RULES AND REGULATIONS
FISH AND BOAT COMMISSION
[58 PA. CODE CH. 63]
Fishing; General Fishing Regulations
[52 Pa.B. 5948]
[Saturday, September 17, 2022]
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 Fish and Boat Code) (code). The amendment updates the Commission's regulations pertaining to bowfishing.
A. Effective Date
This final-form rulemaking shall take 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 proposed rulemaking is available on the Commission's web site at www.fishandboat.com.
C. Statutory Authority
The amendment to § 63.8 (relating to long bows, crossbows, spears and gigs) is published under the statutory authority of section 2102(b) of the code (relating to rules and regulations).
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
The Commission, specifically the Bureau of Law Enforcement (Bureau), has received an increasing number of complaints regarding bowfishing. Most of these complaints revolve around the intense bright lighting used to locate fish along the shoreline. In addition to the lighting, the noise created by the internal combustion, gas-powered generators used by some to operate the lighting has also generated complaints to the Bureau and created conflicts with property owners along Commonwealth waterways.
After receiving feedback from agency staff, property owners, anglers, fishing guides and legislators, staff have conferred and support a clarification of the regulation.
The Law Enforcement Committee considered this proposal on December 15, 2021, and recommended the Commission approve the publication of a notice of proposed rulemaking containing the amendment.
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 52 Pa.B. 1494 (March 12, 2022). The Commission received a total of 34 public comments regarding the proposal: 1 supports the proposal, 29 oppose the proposal and 4 do not pertain to the proposal.
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), referred to 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 a total of 34 comments were received: 1 supported the proposal, 29 opposed the proposal and 4 comments did not pertain to the proposal.
(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 63, are amended by amending § 63.8 to read as set forth at 52 Pa.B. 1494.
(B) The Executive Director will submit this order and 52 Pa.B. 1494 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 52 Pa.B. 1494 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-321 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 22-1420. Filed for public inspection September 16, 2022, 9:00 a.m.]
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