2012 & 2013 Management Measures for Salmon

Through this final rule NMFS establishes fishery management 

measures for the 2012 ocean salmon fisheries off Washington, Oregon, 

and California and the 2013 salmon seasons opening earlier than May 1, 

2013. Specific fishery management measures vary by fishery and by area. 

The measures establish fishing areas, seasons, quotas, legal gear, 

recreational fishing days and catch limits, possession and landing 

restrictions, and minimum lengths for salmon taken in the U.S. 

exclusive economic zone (EEZ) (3-200 NM) off Washington, Oregon, and 

California.

The management measures are intended to prevent overfishing 

and to apportion the ocean harvest equitably among treaty Indian, non-

treaty commercial, and recreational fisheries. The measures are also 

intended to allow a portion of the salmon runs to escape the ocean 

fisheries in order to provide for spawning escapement and to provide 

for inside fisheries (fisheries occurring in state internal waters). 

This document also announces the availability of an environmental 

assessment (EA) analyzing the environmental impacts of implementing the 

2012 ocean salmon management measures.

DATES: This final rule is effective from 0001 hours Pacific Daylight 

Time, May 1, 2012, until the effective date of the 2013 management 

measures, as published in the Federal Register.

Comments must be received by May 17, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2012-0079, 

by any one of the following methods:

     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 

comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov. To submit comments via the e-Rulemaking Portal, 

first click the ``submit a comment'' icon, then enter NOAA-NMFS-2012-

0079 in the keyword search. Locate the document you wish to comment on 

from the resulting list and click on the ``Submit a Comment'' icon on 

the right of that line.

     Fax: 206-526-6736 Attn: Peggy Mundy, or 562-980-4047 Attn: 

Heidi Taylor.

     Mail: William W. Stelle, Jr., Regional Administrator, 

Northwest Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115-0070 

or to Rod McInnis, Regional Administrator, Southwest Region, NMFS, 501 

West Ocean Boulevard, Suite 4200, Long Beach, CA 90802-4213.

    Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above 

methods to ensure that the comments are

received, documented, and considered by NMFS. Comments sent by any 

other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the 

end of the comment period, may not be considered. All comments received 

are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public 

viewing on http://www.regulations.gov without change. All personal 

identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.) submitted 

voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. Do not submit 

confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected 

information. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter ``N/A'' in the 

required fields if you wish to remain anonymous). Attachments to 

electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word or Excel, 

WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

    Copies of the documents cited in this document are available from 

Dr. Donald O. McIsaac, Executive Director, Pacific Fishery Management 

Council, 7700 NE Ambassador Place, Suite 200, Portland, OR 97220-1384, 

and are posted on its Web site (www.pcouncil.org).

    Send comments regarding the reporting burden estimate or any other 

aspect of the collection-of-information requirements in these 

management measures, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to 

one of the NMFS addresses listed above and to Office of Management and 

Budget (OMB), by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by fax at 

(202) 395-7285.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peggy Mundy at 206-526-4323, or Heidi 

Taylor at 562-980-4039.

Background

The ocean salmon fisheries in the EEZ off Washington, Oregon, and 

California are managed under a ``framework'' fishery management plan 

entitled the Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery Management Plan (Salmon FMP). 

Regulations at 50 CFR part 660, subpart H, provide the mechanism for 

making preseason and inseason adjustments to the management measures, 

within limits set by the Salmon FMP, by notification in the Federal 

Register.

    The management measures for the 2012 and pre-May 2013 ocean salmon 

fisheries that are implemented in this final rule were recommended by 

the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) at its April 1 to 6, 

2012, meeting.

Schedule Used To Establish 2012 Management Measures

The Council announced its annual preseason management process for 

the 2012 ocean salmon fisheries in the Federal Register on December 20, 

2011 (76 FR 78904), and on the Council's Web site at 

(www.pcouncil.org). This notice announced the availability of Council 

documents as well as the dates and locations of Council meetings and 

public hearings comprising the Council's complete schedule of events 

for determining the annual proposed and final modifications to ocean 

salmon fishery management measures. The agendas for the March and April 

Council meetings were published in the Federal Register and posted on 

the Council's Web site prior to the actual meetings.

    In accordance with the Salmon FMP, the Council's Salmon Technical 

Team (STT) and staff economist prepared four reports for the Council, 

its advisors, and the public. All four reports were posted on the 

Council's Web site and otherwise made available to the Council, its 

advisors, and the public upon their completion. The first of the 

reports, ``Review of 2011 Ocean Salmon Fisheries,'' was prepared in 

February when the scientific information necessary for crafting 

management measures for the 2012 and pre-May 2013 ocean salmon fishery 

first became available. The first report summarizes biological and 

socio-economic data for the 2011 ocean salmon fisheries and assesses 

how well the Council's 2011 management objectives were met. The second 

report, ``Preseason Report I Stock Abundance Analysis and Environmental 

Assessment Part 1 for 2012 Ocean Salmon Fishery Regulations'' (PRE I), 

provides the 2012 salmon stock abundance projections and analyzes the 

impacts on the stocks and Council management goals if the 2011 

regulations and regulatory procedures were applied to the projected 

2012 stock abundances. Completing the PRE I is the initial step in 

evaluating the full suite of preseason alternatives.

    Following completion of the first two reports, the Council met in 

Sacramento, CA from March 2 to 7, 2012, to develop 2012 management 

alternatives to propose to the public. The Council proposed three 

alternatives for commercial and recreational fisheries management for 

analysis and public comment. These alternatives consisted of various 

combinations of management measures designed to protect weak stocks of 

coho and Chinook salmon, and to provide for ocean harvests of more 

abundant stocks. After the March Council meeting, the Council's STT and 

staff economist prepared a third report, ``Preseason Report II Proposed 

Alternatives and Environmental Assessment Part 2 for 2012 Ocean Salmon 

Fishery Regulations'' (PRE II), which analyzes the effects of the 

proposed 2012 management alternatives.

    The Council sponsored and held public hearings to receive testimony 

on the proposed alternatives on March 26, 2012, in Westport, WA and 

Coos Bay, OR; and on March 27, 2012, in Eureka, CA. The States of 

Washington, Oregon, and California sponsored meetings in various forums 

that also collected public testimony, which was then presented to the 

Council by each state's Council representative. The Council also 

received public testimony at both the March and April meetings and 

received written comments at the Council office.

    The Council met from April 1 to 6, 2012, in Seattle, WA to adopt 

its final 2012 recommendations. Following the April Council meeting, 

the Council's STT and staff economist prepared a fourth report, 

``Preseason Report III Analysis of Council-Adopted Management Measures 

for 2012 Ocean Salmon Fisheries'' (PRE III), which analyzes the 

environmental and socio-economic effects of the Council's final 

recommendations. After the Council took final action on the annual 

ocean salmon specifications in April, it published the recommended 

management measures in its newsletter and also posted them on the 

Council Web site (www.pcouncil.org).

National Environmental Policy Act

PRE I, PRE II, and PRE III collectively comprise the Environmental 

Assessment (EA) for this action, and analyze environmental and 

socioeconomic effects under the National Environmental Policy Act 

(NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). The EA and its related Finding of No 

Significant Impact (FONSI) are posted on the NMFS Northwest Region Web 

site (www.nwr.noaa.gov).

Implementation of Amendment 16

The Council adopted Amendment 16 to the Salmon FMP in 2011 (76 FR 

81852, December 29, 2011). Amendment 16 brought the Salmon FMP into 

compliance with the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and 

Management Act (MSA) as amended in 2007, and the corresponding revised 

National Standard 1 Guidelines (NS1Gs) to end and prevent overfishing. 

As modified by Amendment 16, the FMP identifies stocks that are in the 

fishery, including stock complexes and indicator stocks for those complexes, establishes 

status determination criteria (SDC), and establishes formulas for 

specifying overfishing limits (OFLs), acceptable biological catch 

(ABC), and annual catch limits (ACLs). Amendment 16 also added to the 

FMP ``de minimis'' fishing provisions that allow for low levels of 

fishing impacts on specified stocks that are at low levels of 

abundance. Management measures for 2012 are the first developed under 

Amendment 16.

    In 2012, NMFS set annual catch limits (ACLs) for the first time for 

two stocks: Sacramento River Fall Chinook (SRFC) and Klamath River Fall 

Chinook (KRFC). These stocks are indicator stocks for the Central 

Valley Fall Chinook complex and the Southern Oregon/Northern California 

Chinook complex, respectively. The Far North Migrating Coastal Chinook 

complex includes a group of Chinook salmon stocks that are caught 

primarily in fisheries north of Cape Falcon, Oregon and other fisheries 

that occur north of the U.S./Canada Border. No ACL is set for these 

stocks because they are managed according to the Pacific Salmon Treaty 

with Canada (PST). Other Chinook salmon stocks caught in fisheries 

north of Cape Falcon are ESA-listed or hatchery produced. Coho stocks 

are either ESA-listed, hatchery produced, or managed under the PST.

    ACLs for SRFC and KRFC are escapement based, which means they 

establish a number of adults that must escape the fisheries to return 

to the spawning grounds to maintain healthy stocks. They are set based 

on the annual abundance projection and a fishing rate reduced to 

account for scientific uncertainty. The abundance forecasts for 2012 

are described in more detail below in the ``Resource Status'' section 

of this final rule. For SRFC in 2012, the overfishing limit (OFL) is 

SOFL = 819,400 (projected abundance) multiplied by 

FMSY (.78) or 180,260 returning spawners. ABC is 819,400 

multiplied by FABC (FMSY reduced for scientific 

uncertainty = .70) or 245,820. ACL is set equal to ABC. For KRFC in 

2012, OFL is 269,649 (abundance projection) multiplied by 

FMSY (.71), or 78,198 returning spawners. ABC is 269,649 

multiplied by FABC (FMSY reduced for scientific 

uncertainty = .68) or 86,200 returning spawners. As with SRFC, the ACL 

for KRFC is its ABC.

    As explained in more detail below under ``Resource Status,'' 

fisheries south of Cape Falcon, which are the fisheries that impact 

SRFC and KRFC, are constrained by impact limits necessary to protect 

ESA-listed salmon stocks, including California Coastal Chinook and 

Sacramento River Winter Chinook. For 2012, the large KRFC and SRFC 

abundance projections, in combination with the constraints for ESA-

listed stocks, are expected to result in escapements for SRFC and KRFC 

that exceed ACL escapement levels.

