Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Specifications and Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments, 37839-37853 [06-5957]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 127 / Monday, July 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations Technical Standards The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note) directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards in their regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, through the Office of Management and Budget, with an explanation of why using these standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., specifications of materials, performance, design, or operation; test methods; sampling procedure; and related management system practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. This rule does not use technical standards. Therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards. Environment We have analyzed this rule under Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321–4370f), and have made a determination that there are no factors in this case that would limit the use of a categorical exclusion under section 2.B.2 of the Instruction. Therefore, we believe that this rule should be categorically excluded, under figure 2–1, paragraph (34)(g), of the Instruction, from further environmental documentation. This event establishes a safety zone therefore paragraph (34)(g) of the Instruction applies. A final ‘‘Environmental Analysis Check List’’ and a final ‘‘Categorical Exclusion Determination’’ are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165 Harbors, Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, and Waterways. For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 33 CFR part 165 as follows: I cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1226, 1231; 46 U.S.C. Chapter 701; 50 U.S.C. 191, 195; 33 CFR 1.05–1(g), 6.04–1, 6.04–6, and 160.5; Pub. L. 107–295, 116 Stat. 2064; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:29 Jun 30, 2006 Jkt 208001 I 2. A new temporary § 165.T09–074 is added to read as follows: § 165.T09–074 Safety Zone; Celebration Freedom Fireworks, Lake Macatawa, Holland, Michigan. 37839 Dated: June 22, 2006. S.P. LaRochelle, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Sector Lake Michigan. [FR Doc. E6–10326 Filed 6–30–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–15–P (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: all waters of Lake Macatawa, Holland, MI. within a 1000′ radius of the fireworks launching site located at Kollen Park, in position 42°47′20″ N and 086°07′12″ W (NAD 83). (b) Effective period. This rule is effective from 9:00 p.m. (local) on July 1, 2006 through 11:30 p.m. (local) on July 3, 2006. (c) Enforcement period. This rule will be enforced from 9 p.m. (local) on July 1, 2006 until 11:30 p.m. (local) on July 1, 2006. The alternate rain date for enforcement of this rule is from 9 p.m. (local) on July 3, 2006 through 11:30 p.m. (local) on July 3, 2006. (d) Regulations. In accordance with the general regulations in 33 CFR 165.23 of this part, entry into this zone is subject to the following requirements: (1) This safety zone is closed to all marine traffic, except as may be permitted by the Captain of the Port or his duly appointed representative. (2) The ‘‘duly appointed representative’’ of the Captain of the Port is any Coast Guard commissioned, warrant or petty officer who has been designated by the Captain of the Port Lake Michigan to act on his behalf. The representative of the Captain of the Port will be aboard either a Coast Guard or Coast Guard Auxiliary vessel. (3) Vessel operators desiring to enter or operate within the safety zone shall contact the Captain of the Port or his representative to obtain permission to do so. Vessel operators given permission to enter or operate in the safety zone shall comply with all directions given to them by the Captain of the Port or his representative. (4) The Captain of the Port may be contacted by telephone via the Sector Lake Michigan Operations Center at (414) 747–7182. Vessels assisting in the enforcement of the safety zone may be contacted on VHF–FM channel 16. Vessel operators may determine the restrictions in effect for the safety zone by coming alongside a vessel patrolling the perimeter of the safety zone. (5) Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan will issue a Marine Safety Information Broadcast Notice to Mariners to notify the maritime community of the safety zone and restriction imposed. PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No.051014263–6028–03; I.D. 062706B] Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery; Specifications and Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Inseason adjustments to groundfish management measures; request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: NMFS announces changes to management measures in the commercial and recreational Pacific Coast groundfish fisheries. These actions, which are authorized by the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (FMP), are intended to allow fisheries to access more abundant groundfish stocks while protecting overfished and depleted stocks. Effective 0001 hours (local time) July 1, 2006. Comments on this rule will be accepted through August 2, 2006. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by I.D. 062706B, by any of the following methods: • E-mail: GroundfishInseason9.nwr@noaa.gov. Include I.D. 062706B in the subject line of the message. • Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. • Mail: D. Robert Lohn, Administrator, Northwest Region, NMFS, Attn: Jamie Goen, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115–0070. • Fax: 206–526–6736, Attn: Jamie Goen. DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jamie Goen (Northwest Region, NMFS), phone: 206–526–6150; fax: 206–526– 6736; or e-mail: jamie.goen@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\03JYR1.SGM 03JYR1 37840 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 127 / Monday, July 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations rockfish bycatch limit for the commercial limited entry primary This Federal Register document is whiting fishery; (3) modifying the available on the Government Printing Office’s website at: www.gpoaccess.gov/ limited entry trawl rockfish conservation areas (RCAs) and trip fr/index.html. limits north of 38° N. lat. and the nonBackground information and groundfish trawl RCA between 40°10′ N. documents are available at the Pacific lat. and 38° N. lat. to protect Fishery Management Council’s (Pacific Council’s) website at: www.pcouncil.org. darkblotched rockfish; (4) announcing triggers for the catch of canary rockfish Background and petrale sole in the limited entry The Pacific Coast Groundfish FMP trawl fishery that would prompt NMFS and its implementing regulations at to implement an inseason action Title 50 in the Code of Federal between the June and September Pacific Regulations (CFR), part 660, subpart G, Council meetings; (5) increasing the regulate fishing for over 80 species of limited entry fixed gear and open access groundfish off the coasts of Washington, trip limit for deeper nearshore rockfish Oregon, and California. Groundfish during September through October specifications and management between 40°10′ N. lat. and 34°27′ N. lat.; measures are developed by the Pacific (6) modifying the recreational RCA Council, and are implemented by boundaries south of 40°10′ N. lat.; (7) NMFS. The specifications and increasing the recreational fishing management measures for 2005–2006 season for the (rockfish, cabezon, and were codified in the CFR (50 CFR part 660, subpart G). They were published in greenling complex)(RCG complex), lingcod and California scorpionfish the Federal Register as a proposed rule between 36° N. lat. and 34°27′ N. lat. on September 21, 2004 (69 FR 56550), and as a final rule on December 23, 2004 through October; (8) increasing the recreational fishing season for California (69 FR 77012). The final rule was scorpionfish south of 34°27′ N. lat. to subsequently amended on March 18, 2005 (70 FR 13118); March 30, 2005 (70 July-December; (9) allowing the tribal fisheries to test gear modifications; and FR 16145); April 19, 2005 (70 FR 20304); May 3, 2005 (70 FR 22808); May (10) implementing tribal harvest targets 4, 2005 (70 FR 23040); May 5, 2005 (70 for Dover sole and arrowtooth flounder FR 23804); May 16, 2005 (70 FR 25789); that combine trip limits from July May 19, 2005 (70 FR 28852); July 5, through December. Pacific Coast 2005 (70 FR 38596); August 22, 2005 (70 groundfish landings will be monitored FR 48897); August 31, 2005 (70 FR throughout the year and further 51682); October 5, 2005 (70 FR 58066); adjustments to trip limits or October 20, 2005 (70 FR 61063); October management measures will be made as 24, 2005 (70 FR 61393); November 1, necessary to allow achievement of, or to 2005 (70 FR 65861); and December 5, avoid exceeding, optimum yields (OYs). 2005 (70 FR 723850). Longer-term Lingcod Commercial Harvest changes to the 2006 specifications and management measures were published Guidelines in the Federal Register as a proposed The 2006 commercial harvest rule on December 19, 2005 (70 FR guideline for lingcod of 214.7 mt is 75115) and as a final rule on February projected to be exceeded before the end 17, 2006 (71 FR 8489). The final rule of the year by approximately 135.3 mt. was subsequently amended on March However, the anticipated total catch, 27, 2006 (71 FR 10545), April 11, 2006 487 mt north of 42° N. lat. and 405.1 mt (71 FR 18227), April 26, 2006 (71 FR south of 42° N. lat, is not expected to 24601), May 11, 2006 (71 FR 27408), May 22, 2006 (71 FR 29257), and June exceed either of the lingcod OYs (1,801 1, 2006 (71 FR 31104). mt north of 42° N. lat. and 612 mt south The changes to current groundfish of 42° N. lat), or the coastwide ABC management measures implemented by (2,716 mt). Allowing the lingcod this action were recommended by the commercial harvest guideline to be Pacific Council, in consultation with exceeded will prevent the commercial Pacific Coast Treaty Indian Tribes and fishery from being unnecessarily the States of Washington, Oregon, and constrained. Therefore, NMFS will not California, at its June 12–16, 2006, take action to constrain lingcod fisheries meeting in Foster City, CA. At that at this time, but will continue to meeting, the Pacific Council monitor the fisheries to avoid risk of recommended: (1) allowing the lingcod exceeding the lingcod OYs for the commercial harvest guideline to be remainder of the year. exceeded while staying within the OY; (2) implementing a darkblotched cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES Electronic Access VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:29 Jun 30, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Limited Entry Trawl Whiting Fishery Bycatch Limits for Darkblotched Rockfish Prior to the start of the 2006 whiting season, the projected catch of darkblotched rockfish by the non-tribal sectors of the whiting fishery (catcherprocessors, motherships, and vessels delivering shoreside) was 16.2 mt. Since the start of the 2006 primary whiting season, higher than anticipated darkblotched rockfish catch has occurred in the shore-based and at-sea