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Public Notice: Pertaining to the Culling of Oysters 1998

NOTICE 

Notice is hereby given that the Marine Resources Commission will consider the following amendments to Regulations 4VAC 20-720-10, ET. SEQ., "Pertaining to Restrictions on Oyster Harvest", and 4VAC 20-260-10, ET. SEQ., "Pertaining to the Culling of Oysters".

The Commission will consider the proposed amended regulations and any other comments from individuals interested in this matter at a public hearing to be held at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, September 22, 1998. The public hearing will be held in the main office of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission on the 4th Floor at 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News. Shellfish items are scheduled to be heard after 12 noon.

Please submit written comments or questions regarding these proposed amended regulations to Dr. James A. Wesson, VMRC - Conservation and Replenishment Division, P. O. Box 756, Newport News, VA 23607-0756; (757)-247-2121.

PLEASE NOTE THE NOTICE ONLY INCLUDES THOSE CHAPTERS OF THE REGULATION THAT ARE BEING AMENDED. THE COMPLETE AMENDED REGULATION, AS PROPOSED, CAN BE REQUESTED FROM THE VIRGINIA MARINE RESOURCES (757-247-2120) OR BE AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC REVIEW AT THE VMRC MAIN OFFICE ( 3RD FLOOR). 

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VIRGINIA MARINE RESOURCES COMMISSION

PERTAINING TO THE CULLING OF OYSTERS

REGULATION 4VAC 20-260-10 ET. SEQ.

PREAMBLE

This Regulation establishes clean cull and seed areas, a minimum size limit, culling requirements, and inspection procedures for oysters taken from public oyster beds, rocks and shoals in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and on all oyster grounds on the Seaside of Eastern Shore.

This Regulation is promulgated pursuant to authority contained in 28.2-201, 28.2-507, and 28.2-513 of the Code of Virginia. This Regulation amends and readopts previous Regulation 4VAC 20-260-10 ET. SEQ. that was adopted on January 28, 1997 February 24, 1998 and made effective February 10, 1997.March 13, 1998. The effective date of this Regulation is March 13, 1998. October 1, 1998.

4VAC 20-260-10 PURPOSE:

The purpose of this Regulation is to establish clean cull and seed areas, culling requirements (minimum size limits) and inspection procedures which will provide protection for the public oyster beds, rocks, and shoals in Virginia's tidal waters.

4VAC 20-260-30 MINIMUM CULL SIZE:

In order to encourage a continued supply of marketable oysters, minimum size limits are hereby established. Undersized oysters and/or shells shall be returned immediately to their natural beds, rocks, or shoals where taken. When small oysters are adhering so closely to the shell of the marketable oyster as to render removal impossible without destroying the young oyster, then it shall not be necessary to remove it. Allowances for undersized oysters and shells incidently retained during culling are found in Section 4VAC 20-260-40 of this regulation. 

B. In the James River seed areas there shall be no size limit on oysters harvested for replanting as seed oysters and seed oysters shall not be marketed for direct consumption.

C. In the James River seed areas the shells of oysters harvested for direct consumption shall not be less than three (3) inches in length.

D. On the Seaside of Eastern Shore, the shells of oysters marketed for direct consumption shall not be less than three (3) inches in length. (Oysters marketed as seed oysters shall have no size limit).

E. In the Rappahannock River, the shells of oysters harvested for direct consumption from the areas known as Russ' Rock and Carter's Rock shall not be less than two and one-half (22) inches in length.

4VAC 20-260-40 CULLING TOLERANCE OR STANDARDS:

C. In the James River Seed Area if more than one four (4) quart measure of undersized oysters or shells are found per bushel of clean cull oysters inspected, it shall constitute a violation of the Regulation.

D. On the Seaside of Eastern Shore seed areas, if more than one four (4) quart measure of undersized (less than 3 inches) oysters and shell is found per bushel of oysters to be marketed for direct consumption it shall constitute a violation of this Regulation.

AND

VIRGINIA MARINE RESOURCES COMMISSION

PERTAINING TO PERTAINING TO RESTRICTIONS ON OYSTER HARVEST

REGULATION 4VAC 20-720-10 ET. SEQ.

 

PREAMBLE

This regulation sets times of closure and other restrictions on the harvest of oysters from all oyster grounds in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and on the Seaside of Eastern Shore. This regulation is promulgated pursuant to authority contained in 8.2-201 and 28.2-507 of the Code of Virginia. This regulation amends and re-adopts previous Regulation 4VAC 20-720-10, ET SEQ, that was adopted on September 23, 1997 November 25, 1997 and was effective on October 1, 1997. December 1, 1997 The effective date of this regulation is October 1, 1998.

4 VAC 20-720-10 PURPOSE:

The purpose of this regulation is to protect and conserve Virginia's oyster resource and promote the preservation of oyster broodstock, which has been depleted by disease, harvesting, and natural disasters.

4 VAC 20-720-40 OPEN SEASON AND AREAS:

The lawful seasons and areas for the harvest of oysters from the public oyster grounds and unassigned grounds are as follows:

A. James River Seed Area: October 1, 1997 1998 through April 30, . 1998.1999.

B. James River Jail Island and Point of Shoals Clean Cull Areas: October 1, 1997 1998 through April 30, 1998. 1999.

C. Seaside of Eastern Shore: for clean cull oysters only, November 1, 1997 1998 through January 31, 1998. 1999.

D. The area of the Rappahannock River west of the Rt. 3 Bridge, including the Corrotoman River: November 1, 1997 1998 through January 31, 1998. 1999.

