Board of the Department of Natural Resources
Adjacent to Woodbury WMA
Marion County, SC
November 13, 2009 9:00 a.m.
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, November 13, 2009, at Ark Lodge, Marion County, SC. Notice of the date, time and place of the meeting was posted and mailed to the news media. Chairman Mike McShane presided at the meeting. Board members present included Michael Campbell, Stephen Davis, John Evans, Frank Murray and Norman Pulliam. Board member Caroline Rhodes’ absence was excused. Director John Frampton and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting.
- Call to Order
Chairman Mike McShane called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Chairman McShane asked Rev. Eric Skidmore to offer the invocation.
- Pledge of Allegiance
Vice Chairman, Michael Campbell, led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Introduction of Guests
Don Winslow, Chief of Staff, introduced Allan Weiss, Striped Bass Stakeholders Group; Brad and Coleen Critcher, meeting hosts; Hilton McLeod, meeting host; and Douglas Ford, Director of Research, Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee.
- Constituent Comments
Mr. Winslow informed the Board that Alan Weiss requested the opportunity to comment to the Board. Following are the comments Mr. Weiss submitted and read.
Mr. Chairman and members of the board:
I am Allan Weiss and I am pleased to be here this morning representing the Santee Cooper Striped Bass Stakeholders. I have been asked to provide you with following information:
- As you are aware, our first recommendation, i.e. New Harvest Restrictions, was a time focused issue, as we were challenged by participating members of the South Carolina General Assembly to develop and present consensus recommendations in a time frame which would allow for legislative action by January, 2008. We applaud both their and DNR efforts in that process. While this was an important first step, we feel that additional efforts are required. A list of the three recommendations forwarded to Director Frampton are a much higher priority than the New Harvest Restrictions in order to insure the return the of the Santee Cooper Striped Bass fishery. Santee Cooper Striped Bass Stakeholders continue to meet regularly and plan to remain intact for the foreseeable future. While our group is not as large as it used to be, we have retained a diverse membership that includes recreational fishermen, members of fishing clubs, biologists, fishing guides, local business owners, tourism and economic development organizations, and the Santee Cooper Corporation.
Approval of Minutes
- We are alarmed by reports of striper mortality due to catch-and-release during the summer months. As you are aware, the stress related to catch-and-release in warm waters leads to increased mortality. There is consensus among stakeholders that the regulations on striped bass fishing in the Santee Cooper system (HR 4548) should be strengthened to address problems related to catch-and-release. We support new language that will penalize anglers who “target” striped bass during the summer months.
- Anecdotal information from members of our group leads us to believe that there are many anglers who are not aware of the changes to the striped bass regulations. In spite of the fact that these changes are listed in DNR’s annual rules and regulations, some anglers are operating under the assumption that the previous rules are still in place. In that connection, the stakeholders support and encourage DNR’s efforts to educate the public with respect to the new regulations and the reasons why the changes were needed. We also feel that enforcement has an important role to play with respect to education.
- The stakeholders have been providing input to DNR fisheries staff with respect to the McConnell amendment to HR 4548. As you may be aware, this amendment states that “DNR shall review the high mortality rates of [striped bass] fingerlings and make a report to the chairmen of the Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee and the House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee on its recommendations and actions to improve these rates within eighteen months after the effective date of this act.”
The stakeholders were recently allowed to review a draft of this report and there is unanimous agreement that DNR fisheries staff have done an outstanding job. Only minor changes were suggested by our group. Jim Bulak, Scott Lamprecht, Ross Self and the rest of the fisheries staff are to be commended for their work on this report.
- In closing, we look forward to continuing our mutually beneficial relationship with DNR to protect striped bass and other species. We plan on attending upcoming board meetings to keep you updated. Please let us know if we can be of service in the future.