whiting fisheries. Data available on June 9, 2006, indicates that 30 mt of darkblotched rockfish could be taken by the non-tribal whiting sectors if the current catch rates continue throughout the season. The Pacific Council recommended a 25–mt darkblotched rockfish bycatch limit for the non-tribal whiting sectors to reduce the likelihood of the darkblotched rockfish OY being exceeded, and to reduce the risk of the whiting fishery affecting the seasons for other groundfish fisheries that encounter darkblotched rockfish. In the non-tribal sectors of the limited entry trawl whiting fishery, overfished species bycatch limits are currently in place for canary (4.7 mt) and widow rockfish (200 mt). A 25–mt bycatch limit for darkblotched rockfish in the non-tribal whiting fishery is not equivalent to a bycatch allocation. The non-tribal whiting fishery may not have the full 25 mt available to achieve the whiting OY if the catch of darkblotched rockfish in other fisheries is higher than projected. In addition to the non-tribal whiting fishery, higher than anticipated darkblotched rockfish catch has occurred in the limited entry bottom trawl fishery. Even with restrictions to the bottom trawl fishery to reduce darkblotched rockfish catch, there is still a risk that the darkblotched rockfish OY may be exceeded if the current darkblotched bycatch rate in the whiting fishery continues without a bycatch limit. Previously, the Pacific Council considered a bycatch limit for darkblotched rockfish at its March and April 2006 meetings. However, a limit was not adopted at that time for the following reasons: the need for whiting vessels to have flexibility to change fishing locations to avoid Chinook salmon, canary and widow rockfish; darkblotched rockfish encounters could increase if the fishery chose to operate in deeper waters to avoid Chinook salmon or overfished shelf species; the increased abundance of darkblotched rockfish as it nears the rebuilt stock level could also result in an increased bycatch rate for darkblotched rockfish; E:\FR\FM\03JYR1.SGM 03JYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 127 / Monday, July 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES and, the past success of whiting fishery participants to modify their fishing behavior to avoid all species of concern. However, current catch of darkblotched rockfish in both the whiting and nonwhiting fisheries is such that action should be taken to slow the catch of darkblotched rockfish. Therefore, the Pacific Council recommended and NMFS is implementing, a darkblotched rockfish bycatch limit of 25 mt for the non-tribal limited entry trawl whiting fishery. Limited Entry Trawl RCAs and Trip Limits North of 38≥ N. Higher than expected darkblotched rockfish catch early in the year is projected to result in the darkblotched rockfish OY being exceeded by late summer unless the non-whiting limited entry trawl fishery north of 38° N. lat. is constrained. Darkblotched rockfish catch is approximately 40–50 percent higher than what was projected at the start of the fishing year. Preseason projections in January 2006 had indicated that 80–90 mt of darkblotched rockfish would be taken by the end of June. However, current Pacific Fisheries Information Network (PacFIN) data indicates that 122 mt will be taken by the end of June 2006. If measures are not taken to constrain the non-whiting limited entry trawl fishery, the groundfish fishery as a whole (including the whiting fishery) is projected to take 284.1 mt of darkblotched rockfish through the end of the year, exceeding the 200 mt OY. Approximately 20–30 mt are needed for the period 6 (November-December) petrale fishery to occur. With an OY of 200 mt and a projected catch of 122 mt through the end of June, the total catch of darkblotched rockfish needs to be less than 170 mt through the end of October for the period 6 petrale fishery to occur. To slow the catch rate of darkblotched rockfish in the non-whiting limited entry trawl fishery, the Pacific Council recommended increasing the size of the RCA north of 38° N. lat. for July through December, and reducing cumulative limits for slope rockfish and splitnose rockfish, species that co-occur with darkblotched rockfish. The Pacific Council estimates that 165.6 mt of darkblotched rockfish will be caught through the end of the year by the nonwhiting portions of the groundfish fishery as a result of these inseason actions, including the darkblotched rockfish that would be associated with a petrale sole fishery in period 6. However, if darkblotched rockfish mortality continues to be higher than projected or approaches the OY even with these inseason actions, there will VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:29 Jun 30, 2006 Jkt 208001 not be an opportunity for a period 6 petrale fishery. In addition to increasing the size of the trawl RCAs, the Pacific Council recommended reducing trip limits for slope, darkblotched, and splitnose rockfish. Reducing these slope rockfish limits is intended to eliminate any incentive to target slope species and to reduce darkblotched rockfish catch. Even though slope species tend to be sparse seaward of 250–fm (457–m), some vessels are currently targeting the slope, darkblotched and splitnose rockfish trip limits and may continue to do so even with the seaward boundary of the trawl RCA extended out to a boundary line approximating 250 fm (457 m). Reducing the slope, darkblotched, and splitnose rockfish trip limits to 1,000 lb (454 kg) per 2 months is expected to eliminate the incentive to target these species, while allowing incidentally-caught amounts of these species to be retained. In addition, it should ensure an opportunity for a period 6 petrale sole fishery by reducing the mortality of darkblotched rockfish. The management measures affecting darkblotched rockfish are more restrictive north of 40°10′ N. lat. and less restrictive south of 38° N. lat., because darkblotched rockfish are less abundant in this southern portion of their range. Generally, the area between of 40°10′ N. lat. and 38° N. lat. is subject to transitional slope rockfish management measures, somewhere between the management measures north and south of this area. Inseason data for 2006 shows that darkblotched rockfish landings off California are approximately 6.7 mt south of 40°10′ N. lat. and approximately 8 mt north of 40°10′ N. lat. to the CA/OR border. Data provided by the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) for the area between 40°10′ N. lat and 38° N. lat indicate that in 2005, 79 percent of darkblotched rockfish came from shallower than 200 fm (366 m), while the remaining amount came from 200– 250 fm (366–457 m) (none deeper than 250 fm (457 m)). However, over a longer period of time, data indicated that 9 percent of the darkblotched rockfish catch was from waters deeper than 250 fm (457 m), approximately 20 percent was from 200–250 fm (366–457 m), and approximately 70 percent was from waters shallower than 200–fm (366–m). Because of the clear need to reduce darkblotched rockfish mortality to as low as possible, the Pacific Council decided against transitional management in this area for slope rockfish trip limits. The Pacific Council recommended that the slope rockfish trip limit reductions be applied to the PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 37841 area between 40°10′ N. lat and 38° N. lat. Moving the seaward line of the trawl RCA to deeper depths is predicted to result in an increase in trawl fishing effort in the areas shoreward of the RCA, potentially affecting other overfished species such as canary rockfish. The Pacific Council considered moving the shoreward trawl RCA boundary to protect overfished species, but this option generated a number of concerns from state management agencies, the coastal tribes, and coastal fishers. Among these concerns are Dungeness crab impacts in nearshore habitat, particularly during the summer when trawl mortality of soft-shelled molting crab is likely high. Additionally, the nearshore area is a nursery ground for juvenile flatfish and other groundfish species. Concentrating trawl effort in this area could increase mortalities on juvenile and unmarketable fish. Therefore, the Pacific Council recommended that the shoreward boundary of the RCA remain as previously scheduled, a boundary line approximating 100 fm (183 m) in JulyAugust and 75 fm (137 m) in SeptemberDecember north of 40°10′ N. lat., and a boundary line approximating 100 fm (183 m) in July-October and 75 fm (137 m) in November-December between 40°10′ N. lat. and 38° N. lat. Because of concerns that the catch of canary rockfish could increase over current projections and in order to try to accommodate the petrale fishery in period 6, the Pacific Council recommended inseason triggers for canary rockfish and petrale sole for NMFS to take action before the September 2006 Pacific Council meeting. (See next section for more detail on triggers.) Because the Dover sole, thornyheads, and sablefish (DTS) fishery is projected to shift into deeper waters to protect darkblotched rockfish, raising the shortspine thornyhead trip limit is expected to reduce regulatory discards while still keeping the total catch of shortspine thornyhead within the 1,011–mt shortspine thornyhead commercial harvest guideline. NMFS will make the same changes to the seaward boundary of the open access non-groundfish trawl RCA south of 40°10′ N. lat. that it is making to the trawl RCA. Historically, the limited entry and open access trawl RCAs have been similar, except that the shoreward boundary of the open access nongroundfish trawl RCA for ridgeback prawn trawl does not move shoreward of a boundary line approximating 100 fm (183 m) south of 34°27′ N. lat. These RCAs are similar because trawl gear, E:\FR\FM\03JYR1.SGM 03JYR1 37842 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 127 / Monday, July 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES whether limited entry groundfish trawl or open access non-groundfish trawl, tends to intercept overfished groundfish species. Therefore, the Pacific Council recommended, and NMFS is implementing the following RCA and trip limit changes for the limited entry trawl fishery: (1) North of 40°10′ N. lat., move the seaward boundary of the trawl RCA from 200 fm (366 m) in JulyDecember (with petrale sole modifications for the NovemberDecember period) to 250 fm (457 m) from July-December (with petrale sole modifications for the NovemberDecember period); (2) north of 40°10′ N. lat., reduce minor slope and darkblotched rockfish trawl trip limits (large, small, and selective flatfish trawl) from 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) per 2 months to 1,000 lb (454 kg) per 2 months for July-December; (3) north of 40°10′ N. lat., increase the shortspine thornyhead trip limit for large and small footrope trawl from 5,800 lb (2,631 kg) per 2 months to 7,500 lb (3,402 kg) per 2 months for July-October; (4) between 38° N. lat and 40°10′ N. lat., move the seaward boundary of the trawl RCA (both limited entry trawl RCA and nongroundfish trawl RCA) from 150 fm (274 m) in July-December to 200 fm (366 m) in July-August, and to 250 fm (457 m) in September-December (with petrale sole modifications for the NovemberDecember period); (5) between 38° N. lat and 40°10′ N. lat., reduce minor slope and darkblotched