RULES AND REGULATIONS
FISH AND BOAT COMMISSION
[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 65 ]
Fishing; Special Fishing Regulations
[51 Pa.B. 1800]
[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 remove Opossum Lake from 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
Opossum Lake, a 47-acre impoundment owned by the Commonwealth and managed by the Commission, is located in Lower Frankford Township, Cumberland County, approximately 6 miles west-northwest of the Borough of Carlisle. The dam impounds Opossum Creek at river-mile 0.5 upstream from its confluence with Conodoguinet Creek. This reservoir was completely dewatered in October 2008 to complete dam and spillway repairs and modifications per Department of Environmental Protection dam safety standards. Following completion of these repairs and modifications, refill occurred by spring 2013 and the Commission resumed annual adult trout stocking to provide immediate angling opportunities. Additionally, the Commission stocked the lake from 2013 through 2015 with select fish species to establish a high quality, warmwater and coolwater fishery.
Since 2012, Opossum Lake has been managed with miscellaneous special regulations under § 65.24 that allow for the harvest of trout under Commonwealth Inland Waters angling regulations, but no harvest of other fish species. The intent of these regulations was to facilitate rapid development of the warmwater and coolwater fish populations in the absence of harvest, and once re-established, the lake would be recommended for removal from the miscellaneous special regulations and moved to one of the Commission's existing warmwater regulation programs.
The black bass and panfish populations were evaluated from 2015 through 2020 to monitor progress towards development of a high quality, warmwater and coolwater fishery. Sportfish abundance and population size structure have steadily improved to levels where populations can now sustain limited harvest. As such, it is recommended that Opossum Lake be removed from miscellaneous special regulations under § 65.24 in favor of management with the Commission's existing warmwater regulation programs that allow for limited harvest of warmwater and coolwater fish. If these regulations are removed, Opossum Lake will be proposed for designation into the Big Bass and the Panfish Enhancement programs in §§ 65.9 and 65.11 (relating to big bass; and panfish enhancement). All other fish species will be managed with Commonwealth inland waters angling regulations in § 61.1 (relating to Commonwealth inland waters).
The Commission therefore amends § 65.24 to read as set forth in the proposed rulemaking published at 50 Pa.B. 5485 (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. 5485. 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. 5485.
(B) The Executive Director will submit this order and 50 Pa.B. 5485 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. 5485 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-305 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 21-510. Filed for public inspection April 2, 2021, 9:00 a.m.]
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