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Public Notice: Pertaining to Summer Flounder, Porgy, Black Sea Bass, Crabbing 2001

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on proposed amendments to the regulations listed 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, February 27, 2001, at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, Virginia. Written comments on the proposals should be mailed to: Jack Travelstead, VMRC Fisheries Management Division, 2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor, Newport News, Virginia 23607. A copy of the proposed regulations may be reviewed at the Commission during Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Persons interested in obtaining a copy of the proposed regulations may call the Commission offices at (757) 247-2248.

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS

Regulation 4 VAC 20-620-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Summer Flounder" 

The proposed amendments extend the current restrictions on recreational summer flounder fishing into the 2001 fishing season. The 2001 recreational flounder restrictions are proposed to include a 15 1/2 inch minimum size limit, an 8 fish possession limit and closed flounder fishing seasons of January 1 through March 28 and July 24 through August 1. It is further proposed that the minimum size limit, possession limit, and closed season for the Virginia Tributaries of the Potomac River be established as identical to those limits for the mainstem of the Potomac River, as set by the Potomac River Fisheries Commission. The purposes of the amendments are to restrict recreational flounder fishing such that the coastwide quota for summer flounder is not exceeded and to comply with the interstate fishery management plan for flounder.

An additional amendment is proposed to set aside 142,114 pounds of the commercial summer flounder harvest quota for Virginia tidal waters, to establish a Chesapeake Bay-wide harvest quota. The purpose of the amendment is to provide a portion of Virginia's commercial summer flounder quota to Virginia fishermen in the Potomac River.

Regulation 4 VAC 20-910-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Scup (Porgy)"

The proposed amendments adjust the restrictions on recreational scup fishing for the 2001 fishing season. The 2001 recreational fishing restrictions are proposed to include an increase in the minimum size limit from 7 inches to 8 inches. The purpose of the amendment is to restrict recreational scup fishing such that the coastwide quota is not exceeded and to comply with the interstate fishery management plan for scup.

Regulation 4 VAC 20-950-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Black Sea Bass."

The proposed amendments adjust the restrictions on recreational black sea bass fishing for the 2001 fishing season. The 2001 recreational black sea bass restrictions are proposed to include an increase in the minimum size limit from 10 inches to 11 inches, a reduction in the possession limit from 50 fish to 25 fish, and the imposition of a closed black sea bass fishing season from March 1 through May 9. The purposes of the amendments are to restrict recreational black sea bass fishing such that the coastwide quota for black sea bass is not exceeded and to comply with the interstate fishery management plan for black sea bass.

Regulation 4 VAC 20-270-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Crabbing"

The proposed amendment adjusts the area closed to the placing, setting and fishing of fish pots in the James River from March 27 through March 31. The boundary of the closed area is proposed to be moved downstream from a line connecting Dancing Point and New Sunken Meadow to a line connecting Hog Point and the downstream point at the mouth of College Creek.

The purpose of the amendment is to reduce the impact of the closed area on fish pot fishermen in the Chickahominy River and adjacent areas of the James River.

Regulation 4 VAC 20-995-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Commercial Hook-and-Line Fishing"

The proposed amendment requires those persons participating in the annual random drawing for vacant commercial hook-and-line licenses to be registered commercial fishermen who have documented, through the Marine Resources Mandatory Harvest Reporting Program, the sale of at least 1000 pounds of seafood during the course of the previous two years.

The purpose of the amendment is to apply the same restrictions required of current licensees to those persons applying for a license through the random drawing.

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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 LATER THAN FIVE WORK DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING DATE AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS.

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