rockfish trawl trip limits from 8,000 lb (3,629 kg) per 2 months to 1,000 lb (454 kg) per 2 months for July-December; (6) between 38° N. lat and 40°10′ N. lat., reduce splitnose rockfish trawl trip limits from 8,000 lb (3,629 kg) per 2 months to 1,000 lb (454 kg) per 2 months for JulyDecember; and (7) between 38° N. lat and 40°10′ N. lat., increase shortspine thornyhead trip limits from 4,900 lb (2,223 kg) per 2 months to 7,500 lb (3,402 kg) per 2 months for JulyOctober. October. As a mechanism to take action between meetings, if necessary in 2006, the Pacific Council recommended routine management measures that it would like NMFS to take if a specific undesirable harvest trends occur in the fishery between Pacific Council meetings. For example, if higher than projected catch rates of key species reach a pre-specified threshold, NMFS could respond by reducing trip limits or shifting RCA boundaries in keeping with recommendations made by the Pacific Council at its previous meeting. At its June 2006 meeting, the Pacific Council recommended this mechanism for addressing concern for the potential loss of the period 6 petrale fishery, and concern over potential effects on canary rockfish if trawl effort increases in areas shoreward of the RCA. Therefore, The Pacific Council recommended the following triggers and inseason actions: (1) If the catch of canary rockfish in the limited entry bottom trawl sector is projected to reach 7.75 mt by the end of a month, NMFS will move the shoreward boundary of the RCA in to the shore north of 40°10′ N. lat. at the end of that month; and (2) if the catch of petrale sole in the LE bottom trawl sector is projected to reach 2,000 mt (72 percent of the OY) by August 31, NMFS will reduce cumulative trip limits for petrale sole, ‘‘other flatfish’’ and English sole, and arrowtooth flounder for period 5 (September-October). Petrale sole trip limits for each type of bottom trawl gear and each area will be reduced by 8,000 lb (3,629 kg) per 2 months coastwide, and trip limits of ‘‘Other Flatfish’’ and English sole and arrowtooth flounder will also be reduced to 4 times the petrale sole limit if those limits are more than 4 times the petrale sole limit (e.g., the petrale sole limit could be 2,000 lb (907 kg), and the ‘‘other flatfish’’ and English sole limit 8,000 lb (3,629 kg).). NMFS will track landings and intends to implement these management measures if the triggers are met. Inseason Triggers for the Limited Entry Trawl Fishery In recent years, there has been limited ability to respond to unexpected undesirable changes in harvest trends between the June and September Pacific Council meetings. By the September Pacific Council meeting, the Pacific Council must often recommend more drastic management measure changes to reverse higher than expected catch trends from the summer fisheries. Recommendations from the September Pacific Council meeting are implemented by NMFS via an inseason action effective at the beginning of Limited Entry Fixed Gear and Open Access Deeper Nearshore Rockfish Trip Limits California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) recommended, that the trip limit for deeper nearshore rockfish between 40°10′ N. lat. and 34°27′ N. lat. be increased to 500 lb (227 kg) per 2 months during September-October, which matches the trip limit for all other open periods in that area. CDFG manages its nearshore fishery with State harvest targets that are more conservative than Federal limits. A review of landings indicate that the deeper nearshore rockfish state harvest VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:29 Jun 30, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 target is behind projections for this year. With this inseason adjustment, the deeper nearshore rockfish state harvest target is projected to be achieved by the end of December 2006. This fishery will continue to be monitored and further changes made, if necessary. Because catch of deeper nearshore rockfish is currently behind projections and there are not expected to be increased impacts on overfished species as a result of this action, the Pacific Council recommended increasing the deeper nearshore rockfish trip limit in this area. Therefore, the Pacific Council recommended and NMFS is implementing, an increase in the deeper nearshore rockfish trip limits for limited entry fixed gear and open access fisheries between 40°10′ N. lat. and 34°27′ N. lat. from 400 lb (181 kg) per 2 months to 500 lb (227 kg) per 2 months during September-October. California Recreational RCAs and Seasons In 2005, NMFS implemented inseason changes to California′s recreational RCAs and seasons. These changes were based on 2004 California Recreational Fisheries Survey (CRFS) data showing: (1) that recreational harvest of overfished species was below California′s recreational harvest targets; and (2) that CRFS improved California′s ability to monitor recreational fisheries inseason. The inseason action published in the Federal Register on May 4, 2005 (70 FR 23040), provided more recreational fishing opportunity while keeping projected impacts within recreational harvest targets. In March 2006, CRFS estimates on the recreational take for 2005 became available. These estimates indicated that even under the revised recreational management measures implemented through the March 2005 inseason action, California recreational harvest targets for overfished species were not exceeded and, for some species, catch was well below projected impacts. However, due to the shallow depth restrictions of 20 fm (37 m) between 40°10′ N. lat. and 36° N. lat., fishing pressure increased on nearshore groundfish species resulting in take that met or exceeded these species OYs or harvest targets. These results suggest that the 2006 recreational management measures could be further revised to allow for additional fishing opportunity for shelf species, such as vermillion rockfish, while reducing fishing pressure on nearshore groundfish species, such as nearshore rockfish and cabezon. In order to provide this additional opportunity while remaining within E:\FR\FM\03JYR1.SGM 03JYR1 cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 127 / Monday, July 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations recreational harvest targets, CDFG recommended liberalizing RCAs south of 40°10′ N. lat. and liberalizing seasons for the RCG complex, lingcod, and California scorpionfish between 36° N. lat. and 34°27′ N. lat. Under CDFG′s proposal, their recreational model projects impacts on overfished species to be: 65 mt of bocaccio, 7.7 mt of canary rockfish, 7.7 mt of widow rockfish, 0.3 mt of cowcod, 262 mt of lingcod, and 1.5 mt of yelloweye rockfish. All projected catch estimates continue to remain within harvest targets, allocations and/or California harvest guidelines. In addition, CDFG recommended that NMFS take action to conform Federal regulations to state regulations for California scorpionfish in state waters. The seasons for California scorpionfish were changed in California State regulations on March 20, 2006, to make the seasons for California scorpionfish match those for the RCG complex and the recreational RCAs in state waters. The 2005 season was only 3 months long and resulted in landings well under the state harvest target. This action extends the 2006 season by 3 months. The additional projected take of California scorpionfish as a result of this action is expected to stay within the state harvest target. Therefore, CDFG recommended that NMFS take action to conform Federal regulations to state regulations for Federal waters to change the California scorpionfish season south of 34°27′ N. lat. from open OctoberDecember to open July-December. California’s ability to track the fishery in a timely and accurate manner using CRFS and to take prompt inseason action later in the year to close the fishery if expected harvests exceed projections should minimize any risk to overfished species that may be associated with liberalizing the fishery. Therefore, the Pacific Council recommended, and NMFS is implementing, the following recreational RCA and season changes: (1between 40°10′ N. lat. and 36° N. lat., move the shoreward boundary of the recreational RCA from the 20–fm (37–m) depth contour to a boundary line approximating 30 fm (55 m) in JulyDecember; (2) between 36° N. lat. and 34°27′ N. lat., open the area shoreward of the recreational RCA through the month of October (i.e., the recreational RCA extends from a boundary line approximating the 40–fm (73–m) depth contour to the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) from May-October); (3) south of 34°27′ N. lat., move the shoreward boundary of the recreational RCA from a boundary line approximating 30–fm (55–m) depth contour to a boundary line VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:29 Jun 30, 2006 Jkt 208001 approximating 60 fm (110 m) in September-October (i.e., closed between 60 fm (110 m) and the EEZ in MarchDecember); (4) between 36° N. lat. and 34°27′ N. lat., extend the open season for RCG complex, lingcod, and California scorpionfish through the month of October; and (5) south of 34°27′ N. lat., extend the open season for California scorpionfish from October-December to July-December. Tribal Trawl Fisheries The Makah Tribe proposed examining the effectiveness of different trawl gear configurations combined with area management to reduce impacts on overfished species and Pacific halibut. The Makah Tribe proposed testing small footrope trawl gear compared to pineapple - cutback headrope trawl gear (aka: selective flatfish trawl gear) for differences in bycatch and plans to provide a report on its efforts to the Pacific Council in November 2006. To complete this work the Makah Tribe would create combined harvest targets for its trawl fleet for Dover sole and arrowtooth flounder that are equivalent to the limited entry cumulative limits specified for periods 4, 5, and 6 (JulyDecember) which were in place at the beginning of the year. When multiplied by the number of vessels in the fleet, 10, this represents a total fleet harvest target of 476.3 mt (1,050,000 lb) for Dover sole and 1360.8 mt (3,000,000 lb) for arrowtooth flounder. This proposal would give the Makah Tribe more flexibility to harvest more abundant species, such as Dover sole and arrowtooth flounder, while keeping incidental catch of overfished species low, namely Pacific ocean perch, canary rockfish, widow rockfish and darkblotched rockfish. These changes are not expected to result in any OYs being exceeded. Therefore, the Pacific Council recommended and NMFS is implementing a tribal harvest target of 1360.8 mt for Dover sole and 476.3 mt for arrowtooth flounder for the remainder of 2006 to replace the vessel specific trip limits for these species. Classification These actions are taken under the authority of 50 CFR 660.370(c) and are exempt from review under Executive Order 12866. These actions are authorized by the Pacific Coast groundfish FMP and its implementing regulations, and are based on the most recent data available. The aggregate data upon which these actions are based are available for public inspection at the Office of the Administrator, Northwest Region, PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 37843 NMFS, (see ADDRESSES) during business hours. