbus Road, Gold River, CA 
Moccasin Creek (Tuolumne County), Highway 49 and 120, Moccasin, CA 
Hot Creek (Mono County), 85 Old School Road, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546.
Fish Springs (Inyo County), 215 Fish Springs Road, Big Pine, CA 93513.
Mount Whitney (Inyo County), 1 Golden Trout Circle, 
Independence, CA 93526.
Black Rock Fish Hatchery (Inyo County) Annex of Mount Whitney Hatchery, 
1 East Black Rock Springs Road, Independence, CA 93526.
San Joaquin (Fresno County), 17372 Brook Trout Drive, Friant, CA 93626.
Fillmore (Ventura County), 612 East Telegraph Road, Fillmore, CA 93016.
Mojave (San Bernardino County), 12550 Jacaranda Avenue, Victorville, CA 
Kern River Planting Base (Kern County), 14400 North Sierra Way, 
Kernville, CA 93238.
Silverado Planting Base (Napa County), 7329 Silverado Trail, 
Yountville, CA 94599.

[[Page 45471]]

    The anadromous fish hatcheries are:

Iron Gate (Siskiyou County), 8638 Lakeview Road, Hornbrook, CA 96044.
Mad River (Humboldt County), 1660 Hatchery Road, Arcata, CA 95521.
Trinity River (Trinity County), 1000 Hatchery Drive, Lewiston, CA 
Feather River (Butte County), 5 Table Mountain Blvd., Oroville, CA 
Feather River Thermalito Annex (Butte County), 4700 Highway 99, 
Oroville, CA 95965.
Warm Springs (Sonoma County), 3246 Skaggs Springs Road, Geyserville, CA 
Nimbus (Sacramento County), 2001 Nimbus Rd., Ste. F, Gold River, CA 
Mokelumne (San Joaquin County), 25800 North McIntire Road, Clements, CA 
Merced River (Merced County), 4998 Robinson Road, Snelling, CA 95369.

    Over the past 6 years, the CDFG has planted over 49 million 
combined salmon and trout in hundreds of locations, including some high 
mountain lakes, low elevation reservoirs, and various streams and 
creeks. It is anticipated that the production of trout species will 
increase as a result of the implementation of AB 7. This increase in 
production will be achieved through options within the existing 
hatchery system and through the continued assistance of SFRA funding. 
If the SFRA funding is withdrawn, it may be necessary for CDFG to cut 
other activities to meet the AB 7 fish production goals. The CDFG has 
also issued approximately 80 private stocking permits annually, with 
the majority being issued to individuals stocking rainbow, brook and 
brown trout; channel and bullhead catfish; large mouth bass; white and 
black crappie; bluegill; redear; mosquito-fish; white and green 
sturgeon; and triploid grass carp.

Purpose and Need

    The EIS must explain the underlying purpose and need to which the 
Lead Agency is responding in proposing the action. The purpose of this 
FWS action is to provide Federal SFRA funds to CDFG to support actions 
associated with their fish hatchery and stocking program (the 13 trout 
hatcheries (listed above) and the Mad River anadromous fish hatchery) 
to provide sportfishing recreation in California. The funds are needed 
to support angler success within both urban and rural waterbodies. SFRA 
funds will not, however, be used to support private stocking permits.


Proposed Action Alternative

    Under the proposed action, FWS will continue to provide funding for 
CDFG's 13 hatcheries and the Mad River anadromous fish hatchery.

No Action Alternative

    Under the No Action Alternative, the FWS would not approve SFRA 
grant funds to be used by CDFG to support actions associated with the 
operations of their fish hatcheries and fish stocking program. Because 
of the State statutory and public trust requirements related to the 
hatchery program, CDFG would attempt to continue to implement its State 
hatchery program, seeking other funding sources to replace the Federal 

Other Alternatives

    In the EIS, FWS will consider a range of alternatives that could 
accomplish the proposed action's purpose and need. FWS will be 
rigorously exploring and objectively evaluating a reasonable range of 
alternatives with the proposed action and no action alternatives, 
taking into account the feasibility of the alternatives, as well as the 
ability to address significant impacts on the human environment.

Special Assistance for Public Scoping Meetings

    If special assistance is required at the scoping meetings, please 
contact Ms. Jill Wright, (916) 978-6182, or via e-mail at Jill_
Wright@fws.gov. Please notify Ms. Wright as far in advance of the 
meetings as possible to enable the Service to secure the needed 
services. If a request cannot be honored, the requestor will be 

Public Disclosure

    Before including your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, 
or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should 
be aware that your entire comment--including your personal identifying 
information--may be made publicly available at any time. While you can 
ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying 
information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be 
able to do so.

    Dated: July 30, 2008.
Tom McCabe,
Acting Deputy Regional Director, California and Nevada Region, 
Sacramento, California.
[FR Doc. E8-17910 Filed 8-4-08; 8:45 am]