Fisheries Off West Coast States; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; 2017 Management Measures and a Temporary Rule, 19631-19645 [2017-08638]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 81 / Friday, April 28, 2017 / Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 660 [Docket No. 161222999–7413–01] RIN 0648–BG59 Fisheries Off West Coast States; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; 2017 Management Measures and a Temporary Rule National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Final rule; and a temporary rule for emergency action. AGENCY: Through this final rule, NMFS establishes fishery management measures for the 2017 ocean salmon fisheries off Washington, Oregon, and California and the 2018 salmon seasons opening earlier than May 1, 2018. The temporary rule for emergency action (emergency rule), under the MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), implements the 2017 annual management measures for the West Coast ocean salmon fisheries for the area from the U.S./ Canada border to Cape Falcon, OR, from May 1, 2017, through October 28, 2018. The emergency rule is required because allocation of coho harvest between recreational and commercial fisheries will not be consistent with the allocation schedule specified in the Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery Management Plan (FMP) in order to limit fishery impacts on Queets coho and meet conservation and management objectives. The fishery management measures for the area from Cape Falcon, OR, to the U.S./Mexico border are consistent with the FMP and are implemented through a final rule. Specific fishery management measures vary by fishery and by area. The measures establish fishing areas, seasons, quotas, legal gear, recreational fishing days and catch limits, possession and landing restrictions, and minimum lengths for salmon taken in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ) (3–200 NM) off Washington, Oregon, and California. The management measures are intended to prevent overfishing and to apportion the ocean harvest equitably among treaty Indian, non-treaty commercial, and recreational fisheries. The measures are also intended to allow a portion of the salmon runs to escape the ocean fisheries in order to provide for jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:52 Apr 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 spawning escapement and inside fisheries (fisheries occurring in state internal waters). DATES: The final rule covering fisheries south of Cape Falcon, Oregon, is effective from 0001 hours Pacific Daylight Time, May 1, 2017, until the effective date of the 2018 management measures, which will be published in the Federal Register. The temporary rule covering fisheries north of Cape Falcon, Oregon, is effective from 0001 hours Pacific Daylight Time, May 1, 2017, through 2400 hours Pacific Daylight Time, October 28, 2017, or the attainment of the specific quotas listed below in section two of this rule. ADDRESSES: The documents cited in this document are available on the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s (Council’s) Web site (www.pcouncil.org). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peggy Mundy at 206–526–4323. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The ocean salmon fisheries in the EEZ off Washington, Oregon, and California are managed under a ‘‘framework’’ FMP. Regulations at 50 CFR part 660, subpart H, provide the mechanism for making preseason and inseason adjustments to the management measures, within limits set by the FMP, by notification in the Federal Register. Establishing annual management measures is authorized at 50 CFR 660.408. The management measures for the 2017 and pre-May 2018 ocean salmon fisheries that are implemented in this final rule were recommended by the Council at its April 6 to 11, 2017, meeting. Process Used To Establish 2017 Management Measures The Council announced its annual preseason management process for the 2017 ocean salmon fisheries in the Federal Register on December 28, 2016 (81 FR 95568), and on the Council’s Web site at (www.pcouncil.org). NMFS published an additional notice of opportunities to submit public comments on the 2017 ocean salmon fisheries in the Federal Register on January 17, 2017 (82 FR 4859). These notices announced the availability of Council documents, the dates and locations of Council meetings and public hearings comprising the Council’s complete schedule of events for determining the annual proposed and final modifications to ocean salmon fishery management measures, and instructions on how to comment on the development of the 2017 ocean salmon PO 00000 Frm 00019 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 19631 fisheries. The agendas for the March and April Council meetings were published in the Federal Register (82 FR 10881, February 16, 2017, and 82 FR 14353, March 20, 2017, respectively) and posted on the Council’s Web site prior to the actual meetings. In accordance with the FMP, the Council’s Salmon Technical Team (STT) and staff economist prepared four reports for the Council, its advisors, and the public. All four reports were made available on the Council’s Web site upon their completion. The first of the reports, ‘‘Review of 2016 Ocean Salmon Fisheries,’’ was prepared in February when the scientific information necessary for crafting management measures for the 2017 and pre-May 2018 ocean salmon fisheries first became available. The first report summarizes biological and socio-economic data for the 2016 ocean salmon fisheries and assesses how well the Council’s 2016 management objectives were met. The second report, ‘‘Preseason Report I Stock Abundance Analysis and Environmental Assessment Part 1 for 2017 Ocean Salmon Fishery Regulations’’ (PRE I), provides the 2017 salmon stock abundance projections and analyzes the impacts on the stocks and Council management goals if the 2016 regulations and regulatory procedures were applied to the projected 2017 stock abundances. The completion of PRE I is the initial step in developing and evaluating the full suite of preseason alternatives. Following completion of the first two reports, the Council met in Vancouver, WA, from March 7 to 13, 2017, to develop 2017 management alternatives for proposal to the public. The Council proposed three alternatives for commercial and recreational fisheries management for analysis and public comment. These alternatives consisted of various combinations of management measures designed to protect weak stocks of coho and Chinook salmon, and to provide for ocean harvests of more abundant stocks. After the March Council meeting, the Council’s STT and staff economist prepared a third report, ‘‘Preseason Report II Proposed Alternatives and Environmental Assessment Part 2 for 2017 Ocean Salmon Fishery Regulations’’ (PRE II), which analyzes the effects of the proposed 2017 management alternatives. Public hearings, sponsored by the Council, to receive testimony on the proposed alternatives were held on March 27, 2017, in Westport, WA, and Coos Bay, OR; and on March 28, 2017, in Fort Bragg, CA. The States of Washington, Oregon, and California E:\FR\FM\28APR1.SGM 28APR1 19632 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 81 / Friday, April 28, 2017 / Rules and Regulations sponsored meetings in various fora that also collected public testimony, which was then presented to the Council by each state’s Council representative. The Council also received public testimony at both the March and April meetings and received written comments at the Council office. The Council met from April 6 to 11, 2017, in Vancouver, WA, to adopt its final 2017 salmon management recommendations. Following the April Council meeting, the Council’s STT and staff economist prepared a fourth report, ‘‘Preseason Report III Analysis of Council-Adopted Management Measures for 2017 Ocean Salmon Fisheries’’ (PRE III), which analyzes the environmental and socio-economic effects of the Council’s final recommendations. After the Council took final action on the annual ocean salmon specifications in April, it transmitted the recommended management measures to NMFS, published them in its newsletter, and also posted them on the Council Web site (www.pcouncil.org). National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) The environmental assessment (EA) for this action comprises the Council’s documents described above (PRE I, PRE II, and PRE III), providing analysis of environmental and socioeconomic effects under NEPA. The EA and its related Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) are posted on the NMFS West Coast Region Web site (www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov). Resource Status jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES Stocks of Concern The FMP requires that the fisheries be shaped to meet escapement-based Annual Catch Limits (ACLs), Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultation requirements, obligations of the Pacific Salmon Treaty (PST) between the U.S. and Canada, and other conservation objectives detailed in the FMP. Because the ocean salmon fisheries are mixed-stock fisheries, this requires ‘‘weak stock’’ management to avoid exceeding limits for the stocks with the most constraining limits. Abundance forecasts for individual salmon stocks can vary significantly from one year to the next; therefore, the stocks that constrain the fishery in one year may differ from those that constrain the fishery in the next. For 2017, limits for three stocks are the most constraining on the fisheries; these are described below. Fisheries south of Cape Falcon, OR, are limited in 2017 primarily by the low VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:52 Apr 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 abundance forecast of Klamath River fall Chinook salmon (KRFC) and concern for the status of ESA-listed Sacramento River winter Chinook salmon (SRWC). Fisheries north of Cape Falcon are limited primarily by the low abundance forecast for Queets coho. The limitations imposed in order to protect these stocks are described below. The alternatives and the Council’s recommended management measures for 2017 were designed to avoid exceeding these limitations. Sacramento River winter Chinook salmon (SRWC): In 2010, NMFS consulted under ESA section 7 and provided guidance to the Council regarding the effects of Council area fisheries on SRWC, ESA-listed as endangered. NMFS completed a biological opinion that includes a reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA) to avoid jeopardizing the continued existence of this evolutionarily significant unit (ESU). The RPA included management-areaspecific fishing season openings and closures, and minimum size limits for both commercial and recreational fisheries. It also directed NMFS to develop a second component to the RPA—an abundance-based management (ABM) framework. In 2012, NMFS implemented this ABM framework, which supplements the above management restrictions with maximum allowable impact rates that apply when abundance is low, based on the threeyear geometric mean spawning escapement of SRWC. Using the methodology specified in the ABM framework, the age-3 impact rate on SRWC in 2017 fisheries south of Point Arena recommended by NMFS would be limited to a maximum of 15.8 percent. At the start of the preseason planning process for the 2017 management season, NMFS provided a letter to the Council, dated March 3, 2017, summarizing limits to impacts on ESA-listed species for 2017, based on existing biological opinions and 2017 abundance information, as required by the Salmon FMP. The letter stated the 15.8 percent maximum impact rate on SRWC. However, as in 2016, the Council expressed concern that the methodology used to recommend that impact rate is retrospective in nature and may not be responsive to the effects of recent environmental events on salmon survival and productivity, including the perilously high mortality rates of outmigrating SRWC smolts in recent years due to warm water conditions caused by drought in California. Estimates of juvenile SRWC passage at Red Bluff Diversion Dam on the Sacramento River PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 indicate that, while 2016 brood year outmigration was slightly higher than the previous two brood years, juvenile abundance remains about one-third the 2007–2015 average. The Council has formed a workgroup to develop new scientific methodology to incorporate information about future SRWC abundance into fishery management; however, that new methodology is not yet available. For 2017, the Council recommended precautionary management measures including time and area restrictions based on data presented by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) regarding SRWC encounters in the fishery resulting in an impact rate for SRWC of 12.2 percent. Conservation measures for SRWC will constrain 2017 salmon fisheries south of Point Arena, California. Klamath River fall Chinook salmon (KRFC): KRFC is not an ESA-listed stock; however, forecast abundance for this stock in 2017 is historically low, only 30 percent of the 2016 forecast. KRFC currently meets the FMP’s status determination criteria (SDC) for approaching an overfished condition based on escapements in 2015 and 2016, coupled with the projected escapement in 2017. The FMP defines ‘‘overfished’’ status in terms of a three-year geometric mean escapement level and whether it is above the minimum stock sized threshold (MSST). Based on preliminary information, it is possible that KRFC will be determined to have a three-year geometric mean escapement level below MSST once post-season escapement estimates are available, and meet the definition of ‘‘overfished’’ in 2018, but, given the minimal impacts of Councilarea fisheries on KRFC, this is the case whether or not there are any fishery impacts. The FMP’s harvest control rule for this stock allows for minimal levels of impact at very low abundance levels. Given the forecast abundance of KRFC for 2017, the control rule limits impacts on the stock to 8.1 percent. Fisheries south of Cape Falcon and north of Point Sur will be constrained by this limit. The FMP specifies a set of circumstances that the Council should consider in applying the control rule at very low abundance levels: Critically low spawner abundance that may affect crucial genetic thresholds of substocks, spawner abundance in recent years, status of co-mingled stocks, marine and freshwater environmental conditions, needs for tribal fisheries, whether the stock is currently in an approaching overfished condition, and whether the stock is currently overfished. The Council and its advisors discussed these E:\FR\FM\28APR1.SGM 28APR1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 81 / Friday, April 28, 2017 / Rules and Regulations circumstances. The risk for substocks to fall below crucial genetic thresholds in 2017 was expected to be substantial (greater than 80 percent) under either a no-fishing scenario or fishing at levels specified by the control rule level. In 2016, KRFC spawner escapement was well below both the level for maximum sustained yield (SMSY) and minimum stock size threshold (MSST) specified in the FMP. Regarding the status of comingled stocks, the STT reported that the primary stocks that comingle with KRFC have relatively low forecast abundance for 2017. The Yurok and Hoopa Valley Tribes have reserved fishing rights and are dependent on salmon for their subsistence and culture. NMFS’ Northwest and Southwest Fisheries Science Centers presented information indicating that the broods that will contribute to 2017 harvest and escapement encountered poor ocean conditions in the California Current Ecosystem. As stated above, KRFC currently meet the FMP SDC criteria for approaching an overfished condition; although NMFS has not yet made a determination. Finally, KRFC are not currently overfished. After consideration of these circumstances, the Council adopted the 8.1 percent impact rate, consistent with the KRFC control rule. The Council developed management measures that utilize time and area closures to minimize fishery impacts on KRFC: The Klamath Management Zone (KMZ), Humbug Mountain, OR south to Humboldt South Jetty, CA, will be closed for the entire year to both commercial and recreational fishing and the area from Florence South Jetty, OR south to Humbug Mountain will be closed to commercial fishing to provide an additional buffer; in California, there will be very little fishing opportunity in the Fort Bragg management area, specifically avoiding times when KRFC impacts are known to be high in that area; and, finally, CDFW will recommend to the California Fish and Game Commission that fall Chinook fishing in the Klamath River be closed in 2017. The combination of the KRFC and SRWC control rules will constrain fisheries severely in California in 2017. Queets coho: Queets coho are not ESA-listed. However, the 2017 abundance forecast for this stock is very low; 6,548 fish compared to a 2009– 2016 average of 18,700 fish. The FMP’s conservation objective for Queets coho is a spawning escapement of 5,800 fish. Although the Council’s recommended management measures would allow for an ocean escapement of 5,800 Queets coho, the conservation objective in the VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:52 Apr 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 FMP is for a spawning escapement that accounts for in-river fishery impacts. The FMP provides flexibility in setting the annual spawning escapement for several Washington coho stocks, including Queets coho, provided there is agreement between the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the treaty tribes, consistent with court orders in U.S. v Washington. Therefore, based on agreement between those parties and discussion on the Council floor that the reduced spawning escapement is unlikely to jeopardize the capacity of the fishery to produce maximum sustainable yield on a continuing basis, the Council adopted a 2017 spawning escapement target of 5,130 Queets coho to allow for limited harvest opportunity in ocean and inriver fisheries directed at other higherabundance stocks. Additionally, under the criteria of the PST’s Southern Coho Management Plan, Queets coho abundance is in the ‘‘low’’ category in 2017 and subject to a total exploitation rate of 20 percent. The state and treaty tribal co-managers relied on a provision in the PST to request that the Southern Panel of the Pacific Salmon Commission agree to permit a 22 percent exploitation rate on Queets coho in 2017 to allow the U.S. to meet fishery management objectives [(Pacific Salmon Treaty, Article XV, Annex IV, Chapter 5, paragraph 11(c)]. The Southern Panel did agree to this request. Managing for impacts to Queets coho will constrain salmon fisheries north of Cape Falcon, Oregon. Annual Catch Limits and Status Determination Criteria Annual Catch Limits (ACLs) are set for two Chinook salmon stocks, Sacramento River fall Chinook (SRFC) and KRFC, and one coho stock, Willapa Bay natural coho. The Chinook salmon stocks are indicator stocks for the Central Valley Fall Chinook complex and the Southern Oregon/Northern California Chinook complex, respectively. The Far North Migrating Coastal Chinook complex includes a group of Chinook salmon stocks that are caught primarily in fisheries north of Cape Falcon, Oregon, and other fisheries that occur north of the U.S./Canada border. No ACL is set for these stocks because they are managed according to the PST with Canada. Other Chinook salmon stocks caught in fisheries north of Cape Falcon are ESA-listed or hatchery produced, and are managed consistent with ESA consultations or hatchery goals. Willapa Bay natural coho is the only coho stock for which an ACL is set, as the other coho stocks in the FMP are either ESA-listed, PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 19633 hatchery produced, or managed under the PST. ACLs for salmon stocks are escapement-based, which means they establish a number of adults that must escape the fisheries to return to the spawning grounds. ACLs are set based on the annual abundance projection and a fishing rate reduced to account for scientific uncertainty. For SRFC in 2017, the overfishing limit (OFL) is SOFL = 230,700 (projected abundance) multiplied by 1 ¥ FMSY (1 ¥ 0.78) or 50,754 returning spawners (FMSY is the fishing mortality rate that would result in maximum sustainable yield ¥ MSY). SABC is 230,700 multiplied by 1 ¥ FABC (1 ¥ 0.70) (FMSY reduced for scientific uncertainty = 0.70) or 69,210. The SACL is set equal to SABC, i.e, 69,210 spawners. The adopted management measures provide for an expected SRFC spawning escapement of 133,200. For KRFC in 2017, SOFL is 12,383 (abundance projection) multiplied by 1 ¥ FMSY (1 ¥ 0.71), or 3,591 returning spawners. SABC is 12,383 multiplied by 1 ¥ FABC (1 ¥ 0.68) (FMSY reduced for scientific uncertainty = 0.68) or 3,963 returning spawners. SACL is set equal to SABC, i.e., 3,963 spawners. The adopted management measures provide for an expected KRFC spawning escapement of 11,379. For Willapa Bay natural coho in 2017, the overfishing limit (OFL) is SOFL = 36,720 (projected abundance) multiplied by 1 ¥ FMSY (1 ¥ 0.74) or 9,547 returning spawners. SABC is 36,720 multiplied by 1 ¥ FABC (1 ¥ 0.70) (FMSY reduced for scientific uncertainty = 0.70) or 11,016. SACL is set equal to SABC, i.e., 11,016 spawners. The adopted management measures provide for an expected Willapa Bay natural coho ocean escapement of 34,400. As explained in more detail above under ‘‘Stocks of Concern,’’ fisheries north and south of Cape Falcon, are constrained by impact limits necessary to protect ESA-listed salmon stocks including SRWC and KRFC and Queets coho which are not ESA-listed. For 2017, projected abundance of the three stocks with ACLs (SRFC, KRFC, and Willapa Bay natural coho), in combination with the constraints for ESA-listed and non-ESA-listed stocks, are expected to result in escapements greater than required to meet the ACLs for all three stocks with defined ACLs. Emergency Rule The Council’s final recommendation for the ocean salmon fishing seasons that commence May 1, 2017, deviates from the FMP specifically with regard to the FMP’s allocation schedule for coho harvest in the area north of Cape Falcon, between commercial and recreational E:\FR\FM\28APR1.SGM 28APR1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES 19634 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 81 / Friday, April 28, 2017 / Rules and Regulations fisheries. The total allowable catch (TAC) of coho in non-treaty commercial and recreational fisheries north of Cape Falcon is 47,600 marked coho in 2017. At that TAC level, the FMP allocates 25 percent (16 percent marked coho equivalent) of coho to the commercial fishery and 75 percent (84 percent marked coho equivalent) of coho to the recreational fishery. To limit fishery impacts on coho consistent with the adopted spawning escapement and exploitation rates described above, the Council recommended the following allocations of marked coho TAC: 12 percent commercial and 88 percent recreational. Recreational fisheries are more dependent on coho, while commercial fisheries are more dependent on Chinook salmon. Additionally, in mark-selective fisheries, recreational fisheries have a lower impact rate due to lower hooking mortality. This deviation from the FMP allocation schedule should provide fishing opportunity on abundant stocks while limiting fishery impacts on Queets coho. The Council considered three alternative fishery management schemes for the fisheries north of Cape Falcon; two of the three alternatives were inconsistent with the FMP coho allocation schedule. Alternative I would have limited the commercial fishery to nine percent of the north of Falcon coho TAC, inconsistent with the FMP allocation schedule between commercial and recreational fisheries; Alternative II would have been consistent with the FMP coho allocation schedule; and Alternative III would have prohibited coho retention in the non-treaty commercial fishery north of Cape Falcon and would have restricted coho retention in the recreational fishery to the area south of Leadbetter Point, WA, this would be inconsistent with the FMP allocation schedule between commercial and recreational fisheries and among recreational fishery subareas. The Council’s state and tribal representatives, and industry advisory committee, supported consideration of these three alternatives. The Council’s final recommended management measures fall between the second and third alternatives in terms of impacts to coho. These management measures reflect agreement between the State of Washington and coastal treaty tribes on spawning escapement and exploitation rate goals on Queets coho for combined ocean fisheries and fisheries landward of the EEZ; the projected impacts of the combined fisheries are managed such that Queets coho meets these escapement and exploitation rate goals. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:52 Apr 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 The Council voted unanimously to adopt these measures, and members spoke about the need to conserve Queets coho while providing harvest opportunity on abundant stocks to provide economic benefit to fishery dependent communities. The proposed fisheries have minimal impacts on Queets coho and are not expected to jeopardize the capacity of the fishery to produce maximum sustainable yield on a continuing basis. The FMP defines overfishing and overfished status for this stock. Queets would not be subject to overfishing under the proposed management measures, in fact the overfishing limits in the FMP are much higher than the expected impact rates (65 percent MFMT compared to a 22 percent projected impact rate). Queets coho currently meet the FMP’s SDC for approaching an overfished condition based on escapements in 2014 and 2015, coupled with the projected escapement in 2017. Escapements in 2016 are not available but are reported to have been much higher than anticipated during the 2016 preseason process. Based on preliminary information, it is possible that Queets coho will have a three-year geometric mean escapement level below MSST, and meet the definition of ‘‘overfished’’ in 2018, but, given the minimal impacts of Council-area fisheries on Queets coho, this is the case whether or not there are any fishery impacts. The marginal decreases in the abundance of Queets coho expected from the proposed fisheries (approximately 267 fish out of the forecasted abundance of 6,548 fish may be taken by the proposed fisheries) are not expected to affect the ability of the fisheries to produce MSY on a continuing basis. The temporary rule for emergency action implements the 2017 annual management measures for the West Coast ocean salmon fisheries for the area from the U.S./Canada border to Cape Falcon, OR, for 180 days, from May 1, 2017, through October 28, 2017 (16 U.S.C. 1855(c)). Public Comments The Council invited written comments on developing 2017 salmon management measures in their notice announcing public meetings and hearings (81 FR 95568, December 28, 2016). At its March meeting, the Council adopted three alternatives for 2017 salmon management measures having a range of quotas, season structure, and impacts, from the least restrictive in Alternative I to the most restrictive in Alternative III. These alternatives are described in detail in PRE II. PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Subsequently, comments were taken at three public hearings held in March, staffed by representatives of the Council and NMFS. The Council received several written comments directly. The three public hearings were attended by a total of 154 people; 34 people provided oral comments. Comments came from individual fishers, fishing associations, fish buyers, and processors. Written and oral comments addressed the 2017 management alternatives described in PRE II, and generally expressed preferences for a specific alternative or for particular season structures. All comments were included in the Council’s briefing book for their April 2017 meeting and were considered by the Council, which includes a representative from NMFS, in developing the recommended management measures transmitted to NMFS on April 20, 2017. In addition to comments collected at the public hearings and those submitted directly to the Council, a few people provided oral comments at the April 2017 Council meeting. NMFS also invited comments to be submitted directly to the Council or to NMFS, via the Federal Rulemaking Portal (www.regulations.gov) in a notice (82 FR 4859, January 17, 2017). No comments were submitted via www.regulations.gov. Comments on alternatives for fisheries north of Cape Falcon. For fisheries north of Cape Falcon, Alternative I was favored by most commercial and recreational fishery commenters at the public hearing in Westport, WA. A variety of modifications to the alternatives were presented, most designed to maximize fishing opportunity in both commercial and recreational fisheries. Comments on alternatives for fisheries south of Cape Falcon. Comments supporting a particular alternative south of Cape Falcon varied with geographic location of the meeting or commenter. Those attending the meeting in Coos Bay, OR, largely favored Alternative I for both commercial and recreational fisheries, while those attending the meeting in Fort Bragg, CA, expressed overwhelming support for Alternative III. The Council received a large number of emailed comments from members of a recreational fishing club in California who favored Alternative I. Comments included concern for Klamath and Sacramento River salmon and various environmental and management concerns that affect them. Comments on incidental halibut retention in the commercial salmon fisheries. At its March meeting, the Council identified three alternatives for landing limits for incidentally caught E:\FR\FM\28APR1.SGM 28APR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 81 / Friday, April 28, 2017 / Rules and Regulations jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES halibut that are retained in the salmon troll fishery. There were a few comments received on halibut and these focused on the ability to access the full halibut allocation (severely constrained salmon fisheries in 2016 resulted in the commercial fleet being unable to access all of the incidental halibut allocation available). Comments from treaty tribe representatives. At its March and April meetings, the Council heard testimony from members of several treaty tribes; additional comments were submitted in writing. There was strong concern about environmental conditions in the Klamath River that are deleterious to salmon survival, including promoting increased rates of infection by the parasite Ceratonova shasta. Comments were made on the need for sufficient spawning escapement in the Columbia River Basin and in support of successful artificial propagation and reintroduction efforts implemented there by the tribes. Comments were made on the reserved treaty rights of tribes to fish and frustration with insufficient salmon for tribal needs. Finally, there were written comments expressing concern over the low abundance of coho salmon in Puget Sound rivers and stressing the need to limit fisheries to provide spawning escapement. The Council, including the NMFS representative, took all of these comments into consideration. The Council’s final recommendation generally includes aspects of all three alternatives, while taking into account the best available scientific information and ensuring that fisheries are consistent with ESA consultation standards, ACLs, PST obligations, and tribal fishing rights. These management tools assist the Council in meeting impact limits on weak stocks. The Council adopted alternative III for incidental halibut retention, this alternative provides for more liberal landing limits for halibut than were adopted for 2016 salmon fisheries and April 2017 salmon fisheries (81 FR 26157, May 2, 2016). Management Measures for 2017 Fisheries The Council’s recommended ocean harvest levels and management measures for the 2017 fisheries are designed to apportion the burden of protecting the weak stocks identified and discussed in PRE I equitably among ocean fisheries and to allow maximum harvest of natural and hatchery runs surplus to inside fishery and spawning needs. NMFS finds the Council’s recommendations to be responsive to the goals of the FMP, the requirements VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:52 Apr 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 of the resource, and the socioeconomic factors affecting resource users. The recommendations are consistent with the requirements of the MSA, U.S. obligations to Indian tribes with federally recognized fishing rights, and U.S. international obligations regarding Pacific salmon. The Council’s recommended management measures also comply with NMFS ESA consultation standards and guidance, for those ESA-listed salmon species that may be affected by Council fisheries. Accordingly, NMFS, through this final rule and temporary rule, approves and implements the Council’s recommendations. North of Cape Falcon, 2017 management measures for non-Indian commercial troll and recreational fisheries have increased quotas for Chinook and coho salmon compared to 2016, when historically low abundance for several coho stocks severely constrained fisheries. North of Cape Falcon in 2017, commercial and recreational fisheries will have access to coho salmon in all management areas. Chinook harvest north of Cape Falcon will be moderately improved over the 2016 level for both commercial and recreational fisheries. Quotas for the 2017 treaty-Indian commercial troll fishery North of Cape Falcon 2017 are 40,000 Chinook salmon and 12,500 coho in ocean management areas and Washington State Statistical Area 4B combined. These quotas are unchanged for Chinook from 2016 and allow coho retention which was not available in 2016. The treaty-Indian fishery commercial fisheries include a May and June fishery and a July and August fishery, with a quota of 20,000 Chinook in each fishery and 12,500 coho in the July and August fishery. Although the fishing opportunity North of Cape Falcon is better than in 2016, fisheries are reduced significantly compared to those implemented over the last ten years. Recreational fisheries south of Cape Falcon will be directed primarily at Chinook salmon and are shaped to minimize impacts to KRFC, with opportunity for coho salmon limited to the area between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain, OR. Commercial fisheries south of Cape Falcon will be directed at Chinook in the areas north of the Florence South Jetty in Oregon and south of Horse