Rebuilding Plan for Sacramento River Fall Chinook

On March 2, 2010, NOAA Fisheries notified the Council that SRFC was 

overfished, having failed to meet its conservation objective for three 

consecutive years (2007-2009). In response, the Council was required to 

develop a rebuilding plan within two years (75 FR 28564, May 21, 2010). 

In December 2011, NOAA Fisheries approved Amendment 16 to the FMP, 

which established new status determination criteria, consistent with 

National Standard 1 Guidelines. Under the new criteria, SRFC are 

determined to be overfished when the 3-year geometric mean spawning 

escapement falls below the minimum stock size threshold (MSST) of 

91,500 adult natural and hatchery spawners, and the stock is determined 

to be subject to overfishing if the fishing mortality rate exceeds the 

maximum fishing mortality threshold (MFMT) of 78 percent. Under the 

criteria of Amendment 16, SRFC continue to meet the definition of 

overfished. Therefore, the STT presented and the Council approved 

rebuilding alternatives for public review at its March 2012 meeting. 

The Council adopted its rebuilding plan at its April 2012 meeting.

    In the amended FMP, the default criterion for rebuilt status is 

when the 3-year geometric mean spawning escapement exceeds maximum 

sustainable yield spawning escapement (SMSY). For SRFC, 

SMSY is defined as 122,000 adult natural and hatchery 

spawners. On April 5, 2012, based on the recommendation of the STT, the 

Council adopted the FMP default rebuilt criterion for SRFC, whereby the 

stock is rebuilt when the 3-year geometric mean spawning escapement 

exceeds SMSY. As this rebuilt criterion is based on 

SMSY, the escapement level that is intended to maximize 

yield on a continuing basis, the STT did not recommend modifying the 

default rebuilt criterion.

    Given the strong abundance projections for SRFC in 2012, and the 

resulting likelihood that SRFC will be rebuilt in 2012, the STT 

recommended adopting the existing FMP control rule for managing SRFC 

until the stock is rebuilt. The existing control rule sets a maximum 

exploitation rate of 70 percent at high abundance, an annual management 

target of 122,000 adult natural and hatchery spawners at moderate 

abundance, and de minimis fishing rates of no more than 25 percent at 

low abundance (see FMP section 3.3.6 for specifics of the control 

rule). The STT presented the Council with two additional rebuilding 

alternatives: (1) A minimum escapement target of 180,000 adult 

spawners, the upper end of the conservation objective goal range, and 

the existing maximum fishing rate of .70; or (2) a maximum fishing rate 

of .65 and the existing minimum escapement target of 122,000. These 

alternatives, in addition to the STT's recommended rebuilding plan, 

were analyzed by the STT, and this analysis is included in the EA.

    The 2012 SRFC abundance forecast is 819,400 adults. Given this 

large abundance, the STT determined that SRFC are expected to rebuild 

in 2012 regardless of which alternative rebuilding plan is used. 

Abundance of 819,400 reduced by the FACL of 70 percent 

should result in 245,820 adult natural and hatchery spawners. With the 

anticipated escapement in 2012 under the STT's recommended plan, and 

given the spawning escapements in 2010 and 2011, the 3-year geometric 

mean spawning escapement would be 151,903. Based on the above-described 

rebuilt criterion, the stock would then be rebuilt by the end of 2012. 

The alternative rebuilding strategies would have resulted in higher 

escapement projections for 2012, but all of the strategies resulted in 

the same time to rebuild--one year. As discussed in more detail below, 

conservation constraints for other stocks will limit Chinook harvests 

beyond that required under the rebuilding plan, resulting in an 

anticipated escapement of 455,800 adult hatchery and natural spawners. 

The Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) agreed with the 

recommendations of the STT, and the Council adopted the FMP default 

control rule for managing SRFC as the rebuilding plan. In consideration 

of the 2012 abundance forecast, the Council also adopted a rebuilding 

period of one year (the shortest time possible given that status 

determinations are made annually for salmon). This rebuilding plan is 

consistent with the mandate in the MSA that a rebuilding plan for an 

overfished fishery ``specify a time period for rebuilding the fishery 

that shall * * * be as short as possible'' (16 U.S.C. 1854(e)(4)(A)). 

The management measures recommended by the Council are consistent with 

this rebuilding plan.

Resource Status

Fisheries south of Cape Falcon, OR are limited in 2012 primarily by 

thestatus of Sacramento River winter Chinook salmon and California Coastal 

Chinook salmon, which are both evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) 

listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Fisheries north of Cape 

Falcon are limited in 2012 primarily by Lower Columbia River Chinook 

salmon and Lower Columbia River coho salmon, stocks which are also 

listed under the ESA, and by Thompson River coho from Canada. At the 

start of the preseason planning process for the 2012 management season, 

NMFS provided a letter to the Council, dated February 27, 2012, 

summarizing its ESA consultation standards for listed species as 

required by the Salmon FMP. The Council's recommended management 

measures comply with NMFS ESA consultation standards and guidance for 

those listed salmon species that may be affected by Council fisheries. 

In many cases, the recommended measures are more restrictive than 

NMFS's ESA requirements.

    The SRFC stock is the major contributing stock to ocean Chinook 

salmon fisheries off Oregon and California and the indicator stock for 

the Central Valley Fall Chinook stock complex. The STT uses the 

Sacramento Index (SI) to forecast abundance of SRFC. The SI forecast 

has exceeded the postseason estimate of SRFC abundance for three 

consecutive years (2009-2011). Each of these years has been 

characterized by the most recent jack \1\ escapement estimate (year t-

1) exceeding the jack escapement estimate from the previous year (year 

t-2) by a large margin. This is the case again for the 2012 SI 

forecast, where the 2011 jack escapement estimate is the largest on 

record (85,719 jacks).

\1\ Jacks are male salmon that return to fresh water one to two 

years younger than ``mature'' male salmon. Jacks are reproductive 

despite their immature size and appearance, but are not generally 

included in enumeration of adult spawning escapement.

For a variety of potential reasons, including the increasing trend 

in jack escapement, the relationship between jack escapement and the SI 

for years 2009-2011 exhibits a markedly different pattern than what 

existed for years prior to 2009. To address this pattern and the 

related preseason overestimation of SRFC abundance in recent years, the 

STT determined it was appropriate to limit the data set used in 

calculating the 2012 SI to data from 2009-2011, rather than the full 

1990-2011 data set. The SSC reviewed the STT's recommendation and 

concurred. The adopted 2012 SI forecast, based on data from 2009-2011, 

is 819,400 (a much more conservative projection than the SI forecast of 

2.2 million that would result from using the full 1990-2011 data set). 

The Council received comments from the San Joaquin Tributaries 

Authority (SJTA) concerning the SRFC forecast and potential for bias in 

the SI. Based on the STT's modifications to applying the model in 2012, 

explained above, the Council followed the recommendations of the STT 

and SSC and adopted the SRFC abundance forecast.

    The SJTA also commented that the alternatives for the management 

measures were developed without considering Federal and California 

State laws mandating the doubling of natural production of salmon in 

the Central Valley. However, the Central Valley Improvement Act (CVPIA) 

does not tie achievement of the doubling goal to annual abundance of 

SRFC; rather, it is tied to average Chinook production from 1967-1991. 

The CVPIA does not purport to address fishing impacts on Chinook, but 

states its purposes are to protect, restore, and enhance fish habitat 

in the Central Valley and to address impacts of the Central Valley 

project on fish and associated habitats. The CVPIA does not call for 

any measures addressing fishery impacts. In fact, the SJTA's March 26, 

2012 letter to the Council indicates that the United State's Fish and 

Wildlife Service measures natural production based upon estimates that 

include ocean harvest. In short, the CVPIA does not appear to apply to 

managing ocean fisheries, and is not considered ``other applicable 

law'' under the MSA. California Fish and Game Code section 6902 

likewise does not address ocean fishery impacts.

    In 2012, NMFS consulted under ESA section 7 and provided guidance 

to the Council regarding the effects of Council area fisheries on the 

Sacramento River winter Chinook salmon ESU. NMFS completed a Biological 

Opinion that includes a reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA) to 

avoid jeopardizing the continued existence of this ESU. The RPA 

includes management-area-specific fishing season openings and closures, 

and minimum size limits for both commercial and recreational fisheries, 

as developed in the 2010 Biological Opinion. The 2012 Biological 

Opinion adds a second component based on a new abundance-based 

framework, which will supplement the above management restrictions with 

maximum allowable impact rates that will apply when abundance is low. 

The Council met the requirements of this new RPA in their recommended 

2012 management measures.

    NMFS last consulted under ESA section 7 regarding the effects of 

Council area fisheries on California Coastal Chinook salmon in 2005. 

Klamath River fall Chinook are used as a surrogate to set limits on 

ocean harvest impacts. The Biological Opinion requires that management 

measures result in an age-4 ocean harvest rate of no greater than 16%. 

The Council's recommended 2012 management measures meet this objective.

    In 2012, NMFS consulted under ESA section 7 and provided guidance 

to the Council regarding the effects of Council area fisheries on the 

Lower Columbia River (LCR) Chinook salmon ESU. NMFS completed a 

Biological Opinion that applies to fisheries beginning in 2012, which 

concludes that the proposed 2012 fisheries, if managed consistent with 

the terms of the Biological Opinion, are not likely to jeopardize the 

continued existence of LCR Chinook. The LCR Chinook salmon ESU is 

comprised of a spring component, a ``far-north'' migrating bright 

component, and a component of north migrating tules. The bright and 

tule components both have fall run timing. There are twenty-one 

separate populations within the tule component of this ESU. Unlike the 

spring or bright populations of the ESU, LCR tule populations are 

caught in large numbers in Council fisheries, as well as fisheries to 

the north and in the Columbia River. Therefore, this component of the 

ESU is the one most likely to constrain Council fisheries in the area 

north of Cape Falcon, Oregon. The total exploitation rate on tule 

populations has been reduced from 49 percent in 2006, to 42 percent in 

2007, 41 percent in 2008, 38 percent in 2009 and 2010, and then to 37 

percent in 2011. Under the 2012 Biological Opinion, NMFS will use an 

abundance based management (ABM) framework for the first time to set 

annual exploitation rates for LCR tule Chinook salmon below Bonneville 

Dam. This framework was developed by an ad hoc Tule Chinook Work Group 

composed of state, tribal, Council, and NMFS scientists. Applying the 

ABM framework to the 2012 preseason abundance forecast, the LCR tule 

exploitation rate is limited to a maximum of 0.41. The Council's 

recommended 2012 management measures meet this objective .