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive prior notice and an opportunity for public comment on this action, as notice and comment would be impracticable. The data upon which these recommendations were based was provided to the Pacific Council, and the Pacific Council made its recommendations at its June 12–16, 2006, meeting in Foster City, CA. There was not sufficient time after that meeting to draft this notice and undergo proposed and final rulemaking before these actions need to be in effect at the start of the next cumulative limit period, July 1, 2006, as explained below. For the actions to be implemented in this notice, prior notice and opportunity for comment would be impracticable because affording the time necessary for prior notice and opportunity for public comment would impede the Agency′s function of managing fisheries using the best available science to approach without exceeding the OYs for federally managed species. The adjustments to management measures in this document affect commercial and recreational groundfish fisheries. Changes to the limited entry trawl fishery must be implemented in a timely manner by July 1, 2006, to reduce mortality of darkblotched rockfish, an overfished species. Changes to the recreational fishery must be implemented by July 1, 2006, in order to provide opportunities for anglers to catch groundfish within harvest targets while reducing the effects on nearshore stocks. Changes to the tribal trawl fisheries must be implemented in a timely manner by July 1, 2006, in order to allow the Makah Tribe to provide an opportunity for fishers to test gear modifications to reduce catch of overfished species in 2006. Delaying any of these changes would keep management measures in place that are not based on the best available data and which could lead to early closures of the fishery if harvest of groundfish exceeds levels projected for 2006 and that deny fishermen access to available harvest. This would impair achievement of one of the Pacific Coast Groundfish FMP objectives of providing for year-round harvest opportunities or extending fishing opportunities as long as practicable during the fishing year. For these reasons, good cause also exists to waive the 30 day delay in effectiveness requirement under 5 U.S.C. 553 (d)(3). List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660 Fisheries, Fishing, Indian fisheries. E:\FR\FM\03JYR1.SGM 03JYR1 37844 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 127 / Monday, July 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations Dated: June 27, 2006. James P. Burgess, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 660 is amended as follows: I PART 660—FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES 1. The authority citation for part 660 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. 2. In § 660.373, paragraph (b)(4) is revised to read as follows: I § 660.373 Pacific whiting (whiting) fishery management. * * * * * (b) * * * (4) 2005 2006 bycatch limits in the whiting fishery. The bycatch limits for the whiting fishery may be used inseason to close a sector or sectors of the whiting fishery to achieve the rebuilding of an overfished or depleted stock, under routine management measure authority at § 660.370 (c)(1)(ii). These limits are routine management measures under § 660.370 (c) and, as such, may be adjusted inseason or may have new species added to the list of those with bycatch limits. For 2005, the whiting fishery bycatch limits for the sectors identified § 660.323(a) are 4.7 mt of canary rockfish and 212 mt of widow rockfish. For 2006, the whiting fishery bycatch limits are 4.7 mt of canary rockfish, 200 mt of widow rockfish, and 25 mt of darkblotched rockfish. * * * * * I 3. In § 660.384, paragraphs (c)(3)(i)(A)(2) through (4), (c)(3)(ii)(A)(3), (c)(3)(iii)(A)(3), and (c)(3)(v)(A)(2) are revised to read as follows: § 660.384 Recreational fishery management measures. cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES * * * * * (c) * * * (3) * * * (i) * * * (A) * * * (2) Between 40°10′ N. lat. and 36° N. lat., recreational fishing for all groundfish (except ‘‘other flatfish’’) is prohibited seaward of the 30 fm (55 m) depth contour along the mainland coast and along islands and offshore seamounts from July 1 through December 31; and is closed entirely from January 1 through June 30 (i.e., VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:29 Jun 30, 2006 Jkt 208001 prohibited seaward of the shoreline). Coordinates for the boundary line approximating the 30 fm (55 m) depth contour are specified in § 660.391. Closures around the Farallon Islands (see paragraph (c)(3)(i)(C) of this section) and Cordell Banks (see paragraph (c)(3)(i)(D) of this section) also apply in this area. (3) Between 36° N. lat. and 34°27′ N. lat., recreational fishing for all groundfish (except ‘‘other flatfish’’ as specified in paragraph (c)(3)(iv) of this section) is prohibited seaward of a boundary line approximating the 40 fm (73 m) depth contour along the mainland coast and along islands and offshore seamounts from May 1 through October 31; and is closed entirely from January 1 through April 30 and from November 1 through December 31 (i.e., prohibited seaward of the shoreline). Coordinates for the boundary line approximating the 40 fm (73 m) depth contour are specified in § 660.391. (4) South of 34°27′ N. lat., recreational fishing for all groundfish (except California scorpionfish as specified below in this paragraph and in paragraph (v) and ‘‘other flatfish’’ as specified in paragraph (c)(3)(iv) of this section) is prohibited seaward of a boundary line approximating the 60 fm (110 m) depth contour from March 1 through December 31 along the mainland coast and along islands and offshore seamounts; except in the CCAs where fishing is prohibited seaward of the 20 fm (37 m) depth contour when the fishing season is open (see paragraph (c)(3)(i)(B) of this section). Recreational fishing for all groundfish (except ‘‘other flatfish’’) is closed entirely from January 1 through February 28 (i.e., prohibited seaward of the shoreline). Recreational fishing for California scorpionfish south of 34°27′ N. lat. is prohibited seaward of a boundary line approximating the 60 fm (110 m) depth contour from July 1 through December 31, except in the CCAs where fishing is prohibited seaward of the 20 fm (37 m) depth contour when the fishing season is open. Recreational fishing for California scorpionfish south of 34°27′ N. lat. is closed entirely from January 1 through June 30 (i.e., prohibited seaward of the shoreline). Coordinates for the boundary line approximating the 60 fm (110 m) depth contour are specified in § 660.392. * * * * * PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (ii) * * * (A) * * * (3) Between 36° N. lat. and 34°27′ N. lat., recreational fishing for the RCG Complex is open from May 1 through October 31 (i.e., it′s closed from January 1 through April 30 and from November 1 through December 31). * * * * * (iii) * * * (A) * * * (3) Between 36° N. lat. and 34°27′ N. lat., recreational fishing for lingcod is open from May 1 through October 31 (i.e., it′s closed from January 1 through April 30 and from November 1 through December 31). * * * * * (v) * * * (A) * * * (2) Between 36° N. lat. and 34°27′ N. lat., recreational fishing for California scorpionfish is open from May 1 through October 31 (i.e., it′s closed from January 1 through April 30 and from November 1 through December 31). (3) South of 34°27.00′ N. lat., recreational fishing for California scorpionfish is open from July 1 through December 31 (i.e., it′s closed from January 1 through June 30). * * * * * 4. In § 660.385, paragraph (d) is revised to read as follows: I § 660.385 Washington coastal tribal fisheries management measures. * * * * * (d) Flatfish and other fish. Treaty fishing vessels using bottom trawl gear are subject to the limits applicable to the non-tribal limited entry trawl fishery for English sole, rex sole, and other flatfish that are published at the beginning of the year. For Dover sole and arrowtooth flounder from July-December 2006, the Makah Tribe will manage its fishery to a harvest target of 476.3 mt for Dover sole and 1360.8 mt for arrowtooth flounder. Treaty fishing vessels are restricted to a 50,000 lb (22,680 kg) per 2 month limit for petrale sole for the entire year. * * * * * 5. In part 660, subpart G, Table 3 (North and South), Table 4 (South), and Table 5 (South) are revised to read as follows: I BILLING CODE 3510–22–S E:\FR\FM\03JYR1.SGM 03JYR1 VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:29 Jun 30, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\03JYR1.SGM 03JYR1 37845 ER03JY06.000</GPH> cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 127 / Monday, July 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations VerDate Aug<31>2005 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 127 / Monday, July 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations 15:29 Jun 30, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\03JYR1.SGM 03JYR1 ER03JY06.001</GPH> cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES 37846 VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:29 Jun 30, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\03JYR1.SGM 03JYR1 37847 ER03JY06.002</GPH> cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 127 / Monday, July 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations VerDate Aug<31>2005 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 127 / Monday, July 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations 15:29 Jun 30, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\03JYR1.SGM 03JYR1 ER03JY06.003</GPH> cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES 37848 VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:29 Jun 30, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\03JYR1.SGM 03JYR1 37849 ER03JY06.004</GPH> cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 127 / Monday, July 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations VerDate Aug<31>2005 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 127 / Monday, July 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations 15:29 Jun 30, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\03JYR1.SGM 03JYR1 ER03JY06.005</GPH> cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES 37850 VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:29 Jun 30, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\03JYR1.SGM 03JYR1 37851 ER03JY06.006</GPH> cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 127 / Monday, July 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations VerDate Aug<31>2005 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 127 / Monday, July 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations 15:29 Jun 30, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\03JYR1.SGM 03JYR1 ER03JY06.007</GPH> cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES 37852 37853 [FR Doc. 06–5957 Filed 6–30–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–C VerDate Aug<31>2005 15:29 Jun 30, 2006 Jkt 208001 PO 00000 Frm 00045 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\03JYR1.SGM 03JYR1 ER03JY06.008</GPH> cprice-sewell on PROD1PC66 with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 127 / Monday, July 3, 2006 / Rules and Regulations

