[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 59 (Thursday, March 27, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 17071-17072]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-06821]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

[Docket No. 130108020-3409-01]
RIN 0648-XD198


Fisheries Off West Coast States; Modifications of the West Coast 
Commercial Salmon Fisheries; Inseason Actions 1, 2, 
and 3

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

ACTION: Modification of fishing seasons; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: NOAA Fisheries announces three inseason actions in the ocean 
salmon fisheries. These inseason actions modified the commercial salmon 
fisheries in the area from Cape Falcon, Oregon to Point Arena, 
California.

DATES: The effective dates for the inseason actions are set out in this 
document under the heading Inseason Actions. Comments will be accepted 
through April 11, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2012-0248, 
by any one of the following methods:
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2012-0248, click the ``Comment Now!'' icon, 
complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.
     Mail: William W. Stelle, Jr., Regional Administrator, West 
Coast Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115-6349.
     Fax: 206-526-6736, Attn: Peggy Mundy.
    Instructions: 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 by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the 
public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on 
www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business 
information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily 
by the sender will be publicly accessible. 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, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    In the 2013 annual management measures for ocean salmon fisheries 
(78 FR 25865, May 3, 2013), 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, 2013, and 2014 salmon seasons 
opening earlier than May 1, 2014. 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). Inseason actions 
in the salmon fishery may be taken directly by NMFS (50 CFR 
660.409(a)--Fixed inseason management provisions) or upon consultation 
with the Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) and the 
appropriate State Directors (50 CFR 660.409(b)--Flexible inseason 
management provisions).
    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). The inseason actions reported in this document 
affect fisheries south of Cape Falcon.

Inseason Actions

Inseason Action 1

    Inseason action 1 adjusted the scheduled opening date for 
commercial salmon fisheries from Cape Falcon, Oregon, to Humbug 
Mountain, Oregon, and from Humbug Mountain, Oregon, to the Oregon/
California Border. These fisheries, previously scheduled to open March 
15, 2014, now open April 1, 2014.
    The Regional Administrator (RA) consulted with representatives of 
the Council, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), and 
California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) on March 11, 2014. 
The information considered during this consultation related to 
projected abundance of Chinook salmon stocks for the 2014 salmon 
fishing season. During the consultation, the states recommended 
adjusting the opening date for this fishery in order to conserve 
impacts on age-4 Klamath River fall Chinook salmon (KRFC); the RA 
concurred. KRFC is the constraining stock for Klamath Management Zone 
(KMZ) fisheries to meet annual catch limits (ACLs) and is used as a 
surrogate for impacts to Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed California 
coastal Chinook salmon. Inseason action 1 took effect on March 
15, 2014 and remains in effect until May 1, 2014. Inseason action to 
modify quotas and/or fishing seasons is authorized by 50 CFR 
660.409(b)(1)(i).

Inseason Action 2

    Inseason action 2 cancelled the previously scheduled April 
16-30, 2014, commercial salmon fishery from Horse Mountain, California 
to Point Arena, California.
    The RA consulted with representatives of the Council, ODFW, and 
CDFW on March 11, 2014. The information considered during this 
consultation related to projected abundance of Chinook salmon stocks 
for the 2014 salmon fishing season. During the consultation, the states 
recommended cancelling this commercial fishery in order to conserve 
impacts on age-4 Klamath River fall Chinook salmon (KRFC); the RA

[[Page 17072]]

concurred. KRFC is the constraining stock for KMZ fisheries to meet 
ACLs and is used as a surrogate for impacts to ESA-listed California 
coastal Chinook salmon. Inseason action 2 takes effect on 
April 16, 2014, and remains in effect until May 1, 2014. Inseason 
action to modify quotas and/or fishing seasons is authorized by 50 CFR 
660.409(b)(1)(i).

Inseason Action 3

    Inseason action 3 adjusted the landing limits for halibut 
caught incidental to the April 2014 commercial salmon fishery. 
International Pacific Halibut Commission license holders participating 
in the April 2014 commercial salmon fishery may land or possess no more 
than one Pacific halibut per each four Chinook, except one Pacific 
halibut may be possessed or landed without meeting the ratio 
requirement, and no more than 12 halibut may be possessed or landed per 
trip.
    The RA consulted with representatives of the Council, ODFW, and 
CDFW on March 11, 2014. The information considered during this 
consultation related to the 2014 Pacific halibut allocation provided to 
the commercial salmon fishery under the 2014 Pacific Halibut Catch 
Sharing Plan for the U.S. West Coast (Area 2A); this allocation is 
reduced from 2013. During the consultation, the states recommended 
reducing both the halibut trip limit and the landing ratio of halibut 
to Chinook salmon to conserve the reduced allocation; the RA concurred. 
Inseason action 3 takes effect on April 1, 2014, and remains 
in effect until May 1, 2014. Inseason action to modify retention 
regulations is authorized by 50 CFR 660.409(b)(1)(ii).
    All other restrictions and regulations remain in effect as 
announced for the 2013 ocean salmon fisheries and 2014 fisheries 
opening prior to May 1, 2014 (78 FR 25865, May 3, 2013).
    The RA determined that the best available information indicated 
that projected abundance of Chinook salmon and availability of Pacific 
halibut supported the above inseason actions recommended by the states 
of Oregon and California. 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 time 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 (78 FR 25865, May 3, 2013), the West Coast 
Salmon Fishery Management Plan (Salmon FMP), and regulations 
implementing the Salmon FMP, 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 Chinook salmon 
abundance projections and Pacific halibut allocations were developed 
and fisheries impacts were calculated, 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 
FMP 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: March 24, 2014.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-06821 Filed 3-24-14; 4:15 pm]
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