RULES AND REGULATIONS
FISH AND BOAT COMMISSION
[58 PA. CODE CH. 65]
Fishing; Special Fishing Regulations
[53 Pa.B. 1385]
[Saturday, March 4, 2023]
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). This amendment allows for the harvest of trout under Commonwealth inland waters regulations, but allows only catch-and-release fishing for all other species within Sheppard-Meyers Reservoir.
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 Robert Caccese, 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
Sheppard-Meyers Reservoir, a 47-acre impoundment owned by the Borough of Hanover, is located in West Manheim Township, York County, approximately 4 miles south from the Borough of Hanover. This reservoir was completely dewatered during spring 2020 to upgrade the dam and spillway structures per Department of Environmental Protection dam safety standards. The earth-fill dam, constructed in 1932, impounds the South Branch Conewago Creek at river mile (RM) 19.6 upstream from its confluence with Conewago Creek at RM 51.6. Prior to the drawdown in 2020, the lake offered angling opportunities for multiple warm-water and cool-water fish species, as well as adult trout stocked by the Commission. Rehabilitation of the dam and spillway was completed in late 2022 with the reservoir expected to be refilled by spring 2023.
The Commission plans to initiate stocking the lake beginning in summer 2023 with fingerling plants of select fish species to establish a high-quality, warm-water and cool-water fishery. Immediately upon refilling 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 regulations at § 61.1 (relating to Commonwealth inland waters) but allow only catch-and-release fishing for all other 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 as needed while they develop and 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 opportunities at Sheppard-Meyers Reservoir. 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.
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. 7388 (December 3, 2022). The Commission did not receive any public comments regarding the proposal.
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), 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 no public comments were received.
(3) The adoption of the amendment by 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 52 Pa.B. 7388.
(B) The Executive Director will submit this order and 52 Pa.B. 7388 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. 7388 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-340 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulation.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 23-315. Filed for public inspection March 3, 2023, 9:00 a.m.]
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