NACO

National Association of Charterboat Operators

Commercial and Recreational Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Actions 22 through 26

NMFS announces 5 inseason actions in the ocean salmon fisheries. These inseason actions modified the commercial and recreational fisheries in the area from the U.S./Canada Border to Humboldt South Jetty, California.

The effective dates for the inseason action are set out in this document under the heading Inseason Actions. Comments will be accepted through November 13, 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 eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov. To submit comments via the e-Rulemaking Portal, enter NOAA-NMFS-2012-0079 in the search box. 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.

     Mail: William W. Stelle, Jr., Regional Administrator, Northwest Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115-6349.

     Fax: 206-526-6736, Attn: Peggy Mundy.

    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, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peggy Mundy at 206-526-4323.

Background

In the 2012 annual management measures for ocean salmon fisheries (77 FR 25915, May 2, 2012), NMFS announced the commercial and recreational fisheries in the area from the U.S./Canada Border to the U.S./Mexico Border, beginning May 1, 2012, and 2013 salmon seasons opening earlier than May 1, 2013.

    NMFS is authorized to implement inseason management actions to modify fishing seasons and quotas as necessary to provide fishing opportunity while meeting management objectives for the affected species (50 CFR 660.409). Prior to taking inseason action, the Regional Administrator (RA) consults with the Chairman of the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and the appropriate State Directors (50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)). Management of the salmon fisheries is generally divided into two geographic areas: north of Cape Falcon (U.S./Canada Border to Cape Falcon, Oregon) and south of Cape Falcon (Cape Falcon, Oregon to the U.S./Mexico Border).

Inseason Actions

The table below lists the inseason actions announced in this 

document.

 

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

                                                       Salmon fishery

    Inseason action number        Effective date          affected

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

22............................  September 7, 2012  Commercial fishery

                                                    from Humbug

                                                    Mountain, Oregon to

                                                    the Oregon/

                                                    California Border

                                                    (Oregon Klamath

                                                    Management Zone or

                                                    Oregon KMZ).

23............................  September 13,      Recreational fishery

                                 2012.              from Queets River to

                                                    Leadbetter Point

                                                    (Westport subarea).

24............................  September 20,      Recreational fishery

                                 2012.              from Cape Falcon,

                                                    Oregon to Humbug

                                                    Mountain, Oregon.

25............................  September 19,      Commercial fishery

                                 2012.              from Oregon/

                                                    California Border to

                                                    Humboldt South

                                                    Jetty, California

                                                    (California KMZ).

26............................  September 27,      Recreational

                                 2012.              fisheries from U.S./

                                                    Canada Border to

                                                    Queets River,

                                                    Washington (Neah Bay

                                                    and La Push

                                                    subareas).

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

 

Inseason Action 22

 

    The RA consulted with representatives of the Council, Oregon 

Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), and California Department of 

Fish and Game (CDFG) on September 7, 2012.

    The information considered during this consultation related to 

catch and effort to date in the commercial salmon fisheries south of 

Cape Falcon in the Oregon KMZ. Inseason action 22 closed the 

commercial salmon fishery in the Oregon KMZ on September 7, 2012, due 

to projected attainment of Chinook salmon quota. On September 7, 2012, 

the states recommended this action and the RA concurred; inseason 

action 22 took effect on September 7, 2012, and remained in 

effect until the end of the fishing season. Inseason action to effect 

season closure due to attainment of quota is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(a)(1).

Inseason Action 23

The RA consulted with representatives of the Council, Washington 

Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and ODFW on September 11, 2012. 

The information considered during this consultation related to catch 

and effort to date in the recreational salmon fishery north of Cape 

Falcon. Inseason action 23 adjusted the daily bag limit for 

the recreational salmon fishery in the Westport subarea (Queets River 

to Leadbetter Point) to two fish per day both of which can be a coho 

salmon and unmarked coho may be retained. This action was taken to 

allow greater access to available coho quota in the recreational 

fishery. On September 11, 2012, the states recommended this action and 

the RA concurred; inseason action 23 took effect on September 

13, 2012, superseding inseason action 16 (77 FR 61728, October 

11, 2012), and remained in effect until the end of the fishing season. 

Modification of recreational bag limits is authorized by 50 CFR 

660.409(b)(1)(iii).

