Removal of Nonnative Invasive Species

Removal of any individuals of nonnative invasive species (e.g., bullfrogs, nonnative crayfish, or nonnative fishes) is encouraged as practicable to facilitate conditions for project success. The Project Proponent is responsible for ensuring that these activities comply with the California Fish and Game Code. Suspected hybrid California tiger salamander will not be removed without specific authorization from USFWS (and CDFW, in accordance with their requirements). More details on nonnative animal removal are provided below.

1. In federally-listed aquatic species occupied habitat, a USFWS-Approved Biologist will be present during removal activities. Less experienced personnel assisting with removal efforts will get confirmation of species identification of all vertebrates prior to collection and removal.

2. All individuals participating in removal activities will have training in identification of Covered Species that might be present and nonnative species proposed for removal and proper techniques for all planned removal methods prior to the initiation of removal activities.

3. Crew size, along with the amount of time spent in any given habitat area, will be kept to the minimum necessary. Repeated disturbance of any given area within a single year will be avoided unless necessary for eradication purposes. 4. To the extent feasible, both native and nonnative fauna will be examined for signs of diseases or parasites soon after capture, and any abnormalities will be photographed and documented.

5. Prior to initiation of electrofishing activities in Covered Species habitat, the names and credentials of all electrofishing crew leaders will be submitted for review and approval by USFWS.

6. The USFWS-approved electrofishing crew leader will provide training to the crew regarding potential risks associated with electrofishing and injury to Covered Species. The crew will also be trained to identify signs of injury and appropriate response.

7. Electrofishing will be conducted using the minimum pulse rate and width that is effective. Only direct or pulsed direct current will be used. In shallow waters, undercut banks, near algal mats or other areas where Covered Species can be concentrated or are more likely to come into close contact with electrofishing equipment, the amount of time spent electrofishing will be minimized.

8. If any Covered Species are immobilized by electrofishing activities, they will be carefully removed from the water body by a USFWS-Approved Biologist until activities are completed. These individuals will be held for the minimum amount of time necessary and monitored until they are completely mobile and then returned to the point of capture.

9. Handling of individuals (e.g., arroyo toad, California red-legged frog) may occur if they are inadvertently collected by net or trap, in accordance with procedures for handling in AMP-11 and FISH 3. These individuals will be released at the place of capture or will be relocated to the nearest available suitable habitat.

10. Gill nets will be used upstream and downstream of occupied stream stretches, but not in stream stretches where Covered Species might occur. Where gill nets are used, they will not be left unattended overnight

11. If traps are used, they will be carefully monitored to minimize the potential for injury and mortality of nontarget species. Fish traps will be used under the following conditions: (a) fish traps will be checked a minimum of once a day; (b) fish traps will be set so that air will be available at the top of the trap; and (c) if predator tracks adjacent to or signs of predator tampering with fish traps occur, these traps will be closed for a period of time until predator activity is no longer detected.