    In 2008, NMFS conducted an ESA section 7 consultation and issued a 

biological opinion regarding the effects of Council fisheries and 

fisheries in the Columbia River on LCR coho. The states of Oregon and 

Washington use a harvest matrix for LCR coho that Oregon developed 

after the species was listed under Oregon's State ESA. Under the matrix 

the allowable harvest in a given year depends on indicators of marine

survival and brood year escapement. The matrix has both ocean and in-

river components which can be combined to define a total exploitation 

rate limit for all ocean and in-river fisheries. Generally speaking, 

NMFS supports using management planning tools that allow harvest to 

vary depending on the year-specific circumstances. Conceptually, we 

think Oregon's approach is a good one. However, NMFS has taken a more 

conservative approach for LCR coho in recent years because of 

unresolved issues related to applying the matrix. NMFS will continue to 

apply the matrix as we have in the past, by limiting the total harvest 

to that allowed in the portion of the matrix that applies to ocean 

fisheries. As a consequence, ocean salmon fisheries under the Council's 

jurisdiction in 2012, and commercial and recreational salmon fisheries 

in the mainstem Columbia River, including select area fisheries (e.g., 

Youngs Bay), must be managed subject to a total exploitation rate limit 

on LCR coho not to exceed 15 percent. The recommended management 

measures that would affect LCR coho are consistent with this 

requirement.

    The ESA listing status of Oregon Coast (OC) coho has changed over 

the years. On June 20, 2011, NMFS again listed OC coho as threatened 

under the ESA (76 FR 35755). Regardless of their listing status, the 

Council has managed OC coho consistent with the terms of Amendment 13 

of the Salmon FMP as modified by the expert advice provided by the 2000 

ad hoc Work Group appointed by the Council. NMFS approved the 

management provisions for OC coho through its section 7 consultation on 

Amendment 13 in 1999, and has since supported use of the expert advice 

provided by the Council's ad hoc Work Group. For the 2012 season, the 

applicable spawner status is in the ``high'' category for three of the 

four sub-aggregate stocks and ``low'' for the southern sub-aggregate. 

The marine survival index is in the ``low'' category. Under these 

circumstances, the Work Group report requires that the exploitation 

rate be limited to no more than 15 percent. The recommended management 

measures that would affect OC coho are consistent with this 

requirement.

    Interior Fraser (Thompson River) coho, a Canadian stock, continues 

to be depressed, remaining in the ``low'' status category under the 

Pacific Salmon Treaty and, along with LCR coho, is the coho stock most 

limiting the 2012 ocean fisheries north of Cape Falcon. The recommended 

management measures for 2012 satisfy the maximum 10.0 percent total 

U.S. exploitation rate called for by the Pacific Salmon Treaty 

agreements and the Salmon FMP.

Management Measures for 2012 Fisheries

The Council-recommended ocean harvest levels and management 

measures for the 2012 fisheries are designed to apportion the burden of 

protecting the weak stocks identified and discussed in PRE I equitably 

among ocean fisheries, while allowing the maximum harvest of natural 

and hatchery runs that are surplus to the needs of inside fisheries and 

spawning escapement. NMFS finds the Council's recommendations 

responsive to the goals of the Salmon FMP, the requirements of the 

resource, and the socioeconomic factors affecting resource users. The 

recommendations are consistent with the requirements of the Magnuson-

Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and U.S. obligations to 

Indian tribes with federally recognized fishing rights, and U.S. 

international obligations regarding Pacific salmon. Accordingly, NMFS 

has adopted them.

    North of Cape Falcon, the 2012 management measures for non-Indian 

commercial troll and recreational fisheries have a significantly higher 

Chinook salmon quota and a similar coho quota relative to the 2011 

season. Chinook abundance in this area is generally improved in 2012 

relative to 2011 and conservation constraints are reduced. The 

exploitation rate limit for ESA-listed Lower Columbia River (LCR) tule 

Chinook is 41 percent in 2012, compared to 37 percent in 2011, due to 

adoption of a new ESA consultation standard. Harvest impacts on ESA-

listed LCR tule Chinook salmon in Alaskan and Canadian fisheries are 

also reduced relative to 2011. The North of Falcon fisheries are also 

managed to protect threatened Lower Columbia River coho, threatened 

Oregon Coastal Natural coho, and coho salmon from the Thompson River in 

Canada. Washington coastal and Puget Sound Chinook generally migrate to 

the far north and are not significantly affected by ocean salmon 

harvests from Cape Falcon, OR, to the U.S.-Canada border. Nevertheless, 

ocean fisheries in combination with fisheries inside Puget Sound are 

restricted in order to meet ESA related conservation objectives for 

Puget Sound Chinook. North of Cape Alava, WA, the Council recommended a 

provision prohibiting retention of chum salmon in the salmon fisheries 

during August and September to protect ESA listed Hood Canal summer 

chum. The Council has recommended such a prohibition since 2002 (67 FR 

30616, May 7, 2002).

    South of Cape Falcon, the commercial salmon fishery will have area 

specific openings throughout the season for all salmon except coho. As 

in 2011, there will not be a commercial salmon fishery for coho south 

of Cape Falcon in 2012. The Council also included provisions for non-

retention sampling for salmon genetic stock identification (GSI) 

research during closed periods under a scientific research permit to be 

issued by NMFS. Recreational fisheries south of Cape Falcon will be 

directed primarily at Chinook salmon, with opportunity for coho limited 

to the area between Cape Falcon and the Oregon/California Border. 

Recreational fisheries south of Cape Falcon will have area specific 

openings throughout the season. As noted above, the projected abundance 

of Sacramento River Fall Chinook is significantly higher in 2012 than 

in 2011. Under the management measures in this final rule, and 

including anticipated in-river fishery impacts, spawning escapement for 

SRFC is projected at 455,800. Projected abundance for KRFC is also 

significantly higher in 2012 than in 2011. Under the management 

measures in this rule, and including anticipated in-river fishery 

impacts, spawning escapement for KRFC is projected at 86,288.

    The treaty-Indian commercial troll fishery quota for 2012 is 55,000 

Chinook salmon in ocean management areas and Washington State 

Statistical Area 4B combined. This quota is higher than the 41,000 

Chinook salmon quota in 2011, for the same reasons discussed above for 

the non-tribal fishery. The treaty-Indian commercial troll fisheries 

include a Chinook-directed fishery in May and June with a quota of 

27,500 Chinook salmon, and an all-salmon season beginning July 1 with a 

27,500 Chinook salmon sub-quota. The coho quota for the treaty-Indian 

troll fishery in ocean management areas, including Washington State 

Statistical Area 4B, for the July-September period is 47,500 coho, 

somewhat increased over the 42,000 coho quota in 2011.

Management Measures for 2013 Fisheries

The timing of the March and April Council meetings makes it 

impracticable for the Council to recommend fishing seasons beginning 

before May 1 of the same year. Therefore, this action also establishes 

the 2013 fishing seasons that open earlier than May 1. The Council 

recommended, and NMFS concurs, that the commercial season off Oregon 

from Cape Falcon to the Oregon/California border, the commercial season 

off California from Horse Mountain to Point Arena, the recreational season 

off Oregon from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain, and the recreational 

season off California from Horse Mountain to the U.S./Mexico border 

will open in 2013 as indicated in the Season Description section of 

this document. At the March 2013 meeting, the Council may consider 

inseason recommendations to adjust the commercial and recreational 

seasons prior to May 1 in the areas off Oregon and California.

Inseason Actions

The following sections set out the management regime for the salmon 

fishery. Open seasons and days are described in Sections 1, 2, and 3 of 

the 2012 management measures. Inseason closures in the commercial and 

recreational fisheries are announced on the NMFS hotline and through 

the U.S. Coast Guard Notice to Mariners as described in Section 6. 

Other inseason adjustments to management measures are also announced on 

the hotline and through the Notice to Mariners. Inseason actions will 

also be published in the Federal Register as soon as practicable.

    The following are the management measures recommended by the 

Council and approved and implemented here for 2012 and, as specified, 

for 2013.

Section 1. Commercial Management Measures for 2012 Ocean Salmon 

Fisheries

Parts A, B, and C of this section contain restrictions that must be 

followed for lawful participation in the fishery. Part A identifies 

each fishing area and provides the geographic boundaries from north to 

south, the open seasons for the area, the salmon species allowed to be 

caught during the seasons, and any other special restrictions effective 

in the area. Part B specifies minimum size limits. Part C specifies 

special requirements, definitions, restrictions and exceptions.

A. Season Description

--North of Cape Falcon, OR

--U.S./Canada Border to Cape Falcon

    May 1 through earlier of June 30 or 31,700 Chinook quota. Seven 

days per week (C.1). All salmon except coho (C.7). Chinook minimum size 

limit of 28 inches total length (B). Cape Flattery, Mandatory Yelloweye 

Rockfish Conservation Area, and Columbia Control Zones closed (C.5). 

See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). An inseason 

conference call will occur when it is projected that 24,975 Chinook 

have been landed to consider modifying the open period to five days per 

week and adding landing and possession limits to ensure the guideline 

is not exceeded (C.8.f).

    July 1 through earlier of September 17 or 15,800 preseason Chinook 

guideline (C.8) or a 13,280 marked coho quota (C.8). July 1-4, then 

Friday through Tuesday July 6-August 21 with a landing and possession 

limit of 40 Chinook and 35 coho per vessel per open period; Friday 

through Monday August 24-September 17, with a landing and possession 

limit of 20 Chinook and 40 coho per vessel per open period (C.1, 

C.8.f). No earlier than September 1, if at least 5,000 marked coho 

remain on the quota, inseason action may be considered to allow non-

selective coho retention (C.8.e). All salmon except no chum salmon 

retention north of Cape Alava, Washington in August and September 

(C.7). All coho must be marked except as noted above (C.8.e). Chinook 

minimum size limit of 28 inches total length; coho minimum size limit 

of 16 inches total length (B). See gear restrictions and definitions 

(C.2, C.3). Mandatory Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area, Cape 

Flattery and Columbia Control Zones, and beginning August 1, Grays 

Harbor Control Zone Closed (C.5).

    Vessels must land and deliver their fish within 24 hours of any 

closure of this fishery. Under state law, vessels must report their 

catch on a state fish receiving ticket. Vessels fishing or in 

possession of salmon while fishing north of Leadbetter Point must land 

and deliver their fish within the area and north of Leadbetter Point. 

