Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish, 4791-4795 [2019-02641]

Download as PDF tkelley on DSKBCP9HB2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 33 / Tuesday, February 19, 2019 / Notices to change. For updates, please check online at: https:// www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/hsrp/ hsrp.htm. Location: The meeting venue will be in downtown Washington, DC, and the venue will be posted online in February at: https:// www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/hsrp/ hsrp.htm. Please email your name, organization and email address by February 25, 2019, to inform the guest list to: Virginia.Dentler@noaa.gov and Lynne.Mersfelder@noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lynne Mersfelder-Lewis, HSRP program manager, National Ocean Service, Office of Coast Survey, NOAA (N/CS), 1315 East-West Highway, SSMC3 #6413, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910; telephone: 240–533–0064; email: Lynne.Mersfelder@noaa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: While the meeting is open to the public, please email your name, organization and email address by February 25, 2019, to be added to inform the guest list to: Virginia.Dentler@noaa.gov and Lynne.Mersfelder@noaa.gov. Seating will be available on a firstcome, first-served basis, and public comment is encouraged. There are public comment periods scheduled each day and noted in the agenda. Each individual or group making verbal comments will be limited to a total time of five (5) minutes and will be recorded. For those not onsite, comments can be submitted in writing via the webinar chat function or via email in writing. Individuals who would like to submit written statements in advance, during or after the meeting should email their comments to Lynne.Mersfelder@ noaa.gov. The HSRP will provide webinar capability. Pre-registration is required to access the webinar: https:// attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/ 2994768801559733251. The Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP) is a Federal Advisory Committee established to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, the NOAA Administrator, on matters related to the responsibilities and authorities set forth in section 303 of the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 1998, as amended, and such other appropriate matters that the Under Secretary refers to the Panel for review and advice. The charter and other information are located online at: https:// www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/hsrp/ CharterBylawsHSIAStatute.htm. Past recommendations and issue papers are at: https:// www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/hsrp/ VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:46 Feb 15, 2019 Jkt 247001 recommendations.htm. Past HSRP public meeting summary reports, agendas, presentations, transcripts, webinars, and other information is available online at: https:// www.nauticalcharts.noaa.gov/hsrp/ meetings.htm. Matters To Be Considered: The panel is convening on issues relevant to NOAA’s navigation services, focusing on national issues such as stakeholder use of navigation services data, sea level rise and inundation, and legislative priorities. Navigation services include the data, products, and services provided by the NOAA programs and activities that undertake geodetic observations, gravity modeling, shoreline mapping, bathymetric mapping, hydrographic surveying, nautical charting, tide and water level observations, current observations, and marine modeling. This suite of NOAA products and services support safe and efficient navigation, resilient coasts and communities, and the nationwide positioning information infrastructure to support America’s commerce. The Panel will hear from state and federal agencies, non-federal organizations and associations, regional and national stakeholders and partners about their missions and use of NOAA’s navigation services, the value these services bring, and what improvements could be made. Other administrative matters may be considered. The agenda and speakers are subject to change. Special Accommodations: This meeting is physically accessible to people with disabilities. Please direct requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids to Lynne.Mersfelder@noaa.gov by February 11, 2019. Shepherd M. Smith, Rear Admiral, Director, Office of Coast Survey, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [FR Doc. 2019–02571 Filed 2–15–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–JE–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XG748 Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Applications for 10 permit renewals and five new permits. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 4791 Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received 15 scientific research permit application requests relating to Pacific salmon and steelhead, rockfish, eulachon, and green sturgeon. The proposed research is intended to increase knowledge of species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to help guide management and conservation efforts. The applications may be viewed online at: https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov/preview/ preview_open_for_comment.cfm. SUMMARY: Comments or requests for a public hearing on the applications must be received at the appropriate address or fax number (see ADDRESSES) no later than 5 p.m. Pacific standard time on March 21, 2019. DATES: Written comments on the applications should be sent to the Protected Resources Division, NMFS, 1201 NE Lloyd Blvd., Suite 1100, Portland, OR 97232–1274. Comments may also be sent via fax to 503–230– 5441 or by email tonmfs.wcr-apps@ noaa.gov (include the permit number in the subject line of the fax or email). ADDRESSES: Rob Clapp, Portland, OR (ph.: 503–231– 2314), Fax: 503–230–5441, email: Robert.Clapp@noaa.gov). Permit application instructions are available from the address above, or online at https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Species Covered in This Notice The following listed species are covered in this notice: Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha): Threatened Lower Columbia River (LCR); threatened Puget Sound (PS); threatened Snake River (SR) spring/summer-run; threatened Snake River (SR) fall-run; endangered Upper Columbia River (UCR) spring-run; threatened Upper Willamette River (UWR); threatened Central Valley (CV) spring-run; endangered Sacramento River (SacR) winter-run; threatened California Coastal (CC). Steelhead (O. mykiss): Threatened LCR; threatened Middle Columbia River (MCR); threatened PS; threatened SR basin; threatened UCR; threatened UWR. Chum salmon (O. keta): Threatened Hood Canal Summer-run (HCS); threatened Columbia River (CR). Coho salmon (O. kisutch): Threatened LCR; threatened Oregon Coast (OC) coho; threatened Southern Oregon/ Northern California Coast (SONCC); endangered Central California Coast (CCC). E:\FR\FM\19FEN1.SGM 19FEN1 4792 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 33 / Tuesday, February 19, 2019 / Notices Sockeye salmon (O. nerka): Threatened Ozette Lake (OL); endangered SR. Eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus): Threatened southern (S). Green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris): Threatened southern (S). Rockfish (Sebastes spp.): Endangered Puget Sound/Georgia Basin (PS/GB) bocaccio (Sebastes paucispinis); threatened PS/GB yelloweye rockfish (S. ruberrimus). Authority Scientific research permits are issued in accordance with section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and regulations governing listed fish and wildlife permits (50 CFR 222–226). NMFS issues permits based on findings that such permits: (1) Are applied for in good faith; (2) if granted and exercised, would not operate to the disadvantage of the listed species that are the subject of the permit; and (3) are consistent with the purposes and policy of section 2 of the ESA. The authority to take listed species is subject to conditions set forth in the permits. Anyone requesting a hearing on an application listed in this notice should set out the specific reasons why a hearing on that application would be appropriate (see ADDRESSES). Such hearings are held at the discretion of the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NMFS. Applications Received tkelley on DSKBCP9HB2PROD with NOTICES Permit 1410–12R The Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) is seeking to renew for five years a research permit that currently allows them to take juvenile and adult CVS, LCR, PS, SacR winterrun, SR fall-run, SR spr/sum, UCR, and UWR Chinook salmon; CR chum salmon; LCR, OC, and SONCC coho salmon; SR sockeye salmon; LCR, MCR, SR, UCR, and UWR steelhead while conducting a study of the Columbia River plume and the surrounding ocean environment off the Oregon and Washington coasts. The NWFSC research may also cause them to take S eulachon, a species for which there