Chairman McShane asked if there were any amendments, additions, deletions or corrections to the October 15, 2009, meeting minutes. Mr. Davis made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the October 15, 2009, meeting, as submitted. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Advisory Committee Reports
Items for Board Information
- Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series
Robert Boyles, Deputy Director for Marine Resources, informed the Board that the Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series Advisory Board met on October 22. Mr. Boyles reported that Pat Welch and Bryan Richardson, representing the Bohicket Tournament; respectfully asked to be reinstated into the Series. A motion was made and passed to reinstate the Bohicket Tournament for the dates May12-15. Richard Coen spoke representing the Ownership Group of the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina. He gave a presentation proposing a new tournament be added to the Governor’s Cup Series. The Governor’s Cup Board would send the Ownership Group a letter outlining the protocol for proposing new tournaments. Since then Richard Coen contacted the Advisory Board as well as the Tournament Committee withdrawing the proposal. The Advisory Board had discussions regarding the minimum size requirement of a landed blue marlin. During the August GCAB meeting, the Board voted to reduce the minimum size from 110” to 105”. After much discussion, the Board deferred the issue back to the Tournament Committee to consider returning to a 110” minimum based upon the data provided. The Advisory Board also made and passed the following four motions: to approve the Edisto Marina tournament dates brought forth from the Tournament Committee. (July 28-31); to reserve the Governor’s Cup Mansion for the 2011 Awards ceremony; to appoint Pete Loy (who was serving the remainder of Stephen Chryst’s term) to the Governor’s Cup Advisory Board for a 1st term; and to reappoint Dr. Rhett Spenser, Ed Holder, J. Shannon to a 2nd term on the Governor’s Cup Advisory Board.
- Saltwater Recreational Fisheries
Mr. Boyles informed the Board that the Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee met on October 27. The Advisory Committee received presentations on seasonal and inter-annual changes in offshore reef fish assemblages associated with hydrographic, meteorological and climatic conditions and a five-year review of shellfish recycling and shellfish review. The Advisory Committee received a review of Saltwater License Revenue Projections and Potential Mid-Year additions (funding) to programs which are currently being funded with 2009-2010 License revenue. The Committee made and passed a motion to recommend to the DNR Board that the MRD move forward with Funding and potential Mid-Year Additions. Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board approve the proposed projects – Saltwater License Funding as included in the Board meeting package and recommended by the Advisory Committee. Mr. Campbell seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The Committee also discussed projects for Fiscal Year2010-2011. The Advisory Committee also made and passed a motion to recommend to the DNR Board to change the Saltwater License to year from date of purchase.
Breck Carmichael, Deputy Director for Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, reported that the Waterfowl Advisory Committee met November 3. The Advisory Committee viewed the 2009 Status Report from US Fish and Wildlife Service. The Advisory Committee received presentations on the management of the Yawkey Wildlife Center and the Hunter and Angler Recruitment and Retention Plan. The Advisory Committee received reports on the 2010 legislative priorities and the results from the listening session thus far.
- Heritage Trust
Ken Rentiers, Deputy Director for Land, Water and Conservation, informed the Board that the Heritage Trust Advisory Board met November 5. The Advisory Board the approved management plans for Woods Bay, Segars McKinnon and Little Pee Dee Heritage Preserves; the transfer for $2.6 million for Phase II of the Belfast project; and the registration agreement with Cheraw State Park, as amended. The Advisory Board reviewed the Mt. Pleasant Land Conservancy Easement. The Advisory Board made a motion to recommend to the DNR Board to move forward with appropriate action regarding the road at Lewis Ocean Bay. The Advisory Board reviewed the Heritage Trust Budget.
Mr. Rentiers reported that York, Chester, Fairfield, Lancaster, Kershaw, Chesterfield, Marlboro, Dillon and Darlington counties remain in incipient drought status. Mr. Rentiers reviewed rainfall totals, precipitation percentiles, streamflows, lake levels and ground-water monitoring wells around the state.
