[58 PA. CODE CH. 65]
[28 Pa.B. 5134]
The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) proposes to amend (relating to miscellaneous special fishing regulations). The Commission is publishing these amendments as a notice of proposed rulemaking under the authority of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to the Fish and Boat Code) (code). The proposed amendments relate to fishing.
A. Effective Date
These proposed amendment, if approved on final rulemaking, will go into effect upon publication of an order adopting the amendment.
B. Contact Person
For further information on the proposed change, contact Laurie E. Shepler, Assistant Counsel, (717) 657-4546, P. O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000. This proposal is available electronically through the Commission's Web site (http://www.fish.state.pa.us).
C. Statutory Authority
This proposed amendment is published under the statutory authority of section 2102 of the code (relating to rules and regulations).
D. Purpose and Background
The proposed amendment is designed to update, modify and improve Commission regulations pertaining to fishing. The specific purpose of the amendment is described in more detail under the summary of proposal.
E. Summary of Proposal
Section 65.24 (relating to miscellaneous special regulations).
(1) In 1991, the Commission received requests for the issuance of net permits under section 2902 of the code (relating to net permits) to use throw or cast nets to take gizzard shad and alewife in Lake Raystown. Based upon the recommendations of the Bureaus of Law Enforcement and Fisheries, and after discussion at a FUTURE Taskforce meeting, the Executive Director exercised his discretion to issue the permits subject to certain conditions. For 1998, the Commission has issued about 160 cast net permits valid for Lake Raystown only to be used exclusively for the seining of gizzard shad and alewife. The nets are limited to a 6-foot radius (12-foot diameter). Although the original discussion indicated that mesh size should be no less than 1/2 inch, the vast majority of the current permits cover mesh size of at least 3/8 inches. Six of the current permits cover nets with 1/8 inch mesh.
This program has worked well on Lake Raystown, and the Commission has received requests to issue similar permits for cast nets or throw nets for use on other waters. The original intent, however, was to limit these permits to Lake Raystown, and the Commission believes that it would be inappropriate to expand the program at this time.
Although no regulatory action is required to maintain the program in its present scope since the issuance of these permits on a discretionary basis is expressly authorized by both statute and regulation, the Commission believes that it would be desirable to spell out the guidelines for use of cast nets and throw nets in its regulations and the Summary booklet. The Commission, therefore, proposes an amendment that will allow the present practice to continue with standardized guidelines for net size and mesh size. The proposed amendment also will make it clear that these permits will only be issued for Lake Raystown.
(2) The Youghiogheny River, located in Somerset, Fayette, Westmoreland and Allegheny Counties, provides a popular coldwater fishery in southwestern Pennsylvania. As a result of the coldwater release from Youghiogheny River Lake, 28.3 miles of the river is managed to provide trout angling opportunities. Present management provides for catchable trout angling opportunities on the 1.1 mile section from the outflow of the lake downstream to the confluence with the Casselman River, and an additional 27.2 miles downstream of the confluence with the Casselman River managed with the planting of fingerling trout. Currently, the section of the river from the confluence with the Casselman River downstream to the mouth is managed under § 65.24. Under this regulation, there is no closed season on trout, a minimum size limit of 7 inches, a creel limit of 8 trout per day from opening day through Labor Day and a three trout per day creel limit until the following opening day of trout season.
The provision of the coldwater release offers an opportunity to enhance the quality of the coldwater fishery on the Youghiogheny River. Therefore, the Commission has designated a 3.5 mile section (from the confluence with Ramcat Run downstream to the pipeline crossing at the confluence with Lick Run) to be regulated and managed under § 65.4a (relating to all-tackle trophy trout). This regulation provides for year 'round trout angling with no tackle restriction and a 14 inch minimum size limit and two trout daily creel limit during the regular trout season (8 a.m. opening day through midnight Labor Day) and no harvest permitted during the remainder of the season. Because the Commission has added this stream section to its all-tackle trophy trout program, the Commission proposes to clarify the length of the section described in § 65.24.
The proposed amendment will not increase paperwork and will create no new paperwork requirements.
G. Fiscal Impact
The proposed amendment will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions. The proposed amendment will impose no new costs on the private sector or the general public.
H. Public Comments
Interested persons are invited to submit written comments, objections or suggestions about the proposed amendment to the Executive Director, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, P. O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000, within 30 days after publication of this notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted.
Comments also may be submitted electronically at ''firstname.lastname@example.org.'' A subject heading of the proposal and a return name and address must be included in each transmission. If an acknowledgment of electronic comments is not received by the sender within 2 working days, the comments should be retransmitted to ensure receipt.
PETER A. COLANGELO,
Fiscal Note: 48A-84. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.
TITLE 58. RECREATION
PART II. FISH AND BOAT COMMISSION
Subpart B. FISHING
CHAPTER 65. SPECIAL FISHING REGULATIONS
§ 64.24. Miscellaneous special regulations.
The following waters are subject to the following miscellaneous special regulation:
County Name of Water Special Regulations * * * * * Huntingdon Raystown Lake (includes Raystown Branch from the Raystown Dam downstream to the confluence with the Juniata River)
* * * * *
The Executive Director or a designee may issue permits for use of cast nets or throw nets for taking only gizzard shad and alewife on Lake
Raystown. In addition to other permit conditions that the Executive Director may require, the permits shall be limited to cast nets or throw nets of no greater than 6 feet in radius (12 feet in diameter) with a mesh size of at least 3/8 inches. * * * * * Somerset, Fayette, Westmoreland and Allegheny Youghiogheny River from confluence with Casselman River downstream to [mouth of river] the confluence with Ramcat Run
Youghiogheny River from the pipeline crossing at the confluence with Lick Run downstream to the mouth of the river
No closed season on trout. Daily limit opening day of trout season to Labor Day--eight trout; day after Labor Day to succeeding opening day of trout season--three trout per day. Inland regulations apply to warmwater/coolwater species. * * * * *
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 98-1654. Filed for public inspection October 9, 1998, 9:00 a.m.]
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