Mountain in California and have no coho retention. Management Measures for 2018 Fisheries The timing of the March and April Council meetings makes it impracticable for the Council to recommend fishing PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 19635 seasons that begin before May 1 of the same year. Therefore, this action also establishes the 2018 fishing seasons that open earlier than May 1. The Council recommended, and NMFS concurs, that the commercial season off Oregon from Cape Falcon to the Oregon/California border, the commercial season off California from Horse Mountain to Point Arena, the recreational season off Oregon from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain, and the recreational season off California from Horse Mountain to the U.S./Mexico border will open in 2018 as indicated in the ‘‘Season Description’’ section of this document. At the March 2018 meeting, the Council may consider inseason recommendations to adjust the commercial and recreational seasons prior to May 1 in the areas off Oregon and California. The following sections set out the management regime for the ocean salmon fishery. Open seasons and days are described in Sections 1, 2, and 3 of the 2017 management measures. Inseason closures in the commercial and recreational fisheries are announced on the NMFS hotline and through the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Notice to Mariners as described in Section 6. Other inseason adjustments to management measures are also announced on the hotline and through the Notice to Mariners. Inseason actions will also be published in the Federal Register as soon as practicable. The following are the management measures recommended by the Council and approved and implemented here for 2017 and, as specified, for 2018. Section 1. Commercial Management Measures for 2017 Ocean Salmon Fisheries Parts A, B, and C of this section contain restrictions that must be followed for lawful participation in the fishery. Part A identifies each fishing area and provides the geographic boundaries from north to south, the open seasons for the area, the salmon species allowed to be caught during the seasons, and any other special restrictions effective in the area. Part B specifies minimum size limits. Part C specifies special requirements, definitions, restrictions, and exceptions. A. Season Description North of Cape Falcon, OR —U.S./Canada border to Cape Falcon May 1 through the earlier of June 30 or 27,000 Chinook, no more than 8,900 of which may be caught in the area between the U.S./Canada border and the Queets River and no more than 9,000 of E:\FR\FM\28APR1.SGM 28APR1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES 19636 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 81 / Friday, April 28, 2017 / Rules and Regulations which may be caught in the area between Leadbetter Point and Cape Falcon (C.8). In the area between the U.S./Canada border and the Queets River, a landing and possession limit of 60 Chinook per vessel per calendar week (Monday through Sunday) will be in place. Seven days per week (C.1). All salmon except coho (C.4, C.7). Chinook minimum size limit of 28 inches total length (B). Vessels in possession of salmon north of the Queets River may not cross the Queets River line (see Section 5. Geographical Landmarks) without first notifying WDFW at 360– 249–1215 with area fished, total Chinook and halibut catch aboard, and destination. Vessels in possession of salmon south of the Queets River may not cross the Queets River line (see Section 5. Geographical Landmarks) without first notifying WDFW at 360– 249–1215 with area fished, total Chinook and halibut catch aboard, and destination. When it is projected that approximately 75 percent of the overall Chinook guideline has been landed, or approximately 75 percent of the Chinook subarea guideline has been landed in the area between the U.S./ Canada border and the Queets River, or approximately 75 percent of the Chinook subarea guideline has been landed in the area between Leadbetter Point and Cape Falcon, inseason action will be considered to ensure the guideline is not exceeded. See compliance requirements (C.1) and gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). July 1–4, July 7–September 19 or 18,000 Chinook or 5,600 coho, whichever comes first; no more than 7,200 Chinook may be caught in the area between the U.S./Canada border and the Queets River (C.8). Open five days per week, Friday through Tuesday. In the area between the U.S./Canada border and the Queets River, a landing and possession limit of 60 Chinook and 10 coho per vessel per open period will be in place (C.1, C.6). In the area from the Queets River to Cape Falcon, a landing and possession limit of 75 Chinook and 10 coho per vessel per open period will be in place (C.1, C.6). Chinook minimum size limit of 28 inches total length. Coho minimum size limit of 16 inches total length (B, C.1). All coho must be marked with a healed adipose fin clip (C.8.c). No chum retention north of Cape Alava, WA in August and September (C.4, C.7). See compliance requirements (C.1) and gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Vessels in possession of salmon north of the Queets River may not cross the Queets River line (see Section 5. Geographical Landmarks) without first notifying VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:52 Apr 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 WDFW at 360–249–1215 with area fished, total Chinook and halibut catch aboard, and destination. Vessels in possession of salmon south of the Queets River may not cross the Queets River line (see Section 5. Geographical Landmarks) without first notifying WDFW at 360–249–1215 with area fished, total Chinook and halibut catch aboard, and destination. When it is projected that approximately 75 percent of the overall Chinook guideline has been landed, or approximately 75 percent of the Chinook subarea guideline has been landed in the area between the U.S./Canada border to the Queets River, inseason action will be considered to ensure the guideline is not exceeded. For all commercial troll fisheries north of Cape Falcon, mandatory closed areas include: Salmon Troll Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area, Cape Flattery and Columbia Control Zones, and, beginning August 14, Grays Harbor Control Zone closed (C.5). Vessels must land and deliver their fish within 24 hours of any closure of this fishery. Vessels fishing or in possession of salmon while fishing north of Leadbetter Point must land and deliver their fish within the area and north of Leadbetter Point. Vessels fishing or in possession of salmon while fishing south of Leadbetter Point must land and deliver their fish within the area and south of Leadbetter Point, except that Oregon permitted vessels may also land their fish in Garibaldi, OR. Under state law, vessels must report their catch on a state fish receiving ticket. Oregon State regulations require all fishers landing salmon into Oregon from any fishery between Leadbetter Point, WA, and Cape Falcon, OR, must notify Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) within one hour of delivery or prior to transport away from the port of landing by either calling 541–867–0300 ext. 271 or sending notification via email to nfalcon.trollreport@state.or.us. Notification shall include vessel name and number, number of salmon by species, port of landing and location of delivery, and estimated time of delivery. Inseason actions may modify harvest guidelines in later fisheries to achieve or prevent exceeding the overall allowable troll harvest impacts (C.8). South of Cape Falcon, OR —Cape Falcon to Florence South Jetty April 15–May 31; June 7–12, June 15–30, July 8–31; September 1–30, October 1–31 (C.9.a). Seven days per week. All salmon except coho (C.4, C.7). Chinook minimum size limit of 28 inches total length (B, C.1). All vessels fishing in the PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 area must land their fish in the state of Oregon. See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3) and Oregon State regulations for a description of special regulations at the mouth of Tillamook Bay. Beginning September 1, no more than 45 Chinook per vessel per landing week (Thursday through Wednesday), and only open shoreward of the 40 fathom regulatory line (C.5.f). In 2018, the season will open March 15 for all salmon except coho. Chinook minimum size limit of 28 inches total length (B, C.1). Gear restrictions same as in 2017 (C.2, C.3, C.4, C.6, C.7, C.8). This opening could be modified following Council review at its March 2018 meeting. —Florence South Jetty to Humbug Mountain Closed (C.9.a). In 2018, the season will open March 15 for all salmon except coho. Chinook minimum size limit of 28 inches total length (B, C.1). Gear restrictions same as in 2017 (C.2, C.3, C.4, C.6, C.7, C.8). This opening could be modified following Council review at its March 2018 meeting. —Humbug Mountain to Oregon/ California border (Oregon Klamath Management Zone (KMZ)) Closed (C.9.a). In 2018, the season will open March 15 for all salmon except coho. Chinook minimum size limit of 28 inches total length (B, C.1). Gear restrictions same as in 2017 (C.2, C.3, C.4, C.6, C.7, C.8). This opening could be modified following Council review at its March 2018 meeting. —Oregon/California border to Humboldt South Jetty (California KMZ) Closed (C.9.a). —Humboldt South Jetty to Horse Mt. Closed. When the fishery is closed between the Oregon/California border and Humbug Mountain and open to the south, vessels with fish on board caught in the open area off California may seek temporary mooring in Brookings, OR prior to landing in California only if such vessels first notify the Chetco River Coast Guard Station via VHF channel 22A between the hours of 0500 and 2200 and provide the vessel name, number of fish on board, and estimated time of arrival (C.6). —Horse Mt. to Point Arena (Fort Bragg) September 1 through the earlier of September 30, or a 3,000 Chinook quota (C.9.b). Five days per week, Friday through Tuesday. All salmon except coho (C.4, C.7). Chinook minimum size limit of 27 E:\FR\FM\28APR1.SGM 28APR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 81 / Friday, April 28, 2017 / Rules and Regulations inches total length (B, C.1). Landing and possession limit of 60 Chinook per vessel per open period (C.8.e). All fish caught in this area must be landed between the Oregon/California border and Point Arena (C.6). All fish must be offloaded within 24 hours of any closure of the fishery and prior to fishing outside the area (C.1). See compliance requirements (C.1) and gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). In 2018, the season will open April 16–30 for all salmon except coho, with a 27-inch Chinook minimum size limit and the same gear restrictions as in 2017. All fish caught in the area must be landed in the area. This opening could be modified following Council review at its March 2018 meeting. —Point Arena to Pigeon Point (San Francisco) August 1–29; September 1–30 (C.9.b). Seven days per week. All salmon except coho (C.4, C.7). Chinook minimum size limit of 27 inches total length prior to September 1, 26 inches thereafter (B, C.1). All fish must be landed in California. All salmon caught in California prior to September 1 must be landed and offloaded no later than 11:59 p.m., August 30 (C.6). In September, all fish must be landed south of Point Arena until the quota in the Fort Bragg fishery is met and the fishery has closed for 24 hours (C.6). See compliance requirements (C.1) and gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). • Point Reyes to Point San Pedro (Fall Area Target Zone) October 2–6 and 9–13. Five days per week, Monday through Friday. All salmon except coho (C.4, C.7). Chinook minimum size limit of 26 inches total length (B, C.1). All fish caught in this area must be landed between Point Arena and Pigeon Point (C.6). See compliance requirements (C.1) and gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). —Pigeon Point to U.S./Mexico border (Monterey) May 1–31; June 1–30 (C.9.b). Seven days per week. All salmon except coho (C.4, C.7). Chinook minimum size limit of 27 inches total length (B, C.1). All fish must be landed in California. All salmon caught in California prior to September 1 must be landed and offloaded no later than 11:59 p.m., August 30 (C.6). See compliance requirements (C.1) and gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). California State regulations require all salmon be made available to a CDFW representative for sampling immediately at port of landing. Any person in possession of a salmon with a missing adipose fin, upon request by an authorized agent or employee of the CDFW, shall immediately relinquish the head of the salmon to the state (California Fish and Game Code § 8226). B. Minimum Size (Inches) (See C.1) Chinook Area (when open) 19637 Coho Pink Total length North of Cape Falcon, OR .................................................... Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain ....................................... Humbug Mountain to OR/CA border ..................................... OR/CA border to Humboldt South Jetty ............................... Horse Mountain to Point Arena ............................................. Point Arena to Pigeon Point: Prior to September 1 ...................................................... September 1 and thereafter .................................................. Pigeon Point to U.S./Mexico border ...................................... Head-off Total length Head-off 28.0 28.0 ........................ ........................ 27.0 21.5 21.5 ........................ ........................ 20.5 16 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 12 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ None. None. 27.0 26.0 27.0 20.5 19.5 20.5 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ None. None. None. None. Metric equivalents: 28.0 in = 71.1 cm, 27.0 in = 68.6 cm, 26.0 in = 66.0 cm, 21.5 in = 54.6 cm, 20.5 in = 52.1 cm, 19.5 in = 49.5 cm, 16.0 in = 40.6 cm, and 12.0 in = 30.5 cm. C. Requirements, Definitions, Restrictions, or Exceptions jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES C.1. Compliance With Minimum Size or Other Special Restrictions All salmon on board a vessel must meet the minimum size, landing/ possession limit, or other special requirements for the area being fished and the area in which they are landed if the area is open or has been closed less than 48 hours for that species of salmon. Salmon may be landed in an area that has been closed for a species of salmon more than 48 hours only if they meet the minimum size, landing/ possession limit, or other special requirements for the area in which they were caught. Salmon may not be filleted prior to landing. Any person who is required to report a salmon landing by applicable state law must include on the state landing receipt for that landing both the number and weight of salmon landed by species. States may require fish landing/ VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:52 Apr 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 receiving tickets be kept on board the vessel for 90 days or more after landing to account for all previous salmon landings. C.2. Gear Restrictions a. Salmon may be taken only by hook and line using single point, single shank, barbless hooks. b. Cape Falcon, Oregon, to the Oregon/California border: No more than 4 spreads are allowed per line. c. Oregon/California border to U.S./ Mexico border: No more than 6 lines are allowed per vessel, and barbless circle hooks are required when fishing with bait by any means other than trolling. C.3. Gear Definitions Trolling defined: Fishing from a boat or floating device that is making way by means of a source of power, other than drifting by means of the prevailing water current or weather conditions. Troll fishing gear defined: One or more lines that drag hooks behind a PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 moving fishing vessel. In that portion of the fishery management area off Oregon and Washington, the line or lines must be affixed to the vessel and must not be intentionally disengaged from the vessel at any time during the fishing operation. Spread defined: A single leader connected to an individual lure and/or bait. Circle hook defined: A hook with a generally circular shape and a point which turns inward, pointing directly to the shank at a 90° angle. C.4. Vessel Operation in Closed Areas With Salmon on Board a. Except as provided under C.4.b below, it is unlawful for a vessel to have troll or recreational gear in the water while in any area closed to fishing for a certain species of salmon, while possessing that species of salmon; however, fishing for species other than salmon is not prohibited if the area is open for such species, and no salmon are in possession. E:\FR\FM\28APR1.SGM 28APR1 19638 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 81 / Friday, April 28, 2017 / Rules and Regulations b. When Genetic Stock Identification (GSI) samples will be collected in an area closed to commercial salmon fishing, the scientific research permit holder shall notify NOAA Office of Law Enforcement, USCG, CDFW, WDFW, and Oregon State Police at least 24 hours prior to sampling and provide the following information: The vessel name, date, location and time collection activities will be done. Any vessel collecting GSI samples in a closed area shall not possess any salmon other than those from which GSI samples are being collected. Salmon caught for collection of GSI samples must be immediately released in good condition after collection of samples. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES C.5. Control Zone Definitions a. Cape Flattery Control Zone—The area from Cape Flattery (48°23′00″ N. lat.) to the northern boundary of the U.S. EEZ; and the area from Cape Flattery south to Cape Alava (48°10′00″ N. lat.) and east of 125°05′00″ W. long. b. Salmon Troll Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (50 CFR 660.70(c))— The area in Washington Marine Catch Area 3 from 48°00.00′ N. lat.; 125°14.00′ W. long. to 48°02.00′ N. lat.; 125°14.00′ W. long. to 48°02.00′ N. lat.; 125°16.50′ W. long. to 48°00.00′ N. lat.; 125°16.50′ W. long. and connecting back to 48°00.00′ N. lat.; 125°14.00′ W. long. c. Grays Harbor Control Zone—The area defined by a line drawn from the Westport Lighthouse (46° 53′18″ N. lat., 124°07′01″ W. long.) to Buoy #2 (46°52′42″ N. lat., 124°12′42″ W. long.) to Buoy #3 (46°55′00″ N. lat., 124°14′48″ W. long.) to the Grays Harbor north jetty (46°55′36″ N. lat., 124°10′51″ W. long.). d. Columbia Control Zone—An area at the Columbia River mouth, bounded on the west by a line running northeast/ southwest between the red lighted Buoy #4 (46°13′35″ N. lat., 124°06′50″ W. long.) and the green lighted Buoy #7 (46°15′09″ N. lat., 124°06′16″ W. long.); on the east, by the Buoy #10 line which bears north/south at 357° true from the south jetty at 46°14′00″ N. lat., 124°03′07″ W. long. to its intersection with the north jetty; on the north, by a line running northeast/southwest between the green lighted Buoy #7 to the tip of the north jetty (46°15′48″ N. lat., 124°05′20″ W. long.), and then along the north jetty to the point of intersection with the Buoy #10 line; and, on the south, by a line running northeast/southwest between the red lighted Buoy #4 and tip of the south jetty (46°14′03″ N. lat., 124°04′05″ W. long.), and then along the south jetty to the point of intersection with the Buoy #10 line. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:52 Apr 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 e. Klamath Control Zone—The ocean area at the Klamath River mouth bounded on the north by 41°38′48″ N. lat. (approximately 6 nautical miles north of the Klamath River mouth); on the west by 124°23′00″ W. long. (approximately 12 nautical miles off shore); and on the south by 41°26′48″ N. lat. (approximately 6 nautical miles south of the Klamath River mouth). f. Waypoints for the 40 fathom regulatory line from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain (50 CFR 660.71(k)). (12) 45°46.00′ N. lat., 124°04.49′ W. long.; (13) 45°44.34′ N. lat., 124°05.09′ W. long.; (14) 45°40.64′ N. lat., 124°04.90′ W. long.; (15) 45°33.00′ N. lat., 124°04.46′ W. long.; (16) 45°32.27′ N. lat., 124°04.74′ W. long.; (17) 45°29.26′ N. lat., 124°04.22′ W. long.; (18) 45°20.25′ N. lat., 124°04.67′ W. long.; (19) 45°19.99′ N. lat., 124°04.62′ W. long.; (20) 45°17.50′ N. lat., 124°04.91′ W. long.; (21) 45°11.29′ N. lat., 124°05.20′ W. long.; (22) 45°05.80′ N. lat., 124°05.40′ W. long.; (23) 45°05.08′ N. lat., 124°05.93′ W. long.; (24) 45°03.83′ N. lat., 124°06.47′ W. long.; (25) 45°01.70′ N. lat., 124°06.53′ W. long.; (26) 44°58.75′ N. lat., 124°07.14′ W. long.; (27) 44°51.28′ N. lat., 124°10.21′ W. long.; (28) 44°49.49′ N. lat., 124°10.90′ W. long.; (29) 44°44.96′ N. lat., 124°14.39′ W. long.; (30) 44°43.44′ N. lat., 124°14.78′ W. long.; (31) 44°42.26′ N. lat., 124°13.81′ W. long.; (32) 44°41.68′ N. lat., 124°15.38′ W. long.; (33) 44°34.87′ N. lat., 124°15.80′ W. long.; (34) 44°33.74′ N. lat., 124°14.44′ W. long.; (35) 44°27.66′ N. lat., 124°16.99′ W. long.; (36) 44°19.13′ N. lat., 124°19.22′ W. long.; (37) 44°15.35′ N. lat., 124°17.38′ W. long.; (38) 44°14.38′ N. lat., 124°17.78′ W. long.; (39) 44°12.80′ N. lat., 124°17.18′ W. long.; PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (40) 44°09.23′ N. lat., 124°15.96′ W. long.; (41) 44°08.38′ N. lat., 124°16.79′ W. long.; (42) 44°08.30′ N. lat., 124°16.75′ W. long.; (43) 44°01.18′ N. lat., 124°15.42′ W. long.; (44) 43°51.61′ N. lat., 124°14.68′ W. long.; (45) 43°42.66′ N. lat., 124°15.46′ W. long.; (46) 43°40.49′ N. lat., 124°15.74′ W. long.; (47) 43°38.77′ N. lat., 124°15.64′ W. long.; (48) 43°34.52′ N. lat., 124°16.73′ W. long.; (49) 43°28.82′ N. lat., 124°19.52′ W. long.; (50) 43°23.91′ N. lat., 124°24.28′ W. long.; (51) 43°20.83′ N. lat., 124°26.63′ W. long.; (52) 43°17.96′ N. lat., 124°28.81′ W. long.; (53) 43°16.75′ N. lat., 124°28.42′ W. long.; (54) 43°13.97′ N. lat., 124°31.99′ W. long.; (55) 43°13.72′ N. lat., 124°33.25′ W. long.; (56) 43°12.26′ N. lat., 124°34.16′ W. long.; (57) 43°10.96′ N. lat., 124°32.33′ W. long.; (58) 43°05.65′ N. lat., 124°31.52′ W. long.; (59) 42°59.66′ N. lat., 124°32.58′ W. long.; (60) 42°54.97′ N. lat., 124°36.99′ W. long.; (61) 42°53.81′ N. lat., 124°38.57′ W. long.; (62) 42°50.00′ N. lat., 124°39.68′ W. long.; (63) 42°49.13′ N. lat., 124°39.70′ W. long.; (64) 42°46.47′ N. lat., 124°38.89′ W. long.; (65) 42°45.74′ N. lat., 124°38.86′ W. long.; (66) 42°44.79′ N. lat., 124°37.96′ W. long.; (67) 42°45.01′ N. lat., 124°36.39′ W. long.; (68) 42°44.14′ N. lat., 124°35.17′ W. long.; (69) 42°42.14′ N. lat., 124°32.82′ W. long.; (70) 42°40.50′ N. lat., 124°31.98′ W. long. C.6. Notification When Unsafe Conditions Prevent Compliance With Regulations If prevented by unsafe weather conditions or mechanical problems from meeting special management area E:\FR\FM\28APR1.SGM 28APR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 81 / Friday, April 28, 2017 / Rules and Regulations jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES landing restrictions, vessels must notify the U.S. Coast Guard and receive acknowledgment of such notification prior to leaving the area. This notification shall include the name of the vessel, port where delivery will be made, approximate amount of salmon (by species) on board, the estimated time of arrival, and the specific reason the vessel is not able to meet special management area landing restrictions. In addition to contacting the U.S. Coast Guard, vessels fishing south of the Oregon/California border must notify CDFW within one hour of leaving the management area by calling 800–889– 8346 and providing the same information as reported to the U.S. Coast Guard. All salmon must be offloaded within 24 hours of reaching port. C.7. Incidental Halibut Harvest During authorized periods, the operator of a vessel that has been issued an incidental halibut harvest license by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) may retain Pacific halibut caught incidentally in Area 2A while trolling for salmon. Halibut retained must be no less than 32 inches in total length, measured from the tip of the lower jaw with the mouth closed to the extreme end of the middle of the tail, and must be landed with the head on. When halibut are caught and landed incidental to commercial salmon fishing by an IPHC license holder, any person who is required to report the salmon landing by applicable state law must include on the state landing receipt for that landing both the number of halibut landed, and the total dressed, head-on weight of halibut landed, in pounds, as well as the number and species of salmon landed. License applications for incidental harvest must be obtained from the IPHC (phone: 206–634–1838). Applicants must apply prior to mid-March 2018 for 2018 permits (exact date to be set by the IPHC in early 2018). Incidental harvest is authorized only during April, May, and June of the 2017 troll seasons and after June 30 in 2017 if quota remains and if announced on the NMFS hotline (phone: 800–662–9825 or 206–526– 6667). WDFW, ODFW, and CDFW will monitor landings. If the landings are projected to exceed the IPHC’s 39,810 pound preseason allocation or the total Area 2A non-Indian commercial halibut allocation, NMFS will take inseason action to prohibit retention of halibut in the non-Indian salmon troll fishery. May 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017, and April 1–30, 2018, license holders may land or possess no more than one Pacific halibut per each two VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:52 Apr 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 Chinook, except one Pacific halibut may be possessed or landed without meeting the ratio requirement, and no more than 35 halibut may be possessed or landed per trip. Pacific halibut retained must be no less than 32 inches in total length (with head on). IPHC license holders must comply with all applicable IPHC regulations. Incidental Pacific halibut catch regulations in the commercial salmon troll fishery adopted for 2017, prior to any 2017 inseason action, will be in effect when incidental Pacific halibut retention opens on April 1, 2018 unless otherwise modified by inseason action at the March 2018 Council meeting. a. ‘‘C-shaped’’ yelloweye rockfish conservation area is an area to be voluntarily avoided for salmon trolling. NMFS and the Council request salmon trollers voluntarily avoid this area in order to protect yelloweye rockfish. The area is defined in the Pacific Council Halibut Catch Sharing Plan in the North Coast subarea (Washington marine area 3), with the following coordinates in the order listed: 48°18′ N. lat.; 125°18′ W. long.; 48°18′ N. lat.; 124°59′ W. long.; 48°11′ N. lat.; 124°59′ W. long.; 48°11′ N. lat.; 125°11′ W. long.; 48°04′ N. lat.; 125°11′ W. long.; 48°04′ N. lat.; 124°59′ W. long.; 48°00′ N. lat.; 124°59′ W. long.; 48°00′ N. lat.; 125°18′ W. long.; and connecting back to 48°18′ N. lat.; 125°18′ W. long. C.8. Inseason Management In addition to standard inseason actions or modifications already noted under the season description, the following inseason guidance applies: a. Chinook remaining from the May through June non-Indian commercial troll harvest guideline north of Cape Falcon may be transferred to the July through September harvest guideline if the transfer would not result in exceeding preseason impact expectations on any stocks. b. NMFS may transfer fish between the recreational and commercial fisheries north of Cape Falcon if there is agreement among the areas’ representatives on the Salmon Advisory Subpanel (SAS), and if the transfer would not result in exceeding preseason impact expectations on any stocks. c. At the March 2018 meeting, the Council will consider inseason recommendations for special regulations for any experimental fisheries (proposals must meet Council protocol and be received in November 2017). d. If retention of unmarked coho is permitted by inseason action, the allowable coho quota will be adjusted to PO 00000 Frm 00027 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 19639 ensure preseason projected impacts on all stocks is not exceeded. e. Landing limits may be modified inseason to sustain season length and keep harvest within overall quotas. C.9. State Waters Fisheries Consistent with Council management objectives: a. The State of Oregon may establish additional late-season fisheries in state waters. b. The State of California may establish limited fisheries in selected state waters. Check state regulations for details. C.10. For the Purposes of California Fish and Game Code, Section 8232.5, the Definition of the KMZ for the Ocean Salmon Season Shall be That Area From Humbug Mountain, Oregon, to Horse Mountain, California Section 2. Recreational Management Measures for 2017 Ocean Salmon Fisheries Parts A, B, and C of this section contain restrictions that must be followed for lawful participation in the fishery. Part A identifies each fishing area and provides the geographic boundaries from north to south, the open seasons for the area, the salmon species allowed to be caught during the seasons, and any other special restrictions effective in the area. Part B specifies minimum size limits. Part C specifies special requirements, definitions, restrictions and exceptions. A. Season Description North of Cape Falcon, OR —U.S./Canada border to Cape Alava (Neah Bay Subarea) June 24 through earlier of September 4 or 4,370 marked coho subarea quota with a subarea guideline of 7,900 Chinook (C.5). Seven days per week. All salmon, except no chum beginning August 1; two fish per day. All coho must be marked with a healed adipose fin clip (C.1). Beginning August 1, Chinook nonretention east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line (C.4.a) during Council managed ocean fishery. See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Inseason management may be used to sustain season length and keep harvest within the overall Chinook and coho recreational TACs for north of Cape Falcon (C.5). —Cape Alava to Queets River (La Push Subarea) June 24 through earlier of September 4 or 1,090 marked coho subarea quota with a subarea guideline of 2,500 Chinook (C.5). E:\FR\FM\28APR1.SGM 28APR1 19640 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 81 / Friday, April 28, 2017 / Rules and Regulations Seven days per week. All salmon, two fish per day. All coho must be marked with a healed adipose fin clip. See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Inseason management may be used to sustain season length and keep harvest within the overall Chinook and coho recreational TACs for north of Cape Falcon (C.5). —Queets River to Leadbetter Point (Westport Subarea) July 1 through earlier of September 4 or 15,540 marked coho subarea quota with a subarea guideline of 21,400 Chinook (C.5). Seven days per week. All salmon; two fish per day, no more than one of which can be a Chinook. All coho must be marked with a healed adipose fin clip (C.1). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Grays Harbor Control Zone closed beginning August 14 (C.4.b). Inseason management may be used to sustain season length and keep harvest within the overall Chinook and coho recreational TACs for north of Cape Falcon (C.5). —Leadbetter Point to Cape Falcon (Columbia River Subarea) June 24 through earlier of September 4 or 21,000 marked coho subarea quota with a subarea guideline of 13,200 Chinook (C.5). Seven days per week. All salmon; two fish per day, no more than one of which can be a Chinook. All coho must be marked with a healed adipose fin clip (C.1). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Columbia Control Zone closed (C.4.c). Inseason management may be used to sustain season length and keep harvest within the overall Chinook and coho recreational TACs for north of Cape Falcon (C.5). jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES South of Cape Falcon, OR —Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain. March 15 through October 31 (C.6), except as provided below during the allsalmon mark-selective and September non-mark-selective coho fisheries. Seven days per week. All salmon except coho; two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length (B). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). • Non-mark-selective coho fishery: September 2 through the earlier of September 30 or a landed catch of 6,000 coho (C.5). Seven days per week. All salmon, two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length. Coho minimum size limit of 16 inches total length (B). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:45 Apr 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 The all salmon except coho season reopens the earlier of October 1 or attainment of the coho quota (C.5). During October, the fishery is only open shoreward of the 40 fathom regulatory line (C.4.f). In 2018, the season between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain will open March 15 for all salmon except coho; two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length (B); and the same gear restrictions as in 2017 (C.2, C.3). This opening could be modified following Council review at the March 2018 Council meeting. Fishing in the Stonewall Bank yelloweye rockfish conservation area restricted to trolling only on days the all depth recreational halibut fishery is open (call the halibut fishing hotline 1– 800–662–9825 for specific dates) (C.3.b, C.4.d). —Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain All-salmon mark-selective coho fishery: June 24 through the earlier of July 31 or a landed catch of 18,000 marked coho (C.5). Seven days per week. All salmon, two fish per day. All retained coho must be marked with a healed adipose fin clip (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length. Coho minimum size limit of 16 inches total length (b). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Any remainder of the markselective quota may be transferred on an impact neutral basis to the September non-mark-selective quota from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain. The all salmon except coho season reopens the earlier of August 1 or attainment of the coho quota (C.5.e). Fishing in the Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area restricted to trolling only on days the all depth recreational halibut fishery is open (call the halibut fishing hotline 1– 800–662–9825 for specific dates) (C.3b, C.4.d). —Humbug Mountain to Oregon/ California border (Oregon KMZ) Closed (C.6). —Oregon/California border to Horse Mountain (California KMZ) Closed (C.6). —Horse Mountain to Point Arena (Fort Bragg) April 1–May 31; August 15–November 12 (C.6). Seven days per week. All salmon except coho; two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 20 inches total length (B). