Wednesday, 9:00 a.m., June 3, 1998Commission Hearing Room
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Agenda Item No.
|Approval of the Committee Minutes from the previous meeting.|
|Summary of Minutes|
|1.||Chairman's Charges – Legislative Update (Oral Presentation)||Committee Only|
|2.||Commercial Nongame Permits
Staff: John Herron
|3.||Managed Land Deer Permits
Staff: Jerry Cooke
|4.||Deer Management Permit
Staff: Jerry Cooke
|5.||Migratory Game Bird
Staff: Vernon Bevill
|6.||Fish Pass Proclamation
Staff: Robin Riechers
Summary of Minutes
Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
April 15, 1998
BE IT REMEMBERED that heretofore on the 15th day of April 1998, there came to be heard matters under the regulatory authority of the Parks and Wildlife Commission of Texas, in the Commission hearing room of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Headquarters complex, Austin, Travis County, Texas beginning at 9:25 a.m., to wit:
I. COMMISSION ATTENDANCE
Lee Bass, Chair
John Avila, Jr.
Ray Clymer (absent)
II. OPENING STATEMENT:
Mr. Andrew Sansom, Executive Director, read the opening statement into the record.
III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Chairman Bass began the proceedings by entertaining a motion by Commissioner Heath to approve the minutes of the January 21, 1998 meeting of the Regulations Committee. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Ryan and passed unanimously. Chairman Bass directed Gene McCarty, Texas Parks & Wildlife Chief of Staff, to brief the Commission on the Consent Agenda process. Mr. McCarty outlined rules and procedures for the Commission to follow to place an agenda item on the Consent Agenda.
IV. THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WERE PRESENTED TO THE COMMITTEE:
BRIEFING - Chairman's Charges
Presenter: Andrew Sansom
The Chair recognized Executive Director Andrew Sansom, who had no comments regarding the Chairman's Charges.
ACTION - Creation of a
Presenters: John Herron and Matt Wagner
Chair recognized John Herron, Director of Nongame and Urban Wildlife Program, and Matt Wagner, Nongame Wildlife Program Leader. Mr. Herron provided background information regarding the proposed nongame permit. Matt Wagner reviewed the elements of the proposal which include: 1) creation of a permit for the commercial collection of nongame wildlife and a Commercial Dealer=s permit for the resale of nongame wildlife; 2) creation of a list of species to which the permit pertains; 3) permit affects only vertebrate nongame wildlife excluding fish, but does not apply to processed products such as dried skins, shells, or other animal parts prepared by means other than refrigeration to prevent decomposition; 4) the Commercial Collection Permit applies to any person engaged in a commercial collection activity or in possession of more than 10 specimens of nongame wildlife; 5) the Commercial Dealer's Permit applies to any person who buys and resells nongame wildlife, or who engages in out-of-state transport of nongame wildlife for commercial purposes; and 6) proposal establishes fees and reporting requirements for permittees and provides penalties for violations. Mr. Herron summarized the salient points of the proposal. Chairman Bass asked if we could have annual instead of quarterly reports? Mr. Herron responded that this is something we will most likely change after the public comment period. Commissioner Heath asked if the fees were too low, and to please come back to the Commission in a year with an assessment of fee adequacy. Mr. Herron responded that staff did not know the extent of the work involved in administering the new permits, so it was unknown if the fees are adequate, but probably not. We want to make it a low cost permit to get people to comply and send in data. We will provide you with an assessment after one year. Commissioner Ryan asked how will this impact rattlesnake roundups? Mr. Herron responded that persons possessing more than 10 rattlesnakes (except youth under 17) or selling rattlesnakes would be required to have the collectors permit. Persons buying and reselling rattlesnakes (Jaycees) would be required to have the Dealers Permit. Commissioner Burleson asked if the data from this permit system would detect when a species is threatened, or what it's status is? Mr. Wagner responded that the short answer is no, but will provide part of the answer. The data will point to areas that need further investigation, and help staff prioritize research or survey efforts. Inventory data from WMAs will help determine distribution of several nongame species, and can be used to assess the status of some species. Chairman Bass called for a motion to publish the proposed rule change in the Texas Register for 30-day public comment period. Commissioner Dinkins moved and Commissioner Heath seconded. Motion passed unanimously. Mr. Herron followed with a notation that staff will modify the proposal to include a list of subspecies affected by the permit, clarify that the appropriate permit will be required to engage in out-of-state commercial transport, and change the reference to "aquatic species" in the preamble.
