[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 208 (Friday, October 26, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 65329-65330]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-26414]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

[Docket No. 120424023-1023-01]
RIN 0648-XC282


Fisheries Off West Coast States; Modifications of the West Coast 
Commercial and Recreational Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Actions 
22 through 26

AGENCY: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Modification of fishing seasons and landing and possession 
limits; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces 5 inseason actions in the ocean salmon 
fisheries. These inseason actions modified the commercial and 
recreational fisheries in the area from the U.S./Canada Border to 
Humboldt South Jetty, California.

DATES: The effective dates for the inseason action are set out in this 
document under the heading Inseason Actions. Comments will be accepted 
through November 13, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2012-0079, 
by any one of the following methods:
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov. 
To submit comments via the e-Rulemaking Portal, enter NOAA-NMFS-2012-
0079 in the search box. Locate the document you wish to comment on from 
the resulting list and click on the ``Submit a Comment'' icon on the 
right of that line.
     Mail: William W. Stelle, Jr., Regional Administrator, 
Northwest Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115-
6349.
     Fax: 206-526-6736, Attn: Peggy Mundy.
    Instructions: Comments must be submitted by one of the above 
methods to ensure that the comments are received, documented, and 
considered by NMFS. Comments sent by any other method, to any other 
address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, 
may not be considered. All comments received are a part of the public 
record and will generally be posted for public viewing on http://www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.) submitted voluntarily by the 
sender will be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business 
information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. NMFS will 
accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required fields if you wish 
to remain anonymous). Attachments to electronic comments will be 
accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file 
formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peggy Mundy at 206-526-4323.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    In the 2012 annual management measures for ocean salmon fisheries 
(77 FR 25915, May 2, 2012), NMFS announced the commercial and 
recreational fisheries in the area from the U.S./Canada Border to the 
U.S./Mexico Border, beginning May 1, 2012, and 2013 salmon seasons 
opening earlier than May 1, 2013.
    NMFS is authorized to implement inseason management actions to 
modify fishing seasons and quotas as necessary to provide fishing 
opportunity while meeting management objectives for the affected 
species (50 CFR 660.409). Prior to taking inseason action, the Regional 
Administrator (RA) consults with the Chairman of the Pacific Fishery 
Management Council (Council) and the appropriate State Directors (50 
CFR 660.409(b)(1)). Management of the salmon fisheries is generally 
divided into two geographic areas: north of Cape Falcon (U.S./Canada 
Border to Cape Falcon, Oregon) and south of Cape Falcon (Cape Falcon, 
Oregon to the U.S./Mexico Border).

Inseason Actions

    The table below lists the inseason actions announced in this 
document.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       Salmon fishery
    Inseason action number        Effective date          affected
------------------------------------------------------------------------
22............................  September 7, 2012  Commercial fishery
                                                    from Humbug
                                                    Mountain, Oregon to
                                                    the Oregon/
                                                    California Border
                                                    (Oregon Klamath
                                                    Management Zone or
                                                    Oregon KMZ).
23............................  September 13,      Recreational fishery
                                 2012.              from Queets River to
                                                    Leadbetter Point
                                                    (Westport subarea).
24............................  September 20,      Recreational fishery
                                 2012.              from Cape Falcon,
                                                    Oregon to Humbug
                                                    Mountain, Oregon.
25............................  September 19,      Commercial fishery
                                 2012.              from Oregon/
                                                    California Border to
                                                    Humboldt South
                                                    Jetty, California
                                                    (California KMZ).
26............................  September 27,      Recreational
                                 2012.              fisheries from U.S./
                                                    Canada Border to
                                                    Queets River,
                                                    Washington (Neah Bay
                                                    and La Push
                                                    subareas).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Inseason Action 22

    The RA consulted with representatives of the Council, Oregon 
Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), and California Department of 
Fish and Game (CDFG) on September 7, 2012.
    The information considered during this consultation related to 
catch and effort to date in the commercial salmon fisheries south of 
Cape Falcon in the Oregon KMZ. Inseason action 22 closed the 
commercial salmon fishery in the Oregon KMZ on September 7, 2012, due 
to projected attainment of Chinook salmon quota. On September 7, 2012, 
the states recommended this action and the RA concurred; inseason 
action 22 took effect on September 7, 2012, and remained in 
effect until the end of the fishing season. Inseason action to effect 
season closure due to attainment of

[[Page 65330]]

quota is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(a)(1).

Inseason Action 23

    The RA consulted with representatives of the Council, Washington 
Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and ODFW on September 11, 2012. 
The information considered during this consultation related to catch 
and effort to date in the recreational salmon fishery north of Cape 
Falcon. Inseason action 23 adjusted the daily bag limit for 
the recreational salmon fishery in the Westport subarea (Queets River 
to Leadbetter Point) to two fish per day both of which can be a coho 
salmon and unmarked coho may be retained. This action was taken to 
allow greater access to available coho quota in the recreational 
fishery. On September 11, 2012, the states recommended this action and 
the RA concurred; inseason action 23 took effect on September 
13, 2012, superseding inseason action 16 (77 FR 61728, October 
11, 2012), and remained in effect until the end of the fishing season. 
Modification of recreational bag limits is authorized by 50 CFR 
660.409(b)(1)(iii).