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). In 2018, season opens April 7 for all salmon except coho; two fish per day PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 20 inches total length (B); and the same gear restrictions as in 2017 (C.2, C.3). This opening could be modified following Council review at the March 2018 Council meeting. —Point Arena to Pigeon Point (San Francisco) April 1–30; May 15–October 31 (C.6). Seven days per week. All salmon except coho; two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length through April 30, 20 inches thereafter (B). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). In 2018, season opens April 7 for all salmon except coho; two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length (B); and the same gear restrictions as in 2017 (C.2, C.3). This opening could be modified following Council review at the March 2018 Council meeting. —Pigeon Point to Point Sur (Monterey North) April 1–July 15 (C.6). Seven days per week. All salmon except coho; two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length (B). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). In 2018, season opens April 7 for all salmon except coho; two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length (B); and the same gear restrictions as in 2017 (C.2, C.3). This opening could be modified following Council review at the March 2018 Council meeting. —Point Sur to U.S./Mexico border (Monterey South) April 1–May 31 (C.6). Seven days per week. All salmon except coho; two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length (B). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). In 2018, season opens April 7 for all salmon except coho; two fish per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length (B); and the same gear restrictions as in 2017 (C.2, C.3). This opening could be modified following Council review at the March 2018 Council meeting. California State regulations require all salmon be made available to a CDFW representative for sampling immediately at port of landing. Any person in possession of a salmon with a missing adipose fin, upon request by an authorized agent or employee of the CDFW, shall immediately relinquish the head of the salmon to the state (California Code of Regulations Title 14 Section 1.73). E:\FR\FM\28APR1.SGM 28APR1 19641 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 81 / Friday, April 28, 2017 / Rules and Regulations B. Minimum Size (Total Length in Inches) (See C.1) Area (when open) Chinook North of Cape Falcon .................................................................................................................... Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain ............................................................................................... Humbug Mt. to OR/CA border. OR/CA border to Horse Mountain. Horse Mountain to Point Arena ..................................................................................................... Point Arena to Pigeon Point: Through April 30 .................................................................................................................... After April 30 .......................................................................................................................... Pigeon Point to Point Sur .............................................................................................................. Point Sur to U.S./Mexico border ................................................................................................... Coho Pink 24.0 24.0 16.0 16.0 None. None. 20.0 ........................ 20.0. 24.0 20.0 24.0 24.0 ........................ ........................ ........................ ........................ 24.0. 20.0. 24.0. 24.0. Metric equivalents: 24.0 in = 61.0 cm, 20.0 in = 50.8 cm, and 16.0in = 40.6 cm. C. Requirements, Definitions, Restrictions, or Exceptions jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES C.1. Compliance With Minimum Size and Other Special Restrictions All salmon on board a vessel must meet the minimum size or other special requirements for the area being fished and the area in which they are landed if that area is open. Salmon may be landed in an area that is closed only if they meet the minimum size or other special requirements for the area in which they were caught. Salmon may not be filleted prior to landing. Ocean Boat Limits: Off the coast of Washington, Oregon, and California, each fisher aboard a vessel may continue to use angling gear until the combined daily limits of Chinook and coho salmon for all licensed and juvenile anglers aboard have been attained (additional state restrictions may apply). C.2. Gear Restrictions Salmon may be taken only by hook and line using barbless hooks. All persons fishing for salmon, and all persons fishing from a boat with salmon on board, must meet the gear restrictions listed below for specific areas or seasons. a. U.S./Canada border to Point Conception, California: No more than one rod may be used per angler; and no more than two single point, single shank barbless hooks are required for all fishing gear. [Note: ODFW regulations in the state-water fishery off Tillamook Bay may allow the use of barbed hooks to be consistent with inside regulations.] b. Horse Mountain, California, to Point Conception, California: Single point, single shank, barbless circle hooks (see gear definitions below) are required when fishing with bait by any means other than trolling, and no more than two such hooks shall be used. When angling with two hooks, the distance between the hooks must not VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:52 Apr 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 exceed five inches when measured from the top of the eye of the top hook to the inner base of the curve of the lower hook, and both hooks must be permanently tied in place (hard tied). Circle hooks are not required when artificial lures are used without bait. C.3. Gear Definitions a. Recreational fishing gear defined: Off Oregon and Washington, angling tackle consists of a single line that must be attached to a rod and reel held by hand or closely attended; the rod and reel must be held by hand while playing a hooked fish. No person may use more than one rod and line while fishing off Oregon or Washington. Off California, the line must be attached to a rod and reel held by hand or closely attended; weights directly attached to a line may not exceed four pounds (1.8 kg). While fishing off California north of Point Conception, no person fishing for salmon, and no person fishing from a boat with salmon on board, may use more than one rod and line. Fishing includes any activity which can reasonably be expected to result in the catching, taking, or harvesting of fish. b. Trolling defined: Angling from a boat or floating device that is making way by means of a source of power, other than drifting by means of the prevailing water current or weather conditions. c. Circle hook defined: A hook with a generally circular shape and a point which turns inward, pointing directly to the shank at a 90° angle. C.4. Control Zone Definitions a. The Bonilla-Tatoosh Line: A line running from the western end of Cape Flattery to Tatoosh Island Lighthouse (48°23′30″ N. lat., 124°44′12″ W. long.) to the buoy adjacent to Duntze Rock (48°24′37″ N. lat., 124°44′37″ W. long.), then in a straight line to Bonilla Point (48°35′39″ N. lat., 124°42′58″ W. long.) on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 b. Grays Harbor Control Zone—The area defined by a line drawn from the Westport Lighthouse (46°53′18″ N. lat., 124° 07′01″ W. long.) to Buoy #2 (46°52′42″ N. lat., 124°12′42″ W. long.) to Buoy #3 (46°55′00″ N. lat., 124°14′48″ W. long.) to the Grays Harbor north jetty (46°55′36″ N. lat., 124°10′51″ W. long.). c. Columbia Control Zone: An area at the Columbia River mouth, bounded on the west by a line running northeast/ southwest between the red lighted Buoy #4 (46°13′35″ N. lat., 124°06′50″ W. long.) and the green lighted Buoy #7 (46°15′09′ N. lat., 124°06′16″ W. long.); on the east, by the Buoy #10 line which bears north/south at 357° true from the south jetty at 46°14′00″ N. lat., 124°03′07″ W. long. to its intersection with the north jetty; on the north, by a line running northeast/southwest between the green lighted Buoy #7 to the tip of the north jetty (46°15′48″ N. lat., 124°05′20″ W. long. and then along the north jetty to the point of intersection with the Buoy #10 line; and on the south, by a line running northeast/southwest between the red lighted Buoy #4 and tip of the south jetty (46°14′03″ N. lat., 124°04′05″ W. long.), and then along the south jetty to the point of intersection with the Buoy #10 line. d. Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area: The area defined by the following coordinates in the order listed: 44°37.46′ N. lat.; 124°24.92′ W. long. 44°37.46′ N. lat.; 124°23.63′ W. long. 44°28.71′ N. lat.; 124°21.80′ W. long. 44°28.71′ N. lat.; 124°24.10′ W. long. 44°31.42′ N. lat.; 124°25.47′ W. long. and connecting back to 44°37.46′ N. lat.; 124°24.92′ W. long. e. Klamath Control Zone: The ocean area at the Klamath River mouth bounded on the north by 41°38′48″ N. lat. (approximately 6 nautical miles north of the Klamath River mouth); on the west by 124°23′00″ W. long. (approximately 12 nautical miles off E:\FR\FM\28APR1.SGM 28APR1 jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES 19642 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 81 / Friday, April 28, 2017 / Rules and Regulations shore); and, on the south by 41°26′48″ N. lat. (approximately 6 nautical miles south of the Klamath River mouth). f. Waypoints for the 40 fathom regulatory line from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain (50 CFR 660.71(k)). (12) 45°46.00′ N. lat., 124°04.49′ W. long.; (13) 45°44.34′ N. lat., 124°05.09′ W. long.; (14) 45°40.64′ N. lat., 124°04.90′ W. long.; (15) 45°33.00′ N. lat., 124°04.46′ W. long.; (16) 45°32.27′ N. lat., 124°04.74′ W. long.; (17) 45°29.26′ N. lat., 124°04.22′ W. long.; (18) 45°20.25′ N. lat., 124°04.67′ W. long.; (19) 45°19.99′ N. lat., 124°04.62′ W. long.; (20) 45°17.50′ N. lat., 124°04.91′ W. long.; (21) 45°11.29′ N. lat., 124°05.20′ W. long.; (22) 45°05.80′ N. lat., 124°05.40′ W. long.; (23) 45°05.08′ N. lat., 124°05.93′ W. long.; (24) 45°03.83′ N. lat., 124°06.47′ W. long.; (25) 45°01.70′ N. lat., 124°06.53′ W. long.; (26) 44°58.75′ N. lat., 124°07.14′ W. long.; (27) 44°51.28′ N. lat., 124°10.21′ W. long.; (28) 44°49.49′ N. lat., 124°10.90′ W. long.; (29) 44°44.96′ N. lat., 124°14.39′ W. long.; (30) 44°43.44′ N. lat., 124°14.78′ W. long.; (31) 44°42.26′ N. lat., 124°13.81′ W. long.; (32) 44°41.68′ N. lat., 124°15.38′ W. long.; (33) 44°34.87′ N. lat., 124°15.80′ W. long.; (34) 44°33.74′ N. lat., 124°14.44′ W. long.; (35) 44°27.66′ N. lat., 124°16.99′ W. long.; (36) 44°19.13′ N. lat., 124°19.22′ W. long.; (37) 44°15.35′ N. lat., 124°17.38′ W. long.; (38) 44°14.38′ N. lat., 124°17.78′ W. long.; (39) 44°12.80′ N. lat., 124°17.18′ W. long.; (40) 44°09.23′ N. lat., 124°15.96′ W. long.; (41) 44°08.38′ N. lat., 124°16.79′ W. long.; (42) 44°08.30′ N. lat., 124°16.75′ W. long.; VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:52 Apr 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 (43) 44°01.18′ N. lat., 124°15.42′ W. long.; (44) 43°51.61′ N. lat., 124°14.68′ W. long.; (45) 43°42.66′ N. lat., 124°15.46′ W. long.; (46) 43°40.49′ N. lat., 124°15.74′ W. long.; (47) 43°38.77′ N. lat., 124°15.64′ W. long.; (48) 43°34.52′ N. lat., 124°16.73′ W. long.; (49) 43°28.82′ N. lat., 124°19.52′ W. long.; (50) 43°23.91′ N. lat., 124°24.28′ W. long.; (51) 43°20.83′ N. lat., 124°26.63′ W. long.; (52) 43°17.96′ N. lat., 124°28.81′ W. long.; (53) 43°16.75′ N. lat., 124°28.42′ W. long.; (54) 43°13.97′ N. lat., 124°31.99′ W. long.; (55) 43°13.72′ N. lat., 124°33.25′ W. long.; (56) 43°12.26′ N. lat., 124°34.16′ W. long.; (57) 43°10.96′ N. lat., 124°32.33′ W. long.; (58) 43°05.65′ N. lat., 124°31.52′ W. long.; (59) 42°59.66′ N. lat., 124°32.58′ W. long.; (60) 42°54.97′ N. lat., 124°36.99′ W. long.; (61) 42°53.81′ N. lat., 124°38.57′ W. long.; (62) 42°50.00′ N. lat., 124°39.68′ W. long.; (63) 42°49.13′ N. lat., 124°39.70′ W. long.; (64) 42°46.47′ N. lat., 124°38.89′ W. long.; (65) 42°45.74′ N. lat., 124°38.86′ W. long.; (66) 42°44.79′ N. lat., 124°37.96′ W. long.; (67) 42°45.01′ N. lat., 124°36.39′ W. long.; (68) 42°44.14′ N. lat., 124°35.17′ W. long.; (69) 42°42.14′ N. lat., 124°32.82′ W. long.; (70) 42°40.50′ N. lat., 124°31.98′ W. long.; C.5. Inseason Management Regulatory modifications may become necessary inseason to meet preseason management objectives such as quotas, harvest guidelines, and season duration. In addition to standard inseason actions or modifications already noted under the season description, the following inseason guidance applies: a. Actions could include modifications to bag limits, or days open to fishing, or extensions or reductions in areas open to fishing. PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 b. Coho may be transferred inseason among recreational subareas north of Cape Falcon to help meet the recreational season duration objectives (for each subarea) after conferring with representatives of the affected ports and the Council’s SAS recreational representatives north of Cape Falcon, and if the transfer would not result in exceeding preseason impact expectations on any stocks. c. Chinook and coho may be transferred between the recreational and commercial fisheries north of Cape Falcon if there is agreement among the representatives of the SAS, and if the transfer would not result in exceeding preseason impact expectations on any stocks. d. Fishery managers may consider inseason action modifying regulations restricting retention of unmarked coho. To remain consistent with preseason expectations, any inseason action shall consider, if significant, the difference between observed and preseason forecasted mark rates. Such a consideration may also include a change in bag limit of two salmon, no more than one of which may be a coho. e. Marked coho remaining from the Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain recreational mark-selective coho quota may be transferred inseason to the Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain non-markselective recreational fishery if the transfer would not result in exceeding preseason impact expectations on any stocks. C.6. Additional Seasons in State Territorial Waters Consistent with Council management objectives, the States of Washington, Oregon, and California may establish limited seasons in state waters. Check state regulations for details. Section 3. Treaty Indian Management Measures for 2017 Ocean Salmon Fisheries Parts A, B, and C of this section contain requirements that must be followed for lawful participation in the fishery. A. Season Descriptions May 1 through the earlier of June 30 or 20,000 Chinook quota. All salmon except coho. If the Chinook quota for the May–June fishery is not fully utilized, the excess fish may be transferred into the later all-salmon season (C.5.a). If the Chinook quota is exceeded, the excess will be deducted from the later all-salmon season (C.5). See size limit (B) and other restrictions (C). E:\FR\FM\28APR1.SGM 28APR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 81 / Friday, April 28, 2017 / Rules and Regulations July 1 through the earlier of September 15, or 20,000 Chinook quota (C.5), or 12,500 coho quota. All salmon. See size limit (B) and other restrictions (C). B. Minimum Size (Inches) Chinook Area (when open) 19643 Coho Pink Total North of Cape Falcon ............................................................ Head-off 24.0 Total 18.0 Head-off 16.0 12.0 None. Metric equivalents: 24.0 in = 61.0 cm, 18.0 in = 45.7 cm, 12.0 in = 30.5 cm. C. Requirements, Restrictions, and Exceptions C.1. Tribe and Area Boundaries. All boundaries may be changed to include such other areas as may hereafter be authorized by a Federal court for that tribe’s treaty fishery. S’KLALLAM—Washington State Statistical Area 4B (All). MAKAH—Washington State Statistical Area 4B and that portion of the FMA north of 48°02′15″ N. lat. (Norwegian Memorial) and east of 125°44′00″ W. long. QUILEUTE—That portion of the FMA between 48°10′00″ N. lat. (Cape Alava.) and 47°31′42″ N. lat. (Queets River) and east of 125°44′00″ W. long. HOH—That portion of the FMA between 47°54′18″ N. lat. (Quillayute River) and 47°21′00″ N. lat. (Quinault River) and east of 125°44′00″ W. long. QUINAULT—That portion of the FMA between 47°40′06″ N. lat. (Destruction Island) and 46°53′18″N. lat. (Point Chehalis) and east of 125°08′30″ W. long. C.2. Gear Restrictions a. Single point, single shank, barbless hooks are required in all fisheries. b. No more than eight fixed lines per boat. c. No more than four hand held lines per person in the Makah area fishery (Washington State Statistical Area 4B and that portion of the FMA north of 48°02′15″ N. lat. (Norwegian Memorial) and east of 125°44′00″ W. long.). jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES C.3. Quotas a. The quotas include troll catches by the S’Klallam and Makah tribes in Washington State Statistical Area 4B from May 1 through September 15. b. The Quileute Tribe will continue a ceremonial and subsistence fishery during the time frame of September 15 through October 15 in the same manner as in 2004–2015. Fish taken during this fishery are to be counted against treaty troll quotas established for the 2017 season (estimated harvest during the September-October ceremonial and subsistence fishery: 20 Chinook; 40 coho). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:44 Apr 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 C.4. Area Closures a. The area within a six nautical mile radius of the mouths of the Queets River (47°31′42″ N. lat.) and the Hoh River (47°45′12″ N. lat.) will be closed to commercial fishing. b. A closure within two nautical miles of the mouth of the Quinault River (47°21′00″ N. lat.) may be enacted by the Quinault Nation and/or the State of Washington and will not adversely affect the Secretary of Commerce’s management regime. C.5. Inseason Management: In Addition to Standard Inseason Actions or Modifications Already Noted Under the Season Description, the Following Inseason Guidance Applies a. Chinook remaining from the May through June treaty-Indian ocean troll harvest guideline north of Cape Falcon may be transferred to the July through September harvest guideline on a fishery impact equivalent basis. Section 4. Halibut Retention Under the authority of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act, NMFS promulgated regulations governing the Pacific halibut fishery, which appear at 50 CFR part 300, subpart E. On March 7, 2017, NMFS published a rule announcing the IPHC’s regulations, and fishery regulations for U.S. waters off Alaska (82 FR 12730). On April 20, 2017, NMFS published a final rule (82 FR 18581) approving and implementing the Area 2A (U.S. West Coast) Pacific halibut Catch Sharing Plan and the Area 2A management measures for 2017. The Catch Sharing Plan, in combination with the IPHC regulations, provides that vessels participating in the salmon troll fishery in Area 2A, which have obtained the appropriate IPHC license, may retain halibut caught incidentally during authorized periods in conformance with provisions published with the annual salmon management measures. A salmon troller may participate in the halibut incidental catch fishery during the salmon troll season or in the directed commercial fishery targeting halibut, but not both. The following measures have been approved by the IPHC, and PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 implemented by NMFS. During authorized periods, the operator of a vessel that has been issued an incidental halibut harvest license may retain Pacific halibut caught incidentally in Area 2A while trolling for salmon. Halibut retained must be no less than 32 inches (81.28 cm) in total length, measured from the tip of the lower jaw with the mouth closed to the extreme end of the middle of the tail, and must be landed with the head on. License applications for incidental harvest must be obtained from the IPHC (phone: 206–634–1838). Applicants must apply prior to mid-March 2018 for 2018 permits (exact date to be set by the IPHC in early 2018). Incidental harvest is authorized only during April, May, and June of the 2017 troll seasons and after June 30 in 2017 if quota remains and if announced on the NMFS hotline (phone: 1–800–662–9825 or 206–526– 6667). WDFW, ODFW, and CDFW will monitor landings. If the landings are projected to exceed the 39,810 pound preseason allocation or the total Area 2A non-Indian commercial halibut allocation, NMFS will take inseason action to prohibit retention of halibut in the non-Indian salmon troll fishery. May 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017, and April 1–30, 2018, license holders may land or possess no more than one Pacific halibut per each two Chinook, except one Pacific halibut may be possessed or landed without meeting the ratio requirement, and no more than 35 halibut may be possessed or landed per trip. Pacific halibut retained must be no less than 32 inches in total length (with head on). IPHC license holders must comply with all applicable IPHC regulations. Incidental Pacific halibut catch regulations in the commercial salmon troll fishery adopted for 2017, prior to any 2017 inseason action, will be in effect when incidental Pacific halibut retention opens on April 1, 2018, unless otherwise modified by inseason action at the March 2018 Council meeting. NMFS and the Council request that salmon trollers voluntarily avoid a ‘‘Cshaped’’ YRCA (also known as the E:\FR\FM\28APR1.SGM 28APR1 19644 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 81 / Friday, April 28, 2017 / Rules and Regulations Salmon Troll YRCA) in order to protect yelloweye rockfish. Coordinates for the Salmon Troll YRCA are defined at 50 CFR 660.70(a) in the North Coast subarea (Washington marine area 3). See Section 1.C.7. in this document for the coordinates. Section 5. Geographical Landmarks Wherever the words ‘‘nautical miles off shore’’ are used in this document, the distance is measured from the baseline from which the territorial sea is measured. Geographical landmarks referenced in this document are at the following locations: Cape Flattery, WA ................. Cape Alava, WA .................... Queets River, WA .................. Leadbetter Point, WA ............. Cape Falcon, OR ................... Florence South Jetty, OR ...... Humbug Mountain, OR .......... Oregon-California border ....... Humboldt South Jetty, CA ..... Horse Mountain, CA .............. Point Arena, CA ..................... Point Reyes, CA .................... Point San Pedro, CA ............. Pigeon Point, CA ................... Point Sur, CA ......................... Point Conception, CA ............ 48°23′00″ lat. 48°10′00″ lat. 47°31′42″ lat. 46°38′10″ lat. 45°46′00″ lat. 44°00′54″ lat. 42°40′30″ lat. 42°00′00″ lat. 40°45′53″ lat. 40°05′00″ lat. 38°57′30″ lat. 37°59′44″ lat. 37°35′40″ lat. 37°11′00″ lat. 36°18′00″ lat. 34°27′00″ lat. N. N. N. N. N. N. N. N. N. N. N. N. N. N. N. N. jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES Section 6. Inseason Notice Procedures Notice of inseason management actions will be provided by a telephone hotline administered by the West Coast Region, NMFS, 1–800–662–9825 or 206–526–6667, and by USCG Notice to Mariners broadcasts. These broadcasts are announced on Channel 16 VHF–FM and 2182 KHz at frequent intervals. The announcements designate the channel or frequency over which the Notice to Mariners will be immediately broadcast. Inseason actions will also be published in the Federal Register as soon as practicable. Since provisions of these management measures may be altered by inseason actions, fishermen should monitor either the telephone hotline or Coast Guard broadcasts for current VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:52 Apr 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 information for the area in which they are fishing. Classification This final rule is necessary for conservation and management of Pacific coast salmon stocks and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens Act and other applicable law. These regulations are being promulgated under the authority of 16 U.S.C. 1855(d) and 16 U.S.C. 773(c). This final rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries finds good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), to waive the requirement for prior notice and opportunity for public comment, as such procedures would be impracticable and contrary to the public interest. The annual salmon management cycle begins May 1 and continues through April 30 of the following year. May 1 was chosen because the pre-May harvests constitute a relatively small portion of the annual catch. The time frame of the preseason process for determining the annual modifications to ocean salmon fishery management measures depends on when the pertinent biological data are available. Salmon stocks are managed to meet annual spawning escapement goals or specific exploitation rates. Achieving either of these objectives requires designing management measures that are appropriate for the ocean abundance predicted for that year. These pre-season abundance forecasts, which are derived from previous years’ observed spawning escapement, vary substantially from year to year, and are not available until January or February because spawning escapement continues through the fall. The preseason planning and public review process associated with developing Council recommendations is initiated in February as soon as the forecast information becomes available. The public planning process requires coordination of management actions of four states, numerous Indian tribes, and the Federal Government, all of which have management authority over the stocks. This complex process includes the affected user groups, as well as the general public. The process is compressed into a two-month period culminating with the April Council meeting at which the Council adopts a recommendation that is forwarded to NMFS for review, approval, and implementation of fishing regulations effective on May 1. Providing opportunity for prior notice and public comments on the Council’s recommended measures through a PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 proposed and final rulemaking process would require 30 to 60 days in addition to the two-month period required for development of the regulations. Delaying implementation of annual fishing regulations, which are based on the current stock abundance projections, for an additional 60 days would require that fishing regulations for May and June be set in the previous year, without the benefit of information regarding current stock status. For the 2017 fishing regulations, the current stock status was not available to the Council until February. Because a substantial amount of fishing occurs during May and June, managing the fishery with measures developed using the prior year’s data could have significant adverse effects on the managed stocks, including ESA-listed stocks. Although salmon fisheries that open prior to May are managed under the prior year’s measures, as modified by the Council at its March meeting, relatively little harvest occurs during that period (e.g., on average, less than 5 percent of commercial and recreational harvest occurred prior to May 1 during the years 2001 through 2015). Allowing the much more substantial harvest levels normally associated with the May and June salmon seasons to be promulgated under the prior year’s regulations would impair NMFS’ ability to protect weak and ESA-listed salmon stocks, and to provide harvest opportunity where appropriate. The choice of May 1 as the beginning of the regulatory season balances the need to gather and analyze the data needed to meet the management objectives of the Salmon FMP and the need to manage the fishery using the best available scientific information. If these measures are not in place on May 1, salmon fisheries will not open as scheduled, or would open based on 2016 management measures which do not account for 2017 abundance projections without inseason action by NMFS. This would result in lost fishing opportunity, negative economic impacts, and confusion for the public as the state fisheries adopt concurrent regulations that conform to the Federal management measures. Overall, the annual population dynamics of the various salmon stocks require managers to adjust the season structure of the West Coast salmon fisheries to both protect weaker stocks and give fishers access to stronger salmon stocks, particularly hatchery produced fish. Failure to implement these measures immediately could compromise the status of certain stocks, or result in foregone opportunity to harvest stocks whose abundance has E:\FR\FM\28APR1.SGM 28APR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 81 / Friday, April 28, 2017 / Rules and Regulations jstallworth on DSK7TPTVN1PROD with RULES increased relative to the previous year thereby undermining the purpose of this agency action. In addition, public comment was received and considered by the Council and NMFS throughout the process of developing these management measures. As described above, the Council took comment at its March and April meetings, and heard summaries of comments received at public meetings held between the March and April meetings in each of the coastal states. NMFS also invited comments in a notice published prior to the March Council meeting, and considered comments received by the Council through its representative on the Council. Thus, these measures were developed with significant public input. Based upon the above-described need to have these measures effective on May 1 and the fact that there is limited time available to implement these new measures after the final Council meeting in April and before the commencement of the ocean salmon fishing year on May 1, NMFS has concluded it is impracticable and contrary to the public interest to provide an opportunity for prior notice and public comment under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries also finds that good cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), to waive the 30-day delay in effectiveness of this final rule. As previously discussed, data were not available until February and management measures were not finalized until mid-April. These measures are essential to conserve threatened and endangered ocean salmon stocks, and to provide for harvest of more abundant stocks. Delaying the effectiveness of these measures by 30 days could compromise the ability of some stocks to attain their conservation objectives, preclude harvest opportunity, and negatively impact anticipated international, state, and tribal salmon fisheries, thereby undermining the purposes of this agency action and the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:52 Apr 27, 2017 Jkt 241001 To enhance the fishing industry’s notification of these new measures, and to minimize the burden on the regulated community required to comply with the new regulations, NMFS is announcing the new measures over the telephone hotline used for inseason management actions and is posting the regulations on its West Coast Region Web site (http:// www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov). NMFS is also advising the states of Washington, Oregon, and California on the new management measures. These states announce the seasons for applicable state and Federal fisheries through their own public notification systems. Because prior notice and an opportunity for public comment are not required to be provided for these portions of this rule by 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., are not applicable. Accordingly, no Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is required for this portion of the rule and none has been prepared. This action contains collection-ofinformation requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), and which have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under control number 0648–0433. The current information collection approval expires on July 31, 2017; renewal of this approval has been submitted to OMB and approval is pending. The public reporting burden for providing notifications if landing area restrictions cannot be met is estimated to average 15 minutes per response. This estimate includes the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the PRA, unless PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 19645 that collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number. NMFS has current ESA biological opinions that cover fishing under these regulations on all listed salmon species. NMFS reiterated their consultation standards for all ESA listed salmon and steelhead species in their annual Guidance letter to the Council dated March 3, 2017. Some of NMFS past biological opinions have found no jeopardy, and others have found jeopardy, but provided reasonable and prudent alternatives to avoid jeopardy. The management measures for 2017 are consistent with the biological opinions that found no jeopardy, and with the reasonable and prudent alternatives in the jeopardy biological opinions. The Council’s recommended management measures therefore comply with NMFS’ consultation standards and guidance for all listed salmon species which may be affected by Council fisheries. In some cases, the recommended measures are more restrictive than NMFS’ ESA requirements. In 2009, NMFS consulted on the effects of fishing under the Salmon FMP on the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale Distinct Population Segment (SRKW) and concluded the salmon fisheries were not likely to jeopardize SRKW. The 2017 salmon management measures are consistent with the terms of that biological opinion. This final rule was developed after meaningful and collaboration with the affected tribes. The tribal representative on the Council made the motion for the regulations that apply to the tribal fisheries. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773–773k; 1801 et seq. Dated: April 25, 2017. Alan D. Risenhoover, Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2017–08638 Filed 4–27–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P E:\FR\FM\28APR1.SGM 28APR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 81 (Friday, April 28, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 19631-19645]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-08638]



