RULES AND REGULATIONS
FISH AND BOAT COMMISSION
[58 PA. CODE CH. 65]
Raystown Lake and Youghiogheny River; Miscellaneous Special Regulations
[29 Pa.B. 1069]
The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) by this order amends Chapter 65 (relating to special fishing regulations). The Commission is publishing these amendments under the authority of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to Fish and Boat Code) (code). The amendment relates to fishing.
A. Effective Date
These amendment will go into effect upon publication of an order adopting the amendment.
B. Contact Person
For further information on the change, contact Laurie E. Shepler, Assistant Counsel, (717) 657-4546, P. O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000. This final rulemaking is available electronically through the Commission's Web site (http://www.fish.state.pa.us).
C. Statutory Authority
This amendment is published under the statutory authority of section 2102 of the code (relating to rules and regulations).
D. Purpose and Background
This 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 changes.
E. Summary of Changes
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. In 1998, the Commission 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 believed that it was desirable to spell out the guidelines for use of cast nets and throw nets in its regulations and the Summary booklet. The Commission, therefore, has adopted a new regulation that will allow the present practice to continue with standardized guidelines for net size and mesh size. The new regulation also makes 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 has adopted an amendment to clarify the length of the section described in § 65.24.
In Annex A of the notice of proposed rulemaking, the section to be amended was incorrectly referred to as § 64.24, instead of § 65.24. The Commission corrected this error on final rulemaking. The Commission otherwise adopted the amendment as proposed.
The amendment will not increase paperwork and will create no new paperwork requirements.
G. Fiscal Impact
The amendment will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions. The amendment will impose no new costs on the private sector or the general public.
H. Public Involvement
A notice of proposed rulemaking containing the proposed amendments was published at 28 Pa.B. 5134 (October 10, 1998). The Commission did not receive any public comments regarding the proposal.
The Commission finds that:
(1) Public notice of intention to adopt the amendment adopted by this order has been given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations promulgated thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.
(2) A public comment period was provided and no comments were received.
(3) The adoption of the amendment of the Commission in the manner provided in this order is necessary and appropriate for administration and enforcement of the authorizing statutes.
The Commission, acting under the authorizing statutes, orders that:
(a) The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapter 65, are amended by amending § 65.24 to read as set forth at 28 Pa.B. 5134.
(b) The Executive Director will submit this order and 28 Pa.B. 5134 to the Office of Attorney General for approval as to legality as required by law.
(c) The Executive Director shall certify this order and 28 Pa.B. 5134 and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.
(d) This order shall take effect immediately upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
PETER A. COLANGELO,
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48A-84 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 99-299. Filed for public inspection February 26, 1999, 9:00 a.m.]
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