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 proposed amendments will be held at 12:00 Noon on Tuesday, September 25, 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, P. O. Box 756, Newport News, Virginia 23607. 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 20-1010-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Dredging in Submerged Aquatic Vegetation."
The Commission proposes to prohibit the use of any dredge and the having overboard of any dredge within those waters of Chincoteague Bay and Assateague Channel and Bay which are bounded on the south by State Route 175 Chincoteague Causeway and the Assateague Island Bridge, on the north by the Virginia-Maryland state line, and on the east and west by the shoreline. Additionally, the Commission will consider the establishment of smaller areas within Chincoteague Bay which are closed to dredging and are delineated by channel markers and additional markers placed by the Commission.
The purpose of this regulation is to prevent the further destruction of submerged aquatic vegetation in Chincoteague Bay by dredging.
II. Regulation 4 VAC 20-950-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Black Sea Bass."
The Commission proposes to establish restrictions on the commercial harvest of black sea bass for the October 1 through December 31 period, as follows:
1. A possession limit of 2000 pounds.
2. A limit of four trips for each consecutive seven-day period, beginning on October1.
3. A total landing limit of 2000 pounds for each consecutive seven-day period beginning on October1.
4. A requirement to contact within 24 hours of landing, the Commission's
Interactive Voice Recording System to report fisherman and vessel name and weight of black sea bass landed in each trip.
The purpose of this regulation is to extend the commercial harvest of black sea bass throughout as much of the fourth quarter fishing period as possible while meeting the needs of various commercial fishing sectors.
III. Regulation 4 VAC 20-910-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Scup."
The Commission proposes to establish restrictions on the commercial harvest of scup for the November 1 through December 1 period, as follows:
1. Increase the initial possession limit from 500 pounds to 2000 pounds.
2. Adjust the trigger percentage of harvest for this winter period, at which point the possession limit is reduced, from 50 percent to 70 percent.
3. Increase the final possession limit from 200 pounds to 500 pounds.
The purpose of the regulation is to establish triggers and possession limits that allow fishermen to harvest scup throughout the entire quota period.
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.