Vessels fishing or in possession of salmon while fishing south of 

Leadbetter Point must land and deliver their fish within the area and 

south of Leadbetter Point, except that Oregon permitted vessels may 

also land their fish in Garibaldi, Oregon. Oregon State regulations 

require all fishers landing salmon into Oregon from any fishery between 

Leadbetter Point, Washington and Cape Falcon, Oregon must notify Oregon 

Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) within one hour of delivery or 

prior to transport away from the port of landing by either calling 541-

867-0300 Ext. 271 or sending notification via email to 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Notification shall include vessel name 

and number, number of salmon by species, port of landing and location 

of delivery, and estimated time of delivery. Inseason actions may 

modify harvest guidelines in later fisheries to achieve or prevent 

exceeding the overall allowable troll harvest impacts.

--South of Cape Falcon, OR

--Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain

    April 1 through August 29;

    September 5 through October 31. (C.9).

    Seven days per week (C.1). All salmon except coho (C.7). Landing 

and possession limit of 100 Chinook per vessel per calendar week in 

September and October. Chinook minimum size limit of 28 inches total 

length (B). All vessels fishing in the area must land their fish in the 

State of Oregon. See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3) and 

Oregon State regulations for a description of special regulations at 

the mouth of Tillamook Bay.

    In 2013, the season will open March 15 for all salmon except coho 

with a 28-inch minimum Chinook size limit and the same gear 

restrictions as in 2012. This opening could be modified following 

Council review at its March 2013 meeting.

--Humbug Mountain to Oregon/California Border (Oregon KMZ)

    April 1 through May 31;

    June 1 through earlier of June 30, or a 2,000 Chinook quota;

    July 1 through earlier of July 31, or a 1,500 Chinook quota;

    August 1 through earlier of August 29, or a 1,000 Chinook quota;

    September 5 through earlier of September 30, or a 1,000 Chinook 

quota (C.9).

    Seven days per week (C.1). All salmon except coho (C.7). Chinook 

minimum size limit of 28 inches total length (B). June 1 through 

September 30, landing and possession limit of 30 Chinook per vessel per 

day (C.8.f). Any remaining portion of the June and/or July Chinook 

quotas may be transferred inseason on an impact neutral basis to the 

next open quota period (no transfer to September quota allowed) 

(C.8.b). Prior to June 1, all fish caught in this area must be landed 

and delivered in the State of Oregon. Beginning June 1, all vessels 

fishing in this area must land and deliver all fish within this area or 

Port Orford, within 24 hours of any closure in this fishery, and prior 

to fishing outside of this area (C.1, C.6). Oregon State regulations 

require all fishers landing salmon from any quota managed season within 

this area to notify ODFW within 1 hour of delivery or prior to 

transport away from the port of landing by either calling (541) 867-

0300 ext. 252 or sending notification via email to 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Notification shall include vessel name 

and number, number of salmon by species, port of landing and location 

of delivery, and estimated time of delivery.

See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).

    June 1 through October 31

    When otherwise closed to Chinook retention, collection of 200 

genetic stock identification samples per week will be permitted (C.4). 

All salmon must be released in good condition after collection of 

biological samples.

    In 2013, the season will open March 15 for all salmon except coho, 

with a 28-inch minimum Chinook size limit and the same gear 

restrictions as in 2012. This opening may be modified following Council 

review at its March 2013 meeting.

--Oregon/California Border to Humboldt South Jetty (California KMZ)

    May 1 through September 14.

    Closed except for sufficient impacts to collect 200 genetic stock 

identification samples per week (C.4). All salmon must be released in 

good condition after collection of biological samples.

    September 15 through earlier of September 30, or 6,000 Chinook 

quota (C.9).

    Seven days per week (C.1). All salmon except coho (C.7). Chinook 

minimum size limit of 27 inches total length (B). Landing and 

possession limit of 25 Chinook per vessel per day (C.8.f). All fish 

caught in this area must be landed within the area and within 24 hours 

of any closure of the fishery and prior to fishing outside of this 

area. See compliance requirements (C.1) and gear restrictions and 

definitions (C.2, C.3). Klamath Control Zone closed (C.5.e). See 

California State regulations for additional closures adjacent to the 

Smith and Klamath Rivers. When the fishery is closed between the 

Oregon/California Border and Humbug Mountain and open to the south, 

vessels with fish on board caught in the open area off California may 

seek temporary mooring in Brookings, Oregon prior to landing in 

California only if such vessels first notify the Chetco River Coast 

Guard Station via VHF channel 22A between the hours of 0500 and 2200 

and provide the vessel name, number of fish on board, and estimated 

time of arrival (C.6).

--Humboldt South Jetty to Horse Mountain

    May 1 through September 30.

    Closed except for collection of the genetic stock identification 

samples noted above, see California KMZ (C.4). All salmon must be 

released in good condition after collection of biological samples.

--Horse Mountain to Point Arena (Fort Bragg)

    May 1 through July 10.

    Closed except for sufficient impacts to collect 200 genetic stock 

identification samples per week (C.4). All salmon must be released in 

good condition after collection of biological samples.

    July 11 through August 29;

    September 1 through 30 (C.9).

    Seven days per week (C.1). All salmon except coho (C.7). Chinook 

27-inch minimum size limit (B). All fish must be landed in California 

and offloaded within 24 hours of the August 29 closure. During 

September, all fish caught in the area must be landed north of Point 

Arena; all fish caught in the area when the California KMZ fishery is 

open must be landed between Horse Mountain and Point Arena (C.1). See 

gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).

    In 2013, the season will open April 16 through 30 for all salmon 

except coho, with a 27-inch minimum Chinook size limit and the same 

gear restrictions as in 2012. All fish caught in the area must be 

landed in the area. This opening could be modified following Council 

review at its March 2013 meeting.

--Point Arena to Pigeon Point (San Francisco)

    May 1 through June 4;

    June 27 through August 29;

    September 1 through 30 (C.9).

    Seven days per week (C.1). All salmon except coho (C.7). Chinook 

minimum size limit of 27 inches total length prior to September 1, 26 

inches thereafter (B). All fish must be landed in California and 

offloaded within 24 hours of the August 29 closure. During September, 

all fish caught in the area must be landed south of Point Arena. See 

gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).

    June 5 through 26.

    Closed except for sufficient impacts to collect 400 genetic stock 

identification samples per week (C.4). All salmon must be released in 

good condition after collection of biological samples.

     Point Reyes to Point. San Pedro (Fall Area Target Zone)

    October 1 through 12.

    Monday through Friday. All salmon except coho (C.7). Chinook 

minimum size limit 26 inches total length (B). All vessels fishing in 

this area must land and deliver all fish between Point Arena and Pigeon 

Point (C.1). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).

--Pigeon Point to Point Sur (Monterey)

    Same as Point Arena to Pigeon Point, except June 5 through 26: 

closed except for sufficient impacts to collect 200 genetic stock 

identification samples per week (C.4). All salmon must be released in 

good condition after collection of biological samples.

--Point Sur to U.S./Mexico Border (Monterey)

    May 1 through August 29;

    September 1 through 30 (C.9).

    Seven days per week (C.1). All salmon except coho (C.7). Chinook 

minimum size limit of 27 inches total length prior to September 1, 26 

inches thereafter (B). All fish must be landed in California and 

offloaded within 24 hours of the August 29 closure; all fish caught in 

the area June 5 through 26 must be landed south of Point San Pedro; 

during September, all fish caught in the area must be landed south of 

Point Arena. See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).

    California State regulations require that all salmon be made 

available to a California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) 

representative for sampling immediately at port of landing. Any person 

in possession of a salmon with a missing adipose fin, upon request by 

an authorized agent or employee of the CDFG, shall immediately 

relinquish the head of the salmon to the state (California Fish and 

Game Code Sec.  8226).

B. Minimum Size (Inches) (See C.1)

                                                Chinook                    Coho

                                      ----------------------------------------------------

           Area (when open)               Total                     Total                           Pink

                                          length      Head-off      length      Head-off

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

North of Cape Falcon, OR.............         28.0         21.5         16.0         12.0  None.

Cape Falcon to OR/CA Border..........         28.0         21.5  ...........  ...........  None.

OR/CA Border to Humboldt South Jetty.         27.0         20.5  ...........  ...........  None.

Horse Mt. to Point Arena.............         27.0         20.5  ...........  ...........  None.

Point Arena to U.S./Mexico Border....  ...........  ...........  ...........  ...........  .....................

    Prior to Sept. 1.................         27.0         20.5  ...........  ...........  None.

    Sept. 1 to Oct. 12...............         26.0         19.5  ...........  ...........  None.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Metric equivalents: 28.0 in = 71.1 cm, 27.0 in = 68.6 cm, 26.0 in = 66.0 cm, 21.5 in = 54.6 cm, 20.5 in = 52.1

  cm, 19.5 in = 49.5 cm, 16.0 in = 40.6 cm, and 12.0 in = 30.5 cm.

C. Special Requirements, Definitions, Restrictions, or Exceptions

C.1. Compliance With Minimum Size or Other Special Restrictions

    All salmon on board a vessel must meet the minimum size, landing/

possession limit, or other special requirements for the area being 

fished and the area in which they are landed if the area is open. 

Salmon may be landed in an area that has been closed more than 96 hours 

only if the salmon meet the minimum size, landing/possession limit, or 

other special requirements for the area in which they were caught. 

Salmon may be landed in an area that has been closed less than 96 hours 

only if the salmon meet the minimum size, landing/possession limit, or 

other special requirements for the areas in which they were caught and 

landed.

    States may require fish landing/receiving tickets to be kept on 

board the vessel for 90 days after landing to account for all previous 

salmon landings.

C.2. Gear Restrictions

    a. Salmon may be taken only by hook and line using single point, 

single shank, barbless hooks.

    b. Cape Falcon, Oregon, to the OR/CA border: No more than 4 spreads 

are allowed per line.

    c. OR/CA border to U.S./Mexico border: No more than 6 lines are 

allowed per vessel, and barbless circle hooks are required when fishing 

with bait by any means other than trolling.

C.3. Gear Definitions

    Trolling defined: Fishing from a boat or floating device that is 

making way by means of a source of power, other than drifting by means 

of the prevailing water current or weather conditions.

    Troll fishing gear defined: One or more lines that drag hooks 

behind a moving fishing vessel. In that portion of the fishery 

management area (FMA) off Oregon and Washington, the line or lines must 

be affixed to the vessel and must not be intentionally disengaged from 

the vessel at any time during the fishing operation.

