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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 21, 2020

Title 50Chapter VIPart 660Subpart H → §660.408


Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 660—FISHERIES OFF WEST COAST STATES
Subpart H—West Coast Salmon Fisheries


§660.408   Annual actions.

(a) General. NMFS will annually establish specifications and management measures or, as necessary, adjust specifications and management measures for the commercial, recreational, and treaty Indian fisheries by publishing the action in the Federal Register under §660.411. Management of the Pacific Coast salmon fishery will be conducted consistent with the standards and procedures in the Salmon FMP. The Salmon FMP is available from the Regional Administrator or the Council. Specifications and management measures are described in paragraphs (b) through (o) of this section.

(b) Annual catch limits. Annual Specifications will include annual catch limits (ACLs) determined consistent with the standards and procedures in the Salmon FMP.

(c) Allowable ocean harvest levels. Allowable ocean harvest levels must ensure that conservation objectives and ACLs are met, as described in §660.410, except that where the de minimis fishing control rules described in §660.410(c) apply, conservation objectives may not be met, provided ACLs are met. The allowable ocean harvest for commercial, recreational, and treaty Indian fishing may be expressed in terms of season regulations expected to achieve a certain optimum harvest level or in terms of a particular number of fish. Procedures for determining allowable ocean harvest vary by species and fishery complexity, and are documented in the fishery management plan and Council documents.

(d) Allocation of ocean harvest levels—(1) Coho and chinook from the U.S.-Canada border to Cape Falcon—(i) Overall allocation schedule. Initial allocation of coho and chinook salmon north of Cape Falcon, OR, will be based on the following schedule:

Allowable non-treaty ocean harvest (thousands of fish)Percentage1
CommercialRecreational
Coho:
0-3002575
>3006040
Chinook:
0-1005050
>100-1506040
>1507030

1The percentage allocation is tiered and must be calculated in additive steps when the harvest level exceeds the initial tier. For example, for a total allowable ocean harvest of 150,000 chinook, the recreational allocation would be equal to 50 percent of 100,000 chinook plus 40 percent of 50,000 chinook or 50,000 + 20,000 = 70,000 chinook.

(ii) Deviations from allocation schedule. The initial allocation may be modified annually in accordance with paragraphs (d)(1)(iii) through (viii) of this section. These deviations from the allocation schedule provide flexibility to account for the dynamic nature of the fisheries and better achieve the allocation objectives and fishery allocation priorities in paragraphs (d)(1)(ix) and (x) of this section. Total allowable ocean harvest will be maximized to the extent possible consistent with treaty obligations, state fishery needs, conservation objectives, and ACLs. Every effort will be made to establish seasons and gear requirements that provide troll and recreational fleets a reasonable opportunity to catch the available harvest. These may include single-species directed fisheries with landing restrictions for other species.

(iii) Preseason trades. Preseason species trades (chinook and coho) may be made if they are based upon the recommendation of the commercial and recreational Salmon Advisory Subpanel representatives for the area north of Cape Falcon; simultaneously benefit both the commercial and recreational fisheries or benefit one fishery without harming the other; and are supported by a socio-economic analysis that compares the impacts of the recommendation to those of the standard allocation schedule to determine the allocation that best meets the allocation objectives. This analysis will be made available to the public during the preseason process for establishing annual management measures. Preseason trades will use an exchange ratio of four coho to one chinook as a desirable guideline.

(iv) Commercial allocation. The commercial allowable ocean harvest of chinook and coho derived during the preseason allocation process may be varied by major subareas (i.e., north of Leadbetter Point and south of Leadbetter Point) if there is need to do so to decrease impacts on weak stocks. Deviations in each major subarea will generally not exceed 50 percent of the allowable ocean harvest of each species that would have been established without a geographic deviation in the distribution of the allowable ocean harvest. Deviation of more than 50 percent will be based on a conservation need to protect the weak stocks and will provide larger overall harvest for the entire fishery north of Cape Falcon than would have been possible without the deviation.

