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Publice Notice: Pertaining to Restrictions on Oyster Harvest 2001

Notice is hereby given that the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) will consider the following amendments to Chapter 4VAC 20-720-10, ET. SEQ., "Pertaining to Restrictions on Oyster Harvest", for the 2001 - 2002 Public Oyster Harvest Season.

The Commission will consider the proposed amended regulation and any other comments from individuals interested in this matter at a public hearing to be held at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, September 25, 2001. The public hearing will be held in the main office of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission on the 4th Floor at 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News. Fishery Management items will immediately follow the Habitat Management projects on the agenda.

Please call or submit written comments or questions regarding this proposed amended regulation to Dr. James A. Wesson, VMRC - Conservation and Replenishment Department, 2600 Washington Ave., 3rd floor, Newport News, VA 23607-0756; (757)-247-2121.

THE COMPLETE AMENDED REGULATION, AS PROPOSED, CAN BE REQUESTED FROM THE VIRGINIA MARINE RESOURCES (757-247-2120) OR AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC REVIEW AT THE VMRC MAIN OFFICE ( 3RD FLOOR).

The proposed effective date of the amended Regulation 4VAC 20-720-10, ET. SEQ., "Pertaining to Restrictions on Oyster Harvest", is October 1, 2001.

The Commission will consider the following open seasons:

A. James River Seed area including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area: October 1, 2001 through April 30, 2002.
B. James River Jail Island and Point of Shoals Clean Cull Areas: October 1, 2001 through April 30, 2002.
C. Seaside of Eastern Shore: for clean cull oysters only, November 1, 2001 through January 31, 2002.
D. That area of the Piankatank River, west of the Route 3 bridge: October 1, 2001 through December 31, 2001.
E. The area of the Rappahannock River west of the Rt. 3 Bridge, including the Corrotoman River and the Rappahannock River Hand Scrape Area: October 1, 2001 through December 31, 2001.
F. That area of the Nomini and Lower Machodoc Rivers to the Virginia-Maryland State Line
(Nomini-PRV6A to PRV6B; Lower Machodoc PRV5A to PRV5C): October 1, 2001 through December 1, 2001.
G. That area of the Coan River to the Virginia-Maryland State line (PRV1A to PRV1B) except for that area above a line from Walnut Point (Survey Station Walnut) to Stephens Point (Survey Station Arthur): October 1, 2001 through December 31, 2001.
H. That area of the Yeocomico River inside Public Grounds 102, 104, 107, 112 and 113: October 1, 2001 through December 31, 2001.
I. That area of the PTSMA in Tangier Sound west of the Tangier Channel from Tangier Light north to the Maryland-Virginia line and in Pocomoke Sound, northeast from a line from Beach Island Light to the house on the Great Fox Island, including the Tangier Sound Hand Tong Areas: December 1, 2001 through December 31, 2001.
J. Little Wicomico River: October 1, 2001 through December 31, 2001.

All other public oyster ground areas, except for those specified above, shall be closed for the harvest of oysters from October 1, 2001 through September 30, 2002.

In order to clarify catch limits for the Rappahannock, Corrotoman, Little Wicomico, Nomini, Lower Machodoc, Coan, Piankatank, and Yeocomico Rivers and the Tangier Sound Hand Tong areas, the proposed language change is as follows: "...there shall be a six (6) bushel per licensed harvester daily limit of clean cull oysters".

The areas described as "that area of the PTSMA in Tangier Sound, west of the Tangier Channel from Tangier Light North to the Maryland-Virginia and in Pocomoke Sound, northeast from a line from Beach Island Light to the house on the Great Fox Island" shall have a time limit of sunrise to 2 p.m. daily, a 15 bushel per day per boat catch limit and harvesting by dredge shall be allowed.

No changes are proposed on all other harvest restrictions.

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VMRC DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES; THEREFORE, IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS DUE TO A DISABILITY, PLEASE ADVISE DEBORAH CAWTHON (757) 247-2248 NO LESS THAN FIVE WORK DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING TIME AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS.

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