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 127 (Monday, July 3, 2006)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 37839-37853]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-5957]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

[Docket No.051014263-6028-03; I.D. 062706B]


Fisheries Off West Coast States; Pacific Coast Groundfish 
Fishery; Specifications and Management Measures; Inseason Adjustments

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

ACTION: Inseason adjustments to groundfish management measures; request 
for comments.

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SUMMARY: NMFS announces changes to management measures in the 
commercial and recreational Pacific Coast groundfish fisheries. These 
actions, which are authorized by the Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery 
Management Plan (FMP), are intended to allow fisheries to access more 
abundant groundfish stocks while protecting overfished and depleted 
stocks.

DATES: Effective 0001 hours (local time) July 1, 2006. Comments on this 
rule will be accepted through August 2, 2006.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by I.D. 062706B, by any 
of the following methods:
     E-mail: GroundfishInseason9.nwr@noaa.gov. Include I.D. 
062706B in the subject line of the message.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow 
the instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: D. Robert Lohn, Administrator, Northwest Region, 
NMFS, Attn: Jamie Goen, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115-0070.
     Fax: 206-526-6736, Attn: Jamie Goen.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jamie Goen (Northwest Region, NMFS), 
phone: 206-526-6150; fax: 206-526-6736; or e-mail: jamie.goen@noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

[[Page 37840]]

Electronic Access

    This Federal Register document is available on the Government 
Printing Office's website at: www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html.
    Background information and documents are available at the Pacific 
Fishery Management Council's (Pacific Council's) website at: 
www.pcouncil.org.

Background

    The Pacific Coast Groundfish FMP and its implementing regulations 
at Title 50 in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), part 660, subpart 
G, regulate fishing for over 80 species of groundfish off the coasts of 
Washington, Oregon, and California. Groundfish specifications and 
management measures are developed by the Pacific Council, and are 
implemented by NMFS. The specifications and management measures for 
2005-2006 were codified in the CFR (50 CFR part 660, subpart G). They 
were published in the Federal Register as a proposed rule on September 
21, 2004 (69 FR 56550), and as a final rule on December 23, 2004 (69 FR 
77012). The final rule was subsequently amended on March 18, 2005 (70 
FR 13118); March 30, 2005 (70 FR 16145); April 19, 2005 (70 FR 20304); 
May 3, 2005 (70 FR 22808); May 4, 2005 (70 FR 23040); May 5, 2005 (70 
FR 23804); May 16, 2005 (70 FR 25789); May 19, 2005 (70 FR 28852); July 
5, 2005 (70 FR 38596); August 22, 2005 (70 FR 48897); August 31, 2005 
(70 FR 51682); October 5, 2005 (70 FR 58066); October 20, 2005 (70 FR 
61063); October 24, 2005 (70 FR 61393); November 1, 2005 (70 FR 65861); 
and December 5, 2005 (70 FR 723850). Longer-term changes to the 2006 
specifications and management measures were published in the Federal 
Register as a proposed rule on December 19, 2005 (70 FR 75115) and as a 
final rule on February 17, 2006 (71 FR 8489). The final rule was 
subsequently amended on March 27, 2006 (71 FR 10545), April 11, 2006 
(71 FR 18227), April 26, 2006 (71 FR 24601), May 11, 2006 (71 FR 
27408), May 22, 2006 (71 FR 29257), and June 1, 2006 (71 FR 31104).
    The changes to current groundfish management measures implemented 
by this action were recommended by the Pacific Council, in consultation 
with Pacific Coast Treaty Indian Tribes and the States of Washington, 
Oregon, and California, at its June 12-16, 2006, meeting in Foster 
City, CA. At that meeting, the Pacific Council recommended: (1) 
allowing the lingcod commercial harvest guideline to be exceeded while 
staying within the OY; (2) implementing a darkblotched rockfish bycatch 
limit for the commercial limited entry primary whiting fishery; (3) 
modifying the limited entry trawl rockfish conservation areas (RCAs) 
and trip limits north of 38[deg] N. lat. and the non-groundfish trawl 
RCA between 40[deg]10' N. lat. and 38[deg] N. lat. to protect 
darkblotched rockfish; (4) announcing triggers for the catch of canary 
rockfish and petrale sole in the limited entry trawl fishery that would 
prompt NMFS to implement an inseason action between the June and 
September Pacific Council meetings; (5) increasing the limited entry 
fixed gear and open access trip limit for deeper nearshore rockfish 
during September through October between 40[deg]10' N. lat. and 
34[deg]27' N. lat.; (6) modifying the recreational RCA boundaries south 
of 40[deg]10' N. lat.; (7) increasing the recreational fishing season 
for the (rockfish, cabezon, and greenling complex)(RCG complex), 
lingcod and California scorpionfish between 36[deg] N. lat. and 
34[deg]27' N. lat. through October; (8) increasing the recreational 
fishing season for California scorpionfish south of 34[deg]27' N. lat. 
to July-December; (9) allowing the tribal fisheries to test gear 
modifications; and (10) implementing tribal harvest targets for Dover 
sole and arrowtooth flounder that combine trip limits from July through 
December. Pacific Coast groundfish landings will be monitored 
throughout the year and further adjustments to trip limits or 
management measures will be made as necessary to allow achievement of, 
or to avoid exceeding, optimum yields (OYs).

Lingcod Commercial Harvest Guidelines

    The 2006 commercial harvest guideline for lingcod of 214.7 mt is 
projected to be exceeded before the end of the year by approximately 
135.3 mt. However, the anticipated total catch, 487 mt north of 42[deg] 
N. lat. and 405.1 mt south of 42[deg] N. lat, is not expected to exceed 
either of the lingcod OYs (1,801 mt north of 42[deg] N. lat. and 612 mt 
south of 42[deg] N. lat), or the coastwide ABC (2,716 mt). Allowing the 
lingcod commercial harvest guideline to be exceeded will prevent the 
commercial fishery from being unnecessarily constrained. Therefore, 
NMFS will not take action to constrain lingcod fisheries at this time, 
but will continue to monitor the fisheries to avoid risk of exceeding 
the lingcod OYs for the remainder of the year.

Limited Entry Trawl Whiting Fishery Bycatch Limits for Darkblotched 
Rockfish

    Prior to the start of the 2006 whiting season, the projected catch 
of darkblotched rockfish by the non-tribal sectors of the whiting 
fishery (catcher-processors, motherships, and vessels delivering 
shoreside) was 16.2 mt. Since the start of the 2006 primary whiting 
season, higher than anticipated darkblotched rockfish catch has 
occurred in the shore-based and at-sea whiting fisheries. Data 
available on June 9, 2006, indicates that 30 mt of darkblotched 
rockfish could be taken by the non-tribal whiting sectors if the 
current catch rates continue throughout the season. The Pacific Council 
recommended a 25-mt darkblotched rockfish bycatch limit for the non-
tribal whiting sectors to reduce the likelihood of the darkblotched 
rockfish OY being exceeded, and to reduce the risk of the whiting 
fishery affecting the seasons for other groundfish fisheries that 
encounter darkblotched rockfish. In the non-tribal sectors of the 
limited entry trawl whiting fishery, overfished species bycatch limits 
are currently in place for canary (4.7 mt) and widow rockfish (200 mt). 
A 25-mt bycatch limit for darkblotched rockfish in the non-tribal 
whiting fishery is not equivalent to a bycatch allocation. The non-
tribal whiting fishery may not have the full 25 mt available to achieve 
the whiting OY if the catch of darkblotched rockfish in other fisheries 
is higher than projected.
    In addition to the non-tribal whiting fishery, higher than 
anticipated darkblotched rockfish catch has occurred in the limited 
entry bottom trawl fishery. Even with restrictions to the bottom trawl 
fishery to reduce darkblotched rockfish catch, there is still a risk 
that the darkblotched rockfish OY may be exceeded if the current 
darkblotched bycatch rate in the whiting fishery continues without a 
bycatch limit.
    Previously, the Pacific Council considered a bycatch limit for 
darkblotched rockfish at its March and April 2006 meetings. However, a 
limit was not adopted at that time for the following reasons: the need 
for whiting vessels to have flexibility to change fishing locations to 
avoid Chinook salmon, canary and widow rockfish; darkblotched rockfish 
encounters could increase if the fishery chose to operate in deeper 
waters to avoid Chinook salmon or overfished shelf species; the 
increased abundance of darkblotched rockfish as it nears the rebuilt 
stock level could also result in an increased bycatch rate for 
darkblotched rockfish;

[[Page 37841]]

and, the past success of whiting fishery participants to modify their 
fishing behavior to avoid all species of concern. However, current 
catch of darkblotched rockfish in both the whiting and non-whiting 
fisheries is such that action should be taken to slow the catch of 
darkblotched rockfish.
    Therefore, the Pacific Council recommended and NMFS is 
implementing, a darkblotched rockfish bycatch limit of 25 mt for the 
non-tribal limited entry trawl whiting fishery.

