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Publice Notice: Proposed Amendments of Various Regulations for September 2006

In accordance with §28.2-209 of the Code of Virginia, a public hearing on the proposed amendments will be held at 12:00 Noon on Tuesday, September 26, 2006 at the 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, by 5:00 p.m., Monday, September 25, 2006.  Copies of the proposed amendments may be reviewed at the Commission Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and may be obtained by calling the Commission at (757) 247-2248.

I.      Regulation 4 VAC 20-20-10 Et Seq., “Pertaining to the Licensing of Fixed Fishing Devices.”

The proposed amendments would exempt licensed pound net fishermen, located in the National Marine Fisheries Service Modified Pound Net Leader Area, from requirements to fish their pound nets or establish a complete system of nets and poles, in order to renew their licenses or maintain their priority rights to such locations in 2007.

The purpose for the amendment is to offset federal management measures that prevented normal pound net operations through the end of June 2006.

II.   Regulation 4 VAC 20-1090-10 Et Seq., “Pertaining to Licensing Requirements and License Fees”

The proposed amendment clarifies that the fees established for 2006 for commercial and recreational fishing licenses will continue in effect until such time the Commission establishes new fees. The Code of Virginia (§ 28.2-201.4) establishes that increases in license fees can occur no more frequently than every three years.  The Commission will not consider changes in the fees for any license at this time.

III.      Regulation 4 VAC 20-610-10 Et Seq., “Pertaining to Commercial Fishing and Mandatory Harvest Reporting”

Two amendments are proposed.  The first requires applicants for a Commercial Fisherman Registration License to provide a 911 address, if different than their mailing address.  The second amendment requires withholding of the renewal of a Commercial Fisherman Registration License from any fisherman with delinquent mandatory harvest reports or any outstanding reporting compliance issue.  

IV.    4 VAC 20-720-10, Et. Seq., "Pertaining to Restrictions on Oyster Harvest," for the 2006-2007 Public Oyster Harvest Season.
      The following amendments are proposed:

A.    The proposed public oyster harvest seasons for the following areas are as follows:
1.    James River Seed Area including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area and James River Jail Island and Point of Shoals Clean Cull Areas:  October 1, 2006 through April 30, 2007.

2.    Seaside of Eastern Shore: for clean cull oysters only, November 1, 2006 through January 31, 2007.

3.    The Rappahannock River Hand Tong Area; the Corrotoman River Hand Tong Area; the Rappahannock River Hand Scrape Area; the Drumming Ground Hand Scrape Area (Rappahannock River); the Temples Bay Hand Scrape Area (Rappahannock River); the Nomini River Hand Scrape Area; the James River Hand Scrape Area; the Blackberry Hangs Hand Scrape Area (Upper Chesapeake Bay); the York River Hand Scrape Area; the Thomas Rock Hand Scrape Area (James River); and the Deep Rock Dredge Area (Lower Chesapeake Bay):  November 1, 2006 through January 31, 2007.

4.    Tangier Sound and Pocomoke Sound:  December 1, 2006 through February 28, 2007.
 

B.    The time of day restriction for harvesting oysters from private oyster grounds is between one hour prior to sunrise and 11:00 a.m. in the months of May and September; and, between one hour prior to sunrise and 9 a.m. in the months of June, July and August.  During the months of May through September the harvest vessel shall have shading over the storage area for the oysters.

C.    Harvesting of shellfish from the public oyster grounds and unassigned grounds in areas opened to hand scrape in the Rappahannock River, James River, Upper Chesapeake Bay, York River, and Nomini River Area, shall be by hand scrape only.

D.    The catch limit for the areas described in A3, above, shall be reduced from 12 bushels per Registered Commercial Fisherman Licensee to 8 bushels per Registered Commercial Fisherman Licensee.


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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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