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Public Notice: Pertaining to the Setting and Mesh Size of Gill Nets

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on proposed amendments to Regulation 4 VAC 20-751 et seq., "Pertaining to the Setting and Mesh Size of Gill Nets." The text of the proposed regulation, with amendments underlined for emphasis, follows below.

In accordance with §28.2-209 of the Code of Virginia, a public hearing on the adoption of the proposed amendments will be held at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, October 29, 1996 at Newport News City Hall Chambers, 2400 Washington Avenue, Newport News. Written comments should be sent to Jack Travelstead, VMRC Fisheries Management Division, P. O. Box 756, Newport News, Virginia 23607.  Copies of the proposed regulation may be reviewed and copied at the offices of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, during Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Persons interested in obtaining a copy of the proposed regulation may call the Commission at (804) 247-2248.

PREAMBLE

This regulation prohibits the setting of any gill net with a stretched-mesh size between 3-3/4 inches and 6 inches within western Chesapeake Bay tributaries of Virginia from January 1 through April 15 March 14 of each year. This regulation also prohibits the setting of any gill net with a stretched mesh size greater than 86 inches within western Chesapeake Bay tributaries of Virginia from March 15 through June 15 of any year.

This regulation is promulgated pursuant to authority contained in §28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia. This regulation amends previous Regulation 4 VAC 20-751-10 et seq., which was adopted March 28,1995 and effective April 14, 1995. The effective date of this regulation is ________________.

4 VAC 20-751-10.   PURPOSE

The purpose of this chapter is to reduce the out-of-season by-catch of American shad and to preclude the harvest of coastal migratory striped bass, thereby reducing injuries and mortalities to these two species.

4 VAC 20-751-20.  GILL NET MESH SIZES , RESTRICTED AREAS, AND SEASON

From January 1 through April 15March 14 of each year, it shall be unlawful for any person to place, set, or fish any gill net with a stretched mesh size between 3 3/4 inches and 86 inches within the restricted areas set forth below. In addition, from March 15 through June 15 of each year, it shall be unlawful for any person to place, set, or fish any gill net with a stretched mesh size greater than 6 inches within the restricted areas set forth below.

1. In James River, those tidal waters upstream of a line connecting Willoughby Spit and Old Point Comfort;

2. In Back River, those tidal waters upstream of a line connecting Factory Point and Plumtree Point;

3. In Poquoson River, those tidal waters upstream of a line connecting Marsh Point and Tue Point;

4. In York River, those tidal waters upstream of a line connecting Tue Point and Guinea Marshes;

5. In Mobjack Bay, those tidal waters upstream of a line connecting Guinea Marshes and New Point Comfort;

6. In Milford Haven, those tidal waters upstream of a line connecting Rigby Island and Sandy Point;

7. In Piankatank River, those tidal waters upstream of a line connecting Cherry Point and Stingray Point; and,

8. In Rappahannock River, those tidal waters upstream of a line connecting Stingray Point to Windmill Point.

4 VAC 20-751-30.  PENALTY

As set forth in §28.2-903 of the Code of Virginia, any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, and a second or subsequent violation of any provision of this chapter committed by the same person within 12 months of a prior violation is a Class 1 misdemeanor .

* * * * * * * * * *

VMRC DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES. IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF A REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION DUE TO A DISABILITY, PLEASE ADVISE DEBORAH CAWTHON (804) 247-2248 NO LESS THAN FIVE WORK DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING TIME AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEED.

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