RULES AND REGULATIONS
FISH AND BOAT COMMISSION
[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 65 ]
Fishing; Special Fishing Regulations
[51 Pa.B. 1799]
[Saturday, April 3, 2021]
The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) amends Chapter 65 (relating to special fishing regulations). The Commission is publishing this final-form rulemaking under the authority of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to Fish and Boat Code) (code). The amendments add Whipple Lake to the Commission's list of waters under miscellaneous special regulations.
A. Effective Date
This final-form rulemaking will go into effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
B. Contact Person
For further information on this final-form rulemaking, contact Wayne Melnick, 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.fishandboat.com.
C. Statutory Authority
The amendment to § 65.24 (relating to miscellaneous special regulations) is 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 the amendment is described in more detail under the summary of changes.
E. Summary of Changes
Whipple Lake, a 17-acre impoundment owned by the Commonwealth and managed 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 warmwater and coolwater fish species, as well as adult trout stocked by the Commission. Sediment removal and dam structure improvements were completed in 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 catchable trout and fingerling plants of select fish species to establish a high quality, warmwater and coolwater fishery. Immediately upon refilling of the lake, Commission staff propose to open the lake to fishing under miscellaneous special regulations 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 warmwater and coolwater 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 warmwater fishery is re-established, the lake will be recommended for removal from miscellaneous special regulations and inclusion in one of the Commission's existing warmwater regulation programs.
The Commission therefore amends § 65.24 to read as set forth in the proposed rulemaking published at 50 Pa.B. 5487 (October 3, 2020).
This final-form rulemaking will not increase paperwork and will not create new paperwork requirements.
G. Fiscal Impact
This final-form rulemaking will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions.
H. Public Comments
A notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 50 Pa.B. 5487. The Commission did not receive any public comments regarding the proposed rulemaking.
The Commission finds that:
(1) Public notice of intention to adopt the amendments 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), known as the Commonwealth Documents Law, and the regulations promulgated thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2 (relating to notice of proposed rulemaking required; and adoption of regulations).
(2) A public comment period was provided, and no comments were received.
(3) The adoption of the amendments 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 50 Pa.B. 5487.
(B) The Executive Director will submit this order and 50 Pa.B. 5487 to the Office of Attorney General for approval as to legality and form as required by law.
(C) The Executive Director shall certify this order and 50 Pa.B. 5487 and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.
(D) This order shall take effect upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
TIMOTHY D. SCHAEFFER,
Fiscal Note: Fiscal note 48A-304 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 21-509. Filed for public inspection April 2, 2021, 9:00 a.m.]
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