[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 115 (Monday, June 16, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 34272-34273]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-14033]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

RIN 0648-BC95


Fisheries Off West Coast States; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; 
Notice of Availability for Amendment 18 to the Salmon Fishery 
Management Plan

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

ACTION: Availability of amendment to a fishery management plan; request 
for comments.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces that the Pacific Fishery Management Council 
(Council) has transmitted Amendment 18 to the Pacific Coast Salmon 
Fishery Management Plan for Commercial and Recreational Salmon 
Fisheries off the Coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California (FMP) 
for Secretarial review. Amendment 18 revises the description and 
identification of essential fish habitat (EFH) for Pacific salmon, 
designates habitat areas of particular concern (HAPC), modifies the 
current information on fishing activities and potential measures to 
minimize their effects on EFH, and updates the list of non-fishing 
related activities that may adversely affect EFH and potential 
conservation and enhancement measures to minimize those effects. 
Amendment 18 is available on the Council's Web site (www.pcouncil.org).

DATES: Comments on Amendment 18 must be received on or before August 
15, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2014-0071, 
by any one of the following methods:
     Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov. To submit comments via the e-Rulemaking Portal, 
enter NOAA-NMFS-2014-0071 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, West 
Coast Region, NMFS, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115-0070.

[[Page 34273]]

    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.
    Electronic copies of the amendment may be obtained from the Council 
Web site at http://www.pcouncil.org.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The ocean salmon fisheries in the exclusive 
economic zone off Washington, Oregon, and California are managed under 
a framework fishery management plan entitled the Pacific Coast Salmon 
Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
Conservation and Management Act (MSA) requires that each regional 
fishery management council submit any FMP or plan amendment it prepares 
to NMFS for review and approval, disapproval, or partial approval. The 
MSA also requires that NMFS, upon receiving an FMP or amendment, 
immediately publish a notice that the FMP or amendment is available for 
public review and comment. NMFS will consider the public comments 
received during the comment period described above in determining 
whether to approve Amendment 18 to the FMP.
    Essential fish habitat (EFH) definitions for salmon stocks managed 
under the FMP were originally developed in Amendment 14 to the FMP, and 
codified by NMFS in 2008 (73 FR 60987, October 15, 2008). The MSA 
requires periodic review of EFH provisions, and revision or amendment 
of those provisions, as warranted, based on available information (50 
CFR 600.815(a)(10)). In 2009, the PFMC and NMFS established and staffed 
a Pacific Salmon EFH Oversight Panel (Panel) to review salmon EFH and 
new information relevant to salmon EFH, and to make recommendations as 
to whether revisions would be appropriate. The Panel recommended 
modifications to Pacific salmon EFH in a final report submitted to the 
Council (Stadler et al. 2011). At its April 2011 meeting, the Council 
initiated an FMP amendment to address the Panel's recommendations. The 
Council adopted modifications to salmon EFH contained in Amendment 18 
at their September 2013 meeting, and transmitted the proposed amendment 
to NMFS on June 10, 2014.
    Freshwater EFH for salmon is described using hydrologic unit codes 
(HUCs) developed by the US Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS has 
changed the numbering of some of these HUCs since salmon EFH was 
originally described under Amendment 14; therefore, Amendment 18 
revises Appendix A to the FMP with the updated HUC designations. 
Additionally, new scientific information has become available on 
current and historically occupied freshwater salmon habitat; Amendment 
18 revises the description and identification of essential fish habitat 
(EFH) for salmon, based on the latest scientific information available. 
Amendment 18 also modifies the process for determining whether 
freshwater habitat above impassable barriers (e.g., dams) should be 
defined as EFH; designates habitat areas of particular concern; 
modifies the current information on fishing activities and potential 
measures to minimize their effects on EFH; and updates the list of non-
fishing related activities that may adversely affect EFH and potential 
conservation and enhancement measures to minimize those effects.
    NMFS welcomes comments on the proposed FMP amendment through the 
end of the comment period. Amendment 18 is available on the Council's 
Web site (www.pcouncil.org). The Council also transmitted a proposed 
rule to implement Amendment 18 for Secretarial review and approval. 
NMFS expects to publish and request public review and comment on this 
rule in the near future. Public comments on the proposed rule must be 
received by the end of the comment period on the amendment to be 
considered in the approval/disapproval decision on the amendment. All 
comments received by the end of the comment period for the amendment, 
whether specifically directed to the amendment or the proposed rule, 
will be considered in the approval/disapproval decision.

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

    Dated: June 11, 2014.
Emily H. Menashes,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-14033 Filed 6-13-14; 8:45 am]
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