The party States, for the purpose of promoting the restoration of Anadromous Atlantic salmon, hereinafter referred to as Atlantic salmon, to the Connecticut River basin by the development of a regional program for stocking, protection, management, research and regulation, do hereby establish the Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Commission.
Each state joining herein shall appoint two representatives to said commission. One shall be the executive officer of the administrative agency of such state charged with the management of the fisheries resources to which this compact pertains, or his designee. The second shall be a member of the public who shall have a knowledge of and interest in Atlantic salmon, to be appointed by the governor for a term of three years. The director of the northeast region of the Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Department of the Interior or his designee and the director of the northeast region of the National Marine Fisheries Service, United States Department of Commerce or his designee shall be members of said commission. The commission shall be a body corporate with the powers and duties set forth herein.
The duty of said commission shall be to make inquiry and ascertain from time to time such methods, practices, circumstances and conditions as may be disclosed for bringing about the restoration of Atlantic salmon to the Connecticut River and its tributaries.
To promote the restoration, preservation and protection of Atlantic salmon in the Connecticut River basin the commission may draft and recommend to the governors of the various signatory states legislation to accomplish this end. The commission shall, more than sixty days prior to any regular meeting of the legislature of any signatory state, present to the governor of the state its recommendations relating to proposed enactments to be made by the legislature of the state in furthering the intents and purposes of this compact.
The commission shall have the power to recommend to the states party hereto stocking programs, management procedures and research projects and when two or more states party hereto shall jointly stock waters or undertake cooperative management or research, the commission shall act as the coordinating agency. The commission using all available means, shall encourage acquisition by the signatory states of river bank, river bed and access thereto.
The commission shall consult with and advise the pertinent administrative agencies in the signatory states with regard to other anadromous species and their potential impact or the potential impact of sport fisheries and commercial fisheries for other anadromous species on the restoration of Atlantic salmon to the Connecticut River basin.
In the interest of developing a sound program of Atlantic salmon management, the commission shall promulgate regulations governing Atlantic salmon fishing in the main stem of the Connecticut River in all four signatory states as hereinafter provided. Such regulations may: (1) Establish the open and closed seasons for Atlantic salmon which may vary by river section, (2) establish hours, days of period during the open season when fishing for Atlantic salmon shall not be permitted in designated areas, (3) prescribe the legal methods of taking Atlantic salmon including the type of gear such as gaffs, landing nets or tailers which may be used to assist in landing such fish, (4) establish the minimum legal length for Atlantic salmon and (5) establish the daily creel limit, the season creel limit and the possession limit for Atlantic salmon. The commission shall recommend, review and issue comments on such regulations as may be promulgated by the signatory states governing Atlantic salmon fishing in tributary streams. The states of Connecticut and Massachusetts agree to make available for brook stock, from fish taken in the fish passage facilities at the Rainbow Reservoir Dam and the Holyoke Power Company Dam, such numbers of adult Atlantic salmon as the commission deems necessary to carry out the Atlantic salmon restoration program.
The commission shall have the power to issue a Connecticut River Basin Atlantic Salmon License and the sale of such licenses shall be handled by the individual signatory states or their authorized agents. The individual signatory states shall be accountable to the commission for all such licenses and the moneys received therefrom. The initial fee for such licenses shall be determined by majority vote of the commission but shall not exceed the maximum resident angling license fee of the signatory states except that the commission may upon a determination of need and with the unanimous approval of its membership increase such license and issuing fee. The individual signatory states or their issuing agents may retain a recording fee of up to fifty cents for each license issued. Forms for such license shall be provided to the signatory states by the commission. Such license shall be a legal prerequisite for any person including minors fishing for or possessing Atlantic salmon in the waters or on the shores of the Connecticut River and all of its tributaries. In addition to said Connecticut River Basin Atlantic Salmon License, all persons, except those specifically exempted because of age, disability or other limitation as determined by statute or regulations of the individual signatory states shall be required to possess a valid resident or nonresident sport fishing license issued by the state in which such person is fishing. The commission shall recognize that in certain waters or sections of waters a daily rod permit may also be required, such daily rod permit to be issued by the state in which such waters or sections of waters are located, however, the signatory states shall not, by fee, distinguish between residents and nonresidents. The authority to limit the numbers of persons fishing for Atlantic salmon in certain tributaries or sections of certain tributaries shall remain the prerogative of the individual signatory states.
The respective police agencies of the signatory states shall have the authority to enforce all of the regulations and license requirements of the commission any place in the Connecticut River basin.
The commission shall have the authority to accept gifts, state grants and federal funds. The commission shall have the authority to expend money from fees collected for Connecticut River Basin Atlantic Salmon Licenses or from such other funds available to the commission to finance the cost of stocking, management or research carried on by signatory states to further the purposes of this compact. Such funds shall be in the form of direct grants to the agency of such state charged with the management of the fisheries resources and may be up to one hundred per cent of the cost of projects approved by a majority vote of the commission.
The commission shall elect from its number a chairman and a vice chairman and at its pleasure may remove such officers. Said commission shall adopt rules and regulations for the conduct of its business. At such time as funds are available to the commission the commission may establish and maintain an office for the transaction of its business. The commission may meet at any time or place but must meet at least semiannually.
The commission shall have the authority to expend money from available commission funds to reimburse its membership for necessary travel expenses.
At such time as funds are available the commission may employ and discharge at its pleasure such personnel as may be required to carry out the provisions of this compact and shall fix and determine their duties, qualifications and compensation.
There shall be established a technical committee to consist of one fishery biologist from each of the signatory states, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service to act in an advisory capacity to the commission. The technical committee shall have the authority to request employees of the signatory states, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service or others who have special fields of expertise to act as special advisors to the committee. At such time as funds are available the commission may reimburse technical committee members and special advisors for necessary travel expenses.
No action shall be taken by the commission in regard to its general affairs except by affirmative vote of a majority of members present at any meeting, provided there is a quorum. A quorum shall consist of a simple majority of all members of the commission. No action shall be taken at any meeting of the commission unless each signatory state is represented at any such meeting. No recommendation or allotment of grant funds shall be made by the commission except by the affirmative vote of a majority of the members.
Continued absence of representation or of any representative on the commission from any party hereto shall be brought to the attention of the governor thereof.
The states signatory hereto agree to make an annual appropriation to the initial support of the commission in the amount of one thousand dollars for each of the first three years that this compact is in effect.
The commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements and shall report to the governor and the legislature of each state party to this compact on or before the tenth day of January of each year, setting forth in detail the transactions conducted by it during the twelve months preceding January first of that year. The Comptroller of the state of Connecticut is hereby authorized and empowered from time to time to examine the accounts and books of the commission, including its receipts, disbursements, grants and such other items referring to its financial standing as such Comptroller may deem proper and to report the results of such examination to the governor of said state.