ACTION - FY 98-99 Statewide
Hunting and Fishing Proclamation
Presenters: Phil Durocher, Paul Hammerschmidt, and Jerry Cooke
Chair recognized Mr. Phil Durocher, Director Inland Fisheries Division, who presented regulation proposals for freshwater fish. Categories of proposed changes include largemouth bass, white bass and hybrid striped bass, and miscellaneous changes. In general, regulations are being changed to improve angling quality or lessen confusion for anglers. The first proposal would change the current regulation for largemouth bass in Lake Fork from a 14-21 inch slot length limit to a 16-22 inch slot length limit. The upper end of the limit would be increased to 23 inches in 1999 and 24 inches in 2000. Daily bag would remain at five bass of which only one harvested bass could be equal to or above the upper end of the slot. Other changes to regulations for largemouth bass are on Lake Ray Roberts and Monticello (change to 14-24 inch slot length limits) and Lake Madisonville to a 14-18 inch slot length limit. Staff has proposed changing harvest regulations for white bass and hybrid striped bass on Lake Pat Mayse and Lake O'the Pines to the same minimum length limit (10 inches) for both fish, a combined daily bag of 25, and allowing the harvest of only 5 fish per day that are 18 inches or greater. Modifications and additions to reservoir definitions also need to be made for Pat Mayse and Lake O'the Pines. For Lake Tankersley near Mt. Pleasant, additional restrictions to the harvest of channel and blue catfish (reducing daily bag from 25 to 5) and restricting use of trotlines, throwlines, and juglines is being proposed. Bell Street Lake in San Angelo is being reclassified as a Community Fishing Lake; the only additional regulation change will be to restrict angling to pole-and-line angling only. The boundary of the special regulation area for catfish and striped bass on the Trinity River below Lake Livingston needs to be corrected. Also, the language on using artificial lures for fishing in a section of the Guadalupe River below Canyon Lake would be clarified. Division Director Durocher added additional comments thanking the staff for their work on these proposals. Chairman Bass complimented the staff on their sensitivity to the various concerns expressed at Lake Fork and for their willingness to modify draft proposals.
Chair recognized Mr. Paul Hammerschmidt, Coastal Fisheries Division Program Director who presented regulatory changes for coastal waters which would increase the minimum size limit for vermilion snapper from 8 inches total length to 10 inches total length in response to changes in federal regulations. Mr. Hammerschmidt related that no public comments were received on this proposal.
Chairman Bass recognized Dr. Jerry Cooke, Director of the Upland Wildlife Ecology Program who presented proposed regulation changes for the Wildlife Division. These included for deer: 1) remove LAMPS permits from the white-tailed deer regulations in the Oak Prairie; 2) eliminate "swing-tag" regulations by implementing a 4 deer limit; 3) shift doe days for white-tailed deer to thanksgiving and extend to 4 days in the Pineywoods; 4) redefine "buck deer" in certain Oak Prairie counties; 5) open white-tailed deer season and mule deer season in the Panhandle; and 6) allow the take of spikes during special and extended antlerless seasons. Dr. Cooke presented various miscellaneous proposals including: 1) extension of squirrel season in Pineywoods; 2) move falconry regulations to the Raptor Proclamation; 3) remove elk and aoudad provision from the proclamation; and 4) provide bighorn sheep permit regulations.
The Regulations Committee heard staff's recommendation to withdraw the proposed definition of "buck deer" in certain Oak Prairie counties and the proposed mule deer season in Andrews County, but they chose to forward both proposals to the full Commission to receive further testimony on these issues. The Committee accepted staff recommendations to allow the take of spikes during the extended antlerless season in South Texas and during the special muzzleloader season, but to withdraw the portion of this proposal as it related to specified MLD properties. The Committee accepted a new proposal (for publication) that would allow the take of both bucks and antlerless deer, by MLD permit only, on specified MLD properties during the period from the Saturday nearest September 30 through the third Sunday in January, and that would close the Archery only season on those properties. The Committee accepted a house-keeping proposal to reword the definition of the bag limits for the Youth Only Weekend that would implement the Commission's intent that the bag limit be either-sex in a county if there was either-sex hunting allowed in that county (related to the proposed shift of doe days in the Pineywoods).