    Spread defined: A single leader connected to an individual lure or 

bait.

    Circle hook defined: A hook with a generally circular shape and a 

point which turns inward, pointing directly to the shank at a 90[deg] 

angle.

C.4. Vessel Operation in Closed Areas With Salmon on Board

    a. Except as provided under C.4.b below, it is unlawful for a 

vessel to have troll or recreational gear in the water while in any 

area closed to fishing for a certain species of salmon, while 

possessing that species of salmon; however, fishing for species other 

than salmon is not prohibited if the area is open for such species, and 

no salmon are in possession.

    b. When Genetic Stock Identification (GSI) samples will be 

collected in an area closed to commercial salmon fishing, the 

scientific research permit holder shall notify NOAA Office of Law 

Enforcement (OLE), U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), CDFG, and Oregon State 

Patrol (OSP) at least 24 hours prior to sampling and provide the 

following information: the vessel name, date, location, and time 

collection activities will be done. Any vessel collecting GSI samples 

in a closed area shall not possess any salmon other than those from 

which GSI samples are being collected. Salmon caught for collection of 

GSI samples must be immediately released in good condition after 

collection of samples.

C.5. Control Zone Definitions

    a. Cape Flattery Control Zone--The area from Cape Flattery 

(48[deg]23'00'' N. lat.) to the northern boundary of the U.S. EEZ; and 

the area from Cape Flattery south to Cape Alava (48[deg]10'00'' N. 

lat.) and east of 125[deg]05'00'' W. long.

    b. Mandatory Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area--The area in 

Washington Marine Catch Area 3 from 48[deg]00.00' N. lat.; 

125[deg]14.00' W. long. to 48[deg]02.00' N. lat.; 125[deg]14.00' W. 

long. to 48[deg]02.00' N. lat.; 125[deg]16.50' W. long. to 

48[deg]00.00' N. lat.; 125[deg]16.50' W. long. and connecting back to 

48[deg]00.00' N. lat.; 125[deg]14.00' W. long.

    c. Grays Harbor Control Zone--The area defined by a line drawn from 

the Westport Lighthouse (46[deg]53'18'' N. lat., 124[deg]07'01'' W. 

long.) to Buoy 2 (46[deg]52'42'' N. lat., 124[deg]12'42'' W. 

long.) to Buoy 3 (46[deg]55'00'' N. lat., 124[deg]14'48'' W. 

long.) to the Grays Harbor north jetty (46[deg]36'00'' N. lat., 

124[deg]10'51'' W. long.).

    d. Columbia Control Zone--An area at the Columbia River mouth, 

bounded on the west by a line running northeast/southwest between the 

red lighted Buoy 4 (46[deg]13'35'' N. lat., 124[deg]06'50'' W. 

long.) and the green lighted Buoy 7 (46[deg]15'09'' N. lat., 

124[deg]06'16'' W. long.); on the east, by the Buoy 10 line 

which bears north/south at 357[deg] true from the south jetty at 

46[deg]14'00'' N. lat., 124[deg]03'07'' W. long. to its intersection 

with the north jetty; on the north, by a line running northeast/

southwest between the green lighted Buoy 7 to the tip of the 

north jetty (46[deg]15'48'' N. lat., 124[deg]05'20'' W. long.), and 

then along the north jetty to the point of intersection with the Buoy 

10 line; and, on the south, by a line running northeast/

southwest between the red lighted Buoy 4 and tip of the south 

jetty (46[deg]14'03'' N. lat., 124[deg]04'05'' W. long.), and then 

along the south jetty to the point of intersection with the Buoy 

10 line.

    e. Klamath Control Zone--The ocean area at the Klamath River mouth 

bounded on the north by 41[deg]38'48'' N. lat. (approximately six 

nautical miles north of the Klamath River mouth); on the west, by 

124[deg]23'00'' W. long. (approximately 12 nautical miles off shore); 

and on the south, by 41[deg]26'48'' N. lat. (approximately six nautical 

miles south of the Klamath River mouth).

C.6. Notification When Unsafe Conditions Prevent Compliance With 

Regulations

    If prevented by unsafe weather conditions or mechanical problems 

from meeting special management area landing restrictions, vessels must 

notify the U.S. Coast Guard and receive acknowledgment of such 

notification prior to leaving the area. This notification shall include 

the name of the vessel, port where delivery will be made, approximate 

amount of salmon (by species) on board, the estimated time of arrival, 

and the specific reason the vessel is not able to meet special 

management area landing restrictions.

    In addition to contacting the U.S. Coast Guard, vessels fishing 

south of the Oregon/California border must notify CDFG within one hour 

of leaving the management area by calling 800-889-8346 and providing 

the same information as reported to the U.S. Coast Guard. All salmon must be 

offloaded within 24 hours of reaching port.

C.7. Incidental Halibut Harvest

    During authorized periods, the operator of a vessel that has been 

issued an incidental halibut harvest license may retain Pacific halibut 

caught incidentally in Area 2A while trolling for salmon. Halibut 

retained must be no less than 32 inches (81.28 cm) in total length, 

measured from the tip of the lower jaw with the mouth closed to the 

extreme end of the middle of the tail, and must be landed with the head 

on. License applications for incidental harvest must be obtained from 

the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) (phone: 206-634-

1838). Applicants must apply prior to April 1 of each year. Incidental 

harvest is authorized only during May and June troll seasons and after 

June 30 if quota remains and if announced on the NMFS hotline (phone: 

800-662-9825). ODFW and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife 

(WDFW) will monitor landings. If the landings are projected to exceed 

the 30,568 pound preseason allocation or the total Area 2A non-Indian 

commercial halibut allocation, NMFS will take inseason action to 

prohibit retention of halibut in the non-Indian salmon troll fishery.

    Beginning May 1, IPHC license holders may possess or land no more 

than one Pacific halibut per each four Chinook, except one Pacific 

halibut may be possessed or landed without meeting the ratio 

requirement, and no more than 20 halibut may be possessed or landed per 

trip. Pacific halibut retained must be no less than 32 inches in total 

length (with head on).

    A ``C-shaped'' yelloweye rockfish conservation area (YRCA) is an 

area to be voluntarily avoided for salmon trolling. NMFS and the 

Council request salmon trollers voluntarily avoid this area in order to 

protect yelloweye rockfish. The area is defined in the Pacific Council 

Halibut Catch Sharing Plan in the North Coast subarea (Washington 

marine area 3), with the following coordinates in the order listed:

48[deg]18' N. lat.; 125[deg]18' W. long.;

48[deg]18' N. lat.; 124[deg]59' W. long.;

48[deg]11' N. lat.; 124[deg]59' W. long.;

48[deg]11' N. lat.; 125[deg]11' W. long.;

48[deg]04' N. lat.; 125[deg]11' W. long.;

48[deg]04' N. lat.; 124[deg]59' W. long.;

48[deg]00' N. lat.; 124[deg]59' W. long.;

48[deg]00' N. lat.; 125[deg]18' W. long.;

and connecting back to 48[deg]18' N. lat.; 125[deg]18' W. long.

C.8. Inseason Management

    In addition to standard inseason actions or modifications already 

noted under the season description, the following inseason guidance 

applies:

    a. Chinook remaining from the May through June non-Indian 

commercial troll harvest guideline north of Cape Falcon may be 

transferred to the July through September harvest guideline, if the 

transfer would not result in exceeding preseason impact expectations on 

any stocks.

    b. Chinook remaining from the June and/or July non-Indian 

commercial troll quotas in the Oregon KMZ may be transferred to the 

Chinook quota for the next open period if the transfer would not result 

in exceeding preseason impact expectations on any stocks.

    c. NMFS may transfer fish between the recreational and commercial 

fisheries north of Cape Falcon if there is agreement among the areas' 

representatives on the Salmon Advisory Subpanel (SAS), and if the 

transfer would not result in exceeding the preseason impact 

expectations on any stocks.

    d. At the March 2013 meeting, the Council will consider inseason 

recommendations for special regulations for any experimental fisheries 

(proposals must meet Council protocol and be received in November 

2012).

    e. If retention of unmarked coho is permitted by inseason action, 

the allowable coho quota will be adjusted to ensure preseason projected 

mortality of critical stocks is not exceeded.

    f. Landing limits may be modified inseason to sustain season length 

and keep harvest within overall quotas.

C.9. State Waters Fisheries

    Consistent with Council management objectives:

    a. The State of Oregon may establish additional late-season 

fisheries in state waters.

    b. The State of California may establish limited fisheries in 

selected state waters. Check state regulations for details.

C.10. For the purposes of CDFG Code, Section 8232.5, the definition of 

the Klamath Management Zone (KMZ) for the ocean salmon season is the 

area from Humbug Mountain, Oregon, to Horse Mountain, California.

Section 2. Recreational Management Measures for 2012 Ocean Salmon 

Fisheries

Parts A, B, and C of this section contain restrictions that must be 

followed for lawful participation in the fishery. Part A identifies 

each fishing area and provides the geographic boundaries from north to 

south, the open seasons for the area, the salmon species allowed to be 

caught during the seasons, and any other special restrictions effective 

in the area. Part B specifies minimum size limits. Part C specifies 

special requirements, definitions, restrictions and exceptions.

A. Season Description

North of Cape Falcon, OR

--U.S./Canada Border to Queets River

    June 16 through earlier of June 30 or a coastwide marked Chinook 

quota of 8,000 (C.5).

    Seven days per week. Two fish per day, all salmon except coho, all 

Chinook must be marked with a healed adipose fin clip (C.1). Chinook 

24-inch total length minimum size limit (B). See gear restrictions 

(C.2). Inseason management may be used to sustain season length and 

keep harvest within the overall Chinook recreational TAC for north of 

Cape Falcon (C.5).

--Queets River to Leadbetter Point

    June 9 through earlier of June 23 or a coastwide marked Chinook 

quota of 8,000 (C.5).

    Seven days per week. Two fish per day, all salmon except coho, all 

Chinook must be marked with a healed adipose fin clip (C.1). Chinook 

24-inch total length minimum size limit (B). See gear restrictions 

(C.2). Inseason management may be used to sustain season length and 

keep harvest within the overall Chinook recreational TAC for north of 

Cape Falcon (C.5).

--Leadbetter Point to Cape Falcon

    June 9 through earlier of June 22 or a coastwide marked Chinook 

quota of 8,000 (C.5).

