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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 13-1079


[ 58 PA. CODE CH. 61 ]

Fishing; Seasons, Sizes and Creel Limits

[43 Pa.B. 3237]
[Saturday, June 15, 2013]

 The Fish and Boat Commission (Commission) proposes to amend Chapter 61 (relating to seasons, sizes and creel limits). The Commission is publishing this proposed rulemaking under the authority of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to Fish and Boat Code) (code). The proposed amendment modifies and updates the Commission's fishing regulations.

A. Effective Date

 The proposed rulemaking, if approved on final-form rulemaking, will go into effect on January 1, 2014.

B. Contact Person

 For further information on the proposed rulemaking, contact Wayne Melnick, Esq., P. O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000, (717) 705-7810. This proposed rulemaking is available on the Commission's web site at

C. Statutory Authority

 The proposed amendment to § 61.2 (relating to Delaware River, West Branch Delaware River and River Estuary) is published under the statutory authority of section 2102(b) of the code (relating to rules and regulations).

D. Purpose and Background

 The proposed rulemaking is designed to improve, enhance and update the Commission's fishing regulations. The specific purpose of the proposed rulemaking is described in more detail under the summary of proposal.

E. Summary of Proposal

 In 2007, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Shad and River Herring Technical Committee and American Shad Stock Assessment Subcommittee developed a coastwide stock assessment that indicated that adult American shad stocks in the Delaware River have been declining since 1994. In response, in January 2010, the Commission reduced the daily creel limit of American shad from six to three fish in cooperation and coordination with the other boundary states (New Jersey, New York and Delaware).

 The freshwater and marine bureaus of the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife have jurisdiction over different parts of the river. The Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries has jurisdiction over the waters of the Delaware River upstream of the Commodore Barry Bridge. The Bureau of Marine Fisheries has jurisdiction over waters downstream of this bridge. The Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries adopted the three fish limit in 2010. Although the Bureau of Marine Fisheries also had been working on a three fish creel limit for 2010, marine regulations in New Jersey are approved by both the New Jersey Marine Council and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. This prolongs the process for regulatory changes in the marine waters of New Jersey.

 To be consistent with New Jersey, the Commission adopted the three fish limit for the Delaware River from the New York/Pennsylvania state line downstream to the Commodore Barry Bridge in 2010. The creel limit remained at six fish in the 2.9-mile section of the river between the bridge and the Pennsylvania/Delaware state line. When the three fish limit was approved by the Commission, the Commission acknowledged that the daily limit would remain at six fish in this section until the New Jersey Marine Council effectuated a change to three fish. The Commission indicated that it would then seek public comment on an amendment that would reduce the creel limit of the lower section to three fish.

 In December 2012, the New Jersey Marine Council and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection acted to reduce the creel limit of American shad in the marine waters of New Jersey (including the portion of the Delaware River downstream of the Commodore Barry Bridge) from six to three fish. To coordinate the Commonwealth's regulation with New Jersey, the Commission proposes to extend the three fish limit to the entire river, including the 2.9-mile section from the Commodore Barry Bridge downstream to the Pennsylvania/Delaware state line. The Commission therefore proposes that § 61.2 be amended to read as set forth in Annex A.

F. Paperwork

 The proposed rulemaking will not increase paperwork and will not create new paperwork requirements.

G. Fiscal Impact

 The proposed rulemaking will not have adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions. The proposed rulemaking will not impose new costs on the private sector or the general public.

H. Public Comments

 Interested persons are invited to submit written comments, objections or suggestions about the proposed rulemaking to the Executive Director, Fish and Boat Commission, P. O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000 within 30 days after publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Comments submitted by facsimile will not be accepted.

 Comments also may be submitted electronically by completing the form at comments. If an acknowledgment of electronic comments is not received by the sender within 2 working days, the comments should be retransmitted to ensure receipt. Electronic comments submitted in any other manner will not be accepted.

Executive Director

Fiscal Note: 48A-243. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A



Subpart B. FISHING


§ 61.2. Delaware River, West Branch Delaware River and River Estuary.

*  *  *  *  *

 (d) The following seasons, sizes and creel limits apply to the Delaware River, West Branch Delaware River and Delaware River tributaries, from the mouths of the tributaries upstream to the limit of the tidal influence and the Lehigh River from its mouth upstream to the first dam in Easton, Pennsylvania:

*  *  *  *  *

AMERICAN SHAD Open year-round No minimum [From Pennsylvania line upstream to the Commodore Barry Bridge: 6
From the Commodore Barry Bridge upstream:] 3
*  *  *  *  *

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 13-1079. Filed for public inspection June 14, 2013, 9:00 a.m.]

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