Inseason Action 24

The RA consulted with representatives of the Council, ODFW, and 

CDFG on September 18, 2012. The information considered during this 

consultation related to catch and effort to date in the recreational 

salmon fishery south of Cape Falcon. Inseason action 24 

adjusted the schedule for the Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain non-mark-

selective coho fishery. The opening scheduled preseason for September 

20 through September 22 was changed to September 21 only. This action 

was taken due to projected attainment of non-mark-selective quota for 

this fishery. On September 18, 2012, the states recommended this action 

and the RA concurred; inseason action 24 took effect on 

September 20, 2012 and remained in effect until September 22, 2012. 

Inseason modification of fishing seasons is authorized by 50 CFR 

660.409(b)(1)(i).

Inseason Action 25

The RA consulted with representatives of the Council, ODFW, and 

CDFG on September 19, 2012. The information considered during this 

consultation related to catch and effort to date in the commercial 

salmon fishery in the California KMZ. Inseason action 25 

closed the commercial salmon fishery between the Oregon/California 

Border and Humboldt South Jetty on September 19, 2012 due to projected 

attainment of Chinook salmon quota. On September 19, 2012, the states 

recommended this action and the RA concurred; inseason action 

25 took effect on September 19, 2012 and remained in effect 

through the end of the fishing season. Inseason action to effect season 

closure due to attainment of quota is authorized by 50 CFR 

660.409(a)(1).

Inseason Action 26

The RA consulted with representatives of the Council, (WDFW), and 

(ODFW) on September 27, 2012. The information considered during this 

consultation related to catch and effort to date in the recreational 

salmon fisheries north of Cape Falcon. Inseason action 26 

transferred 150 coho salmon from the recreational fishery quota for the 

Neah Bay subarea to the recreational fishery quota for the La Push 

subarea. This action resulted in a final coho quota of 8,200 for Neah 

Bay and 2,360 for La Push. This action was taken to allow the La Push 

fall fishing season to proceed as scheduled for September 29 through 

October 14 (77 FR 25915, May 2, 2012) while staying within the coho 

quota. On September 27, 2012, the states recommended this action and 

the RA concurred; inseason action 26 took effect on September 

27, 2012 and remains in effect until the end of the fishing season or 

subsequent inseason action. Inseason modification of quotas and/or 

fishing seasons is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)(i).

    All other restrictions and regulations remain in effect as 

announced for the 2012 Ocean Salmon Fisheries (77 FR 25915, May 2, 

2012) and subsequent inseason actions (77 FR 55426, September 10, 2012; 

and 77 FR 61728, October 11, 2012) not otherwise modified herein.

    The RA determined that the best available information indicated 

that the stock abundance, and catch and effort projections supported 

the above inseason actions recommended by the states. The states manage 

the fisheries in state waters adjacent to the areas of the U.S. 

exclusive economic zone in accordance with these Federal actions. As 

provided by the inseason notice procedures of 50 CFR 660.411, actual 

notice of the described regulatory actions was given, prior to the date 

the action was effective, by telephone hotline number 206-526-6667 and 

800-662-9825, and by U.S. Coast Guard Notice to Mariners broadcasts on 

Channel 16 VHF-FM and 2182 kHz.

 

Classification

 

    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that 

good cause exists for this notification to be issued without affording 

prior notice and opportunity for public comment under 5 U.S.C. 

553(b)(B) because such notification would be impracticable. As 

previously noted, actual notice of the regulatory actions was provided 

to fishers through telephone hotline and radio notification. These 

actions comply with the requirements of the annual management measures 

for ocean salmon fisheries (77 FR 25915, May 2, 2012), the West Coast 

Salmon Plan, and regulations implementing the West Coast Salmon Plan 

(50 CFR 660.409 and 660.411). Prior notice and opportunity for public 

comment was impracticable because NMFS and the state agencies had 

insufficient time to provide for prior notice and the opportunity for 

public comment between the time the fishery catch and effort data were 

collected to determine the extent of the fisheries, and the time the 

fishery modifications had to be implemented in order to ensure that 

fisheries are managed based on the best available scientific 

information, thus allowing fishers access to the available fish at the 

time the fish were available while ensuring that quotas are not 

exceeded. The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in 

effectiveness required under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), as a delay in 

effectiveness of these actions would allow fishing at levels 

inconsistent with the goals of the Salmon Fishery Management Plan and 

the current management measures.

    These actions are authorized by 50 CFR 660.409 and 660.411 and are 

exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

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