    Seven days per week. Two fish per day, all salmon except coho, all 

Chinook must be marked with a healed adipose fin clip (C.1). Chinook 

24-inch total length minimum size limit (B). See gear restrictions 

(C.2). Inseason management may be used to sustain season length and 

keep harvest within the overall Chinook recreational TAC for north of 

Cape Falcon (C.5).

--U.S./Canada Border to Cape Alava (Neah Bay)

    July 1 through earlier of September 23 or 7,250 marked coho subarea 

quota with a subarea guideline of 4,700 Chinook (C.5). Seven days per 

week. All salmon except no chum beginning August 1; two fish per day. 

All coho must be marked (C.1). Beginning August 1, Chinook non-

retention east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line (C.4.a) during 

Council managed ocean fishery. See gear restrictions and definitions 

(C.2, C.3). Inseason management may be used to sustain season length 

and keep harvest within the overall Chinook and coho recreational TACs 

for north of Cape Falcon (C.5).

--Cape Alava to Queets River (La Push Subarea)

    July 1 through earlier of September 23 or 1,760 marked coho subarea 

quota with a subarea guideline of 2,050 Chinook (C.5).

    September 29 through earlier of October 14 or 50 marked coho quota 

or 50 Chinook quota (C.5) in the area north of 47[deg]50'00'' N. lat. 

and south of 48[deg]00'00'' N. lat. Seven days per week. All salmon; 

two fish per day. All coho must be marked (C.1). See gear restrictions 

(C.2, C.3). Inseason management may be used to sustain season length 

and keep harvest within the overall Chinook and coho recreational TACs 

for north of Cape Falcon (C.5).

--Queets River to Leadbetter Point (Westport Subarea)

    June 24 through earlier of September 23 or 25,800 marked coho 

subarea quota with a subarea guideline of 25,600 Chinook (C.5).

    Sunday through Thursday. All salmon; two fish per day, no more than 

one of which can be a Chinook. All coho must be marked (C.1). See gear 

restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Inseason management may be 

used to sustain season length and keep harvest within the overall 

Chinook and coho recreational TACs for north of Cape Falcon (C.5).

--Leadbetter Point to Cape Falcon (Columbia River Subarea)

    June 23 through earlier of September 30 or 34,860 marked coho 

subarea quota with a subarea guideline of 11,100 Chinook (C.5).

    Seven days per week. All salmon; two fish per day, no more than one 

of which can be a Chinook. All coho must be marked (C.1). See gear 

restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Columbia Control Zone closed 

(C.4). Inseason management may be used to sustain season length and 

keep harvest within the overall Chinook and coho recreational TACs for 

north of Cape Falcon (C.5).

South of Cape Falcon, OR

--Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain

    Except as provided below during the all-salmon mark-selective and 

non-mark-selective coho fisheries, the season will be March 15 through 

October 31 (C.6). All salmon except coho; two fish per day (B, C.1). 

See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).

    Cape Falcon to OR/CA Border all-salmon mark-selective coho fishery: 

July 1 through earlier of July 31 or a landed catch of 8,000 marked 

coho.

    Seven days per week. All salmon, two fish per day. All retained 

coho must be marked (C.1). Any remainder of the mark selective coho 

quota may be transferred on an impact neutral basis to the September 

non-selective coho quota listed below (C.5.e). The ``all salmon except 

coho'' season reopens the earlier of August 1 or attainment of the coho 

quota, through August 31.

    Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain non-mark-selective coho fishery: 

September 1 through the earlier of September 22 or a landed catch of 

10,000 non-mark-selective coho quota (C.5).

    September 1 through 3, then Thursday through Saturday thereafter; 

all salmon, two fish per day (C.5);

    September 4 through 5, then Sunday through Wednesday thereafter; 

all salmon except coho, two fish per day. The all salmon except coho 

season reopens the earlier of September 23 or attainment of the coho 

quota. Open days may be adjusted inseason to utilize the available coho 

quota (C.5).

    Fishing in the Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area 

restricted to trolling only on days the all depth recreational halibut 

fishery is open (call the halibut fishing hotline 800-662-9825 for 

specific dates) (C.3.b, C.4.d).

    In 2013, the season between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain opens 

March 15 for all salmon except coho, two fish per day (C.1). Chinook 

minimum size limit of 24 inches total length (B); and the same gear 

restrictions as in 2012 (C.2, C.3). This opening could be modified 

following Council review at its March 2013 meeting.

--Humbug Mountain to Oregon/California Border (Oregon KMZ)

    Except as provided above during the all-salmon mark-selective coho 

fishery, the season will be May 1 through September 9 (C.6). All salmon 

except coho, except as noted above in the all-salmon mark-selective 

coho fishery. Seven days per week, two fish per day (C.1). Chinook 

minimum size limit of 24 inches total length (B). See gear restrictions 

and definitions (C.2, C.3).

--Oregon/California Border to Horse Mountain. (California KMZ)

    May 1 through September 9 (C.6).

    All salmon except coho. Seven days per week, two fish per day 

(C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 20 inches total length (B). See 

gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Klamath Control Zone 

closed in August (C.4.e). See California State regulations for 

additional closures adjacent to the Smith, Eel, and Klamath Rivers.

--Horse Mountain to Point Arena (Fort Bragg)

    April 7 through November 11.

    Seven days per week. All salmon except coho, two fish per day 

(C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 20 inches total length (B). See 

gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).

    In 2013, season opens April 6 for all salmon except coho, two fish 

per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 20 inches total length 

(B); and the same gear restrictions as in 2012 (C.2, C.3). This opening 

could be modified following Council review at its March 2013 meeting.

--Point Arena to Pigeon Point (San Francisco)

    April 7 through November 11.

    Seven days per week. All salmon except coho, two fish per day 

(C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length through 

July 5, 20 inches thereafter (B). See gear restrictions and definitions 

(C.2, C.3).

    In 2013, season opens April 6 for all salmon except coho, two fish 

per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length 

(B); and the same gear restrictions as in 2012 (C.2, C.3). This opening 

could be modified following Council review at its March 2013 meeting.

--Pigeon Point to U.S./Mexico Border (Monterey)

    April 7 through October 7.

    Seven days per week. All salmon except coho, two fish per day 

(C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length through 

July 5, 20 inches thereafter (B). See gear restrictions and definitions 

(C.2, C.3).

    In 2013, season opens April 6 for all salmon except coho, two fish 

per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length 

(B); and the same gear restrictions as in 2012 (C.2, C.3). This opening 

could be modified following Council review at its March 2013 meeting.

    California State regulations require that all salmon be made 

available to a CDFG representative for sampling immediately at port of 

landing. Any person in possession of a salmon with a missing adipose 

fin, upon request by an authorized agent or employee of the CDFG, shall 

immediately relinquish the head of the salmon to the state (California

Fish and Game Code Sec.  8226).

B. Minimum Size (Total Length in Inches) (See C.1)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

               Area (when open)                    Chinook          Coho                      Pink

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

North of Cape Falcon.........................            24.0            16.0  None.

Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain...............            24.0            16.0  None.

Humbug Mt. to OR/CA Border...................            24.0            16.0  None.

OR/CA Border to Horse Mountain...............            20.0  ..............  20.0.

Horse Mountain to Point Arena................            20.0  ..............  20.0.

Point Arena to U.S./Mexico Border............  ..............  ..............  .................................

    April 7 to July 5........................            24.0  ..............  24.0.

    July 6 to November 11....................            20.0  ..............  20.0.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Metric equivalents: 24.0 in = 61.0 cm, 20.0 in = 50.8 cm, and 16.0 in = 40.6 cm.

C. Special Requirements, Definitions, Restrictions, or Exceptions

C.1. Compliance With Minimum Size and Other Special Restrictions

    All salmon on board a vessel must meet the minimum size or other 

special requirements for the area being fished and the area in which 

they are landed if that area is open. Salmon may be landed in an area 

that is closed only if they meet the minimum size or other special 

requirements for the area in which they were caught.

    Ocean Boat Limits: Off the coast of Washington, Oregon, and 

California, each fisher aboard a vessel may continue to use angling 

gear until the combined daily limits of salmon for all licensed and 

juvenile anglers aboard has been attained (additional state 

restrictions may apply).

C.2. Gear Restrictions

    Salmon may be taken only by hook and line using barbless hooks. All 

persons fishing for salmon, and all persons fishing from a boat with 

salmon on board, must meet the gear restrictions listed below for 

specific areas or seasons.

    a. U.S./Canada Border to Point Conception, California: No more than 

one rod may be used per angler; and no more than two single point, 

single shank barbless hooks are required for all fishing gear. [Note: 

ODFW regulations in the state-water fishery off Tillamook Bay may allow 

the use of barbed hooks to be consistent with inside regulations.]

    b. Horse Mountain, California, to Point Conception, California

Single point, single shank, barbless circle hooks (see gear definitions 

below) are required when fishing with bait by any means other than 

trolling, and no more than two such hooks shall be used. When angling 

with two hooks, the distance between the hooks must not exceed five 

inches when measured from the top of the eye of the top hook to the 

inner base of the curve of the lower hook, and both hooks must be 

permanently tied in place (hard tied). Circle hooks are not required 

when artificial lures are used without bait.

C.3. Gear Definitions

    a. Recreational fishing gear defined: Angling tackle consisting of 

a line with no more than one artificial lure or natural bait attached. 

Off Oregon and Washington, the line must be attached to a rod and reel 

held by hand or closely attended; the rod and reel must be held by hand 

while playing a hooked fish. No person may use more than one rod and 

line while fishing off Oregon or Washington. Off California, the line 

must be attached to a rod and reel held by hand or closely attended; 

weights directly attached to a line may not exceed four pounds (1.8 

kg). While fishing off California north of Point Conception, no person 

fishing for salmon, and no person fishing from a boat with salmon on 

board, may use more than one rod and line. Fishing includes any 

activity which can reasonably be expected to result in the catching, 

taking, or harvesting of fish.

    b. Trolling defined: Angling from a boat or floating device that is 

making way by means of a source of power, other than drifting by means 

of the prevailing water current or weather conditions.

    c. Circle hook defined: A hook with a generally circular shape and 

a point which turns inward, pointing directly to the shank at a 90[deg] 

angle.