Dr. Cooke recommended the Committee forward the item to the full Commission for consideration and adoption. Commissioner Angelo moved and Commissioner Ryan? seconded. The Motion passed unanimously.
ACTION - Deer Management
Presenter: Jerry Cooke
Chairman Bass recognized Dr. Jerry Cooke, Director of the Upland Wildlife Ecology Program who presented proposed regulations which would create and implement a permit for the management of wild white-tailed deer on acreage enclosed by a fence capable of both retaining deer and preventing entry of deer. Dr. Cooke reviewed details of the permit requirements including 1)qualifications to receive a permit; 2) permit allowances; 3) permit fee of $1000 and $500/year renewal; 4) general provisions of the permit; 5) establishment of facility standards; 6) deer detention provisions and restrictions; 7) deer release provisions and restrictions; 8) criteria detailed in a management plan; 9) special hunting season provisions and restrictions; and 10) disposition of mortalities from trapping or detention.
There was a discussion among the members of the Committee concerning the specific provisions of the proposal and the implications of accepting the proposal. The Committee was informed that the only purpose for holding animals under this permit was selective natural breeding of the deer. A detailed description of a possible scenario for activities under this permit was presented to the Committee to further explain the proposed provisions. In answer to Commissioner Burleson's question, staff explained that probably few individuals would seek this permit. Commissioner Burleson expressed concern that the proposed permit would be perceived by the public as "stepping over the line" between management of the resource and inappropriate private use of a public resource. Commissioner Dinkins was concerned that use of the management plan did not seem to be very restrictive and also expressed concern with the concept of fencing "wildlife in" as it relates to regulating the public's wildlife resources. Dr. Cooke pointed out that much of the concern over this proposal was probably based on the fact that the Department's history and tradition was based on the management of systems, landscapes and populations while this proposal deals with individual animals which focuses on different values than are normally dealt with by the Commission. Commissioner Dinkins emphasized that the statute was permissive rather than mandatory. Chairman Bass pointed out that this permit allowed private individuals to duplicate the work from the Kerr WMA, but at private/personal expense and that he saw no evidence that many individuals would seek this permit. He also emphasized that this was not privatization of deer and should not be construed to be such. Commission Angleo expressed concern over the fencing of deer and felt that if he thought that this proposed permit would encourage the high fencing of property he would be opposed, but he was convinced that this proposal would not encourage high fencing. Commissioner Howard expressed her hopes that there would be a lot of public comment on this proposal to help the Commission make its final decision.
Dr. Cooke recommended the Committee adopt a motion to publish the proposed rule change in the Texas Register for 30-day public comment period. Commissioner Howard-Chrane moved and Commissioner Heath seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
ACTION - Public Lands Proclamation
and Candidate State Parks
for 1998-1999 Public Hunts
Presenter: Herb Kothmann
Chairman Bass recognized Mr. Herb Kothmann who presented proposed changes to the Public Lands Proclamation and candidate State parks for the 1998-99 public hunts. Mr. Kothmann detailed additions, deletions and modifications of various units of public hunting lands.
