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Public Notice: Establish two new oyster harvest areas 2002

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) invites public comment on proposed amendments to Regulation 4VAC 20-720-10 et seq., as shown below.

In accordance with Section 28.2-209 of the Code of Virginia, a public hearing on this proposal will be held at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, September 24, 2002 at the office of the Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, 4th floor, Newport News. Any interested person may offer testimony. For further information or to submit written comments, please contact Dr. Jim Wesson, VMRC Oyster Restoration Program, 2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor, Newport News, VA 23607, prior to 12:00 noon on Tuesday, September 24, 2002.

Proposed Amendments:

1) The Commission proposes to establish two new oyster harvest areas: The Deep Rock Dredge area offshore of Gwynns Island and the Drumming Ground Hand Scrape Area on the north side of the Rappahannock at the mouth of the Corrotoman River. Charts depicting both areas are available from the Commission.

2) The Commission proposes the following open harvest seasons:

James River Seed and Clean Cull Areas: October 1 - April 30
Seaside of Eastern Shore:  November 1 - January 31
Piankatank River, west of the Route 3 bridge: October 1 - December 31
Rappahannock River west of Tarpley Pt. and Jones Pt.: October 1 - December 31
Corrotoman River north of Balls Point and Corrotoman Pt.: October 1 - December 31
Rappahannock River Hand Scrape Area: October 1 - December 31
Rappahannock River Drumming Ground Hand Scrape Area: November 1 - January 31
Deep Rock Dredge Area:  January 1 - March 31 
Nomini, Lower Machodoc, Coan, Yeocomico, and Little Wicomico Rivers: October 1 - December 31
Portions of Pocomoke/Tangier Sounds: December 1 - December 31

3) The Commission proposes that a daily time limit for oyster harvest from all open areas shall be sunrise to 2:00 p.m. Shaft tongs shall be limited to 18 feet total length in all areas.

4) The Commission proposes that a standard oyster dredge only shall be allowed in the Deep Rock Dredge Area and there shall be a catch limit of 15 bushels per day, per boat. No hard clam or blue crab bycatch is allowed.

5) The Commission proposes a 6 bushel limit per Registered Commercial Fisherman licensee for the Rappahannock River west of Tarpley Pt. and Jones Pt., Corrotoman River north of Balls Pt. and Corrotoman Pt., the Rappahannock River Hand Scrape Area, Drumming Ground Hand Scrape Area, the Little Wicomico, Nomini, Lower Machodoc, Coan, Piankatank, and Yeocomico Rivers, and the Tangier Sound Hand Tong Areas.

6) The Commission will consider variations in the above proposals, including, but not limited to, simultaneous open seasons for the areas mentioned and increases in the daily catch limits described.


VMRC DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES.IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF A REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION DUE TO A DISABILITY, PLEASE ADVISE DEBORAH CAWTHON (757) 247-2248 NO LESS THAN FIVE WORK DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEED.

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