Inseason Action 24

    The RA consulted with representatives of the Council, ODFW, and 
CDFG on September 18, 2012. The information considered during this 
consultation related to catch and effort to date in the recreational 
salmon fishery south of Cape Falcon. Inseason action 24 
adjusted the schedule for the Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain non-mark-
selective coho fishery. The opening scheduled preseason for September 
20 through September 22 was changed to September 21 only. This action 
was taken due to projected attainment of non-mark-selective quota for 
this fishery. On September 18, 2012, the states recommended this action 
and the RA concurred; inseason action 24 took effect on 
September 20, 2012 and remained in effect until September 22, 2012. 
Inseason modification of fishing seasons is authorized by 50 CFR 
660.409(b)(1)(i).

Inseason Action 25

    The RA consulted with representatives of the Council, ODFW, and 
CDFG on September 19, 2012. The information considered during this 
consultation related to catch and effort to date in the commercial 
salmon fishery in the California KMZ. Inseason action 25 
closed the commercial salmon fishery between the Oregon/California 
Border and Humboldt South Jetty on September 19, 2012 due to projected 
attainment of Chinook salmon quota. On September 19, 2012, the states 
recommended this action and the RA concurred; inseason action 
25 took effect on September 19, 2012 and remained in effect 
through the end of the fishing season. Inseason action to effect season 
closure due to attainment of quota is authorized by 50 CFR 
660.409(a)(1).

Inseason Action 26

    The RA consulted with representatives of the Council, (WDFW), and 
(ODFW) on September 27, 2012. The information considered during this 
consultation related to catch and effort to date in the recreational 
salmon fisheries north of Cape Falcon. Inseason action 26 
transferred 150 coho salmon from the recreational fishery quota for the 
Neah Bay subarea to the recreational fishery quota for the La Push 
subarea. This action resulted in a final coho quota of 8,200 for Neah 
Bay and 2,360 for La Push. This action was taken to allow the La Push 
fall fishing season to proceed as scheduled for September 29 through 
October 14 (77 FR 25915, May 2, 2012) while staying within the coho 
quota. On September 27, 2012, the states recommended this action and 
the RA concurred; inseason action 26 took effect on September 
27, 2012 and remains in effect until the end of the fishing season or 
subsequent inseason action. Inseason modification of quotas and/or 
fishing seasons is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)(i).
    All other restrictions and regulations remain in effect as 
announced for the 2012 Ocean Salmon Fisheries (77 FR 25915, May 2, 
2012) and subsequent inseason actions (77 FR 55426, September 10, 2012; 
and 77 FR 61728, October 11, 2012) not otherwise modified herein.
    The RA determined that the best available information indicated 
that the stock abundance, and catch and effort projections supported 
the above inseason actions recommended by the states. The states manage 
the fisheries in state waters adjacent to the areas of the U.S. 
exclusive economic zone in accordance with these Federal actions. As 
provided by the inseason notice procedures of 50 CFR 660.411, actual 
notice of the described regulatory actions was given, prior to the date 
the action was effective, by telephone hotline number 206-526-6667 and 
800-662-9825, and by U.S. Coast Guard Notice to Mariners broadcasts on 
Channel 16 VHF-FM and 2182 kHz.

Classification

    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NOAA (AA), finds that 
good cause exists for this notification to be issued without affording 
prior notice and opportunity for public comment under 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(B) because such notification would be impracticable. As 
previously noted, actual notice of the regulatory actions was provided 
to fishers through telephone hotline and radio notification. These 
actions comply with the requirements of the annual management measures 
for ocean salmon fisheries (77 FR 25915, May 2, 2012), the West Coast 
Salmon Plan, and regulations implementing the West Coast Salmon Plan 
(50 CFR 660.409 and 660.411). Prior notice and opportunity for public 
comment was impracticable because NMFS and the state agencies had 
insufficient time to provide for prior notice and the opportunity for 
public comment between the time the fishery catch and effort data were 
collected to determine the extent of the fisheries, and the time the 
fishery modifications had to be implemented in order to ensure that 
fisheries are managed based on the best available scientific 
information, thus allowing fishers access to the available fish at the 
time the fish were available while ensuring that quotas are not 
exceeded. The AA also finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in 
effectiveness required under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), as a delay in 
effectiveness of these actions would allow fishing at levels 
inconsistent with the goals of the Salmon Fishery Management Plan and 
the current management measures.
    These actions are authorized by 50 CFR 660.409 and 660.411 and are 
exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: October 23, 2012.
James P. Burgess,
Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-26414 Filed 10-25-12; 8:45 am]
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