Items for Board Action
- Recommendations for Apprentice License and Multi-Year License
Mr. Winslow reviewed the recommendations for apprentice license and multi-year license as included in the Board meeting package. Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board approve the recommendation for the Apprentice License, clarifying there is no renewal, as proposed and move forward with legislation. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. Mr. Davis made a motion that the Board approve the recommendation for the multi-year license as presented. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Legislation to Address ASMFC Actions
Mr. Boyles distributed a news release regarding the adoption of Addendum IV by the ASMFC Weakfish Board. This news release states that Addendum IV requires states to implement a one fish recreational creel limit in response to depleted stock status. Mr. Evans made a motion that legislation be prepared and included in the 2010 legislative package to implement a one fish recreational creel limit for weakfish. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- 2010 Legislative Package
Derrick Meggie informed the Board that the only legislation for consideration at this meeting is the Game and Fish Point System Rewrite. Mr. Campbell made a motion that the Board approve the Game and Fish Point System Rewrite legislation as presented. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Proposed Emergency Regulations – Mobility Impaired Waterfowl Hunts
Mr. Carmichael reviewed the Proposed Emergency Regulations for Mobility Impaired Waterfowl Hunts and informed the Board that this would allow DNR to work with the US Forest Service on mobility impaired hunts at Duncan Creek and Tyger River. Mr. Davis made a motion that the Board approved the Proposed Emergency regulations – Mobility Impaired Waterfowl Hunts as presented. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Yawkey Sanctuary Agreement Renewal Mr. Carmichael reviewed the Yawkey Sanctuary Agreement Renewal as included in the Board meeting package. Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board approve the Yawkey Sanctuary Agreement Renewal as presented. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Woodbury WMA Management Plan
Sam Stokes, Jr., Region 3 Wildlife Management Coordinator gave the Board a brief presentation on the Woodbury WMA and reviewed the management plan as included in the Board meeting package. Mr. Campbell made a motion that the Board approve the Woodbury WMA Management Plan as presented. Mr. Murray seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Frampton gave the Board an update on the budget noting that there has been a reduction in force, and it is anticipated that there will be another 2 – 3% cut in Janaury.
Mr. Frampton participated in the American Sportfishing Association Board of Directors meeting and the 2009 Sportfishing Summit. As a result of participation on this Board and the opportunity to interact with industry representatives, Shamino has provided DNR with rods and reels for use with the fishing simulators.
Mr. Frampton met with National Wild Turkey Federation staff on the Belfast fundraiser and on the multi-state conservation grant to address recruitment and retention of hunters.
Mr. Frampton reminded the Board of the 20th Anniversary ACE Basin Celebration on Sunday, November 22, at Willtown Bluff Plantation on Yonges Island.
Bob Perry, Director of Environmental Programs, distributed and reviewed a summary of environmental issues. They included the SCE&G Saluda Project – Maintenance, Emergency and Low Inflow Protocol One-Foot Trigger which outlined concerns about SCE&G’s proposal of a one-foot trigger instead of a two-foot trigger; the Draft Environmental Assessment and Draft Finding of No Significant Impact for a Temporary Deviation to the US Army Corps of Engineers Savannah River Basin Drought Contingency Plan; and a letter to DHEC concerning the Draft South Carolina Mercury Reduction Strategy.
Deputy Directors’ Reports
- Law Enforcement
Nothing further to report.
- Outreach and Support Services
Nothing further to report.
- Marine Resources
Nothing further to report.
- Land, Water and Conservation
Nothing further to report.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Nothing further to report.
At this time, Mr. Campbell made a motion for the Board to hold an Executive Session to discuss legal matters and personnel issues. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Return to Regular Session
Mr. Campbell made a motion that the Board return to regular session and noted that no actions were taken in Executive Session. Mr. Murray seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Campbell made a motion that the Board approve to enter into the Subordination Agreement with Lowcountry Open Land Trust to allow the Evviva Contract to be subordinate to the Lowcounty Open Land Trust Conservation Easement. Mr. Davis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. Chairman McShane abstained from signing the document due to his affiliation with Lowcountry Open Land Trust.
Mr. Davis made a motion that the Board adopt The Heritage Trust Advisory Board recommendation on the placement of Target Road at the Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve in Horry County, and approve the expenditure of an additional $10,000 from the Heritage Trust Fund for legal fees in the event existing approved funds are insufficient for these purposes. Mr. Murray seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Time and Location of the Next Meetings
The December Board meeting will be held Thursday, December 10, 2009, in Columbia.
The January Board meeting will be held Thursday, January 28, 2010, in Columbia.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.