FISH AND BOAT COMMISSION
[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 65 ]
Fishing; Special Fishing Regulations
[50 Pa.B. 5487]
[Saturday, October 3, 2020]
The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) proposes to amend Chapter 65 (relating to special fishing regulations). The Commission is publishing this proposed rulemaking under the authority of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to Fish and Boat Code) (code). The proposed amendments add Whipple Lake to the Commission's list of waters under miscellaneous special regulations.
A. Effective Date
This proposed rulemaking, if approved on final-form rulemaking, will go into effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
B. Contact Person
For further information on this proposed rulemaking, contact Wayne Melnick, Esq., P.O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000, (717) 705-7810. This proposed rulemaking is available on the Commission's web site at www.fishandboat.com.
C. Statutory Authority
The proposed amendment to § 65.24 (relating to miscellaneous special regulations) are published under the statutory authority of section 2307(a) of the code (relating to waters limited to specific purposes).
D. Purpose and Background
The specific purpose and background of this proposed amendment is described in more detail under the summary of proposal.
E. Summary of Proposal
Whipple Lake, a 22-acre impoundment owned by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, is located within Whipple Dam State Park, Jackson Township, Huntingdon County, approximately 6 miles south of the Borough of State College. This lake was completely dewatered in October 2019 to remove sediment and complete structural improvements to the dam. The earth-fill dam impounds Laurel Run at river-mile 4.6 upstream from its confluence with Standing Stone Creek. Prior to the drawdown in 2019, the lake offered angling opportunities for multiple warm-water and cool-water fish species, as well as adult trout stocked by the Commission. Sediment removal and dam structure improvements are expected to be complete by summer 2020 with refilling initiated soon after.
The Commission plans to initiate stocking the lake beginning in spring 2021, or as soon as refilling conditions allow, with fingerling plants of select fish species to establish a high-quality warm-water and cool-water fishery. Immediately upon refilling of the lake, Commission staff propose to open the lake to fishing under a miscellaneous special regulation that will allow for the harvest of trout under Commonwealth Inland Waters angling regulations, but allow only catch and release fishing for all other fish species. Commission staff believe that this approach will allow for the most rapid development of a balanced warm-water and cool-water fish community, while offering acceptable levels of recreational angling opportunities. Fisheries Management Division staff will monitor the fish populations while they develop, make necessary modifications to the species stocked and recommend adjustments to the regulations governing fish harvest to the Board of Commissioners to continually provide high-quality recreational angling opportunities at Whipple Lake. Once the warm-water fishery is re-established, the lake will be recommended for removal from the miscellaneous special regulation and inclusion in one of the Commission's existing warm-water regulation programs.
The Commission proposes that § 65.24 be amended to read as set forth in Annex A.
This proposed rulemaking will not increase paperwork and will not create new paperwork requirements.
G. Fiscal Impact
This proposed rulemaking will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions.
H. Public Comments
Interested persons are invited to submit written comments, objections, or suggestions about this proposed rulemaking to the Executive Director, 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 by completing the form at www.fishandboat.com/regcomments. If an acknowledgment of electronic comments is not received by the sender within 2 working days, the comments should be retransmitted to ensure receipt. Electronic comments submitted in any other manner will not be accepted.
TIMOTHY D. SCHAEFFER,
Fiscal Note: 48A-304. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.
TITLE 58. RECREATION
PART II. FISH AND BOAT COMMISSION
Subpart B. FISHING
CHAPTER 65. SPECIAL FISHING REGULATIONS
§ 65.24. Miscellaneous special regulations.
The following waters are subject to the following miscellaneous special regulations:
County Name of Water Special Regulations * * * * * Huntingdon Raystown Lake (includes Raystown Branch from the Raystown Dam downstream to the confluence with the Juniata River). Trout (all species)—no closed season. Daily limit: First Saturday after April 11 until Labor Day—5 trout per day; day after Labor Day to first Saturday after April 11 of the following year—3 trout per day. Size limits: Inland rules apply. Smelt may be taken from shore or by wading by means of dip nets not to exceed 20 inches in diameter or 20 inches square. The daily limit per person is the greater of 1 gallon of smelt by volume or 200 smelt by number. Huntingdon Whipple Lake All species except trout—catch and release/no harvest; it is unlawful to take, kill or possess any fish except trout. All fish caught other than trout must be immediately returned unharmed.
Trout—inland regulations apply. See § 61.1. This miscellaneous special regulation will remain in effect until further notice.
Lehigh Leaser Lake All species except trout—Catch and release/no harvest; it is unlawful to take, kill or possess any fish except trout. All fish caught other than trout must be immediately returned unharmed. Trout—Inland regulations apply. See § 61.1. * * * * *
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 20-1346. Filed for public inspection October 2, 2020, 9:00 a.m.]
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