Commissioner Burleson expressed her concern that multiple parks in the same geographic area not be simultaneously closed to general visitation due to public hunts. She said that the current listings of proposed hunt dates was very confusing and took a "detective" in order to compare hunt schedules between neighboring parks. She said that she felt that TPW was doing a great job in minimizing impact on general visitation, but that a better format of presenting proposed hunt schedules could be developed. Mr. Kothmann responded that care had been taken to avoid simultaneously closing all of the parks within the same geographic area. He said that an improved format which allowed more ease in comparing hunt dates between parks would be provided to the Commission tomorrow. Mr. Kothmann added that some public complaints had been received about conducting hunts which closed parks to general visitation during holiday periods. He stated that developed parks were not closed to general visitation by hunts on major holidays or weekends, but some developed parks were hunted at other times during the holiday period. He added that these times were the only times when youth were out of school and could participate. Mr. Kothmann recommended the Committee adopt a motion to forward the item to the full Commission for action. Chairman Bass called for a motion. Commissioner Heath moved and recommended the item be placed on the Consent Agenda; Commissioner Ryan seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
ACTION - FY 98-99 Crab
Presenter: Robin Riechers
The Chair recognized Mr. Robin Riechers of the Coastal Fisheries Division who outlined proposals affecting the Texas crab fishery. These included provisions to implement a license limitation program for the commercial crab fishery, associated license fees for resident and non-resident commercial crab fishermen, a new trap marking system, new degradable panel options using 20-gauge untreated steel wire, and a housekeeping item indicating that the 5% tolerance limit of undersize crabs was for bait purposes only.
Commissioner Angelo asked how staff arrived at the use of 20-gauge wire. Mr. Riechers responded that industry members requested an alternative to the current requirement to use sisal or jute twine for the degradable panel. Staff testing indicated 20-gauge provided similar breakage times as jute or sisal. Commissioner Angelo asked if we expected crabbers to switch and use the wire. Mr Riechers responded that we did not know that for certain, but some crabbers noted that they did not like the twine at first, but now it is okay. Mr. Riechers recommended that the Committee move to send this item to the full commission for consideration to adopt. Chairman Bass called for a motion. Commissioner Angelo moved that this item be placed on the consent agenda, Commissioner Burleson seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
ACTION - FY 98-99 Statewide
Shrimp Fishery Proclamation
Presenter: Paul Hammerschmidt
The Chair recognized Mr. Paul Hammerschmidt, Coastal Fisheries Division Program Director. Mr. Hammerschmidt presented proposals which would extend the sunset of the bait fish exemption for commercial bait shrimp fishermen and include a temporary exemption for retaining ribbonfish with a daily bag limit of 300 dozen. Mr. Hammerschmidt related that one public comment was received. A bait dealer believed that the 1,500 daily bag limit for live bait fish was inadequate to meet demands and account for holding mortality of the bait fish. Mr. Hammerschmidt noted, however, that through the department's outreach effort, most bait dealers felt that the 1,500 fish limit provided adequate numbers of live bait fish for recreational anglers without creating undo resource problems or abuse. Mr. Hammerschmidt recommended that the Committee move to forward this item to the full commission for consideration to adopt. Chairman Bass called for a motion. Commissioner Dinkins moved that this item be placed on the consent agenda, Commissioner Burleson seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
ACTION - Marine Safety
Enforcement Officer Certification
Presenter: Carlos Vaca
Chairman Bass recognized Mr. Carlos Vaca, Director Water Safety Enforcement, Law Enforcement Division who presented proposed rules that establish standards for training and certifying marine safety enforcement officers responsible for enforcing any provision of Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 31 (Texas Water Safety Act), any city ordinance or order of a county commissioners court or other political subdivision of the state enacted under authority of Parks and Wildlife code §31.092. Mr. Vaca related that the new rules would 1) establish criteria and standards for Marine Safety Enforcement Officer and Marine Safety Enforcement Instructor Certification; 2) establish standards for the Marine Safety Enforcement Officer Certification Course and the Marine Safety Enforcement Instructor Certification Course; 3) establish reporting requirements for certified Marine Safety Enforcement Officers; 4) establish that active Marine Safety Enforcement Officers and commissioned game wardens are eligible for certification as Marine Safety Enforcement Officers; 5) establish that active commissioned game wardens who hold a TCLEOSE Instructors License are eligible for certification as Marine Safety Enforcement instructors; and 6) establish instructional and certification fees. Mr. Vaca recommended the Committee adopt a motion forwarding this item to the full Commission in public hearing for consideration for adoption. Commissioner Burleson moved that the item be forwarded to the full Commission and be placed on the Consent Agenda. Commissioner Angelo seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
ACTION - Health Certification