(v) Recreational allocation. The recreational allowable ocean harvest of chinook and coho derived during the preseason allocation process will be distributed among the four major recreational subareas as described in the coho and chinook distribution sections below. The Council may deviate from subarea quotas to meet recreational season objectives, based on agreement of representatives of the affected ports and/or in accordance with section 6.5.3.2 of the Pacific Coast Salmon Plan, regarding certain selective fisheries. Additionally, based upon the recommendation of the recreational Salmon Advisory Subpanel representatives for the area north of Cape Falcon, the Council will include criteria in its preseason salmon management recommendations to guide any inseason transfer of coho among the recreational subareas to meet recreational season duration objectives.

(A) Coho distribution. The preseason recreational allowable ocean harvest of coho north of Cape Falcon will be distributed to provide 50 percent to the area north of Leadbetter Point and 50 percent to the area south of Leadbetter Point. In years with no fishery in Washington State management area 4B, the distribution of coho north of Leadbetter Point will be divided to provide 74 percent to the subarea between Leadbetter Point and the Queets River (Westport), 5.2 percent to the subarea between Queets River and Cape Flattery (La Push), and 20.8 percent to the area north of the Queets River (Neah Bay). In years when there is an Area 4B (Neah Bay) fishery under state management, 25 percent of the numerical value of that fishery shall be added to the recreational allowable ocean harvest north of Leadbetter Point prior to applying the sharing percentages for Westport and La Push. The increase to Westport and La Push will be subtracted from the Neah Bay ocean share to maintain the same total harvest allocation north of Leadbetter Point. Each of the four recreational port area allocations will be rounded, to the nearest hundred fish, with the largest quotas rounded downward, if necessary, to sum to the preseason recreational allowable ocean harvest of coho north of Cape Falcon.

(B) Chinook distribution. Subarea distributions of Chinook will be managed as guidelines based on calculations of the Salmon Technical Team with the primary objective of achieving all-species fisheries without imposing Chinook restrictions (i.e., area closures or bag limit reductions). Chinook in excess of all-species fisheries needs may be utilized by directed Chinook fisheries north of Cape Falcon or by negotiating a preseason species trade of Chinook and coho between commercial and recreational allocations in accordance with paragraph (d)(1)(iii) of this section.

(vi) Inseason trades and transfers. Inseason transfers, including species trades of Chinook and coho, may be permitted in either direction between commercial and recreational fishery quotas to allow for uncatchable fish in one fishery to be reallocated to the other. Fish will be deemed uncatchable by a respective commercial or recreational fishery only after considering all possible annual management actions to allow for their harvest that are consistent with the harvest management objectives specific in the fishery management plan including consideration of single species fisheries. Implementation of inseason transfers will require consultation with the pertinent commercial and recreational Salmon Advisory Subpanel representatives from the area involved and the Salmon Technical Team, and a clear establishment of available fish and impacts from the transfer. Inseason trades or transfers may vary from the guideline ratio of four coho to one Chinook to meet the allocation objectives in paragraph (d)(1)(ix) of this section.

(vii) Other inseason provisions. Any increase or decrease in the recreational or commercial allowable ocean harvest resulting from an inseason restructuring of a fishery or other inseason management action does not require reallocation of the overall non-treaty allowable ocean harvest north of Cape Falcon between the recreational and commercial fisheries. Inseason redistribution of subarea quotas within the recreational fishery or the distribution of allowable coho catch transfers from the commercial fishery among subareas may deviate from the preseason distribution. Inseason management actions may be taken by the Regional Administrator to assure meeting the primary objective of achieving all-species fisheries without imposing Chinook restrictions in each of the recreational subareas north of Cape Falcon. Such actions might include, but are not limited to: Closure from 0 to 3, 0 to 6, 3 to 200, or 5 to 200 nm from shore; closure from a point extending due west from Tatoosh Island for 5 nm, then south to a point due west of Umatilla Reef Buoy, then due east to shore; closure from North Head at the Columbia River mouth north to Leadbetter Point; change in species that may be landed; or other actions as prescribed in the annual management measures.

(viii) Selective fisheries. Deviations from the initial gear and port area allocations may be allowed to implement selective fisheries for marked salmon stocks as long as the deviations are within the constraints and process specified in section 6.5.3.2 of the Pacific Coast Salmon Plan.

