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Rule

Fisheries Off West Coast States; Modifications of the West Coast Commercial Salmon Fishery; Inseason Action #3 and #4

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

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:

Modification of fishing seasons; request for comments.

SUMMARY:

NOAA Fisheries announces two inseason actions in the ocean salmon fisheries. Inseason action #3 modified the commercial fishery from Cape Falcon, Oregon, to the Oregon/California Border. Inseason action #4 modified the recreational fishery from Cape Falcon, Oregon, to Humbug Mountain, Oregon.

DATES:

Inseason actions #3 and #4 were effective at 1615 hours local time (l.t.) April 9, 2008. After this time these fisheries remained closed until reopened subject to the 2008 management measures and regulations which were are announced, and published in the Federal Register (73 FR 23971, May 1, 2008).

Comments will be accepted through August 6, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by 0648-AV56, by any one of the following methods:

  • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov
  • Fax: 206-526-6736 Attn: Sarah McAvinchey
  • Mail: D. Robert Lohn, Regional Administrator, Northwest Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way N.E., Seattle, WA 98115-0070 or to Rod McInnis, Regional Administrator, Southwest Region, NMFS, 501 West Ocean Boulevard, Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802-4213

Instructions: All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protectedinformation. NMFS will accept anonymous comments. Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sarah McAvinchey, 206-526-4323.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In the 2007 annual management measures for ocean salmon fisheries (72 FR 24539, May 3, 2007), NMFS announced the commercial and recreational fisheries in the area from Cape Falcon, Oregon, to the Oregon/California Border.

On April 9, 2008, the Regional Administrator (RA) consulted with representatives of the Pacific Fishery Management Council, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and California Department of Fish and Game. Information related to catch to date, Chinook and coho catch rates, and effort data were reported. These inseason actions were taken because these fisheries were scheduled to occur in the impact area for Sacramento River fall Chinook. This stock was projected not to meet its escapement goal in 2008 and therefore consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act all fisheries that impact the stock were to be closed. By Start Printed Page 42537closing these fisheries NMFS attempted to provide for further opportunity in the 2008 fishing season.

As a result, on April 9, 2008, the states recommended, and the RA concurred that inseason actions #3 and #4 would be effective April 9, 2008. Inseason action #3 closed the commercial fishery in the area from Cape Falcon, Oregon, to the Oregon/California border. Inseason action #4 closed the recreational fishery in the area from Cape Falcon, Oregon, to Humbug Mountain, Oregon. These areas were closed until the regulations were announced for the 2008 fishing season and published in the Federal Register (73 FR 23971, May 1, 2008). Modification in quota and/or fishing seasons is authorized by regulations at 50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)(i).

The RA determined that the best available information indicated that the catch and effort data, and projections, supported the above inseason actions 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 these Federal actions. As provided by the inseason notice procedures of 50 CFR 660.411, actual notice of the described regulatory actions was given, prior to the date 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. These actions do 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 the regulatory actions was provided to fishers through telephone hotline and radio notification. These actions comply with the requirements of the annual management measures for ocean salmon fisheries (72 FR 24539, May 3, 2007), the West Coast Salmon Plan, and regulations implementing the West Coast Salmon Plan at 50 CFR 660.409 and 660.411. Prior notice and opportunity for public comment was impracticable because NMFS and the state agencies 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 modifications had to be implemented in order to allow fishers access to the available fish at the time the fish were available. The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness required under U.S.C. 553(d)(3), as a delay in effectiveness of these actions would allow fishing at levels inconsistent with the goals of the Salmon Fishery Management Plan and the current management measures. These actions are authorized by 50 CFR 660.409 and 660.411 and are exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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

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Dated: July 17, 2008.

Emily H. Menashes,

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

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[FR Doc. E8-16784 Filed 7-21-08; 8:45 am]

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