of Native Shellfish and
Harmful or Potentially Harmful
Exotic Fish, Shellfish
Presenters: Larry McKinney and Joedy Gray
Chairman Bass recognized Dr. Larry McKinney, Senior Director for Aquatic Resources and Mr. Joedy Gray, Staff Specialist Inland Fisheries Division. Mr. Gray presented proposed amendments concerning Harmful or Potentially Harmful Exotic Fish, Shellfish which included 1) addition of definitions for the terms "disease-free," "disease," "private facility," "quarantine condition," "waste," "water in the state," "certified inspector," and "manifestations of disease"; 2) make it an offense to harvest grass carp from public water for which a valid Triploid Grass Carp Permit is currently in effect; 3)delete the Japanese eel (Anguilla japonicus) from the list of prohibited exotic fish that may be possessed, propagated, transported or sold with a permit, and exempt from the prohibition any individual who, as of the effective date of these rules, holds a valid permit authorizing these activities; 4) allow individuals in possession of exotic or native shrimp stocks that experience manifestations of disease the choice of submitting samples for analysis, or requesting an inspection from a "certified inspector"; and 5) allow permit holders who wish to discharge waste into or adjacent to water in the state the choice between inspection by a "certified inspector" and laboratory testing prior to commencing any discharge. Dr. McKinney briefed the Committee on the status of an ongoing survey to detect incidents of disease in native shrimp. Commissioner Angelo asked if white spot disease was naturally occurring. Dr. McKinney responded that white spot has been detected in native shrimp populations in South Carolina, but has been presumed to be an exotic disease from Asia but there is still speculation about that. He added that the ability to detect and distinguish between disease organisms is very poor consequently it is difficult to get a handle on the sources of the disease organisms. Commissioner Burleson asked about resistance of native shrimp species to white spot disease. Dr. McKinney responded there has been exposure tests and that native shrimps are susceptible to these diseases, particularly the younger life stages. Commissioner Burleson commented that there seemed to be an opinion that these diseases would not overwhelm the shrimp populations. Dr. McKinney said that based on a meeting with several virologists during a meeting in Washington D.C. the possibility of an outbreak from aquaculture facilities would be very difficult to initiate and the impact would be very localized, but there was not enough information to make a definitive statement. Commissioner Burleson asked if the department oversight was based on the honor system. Mr. Gray responded that new rules require shrimp farmers to submit weekly reports. If manifestations of disease are discovered, the farmers are required to submit samples. Dr. McKinney elaborated on the reporting process relative to detection of disease. If farmers fail to report an incident that is discovered during random inspections, they will be in violation. Commissioner Burleson asked if we had staff and resources to conduct the various inspections. Dr. McKinney responded that staff will have to divert from other duties to do so. Commissioner Burleson asked about costs to test shrimp and whether the permits covered those costs. Dr. McKinney responded that it was expensive. Certified inspectors and training is solely funded by the shrimp farmers. The monitoring of the native stocks is a budget item for the agency. Chairman Bass commented that if people are less than forthright with the department staff will have full support of the Commission to take very severe action against those individuals. Chairman Bass called for a motion. Chairman Heath moved that proposal be adopted and the item placed on the Consent Agenda. Commissioner Howard-Chrane seconded. Motion carried unanimously.
ACTION - Migratory Gamebird
Presenter: Vernon Bevill
Chairman Bass recognized Mr. Vernon Bevill who presented proposed changes to the Migratory Gamebird Proclamation including 1) amendment of season dates to account for calendar shift; 2) elimination of white-wing dove sanctuaries; 3) establishment of HIP certification requirement; 4) shift teal season to open one week later; 4) take care of non-substantive house-keeping changes; and 5) delegate rulemaking authority for migratory game bird regulations to the Executive Director after he advises of the Commission Chairman of his decision. Mr. Bevill requested permission from the Committee to publish the proposed rule changes in the Texas Register for 30-day public comment. Chairman Bass asked about the HIP permit and Lifetime License holders regarding facilitating the acquisition of the HIP permit. Mr. Bevill responded that there may be something staff could do such as sending a copy of the form along with the mailing of tags. Staff will investigate options to minimize and simplify for Lifetime License holders. Chairman Bass called for a motion. Commissioner Burleson moved. Commissioner Ryan seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
V. OTHER BUSINESS:
Chairman asked the Executive Director if there was other business. Mr. Sansom responded there was not. Mr. Sansom recognized a group of students from Texas A&M University along with their professor Dr. Doug Slack who were in attendance to observe meeting proceedings. Chairman Bass welcomed the group. Mr. Sansom indicated that Dr. McKinney was available to present a briefing on the sea turtle situation. Chairman Bass deferred the briefing to the full Commission meeting. Chairman Bass announced that under requirements of Chapter 551 Government Code, an executive session will be held for consideration of land transactions.