E. That area of the Nomini and Lower Machodoc Rivers to the Virginia-Maryland State Line (Nomini-PRV6A to PRV6B; Lower Machodoc PRV5A to PRV5C): November 1, 1997 1998 through January 31, 1998. 1999.

F. That area of the Coan River to the Virginia-Maryland State line (PRV1A to PRV1B) except for that area above a line from Walnut Point (Survey Station Walnut) to Stephens Point (Survey Station Arthur): November 1, 1998 through January 31, 1999.

G. That area of the Yeocomico River inside Public Grounds 107, 112 and 113: November 1, 1998 through January 31, 1999.

4 VAC 20-720-50 CLOSED HARVEST SEASON AND AREAS:

It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest oysters from the following areas during the specified periods:

A. All public oyster grounds and unassigned grounds in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, including the tributaries of the Potomac River, except that area of the Rappahannock River west of the Route 3 Bridge, including the Corrotoman River and that area of the Nomini and Lower Machodoc Rivers to the Virginia-Maryland State Line (Nomini-PRV6A to PRV6B; Lower Machodoc PRV5A to PRV5C), that area of the Coan River to the Virginia-Maryland State line (Coan PRV1A to PRV1B) except for above a line from Walnut Point (Survey Station Walnut) to Stephens Point (Survey Station Arthur), and that area of the Yeocomico River inside Public Grounds 107, 112, and 113, the James River Seed Area, and the James River Jail Island and Point of Shoals Clean Cull Areas: October 1, 1997 1998 through September 30, 1998. 1999.

B. James River Seed Area and the James River Jail Island and Point of Shoals Clean Cull Areas: May 1, 1998 1999 through September 30, 1998. 1999.

C. All public oyster grounds and unassigned grounds on the Seaside of Eastern Shore: for clean cull oysters, October 1 through October 31, 1997 1998 and February 1, 1998 1999 through September 30, 1998 1999; and for seed oysters, all year. Oyster harvest from leased oyster ground and fee simple oyster ground shall require a permit from the Marine Resources Commission as set forth in Section 4VAC 20-720-90 of this regulation.

D. That area of the Rappahannock River west of the Route 3 bridge including the Corrotoman River and that area of the Nomini River and Lower Machodoc Rivers to the Virginia-Maryland State Line (Nomini-PRV6A to PRV6B; Lower Machodoc PRV5A to PRV5C), that area of the Coan River to the Virginia-Maryland State line (Coan PRV1A to PRV1B) except for above a line from Walnut Point (Survey Station Walnut) to Stephens Point (Survey Station Arthur), and that area of the Yeocomico River inside Public Grounds 107, 112, and 113: October 1 through October 31, 1997 1998 and February 1, 1998 1999 through September 30, 1998. 1999.

4VAC 20-720-60 DAY AND TIME LIMIT:

B. Harvest on the public oyster grounds in that area of the Rappahannock River west of the Route 3 bridge, including the Corrotoman River, that area of the Nomini and Lower Machodoc Rivers to the Virginia-Maryland State Line (Nomini-PRV6A to PRV6B; Lower Machodoc- PRV5A to PRV5C), that area of the Coan River to the Virginia-Maryland State line (Coan PRV1A to PRV1B) except for above a line from Walnut Point (Survey Station Walnut) to Stephens Point (Survey Station Arthur), and that area of the Yeocomico River inside Public Grounds 107, 112, and 113, the James River Seed Area and the James River Jail Island and Point of Shoals Clean Cull Areas shall be from sunrise to 2:00 p.m. daily. It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest oysters from the public grounds in that area of the Rappahannock River west of the Route 3 bridge, including the Corrotoman River, that area of the Nomini and Lower Machodoc Rivers to the Virginia-Maryland State Line (Nomini-PRV6A to PRV6B; Lower Machodoc- PRV5A to PRV5C), that area of the Coan River to the Virginia-Maryland State line (Coan PRV1A to PRV1B) except for above a line from Walnut Point (Survey Station Walnut) to Stephens Point (Survey Station Arthur), and that area of the Yeocomico River inside Public Grounds 107, 112, and 113, the James River Seed Area or the Jail Island and Point of Shoals Clean Cull Areas prior to sunrise or after 2:00 p.m. daily.

4VAC 20-720-70 GEAR RESTRICTIONS:

It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest oysters from public oyster grounds or unassigned grounds in the James River, that area of the Rappahannock River west of the Route 3 bridge, including the Corrotoman River, and that area of the Nomini and Lower Machodoc Rivers to the Virginia-Maryland State Line (Nomini-PRV6A to PRV6B; Lower Machodoc- PRV5A to PRV5C) and that area of the Coan River to the Virginia-Maryland State line (Coan PRV1A to PRV1B) except for above a line from Walnut Point (Survey Station Walnut) to Stephens Point (Survey Station Arthur), and that area of the Yeocomico River inside Public Grounds 107, 112, and 113 with shaft tongs longer than 18 feet in total overall length; except shaft tongs may exceed 18 feet in total overall length from Morattico Bar to the Route 3 Bridge in the Rappahannock River.

4VAC 20-720-80 QUOTAS AND CATCH LIMITS:

A. In the James River Seed Areas there shall be an oyster harvest quota of 80,000 bushels of seed oysters. It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest seed oysters from the James River Seed Area after the 80,000 bushel quota has been reached. In the James River Seed and Clean Cull areas there shall be an oyster harvest quota of 10,000 bushels of market oysters. It shall be unlawful for any person to harvest market oysters from the James River Seed and Clean Cull areas after the 10,000 bushel quota has been reached.

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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 KATHY LEONARD (757) 247-2120, NO LATER THAN FIVE WORK DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING DATE AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS.

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