(ix) Allocation objectives. The goal of allocating ocean harvest north of Cape Falcon is to achieve, to the greatest degree possible, the following objectives for the commercial and recreational fisheries. When deviation from the allocation schedule is being considered, these objectives will serve as criteria to help determine whether a user group will benefit from the deviation.

(A) Provide recreational opportunity by maximizing the duration of the fishing season while minimizing daily and area closures and restrictions on gear and daily limits.

(B) Maximize the value of the commercial harvest while providing fisheries of reasonable duration.

(x) Fishery allocation priorities. The following fishery allocation priorities will provide guidance in the preseason process of establishing final harvest allocations and structuring seasons that best achieve the allocation objectives. To the extent fish are provided to each fishery by the allocation schedule, these priorities do not favor one user group over the other and should be met simultaneously for each fishery. Seasons may be structured that deviate from these priorities consistent with the allocation objectives.

(A) At total allowable harvest levels up to 300,000 coho and 100,000 chinook: For the recreational fishery, provide coho for a late June through early September all-species season; provide chinook to allow access to coho and, if possible, a minimal chinook-only fishery prior to the all-species season; and adjust days per week and/or institute area restrictions to stabilize season duration. For the commercial fishery, provide chinook for a May and early June chinook season and provide coho for hooking mortality and/or access to a pink fishery, and ensure that part of the chinook season will occur after June 1.

(B) At total allowable harvest levels above 300,000 coho and above 100,000 chinook: For the recreational fishery, relax any restrictions in the all-species fishery and/or extend the all-species season beyond Labor Day as coho quota allows; provide chinook for a Memorial Day through late June chinook-only fishery; and adjust days per week to ensure continuity with the all-species season. For the commercial fishery, provide coho for an all-species season in late summer and/or access to a pink fishery; and leave adequate chinook from the May through June season to allow access to coho.

(2) Coho south of Cape Falcon—(i) Allocation schedule. Preseason allocation shares of coho salmon south of Cape Falcon, OR, will be determined by an allocation schedule, which is based on the following formula. The formula will be used to interpolate between allowable harvest levels as shown in the table below.

(A) Up to 350,000 allowable ocean harvest: The first 150,000 fish will be allocated to the recreational fishery. Additional fish will be allocated 66.7 percent to troll and 33.3 percent to recreational. The incidental coho mortality for a commercial all-salmon-except-coho fishery will be deducted from the troll allocation. If the troll allocation is insufficient for this purpose, the remaining number of coho needed for this estimated incidental coho mortality will be deducted from the recreational share.

(B) From 350,000 to 800,000 allowable ocean harvest: The recreational allocation is equal to 14 percent of the allowable harvest above 350,000 fish, plus 217,000 fish. The remainder of the allowable ocean harvest will be allocated to the troll fishery.

(C) Above 800,000 allowable ocean harvest: The recreational allocation is equal to 10 percent of the allowable harvest above 800,000 fish, plus 280,000 fish. The remainder of the allowable ocean harvest will be allocated to the troll fishery.

Allowable ocean harvest (thousands of fish)Commercial Recreational
Number
(thousands)
Percentage Number
(thousands)
Percentage
2,7002,23082.647017.4
2,6002,14082.346017.7
2,5002,05082.045018.0
2,4001,96081.744018.3
2,3001,87081.343018.7
2,2001,78080.942019.1
2,1001,69080.541019.5
2,0001,60080.040020.0
1,9001,51079.539020.5
1,8001,42078.938021.1
1,7001,33078.237021.8
1,6001,24077.536022.5
1,5001,15076.735023.3
1,4001,06075.734024.3
1,30097074.633025.4
1,20088073.332026.7
1,10079071.831028.2
1,00070070.030030.0
90061067.829032.2
80052065.028035.0
70043462.026638.0
60034858.025242.0
50026252.423847.6
40017644.022456.0
35013338.021762.0
30010033.320066.7
200133116.51167183.5
100(1)(1)(1)(1)

1An incidental coho allowance associated with any commercial all-salmon-except-coho fishery will be deducted from the recreational share of coho during periods of low coho abundance when the commercial allocation of coho under the schedule would be insufficient to allow for incidental hooking mortality of coho in the commercial all-salmon-except-coho fishery.