C.4. Control Zone Definitions

    a. The Bonilla-Tatoosh Line: A line running from the western end of 

Cape Flattery to Tatoosh Island Lighthouse (48[deg]23'30'' N. lat., 

124[deg]44'12'' W. long.) to the buoy adjacent to Duntze Rock 

(48[deg]28'00'' N. lat., 124[deg]45'00'' W. long.), then in a straight 

line to Bonilla Point (48[deg]35'30'' N. lat., 124[deg]43'00'' W. 

long.) on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

    b. Grays Harbor Control Zone--The area defined by a line drawn from 

the Westport Lighthouse (46[deg]53'18'' N. lat., 124[deg]07'01'' W. 

long.) to Buoy 2 (46[deg]52'42'' N. lat., 124[deg]12'42'' W. 

long.) to Buoy 3 (46[deg]55'00'' N. lat., 124[deg]14'48'' W. 

long.) to the Grays Harbor north jetty (46[deg]36'00'' N. lat., 

124[deg]10'51'' W. long.).

    c. Columbia Control Zone: An area at the Columbia River mouth, 

bounded on the west by a line running northeast/southwest between the 

red lighted Buoy 4 (46[deg]13'35'' N. lat., 124[deg]06'50'' W. 

long.) and the green lighted Buoy 7 (46[deg]15'09'' N. lat., 

124[deg]06'16'' W. long.); on the east, by the Buoy 10 line 

which bears north/south at 357[deg] true from the south jetty at 

46[deg]14'00'' N. lat., 124[deg]03'07'' W. long. to its intersection 

with the north jetty; on the north, by a line running northeast/

southwest between the green lighted Buoy 7 to the tip of the 

north jetty (46[deg]15'48'' N. lat., 124[deg]05'20'' W. long.) and then 

along the north jetty to the point of intersection with the Buoy 

10 line; and on the south, by a line running northeast/

southwest between the red lighted Buoy 4 and tip of the south 

jetty (46[deg]14'03'' N. lat., 124[deg]04'05'' W. long.), and then 

along the south jetty to the point of intersection with the Buoy 

10 line.

    d. Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area: The area 

defined by the following coordinates in the order listed:

44[deg]37.46' N. lat.; 124[deg]24.92' W. long.;

44[deg]37.46' N. lat.; 124[deg]23.63' W. long.;

44[deg]28.71' N. lat.; 124[deg]21.80' W. long.;

44[deg]28.71' N. lat.; 124[deg]24.10' W. long.;

44[deg]31.42' N. lat.; 124[deg]25.47' W. long.;

and connecting back to 44[deg]37.46' N. lat.; 124[deg]24.92' W. long.

    e. Klamath Control Zone: The ocean area at the Klamath River mouth 

bounded on the north by 41[deg]38'48'' N. lat. (approximately six 

nautical miles north of the Klamath River mouth); on the west, by 

124[deg]23'00'' W. long. (approximately 12 nautical miles off shore); 

and, on the south, by 41[deg]26'48'' N. lat. (approximately 6 nautical 

miles south of the Klamath River mouth).

C.5. Inseason Management

    Regulatory modifications may become necessary inseason to meet 

preseason management objectives such as quotas,

harvest guidelines, and season duration. In addition to standard 

inseason actions or modifications already noted under the season 

description, the following inseason guidance applies:

    a. Actions could include modifications to bag limits, or days open 

to fishing, and extensions or reductions in areas open to fishing.

    b. Coho may be transferred inseason among recreational subareas 

north of Cape Falcon to help meet the recreational season duration 

objectives (for each subarea) after conferring with representatives of 

the affected ports and the Council's SAS recreational representatives 

north of Cape Falcon, and if the transfer would not result in exceeding 

preseason impact expectations on any stocks.

    c. Chinook and coho may be transferred between the recreational and 

commercial fisheries north of Cape Falcon if there is agreement among 

the representatives of the SAS, and if the transfer would not result in 

exceeding preseason impact expectations on any stocks.

    d. Fishery managers may consider inseason action permitting the 

retention of unmarked coho. Such a consideration may also include a 

change in bag limit of two salmon, no more than one of which may be a 

coho. If retention of unmarked coho is permitted by inseason action, 

the allowable coho quota will be adjusted to ensure preseason projected 

impacts on all stocks is not exceeded.

    e. Marked coho remaining from the July Cape Falcon to Oregon/

California border recreational coho quota may be transferred inseason 

to the September Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain non-mark-selective 

recreational fishery if the transfer would not result in exceeding 

preseason impact expectations on any stocks.

C.6. Additional Seasons in State Territorial Waters

    Consistent with Council management objectives, the States of 

Washington, Oregon, and California may establish limited seasons in 

state waters. Check state regulations for details.

Section 3. Treaty Indian Management Measures for 2012 Ocean Salmon 

Fisheries

    Parts A, B, and C of this section contain requirements that must be 

followed for lawful participation in the fishery.

A. Season Descriptions

May 1 through the earlier of June 30 or 27,500 Chinook quota. All 

salmon except coho. If the Chinook quota for the May through June 

fishery is not fully utilized, the excess fish may be transferred into 

the later all-salmon season (C.5.a). If the Chinook quota is exceeded, 

the excess will be deducted from the later all-salmon season (C.5). See 

size limit (B) and other restrictions (C).

    July 1 through the earlier of September 15, or 27,500 preseason 

Chinook quota (C.5), or 47,500 coho quota. All salmon. See size limit 

(B) and other restrictions (C).

 

B. Minimum Size (Inches)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                          Chinook                          Coho

      Area (when open)       ----------------------------------------------------------------        Pink

                               Total length      Head-off      Total length      Head-off

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

North of Cape Falcon........            24.0            18.0            16.0            12.0  None.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Metric equivalents: 24.0 in = 61.0 cm, 18.0 in = 45.7 cm, 16.0 in = 40.6 cm, and 12.0 in = 30.5 cm.

C. Special Requirements, Restrictions, and Exceptions

C.1. Tribe and Area Boundaries

    All boundaries may be changed to include such other areas as may 

hereafter be authorized by a Federal court for that tribe's treaty 

fishery.

    S'KLALLAM--Washington State Statistical Area 4B (All).

    MAKAH--Washington State Statistical Area 4B and that portion of the 

FMA north of 48[deg]02'15'' N. lat. (Norwegian Memorial) and east of 

125[deg]44'00'' W. long.

    QUILEUTE--That portion of the FMA between 48[deg]07'36'' N. lat. 

(Sand Pt.) and 47[deg]31'42'' N. lat. (Queets River) and east of 

125[deg]44'00'' W. long.

    HOH--That portion of the FMA between 47[deg]54'18'' N. lat. 

(Quillayute River) and 47[deg]21'00'' N. lat. (Quinault River) and east 

of 125[deg]44'00'' W. long.

    QUINAULT--That portion of the FMA between 47[deg]40'06'' N. lat. 

(Destruction Island) and 46[deg]53'18''N. lat. (Point Chehalis) and 

east of 125[deg]44'00'' W. long.

C.2. Gear Restrictions

    a. Single point, single shank, barbless hooks are required in all 

fisheries.

    b. No more than eight fixed lines per boat.

    c. No more than four hand held lines per person in the Makah area 

fishery (Washington State Statistical Area 4B and that portion of the 

FMA north of 48[deg]02'15'' N. lat. (Norwegian Memorial) and east of 

125[deg]44'00'' W. long.)

C.3. Quotas

    a. The quotas include troll catches by the S'Klallam and Makah 

tribes in Washington State Statistical Area 4B from May 1 through 

September 15.

    b. The Quileute Tribe will continue a ceremonial and subsistence 

fishery during the time frame of September 15 through October 15 in the 

same manner as in 2004 through 2011. Fish taken during this fishery are 

to be counted against treaty troll quotas established for the 2012 

season (estimated harvest during the October ceremonial and subsistence 

fishery: 100 Chinook; 200 coho).

C.4. Area Closures

    a. The area within a six nautical mile radius of the mouths of the 

Queets River (47[deg]31'42'' N. lat.) and the Hoh River (47[deg]45'12'' 

N. lat.) will be closed to commercial fishing.

    b. A closure within two nautical miles of the mouth of the Quinault 

River (47[deg]21'00'' N. lat.) may be enacted by the Quinault Nation 

and/or the State of Washington and will not adversely affect the 

Secretary of Commerce's management regime.

C.5. Inseason Management

    In addition to standard inseason actions or modifications already 

noted under the season description, the following inseason guidance 

applies:

    a. Chinook remaining from the May through June treaty-Indian ocean 

troll harvest guideline north of Cape Falcon may be transferred to the 

July through September harvest guideline if the transfer would not 

result in exceeding preseason impact expectations on any stocks.

Section 4. Halibut Retention

Under the authority of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act, NMFS 

promulgated regulations governing the Pacific halibut fishery, which 

appear at 50 CFR part 300, subpart E. On March 22, 2012, NMFS published 

a final rule (77 FR 16740) to implement the IPHC's recommendations, to 

announce fishery regulations for U.S. waters off Alaska

and fishery regulations for treaty commercial and ceremonial and 

subsistence fisheries, some regulations for non-treaty commercial 

fisheries for U.S. waters off the West Coast, and approval of and 

implementation of the Area 2A Pacific halibut Catch Sharing Plan and 

the Area 2A management measures for 2012. The regulations and 

management measures provide that vessels participating in the salmon 

troll fishery in Area 2A (all waters off the States of Washington, 

Oregon, and California), which have obtained the appropriate IPHC 

license, may retain halibut caught incidentally during authorized 

periods in conformance with provisions published with the annual salmon 

management measures. A salmon troller may participate in the halibut 

incidental catch fishery during the salmon troll season or in the 

directed commercial fishery targeting halibut, but not both.

    The following measures have been approved by the IPHC, and 

implemented by NMFS. During authorized periods, the operator of a 

vessel that has been issued an incidental halibut harvest license may 

retain Pacific halibut caught incidentally in Area 2A while trolling 

for salmon. Halibut retained must be no less than 32 inches (81.28 cm) 

in total length, measured from the tip of the lower jaw with the mouth 

closed to the extreme end of the middle of the tail, and must be landed 

with the head on. License applications for incidental harvest must be 

obtained from the International Pacific Halibut Commission (phone: 206-

634-1838). Applicants must apply prior to April 1 of each year. 

Incidental harvest is authorized only during May and June troll seasons 

and after June 30 if quota remains and if announced on the NMFS hotline 

(phone: 800-662-9825). ODFW and WDFW will monitor landings. If the 

landings are projected to exceed the 30,568 pound preseason allocation 

or the total Area 2A non-Indian commercial halibut allocation, NMFS 

will take inseason action to close the incidental halibut fishery.

