RULES AND REGULATIONS
FISH AND BOAT COMMISSION
[58 PA. CODE CHS. 63 AND 65]
Sale, Purchase or Barter of Fish Parts and Fish Eggs; Miscellaneous Special Regulation
[29 Pa.B. 3212]
The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) by this order amends Chapters 63 and 65 (relating to general fishing regulations; and special fishing regulations). The Commission is publishing these amendments under the authority of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to the Fish and Boat Code) (code). The amendments relate to fishing.
A. Effective Date
The amendments will go into effect upon publication of an order adopting the amendments in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
B. Contact Person
For further information on the changes, contact Laurie E. Shepler, Assistant Counsel, (717) 657-4546, P. O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000. This final rulemaking is available electronically through the Commission's Web site (http://www.fish.state.pa.us).
C. Statutory Authority
The amendments are published under the statutory authority of section 2102 of the code (relating to rules and regulations).
D. Purpose and Background
The amendments are designed to update, modify and improve Commission regulations relating to fishing. The specific purpose of each amendment is described in more detail under the summary of changes.
E. Summary of Changes
(1) Section 63.42 (relating to sale, purchase or barter of fish parts and fish eggs). The Commission recently received inquiries as to whether it is legal to sell fish parts and fish eggs. The principal focus of these inquiries has been on the sale of steelhead eggs taken from Lake Erie and its tributaries. Various groups and individuals have expressed the belief that the taking and killing of these sportfish for purpose of selling their eggs is inappropriate.
It has been the Commission staff's position that the sale, offer for sale or purchase of fish, fish parts and fish eggs by anglers is prohibited by section 3311 of the code (relating to sale of certain fish prohibited). There are limited exceptions to this general rule for species authorized to be taken by holders of Lake Erie commercial fishing licenses. In addition, holders of live bait fish, live fish bait and live fish dealers licenses may sell or purchase certain species (not including steelhead) of live fish.
To clarify the interpretation of existing law and enhance its enforceability, the Commission has adopted an amendment to its general fishing regulations.
(2) Section 65.24 (relating to miscellaneous special regulations). For some years now, portions of Paden (Finley) Creek and Linesville Creek, Crawford County, have had miscellaneous special regulations in effect during the walleye run each spring. During a recent review of these regulations, Commission staff noted that clarification is necessary to protect walleye in these rather small streams during the spawning season. Linesville Creek flows into Pymatuning Sanctuary while Paden (Finley) Creek enters the main lake north of Clark Island. Both streams are conducive to poaching activity (including spearing) when walleye are running.
The Commission believes that it is appropriate to declare portions of both streams as nursery waters under § 67.1 (relating to nursery waters and exhibition areas) and to close them to all fishing during the period March 1 through April 15. This will provide adequate protection to walleye stocks. The designation will apply to the reach of Paden (Finley) Creek from the mouth upstream to ''Finley Bridge'' on State Route 6 and to Linesville Creek from the mouth (Pymatuning Sanctuary) upstream to the Conrail Railroad bridge north of State Route 6 in Linesville. Furthermore, the nursery water designation will prohibit spearing or gigging, or both, on these streams during the March 1 through April 15 period as a further measure to protect walleye during the spawning run. This designation makes unnecessary the current special regulation prohibiting spear fishing during the walleye run each spring when Finley and Linesville Creeks are so posted. Therefore, the Commission has amended § 65.24 to remove both streams from miscellaneous special regulation.
The amendments will not increase paperwork and will create no new paperwork requirements.
G. Fiscal Impact
The amendments will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions. The amendments will impose no new costs on the private sector or the general public.
H. Public Involvement
A notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 29 Pa.B. 823 (February 13, 1999). The Commission did not receive any public comments concerning this proposal.
The Commission finds that:
(1) Public notice of intention to adopt the amendments adopted by this order has been given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations promulgated thereunder, 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.
(2) A public comment period was provided and no comments were received.
(3) The adoption of the amendments of the Commission in the manner provided in this order is necessary and appropriate for administration and enforcement of the authorizing statutes.
The Commission, acting under the authorizing statutes, orders that:
(a) The regulations of the Commission, 58 Pa. Code Chapters 63 and 65, are amended by amending §§ 63.42 and 65.24 to read as set forth at 29 Pa.B. 823.
(b) The Executive Director will submit this order and 29 Pa.B. 823 to the Office of Attorney General for approval as to legality as required by law.
(c) The Executive Director shall certify this order and 29 Pa.B. 823 and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.
(d) This order shall take effect immediately upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
PETER A. COLANGELO,
Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 48A-91 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 99-1010. Filed for public inspection June 25, 1999, 9:00 a.m.]
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