Limited Entry Trawl RCAs and Trip Limits North of 38[deg] N.

    Higher than expected darkblotched rockfish catch early in the year 
is projected to result in the darkblotched rockfish OY being exceeded 
by late summer unless the non-whiting limited entry trawl fishery north 
of 38[deg] N. lat. is constrained. Darkblotched rockfish catch is 
approximately 40-50 percent higher than what was projected at the start 
of the fishing year. Preseason projections in January 2006 had 
indicated that 80-90 mt of darkblotched rockfish would be taken by the 
end of June. However, current Pacific Fisheries Information Network 
(PacFIN) data indicates that 122 mt will be taken by the end of June 
2006. If measures are not taken to constrain the non-whiting limited 
entry trawl fishery, the groundfish fishery as a whole (including the 
whiting fishery) is projected to take 284.1 mt of darkblotched rockfish 
through the end of the year, exceeding the 200 mt OY. Approximately 20-
30 mt are needed for the period 6 (November-December) petrale fishery 
to occur. With an OY of 200 mt and a projected catch of 122 mt through 
the end of June, the total catch of darkblotched rockfish needs to be 
less than 170 mt through the end of October for the period 6 petrale 
fishery to occur.
    To slow the catch rate of darkblotched rockfish in the non-whiting 
limited entry trawl fishery, the Pacific Council recommended increasing 
the size of the RCA north of 38[deg] N. lat. for July through December, 
and reducing cumulative limits for slope rockfish and splitnose 
rockfish, species that co-occur with darkblotched rockfish. The Pacific 
Council estimates that 165.6 mt of darkblotched rockfish will be caught 
through the end of the year by the non-whiting portions of the 
groundfish fishery as a result of these inseason actions, including the 
darkblotched rockfish that would be associated with a petrale sole 
fishery in period 6. However, if darkblotched rockfish mortality 
continues to be higher than projected or approaches the OY even with 
these inseason actions, there will not be an opportunity for a period 6 
petrale fishery.
    In addition to increasing the size of the trawl RCAs, the Pacific 
Council recommended reducing trip limits for slope, darkblotched, and 
splitnose rockfish. Reducing these slope rockfish limits is intended to 
eliminate any incentive to target slope species and to reduce 
darkblotched rockfish catch. Even though slope species tend to be 
sparse seaward of 250-fm (457-m), some vessels are currently targeting 
the slope, darkblotched and splitnose rockfish trip limits and may 
continue to do so even with the seaward boundary of the trawl RCA 
extended out to a boundary line approximating 250 fm (457 m). Reducing 
the slope, darkblotched, and splitnose rockfish trip limits to 1,000 lb 
(454 kg) per 2 months is expected to eliminate the incentive to target 
these species, while allowing incidentally-caught amounts of these 
species to be retained. In addition, it should ensure an opportunity 
for a period 6 petrale sole fishery by reducing the mortality of 
darkblotched rockfish.
    The management measures affecting darkblotched rockfish are more 
restrictive north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. and less restrictive south of 
38[deg] N. lat., because darkblotched rockfish are less abundant in 
this southern portion of their range. Generally, the area between of 
40[deg]10' N. lat. and 38[deg] N. lat. is subject to transitional slope 
rockfish management measures, somewhere between the management measures 
north and south of this area. Inseason data for 2006 shows that 
darkblotched rockfish landings off California are approximately 6.7 mt 
south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. and approximately 8 mt north of 40[deg]10' 
N. lat. to the CA/OR border. Data provided by the California Department 
of Fish and Game (CDFG) for the area between 40[deg]10' N. lat and 
38[deg] N. lat indicate that in 2005, 79 percent of darkblotched 
rockfish came from shallower than 200 fm (366 m), while the remaining 
amount came from 200-250 fm (366-457 m) (none deeper than 250 fm (457 
m)). However, over a longer period of time, data indicated that 9 
percent of the darkblotched rockfish catch was from waters deeper than 
250 fm (457 m), approximately 20 percent was from 200-250 fm (366-457 
m), and approximately 70 percent was from waters shallower than 200-fm 
(366-m). Because of the clear need to reduce darkblotched rockfish 
mortality to as low as possible, the Pacific Council decided against 
transitional management in this area for slope rockfish trip limits. 
The Pacific Council recommended that the slope rockfish trip limit 
reductions be applied to the area between 40[deg]10' N. lat and 38[deg] 
N. lat.
    Moving the seaward line of the trawl RCA to deeper depths is 
predicted to result in an increase in trawl fishing effort in the areas 
shoreward of the RCA, potentially affecting other overfished species 
such as canary rockfish. The Pacific Council considered moving the 
shoreward trawl RCA boundary to protect overfished species, but this 
option generated a number of concerns from state management agencies, 
the coastal tribes, and coastal fishers. Among these concerns are 
Dungeness crab impacts in nearshore habitat, particularly during the 
summer when trawl mortality of soft-shelled molting crab is likely 
high. Additionally, the nearshore area is a nursery ground for juvenile 
flatfish and other groundfish species. Concentrating trawl effort in 
this area could increase mortalities on juvenile and unmarketable fish. 
Therefore, the Pacific Council recommended that the shoreward boundary 
of the RCA remain as previously scheduled, a boundary line 
approximating 100 fm (183 m) in July-August and 75 fm (137 m) in 
September-December north of 40[deg]10' N. lat., and a boundary line 
approximating 100 fm (183 m) in July-October and 75 fm (137 m) in 
November-December between 40[deg]10' N. lat. and 38[deg] N. lat.
    Because of concerns that the catch of canary rockfish could 
increase over current projections and in order to try to accommodate 
the petrale fishery in period 6, the Pacific Council recommended 
inseason triggers for canary rockfish and petrale sole for NMFS to take 
action before the September 2006 Pacific Council meeting. (See next 
section for more detail on triggers.)
    Because the Dover sole, thornyheads, and sablefish (DTS) fishery is 
projected to shift into deeper waters to protect darkblotched rockfish, 
raising the shortspine thornyhead trip limit is expected to reduce 
regulatory discards while still keeping the total catch of shortspine 
thornyhead within the 1,011-mt shortspine thornyhead commercial harvest 
guideline.
    NMFS will make the same changes to the seaward boundary of the open 
access non-groundfish trawl RCA south of 40[deg]10' N. lat. that it is 
making to the trawl RCA. Historically, the limited entry and open 
access trawl RCAs have been similar, except that the shoreward boundary 
of the open access non-groundfish trawl RCA for ridgeback prawn trawl 
does not move shoreward of a boundary line approximating 100 fm (183 m) 
south of 34[deg]27' N. lat. These RCAs are similar because trawl gear,

[[Page 37842]]

whether limited entry groundfish trawl or open access non-groundfish 
trawl, tends to intercept overfished groundfish species.
    Therefore, the Pacific Council recommended, and NMFS is 
implementing the following RCA and trip limit changes for the limited 
entry trawl fishery: (1) North of 40[deg]10' N. lat., move the seaward 
boundary of the trawl RCA from 200 fm (366 m) in July-December (with 
petrale sole modifications for the November-December period) to 250 fm 
(457 m) from July-December (with petrale sole modifications for the 
November-December period); (2) north of 40[deg]10' N. lat., reduce 
minor slope and darkblotched rockfish trawl trip limits (large, small, 
and selective flatfish trawl) from 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) per 2 months to 
1,000 lb (454 kg) per 2 months for July-December; (3) north of 
40[deg]10' N. lat., increase the shortspine thornyhead trip limit for 
large and small footrope trawl from 5,800 lb (2,631 kg) per 2 months to 
7,500 lb (3,402 kg) per 2 months for July-October; (4) between 38[deg] 
N. lat and 40[deg]10' N. lat., move the seaward boundary of the trawl 
RCA (both limited entry trawl RCA and non-groundfish trawl RCA) from 
150 fm (274 m) in July-December to 200 fm (366 m) in July-August, and 
to 250 fm (457 m) in September-December (with petrale sole 
modifications for the November-December period); (5) between 38[deg] N. 
lat and 40[deg]10' N. lat., reduce minor slope and darkblotched 
rockfish trawl trip limits from 8,000 lb (3,629 kg) per 2 months to 
1,000 lb (454 kg) per 2 months for July-December; (6) between 38[deg] 
N. lat and 40[deg]10' N. lat., reduce splitnose rockfish trawl trip 
limits from 8,000 lb (3,629 kg) per 2 months to 1,000 lb (454 kg) per 2 
months for July-December; and (7) between 38[deg] N. lat and 40[deg]10' 
N. lat., increase shortspine thornyhead trip limits from 4,900 lb 
(2,223 kg) per 2 months to 7,500 lb (3,402 kg) per 2 months for July-
October.