(ii) Geographic distribution. Allowable harvest south of Cape Falcon may be divided and portions assigned to subareas based on considerations including, but not limited to, controlling ocean harvest impacts on depressed, viable natural stocks within acceptable maximum allowable levels; stock abundance; allocation considerations; stock specific impacts; relative abundance of the salmon species in the fishery; escapement goals; and maximizing harvest potential.

(iii) Recreational allocation at 167,000 fish or less. When the recreational allocation is at 167,000 fish or less, the total recreational allowable ocean harvest of coho will be divided between two major subareas with independent impact quotas. The initial allocation will be 70 percent from Cape Falcon to Humbug Mountain and 30 percent south of Humbug Mountain. Coho transfers between the two impact quotas may be permitted on a one-for-one basis, if chinook constraints preclude access to coho. Horse Mountain to Point Arena will be managed for an impact guideline of 3 percent of the south of Cape Falcon recreational allocation. The recreational coho fishery between Humbug Mountain and Point Arena may be closed when it is projected that the harvest impact between Humbug Mountain and Point Arena, combined with the projected harvest impact that will be taken south of Point Arena to the end of the season, equals the impact quota for south of Humbug Mountain. The recreational fishery for coho salmon south of Point Arena will not close upon attainment of the south of Humbug Mountain impact quota.

(iv) Oregon coastal natural coho. The allocation provisions in paragraph (d)(2) of this section provide guidance only when coho abundance permits a directed coho harvest, not when the allowable harvest impacts are insufficient to allow coho retention south of Cape Falcon. At such low levels, allowable harvest impacts will be allocated during the Council's preseason process.

(v) Inseason reallocation. No later than August 15 each year, the Salmon Technical Team will estimate the number of coho salmon needed to complete the recreational seasons. Any coho salmon allocated to the recreational fishery that are not needed to complete the recreational seasons will be reallocated to the commercial fishery. Once reallocation has taken place, the remaining recreational quota will change to a harvest guideline. If the harvest guideline for the recreational fishery is projected to be reached on or before Labor Day, the Regional Administrator may allow the recreational fishery to continue through the Labor Day weekend only if there is no significant danger of impacting the allocation of another fishery or of failing to meet an escapement goal.

(e) Management boundaries and zones. Management boundaries and zones will be established or adjusted to achieve a conservation purpose or management objective. A conservation purpose or management objective protects a fish stock, simplifies management of a fishery, or promotes wise use of fishery resources by, for example, separating fish stocks, facilitating enforcement, separating conflicting fishing activities, or facilitating harvest opportunities. Management boundaries and zones will be described by geographical references, coordinates (latitude and longitude), depth contours, distance from shore, or similar criteria.

(f) Minimum harvest lengths. The minimum harvest lengths for commercial, recreational, and treaty Indian fishing may be changed upon demonstration that a useful purpose will be served. For example, an increase in minimum size for commercially caught salmon may be necessary for conservation or may provide a greater poundage and monetary yield from the fishery while not substantially increasing hooking mortality. The removal of a minimum size for the recreational fishery may prevent wastage of fish and outweigh the detrimental impacts of harvesting immature fish.

(g) Recreational daily bag limits. Recreational daily bag limits for each fishing area will specify number and species of salmon that may be retained. The recreational daily bag limits for each fishing area will be set to maximize the length of the fishing season consistent with the allowable level of harvest in the area.

(h) Fishing gear restrictions. Gear restrictions for commercial, recreational, and treaty Indian fishing may be established or modified upon demonstration that a useful purpose will be served. For example, gear restrictions may be imposed or modified to facilitate enforcement, reduce hooking mortality, or reduce gear expenses for fishermen.

(i) Seasons—(1) In general. Seasons for commercial and recreational fishing will be established or modified taking into account allowable ocean harvest levels and quotas, allocations between the commercial and recreational fisheries, and the estimated amount of effort required to catch the available fish based on past seasons.