[[Page 19631]]

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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Part 660

[Docket No. 161222999-7413-01]
RIN 0648-BG59


Fisheries Off West Coast States; West Coast Salmon Fisheries; 
2017 Management Measures and a Temporary Rule

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

ACTION: Final rule; and a temporary rule for emergency action.

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SUMMARY: Through this final rule, NMFS establishes fishery management 
measures for the 2017 ocean salmon fisheries off Washington, Oregon, 
and California and the 2018 salmon seasons opening earlier than May 1, 
2018. The temporary rule for emergency action (emergency rule), under 
the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA), 
implements the 2017 annual management measures for the West Coast ocean 
salmon fisheries for the area from the U.S./Canada border to Cape 
Falcon, OR, from May 1, 2017, through October 28, 2018. The emergency 
rule is required because allocation of coho harvest between 
recreational and commercial fisheries will not be consistent with the 
allocation schedule specified in the Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery 
Management Plan (FMP) in order to limit fishery impacts on Queets coho 
and meet conservation and management objectives. The fishery management 
measures for the area from Cape Falcon, OR, to the U.S./Mexico border 
are consistent with the FMP and are implemented through a final rule. 
Specific fishery management measures vary by fishery and by area. The 
measures establish fishing areas, seasons, quotas, legal gear, 
recreational fishing days and catch limits, possession and landing 
restrictions, and minimum lengths for salmon taken in the U.S. 
exclusive economic zone (EEZ) (3-200 NM) off Washington, Oregon, and 
California. The management measures are intended to prevent overfishing 
and to apportion the ocean harvest equitably among treaty Indian, non-
treaty commercial, and recreational fisheries. The measures are also 
intended to allow a portion of the salmon runs to escape the ocean 
fisheries in order to provide for spawning escapement and inside 
fisheries (fisheries occurring in state internal waters).

DATES: The final rule covering fisheries south of Cape Falcon, Oregon, 
is effective from 0001 hours Pacific Daylight Time, May 1, 2017, until 
the effective date of the 2018 management measures, which will be 
published in the Federal Register. The temporary rule covering 
fisheries north of Cape Falcon, Oregon, is effective from 0001 hours 
Pacific Daylight Time, May 1, 2017, through 2400 hours Pacific Daylight 
Time, October 28, 2017, or the attainment of the specific quotas listed 
below in section two of this rule.

ADDRESSES: The documents cited in this document are available on the 
Pacific Fishery Management Council's (Council's) Web site 
(www.pcouncil.org).

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The ocean salmon fisheries in the EEZ off Washington, Oregon, and 
California are managed under a ``framework'' FMP. Regulations at 50 CFR 
part 660, subpart H, provide the mechanism for making preseason and 
inseason adjustments to the management measures, within limits set by 
the FMP, by notification in the Federal Register. Establishing annual 
management measures is authorized at 50 CFR 660.408.
    The management measures for the 2017 and pre-May 2018 ocean salmon 
fisheries that are implemented in this final rule were recommended by 
the Council at its April 6 to 11, 2017, meeting.