are currently no ESA take prohibitions. The purposes of the research are to (1) determine the abundance, distribution, growth, and condition of juvenile Columbia River salmonids in the plume and characterize the area’s physical and biological features as they relate to salmonid survival; (2) determine the impact that predators and food supply have on survival among juvenile Columbia River Chinook and coho salmon as they migrate through the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:46 Feb 15, 2019 Jkt 247001 Columbia River estuary and plume; and (3) synthesize the early ocean ecology of juvenile Columbia River salmonids, test mechanisms that control salmonid growth and survival, and produce ecological indices that forecast salmonid survival. The research would benefit the affected species by (1) providing data that would improve understanding of how the ocean and Columbia River plume conditions affect juvenile salmonids, (2) helping predict how changing ocean conditions would affect salmonid growth and survival, and (3) guiding better management actions in relation to river, plume, and ocean conditions for more effective salmon management. This study would work in conjunction with another NWFSC study (permit 22369) by capturing salmonids using a different capture method at deeper locations. The NWFSC proposes to capture fish using a surface trawl which can cause lethal crushing and descaling injuries to juvenile salmonids and eulachon. Juvenile salmonids would be identified to species, measured for length, and frozen for further analysis (i.e. weight, growth, genetics, diet (stomach contents), parasites, pathogens, and physiological condition). Adult salmonids would be held in an aerated live well, identified to species, measured for length, checked for tags and marks, and released. Eulachon would either be returned to the capture location or retained for further scientific research activities at NWFSC. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed adult salmonids, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research. Permit 1484–7R The Washington Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is seeking to renew for five years a permit that currently authorizes them to take juvenile CR chum salmon, LCR Chinook salmon, LCR coho salmon, and LCR and MCR steelhead in WDNR-managed forests in Washington State. The purpose of the study is to survey stream reaches above natural barriers to determine if fish are present. This information is needed to determine appropriate widths of riparian buffers to leave intact during timber harvest. This study would benefit listed species by documenting the need for increased riparian buffers, which better protect aquatic and riparian habitat where fish are present. In addition, data on the distribution of fish gained from this study would be used to inform land management decisions and better protect listed species. The WDNR proposes to capture juvenile fish using single-pass backpack PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 electrofishing. The researchers would turn off the electricity as soon as a fish is seen. Fish would be identified with or without netting; if fish are netted they would be held in the water only long enough to identify them and then released at the site of capture. The WDNR does not intend to kill any of the fish being captured, but a small number may die as an unintended consequence of the proposed activities. Permit 1523–4R The National Council of Air and Stream Improvements (NCASI) is seeking to renew for five years a permit that currently authorizes them to take juvenile and adult UWR Chinook salmon in the McKenzie and Willamette rivers (Oregon). The purpose of the study is to describe how water quality and biological communities, including periphyton, macroinvertebrates, and resident fish, change as a result of exposure to paper and pulp mill discharges. The research would benefit listed species by describing the relative effects of anthropogenic versus natural stressors on the aquatic ecosystems in which listed species occur. The Oregon Plan, a guidance document for recovering endangered and threatened salmonids in Oregon, states that such comparative analyses are key elements needed to document existing conditions, track changes, and determine the impact of programs and actions. The NCASI proposes to capture nonlisted, resident fish in river edge habitat that is less than 2 m deep using a backpack or boat electrofisher. At each site the researchers would electrofish in a downstream direction for approximately 11 to 17 minutes, capture fish in nets, and place them in an aerated live well. If listed fish are observed, the researchers would turn off electricity immediately and count the fish, but not net them. If any listed fish are inadvertently netted, they would be released immediately. The NCASI would conduct surveys during spring and fall and would coordinate with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to avoid periods when salmon and steelhead are migrating in survey reaches. The researchers would discontinue sampling at a site on any date that a listed species is observed. While most of the fish would be unharmed, a small number of juvenile UWR Chinook may die as an unintended consequence of the proposed activities. Permit 14046–4R The King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks (KCDNRP) E:\FR\FM\19FEN1.SGM 19FEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 33 / Tuesday, February 19, 2019 / Notices tkelley on DSKBCP9HB2PROD with NOTICES is seeking to renew for five years a research permit that currently allows them to take juvenile PS Chinook salmon and PS steelhead. Sampling sites would be in four Puget Sound (Washington) sub-basins—Snoqualmie, Lake Washington, Duwamish, and Puyallup—and intertidal nearshore areas in the Puget Sound (King County, Washington). The purposes of the study are to (1) evaluate the effectiveness of restoration actions through biological monitoring, (2) understand how juvenile salmonids use specific riverine habitats in order to prioritize restoration projects and guide project design, (3) assess salmonid habitat status and trends in small streams with varying degrees of land use while monitoring current stream conditions, and (4) assess contaminant levels in various freshwater fish. The research would benefit the affected species by determining how restoration and recovery actions are contributing to listed species recovery, providing information on the extent of juvenile salmonid rearing in off-channel areas, guiding future restoration projects based upon monitoring results, providing information on habitat use by yearling fall-run Chinook salmon, and contributing to our knowledge of Chinook salmon life histories. The KCDNRP proposes to capture fish using beach seines, fyke nets, gill nets, hook and line, minnow traps, and backpack and boat-operated electrofishing. Most of the captured fish would be anaesthetized, identified to species, allowed to recover, and released. A subset of the Chinook salmon would also be tagged (acoustic, PIT, and elastomer), dyed (Bismark Brown), gastric lavaged, and have scales collected. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research. Permit 15207–4R The Amnis Opes Institute (AOI) is seeking to renew for five years a research permit that currently allows them to take juvenile and adult LCR, PS, SR fall-run, SR spr/sum, UCR, and UWR Chinook salmon; CR and HCS chum salmon; LCR, OC, and SONCC coho salmon; SR sockeye salmon; LCR, MCR, PS, SR, UCR, and UWR steelhead throughout Idaho, Oregon, and Washington States. The purpose of the study is to develop baseline data of the physical and chemical habitat for rivers and streams throughout the United States. Research transects would be randomly determined and would take place on alternating sides of the sampled rivers and streams for a distance of 40 times the mean wetted VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:46 Feb 15, 2019 Jkt 247001 channel width. The researchers would stop every five channel widths to process the fish. This research would benefit the affected species by characterizing the biological condition of rivers and thereby provide data that supports Clean Water Act implementation. The AOI proposes to capture fish using raft-mounted and backpack electrofishing equipment; stunned fish would be placed in a live well with a soft mesh dip-net. Fish would be identified to species, measured to length, searched for abnormalities, and returned to the water when recovered. ESA-listed species would be processed and released first. If adult salmonids are observed, electrofishing activities would immediately cease and the researchers would move to another location before resuming electrofishing activities. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research. Permit 16329–3R The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking to renew a permit that currently authorizes them take juvenile and adult CR chum salmon; LCR, UWR, UCR spring-run, SR fall-run, and SR spring/ summer-run Chinook salmon; LCR, OC, and SONCC coho salmon; and LCR, UWR, MCR, UCR, and SR Basin steelhead in all Oregon State waters. The purpose of the research is to assess environmental impairment from pollutants and describe the effectiveness of management activities in protecting and restoring aquatic ecosystems. The scientific research permit would authorize take of listed species for four DEQ programs: (1) Biomonitoring Program, (2) Oregon Toxics Monitoring Program, (3) Mixing Zone Surveys, and (4) Spill Impact and Cleanup Effectiveness Evaluations. Together, these programs are used to assess watershed and aquatic community health, determine the presence and effects of contaminants, and gauge the effectiveness of waste treatment and spill cleanup procedures. The information gathered would help the DEQ fulfill its mission to assess, restore, enhance, and maintain the quality of Oregon’s waters, as directed by state and Federal laws. The research would benefit listed species by providing information on watershed health and contaminants—information that would be used to inform efforts to protect and restore salmonid habitat. The DEQ proposes to capture fish from spring through fall using backpack and boat electrofishing, seining, and angling. After capturing the fish, the PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 4793 researchers would quickly transfer them to buckets of aerated water, weigh and measure some of them, and release them near the site of their capture within 20 minutes. No drugs or anesthesia would be used. The researchers propose to intentionally kill small numbers of nonlisted, resident fish. The researchers would not intentionally kill any ESAlisted fish, but a small number may die as an unintended result of the research activities. Permit 18260–2R The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS) is seeking to renew for five years a permit that currently authorizes them to take juvenile and adult LCR Chinook salmon, LCR coho salmon, and LCR and MCR steelhead. The purpose of the study is to describe abundance, habitat associations, spawning, distribution, migration patterns, harvest rates, and limiting factors for Pacific lamprey in Fifteen Mile Creek and Hood River and their tributaries (Oregon). The research would provide important basic ecological information about Pacific lamprey, which is not ESA-listed, but which is an important indicator species for characterizing watershed health. Although researchers are targeting juvenile and adult Pacific lamprey for capture, other species may be taken during sampling activities. The research would benefit listed species by improving understanding of watershed condition and helping managers prioritize habitat restoration projects in the Fifteen Mile Creek and Hood River basins. The CTWS proposes to collect fish from March through October using backpack electrofishing and hand, dip, fyke, and hoop nets. During electrofishing surveys, the researchers would use ‘‘lamprey settings’’ (i.e., very low voltage). The researchers would set hoop (0.8 m diameter with 1.9 cm mesh) and fyke (2.5 m high by 2.75 m wide with 1.9 cm mesh size) nets facing downstream in low velocity areas. They will modify the fyke net to deter adult steelhead from entering the hoop net by tying twine across the first throat of the net to create an effective mesh size across the opening of 7.5 cm. This modification has effectively deterred steelhead from entering fyke nets set in previous fieldwork. The researchers propose to measure and PIT or radio tag adult lamprey before releasing them. The researchers would immediately release any salmonids that are captured or briefly hold them in buckets of water before releasing them if they require time to recover from being captured. If salmonids are observed during E:\FR\FM\19FEN1.SGM 19FEN1 4794 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 33 / Tuesday, February 19, 2019 / Notices electrofishing, the researchers would immediately turn off the electricity and allow fish to swim away. The CTWS does not propose to kill any fish, but a small number may die as an unintended result of the research activities. tkelley on DSKBCP9HB2PROD with NOTICES Permit 18331–2R The Wild Fish Conservancy (WFC) is seeking to renew for five years a research permit that currently allows them to take juvenile PS Chinook salmon and PS steelhead in selected stream channels and floodplain areas throughout the Kitsap and Snoqualmie sub-basins of Washington State. The purpose of the study is to classify existing channels by water type and thereby validate and update county, city, and Washington Department of Natural Resources stream classifications and hydrological maps. This research would benefit the affected species by filling data gaps regarding fish passage impediments (tidegates, culverts, etc.) and providing fish species composition and distribution—information needed to identify, prioritize, and implement restoration projects. The WFC proposes to capture fish using backpack electrofishing. Fish would be identified to species, tissue sampled (caudal fin clip—steelhead only), and released. Once fish presence is established, either through visual observation or electrofishing, electrofishing would be discontinued. Surveyors would then proceed upstream until a change in habitat parameters is encountered and electrofishing would recommence. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research. Permit 20047–2R The University of Washington (UW) is seeking to renew for five years a research permit that currently allows them to take juvenile PS Chinook salmon, PS steelhead, HCS chum salmon, and PS/GB bocaccio throughout the Puget Sound, Hood Canal, and Willapa Bay (Washington State). The UW research may also cause them to take adult S eulachon and juvenile PS/ GB yelloweye rockfish—species for which there are currently no ESA take prohibitions. The purpose of the study is to directly compare fish communities in seagrass-vegetated habitats and unvegetated tideflats at five intertidal sites where native eelgrass is found naturally interspersed with bare areas. The research would benefit the affected species by evaluating their response to eelgrass habitats on Washington state tideflats and thus help inform planning decisions regarding preserving, restoring, and monitoring selected VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:46 Feb 15, 2019 Jkt 247001 aquatic sites. The UW researchers propose to capture fish using a beach seine. Captured fish would be identified to species, counted, measured to length (first 10 individuals of each species), and released. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research. Permit 20104–2R The Pacific Shellfish Institute (PSI) is seeking to renew for five years a research permit that currently allows them to take juvenile PS Chinook salmon, PS steelhead, and subadult S green sturgeon in Samish Bay (Whatcom/Skagit counties, WA) and Willapa Bay (Pacific County, WA). The PSI research may also cause them to take juvenile S eulachon—a species for which there are currently no ESA take prohibitions. The purposes of the study are to (1) measure and quantify the effect of shellfish culture and burrowing shrimp on seagrass and its function as habitat for fish and invertebrates; (2) determine the distribution of, and spatial relationship between, existing shellfish culture, burrowing shrimp, and seagrass in several Pacific Northwest estuaries; and (3) synthesize data and parameterize production functions for higher trophic level species of interest (i.e., English sole, crab, salmon) across habitat types. The research would benefit the affected species by (1) increasing knowledge at a landscape scale regarding the influence aquaculture may have on estuarine habitats and (2) improving environmentally and economically sustainable shellfish farming practices that minimize impacts on listed species. The PSI proposes to observe/harass fish using modified fyke net/camera deployments and capture fish using Breder traps. The modified fyke net/ camera deployments would be left open-ended with four wings (hourglass shape) with two cameras to identify species; no fish would be handled. For the Breder traps, fish would be identified to species, counted, measured, and released. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research. Permit 22003 The KCDNRP is seeking a five-year research permit that would allow them to annually take juvenile and adult PS Chinook salmon, PS steelhead, and PS/ GB bocaccio and adult S green sturgeon in the marine waters and shorelines of King County (Washington state). The KCDNRP research may also cause them to take juvenile and adult S eulachon PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 and PS/GB yelloweye rockfish—species for which there are currently no ESA take prohibitions. The purpose of the study is to capture English sole (Parophrys vetulus), brown rockfish (Sebastes auriculatus), copper rockfish (Sebastes caurinus), quillback rockfish (Sebastes maliger), and various forage fish to monitor tissue levels of toxic chemical contaminants. This research would benefit the affected species by (1) understanding the types and concentrations of chemicals in fish, (2) understanding the impact chemical exposures have on marine fish health, (3) filling data gaps to help managers make informed management decisions, and (4) developing a long-term program to evaluate changes in chemical body burdens in fish over time as environmental improvements are made (stormwater discharges reduced, contaminated sediments remediated, etc.). The KCDNRP proposes to capture fish using bottom trawls, beach seines, cast nets, and hook and line (sabiki rigs). Captured ESA-listed fish would be identified to species and released. Listed rockfish would be released via rapid submergence to their capture depth to reduce adverse effects from barotrauma. Targeted species (and incidental mortalities) would be sacrificed, stored on ice, and analyzed for contaminants. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research. Permit 22152 The Merrill & Ring (MR) timberland company is seeking a five-year research permit that would allow them to annually take juvenile OL sockeye salmon in the Lake Ozette watershed (Clallam County, WA). The purpose of the study is to determine potential fish presence downstream of potential roadrelated barriers in order to document potential natural barriers, other physical characteristics, and fish presence/ absence. This research would benefit the affected species by correctly typing streams, applying appropriate forest buffers to streams, and identifying potential fish barriers to replace with fish-passable culverts. The researchers propose to capture fish using backpack electrofishing equipment. Captured fish would be identified to species and released. In most cases, the stream survey would terminate when one fish is located. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research. Permit 22369 The NWFSC is seeking a five-year research permit that would allow them E:\FR\FM\19FEN1.SGM 19FEN1 tkelley on DSKBCP9HB2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 33 / Tuesday, February 19, 2019 / Notices to annually take adult S green sturgeon and juvenile and adult CC, CVS, LCR, PS, SacR winter-run, SR fall-run, SR spr/sum, and UCR Chinook salmon; CR and HCS chum salmon; CCC, LCR, OC, and SONCC coho salmon; OL and SR sockeye salmon; and LCR, MCR, PS, SR, and UCR steelhead while conducting a study in the Columbia River plume and surrounding ocean environment off of the Oregon and Washington coasts. The NWFSC research may also cause them to take S eulachon, a species for which there are currently no ESA take prohibitions. The purposes of the study are to (1) determine the ocean distribution and behaviors of smolt and sub-adult salmonids including Chinook and coho salmon and steelhead; (2) understand the degree to which fish from different origins use near-shore habitats; (3) synthesize the early ocean ecology of juvenile Columbia River salmon, test mechanisms that control salmonid growth and survival, and produce ecological indices that forecast juvenile salmonid survival; and (4) use simulation models, statistical analyses of climate, ocean and biological time series data, and indices to produce improved river and salmon management. The research would benefit the affected species by improving knowledge of salmonid spatial distribution and behavior during the marine portion of their life cycle. This study would work in conjunction with another NWFSC study (permit 1410–12R) by capturing salmonids using different capture methods at shallower locations and by tracking salmonids through acoustic and satellite tags. The NWFSC proposes to capture fish using microtrolling, purse seines, beach seines, and Kodiak trawls. Nontarget species (eulachon and green sturgeon) would be handled with a knotless rubber net, identified to species, and released. All salmonid adults and a subset of the juveniles would be placed in an aerated holding tank, identified to species, measured for length, and anesthetized using AQUI–S. Once anesthetized, the fish would be weighed, fin clipped, sampled for scales, and have either an acoustic tag surgically implanted or satellite pop-up tag attached via a dorsal muscle tether. The remaining juvenile salmonids would be held in an aerated holding tank, identified to species, and euthanized using an overdose of AQUI– S. Blood samples would be taken, and the fish would be frozen for further analysis (e.g., diet, caudal fin clip for genetics, otoliths removed, scales taken, and dorsal muscle sample for stable isotopes). VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:46 Feb 15, 2019 Jkt 247001 Permit 22417 The Puyallup Tribe of Indians (PTI) is seeking a five-year permit that would allow them to annually take juvenile PS Chinook salmon and PS steelhead in the Puyallup and White rivers (Pierce County, WA). The PTI research may also cause them to take adult S eulachon, a species for which there are currently no ESA take prohibitions. The purpose of the study is to estimate abundance, collect biometric and run timing data, and aide in productivity analyses of ESA-listed salmonids. The research would benefit the affected species by evaluating trends and statuses of individual populations that are critical for monitoring species recovery and evaluating the success of current and future habitat recovery in the watersheds. The PTI proposes to use rotary screw traps in the Puyallup and White rivers (one in each river) to capture fish. Captured fish would be anesthetized with MS–222, measured for length, tissue sampled (scales and anal fin clip), PIT-tagged, and released after recovery. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research. Permit 22482 The NWFSC is seeking a new, fiveyear permit that would allow them to take juvenile LCR, SR fall-run, UCR spring-run, and UWR Chinook salmon; CR chum salmon; LCR coho salmon; SR sockeye salmon; and LCR, MCR, SR Basin, UCR, and UWR steelhead. The purpose of the study is to measure contaminant levels in resident sculpin in the lower Willamette River (Oregon) near a Superfund site with high levels of pollutants. The target species for sampling, prickly sculpin, is benthicfeeding and has a small home range, thus contaminant analysis of its tissues reflects environmental conditions at a localized area. Listed salmonids could be unintentionally captured during sampling activities. The study results would support an ongoing Natural Resource Damage Assessment, the purpose of which is to document and quantify injuries to natural resources resulting from exposure to hazardous substances. The proposed research study would benefit listed species that occur in the project area by improving understanding of the extent of contamination and informing habitat restoration activities. The researchers propose to collect fish between river miles 2 and 11 of the Willamette River, and at appropriate reference sites nearby in the Lower Willamette River. The researchers PO 00000 Frm 00033 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 4795 would conduct sampling from August through October. The researchers would use vinyl-coated wire shrimp traps with 1.0 cm x 0.5 cm openings and baited with canned meat and bait scent. Any listed salmonids that are unintentionally captured would be transferred to buckets of aerated water, identified, counted, checked for fin clips, passive integrated transponder, and coded wire tags, and then gently released near the site of capture. This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(c) of the ESA. NMFS will evaluate the applications, associated documents, and comments submitted to determine whether the applications meet the requirements of section 10(a) of the ESA and Federal regulations. The final permit decisions will not be made until after the end of the 30-day comment period. NMFS will publish notice of its final action in the Federal Register. Dated: February 12, 2019. Catherine G. Marzin, Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2019–02641 Filed 2–15–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XG780 North Pacific Fishery Management Council; Public Meeting; Correction National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; correction. AGENCY: The North Pacific Fishery Management Council (Council) published a document on February 11, 2019, announcing the agenda for upcoming meetings of the Council and its advisory committees. The announcement omitted an item from the agenda. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Diana Evans, Council staff; telephone: (907) 271–2809. SUMMARY: Correction In the Federal Register of February 11, 2019, in FR Doc. 2019–01886, in the section entitled Agenda, add the following to the list of items for the Council Plenary Session: ‘‘29) BSAI Trawl Catcher Vessel Pacific Cod Mothership Adjustments—Final Action.’’ Additionally, the sentence that E:\FR\FM\19FEN1.SGM 19FEN1

