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Rule

Fisheries Off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Action #7 - Closure of the Commercial Salmon Fishery from the U.S.-Canada Border to Cape Falcon, Oregon

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION:

Temporary rule; closure; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

NMFS announces that the commercial salmon fishery in the area from the U.S.-Canada Border to Cape Falcon, OR, was modified to close at midnight on Tuesday, August 23, 2005. On August 23, 2005, NMFS determined that available catch and effort data indicated that the modified quota of 15,700 Chinook salmon would be reached by midnight. This action was necessary to conform to the 2005 management goals.

DATES:

Closure effective 2359 hours local time (l.t.), August 23, 2005, after which the fishery will remain closed until opened through an additional inseason action for the west coast salmon fisheries, which will be published in the Federal Register, or until the effective date of the next scheduled open period announced in the 2005 annual management measures. Comments will be accepted through October 6, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

Comments on this action must be mailed to D. Robert Lohn, Regional Administrator, Northwest Region, NMFS, NOAA, 7600 Sand Point Way N.E., Bldg. 1, Seattle, WA 98115-0070; or faxed to 206-526-6376; or Rod McInnis, Regional Administrator, Southwest Region, NMFS, NOAA, 501 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802-4132; or faxed to 562-980-4018. Comments can also be submitted via e-mail at the 2005salmonIA7.nwr@noaa.gov address, or through the internet at the Federal Start Printed Page 55303eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments, and include [050426117-5117-01 and/or I.D. 091405G] in the subject line of the message. Information relevant to this document is available for public review during business hours at the Office of the Regional Administrator, Northwest Region, NMFS.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Christopher Wright, 206-526-6140.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The NMFS Regional Administrator closed the commercial salmon fishery in the area from the U.S.-Canada Border to Cape Falcon, OR, effective at midnight on Tuesday, August 23, 2005. On August 23, 2005, the Regional Administrator determined that available catch and effort data indicated that the modified quota of 15,700 Chinook salmon would be reached by midnight.

This action was necessary to conform to the 2005 management goals, and the intended effect is to allow the fishery to operate within the seasons and quotas specified in the 2005 annual management measures. Automatic season closures based on quotas are authorized by regulations at 50 CFR 660.409(a)(1).

In the 2005 annual management measures for ocean salmon fisheries (70 FR 23054, May 4, 2005), NMFS announced the commercial salmon fishery in the area from the U.S.-Canada Border to Cape Falcon, OR, would open July 7 through the earlier of September 15 or a 14,250 preseason Chinook guideline or a 23,200-marked coho quota. Approximately 1,450 Chinook were left on the May-June quota, and these were added to the 14,250 guideline in the summer fishery for a total of 15,700 Chinook.

On August 23, 2005, the Regional Administrator consulted with representatives of the Pacific Fishery Management Council, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Information related to catch to date, the Chinook catch rate, and effort data indicated that it was likely that the Chinook quota would be reached by midnight. As a result, the states recommended, and the Regional Administrator concurred, that the commercial salmon fishery in the area from the U.S.-Canada Border to Cape Falcon, OR, would close effective at midnight on Tuesday, August 23, 2005. All other restrictions that apply to this fishery remained in effect as announced in the 2005 annual management measures.

The Regional Administrator determined that the best available information indicated that the catch and effort data, and projections, supported the above inseason action recommended by the states. The states manage the fisheries in state waters adjacent to the areas of the U.S. exclusive economic zone in accordance with this Federal action. As provided by the inseason notice procedures of 50 CFR 660.411, actual notice to fishers of the above described action was given prior to the time the action was effective by telephone hotline number 206-526-6667 and 800-662-9825, and by U.S. Coast Guard Notice to Mariners broadcasts on Channel 16 VHF-FM and 2182 kHz.

This action does not apply to other fisheries that may be operating in other areas.

Classification

The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that good cause exists for this notification to be issued without affording prior notice and opportunity for public comment under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) because such notification would be impracticable. As previously noted, actual notice of this action was provided to fishers through telephone hotline and radio notification. This action complies with the requirements of the annual management measures for ocean salmon fisheries (70 FR 23054, May 4, 2005), the West Coast Salmon Plan, and regulations implementing the West Coast Salmon Plan 50 CFR 660.409 and 660.411. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment was impracticable because NMFS and the state agency have insufficient time to provide for prior notice and the opportunity for public comment between the time the fishery catch and effort data are collected to determine the extent of the fisheries, and the time the fishery closure must be implemented to avoid exceeding the quota. Because of the rate of harvest in this fishery, failure to close the fishery upon attainment of the quota would allow the quota to be exceeded, resulting in fewer spawning fish and possibly reduced yield of the stocks in the future. For the same reasons, the AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness required under U.S.C. 553(d)(3).

This action is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409 and 660.411 and is exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

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Dated: September 15, 2005.

Alan D. Risenhoover,

Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.

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[FR Doc. 05-18853 Filed 9-20-05; 8:45 am]

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