    Beginning May 1, IPHC license holders may possess or land no more 

than one Pacific halibut per each four Chinook, except one Pacific 

halibut may be possessed or landed without meeting the ratio 

requirement, and no more than 20 halibut may be possessed or landed per 

trip. Pacific halibut retained must be no less than 32 inches in total 

length (with head on).

    NMFS and the Council request that salmon trollers voluntarily avoid 

a ``C-shaped'' YRCA (North Coast Recreational YRCA, also known as the 

Salmon Troll YRCA) in order to protect yelloweye rockfish. Coordinates 

for the Salmon Troll YRCA are defined in the Pacific Council Halibut 

Catch Sharing Plan in the North Coast subarea (Washington marine area 

3). See Section 1.C.7. in this document for the coordinates.

Section 5. Geographical Landmarks

Wherever the words ``nautical miles off shore'' are used in this 

document, the distance is measured from the baseline from which the 

territorial sea is measured.

    Geographical landmarks referenced in this document are at the 

following locations:

Cape Flattery, WA..................  48[deg]23'00'' N. lat.

Cape Alava, WA.....................  48[deg]10'00'' N. lat.

Queets River, WA...................  47[deg]31'42'' N. lat.

Leadbetter Point, WA...............  46[deg]38'10'' N. lat.

Cape Falcon, OR....................  45[deg]46'00'' N. lat.

Florence South Jetty, OR...........  44[deg]00'54'' N. lat.

Humbug Mountain, OR................  42[deg]40'30'' N. lat.

Oregon-California Border...........  42[deg]00'00'' N. lat.

Humboldt South Jetty, CA...........  40[deg]45'53'' N. lat.

Horse Mountain, CA.................  40[deg]05'00'' N. lat.

Point Arena, CA....................  38[deg]57'30'' N. lat.

Point Reyes, CA....................  37[deg]59'44'' N. lat.

Point San Pedro, CA................  37[deg]35'40'' N. lat.

Pigeon Point, CA...................  37[deg]11'00'' N. lat.

Point Sur, CA......................  36[deg]18'00'' N. lat.

Point Conception, CA...............  34[deg]27'00'' N. lat.

Section 6. Inseason Notice Procedures

Actual notice of inseason management actions will be provided by a 

telephone hotline administered by the Northwest Region, NMFS, 206-526-

6667 or 800-662-9825, and by U.S. Coast Guard Notice to Mariners 

broadcasts. These broadcasts are announced on Channel 16 VHF-FM and 

2182 KHz at frequent intervals. The announcements designate the channel 

or frequency over which the Notice to Mariners will be immediately 

broadcast. Inseason actions will also be filed with the Federal 

Register as soon as practicable. Since provisions of these management 

measures may be altered by inseason actions, fishermen should monitor 

either the telephone hotline or Coast Guard broadcasts for current 

information for the area in which they are fishing.

Classification

This final rule is necessary for conservation and management and is 

consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act. These regulations are being 

promulgated under the authority of 16 U.S.C. 1855(d) and 16 U.S.C. 

773(c).

    This notification of annual management measures is exempt from 

review under Executive Order 12866.

    The provisions of 50 CFR 660.411 state that

    if time allows, NMFS will invite public comment prior to the 

effective date of any action published in the Federal Register. If 

NMFS determines, for good cause, that an action must be filed 

without affording a prior opportunity for public comment, public 

comments on the action will be received by NMFS for a period of 15 

days after filing of the action with the Office of the Federal 

Register.

Accordingly, NMFS will receive public comments on this action until May 

17, 2012. These regulations are being promulgated under the authority 

of 16 U.S.C. 1855(d) and 16 U.S.C. 773(c).

    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA) finds good 

cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), to waive the requirement for prior 

notice and opportunity for public comment, as such procedures are 

impracticable and contrary to the public interest.

    The annual salmon management cycle begins May 1 and continues 

through April 30 of the following year. May 1 was chosen because the 

pre-May harvests constitute a relatively small portion of the annual 

catch. The time-frame of the preseason process for determining the 

annual modifications to ocean salmon fishery management measures 

depends on when the pertinent biological data are available.

Salmon stocks are managed to meet annual spawning escapement goals or 

specific exploitation rates. Achieving either of these objectives 

requires designing management measures appropriate for the ocean 

abundance predicted for that year. These pre-season abundance 

forecasts, which are derived from the previous year's observed spawning 

escapement, vary substantially from year to year, and are not available 

until January and February because spawning escapement continues 

through the fall.

    The Council initiated the preseason planning and public review 

process to develop their recommendations in February, as soon as the 

forecast information becomes available. The public planning process 

requires four states, numerous Indian tribes, and the Federal 

Government, all of which have management authority over the stocks to 

coordinate management actions. This complex process includes the 

affected user groups, as well as the general public. The process is 

compressed into a 2-month period culminating at the April Council 

meeting when the Council adopts a recommendation for fishing 

regulations that is forwarded to NMFS for review, approval and 

implementation by May 1.

    Providing opportunity for prior notice and public comments on the 

Council's recommended measures through a proposed and final rulemaking 

process would delay these measures 30 to 60 days in addition to the 

two-month period required to develop the regulations. This delay would 

require that fishing regulations for May and June be set in the 

previous year, and without the benefit of information regarding current 

stock status. For the 2012 fishing regulations, the current stock 

status was not available to the Council until February. Because the May 

and June salmon fisheries are relatively substantial fisheries, 

managing them with measures developed using the prior year's data could 

have significant adverse effects on the managed stocks, including ESA-

listed stocks. Although salmon fisheries that open prior to May are 

managed under the prior year's measures, as modified by the Council at 

its March meeting, relatively little harvest occurs during that period 

(e.g., on average, less than 5 percent of commercial and recreational 

harvest occurred prior to May 1 during the years 2001 through 2010). 

Allowing the much more substantial harvest levels normally associated 

with the May and June salmon seasons to be promulgated under the prior 

year's regulations would impair NMFS' ability to protect weak and ESA 

listed salmon stocks that are impacted by the fishery, and to provide 

harvest opportunity where appropriate. The choice of May 1 as the 

beginning of the regulatory season balances the need to gather and 

analyze the data needed to meet the management objectives of the Salmon 

FMP and the need to manage the fishery using the best available 

scientific information.

    If these measures are not in place on May 1, the previous year's 

management measures will continue to apply in most areas. This would 

result in lost fishing opportunities coastwide, especially commercial 

fisheries north of Cape Falcon which have higher quotas proposed for 

2012 than in 2011.

    Overall, the annual population dynamics of the various salmon 

stocks require managers to vary the season structure of the various 

West Coast area fisheries to both protect weaker stocks and give 

fishers access to stronger salmon stocks, particularly hatchery 

produced fish. Failure to implement these measures immediately could 

compromise the status of certain stocks, or result in foregone 

opportunity to harvest stocks whose abundance has increased relative to 

the previous year thereby undermining the purpose of this agency 

action. Based upon the above-described need to have these measures 

effective on May 1 and the fact that there is limited time available to 

implement these new measures after the final Council meeting in April 

and before the commencement of the ocean salmon fishing year on May 1, 

NMFS has concluded it is impracticable and contrary to the public 

interest to provide an opportunity for prior notice and public comment 

under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B).

    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries (AA) also finds that good 

cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), to waive the 30-day delay in 

effectiveness of this final rule. As previously discussed, data are not 

available until February and management measures not finalized until 

mid-April. These measures are essential to conserve threatened and 

endangered ocean salmon stocks, and to provide for harvest of more 

abundant stocks. Failure to implement these measures immediately could 

compromise the ability of some stocks to attain their conservation 

objectives preclude harvest opportunity, and negatively impact 

anticipated international, state, and tribal salmon fisheries, thereby 

undermining the purposes of this agency action.

    To enhance notification to the fishing industry of these new 

measures, NMFS announces new measures over the telephone hotline used 

for inseason management actions, and also posts the regulations on both 

of its West Coast regional Web sites (www.nwr.noaa.gov and 

swr.nmfs.noaa.gov). NMFS also advises the states of Washington, Oregon, 

and California on the new management measures. These states announce 

the seasons for applicable state and Federal fisheries through their 

own public notification systems.

    This action contains collection-of-information requirements subject 

to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), and which have been approved by 

the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under control number 0648-

0433. The public reporting burden for notifying that landing area 

restrictions cannot be met is estimated to average 15 minutes per 

response. This estimate includes the time to review instructions, 

search existing data sources, gather and maintain the data needed, and 

complete and review the collection of information. Send comments 

regarding this burden estimate, or any other aspect of this data 

collection, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to NMFS (see 

ADDRESSES) and by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or fax to 202-

395-7285.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is 

required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty 

for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the 

requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays 

a currently valid OMB control number.

    NMFS has current ESA biological opinions that cover fishing under 

these regulations on all listed salmon species. NMFS reiterated their 

consultation standards for all ESA listed salmon and steelhead species 

in their annual Guidance letter to the Council dated February 27, 2012. 

Some of NMFS' past biological opinions have found no jeopardy to salmon 

and steelhead species, and others have found jeopardy, but provided 

reasonable and prudent alternatives to avoid that jeopardy. The 

management measures for 2012 are consistent with the biological 

opinions that found no jeopardy, and with the reasonable and prudent 

alternatives in the jeopardy biological opinions. NMFS consulted this 

year on the effects of the 2012 annual regulations on LCR Chinook 

salmon. NMFS concluded that the proposed 2012 fisheries are not likely 

to jeopardize the continued existence of LCR Chinook salmon. NMFS also 

consulted this year on the effects of the 2012 annual regulations on 

Sacramento River winter Chinook salmon. NMFS provided a reasonable and 

prudent alternative in its jeopardy biological opinion, and the 2012 annual 

regulations are consistent with that RPA. The Council's recommended 

management measures therefore comply with NMFS' consultation standards 

and guidance for all listed salmon species which may be affected by 

Council fisheries. In many cases, the recommended measures result in 

impacts that are more restrictive than NMFS' ESA requirements.

    In 2009, NMFS consulted on the effects of fishing under the Salmon 

FMP on the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale Distinct 

Population Segment (SRKW) and concluded the salmon fisheries were not 

likely to jeopardize SRKW. The 2012 salmon management measures are 

consistent with the terms of that biological opinion.

    This final rule was developed after meaningful consultation and 

collaboration with the affected tribes. The tribal representative on 

the Council made the motion for the regulations that apply to the 

tribal vessels.

Print