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[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 33 (Tuesday, February 19, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 4791-4795]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-02641]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XG748


Endangered and Threatened Species; Take of Anadromous Fish

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

ACTION: Applications for 10 permit renewals and five new permits.

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SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that NMFS has received 15 scientific 
research permit application requests relating to Pacific salmon and 
steelhead, rockfish, eulachon, and green sturgeon. The proposed 
research is intended to increase knowledge of species listed under the 
Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to help guide management and 
conservation efforts. The applications may be viewed online at: https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov/preview/preview_open_for_comment.cfm.

DATES: Comments or requests for a public hearing on the applications 
must be received at the appropriate address or fax number (see 
ADDRESSES) no later than 5 p.m. Pacific standard time on March 21, 
2019.

ADDRESSES: Written comments on the applications should be sent to the 
Protected Resources Division, NMFS, 1201 NE Lloyd Blvd., Suite 1100, 
Portland, OR 97232-1274. Comments may also be sent via fax to 503-230-
5441 or by email tonmfs.wcr-apps@noaa.gov (include the permit number in 
the subject line of the fax or email).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rob Clapp, Portland, OR (ph.: 503-231-
2314), Fax: 503-230-5441, email: Robert.Clapp@noaa.gov). Permit 
application instructions are available from the address above, or 
online at https://apps.nmfs.noaa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Species Covered in This Notice

    The following listed species are covered in this notice:
    Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha): Threatened Lower 
Columbia River (LCR); threatened Puget Sound (PS); threatened Snake 
River (SR) spring/summer-run; threatened Snake River (SR) fall-run; 
endangered Upper Columbia River (UCR) spring-run; threatened Upper 
Willamette River (UWR); threatened Central Valley (CV) spring-run; 
endangered Sacramento River (SacR) winter-run; threatened California 
Coastal (CC).
    Steelhead (O. mykiss): Threatened LCR; threatened Middle Columbia 
River (MCR); threatened PS; threatened SR basin; threatened UCR; 
threatened UWR.
    Chum salmon (O. keta): Threatened Hood Canal Summer-run (HCS); 
threatened Columbia River (CR).
    Coho salmon (O. kisutch): Threatened LCR; threatened Oregon Coast 
(OC) coho; threatened Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast 
(SONCC); endangered Central California Coast (CCC).

[[Page 4792]]

    Sockeye salmon (O. nerka): Threatened Ozette Lake (OL); endangered 
SR.
    Eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus): Threatened southern (S).
    Green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris): Threatened southern (S).
    Rockfish (Sebastes spp.): Endangered Puget Sound/Georgia Basin (PS/
GB) bocaccio (Sebastes paucispinis); threatened PS/GB yelloweye 
rockfish (S. ruberrimus).

Authority

    Scientific research permits are issued in accordance with section 
10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and regulations 
governing listed fish and wildlife permits (50 CFR 222-226). NMFS 
issues permits based on findings that such permits: (1) Are applied for 
in good faith; (2) if granted and exercised, would not operate to the 
disadvantage of the listed species that are the subject of the permit; 
and (3) are consistent with the purposes and policy of section 2 of the 
ESA. The authority to take listed species is subject to conditions set 
forth in the permits.
    Anyone requesting a hearing on an application listed in this notice 
should set out the specific reasons why a hearing on that application 
would be appropriate (see ADDRESSES). Such hearings are held at the 
discretion of the Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, NMFS.

