National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.
Notice of availability and request for comments.
This notice advises the public that the Nez Perce Indian Tribe has submitted a Tribal resource management plan (Tribal Plan) to NMFS pursuant to the limitation on take prohibitions for actions conducted under Tribal Plans promulgated under the Endangered Species Act. The Tribal Plan specifies the management of recreational, ceremonial, and subsistence fisheries in 2001 in the Imnaha River basin in the State of Oregon that potentially affect Snake River spring/summer chinook salmon listed as threatened under the ESA. This document serves to notify the public of the availability for comment of the proposed evaluation of the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) as to how the Tribal Plan addresses the criteria in the ESA.
Written comments on the Secretary’s pending determination must be received no later than 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on May 29, 2001.
Written comments and requests for copies of the pending determination should be addressed to Herb Pollard, Sustainable Fisheries Division, 10215 W. Emerald St. Suite 180, Boise, ID 83704. Comments may also be sent via fax to 208/378-5699. Comments will not be accepted if submitted via e-mail or the Internet.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Herb Pollard at phone number: 208/378-5614, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
This notice is relevant to the Imnaha River basin population of the Snake River Spring/Summer Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU).
The Nez Perce Tribe has submitted to NMFS a Tribal Plan for recreational, ceremonial, and subsistence fisheries in 2001 in the Imnaha River basin potentially affecting threatened Snake River spring/summer chinook salmon. The Tribal Plan includes recreational fisheries specified by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, acting as an agent of the Nez Perce Tribe, that take place in the same waters and in the same timeframe as the tribal ceremonial and subsistence fisheries. The Nez Perce Tribe and the State of Oregon have co-manager responsibilities for spring chinook salmon within the Imnaha River sub-basin and manage this salmon population under cooperative agreements. The objective of the Tribal Plan is to harvest spring chinook in a manner that does not jeopardize the survival and recovery of the ESU. Impact levels to the listed spring chinook populations in the ESU are specified in the Tribal Plan. Analysis of the predicted return of naturally and hatchery-produced spring chinook salmon to the Imnaha River basin in 2001 and the proposed harvest levels indicate that all hatchery brood stock and supplemental spawning needs will be met and natural spawning escapement will be approximately 133 percent of the previously highest count, after the proposed fisheries. A variety of monitoring and evaluation tasks to be conducted by the co-managers is specified in the Tribal Plan to assess the abundance of spring chinook and to determine fishery effort and catch of spring chinook. A comprehensive review of the Tribal Plan to evaluate whether the fisheries and listed spring chinook populations are performing as expected will be done within and at the end of the proposed 2001 season.
As required by the ESA 4(d) rule for Tribal Plans (65 FR 42481, July 10, 2000), the Secretary is seeking public comment on his pending determination as to whether the Tribal Plan for Imnaha River chinook salmon would appreciably reduce the likelihood of survival and recovery of the threatened Snake River spring/summer chinook salmon ESU.
Under section 4 (d) of the ESA, the Secretary is required to adopt such regulations as he deems necessary and advisable for the conservation of species listed as threatened. NMFS has issued a final ESA 4(d) Rule for Tribal Plans adopting regulations necessary and advisable to harmonize statutory conservation requirements with tribal rights and the Federal trust responsibility to tribes (65 FR 42481, July 10, 2000). This 4(d) Rule for Tribal Plans applies the prohibitions enumerated in section 9(a)(1) of the ESA. NMFS did not find it necessary and advisable to apply the take prohibitions described in section 9(a)(1)(B) and 9 (a)(1)(C) to fishery harvest activities if the fisheries are Start Printed Page 27070managed in accordance with a Tribal Plan that has been approved by NMFS. As specified in the 4(d) Rule, before the Secretary makes a decision on the Tribal Plan, the public must have an opportunity to review and comment on the pending determination.
Under section 4 of the ESA, the Secretary is required to adopt such regulations as he deems necessary and advisable for the conservation of the species listed as threatened. The ESA Tribal 4(d) Rule (65 FR 42481, July 10, 2000) states that the ESA section 9 take prohibitions will not apply to Tribal Plans that will not appreciably reduce the likelihood of survival and recovery for the listed species.Start Signature
Dated: May 10, 2001.
Acting Chief, Endangered Species Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 01-12360 Filed 5-15-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-S