Inseason Triggers for the Limited Entry Trawl Fishery

    In recent years, there has been limited ability to respond to 
unexpected undesirable changes in harvest trends between the June and 
September Pacific Council meetings. By the September Pacific Council 
meeting, the Pacific Council must often recommend more drastic 
management measure changes to reverse higher than expected catch trends 
from the summer fisheries. Recommendations from the September Pacific 
Council meeting are implemented by NMFS via an inseason action 
effective at the beginning of October. As a mechanism to take action 
between meetings, if necessary in 2006, the Pacific Council recommended 
routine management measures that it would like NMFS to take if a 
specific undesirable harvest trends occur in the fishery between 
Pacific Council meetings. For example, if higher than projected catch 
rates of key species reach a pre-specified threshold, NMFS could 
respond by reducing trip limits or shifting RCA boundaries in keeping 
with recommendations made by the Pacific Council at its previous 
meeting. At its June 2006 meeting, the Pacific Council recommended this 
mechanism for addressing concern for the potential loss of the period 6 
petrale fishery, and concern over potential effects on canary rockfish 
if trawl effort increases in areas shoreward of the RCA.
    Therefore, The Pacific Council recommended the following triggers 
and inseason actions: (1) If the catch of canary rockfish in the 
limited entry bottom trawl sector is projected to reach 7.75 mt by the 
end of a month, NMFS will move the shoreward boundary of the RCA in to 
the shore north of 40[deg]10' N. lat. at the end of that month; and (2) 
if the catch of petrale sole in the LE bottom trawl sector is projected 
to reach 2,000 mt (72 percent of the OY) by August 31, NMFS will reduce 
cumulative trip limits for petrale sole, ``other flatfish'' and English 
sole, and arrowtooth flounder for period 5 (September-October). Petrale 
sole trip limits for each type of bottom trawl gear and each area will 
be reduced by 8,000 lb (3,629 kg) per 2 months coastwide, and trip 
limits of ``Other Flatfish'' and English sole and arrowtooth flounder 
will also be reduced to 4 times the petrale sole limit if those limits 
are more than 4 times the petrale sole limit (e.g., the petrale sole 
limit could be 2,000 lb (907 kg), and the ``other flatfish'' and 
English sole limit 8,000 lb (3,629 kg).). NMFS will track landings and 
intends to implement these management measures if the triggers are met.

Limited Entry Fixed Gear and Open Access Deeper Nearshore Rockfish Trip 
Limits

    California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) recommended, that the 
trip limit for deeper nearshore rockfish between 40[deg]10' N. lat. and 
34[deg]27' N. lat. be increased to 500 lb (227 kg) per 2 months during 
September-October, which matches the trip limit for all other open 
periods in that area. CDFG manages its nearshore fishery with State 
harvest targets that are more conservative than Federal limits. A 
review of landings indicate that the deeper nearshore rockfish state 
harvest target is behind projections for this year. With this inseason 
adjustment, the deeper nearshore rockfish state harvest target is 
projected to be achieved by the end of December 2006. This fishery will 
continue to be monitored and further changes made, if necessary. 
Because catch of deeper nearshore rockfish is currently behind 
projections and there are not expected to be increased impacts on 
overfished species as a result of this action, the Pacific Council 
recommended increasing the deeper nearshore rockfish trip limit in this 
area.
    Therefore, the Pacific Council recommended and NMFS is 
implementing, an increase in the deeper nearshore rockfish trip limits 
for limited entry fixed gear and open access fisheries between 
40[deg]10' N. lat. and 34[deg]27' N. lat. from 400 lb (181 kg) per 2 
months to 500 lb (227 kg) per 2 months during September-October.

California Recreational RCAs and Seasons

    In 2005, NMFS implemented inseason changes to California's 
recreational RCAs and seasons. These changes were based on 2004 
California Recreational Fisheries Survey (CRFS) data showing: (1) that 
recreational harvest of overfished species was below California's 
recreational harvest targets; and (2) that CRFS improved California's 
ability to monitor recreational fisheries inseason. The inseason action 
published in the Federal Register on May 4, 2005 (70 FR 23040), 
provided more recreational fishing opportunity while keeping projected 
impacts within recreational harvest targets.
    In March 2006, CRFS estimates on the recreational take for 2005 
became available. These estimates indicated that even under the revised 
recreational management measures implemented through the March 2005 
inseason action, California recreational harvest targets for overfished 
species were not exceeded and, for some species, catch was well below 
projected impacts. However, due to the shallow depth restrictions of 20 
fm (37 m) between 40[deg]10' N. lat. and 36[deg] N. lat., fishing 
pressure increased on nearshore groundfish species resulting in take 
that met or exceeded these species OYs or harvest targets. These 
results suggest that the 2006 recreational management measures could be 
further revised to allow for additional fishing opportunity for shelf 
species, such as vermillion rockfish, while reducing fishing pressure 
on nearshore groundfish species, such as nearshore rockfish and 
cabezon.
    In order to provide this additional opportunity while remaining 
within

[[Page 37843]]

recreational harvest targets, CDFG recommended liberalizing RCAs south 
of 40[deg]10' N. lat. and liberalizing seasons for the RCG complex, 
lingcod, and California scorpionfish between 36[deg] N. lat. and 
34[deg]27' N. lat. Under CDFG's proposal, their recreational model 
projects impacts on overfished species to be: 65 mt of bocaccio, 7.7 mt 
of canary rockfish, 7.7 mt of widow rockfish, 0.3 mt of cowcod, 262 mt 
of lingcod, and 1.5 mt of yelloweye rockfish. All projected catch 
estimates continue to remain within harvest targets, allocations and/or 
California harvest guidelines.
    In addition, CDFG recommended that NMFS take action to conform 
Federal regulations to state regulations for California scorpionfish in 
state waters. The seasons for California scorpionfish were changed in 
California State regulations on March 20, 2006, to make the seasons for 
California scorpionfish match those for the RCG complex and the 
recreational RCAs in state waters. The 2005 season was only 3 months 
long and resulted in landings well under the state harvest target. This 
action extends the 2006 season by 3 months. The additional projected 
take of California scorpionfish as a result of this action is expected 
to stay within the state harvest target. Therefore, CDFG recommended 
that NMFS take action to conform Federal regulations to state 
regulations for Federal waters to change the California scorpionfish 
season south of 34[deg]27' N. lat. from open October-December to open 
July-December.
    California's ability to track the fishery in a timely and accurate 
manner using CRFS and to take prompt inseason action later in the year 
to close the fishery if expected harvests exceed projections should 
minimize any risk to overfished species that may be associated with 
liberalizing the fishery. Therefore, the Pacific Council recommended, 
and NMFS is implementing, the following recreational RCA and season 
changes: (1between 40[deg]10' N. lat. and 36[deg] N. lat., move the 
shoreward boundary of the recreational RCA from the 20-fm (37-m) depth 
contour to a boundary line approximating 30 fm (55 m) in July-December; 
(2) between 36[deg] N. lat. and 34[deg]27' N. lat., open the area 
shoreward of the recreational RCA through the month of October (i.e., 
the recreational RCA extends from a boundary line approximating the 40-
fm (73-m) depth contour to the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) from May-
October); (3) south of 34[deg]27' N. lat., move the shoreward boundary 
of the recreational RCA from a boundary line approximating 30-fm (55-m) 
depth contour to a boundary line approximating 60 fm (110 m) in 
September-October (i.e., closed between 60 fm (110 m) and the EEZ in 
March-December); (4) between 36[deg] N. lat. and 34[deg]27' N. lat., 
extend the open season for RCG complex, lingcod, and California 
scorpionfish through the month of October; and (5) south of 34[deg]27' 
N. lat., extend the open season for California scorpionfish from 
October-December to July-December.

Tribal Trawl Fisheries

    The Makah Tribe proposed examining the effectiveness of different 
trawl gear configurations combined with area management to reduce 
impacts on overfished species and Pacific halibut. The Makah Tribe 
proposed testing small footrope trawl gear compared to pineapple - 
cutback headrope trawl gear (aka: selective flatfish trawl gear) for 
differences in bycatch and plans to provide a report on its efforts to 
the Pacific Council in November 2006. To complete this work the Makah 
Tribe would create combined harvest targets for its trawl fleet for 
Dover sole and arrowtooth flounder that are equivalent to the limited 
entry cumulative limits specified for periods 4, 5, and 6 (July-
December) which were in place at the beginning of the year. When 
multiplied by the number of vessels in the fleet, 10, this represents a 
total fleet harvest target of 476.3 mt (1,050,000 lb) for Dover sole 
and 1360.8 mt (3,000,000 lb) for arrowtooth flounder. This proposal 
would give the Makah Tribe more flexibility to harvest more abundant 
species, such as Dover sole and arrowtooth flounder, while keeping 
incidental catch of overfished species low, namely Pacific ocean perch, 
canary rockfish, widow rockfish and darkblotched rockfish. These 
changes are not expected to result in any OYs being exceeded.
    Therefore, the Pacific Council recommended and NMFS is implementing 
a tribal harvest target of 1360.8 mt for Dover sole and 476.3 mt for 
arrowtooth flounder for the remainder of 2006 to replace the vessel 
specific trip limits for these species.