Process Used To Establish 2017 Management Measures

    The Council announced its annual preseason management process for 
the 2017 ocean salmon fisheries in the Federal Register on December 28, 
2016 (81 FR 95568), and on the Council's Web site at 
(www.pcouncil.org). NMFS published an additional notice of 
opportunities to submit public comments on the 2017 ocean salmon 
fisheries in the Federal Register on January 17, 2017 (82 FR 4859). 
These notices announced the availability of Council documents, the 
dates and locations of Council meetings and public hearings comprising 
the Council's complete schedule of events for determining the annual 
proposed and final modifications to ocean salmon fishery management 
measures, and instructions on how to comment on the development of the 
2017 ocean salmon fisheries. The agendas for the March and April 
Council meetings were published in the Federal Register (82 FR 10881, 
February 16, 2017, and 82 FR 14353, March 20, 2017, respectively) and 
posted on the Council's Web site prior to the actual meetings.
    In accordance with the FMP, the Council's Salmon Technical Team 
(STT) and staff economist prepared four reports for the Council, its 
advisors, and the public. All four reports were made available on the 
Council's Web site upon their completion. The first of the reports, 
``Review of 2016 Ocean Salmon Fisheries,'' was prepared in February 
when the scientific information necessary for crafting management 
measures for the 2017 and pre-May 2018 ocean salmon fisheries first 
became available. The first report summarizes biological and socio-
economic data for the 2016 ocean salmon fisheries and assesses how well 
the Council's 2016 management objectives were met. The second report, 
``Preseason Report I Stock Abundance Analysis and Environmental 
Assessment Part 1 for 2017 Ocean Salmon Fishery Regulations'' (PRE I), 
provides the 2017 salmon stock abundance projections and analyzes the 
impacts on the stocks and Council management goals if the 2016 
regulations and regulatory procedures were applied to the projected 
2017 stock abundances. The completion of PRE I is the initial step in 
developing and evaluating the full suite of preseason alternatives.
    Following completion of the first two reports, the Council met in 
Vancouver, WA, from March 7 to 13, 2017, to develop 2017 management 
alternatives for proposal to the public. The Council proposed three 
alternatives for commercial and recreational fisheries management for 
analysis and public comment. These alternatives consisted of various 
combinations of management measures designed to protect weak stocks of 
coho and Chinook salmon, and to provide for ocean harvests of more 
abundant stocks. After the March Council meeting, the Council's STT and 
staff economist prepared a third report, ``Preseason Report II Proposed 
Alternatives and Environmental Assessment Part 2 for 2017 Ocean Salmon 
Fishery Regulations'' (PRE II), which analyzes the effects of the 
proposed 2017 management alternatives.
    Public hearings, sponsored by the Council, to receive testimony on 
the proposed alternatives were held on March 27, 2017, in Westport, WA, 
and Coos Bay, OR; and on March 28, 2017, in Fort Bragg, CA. The States 
of Washington, Oregon, and California

[[Page 19632]]

sponsored meetings in various fora that also collected public 
testimony, which was then presented to the Council by each state's 
Council representative. The Council also received public testimony at 
both the March and April meetings and received written comments at the 
Council office.
    The Council met from April 6 to 11, 2017, in Vancouver, WA, to 
adopt its final 2017 salmon management recommendations. Following the 
April Council meeting, the Council's STT and staff economist prepared a 
fourth report, ``Preseason Report III Analysis of Council-Adopted 
Management Measures for 2017 Ocean Salmon Fisheries'' (PRE III), which 
analyzes the environmental and socio-economic effects of the Council's 
final recommendations. After the Council took final action on the 
annual ocean salmon specifications in April, it transmitted the 
recommended management measures to NMFS, published them in its 
newsletter, and also posted them on the Council Web site 
(www.pcouncil.org).

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

    The environmental assessment (EA) for this action comprises the 
Council's documents described above (PRE I, PRE II, and PRE III), 
providing analysis of environmental and socioeconomic effects under 
NEPA. The EA and its related Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) 
are posted on the NMFS West Coast Region Web site 
(www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov).

Resource Status

Stocks of Concern

    The FMP requires that the fisheries be shaped to meet escapement-
based Annual Catch Limits (ACLs), Endangered Species Act (ESA) 
consultation requirements, obligations of the Pacific Salmon Treaty 
(PST) between the U.S. and Canada, and other conservation objectives 
detailed in the FMP. Because the ocean salmon fisheries are mixed-stock 
fisheries, this requires ``weak stock'' management to avoid exceeding 
limits for the stocks with the most constraining limits. Abundance 
forecasts for individual salmon stocks can vary significantly from one 
year to the next; therefore, the stocks that constrain the fishery in 
one year may differ from those that constrain the fishery in the next. 
For 2017, limits for three stocks are the most constraining on the 
fisheries; these are described below.
    Fisheries south of Cape Falcon, OR, are limited in 2017 primarily 
by the low abundance forecast of Klamath River fall Chinook salmon 
(KRFC) and concern for the status of ESA-listed Sacramento River winter 
Chinook salmon (SRWC). Fisheries north of Cape Falcon are limited 
primarily by the low abundance forecast for Queets coho. The 
limitations imposed in order to protect these stocks are described 
below. The alternatives and the Council's recommended management 
measures for 2017 were designed to avoid exceeding these limitations.
    Sacramento River winter Chinook salmon (SRWC): In 2010, NMFS 
consulted under ESA section 7 and provided guidance to the Council 
regarding the effects of Council area fisheries on SRWC, ESA-listed as 
endangered. NMFS completed a biological opinion that includes a 
reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA) to avoid jeopardizing the 
continued existence of this evolutionarily significant unit (ESU). The 
RPA included management-area-specific fishing season openings and 
closures, and minimum size limits for both commercial and recreational 
fisheries. It also directed NMFS to develop a second component to the 
RPA--an abundance-based management (ABM) framework. In 2012, NMFS 
implemented this ABM framework, which supplements the above management 
restrictions with maximum allowable impact rates that apply when 
abundance is low, based on the three-year geometric mean spawning 
escapement of SRWC. Using the methodology specified in the ABM 
framework, the age-3 impact rate on SRWC in 2017 fisheries south of 
Point Arena recommended by NMFS would be limited to a maximum of 15.8 
percent. At the start of the preseason planning process for the 2017 
management season, NMFS provided a letter to the Council, dated March 
3, 2017, summarizing limits to impacts on ESA-listed species for 2017, 
based on existing biological opinions and 2017 abundance information, 
as required by the Salmon FMP. The letter stated the 15.8 percent 
maximum impact rate on SRWC.
    However, as in 2016, the Council expressed concern that the 
methodology used to recommend that impact rate is retrospective in 
nature and may not be responsive to the effects of recent environmental 
events on salmon survival and productivity, including the perilously 
high mortality rates of out-migrating SRWC smolts in recent years due 
to warm water conditions caused by drought in California. Estimates of 
juvenile SRWC passage at Red Bluff Diversion Dam on the Sacramento 
River indicate that, while 2016 brood year outmigration was slightly 
higher than the previous two brood years, juvenile abundance remains 
about one-third the 2007-2015 average. The Council has formed a 
workgroup to develop new scientific methodology to incorporate 
information about future SRWC abundance into fishery management; 
however, that new methodology is not yet available. For 2017, the 
Council recommended precautionary management measures including time 
and area restrictions based on data presented by the California 
Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) regarding SRWC encounters in the 
fishery resulting in an impact rate for SRWC of 12.2 percent. 
Conservation measures for SRWC will constrain 2017 salmon fisheries 
south of Point Arena, California.
    Klamath River fall Chinook salmon (KRFC): KRFC is not an ESA-listed 
stock; however, forecast abundance for this stock in 2017 is 
historically low, only 30 percent of the 2016 forecast. KRFC currently 
meets the FMP's status determination criteria (SDC) for approaching an 
overfished condition based on escapements in 2015 and 2016, coupled 
with the projected escapement in 2017. The FMP defines ``overfished'' 
status in terms of a three-year geometric mean escapement level and 
whether it is above the minimum stock sized threshold (MSST). Based on 
preliminary information, it is possible that KRFC will be determined to 
have a three-year geometric mean escapement level below MSST once post-
season escapement estimates are available, and meet the definition of 
``overfished'' in 2018, but, given the minimal impacts of Council-area 
fisheries on KRFC, this is the case whether or not there are any 
fishery impacts.
    The FMP's harvest control rule for this stock allows for minimal 
levels of impact at very low abundance levels. Given the forecast 
abundance of KRFC for 2017, the control rule limits impacts on the 
stock to 8.1 percent. Fisheries south of Cape Falcon and north of Point 
Sur will be constrained by this limit. The FMP specifies a set of 
circumstances that the Council should consider in applying the control 
rule at very low abundance levels: Critically low spawner abundance 
that may affect crucial genetic thresholds of substocks, spawner 
abundance in recent years, status of co-mingled stocks, marine and 
freshwater environmental conditions, needs for tribal fisheries, 
whether the stock is currently in an approaching overfished condition, 
and whether the stock is currently overfished. The Council and its 
advisors discussed these

[[Page 19633]]

circumstances. The risk for substocks to fall below crucial genetic 
thresholds in 2017 was expected to be substantial (greater than 80 
percent) under either a no-fishing scenario or fishing at levels 
specified by the control rule level. In 2016, KRFC spawner escapement 
was well below both the level for maximum sustained yield 
(SMSY) and minimum stock size threshold (MSST) specified in 
the FMP. Regarding the status of co-mingled stocks, the STT reported 
that the primary stocks that comingle with KRFC have relatively low 
forecast abundance for 2017. The Yurok and Hoopa Valley Tribes have 
reserved fishing rights and are dependent on salmon for their 
subsistence and culture. NMFS' Northwest and Southwest Fisheries 
Science Centers presented information indicating that the broods that 
will contribute to 2017 harvest and escapement encountered poor ocean 
conditions in the California Current Ecosystem. As stated above, KRFC 
currently meet the FMP SDC criteria for approaching an overfished 
condition; although NMFS has not yet made a determination. Finally, 
KRFC are not currently overfished. After consideration of these 
circumstances, the Council adopted the 8.1 percent impact rate, 
consistent with the KRFC control rule. The Council developed management 
measures that utilize time and area closures to minimize fishery 
impacts on KRFC: The Klamath Management Zone (KMZ), Humbug Mountain, OR 
south to Humboldt South Jetty, CA, will be closed for the entire year 
to both commercial and recreational fishing and the area from Florence 
South Jetty, OR south to Humbug Mountain will be closed to commercial 
fishing to provide an additional buffer; in California, there will be 
very little fishing opportunity in the Fort Bragg management area, 
specifically avoiding times when KRFC impacts are known to be high in 
that area; and, finally, CDFW will recommend to the California Fish and 
Game Commission that fall Chinook fishing in the Klamath River be 
closed in 2017. The combination of the KRFC and SRWC control rules will 
constrain fisheries severely in California in 2017.
    Queets coho: Queets coho are not ESA-listed. However, the 2017 
abundance forecast for this stock is very low; 6,548 fish compared to a 
2009-2016 average of 18,700 fish. The FMP's conservation objective for 
Queets coho is a spawning escapement of 5,800 fish. Although the 
Council's recommended management measures would allow for an ocean 
escapement of 5,800 Queets coho, the conservation objective in the FMP 
is for a spawning escapement that accounts for in-river fishery 
impacts. The FMP provides flexibility in setting the annual spawning 
escapement for several Washington coho stocks, including Queets coho, 
provided there is agreement between the Washington Department of Fish 
and Wildlife (WDFW) and the treaty tribes, consistent with court orders 
in U.S. v Washington. Therefore, based on agreement between those 
parties and discussion on the Council floor that the reduced spawning 
escapement is unlikely to jeopardize the capacity of the fishery to 
produce maximum sustainable yield on a continuing basis, the Council 
adopted a 2017 spawning escapement target of 5,130 Queets coho to allow 
for limited harvest opportunity in ocean and in-river fisheries 
directed at other higher-abundance stocks. Additionally, under the 
criteria of the PST's Southern Coho Management Plan, Queets coho 
abundance is in the ``low'' category in 2017 and subject to a total 
exploitation rate of 20 percent. The state and treaty tribal co-
managers relied on a provision in the PST to request that the Southern 
Panel of the Pacific Salmon Commission agree to permit a 22 percent 
exploitation rate on Queets coho in 2017 to allow the U.S. to meet 
fishery management objectives [(Pacific Salmon Treaty, Article XV, 
Annex IV, Chapter 5, paragraph 11(c)]. The Southern Panel did agree to 
this request. Managing for impacts to Queets coho will constrain salmon 
fisheries north of Cape Falcon, Oregon.

Annual Catch Limits and Status Determination Criteria

    Annual Catch Limits (ACLs) are set for two Chinook salmon stocks, 
Sacramento River fall Chinook (SRFC) and KRFC, and one coho stock, 
Willapa Bay natural coho. The Chinook salmon stocks are indicator 
stocks for the Central Valley Fall Chinook complex and the Southern 
Oregon/Northern California Chinook complex, respectively. The Far North 
Migrating Coastal Chinook complex includes a group of Chinook salmon 
stocks that are caught primarily in fisheries north of Cape Falcon, 
Oregon, and other fisheries that occur north of the U.S./Canada border. 
No ACL is set for these stocks because they are managed according to 
the PST with Canada. Other Chinook salmon stocks caught in fisheries 
north of Cape Falcon are ESA-listed or hatchery produced, and are 
managed consistent with ESA consultations or hatchery goals. Willapa 
Bay natural coho is the only coho stock for which an ACL is set, as the 
other coho stocks in the FMP are either ESA-listed, hatchery produced, 
or managed under the PST.
    ACLs for salmon stocks are escapement-based, which means they 
establish a number of adults that must escape the fisheries to return 
to the spawning grounds. ACLs are set based on the annual abundance 
projection and a fishing rate reduced to account for scientific 
uncertainty. For SRFC in 2017, the overfishing limit (OFL) is 
SOFL = 230,700 (projected abundance) multiplied by 1 - 
FMSY (1 - 0.78) or 50,754 returning spawners 
(FMSY is the fishing mortality rate that would result in 
maximum sustainable yield - MSY). SABC is 230,700 multiplied 
by 1 - FABC (1 - 0.70) (FMSY reduced for 
scientific uncertainty = 0.70) or 69,210. The SACL is set 
equal to SABC, i.e, 69,210 spawners. The adopted management 
measures provide for an expected SRFC spawning escapement of 133,200. 
For KRFC in 2017, SOFL is 12,383 (abundance projection) 
multiplied by 1 - FMSY (1 - 0.71), or 3,591 returning 
spawners. SABC is 12,383 multiplied by 1 - FABC 
(1 - 0.68) (FMSY reduced for scientific uncertainty = 0.68) 
or 3,963 returning spawners. SACL is set equal to 
SABC, i.e., 3,963 spawners. The adopted management measures 
provide for an expected KRFC spawning escapement of 11,379. For Willapa 
Bay natural coho in 2017, the overfishing limit (OFL) is 
SOFL = 36,720 (projected abundance) multiplied by 1 - 
FMSY (1 - 0.74) or 9,547 returning spawners. SABC 
is 36,720 multiplied by 1 - FABC (1 - 0.70) (FMSY 
reduced for scientific uncertainty = 0.70) or 11,016. SACL 
is set equal to SABC, i.e., 11,016 spawners. The adopted 
management measures provide for an expected Willapa Bay natural coho 
ocean escapement of 34,400.
    As explained in more detail above under ``Stocks of Concern,'' 
fisheries north and south of Cape Falcon, are constrained by impact 
limits necessary to protect ESA-listed salmon stocks including SRWC and 
KRFC and Queets coho which are not ESA-listed. For 2017, projected 
abundance of the three stocks with ACLs (SRFC, KRFC, and Willapa Bay 
natural coho), in combination with the constraints for ESA-listed and 
non-ESA-listed stocks, are expected to result in escapements greater 
than required to meet the ACLs for all three stocks with defined ACLs.

Emergency Rule

    The Council's final recommendation for the ocean salmon fishing 
seasons that commence May 1, 2017, deviates from the FMP specifically 
with regard to the FMP's allocation schedule for coho harvest in the 
area north of Cape Falcon, between commercial and recreational

[[Page 19634]]

fisheries. The total allowable catch (TAC) of coho in non-treaty 
commercial and recreational fisheries north of Cape Falcon is 47,600 
marked coho in 2017. At that TAC level, the FMP allocates 25 percent 
(16 percent marked coho equivalent) of coho to the commercial fishery 
and 75 percent (84 percent marked coho equivalent) of coho to the 
recreational fishery. To limit fishery impacts on coho consistent with 
the adopted spawning escapement and exploitation rates described above, 
the Council recommended the following allocations of marked coho TAC: 
12 percent commercial and 88 percent recreational. Recreational 
fisheries are more dependent on coho, while commercial fisheries are 
more dependent on Chinook salmon. Additionally, in mark-selective 
fisheries, recreational fisheries have a lower impact rate due to lower 
hooking mortality. This deviation from the FMP allocation schedule 
should provide fishing opportunity on abundant stocks while limiting 
fishery impacts on Queets coho.
    The Council considered three alternative fishery management schemes 
for the fisheries north of Cape Falcon; two of the three alternatives 
were inconsistent with the FMP coho allocation schedule. Alternative I 
would have limited the commercial fishery to nine percent of the north 
of Falcon coho TAC, inconsistent with the FMP allocation schedule 
between commercial and recreational fisheries; Alternative II would 
have been consistent with the FMP coho allocation schedule; and 
Alternative III would have prohibited coho retention in the non-treaty 
commercial fishery north of Cape Falcon and would have restricted coho 
retention in the recreational fishery to the area south of Leadbetter 
Point, WA, this would be inconsistent with the FMP allocation schedule 
between commercial and recreational fisheries and among recreational 
fishery subareas. The Council's state and tribal representatives, and 
industry advisory committee, supported consideration of these three 
alternatives. The Council's final recommended management measures fall 
between the second and third alternatives in terms of impacts to coho. 
These management measures reflect agreement between the State of 
Washington and coastal treaty tribes on spawning escapement and 
exploitation rate goals on Queets coho for combined ocean fisheries and 
fisheries landward of the EEZ; the projected impacts of the combined 
fisheries are managed such that Queets coho meets these escapement and 
exploitation rate goals. The Council voted unanimously to adopt these 
measures, and members spoke about the need to conserve Queets coho 
while providing harvest opportunity on abundant stocks to provide 
economic benefit to fishery dependent communities.
    The proposed fisheries have minimal impacts on Queets coho and are 
not expected to jeopardize the capacity of the fishery to produce 
maximum sustainable yield on a continuing basis. The FMP defines 
overfishing and overfished status for this stock. Queets would not be 
subject to overfishing under the proposed management measures, in fact 
the overfishing limits in the FMP are much higher than the expected 
impact rates (65 percent MFMT compared to a 22 percent projected impact 
rate). Queets coho currently meet the FMP's SDC for approaching an 
overfished condition based on escapements in 2014 and 2015, coupled 
with the projected escapement in 2017. Escapements in 2016 are not 
available but are reported to have been much higher than anticipated 
during the 2016 preseason process. Based on preliminary information, it 
is possible that Queets coho will have a three-year geometric mean 
escapement level below MSST, and meet the definition of ``overfished'' 
in 2018, but, given the minimal impacts of Council-area fisheries on 
Queets coho, this is the case whether or not there are any fishery 
impacts. The marginal decreases in the abundance of Queets coho 
expected from the proposed fisheries (approximately 267 fish out of the 
forecasted abundance of 6,548 fish may be taken by the proposed 
fisheries) are not expected to affect the ability of the fisheries to 
produce MSY on a continuing basis.
    The temporary rule for emergency action implements the 2017 annual 
management measures for the West Coast ocean salmon fisheries for the 
area from the U.S./Canada border to Cape Falcon, OR, for 180 days, from 
May 1, 2017, through October 28, 2017 (16 U.S.C. 1855(c)).

Public Comments

    The Council invited written comments on developing 2017 salmon 
management measures in their notice announcing public meetings and 
hearings (81 FR 95568, December 28, 2016). At its March meeting, the 
Council adopted three alternatives for 2017 salmon management measures 
having a range of quotas, season structure, and impacts, from the least 
restrictive in Alternative I to the most restrictive in Alternative 
III. These alternatives are described in detail in PRE II. 
Subsequently, comments were taken at three public hearings held in 
March, staffed by representatives of the Council and NMFS. The Council 
received several written comments directly. The three public hearings 
were attended by a total of 154 people; 34 people provided oral 
comments. Comments came from individual fishers, fishing associations, 
fish buyers, and processors. Written and oral comments addressed the 
2017 management alternatives described in PRE II, and generally 
expressed preferences for a specific alternative or for particular 
season structures. All comments were included in the Council's briefing 
book for their April 2017 meeting and were considered by the Council, 
which includes a representative from NMFS, in developing the 
recommended management measures transmitted to NMFS on April 20, 2017. 
In addition to comments collected at the public hearings and those 
submitted directly to the Council, a few people provided oral comments 
at the April 2017 Council meeting. NMFS also invited comments to be 
submitted directly to the Council or to NMFS, via the Federal 
Rulemaking Portal (www.regulations.gov) in a notice (82 FR 4859, 
January 17, 2017). No comments were submitted via www.regulations.gov.
    Comments on alternatives for fisheries north of Cape Falcon. For 
fisheries north of Cape Falcon, Alternative I was favored by most 
commercial and recreational fishery commenters at the public hearing in 
Westport, WA. A variety of modifications to the alternatives were 
presented, most designed to maximize fishing opportunity in both 
commercial and recreational fisheries.
    Comments on alternatives for fisheries south of Cape Falcon. 
Comments supporting a particular alternative south of Cape Falcon 
varied with geographic location of the meeting or commenter. Those 
attending the meeting in Coos Bay, OR, largely favored Alternative I 
for both commercial and recreational fisheries, while those attending 
the meeting in Fort Bragg, CA, expressed overwhelming support for 
Alternative III. The Council received a large number of emailed 
comments from members of a recreational fishing club in California who 
favored Alternative I. Comments included concern for Klamath and 
Sacramento River salmon and various environmental and management 
concerns that affect them.
    Comments on incidental halibut retention in the commercial salmon 
fisheries. At its March meeting, the Council identified three 
alternatives for landing limits for incidentally caught

[[Page 19635]]

halibut that are retained in the salmon troll fishery. There were a few 
comments received on halibut and these focused on the ability to access 
the full halibut allocation (severely constrained salmon fisheries in 
2016 resulted in the commercial fleet being unable to access all of the 
incidental halibut allocation available).
    Comments from treaty tribe representatives. At its March and April 
meetings, the Council heard testimony from members of several treaty 
tribes; additional comments were submitted in writing. There was strong 
concern about environmental conditions in the Klamath River that are 
deleterious to salmon survival, including promoting increased rates of 
infection by the parasite Ceratonova shasta. Comments were made on the 
need for sufficient spawning escapement in the Columbia River Basin and 
in support of successful artificial propagation and reintroduction 
efforts implemented there by the tribes. Comments were made on the 
reserved treaty rights of tribes to fish and frustration with 
insufficient salmon for tribal needs. Finally, there were written 
comments expressing concern over the low abundance of coho salmon in 
Puget Sound rivers and stressing the need to limit fisheries to provide 
spawning escapement.
    The Council, including the NMFS representative, took all of these 
comments into consideration. The Council's final recommendation 
generally includes aspects of all three alternatives, while taking into 
account the best available scientific information and ensuring that 
fisheries are consistent with ESA consultation standards, ACLs, PST 
obligations, and tribal fishing rights. These management tools assist 
the Council in meeting impact limits on weak stocks. The Council 
adopted alternative III for incidental halibut retention, this 
alternative provides for more liberal landing limits for halibut than 
were adopted for 2016 salmon fisheries and April 2017 salmon fisheries 
(81 FR 26157, May 2, 2016).

