RULES AND REGULATIONS
FISH AND BOAT COMMISSION
[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 63 ]
[38 Pa.B. 4900]
[Saturday, September 6, 2008]
The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) amends Chapter 63 (relating to general fishing regulations). 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 Jason E. Oyler, 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 § 63.8 (relating to long bows, crossbows, spears and gigs) was published under the statutory authority of section 2102(b) 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, § 63.8(a) allows the use of long bows and arrows, including compound bows, crossbows, spears and gigs to take carp and suckers in Commonwealth waters and waters bounding and adjacent thereto. Under § 63.8(b), catfish may also be harvested by these gear in the Delaware River. A number of anglers recently have expressed to Commission staff a desire to be permitted to harvest catfish with these gear in all Commonwealth waters. This method of angling is not anticipated to result in any significant population level impacts to catfish, as the angler use levels are likely to be relatively low throughout this Commonwealth.
Currently, under § 63.8(b)(1), the harvest of herring is permitted in the Delaware River. Considering the current declines in river herring populations along the entire Atlantic coast, the Commission proposed that the harvest of these species by longbows, crossbows, spears and gigs be no longer be permitted. Finally, § 63.8(b)(2) restricts the use of use long bows and arrows, including compound bows, crossbows, spears or gigs to take fish within 275 yards of an eel weir. This is an archaic regulation that the Commission proposed be removed.
The Commission adopted the amendments as set forth in the notice of proposed rulemaking.
The final-form rulemaking will not increase paperwork and will not create new paperwork requirements.
G. Fiscal Impact
The final-form rulemaking will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions. The final-form rulemaking will impose no new costs on the private sector or the general public.
H. Public Involvement
A notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 38 Pa.B. 3241 (June 14, 2008). Prior to the official comment period, the Commission received nine public comments concerning this proposal. All nine supported it. During the formal public comment period, the Commission received 12 public comments. Eleven supported the proposal and one opposed allowing the use of weapons like bows and arrows for the taking of catfish except where they occur in nuisance numbers. 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 63, are amended by amending § 63.8 to read as set forth in 38 Pa.B. 3241.
(b) The Executive Director will submit this order and 38 Pa.B. 3241 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. 3241 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-203 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 08-1625. Filed for public inspection September 5, 2008, 9:00 a.m.]
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