Classification

    These actions are taken under the authority of 50 CFR 660.370(c) 
and are exempt from review under Executive Order 12866.
    These actions are authorized by the Pacific Coast groundfish FMP 
and its implementing regulations, and are based on the most recent data 
available. The aggregate data upon which these actions are based are 
available for public inspection at the Office of the Administrator, 
Northwest Region, NMFS, (see ADDRESSES) during business hours.
    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), there is good cause to waive prior 
notice and an opportunity for public comment on this action, as notice 
and comment would be impracticable. The data upon which these 
recommendations were based was provided to the Pacific Council, and the 
Pacific Council made its recommendations at its June 12-16, 2006, 
meeting in Foster City, CA. There was not sufficient time after that 
meeting to draft this notice and undergo proposed and final rulemaking 
before these actions need to be in effect at the start of the next 
cumulative limit period, July 1, 2006, as explained below. For the 
actions to be implemented in this notice, prior notice and opportunity 
for comment would be impracticable because affording the time necessary 
for prior notice and opportunity for public comment would impede the 
Agency's function of managing fisheries using the best available 
science to approach without exceeding the OYs for federally managed 
species. The adjustments to management measures in this document affect 
commercial and recreational groundfish fisheries. Changes to the 
limited entry trawl fishery must be implemented in a timely manner by 
July 1, 2006, to reduce mortality of darkblotched rockfish, an 
overfished species. Changes to the recreational fishery must be 
implemented by July 1, 2006, in order to provide opportunities for 
anglers to catch groundfish within harvest targets while reducing the 
effects on nearshore stocks. Changes to the tribal trawl fisheries must 
be implemented in a timely manner by July 1, 2006, in order to allow 
the Makah Tribe to provide an opportunity for fishers to test gear 
modifications to reduce catch of overfished species in 2006. Delaying 
any of these changes would keep management measures in place that are 
not based on the best available data and which could lead to early 
closures of the fishery if harvest of groundfish exceeds levels 
projected for 2006 and that deny fishermen access to available harvest. 
This would impair achievement of one of the Pacific Coast Groundfish 
FMP objectives of providing for year-round harvest opportunities or 
extending fishing opportunities as long as practicable during the 
fishing year.
    For these reasons, good cause also exists to waive the 30 day delay 
in effectiveness requirement under 5 U.S.C. 553 (d)(3).

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 660

    Fisheries, Fishing, Indian fisheries.


[[Page 37844]]


    Dated: June 27, 2006.
James P. Burgess,
Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.

0
For the reasons set out in the preamble, 50 CFR part 660 is amended as 
follows:

PART 660--FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES

0
1. The authority citation for part 660 continues to read as follows:

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

0
2. In Sec.  660.373, paragraph (b)(4) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  660.373  Pacific whiting (whiting) fishery management.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (4) 2005 2006 bycatch limits in the whiting fishery. The bycatch 
limits for the whiting fishery may be used inseason to close a sector 
or sectors of the whiting fishery to achieve the rebuilding of an 
overfished or depleted stock, under routine management measure 
authority at Sec.  660.370 (c)(1)(ii). These limits are routine 
management measures under Sec.  660.370 (c) and, as such, may be 
adjusted inseason or may have new species added to the list of those 
with bycatch limits. For 2005, the whiting fishery bycatch limits for 
the sectors identified Sec.  660.323(a) are 4.7 mt of canary rockfish 
and 212 mt of widow rockfish. For 2006, the whiting fishery bycatch 
limits are 4.7 mt of canary rockfish, 200 mt of widow rockfish, and 25 
mt of darkblotched rockfish.
* * * * *

0
3. In Sec.  660.384, paragraphs (c)(3)(i)(A)(2) through (4), 
(c)(3)(ii)(A)(3), (c)(3)(iii)(A)(3), and (c)(3)(v)(A)(2) are revised to 
read as follows:


Sec.  660.384  Recreational fishery management measures.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (3) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (A) * * *
    (2) Between 40[deg]10' N. lat. and 36[deg] N. lat., recreational 
fishing for all groundfish (except ``other flatfish'') is prohibited 
seaward of the 30 fm (55 m) depth contour along the mainland coast and 
along islands and offshore seamounts from July 1 through December 31; 
and is closed entirely from January 1 through June 30 (i.e., prohibited 
seaward of the shoreline). Coordinates for the boundary line 
approximating the 30 fm (55 m) depth contour are specified in Sec.  
660.391. Closures around the Farallon Islands (see paragraph 
(c)(3)(i)(C) of this section) and Cordell Banks (see paragraph 
(c)(3)(i)(D) of this section) also apply in this area.
    (3) Between 36[deg] N. lat. and 34[deg]27' N. lat., recreational 
fishing for all groundfish (except ``other flatfish'' as specified in 
paragraph (c)(3)(iv) of this section) is prohibited seaward of a 
boundary line approximating the 40 fm (73 m) depth contour along the 
mainland coast and along islands and offshore seamounts from May 1 
through October 31; and is closed entirely from January 1 through April 
30 and from November 1 through December 31 (i.e., prohibited seaward of 
the shoreline). Coordinates for the boundary line approximating the 40 
fm (73 m) depth contour are specified in Sec.  660.391.
    (4) South of 34[deg]27' N. lat., recreational fishing for all 
groundfish (except California scorpionfish as specified below in this 
paragraph and in paragraph (v) and ``other flatfish'' as specified in 
paragraph (c)(3)(iv) of this section) is prohibited seaward of a 
boundary line approximating the 60 fm (110 m) depth contour from March 
1 through December 31 along the mainland coast and along islands and 
offshore seamounts; except in the CCAs where fishing is prohibited 
seaward of the 20 fm (37 m) depth contour when the fishing season is 
open (see paragraph (c)(3)(i)(B) of this section). Recreational fishing 
for all groundfish (except ``other flatfish'') is closed entirely from 
January 1 through February 28 (i.e., prohibited seaward of the 
shoreline). Recreational fishing for California scorpionfish south of 
34[deg]27' N. lat. is prohibited seaward of a boundary line 
approximating the 60 fm (110 m) depth contour from July 1 through 
December 31, except in the CCAs where fishing is prohibited seaward of 
the 20 fm (37 m) depth contour when the fishing season is open. 
Recreational fishing for California scorpionfish south of 34[deg]27' N. 
lat. is closed entirely from January 1 through June 30 (i.e., 
prohibited seaward of the shoreline). Coordinates for the boundary line 
approximating the 60 fm (110 m) depth contour are specified in Sec.  
660.392.
* * * * *
    (ii) * * *
    (A) * * *
    (3) Between 36[deg] N. lat. and 34[deg]27' N. lat., recreational 
fishing for the RCG Complex is open from May 1 through October 31 
(i.e., it's closed from January 1 through April 30 and from November 1 
through December 31).
* * * * *
    (iii) * * *
    (A) * * *
    (3) Between 36[deg] N. lat. and 34[deg]27' N. lat., recreational 
fishing for lingcod is open from May 1 through October 31 (i.e., it's 
closed from January 1 through April 30 and from November 1 through 
December 31).
* * * * *
    (v) * * *
    (A) * * *
    (2) Between 36[deg] N. lat. and 34[deg]27' N. lat., recreational 
fishing for California scorpionfish is open from May 1 through October 
31 (i.e., it's closed from January 1 through April 30 and from November 
1 through December 31).
    (3) South of 34[deg]27.00' N. lat., recreational fishing for 
California scorpionfish is open from July 1 through December 31 (i.e., 
it's closed from January 1 through June 30).
* * * * *

0
4. In Sec.  660.385, paragraph (d) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  660.385  Washington coastal tribal fisheries management measures.

* * * * *
    (d) Flatfish and other fish. Treaty fishing vessels using bottom 
trawl gear are subject to the limits applicable to the non-tribal 
limited entry trawl fishery for English sole, rex sole, and other 
flatfish that are published at the beginning of the year. For Dover 
sole and arrowtooth flounder from July-December 2006, the Makah Tribe 
will manage its fishery to a harvest target of 476.3 mt for Dover sole 
and 1360.8 mt for arrowtooth flounder. Treaty fishing vessels are 
restricted to a 50,000 lb (22,680 kg) per 2 month limit for petrale 
sole for the entire year.
* * * * *

0
5. In part 660, subpart G, Table 3 (North and South), Table 4 (South), 
and Table 5 (South) are revised to read as follows:
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[FR Doc. 06-5957 Filed 6-30-06; 8:45 am]
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