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Public Notice: Proposed Regulations, September 2009

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, September 22, 2009, 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, September 21, 2009.  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.

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

By emergency action, under its authority provided by Section 28.2-210 of the Code of the Virginia, the Commission has adopted an emergency amendment to Chapter 4 VAC 20-620-10 et seq., effective August 28, 2009, that would allow any person, who is legally eligible to fish, to possess any summer flounder recently tagged, by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), with two different types of reward tags.  Possession of these VIMS-tagged summer flounder shall not count towards the personal recreational possession limit of five summer flounder, 19 inches or greater in total length.  Possession of any undersized flounder which have any affixed VIMS tag, as described above, shall not constitute a violation of the minimum size limit of 19 inches in total length. It shall be unlawful for any person to remove either type of tag from these summer flounder.  It shall be unlawful for any person to retain any of these VIMS-tagged summer flounder, for a period of time that is longer than necessary to provide the VIMS-tagged summer flounder to a VIMS representative.  Under no circumstances shall any VIMS-tagged flounder be stored for future use or sale or delivered to any person who is not a VIMS representative.

The Commission proposes to incorporate this emergency amendment, as part of final Chapter 4 VAC 20-620-10 et seq.

B) Chapter 4VAC20-720-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Restrictions on Oyster Harvest"

The Commission proposes the following amendments to the regulation, to establish open harvest seasons, within the areas specified below, and will consider any related harvest restrictions, such as time, gear and harvest limits.  The Commission will consider alternate open season dates.

1) The James River Seed Area, including the Deep Water Shoal State Replenishment Seed Area, from October 1, 2009 through April 30, 2010.

2) The James River Hand Scrape Area and Thomas Rock Hand Scrape Area, November 1, 2009 through January 31, 2010. 

3) Rappahannock River Rotation Area 3, from November 1 through November 30 and Rappahannock River Rotation Area 5, from December 1 through December 31.

4) Tangier - Pocomoke Sounds Rotation Area 1, from December 1, 2009 through February 28, 2010.

5) Seaside of Eastern Shore (clean cull oysters only), from November 1, 2009 through February 28, 2010.

6) The Rappahannock River areas 8 and 9, the Great Wicomico River Hand Scrape Area, the Upper Chesapeake Bay (Blackberry Hangs Hand Scrape Area), the York River and Mobjack Bay Hand Scrape areas, and Deep Rock Patent Tong Area (Lower Chesapeake Bay), from December 1, 2009 through February 28, 2010.

C) Chapter 4VAC20-950-10 et seq. "Pertaining to Black Sea Bass"

The Commission invites public comment on a proposed amendment to this Chapter that would close the recreational black sea bass fishing season, effective September 28, 2009.  The Atlantic coastal states' recreational black sea bass fishery is managed by a single coast-wide quota, and it has been projected that, without a closure, the 2009 harvest will exceed the coast-wide quota.

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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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