Agenda Items for the May 28, 2002 Commission meeting are listed below with the Commission's actions in bold.
1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES - April 23, 2002. The Commission voted, 7-0, to approve the minutes as distributed. 2. PERMITS (Projects over $50,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for approval). The Commission voted, 7-0, to approve the Page Two items as presented. 3. SILVER COMPANIES ENTITIES, #00-1816, requests authorization to construct an aerial gondola crossing over the Rappahannock River, approximately one (1) mile west of the Interstate 95 Bridge, in Stafford County and the City of Fredericksburg. The gondola is associated with the "Celebrate Virginia" planned community and is proposed as a means of access to the community from areas south of the Rappahannock River. Several residents of the Fredericksburg area protested the project. Several newly elected members of the Fredericksburg City Council wrote the Commission and asked that the public hearing be continued until a later day. The Silver Companies opposed this. The Commission voted, 7-0, to hear the case and then after the presentation and public hearing voted, 8-0, to approve the permit. 4. DENNIS W. SMITH, #02-0295, requests authorization to construct a 32-foot by 30-foot enclosed boathouse which includes a 10-foot by 12-foot storage shed at the channel ward end of a proposed 107-foot long private pier adjacent to his property situated along the Rappahannock River in Middlesex County. The Commission rejected by a 5-2 vote a motion to approve the project. Later, the Commission voted, 7-0, to approve the boathouse, but not the storage shed. 5. DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, #02-0572, requests authorization to temporarily install one (1) 20-foot high timber pile with reflector targets on Dawson Shoals and one (1) 20-foot high timber pile with reflector targets on the north end of Parramore Island in Accomack County. A Coastal Primary Sand Dunes/Beach permit is required. The Commission voted, 8-0, to approve the permit. 6. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, #01-1986, requests authorization to place up to l00,000 cubic yards of dredged material from the maintenance of the Chesapeake Bay to the Magothy Bay portion of the (WCV) Federal Project Channel in Northampton County upon two previously used spoil sites, adjacent to Holly Bluff Island and Public Ground #18 in Magothy Bay. Wetlands and Subaqueous permits are required. The Commission voted, 8-0, to approve the permit. 7. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, #01-2103, requests authorization to place up to 45,000 cubic yards of dredged material from the dredging of the Bradford Bay Channel in Accomack County, adjacent to State-owned marsh over a section of non-vegetated wetlands (mud and sand flat) along the northern end of Bradford Bay near the Haul Over. Wetlands and Subaqueous permits are required. The Commission voted, 8-0, to approve the permit. 8. PUBLIC COMMENTS. Mr. Michael Chenowith of the Northern Neck discussed with the Commission his proposal for recreational gold prospecting in certain rivers and streams of the Commonwealth. He indicated that the Habitat Management Division staff was requiring a dredging permit, which he did not believe was necessary. After a lengthy discussion, the Commission told Mr. Chenowith to file a Joint Permit Application for the proposal to get the "wheels turning" and a decision on the proposal would be made after a public interest review.
Waterman Pete Nixon of Norfolk said the newly enacted 8-hour workday for crabbers discriminates against the small boat operations who cannot harvest crabs and then get their pots reset within the 8-hour daily limit. The Commissioner asked the agency's Blue Crab Advisory Committee to discuss Nixon's concern at its next meeting. 9. PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed amendments to Regulation 4VAC20-910-10 et seq. "Pertaining to Scup" to increase the summer period quota from 2,774 pounds to 4,987 pounds. The Commission voted, 8-0, to approve the amendment to the Regulation. 10. Recommendations of the Recreational Fishing Advisory Board. The Commission voted, 8-0, to approve all of the projects approved by the RFAB, except those that require a Habitat permit. The Commission will consider those requests after a decision on the permits is made. 11. Update on Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's review of Virginia's summer flounder regulations. Request for emergency regulations to modify the recreational summer flounder harvest limits. The Commission voted, 8-0, in an emergency regulation, to set a 17-1/2 inch size limit and an eight (8) fish possession limit on the catching of summer flounder in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal waters and within Virginia's coastal three-mile limit. The emergency regulation is effective, June 1. The Commission also voted, 8-0, to hold a public hearing on the emergency regulation at its June 18 meeting. 12. Update on Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's review of Virginia's coastal striped bass harvest. Request for public hearing to modify commercial harvest restrictions. The Commission voted, 7-1, to take emergency action to close the coastal (Atlantic Ocean) commercial fishery immediately, and set a public hearing for June 18 on the emergency action. Fisheries Management Division officials said the coastal fishery quota has been reached. 13. Dr. Bob Orth, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, presentation on the effects of boat scarring on Submerged Aquatic Vegetation. Dr. Orth presented a power-point program on the continued scarring of SAV beds in portions of the Chesapeake Bay. He will work with agency staff members and continue to monitor the situation. 14. PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed regulations pertaining to the establishment of blue crab sanctuaries and management and enhancement areas and prohibitions on the harvest of sponge crabs. After a lengthy public hearing and discussion, the Commission voted, 7-1, to expand the existing deep-water blue crab sanctuary in the Chesapeake Bay from 661 square miles to more than 900 square miles. This action will offer protection to about 70 percent of the egg-bearing female crabs during the annual spawning season. This action brings Virginia to more than the 15 percent harvest reduction quota requested by the Bi-State Blue Crab Advisory Commission. The 15 percent harvest reduction goal was to be in place by 2003. 15. DISCUSSION: Request for public hearing to consider amendments to Regulation 4VAC20-610-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Commercial Fishing and Mandatory Harvest Reporting" to require the submission of Captain's Daily Fishing Reports by all purse seine and snapper rig vessels landing in Virginia. The Commission voted, 7-0, to set a public hearing at its July 23 meeting on the proposed amendments. A motion was made by Dr. Henry Lane Hull to congratulate the citizens of the Commonwealth on the reappointment by Governor Mark Warner of William A. Pruitt as Commissioner of Marine Resources. DATE OF NEXT COMMISSION MEETING: JUNE 18, 2002 (This date is one week earlier than the normal meet time.)