(2) Commercial seasons. Commercial seasons will be established or modified taking into account wastage of fish that cannot legally be retained, size and poundage of fish caught, effort shifts between fishing areas, and protection of depressed stocks present in the fishing areas. All-species seasons will be established to allow the maximum allowable harvest of pink salmon, when and where available, without exceeding allowable Chinook or coho harvest levels and within conservation and allocation constraints of the pink stocks.

(3) Recreational seasons. If feasible, recreational seasons will be established or modified to encompass Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, and to avoid the need for inseason closures.

(j) Quotas (by species, including fish caught 0-3 nm seaward of Washington, Oregon, and California). Quotas for commercial, recreational, and treaty Indian fishing may be established or modified to ensure that allowable ocean harvests are not exceeded. Quotas may be fixed or adjustable and used in conjunction with seasons. Any quota established does not represent a guaranteed ocean harvest, but a maximum ceiling on catch.

(k) Selective fisheries—(1) In general. In addition to the all-species seasons and the all-species-except-coho seasons established for the commercial and recreational fisheries, species selective fisheries and mark selective fisheries may be established.

(2) Species selective fisheries. Selective coho-only, Chinook-only, pink-only, all salmon except Chinook, and all salmon except coho fisheries may be established if harvestable fish of the target species are available; harvest of incidental species will not exceed allowable levels; proven, documented selective gear exists; significant wastage of incidental species will not occur; and the selective fishery will occur in an acceptable time and area where wastage can be minimized and target stocks are primarily available.

(3) Mark selective fisheries. Fisheries that select for salmon marked with a healed adipose fin clip may be established in the annual management measures as long as they are consistent with guidelines in section 6.5.3.1 of the Pacific Coast Salmon Plan.

(l) Treaty Indian fishing. (1) NMFS will establish or modify treaty Indian fishing seasons and/or fixed or adjustable quotas, size limits, gear restrictions, and/or area restrictions taking into account recommendations of the Council, proposals from affected tribes, and relevant Federal court proceedings.

(2) The combined treaty Indian fishing seasons will not be longer than necessary to harvest the allowable treaty Indian catch, which is the total treaty harvest that would occur if the tribes chose to take their total entitlement of the weakest stock in the fishery management area, assuming this level of harvest did not create conservation or allocation problems for other stocks.

(3) Any fixed or adjustable quotas established will be consistent with established treaty rights and will not exceed the harvest that would occur if the entire treaty entitlement to the weakest run were taken by treaty Indian fisheries in the fishery management area.

(4) If adjustable quotas are established for treaty Indian fishing, they may be subject to inseason adjustment because of unanticipated Chinook or coho hooking mortality occurring during the season, catches in treaty Indian fisheries inconsistent with those unanticipated under Federal regulations, or a need to redistribute quotas to ensure attainment of an overall quota.

(m) Yurok and Hoopa Valley tribal fishing rights. For purposes of section 303 of the Magnuson Act, the federally reserved fishing rights of the Yurok and Hoopa Valley Indian Tribes as set out in a legal opinion2 dated October 4, 1993, by the Office of the Solicitor, Department of the Interior, are applicable law. Under section 303 of the Magnuson Act, allowable ocean harvest must be consistent with all applicable laws.

2Copies of the Solicitor's Opinion are available from the Director, Southwest Region, NMFS.

(n) Inseason notice procedures. Telephone hotlines and USCG broadcasts will provide actual notice of inseason actions for commercial, recreational, and treaty Indian fishing.

(o) Reporting requirements. Reporting requirements for commercial fishing may be imposed to ensure timely and accurate assessment of catches in regulatory areas subject to quota management. Such reports are subject to the limitations described herein. Persons engaged in commercial fishing in a regulatory area subject to quota management and landing their catch in another regulatory area open to fishing may be required to transmit a brief report prior to leaving the first regulatory area. The regulatory areas subject to these reporting requirements, the contents of the reports, and the entities receiving the reports will be specified annually.

[61 FR 34601, July 2, 1996, as amended at 64 FR 26328, May 14, 1999; 66 FR 29241, May 30, 2001; 76 FR 81859, Dec. 29, 2011; 78 FR 10559, Feb. 14, 2013]

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