RULES AND REGULATIONS
FISH AND BOAT COMMISSION
[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 69 ]
[38 Pa.B. 4765]
[Saturday, August 30, 2008]
The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) amends Chapter 69 (relating to fishing in Lake Erie and boundary lakes). The Commission is publishing this final-form rulemaking under the authority of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to the Fish and Boat Code) (code).
A. Effective Date
The final-form rulemaking will go into effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
B. Contact Person
For further information on the final-form rulemaking, contact Laurie E. Shepler, Esq., P. O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000, (717) 705-7810. This final-form rulemaking is available on the Commission's web site at www.fish.state.pa.us.
C. Statutory Authority
The amendment of § 69.12a (relating to special regulations applicable to Lake Erie tributary streams) is published under the statutory authority of section 2102 of the code (relating to rules and regulations).
D. Purpose and Background
The final-form rulemaking is designed to improve, enhance and update the Commission's fishing regulations. The specific purpose of the amendment is described in more detail under the summary of changes.
E. Summary of Changes
Currently, from the day after Labor Day until the opening day of trout season in April, all Lake Erie tributary streams are closed to fishing from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. except for Walnut and Elk Creeks north of Route 5. The portion of Walnut Creek from Route 5 north to Manchester Road flows through a residential area. All of the property owners historically have allowed public fishing in Walnut Creek in this area and tolerated the problems associated with night time fishing.
During last year's steelhead season, however, several of the property owners expressed concerns to the Commission's law enforcement staff regarding the problems they are facing associated with night time fishing. Anglers fishing in this area at night are causing the property owners' dogs to become alarmed and start barking. Property owners also indicate that they can hear anglers' loud voices and radios being played during the night time hours. Unfortunately, continued night time fishing in this section of Walnut Creek jeopardizes the privacy of the property owners and creates unnecessary disturbances to the entire neighborhood. The Commission also received two letters from property owners expressing similar concerns.
The Commission's law enforcement staff met with several of the property owners in an attempt to address their concerns. One potential solution that was discussed was to prohibit angling during the night time hours in this area. The property owners agreed to continue to allow public fishing between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. The Commission therefore proposed that § 69.12a be amended to prohibit fishing in Walnut Creek from Route 5 north to Manchester Road Bridge between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The Commission adopted the amendment as set forth in the notice of proposed rulemaking.
The final-form rulemaking will slightly increase paperwork and will create new paperwork requirements in that the Commission will post signs notifying anglers of the regulatory change. The Commission's Bureau of Law Enforcement will post both sides of the stream from the Manchester Road Bridge south to Route 5 and will post signs at the Walnut Creek Marina. After the first year that the change goes into effect, the Commission does not expect to have to post the stream.
G. Fiscal Impact
The final-form rulemaking will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions. The Commission's costs for signage will be modest. The final-form rulemaking will impose no new costs on the private sector or the general public.
H. Public Comments
A notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 38 Pa.B. 1589 (April 5, 2008). The Commission received one public comment supporting the proposal. Copies of all public comments were provided to the commissioners.
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 the comments that were received were considered.
(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 69, are amended by amending § 69.12a to read as set forth at 38 Pa.B. 1589.
(b) The Executive Director will submit this order and 38 Pa.B. 1589 to the Office of Attorney General for approval as to legality as required by law.
(c) The Executive Director shall certify this order and 38 Pa.B. 1589 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.
DOUGLAS J. AUSTEN, Ph.D.,
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48A-201 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 08-1587. Filed for public inspection August 29, 2008, 9:00 a.m.]
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