Committee Agenda Item No. 1
Presenter: Andrew Sansom
(This item will be an oral presentation.)
Committee Agenda Item No. 2
Presenter: John Herron
Commercial Nongame Permits
(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 2.)
Committee Agenda Item No. 3
Presenter: Jerry Cooke
Managed Land Deer Permits
(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 4.)
Agenda Item No. 4
Presenter: Jerry Cooke
Deer Management Permit –
(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 5.)
Committee Agenda Item No. 5
Presenter: Vernon Bevill
Migratory Game Bird Proclamation
(This is Public Hearing Agenda Item No. 6.)
Agenda Item No. 6
Presenter: Robin Riechers
Fish Pass Proclamation
I. DISCUSSION: The passage of Senate Bill 326 in the Seventh-fifth Legislature delegated to the Commission, under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 66, Fish, § 66.204, authority to regulate the placement of obstructions, traps, and mooring in fish passes and the marking of restricted areas in any natural or artificial fish pass that is opened, reopened, dredged, excavated, constructed, or maintained by the Department as a fish pass between the Gulf of Mexico and an inland bay. Further authority to establish changes in seasons, bag limits, means, and methods for taking wildlife resources is delegated to the Parks and Wildlife Commission under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 61, Uniform Wildlife Regulatory Act.
Proposed rule changes include the creation of a Fish Pass Proclamation, §57.601, which prohibits the placement of any type of trap within the course of Cedar Bayou and prohibits the anchoring or mooring of any vessel within the pass from a point defined by Department marker or sign on the Mesquite Bay mouth to the marker or sign erected by the Department indicating the restricted activity area near the mouth of the pass to where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico.
Currently no person may operate, possess, or moor a vessel or other floating device, or place any obstruction in a natural or artificial pass maintained by the Department from the mouth of the pass where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico to a marker or sign erected by the Department. This proposed rule will create additional use restrictions from the marker or sign erected by the Department to a point defined near the inland bay mouth of the pass. Department outreach efforts indicate these provisions have local support by interested parties.
Historically, Texas Parks and Wildlife has maintained Cedar Bayou fish pass because of the important role it plays in maintaining the ecosystems of the local area. The pass provides for flow of estuarine waters to the Gulf and allows tidal waters to flow into the bay systems. The pass serves as a migration route for finfish and shellfish between the Gulf and bays. Many species, including blue crabs, shrimp, and red drum, at some stage in their life cycle migrate outward from the bays to the Gulf , spawn, and their young return to the estuaries inside the bays.
In addition to the biological importance of Cedar Bayou fish pass, it also provides important recreational opportunities for the local area. These rules will provide additional protection for fishery resources in the fish pass, reduce user conflict, and allow equitable access and use of this valuable Texas resource by all saltwater anglers.
II. RECOMMENDATION: The staff recommends the Regulations Committee adopt the following motion:
"The Regulations Committee of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes staff to publish the proposed regulation changes in the Texas Register for the required 30-day public comment period and hold public hearings."
Attachment - 1
1. Exhibit A – Fish Pass Proclamation
Agenda Item No. 6
The rules and amendments are adopted under authority of Chapter § 66.204, Parks and Wildlife Code which provide the Commission with the authority to regulate the placement of obstructions, traps, and mooring in fish passes and the marking of restricted areas in any natural or artificial pass that is opened, dredged, excavated, constructed, or maintained by the Department as a fish pass between the Gulf of Mexico and an inland bay.
§ 57.601. Prohibited Acts
The area in Cedar Bayou between a Department sign erected where Mesquite Bay flows into Cedar Bayou and the Department sign erected near the point where the pass empties into the Gulf of Mexico, it is unlawful to:
(a) place any type of trap,
(b) anchor or moor a vessel, barge, or structure for a period exceeding two consecutive days.
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