Management Measures for 2017 Fisheries

    The Council's recommended ocean harvest levels and management 
measures for the 2017 fisheries are designed to apportion the burden of 
protecting the weak stocks identified and discussed in PRE I equitably 
among ocean fisheries and to allow maximum harvest of natural and 
hatchery runs surplus to inside fishery and spawning needs. NMFS finds 
the Council's recommendations to be responsive to the goals of the FMP, 
the requirements of the resource, and the socioeconomic factors 
affecting resource users. The recommendations are consistent with the 
requirements of the MSA, U.S. obligations to Indian tribes with 
federally recognized fishing rights, and U.S. international obligations 
regarding Pacific salmon. The Council's recommended management measures 
also comply with NMFS ESA consultation standards and guidance, for 
those ESA-listed salmon species that may be affected by Council 
fisheries. Accordingly, NMFS, through this final rule and temporary 
rule, approves and implements the Council's recommendations.
    North of Cape Falcon, 2017 management measures for non-Indian 
commercial troll and recreational fisheries have increased quotas for 
Chinook and coho salmon compared to 2016, when historically low 
abundance for several coho stocks severely constrained fisheries. North 
of Cape Falcon in 2017, commercial and recreational fisheries will have 
access to coho salmon in all management areas. Chinook harvest north of 
Cape Falcon will be moderately improved over the 2016 level for both 
commercial and recreational fisheries.
    Quotas for the 2017 treaty-Indian commercial troll fishery North of 
Cape Falcon 2017 are 40,000 Chinook salmon and 12,500 coho in ocean 
management areas and Washington State Statistical Area 4B combined. 
These quotas are unchanged for Chinook from 2016 and allow coho 
retention which was not available in 2016. The treaty-Indian fishery 
commercial fisheries include a May and June fishery and a July and 
August fishery, with a quota of 20,000 Chinook in each fishery and 
12,500 coho in the July and August fishery. Although the fishing 
opportunity North of Cape Falcon is better than in 2016, fisheries are 
reduced significantly compared to those implemented over the last ten 
years.
    Recreational fisheries south of Cape Falcon will be directed 
primarily at Chinook salmon and are shaped to minimize impacts to KRFC, 
with opportunity for coho salmon limited to the area between Cape 
Falcon and Humbug Mountain, OR. Commercial fisheries south of Cape 
Falcon will be directed at Chinook in the areas north of the Florence 
South Jetty in Oregon and south of Horse Mountain in California and 
have no coho retention.

Management Measures for 2018 Fisheries

    The timing of the March and April Council meetings makes it 
impracticable for the Council to recommend fishing seasons that begin 
before May 1 of the same year. Therefore, this action also establishes 
the 2018 fishing seasons that open earlier than May 1. The Council 
recommended, and NMFS concurs, that the commercial season off Oregon 
from Cape Falcon to the Oregon/California border, the commercial season 
off California from Horse Mountain to Point Arena, the recreational 
season off Oregon from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain, and the 
recreational season off California from Horse Mountain to the U.S./
Mexico border will open in 2018 as indicated in the ``Season 
Description'' section of this document. At the March 2018 meeting, the 
Council may consider inseason recommendations to adjust the commercial 
and recreational seasons prior to May 1 in the areas off Oregon and 
California.
    The following sections set out the management regime for the ocean 
salmon fishery. Open seasons and days are described in Sections 1, 2, 
and 3 of the 2017 management measures. Inseason closures in the 
commercial and recreational fisheries are announced on the NMFS hotline 
and through the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Notice to Mariners as described 
in Section 6. Other inseason adjustments to management measures are 
also announced on the hotline and through the Notice to Mariners. 
Inseason actions will also be published in the Federal Register as soon 
as practicable.
    The following are the management measures recommended by the 
Council and approved and implemented here for 2017 and, as specified, 
for 2018.

Section 1. Commercial Management Measures for 2017 Ocean Salmon 
Fisheries

    Parts A, B, and C of this section contain restrictions that must be 
followed for lawful participation in the fishery. Part A identifies 
each fishing area and provides the geographic boundaries from north to 
south, the open seasons for the area, the salmon species allowed to be 
caught during the seasons, and any other special restrictions effective 
in the area. Part B specifies minimum size limits. Part C specifies 
special requirements, definitions, restrictions, and exceptions.

A. Season Description

North of Cape Falcon, OR
--U.S./Canada border to Cape Falcon

    May 1 through the earlier of June 30 or 27,000 Chinook, no more 
than 8,900 of which may be caught in the area between the U.S./Canada 
border and the Queets River and no more than 9,000 of

[[Page 19636]]

which may be caught in the area between Leadbetter Point and Cape 
Falcon (C.8). In the area between the U.S./Canada border and the Queets 
River, a landing and possession limit of 60 Chinook per vessel per 
calendar week (Monday through Sunday) will be in place. Seven days per 
week (C.1). All salmon except coho (C.4, C.7). Chinook minimum size 
limit of 28 inches total length (B). Vessels in possession of salmon 
north of the Queets River may not cross the Queets River line (see 
Section 5. Geographical Landmarks) without first notifying WDFW at 360-
249-1215 with area fished, total Chinook and halibut catch aboard, and 
destination. Vessels in possession of salmon south of the Queets River 
may not cross the Queets River line (see Section 5. Geographical 
Landmarks) without first notifying WDFW at 360-249-1215 with area 
fished, total Chinook and halibut catch aboard, and destination. When 
it is projected that approximately 75 percent of the overall Chinook 
guideline has been landed, or approximately 75 percent of the Chinook 
subarea guideline has been landed in the area between the U.S./Canada 
border and the Queets River, or approximately 75 percent of the Chinook 
subarea guideline has been landed in the area between Leadbetter Point 
and Cape Falcon, inseason action will be considered to ensure the 
guideline is not exceeded. See compliance requirements (C.1) and gear 
restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).
    July 1-4, July 7-September 19 or 18,000 Chinook or 5,600 coho, 
whichever comes first; no more than 7,200 Chinook may be caught in the 
area between the U.S./Canada border and the Queets River (C.8). Open 
five days per week, Friday through Tuesday. In the area between the 
U.S./Canada border and the Queets River, a landing and possession limit 
of 60 Chinook and 10 coho per vessel per open period will be in place 
(C.1, C.6). In the area from the Queets River to Cape Falcon, a landing 
and possession limit of 75 Chinook and 10 coho per vessel per open 
period will be in place (C.1, C.6). Chinook minimum size limit of 28 
inches total length. Coho minimum size limit of 16 inches total length 
(B, C.1). All coho must be marked with a healed adipose fin clip 
(C.8.c). No chum retention north of Cape Alava, WA in August and 
September (C.4, C.7). See compliance requirements (C.1) and gear 
restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Vessels in possession of 
salmon north of the Queets River may not cross the Queets River line 
(see Section 5. Geographical Landmarks) without first notifying WDFW at 
360-249-1215 with area fished, total Chinook and halibut catch aboard, 
and destination. Vessels in possession of salmon south of the Queets 
River may not cross the Queets River line (see Section 5. Geographical 
Landmarks) without first notifying WDFW at 360-249-1215 with area 
fished, total Chinook and halibut catch aboard, and destination. When 
it is projected that approximately 75 percent of the overall Chinook 
guideline has been landed, or approximately 75 percent of the Chinook 
subarea guideline has been landed in the area between the U.S./Canada 
border to the Queets River, inseason action will be considered to 
ensure the guideline is not exceeded.
    For all commercial troll fisheries north of Cape Falcon, mandatory 
closed areas include: Salmon Troll Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation 
Area, Cape Flattery and Columbia Control Zones, and, beginning August 
14, Grays Harbor Control Zone closed (C.5). Vessels must land and 
deliver their fish within 24 hours of any closure of this fishery. 
Vessels fishing or in possession of salmon while fishing north of 
Leadbetter Point must land and deliver their fish within the area and 
north of Leadbetter Point. Vessels fishing or in possession of salmon 
while fishing south of Leadbetter Point must land and deliver their 
fish within the area and south of Leadbetter Point, except that Oregon 
permitted vessels may also land their fish in Garibaldi, OR. Under 
state law, vessels must report their catch on a state fish receiving 
ticket. Oregon State regulations require all fishers landing salmon 
into Oregon from any fishery between Leadbetter Point, WA, and Cape 
Falcon, OR, must notify Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) 
within one hour of delivery or prior to transport away from the port of 
landing by either calling 541-867-0300 ext. 271 or sending notification 
via email to nfalcon.trollreport@state.or.us. Notification shall 
include vessel name and number, number of salmon by species, port of 
landing and location of delivery, and estimated time of delivery. 
Inseason actions may modify harvest guidelines in later fisheries to 
achieve or prevent exceeding the overall allowable troll harvest 
impacts (C.8).
South of Cape Falcon, OR
--Cape Falcon to Florence South Jetty

    April 15-May 31;
    June 7-12, June 15-30, July 8-31;
    September 1-30, October 1-31 (C.9.a).
    Seven days per week. All salmon except coho (C.4, C.7). Chinook 
minimum size limit of 28 inches total length (B, C.1). All vessels 
fishing in the area must land their fish in the state of Oregon. See 
gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3) and Oregon State 
regulations for a description of special regulations at the mouth of 
Tillamook Bay. Beginning September 1, no more than 45 Chinook per 
vessel per landing week (Thursday through Wednesday), and only open 
shoreward of the 40 fathom regulatory line (C.5.f).
    In 2018, the season will open March 15 for all salmon except coho. 
Chinook minimum size limit of 28 inches total length (B, C.1). Gear 
restrictions same as in 2017 (C.2, C.3, C.4, C.6, C.7, C.8). This 
opening could be modified following Council review at its March 2018 
meeting.

--Florence South Jetty to Humbug Mountain

    Closed (C.9.a).
    In 2018, the season will open March 15 for all salmon except coho. 
Chinook minimum size limit of 28 inches total length (B, C.1). Gear 
restrictions same as in 2017 (C.2, C.3, C.4, C.6, C.7, C.8). This 
opening could be modified following Council review at its March 2018 
meeting.

--Humbug Mountain to Oregon/California border (Oregon Klamath 
Management Zone (KMZ))

    Closed (C.9.a).
    In 2018, the season will open March 15 for all salmon except coho. 
Chinook minimum size limit of 28 inches total length (B, C.1). Gear 
restrictions same as in 2017 (C.2, C.3, C.4, C.6, C.7, C.8). This 
opening could be modified following Council review at its March 2018 
meeting.

--Oregon/California border to Humboldt South Jetty (California KMZ)

    Closed (C.9.a).

--Humboldt South Jetty to Horse Mt.

    Closed.
    When the fishery is closed between the Oregon/California border and 
Humbug Mountain and open to the south, vessels with fish on board 
caught in the open area off California may seek temporary mooring in 
Brookings, OR prior to landing in California only if such vessels first 
notify the Chetco River Coast Guard Station via VHF channel 22A between 
the hours of 0500 and 2200 and provide the vessel name, number of fish 
on board, and estimated time of arrival (C.6).

--Horse Mt. to Point Arena (Fort Bragg)

    September 1 through the earlier of September 30, or a 3,000 Chinook 
quota (C.9.b).
    Five days per week, Friday through Tuesday. All salmon except coho 
(C.4, C.7). Chinook minimum size limit of 27

[[Page 19637]]

inches total length (B, C.1). Landing and possession limit of 60 
Chinook per vessel per open period (C.8.e). All fish caught in this 
area must be landed between the Oregon/California border and Point 
Arena (C.6). All fish must be offloaded within 24 hours of any closure 
of the fishery and prior to fishing outside the area (C.1). See 
compliance requirements (C.1) and gear restrictions and definitions 
(C.2, C.3).
    In 2018, the season will open April 16-30 for all salmon except 
coho, with a 27-inch Chinook minimum size limit and the same gear 
restrictions as in 2017. All fish caught in the area must be landed in 
the area. This opening could be modified following Council review at 
its March 2018 meeting.

--Point Arena to Pigeon Point (San Francisco)

    August 1-29;
    September 1-30 (C.9.b).
    Seven days per week. All salmon except coho (C.4, C.7). Chinook 
minimum size limit of 27 inches total length prior to September 1, 26 
inches thereafter (B, C.1). All fish must be landed in California. All 
salmon caught in California prior to September 1 must be landed and 
offloaded no later than 11:59 p.m., August 30 (C.6). In September, all 
fish must be landed south of Point Arena until the quota in the Fort 
Bragg fishery is met and the fishery has closed for 24 hours (C.6). See 
compliance requirements (C.1) and gear restrictions and definitions 
(C.2, C.3).

 Point Reyes to Point San Pedro (Fall Area Target Zone)

    October 2-6 and 9-13.
    Five days per week, Monday through Friday. All salmon except coho 
(C.4, C.7). Chinook minimum size limit of 26 inches total length (B, 
C.1). All fish caught in this area must be landed between Point Arena 
and Pigeon Point (C.6). See compliance requirements (C.1) and gear 
restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).

--Pigeon Point to U.S./Mexico border (Monterey)

    May 1-31;
    June 1-30 (C.9.b).
    Seven days per week. All salmon except coho (C.4, C.7). Chinook 
minimum size limit of 27 inches total length (B, C.1). All fish must be 
landed in California. All salmon caught in California prior to 
September 1 must be landed and offloaded no later than 11:59 p.m., 
August 30 (C.6). See compliance requirements (C.1) and gear 
restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).
    California State regulations require all salmon be made available 
to a CDFW representative for sampling immediately at port of landing. 
Any person in possession of a salmon with a missing adipose fin, upon 
request by an authorized agent or employee of the CDFW, shall 
immediately relinquish the head of the salmon to the state (California 
Fish and Game Code Sec.  8226).

B. Minimum Size (Inches) (See C.1)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Chinook                          Coho
       Area (when open)       ----------------------------------------------------------------        Pink
                                Total length      Head-off      Total length      Head-off
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
North of Cape Falcon, OR.....            28.0            21.5              16              12  None.
Cape Falcon to Humbug                    28.0            21.5  ..............  ..............  None.
 Mountain.
Humbug Mountain to OR/CA       ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............  .................
 border.
OR/CA border to Humboldt       ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............  .................
 South Jetty.
Horse Mountain to Point Arena            27.0            20.5  ..............  ..............  None.
Point Arena to Pigeon Point:
    Prior to September 1.....            27.0            20.5  ..............  ..............  None.
September 1 and thereafter...            26.0            19.5  ..............  ..............  None.
Pigeon Point to U.S./Mexico              27.0            20.5  ..............  ..............  None.
 border.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Metric equivalents: 28.0 in = 71.1 cm, 27.0 in = 68.6 cm, 26.0 in = 66.0 cm, 21.5 in = 54.6 cm, 20.5 in = 52.1
  cm, 19.5 in = 49.5 cm, 16.0 in = 40.6 cm, and 12.0 in = 30.5 cm.

C. Requirements, Definitions, Restrictions, or Exceptions

C.1. Compliance With Minimum Size or Other Special Restrictions
    All salmon on board a vessel must meet the minimum size, landing/
possession limit, or other special requirements for the area being 
fished and the area in which they are landed if the area is open or has 
been closed less than 48 hours for that species of salmon. Salmon may 
be landed in an area that has been closed for a species of salmon more 
than 48 hours only if they meet the minimum size, landing/possession 
limit, or other special requirements for the area in which they were 
caught. Salmon may not be filleted prior to landing.
    Any person who is required to report a salmon landing by applicable 
state law must include on the state landing receipt for that landing 
both the number and weight of salmon landed by species. States may 
require fish landing/receiving tickets be kept on board the vessel for 
90 days or more after landing to account for all previous salmon 
landings.
C.2. Gear Restrictions
    a. Salmon may be taken only by hook and line using single point, 
single shank, barbless hooks.
    b. Cape Falcon, Oregon, to the Oregon/California border: No more 
than 4 spreads are allowed per line.
    c. Oregon/California border to U.S./Mexico border: No more than 6 
lines are allowed per vessel, and barbless circle hooks are required 
when fishing with bait by any means other than trolling.
C.3. Gear Definitions
    Trolling defined: Fishing from a boat or floating device that is 
making way by means of a source of power, other than drifting by means 
of the prevailing water current or weather conditions.
    Troll fishing gear defined: One or more lines that drag hooks 
behind a moving fishing vessel. In that portion of the fishery 
management area off Oregon and Washington, the line or lines must be 
affixed to the vessel and must not be intentionally disengaged from the 
vessel at any time during the fishing operation.
    Spread defined: A single leader connected to an individual lure 
and/or bait.
    Circle hook defined: A hook with a generally circular shape and a 
point which turns inward, pointing directly to the shank at a 90[deg] 
angle.
C.4. Vessel Operation in Closed Areas With Salmon on Board
    a. Except as provided under C.4.b below, it is unlawful for a 
vessel to have troll or recreational gear in the water while in any 
area closed to fishing for a certain species of salmon, while 
possessing that species of salmon; however, fishing for species other 
than salmon is not prohibited if the area is open for such species, and 
no salmon are in possession.

[[Page 19638]]

    b. When Genetic Stock Identification (GSI) samples will be 
collected in an area closed to commercial salmon fishing, the 
scientific research permit holder shall notify NOAA Office of Law 
Enforcement, USCG, CDFW, WDFW, and Oregon State Police at least 24 
hours prior to sampling and provide the following information: The 
vessel name, date, location and time collection activities will be 
done. Any vessel collecting GSI samples in a closed area shall not 
possess any salmon other than those from which GSI samples are being 
collected. Salmon caught for collection of GSI samples must be 
immediately released in good condition after collection of samples.
C.5. Control Zone Definitions
    a. Cape Flattery Control Zone--The area from Cape Flattery 
(48[deg]23'00'' N. lat.) to the northern boundary of the U.S. EEZ; and 
the area from Cape Flattery south to Cape Alava (48[deg]10'00'' N. 
lat.) and east of 125[deg]05'00'' W. long.
    b. Salmon Troll Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area (50 CFR 
660.70(c))--The area in Washington Marine Catch Area 3 from 
48[deg]00.00' N. lat.; 125[deg]14.00' W. long. to 48[deg]02.00' N. 
lat.; 125[deg]14.00' W. long. to 48[deg]02.00' N. lat.; 125[deg]16.50' 
W. long. to 48[deg]00.00' N. lat.; 125[deg]16.50' W. long. and 
connecting back to 48[deg]00.00' N. lat.; 125[deg]14.00' W. long.
    c. Grays Harbor Control Zone--The area defined by a line drawn from 
the Westport Lighthouse (46[deg] 53'18'' N. lat., 124[deg]07'01'' W. 
long.) to Buoy #2 (46[deg]52'42'' N. lat., 124[deg]12'42'' W. long.) to 
Buoy #3 (46[deg]55'00'' N. lat., 124[deg]14'48'' W. long.) to the Grays 
Harbor north jetty (46[deg]55'36'' N. lat., 124[deg]10'51'' W. long.).
    d. Columbia Control Zone--An area at the Columbia River mouth, 
bounded on the west by a line running northeast/southwest between the 
red lighted Buoy #4 (46[deg]13'35'' N. lat., 124[deg]06'50'' W. long.) 
and the green lighted Buoy #7 (46[deg]15'09'' N. lat., 124[deg]06'16'' 
W. long.); on the east, by the Buoy #10 line which bears north/south at 
357[deg] true from the south jetty at 46[deg]14'00'' N. lat., 
124[deg]03'07'' W. long. to its intersection with the north jetty; on 
the north, by a line running northeast/southwest between the green 
lighted Buoy #7 to the tip of the north jetty (46[deg]15'48'' N. lat., 
124[deg]05'20'' W. long.), and then along the north jetty to the point 
of intersection with the Buoy #10 line; and, on the south, by a line 
running northeast/southwest between the red lighted Buoy #4 and tip of 
the south jetty (46[deg]14'03'' N. lat., 124[deg]04'05'' W. long.), and 
then along the south jetty to the point of intersection with the Buoy 
#10 line.
    e. Klamath Control Zone--The ocean area at the Klamath River mouth 
bounded on the north by 41[deg]38'48'' N. lat. (approximately 6 
nautical miles north of the Klamath River mouth); on the west by 
124[deg]23'00'' W. long. (approximately 12 nautical miles off shore); 
and on the south by 41[deg]26'48'' N. lat. (approximately 6 nautical 
miles south of the Klamath River mouth).
    f. Waypoints for the 40 fathom regulatory line from Cape Falcon to 
Humbug Mountain (50 CFR 660.71(k)).