Applications Received

Permit 1410-12R
    The Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) is seeking to renew 
for five years a research permit that currently allows them to take 
juvenile and adult CVS, LCR, PS, SacR winter-run, SR fall-run, SR spr/
sum, UCR, and UWR Chinook salmon; CR chum salmon; LCR, OC, and SONCC 
coho salmon; SR sockeye salmon; LCR, MCR, SR, UCR, and UWR steelhead 
while conducting a study of the Columbia River plume and the 
surrounding ocean environment off the Oregon and Washington coasts. The 
NWFSC research may also cause them to take S eulachon, a species for 
which there are currently no ESA take prohibitions. The purposes of the 
research are to (1) determine the abundance, distribution, growth, and 
condition of juvenile Columbia River salmonids in the plume and 
characterize the area's physical and biological features as they relate 
to salmonid survival; (2) determine the impact that predators and food 
supply have on survival among juvenile Columbia River Chinook and coho 
salmon as they migrate through the Columbia River estuary and plume; 
and (3) synthesize the early ocean ecology of juvenile Columbia River 
salmonids, test mechanisms that control salmonid growth and survival, 
and produce ecological indices that forecast salmonid survival. The 
research would benefit the affected species by (1) providing data that 
would improve understanding of how the ocean and Columbia River plume 
conditions affect juvenile salmonids, (2) helping predict how changing 
ocean conditions would affect salmonid growth and survival, and (3) 
guiding better management actions in relation to river, plume, and 
ocean conditions for more effective salmon management. This study would 
work in conjunction with another NWFSC study (permit 22369) by 
capturing salmonids using a different capture method at deeper 
locations. The NWFSC proposes to capture fish using a surface trawl 
which can cause lethal crushing and descaling injuries to juvenile 
salmonids and eulachon. Juvenile salmonids would be identified to 
species, measured for length, and frozen for further analysis (i.e. 
weight, growth, genetics, diet (stomach contents), parasites, 
pathogens, and physiological condition). Adult salmonids would be held 
in an aerated live well, identified to species, measured for length, 
checked for tags and marks, and released. Eulachon would either be 
returned to the capture location or retained for further scientific 
research activities at NWFSC. The researchers do not intend to kill any 
listed adult salmonids, but some may die as an inadvertent result of 
the research.
Permit 1484-7R
    The Washington Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) is seeking to 
renew for five years a permit that currently authorizes them to take 
juvenile CR chum salmon, LCR Chinook salmon, LCR coho salmon, and LCR 
and MCR steelhead in WDNR-managed forests in Washington State. The 
purpose of the study is to survey stream reaches above natural barriers 
to determine if fish are present. This information is needed to 
determine appropriate widths of riparian buffers to leave intact during 
timber harvest. This study would benefit listed species by documenting 
the need for increased riparian buffers, which better protect aquatic 
and riparian habitat where fish are present. In addition, data on the 
distribution of fish gained from this study would be used to inform 
land management decisions and better protect listed species.
    The WDNR proposes to capture juvenile fish using single-pass 
backpack electrofishing. The researchers would turn off the electricity 
as soon as a fish is seen. Fish would be identified with or without 
netting; if fish are netted they would be held in the water only long 
enough to identify them and then released at the site of capture. The 
WDNR does not intend to kill any of the fish being captured, but a 
small number may die as an unintended consequence of the proposed 
activities.
Permit 1523-4R
    The National Council of Air and Stream Improvements (NCASI) is 
seeking to renew for five years a permit that currently authorizes them 
to take juvenile and adult UWR Chinook salmon in the McKenzie and 
Willamette rivers (Oregon). The purpose of the study is to describe how 
water quality and biological communities, including periphyton, 
macroinvertebrates, and resident fish, change as a result of exposure 
to paper and pulp mill discharges. The research would benefit listed 
species by describing the relative effects of anthropogenic versus 
natural stressors on the aquatic ecosystems in which listed species 
occur. The Oregon Plan, a guidance document for recovering endangered 
and threatened salmonids in Oregon, states that such comparative 
analyses are key elements needed to document existing conditions, track 
changes, and determine the impact of programs and actions.
    The NCASI proposes to capture non-listed, resident fish in river 
edge habitat that is less than 2 m deep using a backpack or boat 
electrofisher. At each site the researchers would electrofish in a 
downstream direction for approximately 11 to 17 minutes, capture fish 
in nets, and place them in an aerated live well. If listed fish are 
observed, the researchers would turn off electricity immediately and 
count the fish, but not net them. If any listed fish are inadvertently 
netted, they would be released immediately. The NCASI would conduct 
surveys during spring and fall and would coordinate with the Oregon 
Department of Fish and Wildlife to avoid periods when salmon and 
steelhead are migrating in survey reaches. The researchers would 
discontinue sampling at a site on any date that a listed species is 
observed. While most of the fish would be unharmed, a small number of 
juvenile UWR Chinook may die as an unintended consequence of the 
proposed activities.
Permit 14046-4R
    The King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks (KCDNRP)

[[Page 4793]]

is seeking to renew for five years a research permit that currently 
allows them to take juvenile PS Chinook salmon and PS steelhead. 
Sampling sites would be in four Puget Sound (Washington) sub-basins--
Snoqualmie, Lake Washington, Duwamish, and Puyallup--and intertidal 
nearshore areas in the Puget Sound (King County, Washington). The 
purposes of the study are to (1) evaluate the effectiveness of 
restoration actions through biological monitoring, (2) understand how 
juvenile salmonids use specific riverine habitats in order to 
prioritize restoration projects and guide project design, (3) assess 
salmonid habitat status and trends in small streams with varying 
degrees of land use while monitoring current stream conditions, and (4) 
assess contaminant levels in various freshwater fish. The research 
would benefit the affected species by determining how restoration and 
recovery actions are contributing to listed species recovery, providing 
information on the extent of juvenile salmonid rearing in off-channel 
areas, guiding future restoration projects based upon monitoring 
results, providing information on habitat use by yearling fall-run 
Chinook salmon, and contributing to our knowledge of Chinook salmon 
life histories. The KCDNRP proposes to capture fish using beach seines, 
fyke nets, gill nets, hook and line, minnow traps, and backpack and 
boat-operated electrofishing. Most of the captured fish would be 
anaesthetized, identified to species, allowed to recover, and released. 
A subset of the Chinook salmon would also be tagged (acoustic, PIT, and 
elastomer), dyed (Bismark Brown), gastric lavaged, and have scales 
collected. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but 
some may die as an inadvertent result of the research.
Permit 15207-4R
    The Amnis Opes Institute (AOI) is seeking to renew for five years a 
research permit that currently allows them to take juvenile and adult 
LCR, PS, SR fall-run, SR spr/sum, UCR, and UWR Chinook salmon; CR and 
HCS chum salmon; LCR, OC, and SONCC coho salmon; SR sockeye salmon; 
LCR, MCR, PS, SR, UCR, and UWR steelhead throughout Idaho, Oregon, and 
Washington States. The purpose of the study is to develop baseline data 
of the physical and chemical habitat for rivers and streams throughout 
the United States. Research transects would be randomly determined and 
would take place on alternating sides of the sampled rivers and streams 
for a distance of 40 times the mean wetted channel width. The 
researchers would stop every five channel widths to process the fish. 
This research would benefit the affected species by characterizing the 
biological condition of rivers and thereby provide data that supports 
Clean Water Act implementation. The AOI proposes to capture fish using 
raft-mounted and backpack electrofishing equipment; stunned fish would 
be placed in a live well with a soft mesh dip-net. Fish would be 
identified to species, measured to length, searched for abnormalities, 
and returned to the water when recovered. ESA-listed species would be 
processed and released first. If adult salmonids are observed, 
electrofishing activities would immediately cease and the researchers 
would move to another location before resuming electrofishing 
activities. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but 
some may die as an inadvertent result of the research.
Permit 16329-3R
    The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking to 
renew a permit that currently authorizes them take juvenile and adult 
CR chum salmon; LCR, UWR, UCR spring-run, SR fall-run, and SR spring/
summer-run Chinook salmon; LCR, OC, and SONCC coho salmon; and LCR, 
UWR, MCR, UCR, and SR Basin steelhead in all Oregon State waters. The 
purpose of the research is to assess environmental impairment from 
pollutants and describe the effectiveness of management activities in 
protecting and restoring aquatic ecosystems. The scientific research 
permit would authorize take of listed species for four DEQ programs: 
(1) Biomonitoring Program, (2) Oregon Toxics Monitoring Program, (3) 
Mixing Zone Surveys, and (4) Spill Impact and Cleanup Effectiveness 
Evaluations. Together, these programs are used to assess watershed and 
aquatic community health, determine the presence and effects of 
contaminants, and gauge the effectiveness of waste treatment and spill 
cleanup procedures. The information gathered would help the DEQ fulfill 
its mission to assess, restore, enhance, and maintain the quality of 
Oregon's waters, as directed by state and Federal laws. The research 
would benefit listed species by providing information on watershed 
health and contaminants--information that would be used to inform 
efforts to protect and restore salmonid habitat.
    The DEQ proposes to capture fish from spring through fall using 
backpack and boat electrofishing, seining, and angling. After capturing 
the fish, the researchers would quickly transfer them to buckets of 
aerated water, weigh and measure some of them, and release them near 
the site of their capture within 20 minutes. No drugs or anesthesia 
would be used. The researchers propose to intentionally kill small 
numbers of non-listed, resident fish. The researchers would not 
intentionally kill any ESA-listed fish, but a small number may die as 
an unintended result of the research activities.
Permit 18260-2R
    The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs (CTWS) is seeking to renew 
for five years a permit that currently authorizes them to take juvenile 
and adult LCR Chinook salmon, LCR coho salmon, and LCR and MCR 
steelhead. The purpose of the study is to describe abundance, habitat 
associations, spawning, distribution, migration patterns, harvest 
rates, and limiting factors for Pacific lamprey in Fifteen Mile Creek 
and Hood River and their tributaries (Oregon). The research would 
provide important basic ecological information about Pacific lamprey, 
which is not ESA-listed, but which is an important indicator species 
for characterizing watershed health. Although researchers are targeting 
juvenile and adult Pacific lamprey for capture, other species may be 
taken during sampling activities. The research would benefit listed 
species by improving understanding of watershed condition and helping 
managers prioritize habitat restoration projects in the Fifteen Mile 
Creek and Hood River basins.
    The CTWS proposes to collect fish from March through October using 
backpack electrofishing and hand, dip, fyke, and hoop nets. During 
electrofishing surveys, the researchers would use ``lamprey settings'' 
(i.e., very low voltage). The researchers would set hoop (0.8 m 
diameter with 1.9 cm mesh) and fyke (2.5 m high by 2.75 m wide with 1.9 
cm mesh size) nets facing downstream in low velocity areas. They will 
modify the fyke net to deter adult steelhead from entering the hoop net 
by tying twine across the first throat of the net to create an 
effective mesh size across the opening of 7.5 cm. This modification has 
effectively deterred steelhead from entering fyke nets set in previous 
fieldwork. The researchers propose to measure and PIT or radio tag 
adult lamprey before releasing them. The researchers would immediately 
release any salmonids that are captured or briefly hold them in buckets 
of water before releasing them if they require time to recover from 
being captured. If salmonids are observed during

