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Public Notice:  Proposed Regulations, February 2011

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on the proposed amendments to regulations listed below. 

In accordance with Section 28.2-209 of the Code of Virginia, a public hearing on the proposed regulations will be held at 12:00 noon, on Tuesday, February 22, 2011, at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, Virginia.  Written comments on the proposals should be mailed to Jack Travelstead, VMRC Fisheries Management Division, 2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor, Newport News, Virginia 23607, by 5:00 p.m., Monday, February 21, 2011.  Copies of the proposed regulations may be reviewed at the Commission Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and may be obtained by calling the Commission at (757) 247-2248.

I.  Chapter 4VAC20-530-10 et seq. "Pertaining to American Shad".

The Commission proposes to amend this regulation, to allow the limited by-catch of American shad, in areas above the first bridge in the James, York and Rappahannock rivers, excluding spawning areas, in 2011.  This action is necessary, as the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission reviews Virginia's request for an American shad by-catch proposal, on an annual basis.

II.  Chapter 4 VAC20-620-10 et seq. "Pertaining to Summer Flounder".

The 2010 recreational landings of summer flounder were estimated, through October, as 273,110 fish.  The 2011 target (quota) of summer flounder is 570,000 fish.  To allow for an increase in the recreational harvest of summer flounder to meet the 2011 target, the VMRC proposes the following management options, for its 2011 recreational summer flounder fishery:

A)  18 inches minimum size limit, 4 fish, no closed season 
B)  17 inches minimum size limit, 4 fish, no closed season 
C)  17 inches minimum size limit, 3 fish, no closed season 

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

On January 26, 2011, the Commission adopted Emergency amendments that established the 2011 commercial black sea bass directed fishery quota as 302,216 pounds.

On February 22, 2011, the Commission proposes to consider adopting the directed fishery quota as a permanent part of Regulation 4 VAC 20-950-10 et seq.  The Commission will also consider industry recommendations to:

a)  limit black sea bass bycatch landings at 1,000 pounds per trip, even if it is less than 10% of the other species on board (Atlantic mackerel, scup, squid, or flounder) and,
b)  repeal language that allows transfer of any remaining bycatch quota over 10,000 pounds to the directed fishery.

IV.  Emergency Chapter 4VAC20-720-10 et seq. "Pertaining to Restrictions on Oyster Harvest".

On January 26, 2011, the Commission adopted Emergency amendments that shall be in effect from February 1, 2011 through February 28, 2011.  The emergency amendments established the opening of the Deep Rock Patent Tong Area, from February 1, 2011 through February 28, 2011, and established a lawful daily limit of clean cull oysters harvested, from this area, as the number of registered commercial fisherman licensees, on board any vessel, multiplied by 6 bushels. 

Also, on January 26, 2011, the Commission adopted Emergency amendments that shall be in effect from February 1, 2011 through February 28, 2011.  The emergency amendments established the opening of the James River Hand Scrape Area and the Thomas Rock Hand Scrape Area (James River), from February 1, 2011 through February 28, 2011, and established a lawful daily limit of clean cull oysters harvested, from these two areas, as the number of registered commercial fisherman licensees, on board any vessel, multiplied by 6 bushels. 

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    VMRC DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES; THEREFORE, IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS DUE TO A DISABILITY, PLEASE ADVISE BETTY WARREN (757-247-2248) NO LATER THAN FIVE WORK DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING DATE AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS.



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