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Fisheries Off West Coast States and in the Western Pacific; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Action #9 - Adjustment of the Commercial Salmon Fishery from Cape Falcon, Oregon to U.S.-Canada Border

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.

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ACTION:

Modification of fishing season and quota; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

NMFS announces that the commercial salmon fishery in the area from Cape Falcon, OR to U.S.-Canada border was modified such that the season was open from Friday, September 8, 2006, through Friday, September 15, 2006, with a modified landing and possession limit for the open period of 160 Chinook and 80 marked coho. This action was necessary to conform to the 2006 management goals, with the intended effect of allowing the fishery to operate within the seasons and quotas specified in the 2006, annual management measures.

DATES:

The modification of season and quota was effective 0001 hours local time (l.t.), September 8, 2006, through 2359 hours l.t., September 15, 2006, or until the Chinook or coho quotas were taken, which ever was earlier. After this time 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 2006 annual management measures. Comments will be accepted through October 12, 2006.

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. Comments can also be submitted via e-mail to 2006salmonIA9.nwr@noaa.gov or through the internet at the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments, and include [060427113-6113-01 and/or I.D. 092106B] 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:

Sarah McAvinchey, 206-526-4323.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In the 2006 annual management measures for ocean salmon fisheries (71 FR 26254, May 4, 2006), NMFS announced the commercial fisheries in the area from the U.S.-Canada Border to Cape Falcon, Oregon. The fishery was open July 15 through the earlier of September 15 or an 11,550-preseason Chinook guideline or a 6,800-marked coho quota; the Cape Flattery and Columbia Control Zones was closed; open Saturday through Tuesday July 15 through August 1; fishing was open for all salmon; landing and possession limit of 35 Chinook and 35 marked coho per vessel per 4-day open period; open August 5 through September 15; Saturday through Monday; all salmon except no chum retention north of Cape Alava, WA, in August and September; landing and possession limit of 30 Chinook and 40 marked coho per vessel per 3-day open period, gear restricted to 6 inch (15.24 cm) plugs or longer. Previous inseason actions had modified this area such that the fishery was open 4 days per week, Saturday through Tuesday, beginning August 19 with an 80 Chinook landing and possession limit, and the 6 inch (15.24 cm) plug gear restriction was eliminated.

On September 6, 2006, the Regional Administrator (RA) 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 and coho catch rates, and effort data indicated that the catch was less than anticipated preseason and that provisions designed to slow the catch of Chinook could be modified. As a result, the State of Washington recommended, and the Regional Administrator concurred, that the area from the U.S.-Canada Border to Cape Falcon, OR would be open from September 8 through September 15 with a landing and possession limit of 160 Chinook and 80 marked coho. All other restrictions that apply to this fishery remained in effect as announced in the 2006 annual management measures and previous inseason actions.

The Regional Administrator determined that the best available information indicated that the catch and effort data supported the above inseason action recommended by the state. 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 (71 FR 26254, May 4, 2006), 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 had insufficient time to provide for prior notice and the opportunity for public comment between the time the fishery catch and effort data were collected to determine the extent of the fisheries, and the time the fishery closure had to be implemented to avoid exceeding the quota. Because of the rate of harvest in this fishery, failure to modify the fishing schedule would have allowed the quota to be further exceeded, resulting in fewer spawning fish and possibly reduced yield of the stocks in the future. For the same reasons, the AA also found 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 22, 2006.

Alan D. Risenhoover,

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

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[FR Doc. E6-15872 Filed 9-26-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3510-22-S