[[Page 4794]]

electrofishing, the researchers would immediately turn off the 
electricity and allow fish to swim away. The CTWS does not propose to 
kill any fish, but a small number may die as an unintended result of 
the research activities.
Permit 18331-2R
    The Wild Fish Conservancy (WFC) is seeking to renew for five years 
a research permit that currently allows them to take juvenile PS 
Chinook salmon and PS steelhead in selected stream channels and 
floodplain areas throughout the Kitsap and Snoqualmie sub-basins of 
Washington State. The purpose of the study is to classify existing 
channels by water type and thereby validate and update county, city, 
and Washington Department of Natural Resources stream classifications 
and hydrological maps. This research would benefit the affected species 
by filling data gaps regarding fish passage impediments (tidegates, 
culverts, etc.) and providing fish species composition and 
distribution--information needed to identify, prioritize, and implement 
restoration projects. The WFC proposes to capture fish using backpack 
electrofishing. Fish would be identified to species, tissue sampled 
(caudal fin clip--steelhead only), and released. Once fish presence is 
established, either through visual observation or electrofishing, 
electrofishing would be discontinued. Surveyors would then proceed 
upstream until a change in habitat parameters is encountered and 
electrofishing would recommence. The researchers do not intend to kill 
any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the 
research.
Permit 20047-2R
    The University of Washington (UW) is seeking to renew for five 
years a research permit that currently allows them to take juvenile PS 
Chinook salmon, PS steelhead, HCS chum salmon, and PS/GB bocaccio 
throughout the Puget Sound, Hood Canal, and Willapa Bay (Washington 
State). The UW research may also cause them to take adult S eulachon 
and juvenile PS/GB yelloweye rockfish--species for which there are 
currently no ESA take prohibitions. The purpose of the study is to 
directly compare fish communities in seagrass-vegetated habitats and 
unvegetated tideflats at five intertidal sites where native eelgrass is 
found naturally interspersed with bare areas. The research would 
benefit the affected species by evaluating their response to eelgrass 
habitats on Washington state tideflats and thus help inform planning 
decisions regarding preserving, restoring, and monitoring selected 
aquatic sites. The UW researchers propose to capture fish using a beach 
seine. Captured fish would be identified to species, counted, measured 
to length (first 10 individuals of each species), and released. The 
researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, but some may die as 
an inadvertent result of the research.
Permit 20104-2R
    The Pacific Shellfish Institute (PSI) is seeking to renew for five 
years a research permit that currently allows them to take juvenile PS 
Chinook salmon, PS steelhead, and subadult S green sturgeon in Samish 
Bay (Whatcom/Skagit counties, WA) and Willapa Bay (Pacific County, WA). 
The PSI research may also cause them to take juvenile S eulachon--a 
species for which there are currently no ESA take prohibitions. The 
purposes of the study are to (1) measure and quantify the effect of 
shellfish culture and burrowing shrimp on seagrass and its function as 
habitat for fish and invertebrates; (2) determine the distribution of, 
and spatial relationship between, existing shellfish culture, burrowing 
shrimp, and seagrass in several Pacific Northwest estuaries; and (3) 
synthesize data and parameterize production functions for higher 
trophic level species of interest (i.e., English sole, crab, salmon) 
across habitat types. The research would benefit the affected species 
by (1) increasing knowledge at a landscape scale regarding the 
influence aquaculture may have on estuarine habitats and (2) improving 
environmentally and economically sustainable shellfish farming 
practices that minimize impacts on listed species. The PSI proposes to 
observe/harass fish using modified fyke net/camera deployments and 
capture fish using Breder traps. The modified fyke net/camera 
deployments would be left open-ended with four wings (hourglass shape) 
with two cameras to identify species; no fish would be handled. For the 
Breder traps, fish would be identified to species, counted, measured, 
and released. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, 
but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research.
Permit 22003
    The KCDNRP is seeking a five-year research permit that would allow 
them to annually take juvenile and adult PS Chinook salmon, PS 
steelhead, and PS/GB bocaccio and adult S green sturgeon in the marine 
waters and shorelines of King County (Washington state). The KCDNRP 
research may also cause them to take juvenile and adult S eulachon and 
PS/GB yelloweye rockfish--species for which there are currently no ESA 
take prohibitions. The purpose of the study is to capture English sole 
(Parophrys vetulus), brown rockfish (Sebastes auriculatus), copper 
rockfish (Sebastes caurinus), quillback rockfish (Sebastes maliger), 
and various forage fish to monitor tissue levels of toxic chemical 
contaminants. This research would benefit the affected species by (1) 
understanding the types and concentrations of chemicals in fish, (2) 
understanding the impact chemical exposures have on marine fish health, 
(3) filling data gaps to help managers make informed management 
decisions, and (4) developing a long-term program to evaluate changes 
in chemical body burdens in fish over time as environmental 
improvements are made (stormwater discharges reduced, contaminated 
sediments remediated, etc.). The KCDNRP proposes to capture fish using 
bottom trawls, beach seines, cast nets, and hook and line (sabiki 
rigs). Captured ESA-listed fish would be identified to species and 
released. Listed rockfish would be released via rapid submergence to 
their capture depth to reduce adverse effects from barotrauma. Targeted 
species (and incidental mortalities) would be sacrificed, stored on 
ice, and analyzed for contaminants. The researchers do not intend to 
kill any listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the 
research.
Permit 22152
    The Merrill & Ring (MR) timberland company is seeking a five-year 
research permit that would allow them to annually take juvenile OL 
sockeye salmon in the Lake Ozette watershed (Clallam County, WA). The 
purpose of the study is to determine potential fish presence downstream 
of potential road-related barriers in order to document potential 
natural barriers, other physical characteristics, and fish presence/
absence. This research would benefit the affected species by correctly 
typing streams, applying appropriate forest buffers to streams, and 
identifying potential fish barriers to replace with fish-passable 
culverts. The researchers propose to capture fish using backpack 
electrofishing equipment. Captured fish would be identified to species 
and released. In most cases, the stream survey would terminate when one 
fish is located. The researchers do not intend to kill any listed fish, 
but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research.
Permit 22369
    The NWFSC is seeking a five-year research permit that would allow 
them