(12) 45[deg]46.00' N. lat., 124[deg]04.49' W. long.;
(13) 45[deg]44.34' N. lat., 124[deg]05.09' W. long.;
(14) 45[deg]40.64' N. lat., 124[deg]04.90' W. long.;
(15) 45[deg]33.00' N. lat., 124[deg]04.46' W. long.;
(16) 45[deg]32.27' N. lat., 124[deg]04.74' W. long.;
(17) 45[deg]29.26' N. lat., 124[deg]04.22' W. long.;
(18) 45[deg]20.25' N. lat., 124[deg]04.67' W. long.;
(19) 45[deg]19.99' N. lat., 124[deg]04.62' W. long.;
(20) 45[deg]17.50' N. lat., 124[deg]04.91' W. long.;
(21) 45[deg]11.29' N. lat., 124[deg]05.20' W. long.;
(22) 45[deg]05.80' N. lat., 124[deg]05.40' W. long.;
(23) 45[deg]05.08' N. lat., 124[deg]05.93' W. long.;
(24) 45[deg]03.83' N. lat., 124[deg]06.47' W. long.;
(25) 45[deg]01.70' N. lat., 124[deg]06.53' W. long.;
(26) 44[deg]58.75' N. lat., 124[deg]07.14' W. long.;
(27) 44[deg]51.28' N. lat., 124[deg]10.21' W. long.;
(28) 44[deg]49.49' N. lat., 124[deg]10.90' W. long.;
(29) 44[deg]44.96' N. lat., 124[deg]14.39' W. long.;
(30) 44[deg]43.44' N. lat., 124[deg]14.78' W. long.;
(31) 44[deg]42.26' N. lat., 124[deg]13.81' W. long.;
(32) 44[deg]41.68' N. lat., 124[deg]15.38' W. long.;
(33) 44[deg]34.87' N. lat., 124[deg]15.80' W. long.;
(34) 44[deg]33.74' N. lat., 124[deg]14.44' W. long.;
(35) 44[deg]27.66' N. lat., 124[deg]16.99' W. long.;
(36) 44[deg]19.13' N. lat., 124[deg]19.22' W. long.;
(37) 44[deg]15.35' N. lat., 124[deg]17.38' W. long.;
(38) 44[deg]14.38' N. lat., 124[deg]17.78' W. long.;
(39) 44[deg]12.80' N. lat., 124[deg]17.18' W. long.;
(40) 44[deg]09.23' N. lat., 124[deg]15.96' W. long.;
(41) 44[deg]08.38' N. lat., 124[deg]16.79' W. long.;
(42) 44[deg]08.30' N. lat., 124[deg]16.75' W. long.;
(43) 44[deg]01.18' N. lat., 124[deg]15.42' W. long.;
(44) 43[deg]51.61' N. lat., 124[deg]14.68' W. long.;
(45) 43[deg]42.66' N. lat., 124[deg]15.46' W. long.;
(46) 43[deg]40.49' N. lat., 124[deg]15.74' W. long.;
(47) 43[deg]38.77' N. lat., 124[deg]15.64' W. long.;
(48) 43[deg]34.52' N. lat., 124[deg]16.73' W. long.;
(49) 43[deg]28.82' N. lat., 124[deg]19.52' W. long.;
(50) 43[deg]23.91' N. lat., 124[deg]24.28' W. long.;
(51) 43[deg]20.83' N. lat., 124[deg]26.63' W. long.;
(52) 43[deg]17.96' N. lat., 124[deg]28.81' W. long.;
(53) 43[deg]16.75' N. lat., 124[deg]28.42' W. long.;
(54) 43[deg]13.97' N. lat., 124[deg]31.99' W. long.;
(55) 43[deg]13.72' N. lat., 124[deg]33.25' W. long.;
(56) 43[deg]12.26' N. lat., 124[deg]34.16' W. long.;
(57) 43[deg]10.96' N. lat., 124[deg]32.33' W. long.;
(58) 43[deg]05.65' N. lat., 124[deg]31.52' W. long.;
(59) 42[deg]59.66' N. lat., 124[deg]32.58' W. long.;
(60) 42[deg]54.97' N. lat., 124[deg]36.99' W. long.;
(61) 42[deg]53.81' N. lat., 124[deg]38.57' W. long.;
(62) 42[deg]50.00' N. lat., 124[deg]39.68' W. long.;
(63) 42[deg]49.13' N. lat., 124[deg]39.70' W. long.;
(64) 42[deg]46.47' N. lat., 124[deg]38.89' W. long.;
(65) 42[deg]45.74' N. lat., 124[deg]38.86' W. long.;
(66) 42[deg]44.79' N. lat., 124[deg]37.96' W. long.;
(67) 42[deg]45.01' N. lat., 124[deg]36.39' W. long.;
(68) 42[deg]44.14' N. lat., 124[deg]35.17' W. long.;
(69) 42[deg]42.14' N. lat., 124[deg]32.82' W. long.;
(70) 42[deg]40.50' N. lat., 124[deg]31.98' W. long.
C.6. Notification When Unsafe Conditions Prevent Compliance With 
Regulations
    If prevented by unsafe weather conditions or mechanical problems 
from meeting special management area

[[Page 19639]]

landing restrictions, vessels must notify the U.S. Coast Guard and 
receive acknowledgment of such notification prior to leaving the area. 
This notification shall include the name of the vessel, port where 
delivery will be made, approximate amount of salmon (by species) on 
board, the estimated time of arrival, and the specific reason the 
vessel is not able to meet special management area landing 
restrictions.
    In addition to contacting the U.S. Coast Guard, vessels fishing 
south of the Oregon/California border must notify CDFW within one hour 
of leaving the management area by calling 800-889-8346 and providing 
the same information as reported to the U.S. Coast Guard. All salmon 
must be offloaded within 24 hours of reaching port.
C.7. Incidental Halibut Harvest
    During authorized periods, the operator of a vessel that has been 
issued an incidental halibut harvest license by the International 
Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC) may retain Pacific halibut caught 
incidentally in Area 2A while trolling for salmon. Halibut retained 
must be no less than 32 inches in total length, measured from the tip 
of the lower jaw with the mouth closed to the extreme end of the middle 
of the tail, and must be landed with the head on. When halibut are 
caught and landed incidental to commercial salmon fishing by an IPHC 
license holder, any person who is required to report the salmon landing 
by applicable state law must include on the state landing receipt for 
that landing both the number of halibut landed, and the total dressed, 
head-on weight of halibut landed, in pounds, as well as the number and 
species of salmon landed.
    License applications for incidental harvest must be obtained from 
the IPHC (phone: 206-634-1838). Applicants must apply prior to mid-
March 2018 for 2018 permits (exact date to be set by the IPHC in early 
2018). Incidental harvest is authorized only during April, May, and 
June of the 2017 troll seasons and after June 30 in 2017 if quota 
remains and if announced on the NMFS hotline (phone: 800-662-9825 or 
206-526-6667). WDFW, ODFW, and CDFW will monitor landings. If the 
landings are projected to exceed the IPHC's 39,810 pound preseason 
allocation or the total Area 2A non-Indian commercial halibut 
allocation, NMFS will take inseason action to prohibit retention of 
halibut in the non-Indian salmon troll fishery.
    May 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017, and April 1-30, 2018, 
license holders may land or possess no more than one Pacific halibut 
per each two Chinook, except one Pacific halibut may be possessed or 
landed without meeting the ratio requirement, and no more than 35 
halibut may be possessed or landed per trip. Pacific halibut retained 
must be no less than 32 inches in total length (with head on). IPHC 
license holders must comply with all applicable IPHC regulations.
    Incidental Pacific halibut catch regulations in the commercial 
salmon troll fishery adopted for 2017, prior to any 2017 inseason 
action, will be in effect when incidental Pacific halibut retention 
opens on April 1, 2018 unless otherwise modified by inseason action at 
the March 2018 Council meeting.
    a. ``C-shaped'' yelloweye rockfish conservation area is an area to 
be voluntarily avoided for salmon trolling. NMFS and the Council 
request salmon trollers voluntarily avoid this area in order to protect 
yelloweye rockfish. The area is defined in the Pacific Council Halibut 
Catch Sharing Plan in the North Coast subarea (Washington marine area 
3), with the following coordinates in the order listed:

48[deg]18' N. lat.; 125[deg]18' W. long.;
48[deg]18' N. lat.; 124[deg]59' W. long.;
48[deg]11' N. lat.; 124[deg]59' W. long.;
48[deg]11' N. lat.; 125[deg]11' W. long.;
48[deg]04' N. lat.; 125[deg]11' W. long.;
48[deg]04' N. lat.; 124[deg]59' W. long.;
48[deg]00' N. lat.; 124[deg]59' W. long.;
48[deg]00' N. lat.; 125[deg]18' W. long.;
and connecting back to 48[deg]18' N. lat.; 125[deg]18' W. long.
C.8. Inseason Management
    In addition to standard inseason actions or modifications already 
noted under the season description, the following inseason guidance 
applies:
    a. Chinook remaining from the May through June non-Indian 
commercial troll harvest guideline north of Cape Falcon may be 
transferred to the July through September harvest guideline if the 
transfer would not result in exceeding preseason impact expectations on 
any stocks.
    b. NMFS may transfer fish between the recreational and commercial 
fisheries north of Cape Falcon if there is agreement among the areas' 
representatives on the Salmon Advisory Subpanel (SAS), and if the 
transfer would not result in exceeding preseason impact expectations on 
any stocks.
    c. At the March 2018 meeting, the Council will consider inseason 
recommendations for special regulations for any experimental fisheries 
(proposals must meet Council protocol and be received in November 
2017).
    d. If retention of unmarked coho is permitted by inseason action, 
the allowable coho quota will be adjusted to ensure preseason projected 
impacts on all stocks is not exceeded.
    e. Landing limits may be modified inseason to sustain season length 
and keep harvest within overall quotas.
C.9. State Waters Fisheries
    Consistent with Council management objectives:
    a. The State of Oregon may establish additional late-season 
fisheries in state waters.
    b. The State of California may establish limited fisheries in 
selected state waters.
    Check state regulations for details.
C.10. For the Purposes of California Fish and Game Code, Section 
8232.5, the Definition of the KMZ for the Ocean Salmon Season Shall be 
That Area From Humbug Mountain, Oregon, to Horse Mountain, California

Section 2. Recreational Management Measures for 2017 Ocean Salmon 
Fisheries

    Parts A, B, and C of this section contain restrictions that must be 
followed for lawful participation in the fishery. Part A identifies 
each fishing area and provides the geographic boundaries from north to 
south, the open seasons for the area, the salmon species allowed to be 
caught during the seasons, and any other special restrictions effective 
in the area. Part B specifies minimum size limits. Part C specifies 
special requirements, definitions, restrictions and exceptions.

A. Season Description

North of Cape Falcon, OR
--U.S./Canada border to Cape Alava (Neah Bay Subarea)

    June 24 through earlier of September 4 or 4,370 marked coho subarea 
quota with a subarea guideline of 7,900 Chinook (C.5).
    Seven days per week. All salmon, except no chum beginning August 1; 
two fish per day. All coho must be marked with a healed adipose fin 
clip (C.1). Beginning August 1, Chinook non-retention east of the 
Bonilla-Tatoosh line (C.4.a) during Council managed ocean fishery. See 
gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3). Inseason management may 
be used to sustain season length and keep harvest within the overall 
Chinook and coho recreational TACs for north of Cape Falcon (C.5).

--Cape Alava to Queets River (La Push Subarea)

    June 24 through earlier of September 4 or 1,090 marked coho subarea 
quota with a subarea guideline of 2,500 Chinook (C.5).

[[Page 19640]]

    Seven days per week. All salmon, two fish per day. All coho must be 
marked with a healed adipose fin clip. See gear restrictions and 
definitions (C.2, C.3). Inseason management may be used to sustain 
season length and keep harvest within the overall Chinook and coho 
recreational TACs for north of Cape Falcon (C.5).

--Queets River to Leadbetter Point (Westport Subarea)

    July 1 through earlier of September 4 or 15,540 marked coho subarea 
quota with a subarea guideline of 21,400 Chinook (C.5).
    Seven days per week. All salmon; two fish per day, no more than one 
of which can be a Chinook. All coho must be marked with a healed 
adipose fin clip (C.1). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, 
C.3). Grays Harbor Control Zone closed beginning August 14 (C.4.b). 
Inseason management may be used to sustain season length and keep 
harvest within the overall Chinook and coho recreational TACs for north 
of Cape Falcon (C.5).

--Leadbetter Point to Cape Falcon (Columbia River Subarea)

    June 24 through earlier of September 4 or 21,000 marked coho 
subarea quota with a subarea guideline of 13,200 Chinook (C.5).
    Seven days per week. All salmon; two fish per day, no more than one 
of which can be a Chinook. All coho must be marked with a healed 
adipose fin clip (C.1). See gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, 
C.3). Columbia Control Zone closed (C.4.c). Inseason management may be 
used to sustain season length and keep harvest within the overall 
Chinook and coho recreational TACs for north of Cape Falcon (C.5).
South of Cape Falcon, OR
--Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain.

    March 15 through October 31 (C.6), except as provided below during 
the all-salmon mark-selective and September non-mark-selective coho 
fisheries.
    Seven days per week. All salmon except coho; two fish per day 
(C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length (B). See 
gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).
     Non-mark-selective coho fishery: September 2 through the 
earlier of September 30 or a landed catch of 6,000 coho (C.5).
    Seven days per week. All salmon, two fish per day (C.1). Chinook 
minimum size limit of 24 inches total length. Coho minimum size limit 
of 16 inches total length (B). See gear restrictions and definitions 
(C.2, C.3).
    The all salmon except coho season reopens the earlier of October 1 
or attainment of the coho quota (C.5). During October, the fishery is 
only open shoreward of the 40 fathom regulatory line (C.4.f).
    In 2018, the season between Cape Falcon and Humbug Mountain will 
open March 15 for all salmon except coho; two fish per day (C.1). 
Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length (B); and the same 
gear restrictions as in 2017 (C.2, C.3). This opening could be modified 
following Council review at the March 2018 Council meeting.
    Fishing in the Stonewall Bank yelloweye rockfish conservation area 
restricted to trolling only on days the all depth recreational halibut 
fishery is open (call the halibut fishing hotline 1-800-662-9825 for 
specific dates) (C.3.b, C.4.d).

--Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain

    All-salmon mark-selective coho fishery: June 24 through the earlier 
of July 31 or a landed catch of 18,000 marked coho (C.5).
    Seven days per week. All salmon, two fish per day. All retained 
coho must be marked with a healed adipose fin clip (C.1). Chinook 
minimum size limit of 24 inches total length. Coho minimum size limit 
of 16 inches total length (b). See gear restrictions and definitions 
(C.2, C.3). Any remainder of the mark-selective quota may be 
transferred on an impact neutral basis to the September non-mark-
selective quota from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain. The all salmon 
except coho season reopens the earlier of August 1 or attainment of the 
coho quota (C.5.e).
    Fishing in the Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area 
restricted to trolling only on days the all depth recreational halibut 
fishery is open (call the halibut fishing hotline 1-800-662-9825 for 
specific dates) (C.3b, C.4.d).

--Humbug Mountain to Oregon/California border (Oregon KMZ)

    Closed (C.6).

--Oregon/California border to Horse Mountain (California KMZ)

    Closed (C.6).

--Horse Mountain to Point Arena (Fort Bragg)

    April 1-May 31;
    August 15-November 12 (C.6).
    Seven days per week. All salmon except coho; two fish per day 
(C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 20 inches total length (B). See 
gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).
    In 2018, season opens April 7 for all salmon except coho; two fish 
per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 20 inches total length 
(B); and the same gear restrictions as in 2017 (C.2, C.3). This opening 
could be modified following Council review at the March 2018 Council 
meeting.

--Point Arena to Pigeon Point (San Francisco)

    April 1-30;
    May 15-October 31 (C.6).
    Seven days per week. All salmon except coho; two fish per day 
(C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length through 
April 30, 20 inches thereafter (B). See gear restrictions and 
definitions (C.2, C.3).
    In 2018, season opens April 7 for all salmon except coho; two fish 
per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length 
(B); and the same gear restrictions as in 2017 (C.2, C.3). This opening 
could be modified following Council review at the March 2018 Council 
meeting.

--Pigeon Point to Point Sur (Monterey North)

    April 1-July 15 (C.6).
    Seven days per week. All salmon except coho; two fish per day 
(C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length (B). See 
gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).
    In 2018, season opens April 7 for all salmon except coho; two fish 
per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length 
(B); and the same gear restrictions as in 2017 (C.2, C.3). This opening 
could be modified following Council review at the March 2018 Council 
meeting.

--Point Sur to U.S./Mexico border (Monterey South)

    April 1-May 31 (C.6).
    Seven days per week. All salmon except coho; two fish per day 
(C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length (B). See 
gear restrictions and definitions (C.2, C.3).
    In 2018, season opens April 7 for all salmon except coho; two fish 
per day (C.1). Chinook minimum size limit of 24 inches total length 
(B); and the same gear restrictions as in 2017 (C.2, C.3). This opening 
could be modified following Council review at the March 2018 Council 
meeting.
    California State regulations require all salmon be made available 
to a CDFW representative for sampling immediately at port of landing. 
Any person in possession of a salmon with a missing adipose fin, upon 
request by an authorized agent or employee of the CDFW, shall 
immediately relinquish the head of the salmon to the state (California 
Code of Regulations Title 14 Section 1.73).

[[Page 19641]]

B. Minimum Size (Total Length in Inches) (See C.1)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Area  (when open)                    Chinook          Coho                      Pink
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
North of Cape Falcon.........................            24.0            16.0  None.
Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain...............            24.0            16.0  None.
Humbug Mt. to OR/CA border...................
OR/CA border to Horse Mountain...............
Horse Mountain to Point Arena................            20.0  ..............  20.0.
Point Arena to Pigeon Point:
    Through April 30.........................            24.0  ..............  24.0.
    After April 30...........................            20.0  ..............  20.0.
Pigeon Point to Point Sur....................            24.0  ..............  24.0.
Point Sur to U.S./Mexico border..............            24.0  ..............  24.0.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Metric equivalents: 24.0 in = 61.0 cm, 20.0 in = 50.8 cm, and 16.0in = 40.6 cm.

C. Requirements, Definitions, Restrictions, or Exceptions

C.1. Compliance With Minimum Size and Other Special Restrictions
    All salmon on board a vessel must meet the minimum size or other 
special requirements for the area being fished and the area in which 
they are landed if that area is open. Salmon may be landed in an area 
that is closed only if they meet the minimum size or other special 
requirements for the area in which they were caught. Salmon may not be 
filleted prior to landing.
    Ocean Boat Limits: Off the coast of Washington, Oregon, and 
California, each fisher aboard a vessel may continue to use angling 
gear until the combined daily limits of Chinook and coho salmon for all 
licensed and juvenile anglers aboard have been attained (additional 
state restrictions may apply).
C.2. Gear Restrictions
    Salmon may be taken only by hook and line using barbless hooks. All 
persons fishing for salmon, and all persons fishing from a boat with 
salmon on board, must meet the gear restrictions listed below for 
specific areas or seasons.
    a. U.S./Canada border to Point Conception, California: No more than 
one rod may be used per angler; and no more than two single point, 
single shank barbless hooks are required for all fishing gear. [Note: 
ODFW regulations in the state-water fishery off Tillamook Bay may allow 
the use of barbed hooks to be consistent with inside regulations.]
    b. Horse Mountain, California, to Point Conception, California: 
Single point, single shank, barbless circle hooks (see gear definitions 
below) are required when fishing with bait by any means other than 
trolling, and no more than two such hooks shall be used. When angling 
with two hooks, the distance between the hooks must not exceed five 
inches when measured from the top of the eye of the top hook to the 
inner base of the curve of the lower hook, and both hooks must be 
permanently tied in place (hard tied). Circle hooks are not required 
when artificial lures are used without bait.
C.3. Gear Definitions
    a. Recreational fishing gear defined: Off Oregon and Washington, 
angling tackle consists of a single line that must be attached to a rod 
and reel held by hand or closely attended; the rod and reel must be 
held by hand while playing a hooked fish. No person may use more than 
one rod and line while fishing off Oregon or Washington. Off 
California, the line must be attached to a rod and reel held by hand or 
closely attended; weights directly attached to a line may not exceed 
four pounds (1.8 kg). While fishing off California north of Point 
Conception, no person fishing for salmon, and no person fishing from a 
boat with salmon on board, may use more than one rod and line. Fishing 
includes any activity which can reasonably be expected to result in the 
catching, taking, or harvesting of fish.
    b. Trolling defined: Angling from a boat or floating device that is 
making way by means of a source of power, other than drifting by means 
of the prevailing water current or weather conditions.
    c. Circle hook defined: A hook with a generally circular shape and 
a point which turns inward, pointing directly to the shank at a 90[deg] 
angle.
C.4. Control Zone Definitions
    a. The Bonilla-Tatoosh Line: A line running from the western end of 
Cape Flattery to Tatoosh Island Lighthouse (48[deg]23'30'' N. lat., 
124[deg]44'12'' W. long.) to the buoy adjacent to Duntze Rock 
(48[deg]24'37'' N. lat., 124[deg]44'37'' W. long.), then in a straight 
line to Bonilla Point (48[deg]35'39'' N. lat., 124[deg]42'58'' W. 
long.) on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
    b. Grays Harbor Control Zone--The area defined by a line drawn from 
the Westport Lighthouse (46[deg]53'18'' N. lat., 124[deg] 07'01'' W. 
long.) to Buoy #2 (46[deg]52'42'' N. lat., 124[deg]12'42'' W. long.) to 
Buoy #3 (46[deg]55'00'' N. lat., 124[deg]14'48'' W. long.) to the Grays 
Harbor north jetty (46[deg]55'36'' N. lat., 124[deg]10'51'' W. long.).
    c. Columbia Control Zone: An area at the Columbia River mouth, 
bounded on the west by a line running northeast/southwest between the 
red lighted Buoy #4 (46[deg]13'35'' N. lat., 124[deg]06'50'' W. long.) 
and the green lighted Buoy #7 (46[deg]15'09' N. lat., 124[deg]06'16'' 
W. long.); on the east, by the Buoy #10 line which bears north/south at 
357[deg] true from the south jetty at 46[deg]14'00'' N. lat., 
124[deg]03'07'' W. long. to its intersection with the north jetty; on 
the north, by a line running northeast/southwest between the green 
lighted Buoy #7 to the tip of the north jetty (46[deg]15'48'' N. lat., 
124[deg]05'20'' W. long. and then along the north jetty to the point of 
intersection with the Buoy #10 line; and on the south, by a line 
running northeast/southwest between the red lighted Buoy #4 and tip of 
the south jetty (46[deg]14'03'' N. lat., 124[deg]04'05'' W. long.), and 
then along the south jetty to the point of intersection with the Buoy 
#10 line.
    d. Stonewall Bank Yelloweye Rockfish Conservation Area: The area 
defined by the following coordinates in the order listed:

44[deg]37.46' N. lat.; 124[deg]24.92' W. long.
44[deg]37.46' N. lat.; 124[deg]23.63' W. long.
44[deg]28.71' N. lat.; 124[deg]21.80' W. long.
44[deg]28.71' N. lat.; 124[deg]24.10' W. long.
44[deg]31.42' N. lat.; 124[deg]25.47' W. long.
and connecting back to 44[deg]37.46' N. lat.; 124[deg]24.92' W. long.
    e. Klamath Control Zone: The ocean area at the Klamath River mouth 
bounded on the north by 41[deg]38'48'' N. lat. (approximately 6 
nautical miles north of the Klamath River mouth); on the west by 
124[deg]23'00'' W. long. (approximately 12 nautical miles off

[[Page 19642]]

shore); and, on the south by 41[deg]26'48'' N. lat. (approximately 6 
nautical miles south of the Klamath River mouth).
    f. Waypoints for the 40 fathom regulatory line from Cape Falcon to 
Humbug Mountain (50 CFR 660.71(k)).