[[Page 4795]]

to annually take adult S green sturgeon and juvenile and adult CC, CVS, 
LCR, PS, SacR winter-run, SR fall-run, SR spr/sum, and UCR Chinook 
salmon; CR and HCS chum salmon; CCC, LCR, OC, and SONCC coho salmon; OL 
and SR sockeye salmon; and LCR, MCR, PS, SR, and UCR steelhead while 
conducting a study in the Columbia River plume and surrounding ocean 
environment off of the Oregon and Washington coasts. The NWFSC research 
may also cause them to take S eulachon, a species for which there are 
currently no ESA take prohibitions. The purposes of the study are to 
(1) determine the ocean distribution and behaviors of smolt and sub-
adult salmonids including Chinook and coho salmon and steelhead; (2) 
understand the degree to which fish from different origins use near-
shore habitats; (3) synthesize the early ocean ecology of juvenile 
Columbia River salmon, test mechanisms that control salmonid growth and 
survival, and produce ecological indices that forecast juvenile 
salmonid survival; and (4) use simulation models, statistical analyses 
of climate, ocean and biological time series data, and indices to 
produce improved river and salmon management. The research would 
benefit the affected species by improving knowledge of salmonid spatial 
distribution and behavior during the marine portion of their life 
cycle. This study would work in conjunction with another NWFSC study 
(permit 1410-12R) by capturing salmonids using different capture 
methods at shallower locations and by tracking salmonids through 
acoustic and satellite tags. The NWFSC proposes to capture fish using 
microtrolling, purse seines, beach seines, and Kodiak trawls. Non-
target species (eulachon and green sturgeon) would be handled with a 
knotless rubber net, identified to species, and released. All salmonid 
adults and a subset of the juveniles would be placed in an aerated 
holding tank, identified to species, measured for length, and 
anesthetized using AQUI-S. Once anesthetized, the fish would be 
weighed, fin clipped, sampled for scales, and have either an acoustic 
tag surgically implanted or satellite pop-up tag attached via a dorsal 
muscle tether. The remaining juvenile salmonids would be held in an 
aerated holding tank, identified to species, and euthanized using an 
overdose of AQUI-S. Blood samples would be taken, and the fish would be 
frozen for further analysis (e.g., diet, caudal fin clip for genetics, 
otoliths removed, scales taken, and dorsal muscle sample for stable 
isotopes).
Permit 22417
    The Puyallup Tribe of Indians (PTI) is seeking a five-year permit 
that would allow them to annually take juvenile PS Chinook salmon and 
PS steelhead in the Puyallup and White rivers (Pierce County, WA). The 
PTI research may also cause them to take adult S eulachon, a species 
for which there are currently no ESA take prohibitions. The purpose of 
the study is to estimate abundance, collect biometric and run timing 
data, and aide in productivity analyses of ESA-listed salmonids. The 
research would benefit the affected species by evaluating trends and 
statuses of individual populations that are critical for monitoring 
species recovery and evaluating the success of current and future 
habitat recovery in the watersheds. The PTI proposes to use rotary 
screw traps in the Puyallup and White rivers (one in each river) to 
capture fish. Captured fish would be anesthetized with MS-222, measured 
for length, tissue sampled (scales and anal fin clip), PIT-tagged, and 
released after recovery. The researchers do not intend to kill any 
listed fish, but some may die as an inadvertent result of the research.
Permit 22482
    The NWFSC is seeking a new, five-year permit that would allow them 
to take juvenile LCR, SR fall-run, UCR spring-run, and UWR Chinook 
salmon; CR chum salmon; LCR coho salmon; SR sockeye salmon; and LCR, 
MCR, SR Basin, UCR, and UWR steelhead. The purpose of the study is to 
measure contaminant levels in resident sculpin in the lower Willamette 
River (Oregon) near a Superfund site with high levels of pollutants. 
The target species for sampling, prickly sculpin, is benthic-feeding 
and has a small home range, thus contaminant analysis of its tissues 
reflects environmental conditions at a localized area. Listed salmonids 
could be unintentionally captured during sampling activities. The study 
results would support an ongoing Natural Resource Damage Assessment, 
the purpose of which is to document and quantify injuries to natural 
resources resulting from exposure to hazardous substances. The proposed 
research study would benefit listed species that occur in the project 
area by improving understanding of the extent of contamination and 
informing habitat restoration activities.
    The researchers propose to collect fish between river miles 2 and 
11 of the Willamette River, and at appropriate reference sites nearby 
in the Lower Willamette River. The researchers would conduct sampling 
from August through October. The researchers would use vinyl-coated 
wire shrimp traps with 1.0 cm x 0.5 cm openings and baited with canned 
meat and bait scent. Any listed salmonids that are unintentionally 
captured would be transferred to buckets of aerated water, identified, 
counted, checked for fin clips, passive integrated transponder, and 
coded wire tags, and then gently released near the site of capture.
    This notice is provided pursuant to section 10(c) of the ESA. NMFS 
will evaluate the applications, associated documents, and comments 
submitted to determine whether the applications meet the requirements 
of section 10(a) of the ESA and Federal regulations. The final permit 
decisions will not be made until after the end of the 30-day comment 
period. NMFS will publish notice of its final action in the Federal 
Register.

    Dated: February 12, 2019.
Catherine G. Marzin,
Deputy Director, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine 
Fisheries Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-02641 Filed 2-15-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-22-P