(12) 45[deg]46.00' N. lat., 124[deg]04.49' W. long.;
(13) 45[deg]44.34' N. lat., 124[deg]05.09' W. long.;
(14) 45[deg]40.64' N. lat., 124[deg]04.90' W. long.;
(15) 45[deg]33.00' N. lat., 124[deg]04.46' W. long.;
(16) 45[deg]32.27' N. lat., 124[deg]04.74' W. long.;
(17) 45[deg]29.26' N. lat., 124[deg]04.22' W. long.;
(18) 45[deg]20.25' N. lat., 124[deg]04.67' W. long.;
(19) 45[deg]19.99' N. lat., 124[deg]04.62' W. long.;
(20) 45[deg]17.50' N. lat., 124[deg]04.91' W. long.;
(21) 45[deg]11.29' N. lat., 124[deg]05.20' W. long.;
(22) 45[deg]05.80' N. lat., 124[deg]05.40' W. long.;
(23) 45[deg]05.08' N. lat., 124[deg]05.93' W. long.;
(24) 45[deg]03.83' N. lat., 124[deg]06.47' W. long.;
(25) 45[deg]01.70' N. lat., 124[deg]06.53' W. long.;
(26) 44[deg]58.75' N. lat., 124[deg]07.14' W. long.;
(27) 44[deg]51.28' N. lat., 124[deg]10.21' W. long.;
(28) 44[deg]49.49' N. lat., 124[deg]10.90' W. long.;
(29) 44[deg]44.96' N. lat., 124[deg]14.39' W. long.;
(30) 44[deg]43.44' N. lat., 124[deg]14.78' W. long.;
(31) 44[deg]42.26' N. lat., 124[deg]13.81' W. long.;
(32) 44[deg]41.68' N. lat., 124[deg]15.38' W. long.;
(33) 44[deg]34.87' N. lat., 124[deg]15.80' W. long.;
(34) 44[deg]33.74' N. lat., 124[deg]14.44' W. long.;
(35) 44[deg]27.66' N. lat., 124[deg]16.99' W. long.;
(36) 44[deg]19.13' N. lat., 124[deg]19.22' W. long.;
(37) 44[deg]15.35' N. lat., 124[deg]17.38' W. long.;
(38) 44[deg]14.38' N. lat., 124[deg]17.78' W. long.;
(39) 44[deg]12.80' N. lat., 124[deg]17.18' W. long.;
(40) 44[deg]09.23' N. lat., 124[deg]15.96' W. long.;
(41) 44[deg]08.38' N. lat., 124[deg]16.79' W. long.;
(42) 44[deg]08.30' N. lat., 124[deg]16.75' W. long.;
(43) 44[deg]01.18' N. lat., 124[deg]15.42' W. long.;
(44) 43[deg]51.61' N. lat., 124[deg]14.68' W. long.;
(45) 43[deg]42.66' N. lat., 124[deg]15.46' W. long.;
(46) 43[deg]40.49' N. lat., 124[deg]15.74' W. long.;
(47) 43[deg]38.77' N. lat., 124[deg]15.64' W. long.;
(48) 43[deg]34.52' N. lat., 124[deg]16.73' W. long.;
(49) 43[deg]28.82' N. lat., 124[deg]19.52' W. long.;
(50) 43[deg]23.91' N. lat., 124[deg]24.28' W. long.;
(51) 43[deg]20.83' N. lat., 124[deg]26.63' W. long.;
(52) 43[deg]17.96' N. lat., 124[deg]28.81' W. long.;
(53) 43[deg]16.75' N. lat., 124[deg]28.42' W. long.;
(54) 43[deg]13.97' N. lat., 124[deg]31.99' W. long.;
(55) 43[deg]13.72' N. lat., 124[deg]33.25' W. long.;
(56) 43[deg]12.26' N. lat., 124[deg]34.16' W. long.;
(57) 43[deg]10.96' N. lat., 124[deg]32.33' W. long.;
(58) 43[deg]05.65' N. lat., 124[deg]31.52' W. long.;
(59) 42[deg]59.66' N. lat., 124[deg]32.58' W. long.;
(60) 42[deg]54.97' N. lat., 124[deg]36.99' W. long.;
(61) 42[deg]53.81' N. lat., 124[deg]38.57' W. long.;
(62) 42[deg]50.00' N. lat., 124[deg]39.68' W. long.;
(63) 42[deg]49.13' N. lat., 124[deg]39.70' W. long.;
(64) 42[deg]46.47' N. lat., 124[deg]38.89' W. long.;
(65) 42[deg]45.74' N. lat., 124[deg]38.86' W. long.;
(66) 42[deg]44.79' N. lat., 124[deg]37.96' W. long.;
(67) 42[deg]45.01' N. lat., 124[deg]36.39' W. long.;
(68) 42[deg]44.14' N. lat., 124[deg]35.17' W. long.;
(69) 42[deg]42.14' N. lat., 124[deg]32.82' W. long.;
(70) 42[deg]40.50' N. lat., 124[deg]31.98' W. long.;
C.5. Inseason Management
    Regulatory modifications may become necessary inseason to meet 
preseason management objectives such as quotas, harvest guidelines, and 
season duration. In addition to standard inseason actions or 
modifications already noted under the season description, the following 
inseason guidance applies:
    a. Actions could include modifications to bag limits, or days open 
to fishing, or extensions or reductions in areas open to fishing.
    b. Coho may be transferred inseason among recreational subareas 
north of Cape Falcon to help meet the recreational season duration 
objectives (for each subarea) after conferring with representatives of 
the affected ports and the Council's SAS recreational representatives 
north of Cape Falcon, and if the transfer would not result in exceeding 
preseason impact expectations on any stocks.
    c. Chinook and coho may be transferred between the recreational and 
commercial fisheries north of Cape Falcon if there is agreement among 
the representatives of the SAS, and if the transfer would not result in 
exceeding preseason impact expectations on any stocks.
    d. Fishery managers may consider inseason action modifying 
regulations restricting retention of unmarked coho. To remain 
consistent with preseason expectations, any inseason action shall 
consider, if significant, the difference between observed and preseason 
forecasted mark rates. Such a consideration may also include a change 
in bag limit of two salmon, no more than one of which may be a coho.
    e. Marked coho remaining from the Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain 
recreational mark-selective coho quota may be transferred inseason to 
the Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain non-mark-selective recreational 
fishery if the transfer would not result in exceeding preseason impact 
expectations on any stocks.
C.6. Additional Seasons in State Territorial Waters
    Consistent with Council management objectives, the States of 
Washington, Oregon, and California may establish limited seasons in 
state waters. Check state regulations for details.

Section 3. Treaty Indian Management Measures for 2017 Ocean Salmon 
Fisheries

    Parts A, B, and C of this section contain requirements that must be 
followed for lawful participation in the fishery.

A. Season Descriptions

    May 1 through the earlier of June 30 or 20,000 Chinook quota.
    All salmon except coho. If the Chinook quota for the May-June 
fishery is not fully utilized, the excess fish may be transferred into 
the later all-salmon season (C.5.a). If the Chinook quota is exceeded, 
the excess will be deducted from the later all-salmon season (C.5). See 
size limit (B) and other restrictions (C).

[[Page 19643]]

    July 1 through the earlier of September 15, or 20,000 Chinook quota 
(C.5), or 12,500 coho quota.
    All salmon. See size limit (B) and other restrictions (C).

B. Minimum Size (Inches)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                           Chinook                          Coho
      Area  (when open)       ----------------------------------------------------------------        Pink
                                    Total         Head-off          Total         Head-off
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
North of Cape Falcon.........            24.0            18.0            16.0            12.0  None.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Metric equivalents: 24.0 in = 61.0 cm, 18.0 in = 45.7 cm, 12.0 in = 30.5 cm.

C. Requirements, Restrictions, and Exceptions

C.1. Tribe and Area Boundaries.
    All boundaries may be changed to include such other areas as may 
hereafter be authorized by a Federal court for that tribe's treaty 
fishery.
    S'KLALLAM--Washington State Statistical Area 4B (All).
    MAKAH--Washington State Statistical Area 4B and that portion of the 
FMA north of 48[deg]02'15'' N. lat. (Norwegian Memorial) and east of 
125[deg]44'00'' W. long.
    QUILEUTE--That portion of the FMA between 48[deg]10'00'' N. lat. 
(Cape Alava.) and 47[deg]31'42'' N. lat. (Queets River) and east of 
125[deg]44'00'' W. long.
    HOH--That portion of the FMA between 47[deg]54'18'' N. lat. 
(Quillayute River) and 47[deg]21'00'' N. lat. (Quinault River) and east 
of 125[deg]44'00'' W. long.
    QUINAULT--That portion of the FMA between 47[deg]40'06'' N. lat. 
(Destruction Island) and 46[deg]53'18''N. lat. (Point Chehalis) and 
east of 125[deg]08'30'' W. long.
C.2. Gear Restrictions
    a. Single point, single shank, barbless hooks are required in all 
fisheries.
    b. No more than eight fixed lines per boat.
    c. No more than four hand held lines per person in the Makah area 
fishery (Washington State Statistical Area 4B and that portion of the 
FMA north of 48[deg]02'15'' N. lat. (Norwegian Memorial) and east of 
125[deg]44'00'' W. long.).
C.3. Quotas
    a. The quotas include troll catches by the S'Klallam and Makah 
tribes in Washington State Statistical Area 4B from May 1 through 
September 15.
    b. The Quileute Tribe will continue a ceremonial and subsistence 
fishery during the time frame of September 15 through October 15 in the 
same manner as in 2004-2015. Fish taken during this fishery are to be 
counted against treaty troll quotas established for the 2017 season 
(estimated harvest during the September-October ceremonial and 
subsistence fishery: 20 Chinook; 40 coho).
C.4. Area Closures
    a. The area within a six nautical mile radius of the mouths of the 
Queets River (47[deg]31'42'' N. lat.) and the Hoh River (47[deg]45'12'' 
N. lat.) will be closed to commercial fishing.
    b. A closure within two nautical miles of the mouth of the Quinault 
River (47[deg]21'00'' N. lat.) may be enacted by the Quinault Nation 
and/or the State of Washington and will not adversely affect the 
Secretary of Commerce's management regime.

C.5. Inseason Management: In Addition to Standard Inseason Actions or 
Modifications Already Noted Under the Season Description, the Following 
Inseason Guidance Applies

    a. Chinook remaining from the May through June treaty-Indian ocean 
troll harvest guideline north of Cape Falcon may be transferred to the 
July through September harvest guideline on a fishery impact equivalent 
basis.

Section 4. Halibut Retention

    Under the authority of the Northern Pacific Halibut Act, NMFS 
promulgated regulations governing the Pacific halibut fishery, which 
appear at 50 CFR part 300, subpart E. On March 7, 2017, NMFS published 
a rule announcing the IPHC's regulations, and fishery regulations for 
U.S. waters off Alaska (82 FR 12730). On April 20, 2017, NMFS published 
a final rule (82 FR 18581) approving and implementing the Area 2A (U.S. 
West Coast) Pacific halibut Catch Sharing Plan and the Area 2A 
management measures for 2017. The Catch Sharing Plan, in combination 
with the IPHC regulations, provides that vessels participating in the 
salmon troll fishery in Area 2A, which have obtained the appropriate 
IPHC license, may retain halibut caught incidentally during authorized 
periods in conformance with provisions published with the annual salmon 
management measures. A salmon troller may participate in the halibut 
incidental catch fishery during the salmon troll season or in the 
directed commercial fishery targeting halibut, but not both.
    The following measures have been approved by the IPHC, and 
implemented by NMFS. During authorized periods, the operator of a 
vessel that has been issued an incidental halibut harvest license may 
retain Pacific halibut caught incidentally in Area 2A while trolling 
for salmon. Halibut retained must be no less than 32 inches (81.28 cm) 
in total length, measured from the tip of the lower jaw with the mouth 
closed to the extreme end of the middle of the tail, and must be landed 
with the head on.
    License applications for incidental harvest must be obtained from 
the IPHC (phone: 206-634-1838). Applicants must apply prior to mid-
March 2018 for 2018 permits (exact date to be set by the IPHC in early 
2018). Incidental harvest is authorized only during April, May, and 
June of the 2017 troll seasons and after June 30 in 2017 if quota 
remains and if announced on the NMFS hotline (phone: 1-800-662-9825 or 
206-526-6667). WDFW, ODFW, and CDFW will monitor landings. If the 
landings are projected to exceed the 39,810 pound preseason allocation 
or the total Area 2A non-Indian commercial halibut allocation, NMFS 
will take inseason action to prohibit retention of halibut in the non-
Indian salmon troll fishery.
    May 1, 2017, through December 31, 2017, and April 1-30, 2018, 
license holders may land or possess no more than one Pacific halibut 
per each two Chinook, except one Pacific halibut may be possessed or 
landed without meeting the ratio requirement, and no more than 35 
halibut may be possessed or landed per trip. Pacific halibut retained 
must be no less than 32 inches in total length (with head on). IPHC 
license holders must comply with all applicable IPHC regulations.
    Incidental Pacific halibut catch regulations in the commercial 
salmon troll fishery adopted for 2017, prior to any 2017 inseason 
action, will be in effect when incidental Pacific halibut retention 
opens on April 1, 2018, unless otherwise modified by inseason action at 
the March 2018 Council meeting.
    NMFS and the Council request that salmon trollers voluntarily avoid 
a ``C-shaped'' YRCA (also known as the

[[Page 19644]]

Salmon Troll YRCA) in order to protect yelloweye rockfish. Coordinates 
for the Salmon Troll YRCA are defined at 50 CFR 660.70(a) in the North 
Coast subarea (Washington marine area 3). See Section 1.C.7. in this 
document for the coordinates.

Section 5. Geographical Landmarks

    Wherever the words ``nautical miles off shore'' are used in this 
document, the distance is measured from the baseline from which the 
territorial sea is measured.
    Geographical landmarks referenced in this document are at the 
following locations:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cape Flattery, WA........................  48[deg]23'00'' N. lat.
Cape Alava, WA...........................  48[deg]10'00'' N. lat.
Queets River, WA.........................  47[deg]31'42'' N. lat.
Leadbetter Point, WA.....................  46[deg]38'10'' N. lat.
Cape Falcon, OR..........................  45[deg]46'00'' N. lat.
Florence South Jetty, OR.................  44[deg]00'54'' N. lat.
Humbug Mountain, OR......................  42[deg]40'30'' N. lat.
Oregon-California border.................  42[deg]00'00'' N. lat.
Humboldt South Jetty, CA.................  40[deg]45'53'' N. lat.
Horse Mountain, CA.......................  40[deg]05'00'' N. lat.
Point Arena, CA..........................  38[deg]57'30'' N. lat.
Point Reyes, CA..........................  37[deg]59'44'' N. lat.
Point San Pedro, CA......................  37[deg]35'40'' N. lat.
Pigeon Point, CA.........................  37[deg]11'00'' N. lat.
Point Sur, CA............................  36[deg]18'00'' N. lat.
Point Conception, CA.....................  34[deg]27'00'' N. lat.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Section 6. Inseason Notice Procedures

    Notice of inseason management actions will be provided by a 
telephone hotline administered by the West Coast Region, NMFS, 1-800-
662-9825 or 206-526-6667, and by USCG Notice to Mariners broadcasts. 
These broadcasts are announced on Channel 16 VHF-FM and 2182 KHz at 
frequent intervals. The announcements designate the channel or 
frequency over which the Notice to Mariners will be immediately 
broadcast. Inseason actions will also be published in the Federal 
Register as soon as practicable. Since provisions of these management 
measures may be altered by inseason actions, fishermen should monitor 
either the telephone hotline or Coast Guard broadcasts for current 
information for the area in which they are fishing.

Classification

    This final rule is necessary for conservation and management of 
Pacific coast salmon stocks and is consistent with the Magnuson-Stevens 
Act and other applicable law. These regulations are being promulgated 
under the authority of 16 U.S.C. 1855(d) and 16 U.S.C. 773(c).
    This final rule has been determined to be not significant for 
purposes of Executive Order 12866.
    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries finds good cause under 5 
U.S.C. 553(b)(B), to waive the requirement for prior notice and 
opportunity for public comment, as such procedures would be 
impracticable and contrary to the public interest.
    The annual salmon management cycle begins May 1 and continues 
through April 30 of the following year. May 1 was chosen because the 
pre-May harvests constitute a relatively small portion of the annual 
catch. The time frame of the preseason process for determining the 
annual modifications to ocean salmon fishery management measures 
depends on when the pertinent biological data are available. Salmon 
stocks are managed to meet annual spawning escapement goals or specific 
exploitation rates. Achieving either of these objectives requires 
designing management measures that are appropriate for the ocean 
abundance predicted for that year. These pre-season abundance 
forecasts, which are derived from previous years' observed spawning 
escapement, vary substantially from year to year, and are not available 
until January or February because spawning escapement continues through 
the fall.
    The preseason planning and public review process associated with 
developing Council recommendations is initiated in February as soon as 
the forecast information becomes available. The public planning process 
requires coordination of management actions of four states, numerous 
Indian tribes, and the Federal Government, all of which have management 
authority over the stocks. This complex process includes the affected 
user groups, as well as the general public. The process is compressed 
into a two-month period culminating with the April Council meeting at 
which the Council adopts a recommendation that is forwarded to NMFS for 
review, approval, and implementation of fishing regulations effective 
on May 1.
    Providing opportunity for prior notice and public comments on the 
Council's recommended measures through a proposed and final rulemaking 
process would require 30 to 60 days in addition to the two-month period 
required for development of the regulations. Delaying implementation of 
annual fishing regulations, which are based on the current stock 
abundance projections, for an additional 60 days would require that 
fishing regulations for May and June be set in the previous year, 
without the benefit of information regarding current stock status. For 
the 2017 fishing regulations, the current stock status was not 
available to the Council until February. Because a substantial amount 
of fishing occurs during May and June, managing the fishery with 
measures developed using the prior year's data could have significant 
adverse effects on the managed stocks, including ESA-listed stocks. 
Although salmon fisheries that open prior to May are managed under the 
prior year's measures, as modified by the Council at its March meeting, 
relatively little harvest occurs during that period (e.g., on average, 
less than 5 percent of commercial and recreational harvest occurred 
prior to May 1 during the years 2001 through 2015). Allowing the much 
more substantial harvest levels normally associated with the May and 
June salmon seasons to be promulgated under the prior year's 
regulations would impair NMFS' ability to protect weak and ESA-listed 
salmon stocks, and to provide harvest opportunity where appropriate. 
The choice of May 1 as the beginning of the regulatory season balances 
the need to gather and analyze the data needed to meet the management 
objectives of the Salmon FMP and the need to manage the fishery using 
the best available scientific information.
    If these measures are not in place on May 1, salmon fisheries will 
not open as scheduled, or would open based on 2016 management measures 
which do not account for 2017 abundance projections without inseason 
action by NMFS. This would result in lost fishing opportunity, negative 
economic impacts, and confusion for the public as the state fisheries 
adopt concurrent regulations that conform to the Federal management 
measures.
    Overall, the annual population dynamics of the various salmon 
stocks require managers to adjust the season structure of the West 
Coast salmon fisheries to both protect weaker stocks and give fishers 
access to stronger salmon stocks, particularly hatchery produced fish. 
Failure to implement these measures immediately could compromise the 
status of certain stocks, or result in foregone opportunity to harvest 
stocks whose abundance has

[[Page 19645]]

increased relative to the previous year thereby undermining the purpose 
of this agency action.
    In addition, public comment was received and considered by the 
Council and NMFS throughout the process of developing these management 
measures. As described above, the Council took comment at its March and 
April meetings, and heard summaries of comments received at public 
meetings held between the March and April meetings in each of the 
coastal states. NMFS also invited comments in a notice published prior 
to the March Council meeting, and considered comments received by the 
Council through its representative on the Council. Thus, these measures 
were developed with significant public input.
    Based upon the above-described need to have these measures 
effective on May 1 and the fact that there is limited time available to 
implement these new measures after the final Council meeting in April 
and before the commencement of the ocean salmon fishing year on May 1, 
NMFS has concluded it is impracticable and contrary to the public 
interest to provide an opportunity for prior notice and public comment 
under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B).
    The Assistant Administrator for Fisheries also finds that good 
cause exists under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), to waive the 30-day delay in 
effectiveness of this final rule. As previously discussed, data were 
not available until February and management measures were not finalized 
until mid-April. These measures are essential to conserve threatened 
and endangered ocean salmon stocks, and to provide for harvest of more 
abundant stocks. Delaying the effectiveness of these measures by 30 
days could compromise the ability of some stocks to attain their 
conservation objectives, preclude harvest opportunity, and negatively 
impact anticipated international, state, and tribal salmon fisheries, 
thereby undermining the purposes of this agency action and the 
requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
    To enhance the fishing industry's notification of these new 
measures, and to minimize the burden on the regulated community 
required to comply with the new regulations, NMFS is announcing the new 
measures over the telephone hotline used for inseason management 
actions and is posting the regulations on its West Coast Region Web 
site (http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov). NMFS is also advising 
the states of Washington, Oregon, and California on the new management 
measures. These states announce the seasons for applicable state and 
Federal fisheries through their own public notification systems.
    Because prior notice and an opportunity for public comment are not 
required to be provided for these portions of this rule by 5 U.S.C. 
553, or any other law, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., are not applicable. Accordingly, 
no Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is required for this portion of the 
rule and none has been prepared.
    This action contains collection-of-information requirements subject 
to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), and which have been approved by 
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under control number 0648-
0433. The current information collection approval expires on July 31, 
2017; renewal of this approval has been submitted to OMB and approval 
is pending. The public reporting burden for providing notifications if 
landing area restrictions cannot be met is estimated to average 15 
minutes per response. This estimate includes the time for reviewing 
instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and 
maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the 
collection of information.
    Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, no person is 
required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty 
for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the 
requirements of the PRA, unless that collection of information displays 
a currently valid OMB control number.
    NMFS has current ESA biological opinions that cover fishing under 
these regulations on all listed salmon species. NMFS reiterated their 
consultation standards for all ESA listed salmon and steelhead species 
in their annual Guidance letter to the Council dated March 3, 2017. 
Some of NMFS past biological opinions have found no jeopardy, and 
others have found jeopardy, but provided reasonable and prudent 
alternatives to avoid jeopardy. The management measures for 2017 are 
consistent with the biological opinions that found no jeopardy, and 
with the reasonable and prudent alternatives in the jeopardy biological 
opinions. The Council's recommended management measures therefore 
comply with NMFS' consultation standards and guidance for all listed 
salmon species which may be affected by Council fisheries. In some 
cases, the recommended measures are more restrictive than NMFS' ESA 
requirements.
    In 2009, NMFS consulted on the effects of fishing under the Salmon 
FMP on the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale Distinct 
Population Segment (SRKW) and concluded the salmon fisheries were not 
likely to jeopardize SRKW. The 2017 salmon management measures are 
consistent with the terms of that biological opinion.
    This final rule was developed after meaningful and collaboration 
with the affected tribes. The tribal representative on the Council made 
the motion for the regulations that apply to the tribal fisheries.

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 773-773k; 1801 et seq.

    Dated: April 25, 2017.
Alan D. Risenhoover,
Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Regulatory Programs, National 
Marine Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-08638 Filed 4-27-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-22-P